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Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:11 pm
by Etaan
Norm's Halloween rants always bring the thunder. Loved it.

I also enjoyed the story, but only after a second listen. I had some serious whiplash from about the point when Grandpa stormed outside the house until he was reacting to the cowboy android. Threw the rest of the story off for me. But once I knew what was going on, the second time around really flowed quite well and - in an indication of any great serial - I was really bummed when I realized that the episode was ending.

A hearty "well done" to all the voice actors as well.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:25 pm
by DKT
Hey all - thanks for all the comments and feedback! Glad you enjoyed it (if you did, and if you didn’t – thanks for listening), and glad I got to play in Kevin's sandbox with this one :)

To all those who want to know how the collaboration went down, allow me to pull back the curtain:

At the end of the summer, I got a phone call. The female voice on the line said, "D.K. Thompson? Please hold for Kevin Anderson."

Despite nobody ever calling me D.K., my mind went to awesome. "Huh? Cool! I always loved his Jedi Trilogy books!"

"No, no. Not that Kevin Anderson. This is Kevin "No J" Anderson."

"Oh, um. Well. Okay. I guess."

Some elevator music reminiscent of Star Trek music plays, then abruptly cuts to what sounds like sound effects from Left 4 Dead 2. Although - how do I know it was just sound effects? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

Then Kevin's on the line. "D.K., tell me...do you like Westworld?"

"Are you kidding? I LOVE Westworld."

"Excellent...I've got a partial rough draft on something I want to talk to you about collaborating on."

And it kind of went from there.

No, I actually kind of knew Kevin from Drabblecast and Pseudopod, and had Beta-read an early version of Night of the Living Trekkies for him, so I was pretty stoked when he called me. Kevin told me what he had in mind, sent me his partial draft of Act I. I read over it and told him where I wanted to go with it, and fortunately he bought off on that, and I started cranking away. I hacked away at the manuscript and sent him a draft of the whole thing, which he hacked away at and sent back to me. We did that a little more, and voila. I’ve never collaborated with another author before and it was tons of fun. Eventually, we sent it in. And then we got some feedback from Norm and Matt and did some more work on it. That was pretty much it, really.

Except I'm pretty sure at some point Kevin said, "Hey, D.K., you the bomb in Superspiff and the Toothpick Kid, yo!"

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:44 pm
by DKT
I'm somewhat hesitant to comment regarding feedback of the story, because I don't want anyone to feel like they can't say what they thought of the story. (You can!) At the same time, I like it when authors pop up in story threads. So hopefully you all don't mind me adding a little more...and hopefully I don't sound completely self-indulgent.

I've always been enjoyed stories where I see something, and looking at it - I realize it's hinting at something more, and even though I don't know what the bigger picture is, I dig that there's something else obviously going on. Which is basically what we tried to do in the opening scenes. We planted hints and clues that alluded to a bigger picture (Kyle comparing the cemetery to watching scary movies or going to haunted houses, Crichton telling Kyle to "Not panic" and "Take it easy" when the zombies first attack and his general bemusment, everyone else's amusement, a reference to Kyle's training/orientation, etc.). There was at least one other that got cut when we were trying to trim back the word count.

So for me, referencing the bigger picture without completely explaining what's going on is part of the fun, but YMMV. That said, if those references weren't in there, I'd agree that it was, erm. Less than clever misdirection? Lying? Cheating? (Although who am I to say? It may have been all that anyway :) )

Anyway - thanks again for all the feedback, and looking forward to hearing what you all think of Part 2 (and hearing it myself)!

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:11 pm
by swamp
ejbman wrote:Finally noticed this thread. Thanks for the kudos folks! I personally felt my performance was kind of weak, so it means a lot to get compliments. :oops:

I have a particular fondness for Tom's and Marshall's voices, which are just plain... the audio equivalent of 'photogenic'. Everybody did great though.
It's interesting how our perception of our own stuff is. We are hard self critics. I think your voice is quite 'audiogenic'.

BTW I forgot to say I like J. E.'s cowboy voice and look forward to hearing more this week.
ejbman wrote:Having said all that, I tried to model my voice after the character of Angleton in the audio productions of Charles Stross's Laundry series. I'd be curious if anyone else has heard those.
I have. I heard the Christmas one last year and part of another, but I can't remember from where.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:41 am
by tbaker2500
Yes, we all think our own voices suck.
I think the only actor we haven't heard from is Selena?

