Drabblecast 176 - Cinderlands

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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Mikes » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:11 am

Richmazzer wrote:The whole police brutality thing seemed a little tacked on and out of place to me,

I had the opposite feeling to this. The story demanded the character be alone and cut off from help, and the police's attitude toward him certainly filled this need. Tim could perhaps have replaced 'brutality' with 'shot with a taser' but I've read enough similar news stories that it did not stick out as unlikely to me.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Goldenrat » Mon Aug 30, 2010 4:12 am

Loved this one. Creepiness around every corner. At first I wasn't too thrilled about the ending, I thought it was too abrupt but after second listen I thought it worked.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by SeldonCrisis » Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:04 am

As much as my husband would hate to hear me say it, I'm just not a Lovecraft kind of gal. I like the idea of HP, but not so much the writing. My attention span isn't quite long enough, and vocabulary much too small.

I thought that Tim Pratt taking on the Lovecraftian would keep HP's famous sense of horror but bring the writing down to my level and I was really really looking forward to this story scaring the bejeezes out of me. It didn't quite do it, though. I should have listened to it in the middle of the night, when the sounds of the monster cockroaches scurrying about in our new home can best be heard. Now that I think about it, maybe we shouldn't have left the cockroaches at the disposal of our cats. I wouldn't want them to end up like Ninja-man. Maybe I'll rethink that strategy.

I do agree that the name of the story was awesome, and that probably got my hopes up just as much as knowing who the author was.

Production and reading were, as usual, top notch and truly appreciated.

Best creepy DC story in my opinion is still "Synesthesia" from Episode 92. The description of the zombie-like mother slithering across the room and the child's blood-curdling scream--still gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Phenopath » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:14 pm

My favourite parts of the story were not the rats in the wall (which I found a little OTT in the Lovecraft version), but rather the horror of gardening. I enjoyed the succession of vile objects uncovered in the backyard, the perverted fruit trees and the horrid old neighbour. The mingling of the weird and the everyday (something Tim does very well in all of his stories) is more interesting (to me) than the histrionics of the denouement.

For this reason I also liked Scattercat's drabble.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by moonowl » Wed Sep 01, 2010 10:03 pm

Great story it has to be right up there with my favorite Pratt stories. I especially had an easy time imagining this took place in old apartment I lived in. It was a converted old house to apartments in a marginal neighborhood. It had been split up in odd ways and had unexpected and weirdly angled walls, and even a staircase to nowhere. The back yard was over grown with half buried car parts and bits of garbage.

I love how the 'rats' seem to increase in size (or do actually increase) as they get farther away. A subtle yet horrific reversal of our normal perceptions of objects getting smaller in the distance.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by thaddeuspresley » Wed Sep 08, 2010 7:11 pm

I Loved It. Digging In My Yard Is Now My #1 Hobby.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Leprejuan » Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:50 am

Sorry for the late feedback.

I was lukewarm on this one for first listen. I had really high expectations, mixing Pratt, Drabble, and Lovecraft. My first Drabblecast was Annabelle's Alphabet as was my first Pratt. I had a lot of listening and reading to do during the fall of '09. I expected some of that oppressive feel of moral connection that I associate with Tim Pratt. If you think of the "young husband" of Annabelle's Alphabet or the narrator of Jubilee, each has particular failures that haunt them in a thematic manner. In the Marla Mason stories, the conflicts usually have to do with the failings of the heroes and the way they beat the villains often has to do with how far they are NOT willing to go compared to the villains, who are willing to go further.

The main character here did nothing worse than sue when badly abused by cops. (And WOW - I was listening to This American Life on NPR this week about the NYPD guy who refused to meet quota; the article sure made the the unbelievable response on the phone that much more believable.) He dies in a Lovecraftian manner, slain by an uncaring universe that is so much larger than he, but I wanted him to have a particular failing to deserve it, the way the villain of the mystery story almost always get his due. I was a little let down, despite the fact that Nyarlathotep showed up as the LITERAL opener of the door.

