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Drabblecast 102 - The Last Dog

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:16 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
The Last Dog by Mike Resnick

The man sighed, returned to the hotel, and climbed up to the second floor. There were no rooms with windows intact, but he did find one with half a mattress remaining, and he collapsed upon it. When he awoke, the dog was lying in the doorway, sleeping soundly.

Drabble - Rain in the Wind by Jake Freivald

Music by Bonnie Rideout

Mike Resnick

Drabblecast on CD(!)

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:01 pm
by Goldenrat
This story may not have been very "Drabbley" but I really liked it. I'm a sap for dog stories and Resnick's stories get me every time. I like how the killing of rats was referred to as "pulping" them.

Posted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:55 pm
by Wonko
They just ran this story on Clonepod, but I think there was some sort of editing error that chopped out bits of the story. I'm glad I got to listen to the full thing.

Still, I don't know why I keep reading (and listening) to Resnick stories, they always make me pensive for the rest of the day.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:35 am
by Kevin Anderson
This is my favorite Resnick story on DC so far

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 6:18 am
by cammoblammo
I think we need a warning about Resnick stories. I didn't pick up on that fact until Norm introduced the story itself, and it was too hard to stop then.

I don't know how he does it. He pulled a heap of corny clichés together and stitched them into something truly magnificent. I mean, aliens with ray guns destroy the earth, leaving a man, a dog and a valley full of rabbits. The man dies, and the dog soon forgets him. Until he dies, that is, when he meets his doggy-deity.

Does that really stand up as a story? Not normally. That just shows why we should all hang up our text editors and stop writing. Mike Resnick makes me just want to give up any fantasies I might have about being a published author one day. What's worse, it had the same effect 'Blue' had---it made me want to go outside and play with my dog while we can still appreciate each other.

The drabble was great. It was nice-but-soppy until the very last sentence, which opened up many more questions about the whole story. He made a big thing of the fact that we don't know the time and manner of our deaths (until they come upon us), but he seemed pretty sure about the timing of his own. Hmm...

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:09 am
by Richmazzer
Wonko wrote:They just ran this story on Clonepod, but I think there was some sort of editing error that chopped out bits of the story. I'm glad I got to listen to the full thing.
This was officially the last clonepod episode I gave a shot. Typical, awkward and unbearable kid intro/outro. Meh story with some unintroduced guy reading what seemed his first take of it-- too fast, no feeling-- like someone asked off the street to read something you pulled out of your pocket. Audio fiction can't survive this way can it? Anyone can pay an author $ to read their stories...you actually have to be talented for people to listen, right?
I actually didn't catch any editing/chopping of the story. My theory is that you just payed attention better to this version, because, well, that was clonepod, and this is Drabblecast. That story sucked and this one rocked. It was a totally different experience here.
In audio format, the story is only a little ball of metal-- its the telling that decides if that ball hits you from a slingshot or a bazooka. I dunno if that makes sense, I just like projectiles, that's all.
cammoblammo wrote: I don't know how he does it. He pulled a heap of corny clichés together and stitched them into something truly magnificent.
Does that really stand up as a story? Not normally. That just shows why we should all hang up our text editors and stop writing. Mike Resnick makes me just want to give up any fantasies I might have about being a published author one day.
I can't agree more. My eyes actually teared up at this episode during my cognizant frustration at how it was emotionally manipulative. How did he (and Norm) get away with this? I was like "I'm gonna post how this story was nothing but corny cliches, forced, vapid, over-produced, "... just as the man scratched the dog in the rain, and my eyes began to water up.
This is wham bam thank you mam writing at its best, for me at least. Of course it's trying and despite my knowing that it was, it did. Obviously, this wouldn't have worked anywhere else but here, where Norm tells the stories and not some random unintroduced guy off the street. I won't fight it, Norm and Mike know what's up and "The Other" should just give up, because it ain't happenin.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:07 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I blame Bonnie. You can't help but tear up when somebody's playing one of those Scottish laments. It's simply unfair. It's cheating.

Yes, the story was a mass of clichés, had logical flaws and was almost exactly like the other Resnick dog story. But, gosh darn, I felt all teary too, and I don't even like dogs. I've read/heard stories that had great potential ruined by horrible writing and production. Now I've heard a story that had no potential presented with such extreme competence that it somehow ended up being good anyway.

I'll just finish this thought with "What Cammo said."


As to those logical flaws: How could the alien know the guy was the last man unless it had some way to track him? If it could track him, why did it take six years to hunt him down? That's kind of moot, since the alien is just a plot device to kill the man; he could have been killed by anything. I think it's pretty obvious that the alien was inserted just so Mike could sell the story as science fiction... But I still felt dread when the alien showed up, and my brain still went "NOOoooo....!" when it killed him.

