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Author Topic: PC671: TRIPLE FEATURE!  (Read 217 times)

Ocicat

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on: March 25, 2021, 07:36:25 AM
PodCastle 671: TRIPLE FEATURE! A Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy; Chameleon; The First Stop Is Always the Last

Authors: Jenn Reese, Kate Heartfield, and John Wiswell 
Narrators: Tina Connolly, Kim Rogers, and C. L. Clark
Host: Ziv Wities
Audio Producer: Peter Behravesh

“A Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy” was originally published by Uncanny Magazine, Dec 2019.“Chameleon” was originally published by Daily Science Fiction, Sept 2019.“The First Stop Is Always the Last” was originally published by Flash Fiction Online, 2017. 

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Show Notes
Rated PG.



The day you arrive at the academy, you spend just three minutes outside the car before begging your mom to drive you back home. There are too many girls. They’re too loud. They’re laughing. Some of them are flying. Even if you weren’t a mindreader, you’d be overwhelmed.

Your mother, who took a day off work and has driven eleven hours straight to get you here, refuses. She is the worst mother ever.

A girl approaches, her eyes so sharp you expect her codename to be DAZZLE or CHARISMA or SINGULARITY. You can’t stop yourself from reading her mind: she calls herself Meg.

You refuse to shake Meg’s hand and demand that she leave you alone. You tell her your superpower and that nothing she thinks is safe from you. You tell her you don’t want or need friends.

You’re grateful she’s not a mindreader, too.

Meg shrugs and tells you she can blow things up with a thought. She offers to show you to your dorm. Bewildered, you hug your mother goodbye, grab your duffel, and follow Meg, whose hair is brown and whose eyes are lighter brown and whose codename should be TEMPEST or HURRICANE or AVALANCHE based on how she’s making you feel.

For the next three weeks, the days are a blur of headaches and other girls’ anxieties.

I’m not strong enough to stop a train.

I’m too slow to defuse the bomb.

My witty rejoinders are not actually witty.

That creepy mindreader is probably reading my mind.




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Álex Souza

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Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 11:47:45 AM
Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy

I’ve had some issues with the suspension of disbelief. Firstly, it would be impossible to live with an uncontrollable mindreading power, or a power that explodes things just if you think about it. If you read everybody’s thoughts involuntarily, you wouldn’t be able to have thoughts of your own; if you consider something exploding, your life would be a Vietnam war. (that’s why the whole concept of superheroes and superpowers makes no sense, but that’s another topic). Also, sending them to school makes much less sense. They have different powers. The teachers wouldn’t be able to handle them. The schooling should’ve been individualized. This is a problem in real life already; with people having different abilities and different weaknesses, one homeroom teacher, teaching a single method, just cannot be good for everybody.   (that’s why our school system makes no sense and makes us dumb, but that’s a WHOLE new topic).

That’s why this why a dark comedy to me. The absurd names of the classes, such as Resisting Torture and Hostage Negotiations, that only appear as deus ex machinas, also made me laugh.

Ending was too sudden. I think that this story was not right for flash-fiction. It would work better as a longer story.


Chameleon


This works better as a flash-fiction piece. It is also funny. I liked the metaphor and the double mumbo jumbo (R.I.P Blake Snyder).
Damn Generation Z!

The First Stop Is Always the Last

The concept here is awesome. You get confused at first, but then it all makes sense. Also, a great metaphor.

The fact that the driver realized that time was repeating made me laugh.

The author, Wiswll, seems to be very talented. I had read Open House on Haunted Hill a couple months ago, and I enjoyed it.

PS.:  The narrator sounded exceptionally low on this one.



In general, I found all of them to be funny. The first one, maybe for the wrong reasons. Chameleon and The First Stop is Always the Last work well as flash-fiction and have satisfying endings. Mindreader’s Guide to Surviving Your First Year at the All-Girls Superhero Academy leaves you wanting more.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 11:49:20 AM by Álex Souza »

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