Second listen was much better. Shed of my particular expectations, I was able to enjoy what was there. I noticed the Old Man Next Door mentioning that he only came out "when the weather was right" and equated it with the "stars being right" on the first listen, but it picked up more depth on the second time through. Noticing how he kept being blamed for OPENING THE DOOR amused me immensely.

Second time through, I was wincing through the digging parts - very Pratt-hits-Lovecraft with the rotten things within the seemingly normal facade of Lovecraft being applied to a backyard garden. It reminded me more than a little of the household gods of Little Gods.

I also loved the idea of inverted perspective, as Euclidian space was invaded by other rules and the poor character was made to feel how big he really was. Reminds me of a humorously creepy comics villain the Mathemagician who has the power to make you experience actual relationships of size and distance.

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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Lucid » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:52 am

So I'm arriving late to this party and everyone is already passed out on the floor in puddles of their own offal, but I REALLY liked this story. I think it's my favorite one on the podcast thus far.

This story reminded me of everything I love about Ramsey Campbell and Thomas Ligotti. There were elements I didn't like and I agree the bit involving the police seemed unnecessary. I thought the rats having alien eyes and the fact that we know what we happened to the unfortunate protagonist didn't do the eerie atmosphere which had been cultivated any favors, but that atmosphere had been done well enough so that the author could have ended the story with The Fonze water skiing over a shark and it would still be one of my favorites. The creepy things the protagonist dug up in his back yard were excellent. I would have loved more description of the house itself. And while I thirst for more knowledge of the strange cult which had previously inhabited the house, I think that thirst is perfect and crystalline and should not be spoiled by any actual such knowledge. Also, I would love for a little more of the weird old man from next door.

This story whetted my appetite for the bizarre made me dig out my old Ligotti and Campbell and some Joyce Carol Oates. More like this please!

Also, I thought the reference to Lovecraft's unfortunately named cat was a well placed tip of the hat.

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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by eric_marsh » Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:16 pm

I enjoyed this story. I agree that the police brutality part felt a bit tacked on but it did serve a purpose in the story. Definitely had an HP Lovecraft feel to it.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Mikes » Sun Oct 03, 2010 11:27 pm

Well looks like I'm the only in favour of police brutality.

Wow, that came out wrong.
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Re: Drabblecast 176- Cinderlands by Tim Pratt

Post by Unblinking » Fri Oct 29, 2010 3:31 pm

I loved Lovecraft month (A Pratt AND a Levine, both on the theme of cosmic horror--wow!), and this story in particular.

I loved the title, loved the backyard garden with the weird objects and the rotten plants that grow out of it. I enjoyed the apparently nonexistent neighbor--I figured he'd turn out to not exist, but the fact that I realized this did not diminish my enjoyment of his presence. I loved the reversal of perspective at the end. The eyeball rats weren't the strong point, they were creepy, but it seems like nothing ominous revealed is ever as bad as you imagined it being.

And thanks for including the origins of the story explanation. I thought it was awesome that his neighbor had actually told him it was The Cinderlands, and that he wrote this story with no idea what that meant--that's friggin awesome. :)

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Re: Drabblecast 176 - Cinderlands

Post by Varda » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:58 pm

Man, Tim Pratt has such range. Hard to believe the same guy that wrote "Annabelle's Alphabet" and "Jubilee" wrote this one and "Bone Sigh". Like Tim Burton, perhaps - all sunshine and shadows. Also, both are Tims - coincidence??

On another note, this episode completes my archive crawl! Weird to be finishing in the same Lovecraft month where I first started listening to the Drabblecast, back when I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Feels all Mobius Strip-ish, like I should just keep going again with Episode 177 onwards, then back.

Ah, well; there's always the B-sides! :D
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Re: Drabblecast 176 - Cinderlands

Post by tbaker2500 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:35 pm

Yay!! You're done! No need to listen anymore.
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Re: Drabblecast 176 - Cinderlands

Post by Varda » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:36 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:Yay!! You're done! No need to listen anymore.
YEAH! I can quit anytime I want! *twitch* :lol:
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