Author Topic: PC254: Sundae  (Read 19857 times)


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Reply #25 on: April 12, 2013, 02:20:13 AM
Excellent story, extremely well read, and dammit Mr Wallace, Silver made me tear up on my drive home.


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Reply #26 on: April 12, 2013, 07:28:30 AM
I, myself, though a long time listener, have chosen this story to finally break onto the forum about. I don't have anything new to add (pretty much agreeing with all the above comments), but just had to say what a privilege it was to experience this story. I have just recently become a father for the first time, and I think the story has struck an extra cord with me for that reason. Thank you so much!

P.S. Congrats Dave!


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Reply #27 on: April 13, 2013, 09:23:45 PM
For once I'm glad this is allergy season because it was a good excuse for tears while I was listening to this episode. The part with Sundae and Silver had me sobbing.

The narration is superb and hit the right note every time -- Sundae and Silver thundering into battle and Sundae by his friends side as he died. Damn, I'm crying just thinking about it.

This might edge out Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk from Escape Pod as my favorite bear story.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2013, 09:33:11 PM by Mack46 »


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Reply #28 on: April 13, 2013, 10:26:39 PM
I liked this alot  ;D


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Reply #29 on: April 16, 2013, 08:43:21 PM
This story hit me harder than expected, right at the heart of my smaller child-like self.  Instead of analyzing the story and breaking down its individual parts (like an adult would), I chose to just listen and absorb the story (as a child would), and WOW!  The imagery and descriptions brought everything to life for me and I still wonder how I made it home during my commute, as I wasn't seeing the road and traffic around me, but instead was seeing Sundae riding Silver in the heat of the chase, or Esther's imagination land, or Harper peering down at Sundae.  This brought to mind all that I now know I had forgotten.  I remember the untold and unwritten rule of bedsheets being a shield against the darkness of the night.  I remember wondering how my toys would be in different locations in the morning and not 100% sure that my thrashing in bed was the reason.  The child-like part of me appreciates this tale as truth and love.  The adult part of me appreciates this tale as welcome memory and wistfulness.   

I will now have to find the stuffed animals and dolls I've packed up and stuck in a closet, to ensure they and their magic is shared with other children, now that my belief has waned and I can no longer hear them talk to me.

Well, I may have to keep a couple... just in case.


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Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 10:28:50 AM
What more is there to say except this?:

That is EXACTLY what I was thinking of when we got just a few paragraphs into this story!  It also made me think of the ragged old bear I had as a child.  There's so much for a PodCastle listener to identify with.

Of course, I don't remember my teddy bear having a button in his hear...but, it may well have been gone by the time I received him.  A sign of a job well done, I like to think.

Failure is an event, not a person.


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Reply #31 on: April 20, 2013, 11:02:08 AM
I very rarely post but.....dammit.....I was crying on the motorway (freeway for those on the other side of the pond)! Probably my favourite Escape Artist story in the years I've been listening...
Wish I still had my teddy but at 48 he's long gone....but I'll cuddle my faithful tabby happy in the knowledge he watches out for me in the darkness......


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Reply #32 on: April 20, 2013, 04:02:15 PM
A) Congratulations to Dave and hope everything is going well with the family. (I'm late to listening, so only catching up now.)

B) I enjoyed the story, though in the back of my head I had this episode of 99% Invisible about the creation of the teddy bear and the also-ran toy, billy possum (

C) I perfectly enjoyed the "several episodes in the life" structure, where we get to see the lives of different children and how Sundae does or doesn't protect them for a while. And who doesn't love a heroic death? But as interesting as it was to see some of those fights between innocence and experience--the old woman who holds onto some innocence despite the horror she's been through, the child whose imagination of escape is quashed by the abuse she can't escape, the children who move too early into digital pastimes--I wasn't quite comfortable with how easy the story switched between those.

I mean, being cyberbullied is bad (if that's what happened to the older daughter in the story), but just having access to digital entertainment? As a child of the 80s, I'm very loathe to say "pre-packaged entertainment kills off imagination and innocence."

Also, the idea that children are innocent and imaginative sometimes gets under my skin; for all that I don't love Ender's Game, it does get right that children are far from innocent.

So a fine story that starts from a premise I find distasteful (children=innocent) and includes a current cliche that I find maddening (digital/pre-packaged entertainment kills imagination). Let's say a solid B and you can dance to it.

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Reply #33 on: April 20, 2013, 04:13:40 PM
Let's say a solid B and you can dance to it.

-Josh Morrey-
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Reply #34 on: April 23, 2013, 06:14:43 PM
A) Congratulations to Dave and hope everything is going well with the family. (I'm late to listening, so only catching up now.)

Thanks, sir! :)


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Reply #35 on: April 30, 2013, 03:51:08 AM
I'm super far behind on all my podcasts currently, just listened to this one tonight, and completely adored it. Really beautiful.

