Author Topic: PC002: For Fear of Dragons  (Read 41393 times)

Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #50 on: April 13, 2008, 09:27:13 PM
I hope the story wasn't chosen solely for its plucky young heroine.

This was one of Steve's picks from before PodCastle was conceived (as was "Come Lady Death"; we'll get to the first of my selections this week with Hilary Moon Murphy's "Run of the Fiery Horse"), so I can't say for sure, but I strongly doubt that was the case. If nothing else, plucky heroines show up frequently in the slush pile, so if Steve bought every one that came along, you'd be inundated.

UPDATE: "Stone Born" was my selection, for the record.


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Reply #51 on: April 14, 2008, 03:27:01 AM
UPDATE: "Stone Born" was my selection, for the record.

But also ours, the forumites.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


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Reply #52 on: April 14, 2008, 03:39:48 PM
This felt like a really generic fantasy story, the subplot about controlling people through fear also fell flat with me and didnt really fit in with the rest of the story

Rachel Swirsky

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Reply #53 on: April 14, 2008, 05:07:19 PM
But also ours, the forumites.

Although technically it wasn't voted high enough for us to *have* to buy it. ;-)

Russell Nash

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Reply #54 on: April 14, 2008, 06:08:38 PM
I have the excuse of not being a native speaker. And anyway, how your Dutch (or French, or German).... ;D

We don't care as long as you're easy to understand, and you are.

BTW my German has been upgraded from shitty to crappy, but Wherethewild is basically fluent at a fairly decent level.  I'm ex-pat American.  She's ex-pat Australian.


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Reply #55 on: April 15, 2008, 08:32:01 AM
Hmm, not really my story.
The characters were cardboard, but I guess that goes with the territory if you tell a classical fairytale.
The telling was solid and the ending worked quite well, but to me the main idea and political message was just to heavily applied.
I like stories that want to convey a certain message, but I don't really enjoy beeing beaten over the head with it.


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Reply #56 on: April 18, 2008, 09:52:46 PM
This one didn't do as much for me as the other PC stories have, however, there was something about the image at the end -- about being afraid and expecting the worst, and then being given hope instead -- that made me smile. 


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Reply #57 on: April 21, 2008, 03:12:05 PM
I like Vaughn's Kitty series and was looking forward to one about a dragon.  I was rather disappointed. 

I was pulled out of the story by Minx’s reading.  I felt she was too sensual in the beginning.  She’s narrating a story about a young girl with no desire to have sex, and yet there were parts that were down right lascivious.   

Beyond that the idea of our heroine first being able to live, at such a young age, without parents or a support system was a bit unbelievable.  Then to hear about the witch sending young girls off to, I assumed, a better life made me wonder what type of civilization lived outside of the kingdom and why weren’t they stepping in to stop such practices.  Did they have a dragon or ogre or evil menace they in turn fed the girls to? 

Not to mention, at some point in time, the kingdom is going to run out of virgin girls.  Jeanette was the last virgin of proper age, and she had ample opportunity to make herself ineligible.  Why was this tolerated?  If they needed a girl after her first showing of blood to tempt the witch/dragon, the powers that be are either going to have to have a stable of girls locked up tight under guardianship of women, or they are going to have to start imposing heavy penalties on girls for having sex and getting married.  Either way, not a sustainable enterprise.  Maybe each year they selected a girl at birth and kept her in seclusion.  I don’t know, but the questions made it hard for me to concentrate on the story.

For once I heard a story with too little world building or exposition. 

Deaf Leper

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Reply #58 on: April 24, 2008, 04:20:51 AM
I'm a sucker for stories that center around facing and overcoming fear, or a hero or heroine who stands up to those who try to control through fear.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2008, 04:34:50 AM by Deaf Leper »

"I used to think I was serving humanity....and I pleasured in the thought. Then I discovered that humanity does not want to be served; on the contrary it resents any attempt to serve it." - Jubal Harshaw


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Reply #59 on: November 12, 2009, 09:27:21 PM
Thus begins the rise of Unblinking's threadomancy!  :)

It was an okay story, but had a lot of problems.  My favorite part was the odd fact that the dragon was old and frail and probably had been for centuries but nobody realizes it.

A few of the things I didn't like:
1.  As others have noted, the fact that she made her own lockpick and somehow practiced for hours in a variety of situations was far-fetched.  Beyond the more obvious questions, where does she get access to locks?  She's a peasant, right?  I'm not sure locks and keys were in common posession.  Maybe I'm wrong.
2.  As Deaf Leper pointed out, there's a serious logistics problem with the way they're running things.  If young girls are encouraged to get knocked up as young as possible, then you're going to run out of virgins sooner rather than later. 
3.  Why would the dragon need to wait at its cave for someone to kill it?  It could just come out of its cave when the sacrifice came or circle around and block the path down to the village when the soldiers do come and they'd be forced to fight it and would quickly kill it.  Or it could attack the town.  And if it wanted to be killed, why did it fight the girl?  The girl even asks the dragon this and didn't really get an answer--what's with that?
4.  The dragon's layer of scales is described as being "like iron", but the girl cuts its toe off with a peasant's knife. 
5.  The priests are too aware of their own deceptions, or perhaps they are just too verbose about it.  Either way, having them freely admit to the girl "Yeah we know the dragon's not really a danger, but we do it so that people will have something to dispel their fear with" is completely out of character for the priest role as described.
6.  Instead of trying to make a real difference, she just sends the girls away from their parents to go live in God knows where.  I find it hard to believe that none of the girls comes back, for one thing.