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Author Topic: PC406: The Little Dog Ohori  (Read 2917 times)

Talia

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on: March 08, 2016, 07:52:44 PM
PodCastle 406: The Little Dog Ohori

by Anatoly Belilovsky

read by Tatiana Gomberg


Originally published in the Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk.

Cold.

Lying on the riverbank in a puddle of blood and melting snow, she listens for the sounds of gunfire, the roar of engines, the clatter of tank tracks, anything to say she is not alone. She no longer feels her hands, though she can see her right hand on the trigger of her Tokarev-40, the index finger frozen into a hook. She no longer feels pain where the shell splinter tore into her belly, only cold. Cold comfort, too, in the bodies scattered on the ice beyond the riverbank, eleven black specks against relentless white, eleven fewer Waffen SS, eleven plus two hundred and three already in the killbook makes two hundred and three fewer who could threaten —

Her mind’s eye projects a glimpse of Selim’s face against the night, then all is dark again.

She listens, and hears a friendly sound.

The little dog Ohori is barking.


Rated PG

Anatoly Belilovsky is a Russian-American author and translator of speculative fiction. He was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (see Wikipedia, Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a paediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. His original work appeared or will appear in the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology, Ideomancer, Nature Futures, Stupefying Stories, Immersion Book of Steampunk, Daily SF, Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, and Genius Loci anthology, and has been podcast by Cast of Wonders, Tales of Old, and Toasted Cake; his translations from Russian have sold to F&SF, Year’s Best SF #32 (edited by Gardner Dozois,) Grimdark, and Kasma. He blogs about writing at loldoc.net.

Tatiana Gomberg is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. Learn more about her at tatianagomberg.com.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: March 29, 2016, 06:51:11 PM by Talia »



FireTurtle

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Reply #1 on: March 12, 2016, 08:09:37 PM
Haven't listened yet. Will shortly, just saying "Hi Anatoly!!" I hadn't seen you around in a while and I was just thinking of you and wondering where the Knight was when this popped up on my feed. Kudos!

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. LeGuin


Jethro's belt

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Reply #2 on: March 17, 2016, 12:57:59 AM
  I almost always see it coming; I did not see this coming.  A very well done literary ambush and a fine story. It does help if you know a little about the horrors of the Stalin years in the Soviet Union, the Soviet/Japanese relationship in the 30’s, WWII and the ethnicity of the Soviet republics but the basic plot stands by itself even if you don’t. So little and so much happens here at the same time. I liked it very much and the narration as well. My favorite so far this year.     



knigget

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Reply #3 on: March 17, 2016, 11:12:00 AM
Emily! Been a while, hasn't it? Yeah, I wanted to return to the forum with my shield or on it, metaphorically speaking, and hopefully you'll tell me which applies to the podcast this thread is about, once you listen to it.

Jethro's Belt -- thanks for the kind words! I love the term "Literary ambush." Yes, this pretty much describes what I was trying to do. That, and get people to google all the things you mention.

http://www.apoGrypha.blogspot.com

What would have been written. 

Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Unblinking

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Reply #4 on: March 17, 2016, 04:56:22 PM
I think I must have missed something, because it didn't come together for me.  I'm not even sure what I missed.  I think the literary ambush was so effective that I still don't know it happened?  I like the image of the dog uniting people, at least.

Sorry my feedback isn't very insightful on this one.



Unblinking

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Reply #5 on: March 17, 2016, 04:56:53 PM
Emily! Been a while, hasn't it? Yeah, I wanted to return to the forum with my shield or on it, metaphorically speaking, and hopefully you'll tell me which applies to the podcast this thread is about, once you listen to it.

Jethro's Belt -- thanks for the kind words! I love the term "Literary ambush." Yes, this pretty much describes what I was trying to do. That, and get people to google all the things you mention.


Oh!  I didn't know you were a forum member, Anatoly.  Somehow I hadn't made the connection.  Hi!



FireTurtle

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Reply #6 on: March 18, 2016, 07:18:58 PM
Wow. This was great. I loved the depth of the setting. Historical fiction isn't my bag, the increase of verisimilitude from using a specific time and place can't be denied. It definitely worked in this context. My knowledge of World History is definitely USA-centric due to passing through the educational system during the Cold War but I have gleaned just enough knowledge of this era to have it work for me and work well. I loved having a strong female MC for much of the piece and I was pleasantly surprised when the end was revealed. It seems like the strongest female leads are often martyred by their writers! The interweaving of past and present caused me to stumble a time or to, but not for so long that it wrecked the narrative.

I could go on and on as I believe this piece is one of the few that will stick with me long after I have listened.

Well done Anatoly!

I will confess that I thought the narrator did a great job with all the different voices but was a bit perplexed as to why only one or two characters had a "Russian" accent and the rest were read as unaccented (if you're an American from the Pacific Coast..oh hell, this totally doesn't work). with the same accent as the narration. Just curious about that choice.

“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool; it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”
Ursula K. LeGuin


adrianh

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Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 09:30:07 AM
Well — that was excellent. And from what I could tell managed the trick of not over-explaining the history for those who know it already on one side, and not turning it into a didactic history lesson for those who are unaware. Nice.



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Reply #8 on: March 21, 2016, 03:02:02 AM
I agree with adrainh, it was a good balance. For better or (often) worse, I am a bit of a history geek. But, also not a big fan of stories told from multiple viewpoints and times but this overcame my resistance with a solid story.



Lionman

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Reply #9 on: March 21, 2016, 03:35:35 PM
I felt like the feelings of the soldier in the presence of the officer were a little forced.  However, that said, the story was good.  I liked how it came full circle, how it speaks to the desire to fulfill duty and purpose in something that's bigger than oneself.

Failure is an event, not a person.


Devoted135

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Reply #10 on: April 15, 2016, 01:59:50 AM
This was a wonderful story! I loved the pacing and trying to decipher the connections before they were spelled out for us. I particularly liked that the sniper girl was the better of the two and the teacher of the other soldier, despite both her gender and her nationality.