Author Topic: PC Miniature 58: Before The Uprising  (Read 12623 times)

Ocicat

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on: January 29, 2011, 07:06:17 PM
Before The Uprising

by Katherine Sparrow.

Read by Jen Rhodes of the Anomaly Podcast


A PodCastle Original!

We fly out into the unseen world, biking as hard as our muscles allow, and then pushing on, faster, onward, go. It’s dark and all the sisters wear black, which is the color of night, which is the color of freedom.

Everything looks better now, the little sisters whisper from the backseat of our bikes, even though they mean they see only darkness as they cling and breathe into the sweat of our necks.


Rated G: Contains Bicycles

Read the story text here!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 11:12:51 PM by Talia »



Ocicat

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Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 07:12:49 PM
I'm guessing that this is should have been numbered mini 58, it wasn't labeled as such on the blog or on the feed...



DKT

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Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 10:22:18 PM
I'm guessing that this is should have been numbered mini 58, it wasn't labeled as such on the blog or on the feed...

Ack!

Yep, thanks for pointing that out. I've corrected it on the blog now.


Swamp

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Reply #3 on: January 29, 2011, 11:11:52 PM
I think this story works much better in audio than it did when I read it.  I liked it then, but I like it better now.  Now I just need to get me one of those hard-angled bodies the story talks about.

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Unblinking

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Reply #4 on: January 31, 2011, 06:32:03 PM
As when I read this in the flash fiction contest, I have mixed feelings about it.

The world it describes sounds extremely interesting, and the writing itself is awesome.  I can really feel the tension, but in the end I don't really have any idea what is happening, other than that the protagonists are on bikes being chased by something... and that's about it.  I'd like this a lot more if I had the slightest clue if I had a better idea what was happening, particularly knowing what is at stake in this struggle.



ElectricPaladin

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Reply #5 on: January 31, 2011, 06:44:56 PM
It seems like Catherine Sparrow stories and I are always hit or miss. Loved Pirate Solutions, didn't like the Magician and the Alchemist (is that right?), and hated The Petrified Girl. This one kind of mehed me. I didn't really understand it, to be honest, and since I'm an egoist, when I don't understand the story I blame it on the writer for failing to effectively communicate his or her vision ;D.

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Scattercat

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Reply #6 on: February 01, 2011, 12:21:30 AM
Well, *I* liked it.



blueeyeddevil

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Reply #7 on: February 02, 2011, 06:54:32 PM
huh?

I really didn't get this story. I could guess, and really only guess at the meaning of the whole thing, but I didn't really find a toehold in the edifice. It seemed like a sort of an emotional fever-dream. Had it been any longer, I probably would have gotten angry with the incredible self-indulgence of the thing. As it is, why is anyone supposed to care what's going on here?



tinygaia

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Reply #8 on: February 02, 2011, 07:45:26 PM
I liked it. Very girl-power, but in a creepy sort of way. I don't normally like girl-power stories, but the unknown helped.



stePH

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Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 12:57:08 AM
No. I don't think I will join you. As a matter of fact, have no idea WTF you're going on about. Begone with you.

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tinygaia

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Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 02:27:24 PM
No. I don't think I will join you.

Of course you won't! You're male! You were not invited to the uprising. :P



stePH

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Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 05:09:39 PM
No. I don't think I will join you.

Of course you won't! You're male! You were not invited to the uprising. :P

Well frak y'all then!  :P :P

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eytanz

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Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 05:16:04 PM
So, when I read this in the contest, this one confused me and didn't appeal to me that much. This time, with me forearmed with the knowledge that it's more of a mood piece than a story, and it coupled with a great narration that really took advantage of the poetic language, I really enjoyed it.



Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #13 on: February 04, 2011, 10:09:31 PM
So, when I read this in the contest, this one confused me and didn't appeal to me that much. This time, with me forearmed with the knowledge that it's more of a mood piece than a story, and it coupled with a great narration that really took advantage of the poetic language, I really enjoyed it.

