Author Topic: Pseudopod 133: Grave of Ships  (Read 11443 times)


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on: March 13, 2009, 03:31:46 PM
Pseudopod 133: Grave of Ships

By Richard Marsden

Read by Ian Stuart

“I know you come from the States and you see this Isle of St. Mary as nothing but quaint. Well, we is a quaint folk and content to be in our cups at the Bishop n’ work the fields and tend to tourists and pull fish from the sea. But as your kin I am to say that the Scilly Isles hold secrets. Every day some of them are shown but only the wise would know it. Only an islander can tell you of it. I want you to listen because you are my kin and so you’ll be told of the Isles of Scilly.

“If you look out from any portion of St. Mary’s out to the wide and gray sea you can gaze at the Grave of Ships. The isle is not friendly to outsiders who sail and never has been. It was in 1707 that a whole treasure fleet was dashed unto the rocks and drowned many a soul, including Shovell, the lord of that ill-fated expedition. Since then the Crown hasn’t much use for Scilly or the government we have nowadays. Since Shovell’s treasure spilled on our beaches, along with the bloated bodies, the isle has claimed hundreds of other vessels. Some drawn too close by storms, others lured in by Wreckers with their false lights and sharp blades.”

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Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 06:19:44 PM
Amazing reading. The story took too long to get to the action, but the reading kept me interested. Also, the exposition seemed to repeat itself slightly -- which would make sense if the narrator had drunk a bit too much, as he said he most definitely had NOT (which means he had).

Not quite certain what the monster was, either. Maybe it's because I don't know the myth.

Good all around, though.

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Reply #2 on: March 14, 2009, 03:43:00 AM
I agree with Listener.  This was a very enjoyable episode.  I think it might fall more into a Dark Fantasy category, though.


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Reply #3 on: March 14, 2009, 06:05:16 AM
a simple ghost story made compelling by a fantastic reading; great job putting this submission into the right reader's hands.

some part of me was wondering why a master of land war would choose to write about sea faring.


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Reply #4 on: March 14, 2009, 02:36:12 PM
I have a deep facination with this sort of story.  I lived land locked for most of my life, but always felt the pull of not placid beaches but stormy, living, magnificent seas. I devoured any books I could find on the subject matter in my early teens at roughly the same speed my brother devoured comic books.

So- I really really loved this one. The reading was spot on perfect, the idea was spot on perfect, even the "ghost crew" was spot on perfect.  Good overall. It fits here better then the other 'casts- so I see why it made it to psudopod instead of one of the others.

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Reply #5 on: March 14, 2009, 10:56:27 PM
I have a deep facination with this sort of story.  I lived land locked for most of my life, but always felt the pull of not placid beaches but stormy, living, magnificent seas.

Totally agree, great story, even greater reading, loved the accent. I am rubbish at recognizing and differentiating between British accents, so I can't tell if this accent was chosen specifically based on location, but it certainly seemed to fit the story perfectly. And just like MacArthurBug I really enjoyed the wild dark waters image. Not sure it was very horror, but out of the three casts it fit best on PP.


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Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 09:09:49 PM
Nice story, although the pacing was a little slow.  I felt while certainly a dark fantasy story, this ghost story fit well on PP.  It was a simple campfire ghost story, well told and read. 


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Reply #7 on: March 17, 2009, 08:59:58 PM
I really liked the old fashioned feel of this. It was a "proper ghost story", nicely predictable and delivered in exactly the way it's meant to. A definite thumbs up for me.

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Reply #8 on: March 22, 2009, 05:57:24 PM
A simple and hardly original ghost-story saved by being swaddled in lots of atmosphere from the author and a terrific performance from the narrator. A wonderful marriage of talents.


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Reply #9 on: March 23, 2009, 05:33:47 PM
Wow, it was like Long John Silver narrated a story about Richard Alpert and the Black Rock. Loved it. A really great reading.


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Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 09:24:11 PM
This one was a lot of fun. The ending didn't entirely work for me - it seemed to have a rather weak delivery on its punchline (not the narrator, the writing) - but overall, an excellent tale full of atmosphere and really wonderfully narrated.


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Reply #11 on: March 30, 2009, 10:29:19 PM
I loved this one.  I thought it really captured the setting.  And boy what a great reading!!  Kudos to Pseudopod for orchestrating a great match up like this!

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Reply #12 on: April 07, 2009, 01:59:34 AM
I really enjoyed the reading, and the story was good, but it was more on the dark fantasy rather than the horror side of things. 


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Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 11:58:59 PM
This was the best reading I've heard on PP- perfect for this story, which I also loved.


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Reply #14 on: April 24, 2009, 01:25:49 PM
ahem: the Sisters of Mercy were a great band. They were guilty of nothing more than being 80s/90s goths.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 01:44:19 PM by 600south »


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Reply #15 on: May 03, 2009, 01:58:11 AM
Spot on narration to go with a great story. Great unique setting, although a little too much time was devoted to it. Really nailed the classic ghost story format, though.


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Reply #16 on: September 02, 2009, 03:31:35 PM
This was a good one, and was made even greater by the rock solid narration--amazing!

For those who said it was dark fantasy, I'm curious what the difference is?  For me, dark fantasy is a subset of horror, one which specifies that something supernatural is involved (as opposed to a serial killer story or something else that might really happen).


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Reply #17 on: September 02, 2009, 05:09:52 PM
Not to reopen old discussions (and I didn't even comment on Grave of Ships, or call it Dark Fantasy) but to me, Dark Fantasy is more of a sibling to horror than a subset, a step between Horror and Fantasy - in that fantastic elements (not necessarily supernatural, could be mythological) or settings are used but the intention of the story is not wholly to horrify or disturb, the intent of the story could just be evocative, like a lot of fantasy, but evocative of a mood with a darker tinge.  You can't critically respond to a dark fantasy story with "that wasn't scary", might be a way of looking at it from the other direction.  A lot of Lord Dunsany and Tanith Lee and Karl Edward Wagner fall into Dark Fantasy, from my view 

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Reply #18 on: September 02, 2009, 05:59:37 PM
I'd love to hear a genre definition discussion either about this story specifically or the genres in general, BUT we don't like them in the episode comment threads.  It kind of gums up the works.  Feel free to start one over in Gallimaufry and link to it from here.


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Reply #19 on: June 07, 2010, 11:08:01 PM
I initially mistook the name of the island to refer to the monster in The Odyssey - but I was wrong: the monster's name was "Scylla."

A very clever, very classic ghost story.  Well told and well narrated (I always love Ian's narrations).  Not too much else to say except that I agree: the beginning was a little slow.

I was fine with the ending - but half expected the lightning flash to reveal skeletons.

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