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Author Topic: EP539: Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens  (Read 4868 times)

eytanz

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on: August 30, 2016, 02:53:45 PM
EP539: Squirrels, Foxes and Other Fine Specimens

By Gareth D Jones

read by Andrew Clarke

---

It was still dark beneath the trees, though the sun had risen half an hour earlier. It was cool too – even in midsummer the park woodland stayed shady. Yorick settled himself into a comfortable crouch leaning against the bole of a tree and enjoyed the peaceful sounds of the early morning. Birdsong and rustling leaves and the pattering of tiny, unseen feet. Hard to believe they were less than a hundred yards from the streets of central London. The streets would be almost empty at this early hour – the reason Sandy chose such an unsocial hour to take his clients into the park – but even in rush hour the sonic mufflers that encircled the park would keep that noise at bay. A grunting noise reached his ears and Yorick peered through the undergrowth to a large, dark shape that stood less than twenty feet away.

It was a wild boar. A massive, ugly brute of a boar that glared at him in a most unfriendly fashion. It grunted again, switched to a challenging snort. Saliva dribbled from its jaw as it thrust a pair of worryingly large tusks in his direction. Yorick had no idea if the creature was warning him off or saying hello, but it did not, on balance, appear too friendly. He had no real knowledge of wild boar behaviour. He only worked with dead animals generally.

The boar pawed the ground. Yorick glanced up. There were branches just about within reach. He was fairly sure boars could not climb trees. Where was Sandy? His clients were supposed to be hunting boar and wolves. Why weren’t they hunting this one?

With a final grunt and toss of its head, the boar charged.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



hwaffle

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Reply #1 on: September 01, 2016, 04:36:51 PM
I enjoyed the writing on this one but for some reason the story didn't quite grab me. The concept felt a bit flat.



Father Beast

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Reply #2 on: September 03, 2016, 12:41:14 PM
Oh hey, it's an Apollo Descending story.

Unfortunately, it failed to grab me. I'm afraid hunting stories are just not my thing.



Unblinking

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Reply #3 on: September 09, 2016, 08:07:19 PM
Hmmm... 

There were a lot of interesting elements here.  Why are sabre tooth tigers suddenly appearing in the middle of cities?  What kind of unique perspective would a taxidermist lend to such a situation? 

In the end it felt like a kind of a standard pulpy facing off against a predator in the wilderness story, except with a built-in exit strategy in the form of the park gate and well-armed hunter buddies.  There's nothing wrong with that kind of story but it's not really my thing I guess?





acpracht

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Reply #4 on: September 10, 2016, 04:34:13 AM
Unblinking, making you happy with a story may officially be my unicorn... ;)



TheArchivist

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Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 12:00:49 PM
Wow! Amazing! I'm actually going to agree with everyone else...

There was nothing specifically wrong with this story - it's reasonably well structured, adequately well told, features moderately likeable and believable characters in a fairly interesting setting, with an acceptable level of humour - but it all adds up to so much nondescript.



bounceswoosh

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Reply #6 on: September 14, 2016, 01:30:04 AM
Oh, come on, guys! You found nothing entertaining in a story where a guy distracts a sabre tooth tiger by distracting (attracting) a boar? Tough crowd!



TheArchivist

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Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 12:30:18 PM
Yeah, we're a tough crowd  :D
So far, though, nobody has really dissed this story, we've just all been a bit "meh".



bounceswoosh

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Reply #8 on: September 14, 2016, 01:40:50 PM
I will admit that I had trouble caring about someone who was benefiting from killing animals in what seemed to be a grey legal area, as I already am uncomfortable with hunting safaris and whatnot. In fact, I thought he was being set up as a me-firster, so I was taken aback when he ran back without much/any dithering to warn/save the runner. I consider myself a moral person, but I don't know that I could be so brave.



Unblinking

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Reply #9 on: September 14, 2016, 06:06:57 PM
Unblinking, making you happy with a story may officially be my unicorn... ;)

I'm pretty particular, you wouldn't want to go the way of Ahab chasing the unattainable.  :P

Though when I love something, I become the opposite kind of irritating because I will keep bringing it up at probably inappropriate moments.  
HAVE YOU READ FERRETT STEINMETZ'S BOOKS, ADAM?  BECAUSE YOU REALLY REALLY SHOULD!
:D
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 06:12:10 PM by Unblinking »



Fenrix

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Reply #10 on: September 14, 2016, 10:32:16 PM
From Hell's Heart, I stab at Thee.



With regards to the story, I feel like I missed something right at the end. Like there was a bend where it implied that our protagonist was involved in releasing the Sabretooth Tiger? Or maybe that now he was thinking about doing the same thing, like a wooly mammoth?

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


bounceswoosh

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Reply #11 on: September 15, 2016, 03:13:43 AM
From Hell's Heart, I stab at Thee.



With regards to the story, I feel like I missed something right at the end. Like there was a bend where it implied that our protagonist was involved in releasing the Sabretooth Tiger? Or maybe that now he was thinking about doing the same thing, like a wooly mammoth?

I thought he was just pondering the taxidermy opportunities if there *were* a mammoth somewhere.



TheArchivist

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Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 03:22:06 PM
I thought he was just pondering the taxidermy opportunities if there *were* a mammoth somewhere.
That was my take, too.



Unblinking

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Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 05:35:09 PM
I thought he was just pondering the taxidermy opportunities if there *were* a mammoth somewhere.
That was my take, too.

Ditto.



Myst

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Reply #14 on: September 17, 2016, 10:30:53 PM
Ohh A British non-adventure story. There were just too many loose ends for me to really be happy with this story. Guy goes into the park guy sees something scary guy runs away the end off for tea and a biscuit. We don't learn anything about why all the changes are happening even though the author spends at least 1/8 of the story talking about it.

The reading and the production for this one were great! Andrew Clarke voice was a perfect match for this story. 



Not-a-Robot

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Reply #15 on: September 19, 2016, 10:46:21 AM
I thought he was just pondering the taxidermy opportunities if there *were* a mammoth somewhere.
That was my take, too.

Ditto.

Tritto



davidthygod

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Reply #16 on: September 20, 2016, 03:38:56 PM
Maybe it was my mindset at the time or the car ride, but I found it losing my interest pretty much right away.

The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.


Devoted135

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Reply #17 on: October 20, 2016, 06:39:36 PM
I liked the writing, and was engaged while listening. So, by that measure this was a success! It does all boil down to another variation of British Men Like to Hunt Big Game, but at least the MC ran back to save the jogger rather than leave her to her fate. And I was very appreciative that the time spent at the beginning on the boar and boar bait came back around as a very useful plot point.



CryptoMe

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Reply #18 on: November 28, 2017, 04:57:44 PM
With regards to the story, I feel like I missed something right at the end. Like there was a bend where it implied that our protagonist was involved in releasing the Sabretooth Tiger? Or maybe that now he was thinking about doing the same thing, like a wooly mammoth?

These were the questions I had at the end, too!