Ditto.  In fact, I will go further and say that this was a massively impressive reading.  It was almost too good, in fact, by which I mean I sometimes found myself so engrossed in admiring the reading that I almost forgot to listen to what she was reading.  Jen Rhodes just shot up into my Top Three Podcastle narrators (along with M.K.Hobson and Elizabeth Green Musselman).

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iamafish

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Reply #14 on: February 05, 2011, 01:00:37 AM
this story is why I don't like flash fiction; not enough for me to get my teeth into. Short stories are just about long enough, but flash just gets annoying when it's so vague and insubstantial like this one. That being said I love PP's Flash on the Borderlands episodes...


stePH

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Reply #15 on: February 05, 2011, 01:56:29 AM
this story is why I don't like flash fiction; not enough for me to get my teeth into. Short stories are just about long enough, but flash just gets annoying when it's so vague and insubstantial like this one. That being said I love PP's Flash on the Borderlands episodes...

I've liked a fair number of Escape Pod and PseudoPod flash, but PodCastle flash is for no, almost without exception.

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Umbrageofsnow

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Reply #16 on: February 05, 2011, 08:46:10 PM
In the interest of being helpful, here is a link to the text in the forums.

It took me 20 minutes to find it, so I thought I'd save other people the trouble.  I found it much easier to comprehend what the hell was happening with the text in front of me as I listened.  Jen Rhodes is a great reader, and she imparted some much needed emotion to the piece.  I am very impressed with her narration, and I think the story sounds better than when I read it, but I just couldn't make heads nor tails of it without the text.  So, public service everyone.

Oh, and I note that the discussion in the contest thread is pretty much the same as the discussion in this one.  Not surprising I suppose.

Personally, I'm in the didn't-much-care-for-it-but-appreciates-the-pretty-word-pictures camp.

I think flash fiction tends to be a lot more hit-or-miss than longer stories do.  If you want to harness that surrealism, it becomes the whole story with no grounding to be had.  And while the pictures are nice, it is a bit too easy to fall into meaninglessness or perceived meaninglessness for too many readers.

I somewhat agree with StePH in that I think this surrealism problem tends to be mostly fantasy-specific.  I'm not sure why that is.  I think I remember some Science Fiction things by Roger Zelazny hitting me that way, although nothing immediately comes to mind, but it seems that modern flash fiction tends to get too weird less commonly in Science Fiction or Horror than in Fantasy.  I wonder why?
« Last Edit: February 05, 2011, 08:49:41 PM by Umbrageofsnow »



Talia

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Reply #17 on: February 05, 2011, 11:13:39 PM
In the interest of being helpful, here is a link to the text in the forums.

It took me 20 minutes to find it, so I thought I'd save other people the trouble. 

Thanks man, I've now linked it in the initial post. :)



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Reply #18 on: February 07, 2011, 05:03:37 PM
I think flash fiction tends to be a lot more hit-or-miss than longer stories do.

That tends to be true.  The thing about flash is that it tends to be more accepted to take a risk in terms of writing style, going against the grain of what is generally accepted.  Sometimes the risk pays off, and sometimes it doesn't, but it definitely helps freshen up my reading.  I wouldn't want to read ONLY flash but mixing it with longer stories helps round things out.



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Reply #19 on: February 09, 2011, 03:00:24 AM
About the only thing I took away from this was the vague idea that 'men are bad and oppressors of women', much like all the rest of her stories.



Unblinking

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Reply #20 on: February 09, 2011, 02:44:07 PM
About the only thing I took away from this was the vague idea that 'men are bad and oppressors of women', much like all the rest of her stories.

Which ones?  Specificity is your friend.

For what it's worth, I didn't take an anti-men message from this.  And I don't remember reading such things into other stories of hers (though I may have forgotten).



Scattercat

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Reply #21 on: February 09, 2011, 03:00:13 PM
Yes, because nothing is more gendered than bicycles.  That makes a ton of sense.



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Reply #22 on: February 09, 2011, 05:36:52 PM
Yes, because nothing is more gendered than bicycles.  That makes a ton of sense.

