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Author Topic: Pseudopod 428: When It Ends, He Catches Her  (Read 6052 times)
Bdoomed
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« on: March 06, 2015, 09:54:02 PM »

Pseudopod 428: When It Ends, He Catches Her

by Eugie Foster

“When It Ends, He Catches Her” was originally published in Daily Science Fiction in September 2014. Many thanks to Matthew Foster for sharing this story with us and you.

Eugie Foster was an American short story writer, columnist, and editor. Her stories have been published in a number of magazines and book anthologies, including Fantasy Magazine, Realms of Fantasy, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show, and Interzone. Her collection of short stories, Returning My Sister’s Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, was published in 2009. After receiving her master’s degree in psychology, she retired from academia to pen flights of fancy.  She also edited legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, which from time to time she suspected were another venture into flights of fancy. She was also a director for Dragon Con and edited their onsite newsletter, the Daily Dragon.

Eugie received the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novelette for “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” which you can listen to over on EscapePod. There are over twelve hours of Eugie Foster’s stories and narrations here at Escape Artists. We encourage you to (re) listen to them.

She’s also been a finalist for the Hugo, Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press, and British Science Fiction Association awards. Foster died at Emory University Hospital on September 27, 2014 from respiratory failure, a complication of treatments for Large B-Cell Lymphoma. The day Foster died, Daily Science Fiction published her last story, “When it Ends, He Catches Her.” This story has been nominated for the Nebula Award.

Your reader – Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Women Destroy SF, Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, John Joseph Adams’ The End is Nigh series, and more. She runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. SERIOUSLY WICKED for Tor Teen will be released May 5, 2015.



“The dim shadows were kinder to the theater’s dilapidation. A single candle to aid the dirty sheen of the moon through the rent beams of the ancient roof, easier to overlook the worn and warped floorboards, the tattered curtains, the mildew-ridden walls. Easier as well to overlook the dingy skirt with its hem all ragged, once purest white and fine, and her shoes, almost fallen to pieces, the toes cracked and painstakingly re-wrapped with hoarded strips of linen. Once, not long ago, Aisa wouldn’t have given this place a first glance, would never have deigned to be seen here in this most ruinous of venues. But times changed. Everything changed.

Aisa pirouetted on one long leg, arms circling her body like gently folded wings. Her muscles gathered and uncoiled in a graceful leap, suspending her in the air with limbs outflung, until gravity summoned her back down. The stained, wooden boards creaked beneath her, but she didn’t hear them. She heard only the music in her head, the familiar stanzas from countless rehearsals and performances of Snowbird’s Lament. She could hum the complex orchestral score by rote, just as she knew every step by heart.
Act II, scene III: the finale. It was supposed to be a duet, her as Makira, the warlord’s cursed daughter, and Balege as Ono, her doomed lover, in a frenzied last dance of tragedy undone, hope restored, rebirth. But when the Magistrate had closed down the last theaters, Balege had disappeared in the resultant riots and protests."




Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2015, 01:04:03 AM »

So heartbreaking. Al delivered more than I could say about the author. Tina outdid herself on the delivery. And thank you to Varda for making sure we read this story.
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Varda
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2015, 08:43:59 AM »

Beautiful, dark, heartbreaking story, and the reading utterly destroyed me. Wow, that last line. Just wow.

Thanks for running this, PP, and thank you for the beautiful tribute at the end to Eugie's fiction and voice work.

Quote
All dancers knew their springtime was short. A dancer's fate was to break or fade away, a short season of glory, if they were lucky.

We miss you, Eugie. <3
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2015, 09:46:53 AM »

What a beautiful and touching "Swan Song" from a beautiful and oh so talented lady. And the tribute was the perfect touch...I will be listening to this angel's stories until it is my time to join her.
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Maxilu
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2015, 09:12:51 PM »

As a rule, I don't like zombie stories. They just don't appeal to me, for some reason. But this, this was lovely.

