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Drabblecast 084 - Doubleheader 1

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:59 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Feature: Hush and Hark by Michael Swanwick
Feature: Metasciencefiction by Michael Swanwick

"The timid folk of the forest, the fays and voles and field mice and such, said that she was older than the world itself. But when I asked her, she only smiled and said, 'A lady never discusses her age.'"


"That's the great thing about science fiction. If a mainstream story sucks, it just sucks, but if a science fiction story sucks, it still might have dinosaurs... with guns."

Michael Swanwick
Artwork by Jason Van Hallander
Drabble News

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:19 pm
by strawman
"That's the great thing about science fiction. If a mainstream story sucks, it just sucks, but if a science fiction story sucks, it still might have dinosaurs... with guns."

Swanwick is messing with my head,like he's on some power trip from all those Hugo awards. All I've got to do, sez he, is present a T.Rex with a gun, and I can declare myself the winner. Oh, but one more thing... Gotta get Sherman to read it. I know! I'll write a story about receiving an award for writing about Sherman reading my story! Do I put a gun in his hand? Do I make Sherman a T.Rex? A good example of intelligent design.

Hush and Hark was completely different, well told, enjoyed it after listening several times. For some reason, it reminded me of last years Halloween story, with Igor maniacally laughing in the background until Norm capped him.

Swanwick's head might make for an interesting illustration for Bo. I envision it as a hobo lying in an alley, with flies buzzing around the head, but the flies are actually little imaginary bits and pieces, dinosaurs and pixies, plot-bits, what-have-you.

Admirably weird.

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 4:30 pm
by Goldenrat
I was excited to hear that DC would have two Swanrick stories this week. I liked "Hush and Hark". Creepy and good narration and sound effects. Metasciencefiction didn't do much for me. I guess dinosaurs with guns just aren't for me.

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:24 pm
by tbaker2500
I loved it!

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 8:54 pm
by Richmazzer
Dear lord- Hush and Hark- the story, production and perfect reading- was maybe one of the most chilling things I have ever heard. I was taking a walk on a cold October evening while listening and was terrified.

I loved Metasciencefiction too but was a bit jarred by it initially because Hush and Hark affected me so much. I think they should have been in a different order maybe.

drabblenews, hilarious as always

sci fi education

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:19 am
by StalinSays
Sci Fi podcasting is educating me, one author name at a time. Though I think the 'dinosaurs with guns' thesis is irrefutable, the second story was weaker. I guess I'm not deep enough in to the genre scene to get the full value.

Hush and Hark had some excellent visuals, and was exceptional overall. Norm's lengthy intro for the author set the expected watermark pretty high, and with the first word, in came the tide. I'd love to draw something from H&H, but I think it is beyond me.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:36 am
by cammoblammo
Wow, those were two great stories. Hush and Hark was definitely the best. It reminded me of the very little Lovecraft I've read.

On the DrabbleNews: arse kicking is a well entrenched tradition in Australia. Manly gave one to the Melbourne Storm last week. And I've got boot prints all over my posterior, and I like 'em! Folk are just getting a little... weird up in Alice. Heck, you can't even drink in public up there any more, especially if you're black. It's a very odd combination of nanny state and traditional country club conservatism.

Oh, and 'goanna' is pronounced the way it looks--- as in 'go Anna!'

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 1:44 am
by Mr. Tweedy
I voted for Hush and Hark, but I liked Metasciencefiction a lot. It pretty much sums up why I read sci-fi and fantasy almost exclussively: Evwn if the story sucks, there will probably be an interesting idea that makes it worth your time. Non-weird stories lack this advantage.

Hush and Hark fits into that category with Lovecraft and most of the anime I've seen: I wouldn't call it great, but for some reason it hits me just so[\I] and makes me feel like my brain got knocked sideways a few degrees. Great, great atmosphere of both wonder and dread, even though, really, nothing happened. Who is her husband? Beats me, but the idea of seeing something that big and bad just makes your heart say "whoa!" Strange how the fact that Mrs. Underhill misses him makes him seem more menacing. Why is that?

