Author Topic: PseudoPod 536: ARTEMIS RISING 3: Meat  (Read 3862 times)


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on: April 01, 2017, 02:56:44 AM
PseudoPod 536: ARTEMIS RISING 3: Meat

by Sandra M. Odell

“Meat” is a Pseudopod original. “How far would you be willing to go to stand out in a crowd? Is it far enough?”

SANDRA M. ODELL lives in Washington state with her husband, sons, and a grumpy orange cat. Her work has appeared in such venues as Pseudopod, Podcastle, Cast of Wonders, Crossed Genres, and Daily Science Fiction. She is currently avoiding her second novel, though not very well. You can find out more about her works, thoughts, and advocacy at WRITER ODELL.

This week’s reader – Linda Hamilton – is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in THE TERMINATOR film series and Catherine Chandler in the 1987–1990 television series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy.

Linda was born in Salisbury, Maryland, has a twin sister, was a voracious reader as a child and we are very proud to feature her on PSEUDOPOD!

YOUR SPECIAL GUEST HOST THIS WEEKA.C. Wise‘s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex, Shimmer, and the Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2015, among other places. The podcast version of her story Final Girl Theory, which appeared at Pseudopod, was a finalist for the 2013 Parsec Awards.

Her debut collection, THE ULTRA FABULOUS GLITTER SQUADRON SAVES THE WORLD AGAIN was published by Lethe Press in October 2015. Her second short fiction collection THE KISSING BOOTH GIRL AND OTHER STORIES was published by Lethe Press in the October, 2016. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, and contributed a monthly Women to Read Column to SF Signal. Find her online at A.C.

PseudoPod wants to draw your attention to an anthology that dovetails nicely with Artemis Rising.

Sycorax’s Daughters, is a new volume of dark fiction and poetry and it is our understanding that this is the first horror anthology written entirely by Black women. It explores the intimate details of cultural nuance, race, and gender. Sycorax’s Daughters mission is to work “as a visionary space where Black women explore horror on their own terms.”

Those familiar with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest may remember Sycorax. She is an African sorceress operating as “the absent presence” throughout the play. While never on the stage, she is influential. She haunts the white male characters. She refuses to be excluded from the story.

While we’re talking about anthologies, let’s mention For Mortal Things Unsung.

If you liked “Standard Procedure” by Dagny Paul at the beginning of this month or “The Lady with the Light” by Mel Kassel, you should go pre-order our anthology. Both of those stories were originally published in our 10th anniversary anthology. If you backed our kickstarter, your copy showed up in February. If you missed out, it will be available for purchase at the end of March for your reading pleasure.

Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.

“A poster on the far wall of the crowded cafeteria chamber shows an identical man and woman in coveralls and happy smiles with their hands on the woman’s pregnant belly. The caption at the bottom reads: A REPRODUCTIVE WORKER IS A HAPPY WORKER. MED CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT SEXTIME TODAY.

Ollie puts her hands to her belly, her empty belly. Three miscarriages in the last eleven cycles. Only two more chances for a live baby before the overseers stuff her in a containment suit and ship her to processing half a kilometer below the meat farm. No one comes back from processing. ‘My baby won’t look like everybody else’s. It’ll be different. Better. Everyone will know it’s my baby.’”

Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


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Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 07:32:29 PM
I can relate to Ollie's burning feral struggle for individuality, recognition, and connection in an uncaring environment.

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


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Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 06:14:06 PM
Disturbing and brilliant.  Its best not for what it tells us, but for what is left unsaid.  Why are the babies separated from their mothers?  Why do they need babies so badly?  What happens to the crazies and impregnable.  There is implication that it is people are the meat, but nothing explicit, only hints and suggestions.  The horror of the true meaning of meat left to the imagination, yet supported horrific images of a oppressive system that crushes any hopes and dreams. 

Poor Ollie and her desperate need to have a baby, only to fail again and again.  The act of reproduction reduced to its most mechanical methods and needs, mingling survival of self with survival of the species.  All love crushed in the machinery twisted to desperate need to mate with a fertile male, like some animal fertilization process done on farms to make, well, meat.

Even the man (John was it), even he doesn't care, doesn't want to see the babies he has sired.  It's horrific that there is not a care for the babies, in perfect opposition to Ollie's desperate need.  He's the perfect foil in his complete lack of care, that you wonder if he is not trying to go out of his way not to care, not to look to closely at what is going on about him, until he is forced to care, at least about his survival.  Ollie is forced to care, as she has to have a baby soon, or face the consequences.  The more he ignores, the more she mutilates.

Wow, just hauntingly horrible.  Like a short form 1984 where humanity is crushed in a similar yet simultaneously different way.


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Reply #3 on: April 05, 2017, 12:57:06 PM
Wow, just hauntingly horrible. 

What they said :-)


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Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 05:06:07 PM
this was insane. in all of the right ways.


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Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 03:20:28 PM
oh my gosh! This was horror from the first 20 seconds and it kept accelerating from there.