Author Topic: CoW Ep. 158: This Is Your Problem Right Here  (Read 2181 times)


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on: February 04, 2016, 06:23:44 PM
Episode 158: This Is Your Problem Right Here by David Steffen

Narrated by Graeme Dunlop

David Steffen writes fiction and code. He is the co-founder of the Submission Grinder, and the editor of Diabolical Plots. His fiction has been published in many great venues including EscapePod and Daily Science Fiction. We haven’t featured one of David’s stories for quite a while, not since way back in 2012 with Episode 55 and his story The Quest Unusual.

This story originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction in November 2012 and if you’re a fan of the Tina Connolley’s EXCELLENT Toasted Cake podcast, you may recognize it from their March 2013 broadcast.

Diabolical Plots Year One fiction line-up can be found here. And check out their Best of 2014 picks for Cast of Wonders!

What more can I say about our narrator this week, the one and only Graeme Dunlop. Graeme is a Software Solution Architect and Voice Actor living in Melbourne Australia. He is the sound producer for the horror podcast Pseudopod, and past host of this very podcast! You can find him on Google+ and he occasionally tweets as @kibitzer on Twitter.

"This is your problem, right here."  The plumber's deep voice resounded from beneath the maintenance hatch by the main pool at Cascade Reef water park.  "You've only got one troll left.  For a pool this big, you need fifty minimum, seventy-five if you want everything to run smoothly."

Click here to listen to Episode 158
Click here to read the text of the story

Tags: amusement park, Cast of Wonders, Comedy, David Steffen, fast food, Graeme Dunlop, Modern Fantasy, mythical creatures, phoenix, swimming pool, trolls, Young Adult fiction


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Reply #1 on: February 15, 2016, 06:07:06 PM
This has been one of my most well-received short stories, in general.

My wife inspired this one when she made a funny comment while we were at a local water park, floating around the lazy river in inner tubes. It was a very hot day, perfect for being at the water park, and she commented that with everyone sitting in the hot sun in the water we were all serving to make a weak human soup.  I thought this was a wonderful comment and decided to consider what one would do with a swimming pool full  of weak human soup.

Another major inspiration for this story was the uncomfortable feeling I (and others) have when dealing with a repair person, most often a plumber or mechanic, when being told the nature of a problem.  It's hard to shake a feeling that the repair person is speaking complete gibberish because they know I won't understand what they're talking about anyway and spending a lot of mental energy trying to sniff out the difference between BS to inflate a repair bill or actual things that need repair.  For me that feeling in that moment is similar to the one Anita feels when she is told that dead trolls are the problem with her water park. 

Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #2 on: February 16, 2016, 04:13:26 AM
I've been in some water parks that veered into "strong human soup" territory. 

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