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:38 am
by swamp
DKT wrote:So for me, referencing the bigger picture without completely explaining what's going on is part of the fun, but YMMV. That said, if those references weren't in there, I'd agree that it was, erm. Less than clever misdirection? Lying? Cheating? (Although who am I to say? It may have been all that anyway :) )
Yeah, I think a little "whoa what's going on" factor is fun as a reader. If this were a movie (which the story is certainly satirizing), this is how it would play out. However, I realize written stories provide a deeper look into the action and characters.

Looking at it in more detail, maybe it is simply the sudden use of the word "android" that causes a jarring effect. It wasn't used until Grandpa started ripping off faces. Maybe something like "wires and gears emerged instead of flesh and blood" would be a more comfortable transition than exchanging androids for zombies all of a sudden. I don't know, I liked it regardless, but I can see where Unblinking is coming from.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:18 am
by themorg
tbaker2500 wrote:Yes, we all think our own voices suck.
I think the only actor we haven't heard from is Selena?
I dont

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:24 pm
by Etaan
themorg wrote:
tbaker2500 wrote:Yes, we all think our own voices suck.
I think the only actor we haven't heard from is Selena?
I dont
You are a significant exception. The voice people hear when they talk is quite different from what others hear. When provided a recording of something they said, most people pull a Homer Simpson and are shocked to find out what they actually sound like.

Also, what is Westworld?

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:44 pm
by swamp
Etaan wrote: Also, what is Westworld?
It is a 1973 movie written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton. Here is a trailer.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:50 pm
by Unblinking
themorg wrote: Last week i protested for the second time ever. It was an employer that hired on the bias of no bearded men. and a bunch (20 or so) of bearded men went and stood very quietly outside the establishment for an half hour. Sadly i think we need new tactics because people thought we were a flash mob next time we will have a sign.
Isn't it illegal to have such a policy? (Okay, I'm not sure that is, but it very well ought to be if it isn't)

When I was in college I was told not to bother filling out an application because the male employees weren't allowed to have long hair (I had hair down to my shoulders at the time). I was a bit tempted to start singing "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign", particularly the line "long haired freaky people need not apply." And get this, they were a friggin Hollywood Video. Right, because any customer in a video store is going to be offended that their male cashier has long hair in the year 2002? Riiiiight.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:56 pm
by Unblinking
themorg wrote:
tbaker2500 wrote:Yes, we all think our own voices suck.
I think the only actor we haven't heard from is Selena?
I dont
Me neither. :) But I keep putting off buying recording equipment and volunteering, because I always worry, not that my voice will sound bad, but that I'll be barraged by "Did he record this inside a tin can?" comments and will make some author's story unlistenable.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:06 pm
by Unblinking
swamp wrote: Looking at it in more detail, maybe it is simply the sudden use of the word "android" that causes a jarring effect. It wasn't used until Grandpa started ripping off faces. Maybe something like "wires and gears emerged instead of flesh and blood" would be a more comfortable transition than exchanging androids for zombies all of a sudden. I don't know, I liked it regardless, but I can see where Unblinking is coming from.
That was a big, big part of it. At that point, I lost track of the story entirely for half a minute or so while my mind raced ahead trying to figure out where this was going. Since there were apparently already 2 layers of tropes layered atop each other, I thought maybe the entire story would continue, peeling back the layers one by one (this was reinforced by the intro which seemed at the time to be suggesting such a thing). Such as:
1. Zombies attack in a graveyard, but they turn out to be
2. androids, but this is just a
3. VR simulation, run by
4. Aliens who have trapped humanity in a virtual world while they take over the planet, but this is
5. Just a strange manifestation of an afterlife, and ALL of this is
6. just a dream of an otherwise ordinary data processing employee who has fallen asleep at his desk, and this employee is
7. Just a hallucination of a dog who licked a poisonous tree frog.

Oddly, this seemed reinforced when we jumped to the control room reporting the problems in the graveyard to the park administrator--I said AHA! So it's all just a VR simulation. Oh, it's an amusement park, well that could work too! --And then the rest of my prediction fell apart completely when I realized there was no layer above the amusement park. I'm not sure the story I envisioned could have really worked, but it might've if it were played to the point of absurdity for comic effect.