While listening, I was imagining this story as a ballet. I could see the set designed as a dilapidated old theater, low lights, with a single candle on the stage. I could see the back and forth between Asia and Makira, her disgust, his pleading--and the final reveal that they were both undead.

Now, my formal ballet training began and ended at age five, and my patronage is limited to those rare alignments of there being a show I want to see, having money for the tickets, and someone I can drag along. And even then, I'm generally more interested in the music, costumes, and set than the actual dance.

As I said, I don't like zombie stories. I enjoy ballet, but am not fanatic about it. But, were this story turned into a ballet, as I saw it in my head, I would beg, steal, borrow, and pawn to get tickets. I would drag a friend or family with me kicking and screaming if need be.

What a lovely story. Eugie Foster will be dearly missed.
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 10:39:09 AM »

This would make a great short film.

This wasn't my favorite of Eugie's works, but Eugie produced so much amazing fiction, that's not even remotely a slight.  I liked how the progression of realization worked, realizing that her partner is dead, eventually realizing she herself is dead, remembering the manner of her death.  I feel especially bad for him having to help her relive all of the horrible memories anew each time they stop somewhere, and seeing her turn back into mindless cannibal in between, knowing that the only moments she can ever be herself are those moments of dance that are inextricably tied together with horrible realizations of her own death and his.

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Chairman Goodchild
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 08:27:39 AM »

I really enjoyed this one as well.  There was a twist ending that I didn't catch until just before the reveal.  And that's the best way to do it, I think. 

And that was a very touching tribute to Eugie Foster at the end of the episode.  I honestly didn't realize that so many of my favorite episodes were hers!  And let me add to this list the Drabblecast's production of "The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk."  A fantastic story involving Lovecraftian demons and a teddy bear. 

A very talented and prolific writer.  For all that I've listened to her on Escape Artists and the Drabblecast, I still haven't read her short story collections.  I need to put those on my list. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 09:09:09 AM »

And that was a very touching tribute to Eugie Foster at the end of the episode.  I honestly didn't realize that so many of my favorite episodes were hers!  And let me add to this list the Drabblecast's production of "The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk."  A fantastic story involving Lovecraftian demons and a teddy bear. 

Yes, definitely.  "The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk" was up there with my favorite short stories of all time.  "Sinner, Baker, Fablist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast" was my #1 favorite podcast short story ever, still is.  Also, the title of the latter is almost exactly half of a Tweet, which I find amusing.  I posted that list last year while she was still around to read it, and was very happy to get a Muppet flail from Eugie in response.  Smiley
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Metalsludge
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 12:08:47 PM »

I think "The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk" especially made a lot of people happy. Eugie will be super missed in these parts of the Web and beyond.
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bounceswoosh
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 05:49:17 AM »

I saw this title in my podcatcher for quite a while before listening, and I pictured a terribly dark story about a stalk or chase where in the end, the bad guy catches his prey. Instead, something so beautiful ... The contrast between my expectation and the actual story  got me right in the feels.
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blazingrebel
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« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2015, 03:13:00 AM »


Thank you so much for the sound bite tribute on the end of this episode. An amazing writer, an amazing series of podcasts. Thank you everyone at Escape Artists.
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eytanz
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 09:07:04 AM »

For anyone who wants to re-experience this story, Mark Oshiro just read it on his youtube channel.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2015, 10:52:19 AM »

I think it's worth noting that had the nominations happened in their usual fashion, this story would have been on the shortlist of finalists for the 2015 Hugo. This story being excluded is one of the biggest tragedies from that whole ordeal.
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allegedparadise88
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« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2018, 11:29:16 AM »

Please forgive me for being late to the party and a bit out of the loop... but can someone explain the reason that the audio for this episode is no longer available on the site?  Undecided
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Fenrix
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.


« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2018, 08:58:18 PM »

Please forgive me for being late to the party and a bit out of the loop... but can someone explain the reason that the audio for this episode is no longer available on the site?  Undecided

Weird. Should be fixed now.

Audio is also here with slightly more endcaps: http://pseudopod.org/2016/05/27/pp-428-replay-and-the-eugie-award/
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