Author Topic: Pseudopod 201: Shadow Chaser  (Read 8781 times)

Bdoomed

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on: July 09, 2010, 09:00:11 PM
Pseudopod 201: Shadow Chaser


By Simon Wood, whose latest thriller, Terminated is hot off the presses this month.
Read by Ben Phillips

Turning into the long driveway, I noticed three tall figures standing shoulder to shoulder on the porch. That, I wasn’t expecting. This was meant to be a one-on-one affair with no spectators. Alarm bells rang in my head, but there was no way I could turn tail for the hills. I had to see things through, no matter how bad they got — especially after the phone call.

“Cam, you have to meet me. You have to help me stop you. If you don’t, people will die.”

I’d recognized the voice immediately and knew I had no choice. There’d been too much killing over the years and if I could prevent any further bloodshed, then I would do my best. It was the least I could do, considering the amount of blood on my hands.




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heyes

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Reply #1 on: July 10, 2010, 03:47:15 AM
I wondered what the heck happened to episode 201?
Can't wait to listen!

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Boggled Coriander

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Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 02:12:08 PM
I think I liked this, but I need to listen to it again.  The first half I was thinking, "Oh, like that Star Trek episode where Kirk gets split in half."  The second half was where I realized it was quite a bit different from the Star Trek episode.

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Millenium_King

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Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 10:11:13 PM
This one gets a lukewarm reaction from me.  The idea is not a novel one (in fact, I'm pretty sure each Star Trek series has at least one episode about this).  From "The Mannikin" to Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, it's been done.  Not that this is bad in and of itself, but I did not feel this one put anything resembling an original spin on an old idea.

It follows the pre-constructed idea of "Good Self" vs. "Bad Self" to the letter.  The "Good Self" is compassionate, but less vigorous than the "Bad self."  The "Bad Self" is more emotional, less controllable than the "Good Self."  Neither self can live without the other etc. etc.

The language was good I suppose, but I'm not a big fan of the "punchy" or "hardboiled" style.

Good reading by Ben, though.

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« Last Edit: July 12, 2010, 10:22:45 PM by Millenium_King »

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kibitzer

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Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 08:57:25 AM
King, you're not gonna quote the "Enterprise" episodes?   ;-)

I liked this one. For sure, it's familiar territory but that's OK if it's done well. I liked the idea of the separation tank; the ephemeral body; even the cutting off the hands, although logically it doesn't make much sense -- kinda smacks of "The Hands of Orlac" (the 1924 or 1960 version, take your pick).

Anyway, it worked for me.


Millenium_King

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Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 04:38:06 PM
King, you're not gonna quote the "Enterprise" episodes?   ;-)

Hahahahahahaha!  I knew someone would mention that!  But who even watches that show?!

(That list is hardly comprehensive.  I could have mentioned "The Best of Both Worlds" or all the "Mirror Universe" episodes in DS9 too.)

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Unblinking

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Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 04:50:28 PM
Not really an original idea, though, oddly, the first example that comes to mind is an episode of Darkwing Duck where Darkwing is shot by a polarizing ray made by Megavolt, creating a good and evil Darkwing.  The evil Darkwing, of course, has thick and shaggy eyebrows, which are apparently an evil trait but none of the characters on the show notice that.  The good Darkwing is willing to let bad guys get away in order to save a cockroach from being stepped on while the bad one goes on a crime spree.  Then they both get polarized even further and the bad Darkwing causes earthquakes wherever he goes while the good one is pretty much farting rainbows.

Ah, I miss that show.  That was one of my favorite episodes, though not as cool as the ones with the mind controlling aliens who look like hats.



Unblinking

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Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 04:52:00 PM
Oh yeah, and the story itself, I thought it was well told enough that the well-trodden plot didn't bother me too much.  I didn't really understand why, in the middle of the story, he said he had to rid his other self of the other hand before they completely merged.  Why?  You're all going to become one in the end anyway what difference does it make?

I thought it was interesting that he was setting out to kill the shadows at the end, leaving all the other split people as incomplete people--I'm not sure that's going to end all that well either.



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Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 04:56:00 PM
This story was clever and interesting, and I enjoyed the elements of psychodrama (self vs dark-self) and the conceit that a scientist had developed a way of literally cutting someone's dark side off. I also liked the story this short set us up for, and would love to read more of the main character's road trip of the damned, careening around the United States looking for free-roaming dark sides to kill before they could do anyone harm.

All in all, a good listen.

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Listener

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Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 04:59:58 PM
the good one is pretty much farting rainbows

Can't beat a farted rainbow in my book.



The best part of the story, in my mind, was Cam's warped logic that made him think by cutting off his shadow-self's hands and then absorbing him, his own hands would remain unable to commit murder. I believe there was a Jessica Alba movie about the reverse of that, called "Idle Hands". I believe she stripped down to her underwear in it at one point.

Ahem.

Anyway, a well-told story, but there was a little too much of wimpy whiny Green-Shirt Kirk in it, and the woe-is-me language got a little too purple for my taste.

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Scattercat

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Reply #10 on: July 14, 2010, 03:30:28 AM
I was a little disappointed the reveal came so early.  When it did, I assumed that something unexpected would happen at the end.  I was a bit puzzled when it just played it straight, right from the title.

I really liked the idea of cutting his shadow's hands off; I always enjoy playing with concretizing abstractions and tinkering around with what it means to have a physical embodiment of an ethereal concept.  What could you do with your psychosis physically in existence?  Psychology as butchery of the manifested mind intrigued me a heck of a lot more than the Jekyll/Hyde tale.  Would you cut off a rapist's psychic schlong to "fix" him?  Could a paranoid be "cured" by cutting off his/her eyes and ears so the dark side can no longer perceive enemies all around them?  That road seems to me to be full of possibilities, and I'm more than a little sad this story didn't really explore any of that.



Unblinking

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Reply #11 on: July 14, 2010, 01:17:10 PM
Can't beat a farted rainbow in my book.

Ha!  Great image!  :)



Listener

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Reply #12 on: July 14, 2010, 05:00:20 PM
Can't beat a farted rainbow in my book.

Ha!  Great image!  :)

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