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Author Topic: PC384: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Vintage PodCastle  (Read 2747 times)

Talia

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on: October 07, 2015, 03:08:47 AM
PodCastle 384: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Vintage PodCastle

“The Island Wakes” by  D.K. Thompson

Read by Julie Hoverson

A PodCastle Original!

Here’s the thing about the island’s hotel: there’s no bill when you check out.

Mel Summers has been working behind the front desk for the past five months, and she’s still not exactly sure how it all works.

Some of upper management is human. And some of upper management has fish scales, or shark teeth, or a membrane that slicks over their eyes. Nice people, but when Mel asks them questions about how the hotel gets by, all she ever receives is some hand waving about pirate treasure, kraken fossils, and enchantment copyrights. (Separately, never all together.)


“Sheep Among Easter Werewolves” by Ann Leckie

Read by Alasdair Stuart

Originally published in the Kickstarter campaign for the And Welcome Back! anthology.

“I fear to inform your majesty,” said Brother Maximus, “that your people’s dating of Easter is heretical. The Council of Nicea ruled centuries ago that it should be celebrated on the Sunday.”

“Did they?” asked King Osric with a mild voice and an expression of perplexity.  “I suppose I can see why it would be convenient for all of the Church to celebrate Easter at the same time. Why, when my mother married my father, they nearly always celebrated Easter on different days. My mother would still be fasting, sometimes for weeks after my royal father had feasted.  It could be inconvenient, especially for the cooks. And the priests, of course. But you know, I don’t think she ever complained. I was always under the impression she preferred it that way, actually. Our Easter feasts can be a bit…uncouth.”


“Surprises, Not Secrets” by  Anna Schwind

Read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

A PodCastle Original!

Three bubbles hung in the space between them, two small ones and one larger one.  Bubbles were not the most remarkable thing Josie had ever seen, and she tried to school her expression to pleasant amusement, but Vellamine’s eyes met  hers and Josie knew she’d failed.  Vellamine growled again, and pinched the skin at the back of Josie’s knee.

“The Summation of EvilCorp Subsidies HR Meeting Agenda Minutes, Compiled by Olivia Washington” by LaShawn M. Wanak

Read by M.K. Hobson

A PodCastle Original!

Memo #1: The Meeting

Meeting opened with Olivia Washington (me) going over our Supreme Overleader’s plan to change the name of our organization from “EvilCorp Subsidies” to “Supervillain Hero-Inversion Technologies”, effective this Thursday. Ten minutes was spent bemoaning on how this is a bad idea. Not only will it mean ordering new letterhead with a new name for the third time this year, but also because, in the words of Colton Smoker (Risk Management), “People are going to take one look at the new name and laugh their heads off.”


“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky

Read by Tina Connolly

Originally appeared in Apex Magazine. Read it here!

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

Rated PG-13!

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!



Arachnophile

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Reply #1 on: October 12, 2015, 05:05:12 PM
Was it entirely necessary to include "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" at the end of this episode? I'm an evil scientist. I can ill afford to be seen sitting behind the wheel of my car in the parking lot, weeping uncontrollably.

Seriously, though, I heard that story first when it ran previously on Escape Pod. It wrecked me then, and it wrecked me again this morning. The fact that some folks begrudged this piece the awards that it won is both astonishing and depressing.



Fenrix

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Reply #2 on: October 12, 2015, 06:03:50 PM

Was it entirely necessary to include "If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love" at the end of this episode? I'm an evil scientist. I can ill afford to be seen sitting behind the wheel of my car in the parking lot, weeping uncontrollably.

Seriously, though, I heard that story first when it ran previously on Escape Pod. It wrecked me then, and it wrecked me again this morning. The fact that some folks begrudged this piece the awards that it won is both astonishing and depressing.


It is worth noting that it won the Nebula. While it was a finalist for the Hugo, it did not win it. With all the barking about it, you would think that it had won. It exemplifies the logic and consistency that has been a cornerstone of that movement.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Father Beast

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Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 10:40:58 AM
Let's see...

The Island Wakes was kind of cool, and the Flash size made it end before I bored of it. When anything can happen, it's not very interesting when anything does.

Sheep Among Easter Werewolves was a fun listen, but I guess I don't know enough about the Easter Werewolf to really appreciate it.

Surprises, Not Secrets was a lot of fun, and I think I want to hear it again. Really enjoyed it.

