Author Topic: CoW Ep. 249: Lost in Translation (& ep. 288 Staff Pick!)  (Read 2148 times)


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Episode 249: Lost in Translation by Afalstein Kloosterman

Episode 288: Lost in Translation by Afalstein Kloosterman - Staff Pick 2017

• Narrated by Alasdair Stuart
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
A Cast of Wonders original!
Read along with the text of the story.
Click here to listen to Episode 249

Afalstein JD Kloosterman is a sometime teacher, sometime writer, from the great state of Texas. He mainly writes fantasy, but also dabbles in sci-fi and fanfiction, and is currently working on a steampunk novel due sometime this coming fall. He especially loves stories that focus on the side characters, the people who don’t get to be the heroes, as he thinks they have stories just as interesting. Follow him online or on Twitter.

When Alasdair Stuart is not hosting Pseudopod or running the fine company that bring you Cast of Wonders, he’s professionally enthusiastic about genre fiction on the Internet at places like and MCM Buzz. His first collection of expanded podcast essays, Pseudopod Tapes, is available from Fox Spirit Books with volume 2, Approach With Caution, following this year. He lives in the UK with your intrepid editor and their shared herd of microphones. Find him online or on Twitter.

“It turns out,” said the High Ecclesiarch of the Writ, “that when the prophecy says ‘the hero’s body shall stand resilient against the flame,’ a more accurate translation would be ‘resistant against the flame.’”  He gave a pained grimace.  “Ancient Nearnoxian can be… ambiguous, at times.”
Phillip Stalford, Hero of Nearnox, Chosen One of the Golden Age, Bastion of Chastity and Valor, Banisher of the Dark Torch, V’lthaern d’Sng’ssn, and Paladin of the Holy Writ blinked back from within the mass of bandages that healer Ziva was carefully tending to.  “Oh.”  He said.  “Well, I suppose that’s better than finding out I hadn’t been ‘pure of heart’ enough.   Or that the Great Scriptor had taken a dislike to me.”

Tags: Afalstein Kloosterman, Alasdair Stuart, burns, Cast of Wonders, chastity, Fantasy, injury, Jeremy Carter, language, prophecy, savior, tropes, war, Young Adult fiction
« Last Edit: January 25, 2018, 12:36:23 PM by danooli »


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Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 11:26:11 AM
Very much enjoyed this story.  The set up with a man setting out to fulfil prophecies that don't *quite* mean the things that everyone thinks they mean, and the way that the protagonist then has to come to terms with a result so very, very different to what he had expected was masterfully done.

I have two gripes, however.  First, the audio.  Alasdair does his usual masterful job of narrating the story, right up until the very end where he drops the volume and whispers the last critical word.  I had to rewind and pump the volume up to try and hear what he said, and when that failed I had to look up the text of the story online before I got it.  Which leads to the second gripe.  Chastity does not mean not having sex at all, it means not having extramarital sex, so that the Chosen One being a Bastion of Chastity in no way rules out her (or him) from marrying and having a regular family life.  The word the author meant to use, I think, was "celibacy".

That said, my gripes are minor and easily overlooked beside the humour and cleverness of the story as a whole.

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Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 04:51:52 AM
"Celibacy" would probably be more precise, yes, but "chastity" is also often used to refer to abstention from all forms of sex, as well as general purity (though its more common usage does refer to the confines of marriage).  Of course, none of these people are actually speaking English, so the terms used here are a close approximation, and "celibacy" lacks the similarity to "charity" that makes the nature of the confusion clear.

Glad you enjoyed the story!