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Author Topic: Pseudopod 440: Octavius Bound  (Read 7548 times)

Bdoomed

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on: May 30, 2015, 12:23:52 AM
Pseudopod 440: Octavius Bound

by Nathan Ehret

Octavius Bound” is Nathan’s first attempt at horror, and Pseudopod is the first place at which it has been published. “Although the events in this story are fictional, the Octavius itself is somewhat less so. Legends of this ship’s disappearance have existed for centuries, and nothing conclusive about its existence has been documented either way.”

NATHAN EHRET tends to follow a rigorous daily routine of procrastination. Sometimes, though, a story manages to sneak onto his laptop when he’s looking the other way. He’s fascinated by the unusual and maintains a healthy disdain for the practical. He lives, edits, and teaches English in Vancouver, Canada, and his other stories have been known to end up in places like Perihelion and Electric Spec.

Your readers this week are Vash Bloodfrost and Jen Rhodes!
Vash Bloodfrost‘s Twitter addy is @VBloodfrost. Because she identifies as a GenderQueer TransFemale, Vash doesn’t want anyone who wanders into zhur Twitter to mistake zhur deep voice with an accidental address. “I’ve wholly found peace with who and what I am by not being what I’m not and, ironically, “Octavius Bound” has re-affirmed that we can’t afford to be defined by our sorrows and regrets…as they can kill us.”
Jen Rhodes is one of the founding co-hosts of “Anomaly” — a geek girl podcast and blog. Anomaly features articles and episodes on everything from conventions & cosplay to Star Wars and Dr. Who. She’s been nerding out with her co-host since 2007 at AnomalyPodcast.com.



“Sept 17, 1762

Five Months now we have been at Sea, tho’ it seems but half a Week since the _Octavius_ embarked from Peking and the Orient. I have decided to eschew the Horn & attempt a Course through the New World for our return Journey. If, by God’s Grace, the Weather is clear & we maintain our current Heading, we should find Passage eastward through the Arctic within the next Fortnight.

June 1, 2014

Saw my first iceberg today. Not sure when we can expect pack ice, but everyone just tells me, ‘relax, we’re on an icebreaker’. Kinda takes the excitement out of sailing into the Great White North to chase down a ghost ship, but hey–at least we’ll be safer than the _Octavius_.

It’s funny–we really don’t know much more about the _HMS Octavius_ than what anyone’s grandma could find on Google. It was last seen in 1775, some thirteen years after its disappearance, by the _Herald_, an English whaling ship. When the whalers went on board, they discovered the entire crew of the _Octavius_ frozen dead at their stations. The captain, William Perington, was still at his desk, pen in hand, along with a woman and small child. I guess the whole ‘freezing-to-death-at-your-post’ business kinda freaked the hell out of the whalers, and they legged it pretty quick. But not before purloining the captain’s log book from right under his stiff, dead hand…

Course it was all basically hearsay until good ol’ Robert came across the log book in an auction for maritime memorabilia. It was vetted by a dozen historians, and it seems to be legit. Turns out the coordinates for the _Octavius’_ last known location were in the book. Also turns out that Yours Truly is Robert’s favourite student of maritime archaeology, hence my place aboard the _Liberator_! Sweet deal.

(OK, cards on the table–Robert knows about what happened with Dylan, and maybe he figures this trip will help me get over things? Yeah, right. But it’ll be a good voyage nevertheless. Right? Of course it will.)

_And why, O Wise and Lovely Amelia Finley, are you writing in a diary?_ My distinguished advisor, Prof Robert Winston, thinks it will actually help organize my thoughts when it comes to writing my thesis. Huzzah.”



Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


SpareInch

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Reply #1 on: May 30, 2015, 01:35:47 PM
This was just a tad too slow for me to be bowled over by it, but not so slow that I lost track of the story by getting bored. There were some nice notes in the key of William Hope Hodgeson too, which is always good in my opinion.

And a Trans narrator! Kudos!