The Summation... etc. was a rollicking pile of fun, reminiscent of a lot of early Escape Pod stuff, like Hell Notes

If You Were A Dinosaur, My Love was meh. I didn't enjoy it the last time I heard it, either. That's probably because it feels more like poetry than a story, in the sense that poetry is more about conveying a feeling, rather than telling a narrative. I've always failed to get poetry. It may be that I have no soul.



literatish

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Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 11:57:20 AM
I loved Sheep Among Easter Werewolves. I still remember hearing Ann Leckie's introduction to Cup and Table and thinking, "Wow, a lot of notes went into this!" I had the exact same thought listening to this story. It was perfect.



Myrealana

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Reply #5 on: October 21, 2015, 07:21:52 PM
I laughed out loud at the EvilCorp story.

The narration on Dinosaur just killed me. I was an absolute wreck. I had heard the story on EP, of course, but this time, the narration was just completely heartbreaking.

"You don't fix faith. Faith fixes you." - Shepherd Book


Unblinking

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Reply #6 on: October 28, 2015, 05:20:28 PM
The Island Wakes

The premise for this was interesting, but I felt like it ended up being nothing but a drawn out description of a premise, rather a story that actually took place in that premise.

Sheep Among Easter Werewolves

I like the nod to DKT and Podcastle inherent in the title, but between the title and the initial discussion of whether Easter oughta be on the full moon in this country I felt like the whole story had already been laid out, and nothing after that was surprising.  Maybe with a different title, without laying out so clearly that it was going to be about a werewolf, then there might be some surprise about why the calendar is such a big deal.

Surprises, Not Secrets

Gah!  It's hard commenting on these threads so long after, having been distracted by the Pseudopod flash fiction contest so long.  I feel like I really liked this one... but I can't remember it from the title and brief blurb.  Um....  Um....

“The Summation of EvilCorp Subsidies HR Meeting Agenda Minutes, Compiled by Olivia Washington”

This was fun.  I did think that the characters kind of had to be remarkably stupid to not make any guess that the person dressed as a giant pink eraser does not have any abilities relating to erasing things.  When the signature was absent that was the first thing I thought of, and I found it a little hard to believe no one else did.  But it was still fun.  The 30-day eidetic memory is an interesting ability, and using it to leverage a month-long vacation was clever.  Though even that could be circumvented by just writing a note--memo to self, the eraser did it!

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love

I thought it was kindof weird that the Rachel Swirsky story chosen was one that had already been on the Escape Artists casts before.  Does she have other stories short enough to be suitable enough for a flash extravaganza.

I've always been pretty lukewarm on this story.  I see what it's trying to do, but for me it did not connect.  It seems like every reaction I've seen about the story is an extreme reaction on one side or the other--either demonizing or lionizing it.  I've heard about this one so much, and have already seen it on an EA cast, I would rather have seen any other Rachel Swirsky story in its place.

I'd much rather talk about Rachel Swirsky's excellent Grand Jete (though at novella length that probably none of the casts would be likely to run it) https://subterraneanpress.com/magazine/summer_2014/grand_jet_the_great_leap_by_rachel_swirsky



Father Beast

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Reply #7 on: October 31, 2015, 11:04:04 AM

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love


I've always been pretty lukewarm on this story.  I see what it's trying to do, but for me it did not connect.  It seems like every reaction I've seen about the story is an extreme reaction on one side or the other--either demonizing or lionizing it.  I've heard about this one so much, and have already seen it on an EA cast, I would rather have seen any other Rachel Swirsky story in its place.


Apparently I'm not the only one who may have no soul.



Devoted135

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Reply #8 on: November 02, 2015, 08:49:51 PM
This episode was full of win for me. :) What a great concept for a flash episode! Though I must say that I too was disappointed to re-hear the Dinosaur story, rather than getting a new one from Rachel.

Other than that, I think the "Sheep Among Easter Werewolves" was my favorite. Partly because of the tie-in, but also because I just found it really amusing. I'm okay with some predictability in flash as long as the premise is interesting.



shanehalbach

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Reply #9 on: March 02, 2016, 03:36:11 PM
The idea of putting together all of these authors was *sheer genius*! Loved hearing stories from all of these people, and I loved every one of the stories. Podcastle editors are a talented bunch! The only question is whether you were that talented before living in the floating castle, or if some of the magic just rubs off on you during your tenure.

As to "If You Were a Dinosaur", I have to admit that at first I was a bit disappointed because I've read/heard that story so many times, and I was looking forward to hearing a new Swirsky story. ...and then I started listening to it and got lost in it for the million billionth time.

I love that story to itty bitty pieces and apparently I have not yet reached my limit.