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Author Topic: CoW Ep. 401: Mothers, Watch Over Me (And Ep. 442!)  (Read 278 times)

Languorous Lass

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on: January 17, 2021, 03:24:23 AM
Cast of Wonders 401: Mothers, Watch Over Me

Also, Episode 442! A Staff Pick for 2020! Hosted by Associate Editor Amy Brennan!

• Author: Maria Haskins
• Narrator: Amy H. Sturgis
• Host, Episode 442: Amy Brennan
• Host, Episode 401: Katherine Inskip
• Audio Producer: Jeremy Carter
• Artist:  Alexis Goble

"Mothers, Watch Over Me" was previously published in Mythic Delirium Magazine, April 2018.

Click here to listen to Episode 442
Click here to listen to Episode 401

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Show Notes
The document mentioned in Katherine’s comments in Episode 401, “Expert judgment on markers to deter inadvertent human intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant," can be found here.



Even in the dream, Maya knows her pup is dying.

She dreams of a lone mother-dog in the time before the packs, before the dens, before the sky cleared, before the flames on the horizon went out. Mother-dog walks through dust of the Forbidding, beneath the same skyfire that glows ever-brighter in Maya’s waking world, walking towards the towers, carrying a pup in her jaws.

In Maya’s dream, mother-dog is starlight and shadow, and the dirt glimmers where her paws touch the ground. Mother-dog does not speak, but Maya’s own voice ripples through the stillness of the Forbidding, stirring dust and silence:


Watch over me, mother. Watch over them.

Tags:    Alexis Goble, Amy Brennan, Amy H. Sturgis, dogs, future, hope, intelligent animals, Jeremy Carter, Katherine Inskip, Maria Haskins, mutation, post-apocalyptic, puppies, radiation, Staff Picks, Young Adult fiction


« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 03:46:22 AM by Languorous Lass »



Álex Souza

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Reply #1 on: January 25, 2021, 06:55:30 PM
Great story.

I thought I'd seen the ending coming from a mile away but I was wrong.

The descriptions confused me while I was reading. I didn't know where they were or what the setting was. When they talk about God and towers, I immediately thought about vets and buildings. I was partially right. When the name Laika popped up I became even more confused: Laika is the female mongrel sent to die in space by the soviets, so I thought about many things. Are they in the Soviet Union? But wait, Laika was found in the streets of Moscow!
When they were taken to the facility I thought, "Obviously." But...
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

It's not the kind of story that explains everything like you're a 2-year-old, but it trusts the intelligence of the reader. It doesn't insult the audience. And that's how every story should be. Readers are not as imbecile as writers often think they are.

I interpret the "telling" as the motherly instinct.

Every story is about humans, even those with nonhuman main characters. And the message of this story is as clear as daylight. Show it to your mom.

This is an 8,5/10.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 06:57:57 PM by Álex Souza »

I just wanna go pro before AI takes over and the bot dogs from Boston Dynamics kill us all.


Languorous Lass

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Reply #2 on: January 25, 2021, 10:21:19 PM
Thanks for your thoughtful review, Alex!



Languorous Lass

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Reply #3 on: January 26, 2021, 04:41:52 PM
Alex, I'm curious:  do you like dogs?  I'm wondering whether an affinity for dogs will make a reader more likely to appreciate this story.



Álex Souza

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Reply #4 on: January 26, 2021, 05:24:36 PM
Alex, I'm curious:  do you like dogs?  I'm wondering whether an affinity for dogs will make a reader more likely to appreciate this story.
Well, I do like dogs... As well as I like cats and birds and hamsters. ;D That is to say, I'm not crazy about them.

I know about Laika because I wrote a story about her. The Soviet Union made the world think that she died due to the depletion of oxygen, which wasn't the case. She died because the payload fail to uncouple, causing the ship to overheat. Details here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/sad-story-laika-space-dog-and-her-one-way-trip-orbit-1-180968728/

The story also has a sense decay throught, but ends with hope. There's also the plot twist. (Of course, the speculative element had to exist so the story couldn't be published here). Reminded me of The Plague Dogs.

However (and answering your question), I think you're missing the point. The reason I like this story is mostly because of the human part. I understood the message about motherhood. If you suggest this story to a friend who's a dog-person and she ends up liking it, it's because she related to the burden of the mother; she suddenly became aware of what her mother had to sacrifice to take care of her, and she always took that for granted. It's not because she likes dogs.

I've studied some Freudian and Jungian psychology about mothers, and I also read a lot of stories about it. If you're into comics, consider giving "A Trail of Blood", by Shuzo Oshimi, a try (it's darker, be advised). I wrote yet another story about this, but I'm having a hard time getting it published because of the overt sexual themes.

Although I'm a man and will never know what it's like to carry a baby, have post-partum depression and things like that, I can raise an awareness about it by consuming these stories. I don't get mad if a baby starts crying next to me in the train, and I gladly give my seat to others.

As I said, every story is about humans and the human condition. Isaac Asimov never wrote a line about robots in his entire life.

I think I got a little nerdy writing this  :P
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 05:49:27 PM by Álex Souza »

I just wanna go pro before AI takes over and the bot dogs from Boston Dynamics kill us all.