And "Hush and Hark" goes on the honor roll as one of the best titles ever, up there with "Revelation Space", "The Bourne Supremacy", "The Call of Cthulhu" and "The Great Divorce."

Note: I'm laboriously typing this on my iPod because I'm at the hospital with little Clara. Poor booger is pretty sick, but some IV fluids and antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. Gotta love modern medicine. Babies used to die from junk like this, but she'll probably be going back home tomorrow.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:15 am
by tbaker2500
I'm sorry to hear Clara is sick. I'm sure they'll get things healed.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:39 pm
by zZzacha
tbaker2500 wrote:I loved it!
My thoughts exactly!

I'm that one person who voted Metasciencefiction to be the nicest of the two stories in the poll, because I'm a sucker for stories that point out characteristics of a genre/world/humanity/whatever that we normally take for granted.

On the very personal note: Mr Tweedy, lots of love and healing powers to Clara. Get well soon, little one!

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:32 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Enjoyed them both, but Metasciencefiction was my favorite.

Sure is great to hear some big name writers here on the drabblecast.

Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:43 pm
by Aquarello
The first story was a bit too dramatic for my tastes; the second made me smile, probably because I've faced that blank sheet of paper and a deadline so many times, but lacked the imagination and confidence to produce something quite so wonderfully awful. Bravo.

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:08 pm
by Kehama
I dug both of 'em.

While listening to Hush and Hark my mind kinda' drifted during the early moments of the story but once the ancient universe devouring monster showed up my ears decided to kick back into gear. Definitely a darker tone than I've heard on the cast in a while. Or at least that's what my memory tells me.

Metasciencefiction was fun but I feel like I missed a few of the good jokes because this was definitely written for fans that are into the genre pretty deep. And all I kept thinking was that the T-Rex would have to be using a pistol because he'd have a hard time getting a rifle stock up to his shoulder. Poor stubby armed little guys.

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:06 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Mrs. Tweedy weighs in:

Hush and Hark was not her cup of tea. As is often the case, what seems dramatic to me seems melodramatic to her. What gives me chills makes her roll her eyes and say "That is so overdone." She thought the beginning was creepy, but lost interest when the Husband showed up: He was just too bad to take seriously. It reminded her of Lovecraftian it-was-too-horrible-to-describe-but-let-me-describe-it-anyway writing and she's never enjoyed that style. Mrs. Tweedy gives a thumb down.

Metasciencefiction she loved without reservations. She testifies that she laugh out louded several times during it's short length. It succeeded in being a funny satire while being accurately descriptive. Mostly, she says, it reminded her of her oafish husband: It describes his taste in literature and explains his reasons for liking it. She also commented that the time-traveller in love with herself story was so outrageously stupid that she laugh out louded over it even before she realized that the whole thing was supposed to be satirical. Mrs. Tweedy gives two thumbs up.

Posted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:12 pm
by tbaker2500
I now know that I like Mrs. Tweedy.

Re: 84 - "Hush and Hark" "Metasciencefiction" - Michael Swan

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:16 pm
by Unblinking
Mr. Tweedy wrote: "That's the great thing about science fiction. If a mainstream story sucks, it just sucks, but if a science fiction story sucks, it still might have dinosaurs... with guns."

I wonder if that was the inspiration for "Rejiggering the Thingamajig"? But add in that the dinosaur is a Buddhist vegeterian children's book author, and the gun is self-aware, self-actuating, with the voice of Yosemite Sam.

Re: Drabblecast 084 - Doublheader 1

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:15 pm
by sandrilde
Liked the first story - think the narration added a LOT to it (made it very creepy) - LOVED the seond one. The satire was just spot-on. And Norm's commentary at the end was, too.

This is one of those cases where I had to look up the author and see - with relief! - that yes, there will be more to come. Cheers!