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Author Topic: PC419: Giants At The End Of The World  (Read 2768 times)

Ocicat

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on: June 07, 2016, 10:12:08 PM
PodCastle 419: Giants At The End Of The World

by Leena Likitalo

read by Will Tulin


It was the last caravan of the giant season.

Though the United Company had already started to build the railroad toward the End of the World, the path of iron and wood reached only as far as Halvington. Unlike the other drivers, I realized that the era of salt wagons was coming to an end. Perhaps Elai had expected the railroad to be ready to take her to find answers to all her existential questions. With pale hair and gray eyes, she looked about eighteen, definitely not a day older. She wore a full-length leather coat, buttoned all the way up to her chin, and boots that looked too new to be yet comfortable. Even so, when she glided down Halvington’s main street, the scrawny miners and shaggy railroad workers alike rushed to tip their hats, and some even bowed.

She noticed none of that.


Rated PG-13. CW: themes of suicide

Leena Likitalo is a writer from Finland, the land of thousands of lakes and at least as many untold tales. She’s a Writers of the Future 2014 winner and a Clarion San Diego graduate. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and Galaxy’s Edge. She dreams of being a published novelist one day.

Will Tulin is an actor, voice artist, writer, and speculative fiction fanatic. He recently completed work on the animated feature, “Eden,” and had an appearance in “The Grift,” for La Jolla playhouse. Will currently splits his time between Los Angeles and the Biggest Little City in the World.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!



Obleo21

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Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 12:49:52 AM
I thought this was such a beautiful story, I'm surprised that no one has commented on it yet! I can relate to how I think Elai is feeling during the journey to the end of the world - that it can seem extra lonely occupying the same place as other people, in this case the caravan, but in a completely different space. It can be worse the more people who are around you. The loners pestering her reinforce the isolation because it is clear that they aren't interested in her as a person. I think it was relatively easy for Elai to become acquainted with the narrator because she thought at the time that their relationship was for only a finite period.

At first I wondered whether the giants were a metaphor for the near loss of something real in our old west, like bison, but in the end, I think it was something entirely different. I think it was why Elai was drawn to them. Encountering something completely other than you can expand your perception of the world.

I don't think Elai was ever really planning to jump off of the cliff. Walking to the edge, where doing so is at least possible, can make it easier to think sometimes.



bounceswoosh

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Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 10:09:12 PM
Beautiful is the right word, Obleo21. It felt a little dreamy to me. I do think there's a strong resonance with bison, but also something a little different. Picture seeing bison for the first time - right up in person, not on a TV screen. That would be surreal, I think, and majestic. Not 40 foot tall giant imposing, but still.



Fenrix

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Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 08:53:34 PM
This was a fascinating story. It's almost like the mythology of Manifest Destiny through a couple rounds of telephone game.

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


Unblinking

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Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 03:55:06 PM
Interesting story.  I'm afraid I have nothing insightful to add!



Devoted135

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Reply #5 on: July 12, 2016, 01:19:30 AM
I really liked this one. Sometimes it takes someone who's been to the brink and found his way back to help another survive that journey. Also, there's nothing like being faced with the majesty of the universe for helping to put things in perspective.



joeb1kenobi

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Reply #6 on: September 12, 2016, 12:57:14 AM
Great world building here.  It seemed so natural, that I just sat back and watched the ecology of this strange planet unfold, while I learned more about our couple.  I would like to seem more from the caravan leader.  He's got more places to go.

Well done.



Unblinking

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Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 02:08:19 PM
Great world building here.  It seemed so natural, that I just sat back and watched the ecology of this strange planet unfold, while I learned more about our couple.  I would like to seem more from the caravan leader.  He's got more places to go.

Well done.


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