Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to

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Algernon Sydney is Dead
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Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:00 pm

Feature: On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy by Desmond Warzel
Drabble: Not From Around Here by Derek Manuel
Genres: Strange

Image

Sunday, October 5th, 2014
You're listening to the Mike Colavito Show on Cleveland's home for straight talk, WCUY 1200. The opinions expressed on this program do not reflect those of WCUY, its management, or its sponsors.

Fair warning; I'm in a mood today, folks.

We've got a mayor whose only talent seems to be showing up at luncheons and waving at the cameras.

Eighty bucks I had to pay yesterday for not wearing my seatbelt. Show me the seatbelts on a school bus.

Read by: Dave Robison, Mike Boris, Rish Outfield, Mat Weller, Nathan Lee, Ray Sizemore and You!
Episode Art: Jonathan Sims
First appeared on SFReader, 2009


Twabble: “ Peter wiped Tootle’s blood from his mouth. Another saved from growing up. Wings flew him away to look for more lost boys. ” by MonsieurMoustache

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby SpareInch » Mon Oct 06, 2014 6:30 am

I've heard this one before somewhere, but this reading was much better. The full cast brought out the idea of listening to a radio show perfectly.

Incidentally, I suppose you ought to know that here in the UK, we define an American as, "Someone who, unable to find any conspiracy theories to believe in, automatically assumes the government must be keeping them all under wraps." ;)
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby chacha » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:21 am

Loved everything about this, especially the great job done by "Mike" and the random Jason Avery/Broken clips!

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Penman Bland » Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:31 pm

That's the sort of production to give Arch Oboler a run for his retrospective money. Magnificent, and certainly worth the amount of work it turned into.
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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby LiteraryAlchemist » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:19 pm

This was an absolute blast to record, but the production was through the ROOF! I remember Norm asking people to call in and leave scripted messages, but I had no idea how they were going to be used. It dovetailed beautifully into the motif. Definitely a Drabblecast for the books!
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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:08 pm

Thank you for your help and your kind words.

Welcome aboard, LiteraryAlchemist!

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby swamp » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:00 pm

Everything about this was beautiful and majestic! From Dave Robison as Mike, to all of the voice mail lines, to the radio tuning during the breaks (something I'm fond of), to well everything. Let's just say you had me at "It's the Sinclairs!" Awesome call back! Does anybody else remember that one. I also laughed hard at Machio House. "Well it did matter, didn't it Ralph? It mattered to the bundt cake."

I've said it before, and I''ll say it again - Norm Sherman: God. Of. Podcasting.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby strawman » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:49 pm

What a cool idea, nicely executed. Dave Robison should actually have a talk show... And then he should just sit back one day and play this.
WotW caused panic back in the days when people trusted the government. Now that no one trusts the government, Dave might conceivably be arrested as a terrorist.
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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Chairman Goodchild » Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:54 pm

strawman wrote:What a cool idea, nicely executed.


I'm sure it lead to some hard work among the production staff, but it was a great thing to get the fans involved with this production. A very enjoyable episode.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby El Barto » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:26 am

Damn good episode. Hilarious, thought-provoking, and wonderful to hear all our favorite voices. Great casting.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Sphinx » Fri Oct 17, 2014 8:48 pm

Why isn't Dave Robison on radio?
Why isn't Dave Robison on radio?
WHY ISN'T DAVE BLEEPIN' ROBINSON ON THE BLOODY RADIO?

He should be, or at least his voice belongs there, is what I'm saying.

This episode was hilarious (I actually laughed out loud) and the production is perfection. So worth it.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby SpareInch » Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:01 pm

Sphinx wrote:Why isn't Dave Robison on radio?
Why isn't Dave Robison on radio?
WHY ISN'T DAVE BLEEPIN' ROBINSON ON THE BLOODY RADIO?

He should be, or at least his voice belongs there, is what I'm saying.

This episode was hilarious (I actually laughed out loud) and the production is perfection. So worth it.


Yeah, this story might as well have been written for him. Have you checked out his Round Table Podcast?

I'm sorry to admit I only started listening a few days ago, but I found myself downloading back issues just to hear more. It's great fun, even if you aren't into writing.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Sphinx » Sun Oct 19, 2014 3:12 pm

SpareInch: I have not, but am always on the lookout for new podcasts. Thanks for the tip, mate!

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby SpareInch » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:32 pm

http://www.roundtablepodcast.com

You'll be yelling at your iPod, shouting, "NO! DON'T WRITE THAT! WRITE THIS!"
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Spindaddy » Sat Oct 25, 2014 4:28 am

This was pretty awesome. The outro should have just been "BOOM" drops Mic. Steps fade. Outro music.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:12 am

Awesome episode, the story production and narration was top notch.
Norm's station breaks pushed it up a whole new level too. EG: "West Side Hardware" :D

Too bad the evil aliens forgot about the tape-delay. :P (Can be as high as 5 minutes on some shows.) And due to limited AM bandwidth and typical audio compression used by every commercial station, the alien signal would be blocked on AM. Maybe only FM listeners, slash the NPR crowd, would be memory wiped vis-à-vis the aliens. (Which would explain much, perhaps.)


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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Algernon Sydney is Dead » Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:23 pm

Call me biased, but the Escape Pod production was not even in the same ballpark as Norm's.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby Desmond Warzel » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:28 pm

Author here with some final observations.

