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Author Topic: PseudoPod 487: Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Nyarlathotep  (Read 938 times)
Bdoomed
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« on: April 23, 2016, 03:35:46 PM »

PseudoPod 487: Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Nyarlathotep

by Nick Mamatas.

NICK MAMATAS is the author of several novels, including the Bukowskiesque zombie novel THE LAST WEEKEND and the murder-mystery at a Lovecraft convention title I AM PROVIDENCE. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Lovecraft’s Monsters, BLACK WINGS II, FUTURE LOVECRAFT, and FUNGI, the journal of revolutionary letters known as SALVAGE, and many other venues. He is also published by Wildside Press – check them out!

“Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Nyarlathotep” originally appeared in FUTURE LOVECRAFT, by Innsmouth Free Press and later when Prime Books reprinted the entire anthology.

Cheyenne Wright is a freelance illustrator and concept artist. He is the color artist on the three-time Hugo Award winning steampunk graphic novel series Girl Genius, and co-creator of many other fine works; Including 50 Fathoms and the Ennie award winning Deadlands Noir for the Savage Worlds RPG. He has also produced graphics for Star Trek Online, the Champions MMO, and t-shirt designs for T.V.’s Alton Brown.

Cheyenne lives in Seattle with his wife, their daughter, and an ever growing stack of unpainted miniatures. In his spare time he is teaching himself animation, and narrates short stories for a variety of audio anthologies where he is known as Podcasting’s Mr. Buttery ManVoice ™



Newspace was a lot like old space. Well, posters of old space stacked atop one another and constantly shuffled and re-shuffled. In the little waffle-iron spacecraft was the thunderous Niagara, any number of mansions on emerald hills, all piled up in a corner with Escheresque staircases going downwise and anti-spinward, marmalade skies and airships in the shape of giant, open-mouthed fish, the Pyramids of Egypt poking out from every horizon, and long, dark hallways in blue-and-purple neon everywhere, absolutely everywhere, as this is what the New Ones thought VR would look like, back when they were all children.

And the New Ones had fun playing like children. As it turns out, virtually all problems faced by Humanity, save the million-year war with the Old Ones, were resource problems. No Old Ones, no resources, no problems. Virtually no problems, anyway, which is an awful pun, it’s true. So, the New Ones spent their days naked and immortal, writing songs no fleshy ear could comprehend, inventing new languages to describe disembodied emotional states, engaging in virtual nucleic exchange and reproducing wildly to the humming databases, with beings unheard of and indescribable.

The waffle iron was busy, too. Zipping around space and whatnot, eating dark matter and printing copies of itself, in case something happened to it. And oh, yes, something was happening to it. Naturally, the poor little waffle iron didn’t quite understand that the something happening was the drive to laze-lathe meteoroids into replicas of itself. Oh, and then, within the guts of the waffle iron, ghosts started showing up everywhere, upsetting and terrifying the New Ones with their googly eyes and their siren howls. And they loved to eat the New Ones. Beautiful, tow-headed, pink children with cloth diapers and bows in their wispy hair. Lovely children with rich, brown skin and smiles to light up a room. Obnoxious children who sat on the couch all day, pretending to kill with their minds for fun. Children who flailed their hands about and slammed their heads against the wall because they saw the wrong kind of penny. Ghosts were indiscriminate—the ugly and the exquisite both were consumed, leaving naught but wrinkled husks behind.

You have to realize that words like eyes and children, and even husks, make little sense; it’s being dumbed down for you and the quaint bag of chemical reactions you keep in that bone bowl. We’re talking a density matrix, here. So, when a character is introduced, as one is about to be, understand that you’d be just as accurate, were you to imagine her as a blurry, yellow ball of light floating around in a black field, instead of as a person. Which is to say, you’d be much more accurate, after all.





Listen to this week's Pseudopod.
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adrianh
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 08:08:34 AM »

Okay… not finished listening to this story yet. But at 12m in I have just realised who the ghosts are.

I am crying with laughter. Literally crying.

Bravo author. Bravo.

(am also feeling slow for not seeing it coming earlier… off to listen to the rest.)
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adrianh
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 12:30:04 PM »

Well that was wonderful!

ph'nglui mglw'nafh Pac-Man Namco wgah'nagl fhtagn
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Acth99
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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 07:34:01 PM »

I don't comment a lot, but I listen voraciously - however, I just had to pop in and say I loved this story. Great job to writers, story-pickers, and narrators all 'round!
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velocity
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 09:33:32 PM »

great worldbuilding in this story.  liked the lovecraftian/pacmanian element

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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Unblinking
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2016, 11:08:43 AM »

I laughed just from hearing the title.  I'm too young to have been a bit arcade junkie, so I never really hit Pac Man to the same level as other games.  The idea of a Lovecraftian Pac Man story was very amusing.

For whatever reason, the story kind of fell flat for me, despite liking the idea.  I got as much out of the title as I did the rest. Maybe because I haven't played a lot of Pac Man?  I do think it's amusing that the story explains the reason why one of the ghosts just behaved oddly as far as a game villain is concerned, just wandering around when the other ghosts are actively hunting.

I thought I would've been the perfect target audience for this one, being a Lovecraftian weird gaming tale.  Honestly not really sure why it fell a little flat for me.



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Dwango
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2016, 10:58:55 AM »

It's an electric hell, where you can never escape.  Chased for ever, never really dying.  Becoming something no longer human, just a pattern in a grid, or a monster yourself.  A clever idea, though it really didn't need the Cthulu theme.  It could easily have been people escaping any natural disaster, only to create a much worse situation where death would be preferable.  A Matrix where you know you are trapped by the computer, and can do nothing about it.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2016, 03:44:09 PM »


It's an electric hell, where you can never escape.  Chased for ever, never really dying.  Becoming something no longer human, just a pattern in a grid, or a monster yourself.  A clever idea, though it really didn't need the Cthulu theme.  It could easily have been people escaping any natural disaster, only to create a much worse situation where death would be preferable.  A Matrix where you know you are trapped by the computer, and can do nothing about it.


I'd love to buy that story (among others) from Harlan Ellison, but I don't think he's selling.

Also, I love the post-singularity application to monsters. Rather than a malicious AI, we're trapped inside and our great escape just transferred the torment.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2016, 03:46:55 PM by Fenrix » Logged

I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
aliceingoreland
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2016, 09:19:47 AM »

I think this one was smart. It took a sci-fi trope, one that I have even RPGed in, and gave it a spin. I recall the Pacman fever. I never had it, must of been immune. I didn't start do video games until my kids feel in love. I think I'll share this with my oldest. 

But for now, I have go into another kind of story _ Fallout3.
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