Author Topic: PC433: Telling Stories  (Read 2608 times)

Ocicat

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PC433: Telling Stories
« on: September 13, 2016, 11:32:29 PM »
PodCastle 433: Telling Stories

by Sandra M. Odell

read by Julie C. Day


Sam knew there would be trouble the night the saguaro came to call.  “Evening,” she said, and stepped aside for her unexpected guest.

The cactus scrunched down as far as it could and skittered through the door on its roots, bringing with it the breath of rocks, sage brush, and the cold Sonoran desert night.  It stopped in the middle of the cabin’s sparsely furnished main room and straightened until its spines brushed the roof.  “I hope I didn’t come at a bad time.”


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A PodCastle original!

Rated PG-13.



Sandra M. Odell lives in Washington state with her husband, two sons, and a grumpy orange cat. She is an avid reader, compulsive writer, and rabid chocoholic. She is currently working on her second novel or world domination. Whichever comes first. You can find her online at http://writerodell.com/ and on Twitter @WriterOdell.



Julie C. Day’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in over two dozen venues, including Interzone, Podcastle, and Kaleidotrope. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program and a Masters of Science in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts. In addition to Podcastle, she narrates other people’s fiction at StarshipSofa and FarFetched Fables and also acts as host and narrator of the Small Beer Press podcast. You can find Julie on Twitter @thisjulieday or through her website: www.stillwingingit.com.

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Maxilu

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 09:14:52 PM »
I love this world. I would love to play host to a saguaro or discuss the finer points of storytelling with a coyote. It's the perfect blend of magic and realism for me.

The story, though...

I felt like the author came up with this wonderful world, and smushed the story into it. The non-traditional marriage plot seemed trite and overdone. The revelation that Sam had a girlfriend in her youth was completely unsurprising. Her angst was unconvincing.

I want to hear more about this world. I really do. Just, not like this.

bounceswoosh

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 01:00:37 AM »
I very much enjoyed the narration and the different voices used, except for the pronunciation of Gila monster, which unfortunately was a very common word in the story. Is pronouncing the 'G' in the US style considered a valid alternate pronunciation?

I kind of came up with the opposite reaction to Maxilu, which is that rather than the story being smushed in (which I also can see), it was that the metaphor / comparison was too obvious. It was too obvious even before the explicit references to the PoV character and her daughter being lesbian. Maybe the idea was that she finally realized the parallel between the anti-cactus/lizard ideology and the anti-woman/woman ideology, but I didn't find the story naturally taking me along that journey. It was more "nope, nope, nope, nope, OH!"  .. Granted, that is one mode of realization that happens in life, but as a story ....

bounceswoosh

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 01:01:23 AM »
Oh, but, but, I did love all the characters, I really did. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with any of them. They were well fleshed out.

Maxilu

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2016, 08:35:24 AM »
I very much enjoyed the narration and the different voices used, except for the pronunciation of Gila monster, which unfortunately was a very common word in the story. Is pronouncing the 'G' in the US style considered a valid alternate pronunciation?

I kind of came up with the opposite reaction to Maxilu, which is that rather than the story being smushed in (which I also can see), it was that the metaphor / comparison was too obvious. It was too obvious even before the explicit references to the PoV character and her daughter being lesbian.

I blame Neil Gaiman. Ever since I read "American Gods", any woman who calls herself Sam instead of Samantha or Sammi is, in my mind, somewhere in the LGBTQIAPD+ spectrum until proven otherwise. Especially if she's fictional.

Unblinking

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2016, 02:54:57 PM »
I enjoyed it.  I would've liked the marriage metaphor to be a little harder to figure out, but I don't have an immediate idea how that would've been done.  Especially when she went to the "but marriage is for reproduction" argument--that's always been an argument against gay marriage that particularly irked me, because the people who would consider a same-sex marriage invalid because of lack of reproduction mostly wouldn't bat an eye at someone's infertility, by that argument an infertile person is incapable of marriage, or just a couple that chooses not to have children.

bounceswoosh

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2016, 09:28:25 PM »
I very much enjoyed the narration and the different voices used, except for the pronunciation of Gila monster, which unfortunately was a very common word in the story. Is pronouncing the 'G' in the US style considered a valid alternate pronunciation?

I kind of came up with the opposite reaction to Maxilu, which is that rather than the story being smushed in (which I also can see), it was that the metaphor / comparison was too obvious. It was too obvious even before the explicit references to the PoV character and her daughter being lesbian.

I blame Neil Gaiman. Ever since I read "American Gods", any woman who calls herself Sam instead of Samantha or Sammi is, in my mind, somewhere in the LGBTQIAPD+ spectrum until proven otherwise. Especially if she's fictional.

Huh. I don't think that has anything to do with it for me. I did read American Gods, but I knew straight female Sams before that.

Fenrix

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2016, 08:04:33 PM »
Coyote was awesome, and provided the thesis statement for me.

The coyote stood. “You won’t talk to your daughter because she’s happy and you’re not? Big deal. You ever think maybe she won’t talk to you because you tell such lousy stories? You’re selfish and petty, nothing happens, the end. You make things happen. That’s a good story. Yours is boring. You don’t even burn your tail or learn a lesson.”

I found the tale less about the acceptance lesson and more about the lesson to live your life as a good story.
All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

BionicValkyrie

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2016, 07:59:04 PM »
Coyote was the best part for me too. From the photo of the girlfriend in the box, I'd pretty much figured out how the story would unfold -- still I loved listening to the narration. The saguaro and Gila monster were so sweet together -- loved the Gila monster climbing the pleats of the saguaro, and saguaro holding Gila monster in the crook of its arm.
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Devoted135

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2016, 01:49:35 AM »
Coyote was awesome, and provided the thesis statement for me.

The coyote stood. “You won’t talk to your daughter because she’s happy and you’re not? Big deal. You ever think maybe she won’t talk to you because you tell such lousy stories? You’re selfish and petty, nothing happens, the end. You make things happen. That’s a good story. Yours is boring. You don’t even burn your tail or learn a lesson.”

I found the tale less about the acceptance lesson and more about the lesson to live your life as a good story.

This was pretty much the only redeeming part of the story for me. Otherwise, by the end I felt that the author had used a saguaro to beat me bloody to make sure I understood The Message Of The Story.


(The repeated mispronunciation of Gila Monster did not endear me to the story either)

Scuba Man

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2016, 02:17:08 PM »
So far, so good. ~13 minutes into the story and I'm drawn into it. The imagery is nice and strong for me. Like a 15 minute-brewed pot of tea. Let's see how it tastes, at the end of the proverbial mug...

-----------
Hey, it's alright. Heavy-handed moral... sure. Coyote's humour made me chuckle inward. I'd want my teenage niece to listen to it (when the time's right).
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 02:37:37 PM by Scuba Man »
"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.

Scuba Man

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Re: PC433: Telling Stories
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2016, 02:45:00 PM »
"This was pretty much the only redeeming part of the story for me. Otherwise, by the end I felt that the author had used a saguaro to beat me bloody to make sure I understood The Message Of The Story."

Heh, heh, Devoted. Indeed, the heavy handedness was a bit silly. It was preaching to the converted (to the likes of me). In my part of the woods, I'd substitute saguaro with juniper bush (bloody ground cover up on the North Bruce Peninsula [Ontario]).  Cheers, eh.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2016, 02:47:40 PM by Scuba Man »
"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.