Unfair. Cheating.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:33 pm
by strawman
It is interesting that successful writing requires a kind of musicianship, as if the storyteller plays the reader/listener's emotions like a pipe organ. Rythmn, pace, melody and harmonics, economy...
Anyway, I think the DC is like a musical composition performed by a new orchestra each week, with Norm conducting, arranging, and 'singing' pieces and lyrics by the various authors. Norm and Mike and Bonnie made a great trio.

If it came out at, say, 8 PM each Friday night, DC would be the kind of thing you could bring a date to.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 4:55 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
strawman wrote:If it came out at, say, 8 PM each Friday night, DC would be the kind of thing you could bring a date to.
:D

Funny. I know that Dr. Sax and his girlfriend listen to the Drabblecast together. Depends on who you're dating of course, but, yeah, that works.

Posted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:24 pm
by normsherman
Mr. Tweedy wrote:I blame Bonnie. You can't help but tear up when somebody's playing one of those Scottish laments.
Oh man, me and you both.

Posted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 11:36 pm
by Kevin Anderson
As I said I really liked the story, but, tear up? Really?


Image

Maybe I'm just dead inside. :wink:

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 5:36 pm
by tbaker2500
Three words: Dee Press Ing.

Resnick opened up his tacklebox of emotional hooks, and used them right away. Norm upped the ante of the story and unloaded both barrels of tears on us. I fast forwarded through much of the episode, because I wanted to actually enjoy my day. :D

Posted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:20 pm
by Chivalrybean
Yeah, I heard this on Clonepod too. This version was far better. I just read a story for Clonepod ... I hope I did ok. I learned a lot about my audio hardware after I did that recording, so, I hope it isn't bad.

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:42 am
by Dr. Sax
Drabblecast is a great idea for a date. I would highly recommend it. If your date isn't into it, he/she isn't worth your time. It's a great test to save yourself a lot of trouble. This is a great one to give the idea a try.

There is a rating that I give a lot of productions: It was worth my time and money. Meaning I wasn't disappointed in the least, but I probably won't remember it. But I don't cry, and it takes some very deep ideas to make me wish I did. So I guess I'm the one being unfair now...

Great synths this time around. It was out of tune...and that's why it was good.

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:23 am
by Poppydragon
Much as I hate to say it about a Resnick story, for me this was meh. The cliches came a bit thick and fast and it all ended up feeling really contrived. As a story I much preferred Blue which although playing on similar heart strings felt a little more honest.

One of the best Drabblecasts yet...

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:41 am
by LajesticVantrashellofLob
I'm going to be frank here, and say that this story was the first the first piece of audiofiction that has ever brought tears to my eyes (and the first piece of any kind of fiction since I was seven). I'm really not an emotional guy, but the ending really touched me. The excellent production throughout probably helped that. A+!

My only minor criticism was that the piece didn't really need an alien - it would have been just as touching (and more realistic) if the man died of a disease or something. Plus, the audience would be left wondering about what caused the disaster - a better thing to wonder about than why one "other" decided to wipe out Earth.

Still, the Drabblecast streak of awesome stories (starting with 98 for me) continues on!

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:50 pm
by zZzacha
tbaker2500 wrote: I fast forwarded through much of the episode, because I wanted to actually enjoy my day. :D
You chipmunk'd Norm! That must have been fun :)

I sat down and listened to the whole episode, drowned myself in it. Two of my cats lay down on top and beside me (I'm not big enough to house 2 cats who don't really want to be near each other) and listened to this sad tale about the doggy.
Yep, it was a sad story, the way only Mr.Resnick can write them. Whilst it wasn't as good as Barnaby in Exile (my favorite Resnick story), it was definitely a good story. Very sad and very well read, I enjoyed this one more than I did Blue.

Absolutely agreeing with what is sad before: the combination of great writing, wonderful reading/production and a very cute dog make an excellent DC episode. Again!

Posted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:43 pm
by Kehama
Damn you Resnick! Stop playing with my emotions! I'm tired of being your little misty eyed puppet dancing on the ends of your literary strings. I'm on to you, sir!

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:05 pm
by Talia
Yep, Resnick strikes again. I cried.

Posted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:17 pm
by tbaker2500
I think Norm has a subconscious desire to please Mr. Resnick with the reading of his stories, after getting snubbed on Malish. I can see Norm at home, waiting for Resnick to write and tell him what a great job he did.

That's okay, Norm. We love ya anyway.