Btw, if it weren't for this story, I would never have considered that, should we ever come against a threat of facehuggers, we should send the headless horseman to deal with them. Thanks for that. :)

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:57 pm
by dreamrock
Unblinking wrote:
themorg wrote: Last week i protested for the second time ever. It was an employer that hired on the bias of no bearded men. and a bunch (20 or so) of bearded men went and stood very quietly outside the establishment for an half hour. Sadly i think we need new tactics because people thought we were a flash mob next time we will have a sign.
Isn't it illegal to have such a policy? (Okay, I'm not sure that is, but it very well ought to be if it isn't)

(...)
As far as I know, in the US it is perfectly legal to discriminate on the basis of facial hair or male hair length. This is especially true in the food service industry where it is considered a safety problem despite the fact that there are ways to ensure facial hair won't get into food.

One of the two "speedy food-like product" establishments that I worked for years ago also had vastly discriminatory hair requirements for men. I won't mention which one, but you've heard of them and they're everywhere. Everywhere. A different one I worked for had a unisex hair requirement: "Hair must be neat." Brilliantly simple and non-discriminatory.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:06 pm
by strawman
dreamrock wrote: "Hair must be neat." Brilliantly simple and non-discriminatory.
And both broad and subjective enough that they could fire you for parting it on the wrong side.

"Fosdick, I want you to know your sex-change operation has nothing to do with your firing. That would not be legal.
No, it's your baldness. Regs say your hair must be neat, and you have none, ergo..."

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:40 pm
by dreamrock
strawman wrote:
dreamrock wrote: "Hair must be neat." Brilliantly simple and non-discriminatory.
And both broad and subjective enough that they could fire you for parting it on the wrong side.

"Fosdick, I want you to know your sex-change operation has nothing to do with your firing. That would not be legal.
No, it's your baldness. Regs say your hair must be neat, and you have none, ergo..."
Hah. Well, if they were jerks about it, yes. My experience overall is that individual managers will interpret things as they will. If you're well-liked by the manager, you can be five minutes late or more every day and still be "on time." If you're not well-liked, five minutes early isn't on time enough. When it comes to things like discriminatory hair policies, you may get a job and then find they won't give you raises with that as an excuse because you really do deserve a raise, but they don't want to give you one because their profit margin goes down ever so slightly.

But if a policy isn't there in the first place, it's a lot harder to use it as an excuse.

Fortunately, the corporate side of that chain was pretty good. If corporate policy was the only factor and the pay in food-like vendors wasn't so horrible, I'd highly recommend that chain to anyone as a potential employer. Whereas the other one was pretty bad on the corporate side and that policy was just a small piece in a much larger picture of jerkiness.

This is getting a bit off topic though. Horror World! Whoo! :D

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:05 pm
by moonowl
DKT wrote: Then Kevin's on the line. "D.K., tell me...do you like Westworld?"

"Are you kidding? I LOVE Westworld."
HA! I was just coming to comment that youse guys must have also been wigged out/fascinated like I was by Westworld at a young age. Just so you know someone got the reference, good job! :lol: I'm jabbing at my ipod impatiently for Part 2.

I love the full cast of characters, awesome. Fans: we work cheap. :lol:

So the intro was for me as much fun as a barrel of face huggers. I'm sorry Norm, for the first time ever,it got REALLY old fast. I love puns. Tatas are great too. Just I really thought I was trapped listening to a 6 year old who just learned the word "boobies" was naughty and fun to say. It just was a joke that went on and on.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:20 pm
by Praxis
I forgot to say......I would LOVE to go to a theme park/horror park/amusement park/uhhhhh....robot park that had working animatronic face-huggers.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:25 pm
by Praxis
I hope they were (only) animatronic anyways.

Otherwise it's a bit of a different story than I imagined.
And I'd be less inclined to visit such an apparently alien-infested park if I'm honest.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:59 am
by themorg
Unblinking wrote:Isn't it illegal to have such a policy? (Okay, I'm not sure that is, but it very well ought to be if it isn't)


It is to a point but each state allows differing laws concerning it. Kansas, for example, is a "right to work" state and there they can let you go for lots of reasons but you can quit for a lot of reasons also. there has not been a reason of termination/bias to hire that has made it to the supreme court because of long hair/beards without religious reasoning. currently there are 3 religious lies about how to have a beard and not get fired.

1. Vow of the Nazarite
2. Sikhism
3. Orthodox Jews

out side that i have never heard of legitimate religious reasons for beard growth. I told them i was Sikh but was waiting for my hair to grow so i could properly wear a turban as i was a new convert and that worked until i was asked to cut my hair and beard and i quit.

Re: Drabblecast 184- Horror World 2025

Posted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:40 am
by Phenopath
Boo, cancer!