Shortly after the episode was released, Rish asked me on Facebook what I thought of the production. At the time, I had just listened to it, and I was so blown away that I was forced to admit I didn't have the words to describe how I felt. And now that some time has passed and I've had a chance to reflect, I still don't. Let me put it this way: although I haven't served as long in the podcasting trenches as some, I've now had six stories podcast a total of seven times; and one thing I've noticed, which is probably true of most writers, is that the audio version of the story sounds nothing like it did in my head. This isn't a bad thing; it's inevitable. But now, with this episode, I have the privilege of hearing a story performed almost exactly as I imagined it while writing (I hope every writer gets a chance to feel that way; it would bring a tear to a glass eye.). Dave pulled off Mike Colavito perfectly: not ignorant, not a blowhard, not overly-clever--just a genuinely-witty working-class guy (a type that's depicted all too rarely, especially these days when people think "wit" means being able to hold an entire conversation in Monty Python quotes.)

The elephant in the room. Some people said they thought the story seemed familiar, and as Chairman Goodchild has confirmed, it was indeed an episode of Escape Pod in 2011. Obviously I prefer this new version, but I want to avoid beating up on the old version too much, because 1) I was extremely grateful even to be on Escape Pod (and have yet to duplicate the achievement, or make the cut elsewhere at Escape Artists), and 2) it's pointless to criticize Escape Pod for not being something it was never meant to be. This is a story that cries out for extra production work and multiple voices, and Escape Pod isn't known for these things (though I did appreciate the little phone voice effect to differentiate the callers from the host).

The story was read by a fellow named Joshua McNichols, and while he was the polar opposite of what I had in mind regarding voice and demeanor, he develops a distinct smarminess as the story progresses that I think is effective as an alternate interpretation of the character. Furthermore, I'm pretty sure that there were some hectic goings-on behind the scenes at Escape Pod at the time (they were issuing a lot of apologies to waiting submitters in those days), and I imagine Joshua was hastily handed a text and asked to do his best, and I've always been thankful to him for his performance.

Feedback. The Drabblecast audience seems to be a much more magnanimous sort than the Escape Pod cohort; at least it took you guys a little longer to start finding my mistakes. Algernon Sydney's nits are substantive, and likely correct (I'm the last person you should ask about stuff like that). I'm inclined to lean on the aliens' "sufficiently advanced technology" simply trumping the limitations of AM radio that Algernon cites. Alternately, I had also conceived that the aliens' signal (or part of it) was an actual sound wave--or some other signal that mimics sound waves--aimed directly at Mike's microphone and going out over the air in the usual way. I don't know if that helps or not, but it's about as far as I can intelligently take the issue.

(The Escape Pod thread is here, if anyone's interested. Most of the nits, if I recall, were about recorded versions of the alien signal--as on an mp3 of the program archived as a podcast, for instance. [As author, I declare that recorded versions of the signal function normally.] Some people wondered about people who stop listening partway through the recording and don't hear the signal. I say it's just not possible that someone listening to that last alien's story wouldn't eventually listen through to the end. It just isn't.)

Based on a true story. This actually happened, kind of. Mike Colavito is based on a real radio host in Cleveland, who has a talk show every afternoon from three to seven unless interrupted by Indians or Cavaliers coverage. He covers all topics, which is why this wasn't specifically a sports show or a politics show, for instance. One afternoon, he broke in on the Rush Limbaugh Show at about a quarter to three and told everyone to go out and look at the northern sky over Lake Erie and come back in at three for the show. Sure enough: uncountable jet trails. It was the most I'd ever seen. Much of the show was then dedicated to a discussion of them, with someone eventually calling in and explaining that while it was a more-crowded-than-usual intersection of commercial flights, there are always more planes in the sky than can ordinarily be seen--except under certain weather and atmospheric conditions, which we were now experiencing. Nobody really possessed sufficient knowledge to question the notion, so the explanation was reluctantly accepted and the subject dropped (except in my imagination).

Miscellany:

Ahmed really is Patrick's minder, but I never decided whether Patrick was a political prisoner or an ordinary criminal, so I don't know which of them is telling the truth. It may be that they both are, as they understand it, but in the long run it won't matter anyway.

The "waterboarding" reference dates the story a little, but when I wrote it in 2008, alleged acts of torture were still being discussed in the media. These days, anyone under sixteen probably thinks that was a surfing reference. I recall reading about a writer (I forget whom, or whether he was famous, or when he lived) who thought that all of his work ought to have copious footnotes from the first printing onward, knowing that if his books stayed in print long enough, everyday references would become unintelligible. This is one instance where I concur, because in fifty years (not that I'll be around), I imagine things will be so bad, or so weirdly different, that nobody will believe (without evidence, anyway) that splashing water in someone's face was once the great moral conundrum of the age.

This story was originally almost twice the length in its original draft. I enjoy writing dialogue, and sometimes I get carried away. There was, for instance, one scene where Mike sends an intern outside with a cell phone to describe the jet trails, and all sorts of wackiness ensues between the clueless intern and the frustrated host. It slowed the story way down and didn't advance the plot, so the listeners email Mike pictures instead. There were many more callers, too.

And, finally: this year I happened to read Harlan Ellison's 1982 collection Stalking the Nightmare, which contains a story called "The Hour That Stretches," about a radio show that ends with a most unusual caller. Harlan can be litigious, so I should probably go on record that I'd never heard of his story at the time I wrote this one; it only appeared in a 1982 issue of F&SF, which I've never seen, or the above-mentioned collection, which I only just read. Pure coincidence. But just in case, let's maybe not tell him, okay?

Thanks all.

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Re: Drabblecast 340 - On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way

Postby tbaker2500 » Tue Nov 25, 2014 4:23 am

Wow. Just... wow.

This story was hilarious. Great format. Excellent execution.
Production was brilliant. The perfect execution of this story.
integration of the DC community was amazing. Loved it.
Going to be a favorite of mine for a long time.
The end took a dark turn, but it worked. Could have been equally fun without the destruction of all high societies, but I'm an optimist.

Truly great work.
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