I think a gender divide could be perceived in the story.  The narrator refers to the "little sisters" who are riding with them, and I think referred to their pursuers by male pronouns.  But I didn't draw any anti-men messages from that--I don't think it necessarily said all the narrators companions were female, some could be male.  In fact, I don't think the narrator refers to his/her own gender.  The female narrator for this production might imply it, but I read it in the text on the forum first in which the gender was ambiguous.



stePH

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Reply #23 on: February 09, 2011, 06:58:05 PM
Well, Tinygaia said earlier that my penis disqualifies me from joining in on whatever it is they're doing.  :P

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Reply #24 on: February 09, 2011, 09:52:05 PM
Being relatively new, I did not see this in text till now and got my first exposure to it as the reading on the podcast. Up till now I've had some issues with flash fiction. Too often it feels to me like either a gag or just a snap shot of a larger world without any pathos and I wonder what the point was in the first place.

This piece delivered a great deal of pathos in a snap shot but it was not quite there for me. Maybe it is just me but I think that the this would  have been better as a poem.



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Reply #25 on: February 10, 2011, 03:09:41 PM
Well, Tinygaia said earlier that my penis disqualifies me from joining in on whatever it is they're doing.  :P

Ha, that's right, I'd forgotten about that, although I think tinygaia described it as "girl-power" rather than bashing men, not necessarily the same thing.  I didn't find it necessarily supportive or bashing of any gender, but I can see where that conclusion could come from.



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Reply #26 on: February 10, 2011, 04:39:38 PM
Really liked the reader on this one.

And I don't think it was meant to be gender-bashing so much as the story of resistance and rebellion against oppression and the oppressors just happened to be male.

You could easily make minor changes and it would be reversed.  Grandmothers to Grandfathers, little sisters to little brothers, etc.

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Umbrageofsnow

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Reply #27 on: February 11, 2011, 03:30:35 AM
Yes, because nothing is more gendered than bicycles.  That makes a ton of sense.

That brings up funny memories for me.  A male friend of mine and I once went to a workshop about bike repair advertised as for people who know nothing about bikes.  Nothing about gender on the surface.  The motivation for this was that we'd both been getting a great deal of shit from respective lady friends about such mechanical ineptness (both of them were considerably handy with a hex wrench).

Anyway we went, under light duress, only to find that we were the only males there.  Afterwards the woman that ran it came up to us and told us we couldn't come back because we made the women there nervous since men know so much about mechanical things and we made them self conscious.  This was only for people who needed to learn these things, specifically women.

He and I were both completely clueless about these things, and remain so to this day.  It remains a running joke that bicycles are the most sexist mode of transportation.  But at the moment, we were both speechless.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 03:33:00 AM by Umbrageofsnow »



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Reply #28 on: February 11, 2011, 09:04:50 PM
Yes, because nothing is more gendered than bicycles.  That makes a ton of sense.

That brings up funny memories for me.  A male friend of mine and I once went to a workshop about bike repair advertised as for people who know nothing about bikes.  Nothing about gender on the surface.  The motivation for this was that we'd both been getting a great deal of shit from respective lady friends about such mechanical ineptness (both of them were considerably handy with a hex wrench).

Anyway we went, under light duress, only to find that we were the only males there.  Afterwards the woman that ran it came up to us and told us we couldn't come back because we made the women there nervous since men know so much about mechanical things and we made them self conscious.  This was only for people who needed to learn these things, specifically women.

He and I were both completely clueless about these things, and remain so to this day.  It remains a running joke that bicycles are the most sexist mode of transportation.  But at the moment, we were both speechless.

Ha!  Great story, I totally would have gone there too.  Funny how some gender roles of knowledge have such heavy weight on them in general society.  A man suggesting that a woman needs a group to help understand bicycles would generally be labeled as sexist.  A man being turned away from such a group for being a man is just another permutation of the same.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2011, 09:07:31 PM by Unblinking »



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Reply #29 on: March 10, 2011, 06:19:32 PM
Wow.

That.

Was.

AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME!

I really loved this story when it came through in the contest. Loved the reading.

Though I have to agree with Unblinking. Umbrage, kudos for you going to that. Sort of ridiculous that they kick you out of the workshop because they think you already know how to fix things. ::shrug::

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