I was struck while listening that, other than being a teddy bear, this was a straight-up sword and sorcery tale straight out of the early days.  The hero is crowned champion of light, battles a variety of monsters, and sacrifices himself against his final foe; the reminiscences, the other characters, everything would remain almost unchanged if you replaced Sundae with a grizzled swordsman, the parents with kings and queens, and the houses with a variety of goofy continents with apostrophes in their names.  I'm still not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, honestly.  On the one hand, I do enjoy a straight-up adventure story now and then; on the other hand, I felt like the correspondence was a little too close, that the story could have worked with its own viewpoint a little more thoroughly.

I would argue that this works perfectly with the childhood motif running through the story. It's supposed to be simple and straightforward, because it's an allegory of sorts for what goes on in a child's mind. The magic isn't in the button. It's in the child's belief. A bit Tinkerbell-ish, I suppose.


She's about a month shy of turning 30. :)


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Reply #36 on: April 30, 2013, 03:30:09 PM
It wasn't a complaint that it was straightforward, Talia, but that it was too much like a sword'n'sorcery tale.  I'd have wanted to see more differences between this and Beowulf, y'know?  Surely turning the barbarian warlord into a teddy bear would have some sort of impact on things, but it hewed pretty much to the genre line all the way through.  Which was fine, since that was clearly part of the goal, but it was not as interesting (to me) as exploring the differences might have been.


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Reply #37 on: April 30, 2013, 03:54:56 PM
Yeah, I get that, but I'd suggest generic sword & sorcery works well to reflect how a child would would imagine the fights going down. I mean I'm sure there some exceptions, but most kids would just be happy to see their teddy hack an Evil Creepy Nightmare Monster to death with a sword, all hero-like.

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Reply #38 on: May 08, 2013, 09:18:14 PM
I know I'm late for commenting on this episode. This story (and Dave's excellent, emotive, powerful reading) brought me to tears many times over during my commute. This story felt as if Matt thought about the narrator's vocal inflections when he wrote this, and Dave had the awesome reading chops to pull it off.

My main take away is that it feels good to be the hero of the downtrodden, regardless of cost or aggravation.

Thanks to PodCastle for bringing this phenomenal reading of an outstanding story to us.

More please!


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Reply #39 on: May 21, 2013, 01:28:10 AM
You guys know I listen to these while on the public bus, right? In China? If they weren't staring at the strange foreign girl already (they were) they for sure started when I clenched my fists, stopped breathing, and choked back tears.

I know I'm way behind on listening to these but I had to stop by and say how much I loved this. It kinda seems tailor made to impact people like me. Mine was a bright blue bunny rabbit, not a teddy bear, but that bunny saw me through some hard times and I loved the salute to the stuffed animals that comforted and guarded us when we were young - however imperfectly.

The only thing I didn't love about this story was the complete rejection of technology - I'm a technophile and a bibliophile all at once and for the past few years that's meant that most of the books I've consumed have come through those glowing screened devices.

But I did also totally LOVE the outro, fantastic endcap to a fantastic story. Thanks you guys so much for making this.

Every day is an adventure.


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Reply #40 on: May 22, 2013, 11:20:21 AM
What more is there to say except this?:
 (snip picture)

I always knew there was a story behind this picture, and Sundae was this story. As someone who grew up with a Steiff-Toy - a rabbit though -  I loved that the protagonist also had a button in his ear.


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Reply #41 on: May 22, 2013, 01:25:31 PM
This reminded me very strongly of Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk.  To me, the other story pulled it off better.  This one wasn't bad, but I didn't have the very emotional reaction to it that the story seemed to be aiming for.  It lost me some when the bear turned out to not be substantial against anything physical, at that point it seemed too explicitly just a regular teddy bear in a regular kid's imagination rather than a fantasy warrior.

I had various stuffed animals, but the one which served as my primary protector was my Pooch Patrol:

I was also a firm believer in tucking the covers under me on all sides, because then the monsters couldn't get me.


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Reply #42 on: July 11, 2013, 06:52:14 PM
This was based off the picture of the teddy bear battling a dragon over a sleeping kid's bed wasn't it? Lovely story. Wasn't all that interested at first but I was drawn in both by the story and the wonderful narrator (he gave me a shudder when he did the dragon's voice. brrrr...) And of course, the ending was poignant indeed, but I found Alasdair's outro far more poignant.

On a side note, I had a stuffed kitty ever since I was little. I kept it in my bedroom dorm in college, and up to now, it's in my son's room. We were going through his toys a couple of weeks ago, and he was like, "Meh, this cat is old. We can toss it." And I was like NOOOOOOOOO!!!

So now it's back in my office. And after this story, I think it will be there to stay.

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Reply #43 on: July 31, 2013, 06:01:19 PM
Dammit, I cannot, CANNOT drive while I'm crying. Beautifully written, beautifully performed. The Velveteen Rabbit meets Pale Rider meets Sampson between the pillars.

The inability of the mythic hero to battle in the age where souls are cold is familiar; American Gods is only the most prominent example in the last few decades.  It was a favorite theme of Bradbury's.  But I've never cared how old a trope was if its execution moved me, and this one did.