Author Topic: PC033: The Girl With the Sun In Her Head  (Read 10567 times)


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on: November 12, 2008, 06:58:52 AM
PC033: The Girl With the Sun In Her Head

By Jeremiah Tolbert
Read by Ann Leckie.
Introduction by Mary Robinette Kowal.
First appeared in Polyphony 4, 2004.

“Emelia’s home is in a city where only children are allowed to draw graffiti on the crumbling walls. The old bricks and stones are covered in crude pictographs and stick figures, smoking chimney houses and bicycles with four wheels and two seats. Chalk is a penny a piece, any color to be had. A little old lady with gnarled fingers and crooked eyes sells the sticks out of cigar boxes on street corners, even in the rain.”

Rated PG for child endangerment. Contains chalk graffiti drawn under the sun’s blazing eye.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2008, 07:05:39 AM by Heradel »

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Reply #1 on: November 12, 2008, 06:17:54 PM
I really liked this one.  Excellent job all around.


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Reply #2 on: November 13, 2008, 04:13:38 AM
<a href=";hl=en&amp;fs=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">;hl=en&amp;fs=1</a>

fun fact, orbital's track the girl with the sun in her head (above) was dedicated to Sally Harding, a photographer who specialized in special needs kids and album art.

cool story too =)


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Reply #3 on: November 13, 2008, 11:03:43 PM
I am ambivalent on this one.  It was very well read and the story was well put together, but it was almost too smooth.  There just wasn't anything to hold on to.  No flaws, but no great moments either.

My biggest problem was that with two characters named Negro and Blanco (black and white), I was afraid that our heroine with the yellow crayon was actually named Amarilla (yellow) and the reader was mispronouncing it.  Now that I see that she wasn't, I'm wondering why the author DIDN'T name her Amarilla.


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Reply #4 on: November 14, 2008, 09:02:55 PM
I think the story was running too fast to catch its breath. I'm quite convinced that if the story had grabbed me, there would be a number of clever literary devices evident but it didn't work in audio. Other things seemed a little clumsy (i.e. brothers named Black and White who are opposites). The real problem was that I didn't care why anything was happening.


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Reply #5 on: November 16, 2008, 12:10:23 PM
I absolutely adore this story. Especially the ending; I often rail here about unresolved loose ends, but here is an ending which demonstrates exactly the right way to do ambiguity - instead of leaving me grasping for answers, it left me satisfied that the world is full of wonder and mystery that I don't need to understand in order to appreciate.


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Reply #6 on: November 17, 2008, 09:10:22 PM
I liked the ending and the interactions with the man in green.  It was obvious where the story was going from the beginning, yet the drawing angle was fresh.  Yet, the story did not leave me with a strong impression.  It was a nice fairy tale, but nothing more.


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Reply #7 on: November 20, 2008, 05:10:09 PM
I dunno - I didn't really get the ending.  The girl running with the sun, yes, but the rest of the "wrap-up" was unnecessary in my mind.

Otherwise I enjoyed it.

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Reply #8 on: November 22, 2008, 07:51:32 PM
I can't say that I liked this story.  I didn't hate it, but to me, it just wasn't that good.  In my opinion, the last several Podcastle stories have been at best "blah" and at worst, downright bad.  I had to force myself to finish a couple of them.  I really want to like PC.  I was SO excited when Steve mentioned that a fantasy podcast was spinning off and I really liked the inital episodes, but I really have not liked the last 5 or 6 episodes.


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Reply #9 on: November 26, 2008, 11:29:18 AM
I don't love this reader's delivery, but it was okay for this character.

The story was too surreal while not surreal enough. Here's the thing: when you grow up, there's a house at the end of the street where you don't go. You always stop at the house before that. You don't play in that yard, and when your ball rolls in there, you feel weird. Sometimes you see the people who live there, but you never talk to them and they never wave to you. The thrill of the weirdness, though, gives you a nice little burst of adrenaline.

You do know the people at the house next door. Your parents do. You don't mind them, but you don't care one way or the other about them. Sometimes your parents have dinner or play cards over there, and you hang out at the house. Things are a little strange, but just familiar enough.

That was how I felt about the story's surrealism.

Also, the plot appeared too late. In some of the recent Laurell K. Hamilton novels, she gets 250 pages in and then realizes, "oh, shit, I forgot the non-sex-related story part!" I feel the same thing happened with the man in the green hat. This story had a TON of potential, a really great title, and a concept -- chasing the sun because you're in love with it, a sort of transferrence effect -- but I just think there wasn't enough groundwork laid in the first 20 minutes to justify the last five. It was like, "stuff happens, stuff happens, she bumps into this guy, the chalk lady makes a mistake, she chases the sun, she turns into a star, here's what happened to everyone else, the end". I just couldn't get into the story, as much as I wanted to.

I have to give it a meh. I just didn't like it enough to give it more than that, despite all its positives.

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Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 01:48:10 PM

This goes above and beyond. It's stories like this that keep me coming back for more, even when the more is not to my taste. 

Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.


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Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 07:45:07 AM
I just had to necro this ancient thread in order to point out that this story is almost pure win.  I loved the half-hallucinatory world and the uncertainty, even after the ending, of what exactly was real and what was not.  A child believes in robbers coming out of the chimney to capture her mother, believes in running until she can catch the sun, and yet I wonder what it was that made her so fixated on the face of a lonely, middle-aged man.  How much of the story was magical and how much was the magical thinking of a child?  It's like reaching into a box and trying to feel what's inside without seeing.  (And sometimes the box is a gom jabbar.)


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Reply #12 on: December 10, 2009, 10:34:11 PM
This story didn't really grab me.  Listener summed it up better than I could. 

I think it was well written, in a way that fits the "literary" genre well, but that's just not a genre I care much for.  I like plot.