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Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Wed May 11, 2016 12:38 pm
by Farseeker
Huh? Whazzup wit dis?

IMO this story had pretty much nothing going right for it.

The recording quality was awful. Distorted and echo-y. As for the narration itself, the style grated. The narrator seemed to be stuck doing some sort of impression of macho tough guy telling of exploits of a combat game - which might work if she was trying to use that tone to convey the personality of the main character, might have worked if she had restricted it to that character's dialogue, but when used consistently throughout the third-person narrative just got tedious and annoying.

As for the writing... Maybe it's a matter of taste, but this was just too surrealistic for me. It just sort of wandered from one scene to another aimlessly with no serious attempt to connect them. It introduced characters with no serious attempt to develop or integrate them. ("Who are you?" "I'm a writer.") ("Who is she?" "I don't know. She calls every once in a while.") ("I didn't know cats could talk." "They can't.") It felt like a junior high school assignment to write a short story where the student stitched together a lot of fantastic and inexplicable things and then wrapped it up with the "But then I woke up. It was all a dream!"

(Disclaimer: I had the same problem with Mur Lafferty's "Heaven" stories, which although they received some high acclaim I just couldn't stick with. Once you have a context in which absolutely anything can happen, motivation to understand what is happening vanishes for me, which in turn saps my inclination to pay attention to what is happening.)

I listen to podcasts while commuting. I was, I don't know, maybe halfway through the story when I got home yesterday, and I'm having a hard time convincing myself to continue with it on my way in this morning. Can't think of when that has happened on a Drabblecast before.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sun May 22, 2016 4:52 pm
by McLaughin
I thought that the story wasn't bad. I would say that it still had that Drabblecast feel to it, it was just the audio quality that really hurt it.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sun May 22, 2016 6:03 pm
by bounceswoosh
I had no issue with audio quality. I just felt like it maybe had a very specific audience that would be familiar with all of the Japanese references and ADORE it - and I wasn't in that audience.

I also kept picturing the protagonist as a Warhammer 40k Space Marine.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Wed May 25, 2016 11:32 pm
by Motsura
I could barely understand the story with the narrator swallowing or mumbling the last few words of each sentence. Oh for the good old days when a narrator simply READ you a story.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Fri May 27, 2016 10:00 pm
by acpracht
Just one little favor to ask from Farseeker:
Can we at least listen to the whole damn episode before posting something this critical?
I'm trying not to be too defensive, but this does feel like you ate the appetizer, didn't care for it, sent it back, and demanded a refund for the whole filet mignon main course without tasting it.
Also, part of my defensiveness is there was a lot going on behind the scenes that you couldn't know about, and Ibba saved my bacon on short notice.
Apart from that... critique away. I know this one was random and crazy (but have you ever watched anime? It's some weird shit sometimes) and was not likely to be everyone's cup of sake, as it were.
A side note: My inspiration for the production and music choices was Cowboy Bebop, which you should absolutely check out.
-Adam

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 8:44 pm
by Max
I love Lauren Beukes and the weirdness of this story appealed to me. I'd like to read/hear more from the world.

The narration would have been fine--I liked the tone of the voice for the narrator-- if the sound quality had been better. I had to go back and read the story to find out what I missed.

Am I the only one to think that the voice on the phone sounded a lot like GLaDOS from Portal.

Oh, and I liked the cat.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sat May 28, 2016 10:28 pm
by bounceswoosh
I also liked the cat. What was it that the cat said? "Cats can't talk!"

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sun May 29, 2016 12:32 am
by Max
I think it went
Unathi: "I didn't know you could talk"
Cat: "I can't"

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:54 pm
by MilesJenson
Hi,

Personally I couldn't figure out if this was a lazy parody or just a mess. The protagonist was bland and seemed to be the author written self insert fantasy, I got serious "myimmortal" vibes from her. i think it was intentional what with the overly descriptive paragraphs of her clothing.And the voice to me with sounded like a teenager going through a goth phase.

The constant references to all things Japanese gave a vibe of someone who with little understanding of the culture shoved a whole lot of iconic, superficial references to compensate, it got a bit ridiculous which is why I think this is a parody (the hello kitty vibrators got a laugh out of me).

To give a comparison say I did a story based in france and wrote "I was at the louvre looking at Mannet's Olympia,eating a croissant covered in escargo when an army of mimes lead by napoleon doing the can-can; the tremor of which caused my barret...ect" (ofcourse I know next to nothing about japan and the subtler stuff probably was lost to me, but then because I no nothing about the culture yet knew all the references..)

The boring character and the "random for random sake" plot made the story excruciating, also ;if it is a parody; the whole "parody about lazy cliched settings often used when dealing with "the exotic" and characters that are author self-inserts" has been done to death. Not the original and strange stories I am used to on Drabble cast.

I don't mean to upset the author (also is this the same person who did "the little mermaid of insmouth?" ). Remember I am a random on the internet, my opinions are not worth **** and will not ruin your career! No editor will go "well I would put your story in this magazine but, there was that random commenter and they do have a degree in biotechnoloy so they probably know alot about creative writing and literary devices and japan...

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 6:50 pm
by MilesJenson
also I google "unathi" and apparently she's a south african singer..am i missing something here?

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:43 pm
by Max
Well, in the story, Unathi says she is from South Africa, Johannesburg I believe, so the name fits.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:29 am
by ayamagali
I did like the story. It was fun and over-the-top, but, like others, I did have to go back and read the story to glean everything. The "Cowboy Bebop" in the background was a nice touch, but I didn't like the narration, as it was tough to hear the lower parts, hence having to read it since I felt I missed a lot. With the narration, I also didn't like the tone. It sounded like a clichéd action movie trailer voice.
All in all, story was fun, but I had to force myself to listen to it, and stop myself from turning it off.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 4:31 am
by Spindaddy
The story was pretty over the top, but I felt like it was more of a lampoon than a serious sort of story. I found it rather enjoyable. The narration was iffy though. I think that it was the echo-y-ness or the hollow sound of the narrator that sort of detracted from the story. Like others, it took me a few tries to get through it.

Re: Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles The Black Hairballs

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2016 4:28 am
by jonathan.frana
The sound quality on this really ruined it for me. I'm catching up on all the old Drabble archives, then played this and could hardly understand the narration, which felt very jarring as it was extremely noticeable. I don't know why it sounded like that, but I'll assume technical difficulties.

Story wise, milesjenson pretty much hit it on the head. I wish it would have been more my immortal-esque, or at least if that's what was intended, commited fully to the idea and just nuked the shark. Maybe it's the fact I've seen stuff like Robo Geisha, Super Sentai, and Tokyo Gore Police and have just become bored with the type of material. Idk