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Author Topic: PC377: Ray  (Read 3665 times)

Ocicat

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on: August 19, 2015, 05:17:23 AM
PodCastle 377: Ray

by Mario Milosevic

read by Joe Scalora

First published in Space and Time Magazine, Spring 2013


You know that episode of M*A*S*H, the one where they have to pick up stakes, pack everything up and move to another location? Me neither. I never watched that show, but Liz, who works the booth where people throw darts at balloons on a cork wall, and who is thirty years older than me, has seen every episode of that show at least three times. She said every time we break down the rides and get ready to move on, she thinks about that episode.

“It’s like Colonel Potter said they had to bug out because they were about to be in a shooting zone, and we bug out for the exact same reason.“

“The same reason?“ I said to Liz. No one was going to be shooting at us, I was pretty sure.

“Yeah” she said, “because now that the carney’s over, they don’t want us in town, you know? They make it a hostile environment so we’ll leave them alone. They’re scared is what it is. They’re scared of us and they’d just as soon kill us as look at us.”

I wasn’t quite seeing it, but I thought it best not to challenge her on the issue. When she told me this, I had been on the job only a couple of weeks, and we’d been to two fairs. We were packing up to move on to the next one, somewhere in the Columbia River Gorge. “You got Ray all packed away yet?” I asked.

She patted the side of the trailer, folded up like a wrapped birthday present. “Ray’s always right here with me,” she said.


Rated PG-13.

Mario Milosevic is a prolific author of novels, short stories, and poetry. Find out more about him and his storytelling at mariowrites.com.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!



jenfullmoon

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Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 06:02:51 PM
Well, that was...interesting.

Still not sure if I'd trust Ray or not, but it's probably a lot safer to be on his side than not.



loyaleagle

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Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 06:42:31 PM
Haven't even read the story yet, but I just wanted to say that Dandelion Wine also made a HUGE impact on me WHEN I was a 12 year old boy. :-) Props for the Bradbury deep cut!

Edit: Have to admit the story didn't do much for me beyond the "tone" that it evoked.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 02:54:08 PM by loyaleagle »

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ElectricPaladin

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Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 03:06:11 AM
All through this story I couldn't shake the very Bradburyian idea that Ray wasn't the ghost of a person, Ray was the ghost of... a time. The ghost of youth. The ghost of that careless, reckless, lovely summer of your youth. That's why Ray was so dangerous - no one makes good choices in that time of their lives - but also why it was powerful.

I liked this one, overall. I thought it captured Bradbury's feel while still being very much its own thing.

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kibitzer

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Reply #4 on: August 20, 2015, 10:55:56 PM
I really like that interpretation of the ghost, EP. Very plausible, fits right in with the story. Nice one.


danooli

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Reply #5 on: August 21, 2015, 08:48:32 PM
All through this story I couldn't shake the very Bradburyian idea that Ray wasn't the ghost of a person, Ray was the ghost of... a time. The ghost of youth. The ghost of that careless, reckless, lovely summer of your youth. That's why Ray was so dangerous - no one makes good choices in that time of their lives - but also why it was powerful.

I liked this one, overall. I thought it captured Bradbury's feel while still being very much its own thing.

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Unblinking

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Reply #6 on: August 25, 2015, 02:57:18 PM
Interesting story, well written, believable characters.  I haven't read the Bradbury story referenced so I can't say how well it compares, but I can see how this nods to Bradbury in general.

I like Electric Paladin's interpretation of the ghost.  It did feel like some interactions I'd had with some teenagers when i was also a teenager, the kind of teen that would lead others to do alternately stupid and dangerous or wonderful things who could be scary as hell when they got in the wrong mood.



HeartSailor

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Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 12:05:07 AM
I liked it.

I found my very first Bradbury book in the Dover, NH public library when I was 10 years old: Halloween Tree.  It had all the classic Bradbury elements put into a kids' book.  Childhood, innocence, innocence lost, and that fuzzy, wonderful border between the everyday world around us and the absolutely fantastic.  Bradbury had a knack for showing how thin the veneer really is between the mundane and the magical.

Keep in mind that it is a tall order to attempt to intentionally orbit someone like Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked this Way Comes,The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, etc.).  The Illustrated Man is possibly  The.  Greatest.  Short.  Story.  Collection.  Ever.

If you've never read it, be ready for a real pleasure.

So many of Bradbury's tales involve a journey towards a particular Fate while at the same time showing us how we are (often magically) not necessarily resigned to that fate.  I thought this story very much fit that mold.  I enjoyed the protagonist's slow acceptance of the magical 'Ray' and the final depiction of the group of carnies gathering to evoke magic together- enough to imbue life.  And that was another one of Bradbury's gifts- so often the deepest, strongest magic is in the everyday characters in his stories.

Nice job, Mr. Milosevic.

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Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 02:38:26 PM
One of the chapters of Dandilion Wine was published as the short story "The Sound of Summer Running" in Bradbury's R Is For Rocket collection.

It's six pages.

Just saying.



cwthree

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Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 10:34:13 PM
I enjoyed this one. Well paced, a little sweet, a little creepy.



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Reply #10 on: September 10, 2015, 04:55:34 PM

Keep in mind that it is a tall order to attempt to intentionally orbit someone like Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451, Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked this Way Comes,The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, etc.).  The Illustrated Man is possibly  The.  Greatest.  Short.  Story.  Collection.  Ever.


Bradbury is in a class of artists like David Bowie. Every single person should own and love a David Bowie album. We can disagree whether it should be Ziggy Stardust or Outside or Earthling (or possibly even the Labyrinth soundtrack) but we can agree that it should be one of his albums. Everyone needs to have a favorite Bradbury. Mine is The October Country.

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Devoted135

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Reply #11 on: September 24, 2015, 02:27:25 AM
Fun, with a bit of a manic edge to it. I'm not as familiar with Bradbury as I should be, but from what I do know I think the author captures the tone and feel nicely. Just remember, you want to be on Ray's good side, but you don't want too much Ray.