Fresh slush - Shot this morning in the Vale of COW


Unblinking

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Reply #2 on: June 03, 2015, 02:08:48 PM
I thought it was interesting story, particularly in relation to the historical Octavious.  It didn't grab me the way my favorite stories do, though I'm not sure if that was because of the story itself or things in my life distracting me.  The oddest, most interesting detail to me was that the visions that otherwise appeared hallucinatory left corpses behind.  I wanted to find out more about what was actually happening to the ship and those who went onto it, wanted more in that respect..



Wiggins

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Reply #3 on: June 06, 2015, 10:25:01 PM
I liked it, although it was a bit of a mixed bag.  I wanted to hear more from the 18th-century storyline, as that seemed to be the more interesting part.  The issue I had with the contemporary portion is that it went exactly where I expected it would go and didn't seem to add a whole lot to the root of the earlier narrative.  Overall, though, I enjoyed it and loved the narration from both readers.



Unblinking

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Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 02:29:19 PM
I liked it, although it was a bit of a mixed bag.  I wanted to hear more from the 18th-century storyline, as that seemed to be the more interesting part.  The issue I had with the contemporary portion is that it went exactly where I expected it would go and didn't seem to add a whole lot to the root of the earlier narrative.  Overall, though, I enjoyed it and loved the narration from both readers.

The main thing that I got from the present timeline is the presence of the child and woman corpse confirming that his visions were no mere hallucinations.  That couldn't have been confirmed from his own narrative.



Chairman Goodchild

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Reply #5 on: June 15, 2015, 01:43:48 PM
The guy who voiced the sea captain did an amazing job.  That is the most grizzled sea-captain voice I've ever heard on this podcast.  Very entertaining.

Part of me did hope that there would be a brief coda to the story, something like this:

"January 21st, 2049.  The crew of the Windward is closing in on the location of the Liberator, a ship lost thirty-five years ago in the arctic circle..."

But anyway, I was impressed with the story.  I thought it was a good ride helped out by the high level of technical production.



zoanon

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Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 06:46:54 PM
The guy who voiced the sea captain did an amazing job.  That is the most grizzled sea-captain voice I've ever heard on this podcast.  Very entertaining.

Part of me did hope that there would be a brief coda to the story, something like this:

"January 21st, 2049.  The crew of the Windward is closing in on the location of the Liberator, a ship lost thirty-five years ago in the arctic circle..."

But anyway, I was impressed with the story.  I thought it was a good ride helped out by the high level of technical production.

zhur, not guy... anyway.
I like the idea of the coda.
I also loved how the guilt, dreams, actually materialized. I would have liked to see just a glimpse of other peoples daemons as well, but i wonder if they only show if there was a death.



Meds

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Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 04:35:40 PM
Listened today and was hooked from the start. Happy to be taken on a journey by two incredibly talented readers, great to have two different tones (and characters) tell the story. Well done both.
Story was very enjoyable and I liked the ending where you are kept on tender hooks.
Great podcast.



Nehret

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Reply #8 on: July 01, 2015, 04:01:36 AM
Hi all,

Thanks very much for listening to my story - I'm glad you seemed to enjoy it! (It was fun to write as well.) And, of course, a big kudos to Vash Bloodfrost and Jen Rhodes for their great voice-work. :)

Cheers,

Nathan



Millenium_King

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Reply #9 on: August 21, 2015, 04:41:51 PM
I enjoyed the personification of hopelessness at sea which provided the central horror of this story.  The bratty grad-student character grated on me a little, but I certainly enjoyed the sea captain and V O Bloodfrost's excellent portrayal of him.  I must also admit bias as V O narrated my short story "King" - which I consider a truly amazing narration.

If I have a criticism, it is that the story didn't feel particularly nautical.  There is no discussion of crossing parallels, of solar azimuth, sea state, squalls, currents, winds, compass (true and magnetic), deck logs, rudder angles etc. etc.

The references to *maps* was also particularly grating.

EDIT: forgot to mention that the reference to "auxiliary power" was grating as well.  Aux power on a diesel ship would refer to all non-propulsion related power, not running on "back-up power" which is how it is portrayed.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2015, 05:12:26 PM by Millenium_King »

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