Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

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mightytwix
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Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by mightytwix » Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:46 pm

Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur
by Jeremiah Tolbert
You can tell the dog owners when they board the plane. They see the black cloud hovering in the first row and their eyes widen in shock, then narrow in fear. When they see so many occupied seats, they smile. It’s a relieved smile that seems to say: “Not for me. Not for mine.”
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Episode art by Ridza Saratoga
Read by Sarah Tolbert
I keep telling you I grow sorghum...

El Barto
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by El Barto » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:11 pm

I loved this week's winning Twabble, where time order changes. Super clever and smart.

The main story this week was good (to me) but not great. I love my pets but it took long to figure out who the narrator was and then it wasn't really clear who we were hearing from. If it was a swarm of sentient nanites that could travel the country and contained the uploaded essence of millions of pets, why couldn't/wouldn't it somehow communicate with the woman who created them?

Similarly, I was frustrated at the tension/confusion about how culpable Laura was in causing the phenomenon. Was she "just" the daughter of a scientist who was young when something happened? Or was she actually technically competent herself enough to do what she claimed which was she "retasked them" and then let them escape?

I don't know what the original purpose of the nanites was but it seems as though "retasking" them to scan and upload the experiences of animals would take a huge amount of technical skill and effort. Maybe I'm just getting caught up in that but how I feel about her depends in part on whether she was an innocent little girl who just loved her doggie, or if she was a reckless scientist who unleashed something on the world that can't be stopped.

A hidden gem in this episode was Norm's mention that we can point potential new listeners to this link to get their first hit of Drabble-y goodness:
https://www.drabblecast.org/new-to-the-drabblecast/

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mightytwix
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by mightytwix » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:58 am

I agree with El barto on many points. For me I didn't get enough sense of the little girl who could not let her dog go from Laura. Her recall to daisy didn't really get that across.

I was really interested in how the author got the story fully formed from a dream. As some who's dreams are rarely this complex I find it amazing. What I would like to know is, did the author have and lose a beloved childhood pet?
I keep telling you I grow sorghum...

peterpatter
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by peterpatter » Wed May 01, 2019 3:09 pm

I'll be the first, and probably not the last, to praise Sarah Tolbert's narration and the musical scoring.

I gave this one an immediate second listen—in part because of the confusing elements mentioned above, but largely just to enjoy the audio again.

pp

Lisa3737
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by Lisa3737 » Wed May 01, 2019 11:17 pm

The last "good dog" in the story made me cry a bit, probably because my 15-year terrier is facing crossing that Rainbow Bridge soon. Also, excellent narration.

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ScubaMan
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by ScubaMan » Fri May 03, 2019 2:29 pm

I had to listen to this episode (again?) to understand it. It really is an impressive piece of fiction.
Spoiler:
This week, my spouse's mother had to euthanize her elderly cat. She now has 1 cat left that's very standoffish and it hurts my mother-in-law's feelings. We have 3 black cats that I know we'll outlive. Thankfully, my spouse & I had a generation of cats before these ones, so I've held my pets while they died. We have our pets euthanized at home -- not the vet office. It doesn't make it easier; however, it helped me be somewhat less fearful of death.
Our pets are little heartbreaks, waiting to happen. Excellent story, eh.

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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by normsherman » Thu May 09, 2019 1:59 am

El Barto wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:11 pm
I loved this week's winning Twabble, where time order changes. Super clever and smart.

The main story this week was good (to me) but not great. I love my pets but it took long to figure out who the narrator was and then it wasn't really clear who we were hearing from. If it was a swarm of sentient nanites that could travel the country and contained the uploaded essence of millions of pets, why couldn't/wouldn't it somehow communicate with the woman who created them?

https://www.drabblecast.org/new-to-the-drabblecast/
This was probably the main criticism of the story over at the Escapepod forums as well when the story first aired there awhile back. A certain patience is required to suspend fully understanding who the narrator is and what's going that lasts a bit longer than a lot of stories that use this device as a way to build tension. I to restart it once or twice myself when first reading it in text to make sure I hadn't missed a key line or something. Ultimately I thought it still started bringing together the pieces enough for me to really enjoy it and I wound up appreciating the first section's ambiguity more for it. I also liked how it left some things still open or unclear by the end, but I definitely get how all readers/listeners have their own preferences as to how much or little is too much or little in these cases.
"Give us all some Jelly"

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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by D00MSDAY » Sat May 11, 2019 3:46 pm

I first heard this on Escapepod, and I loved it then, but this second listen helped me engage with it more fully. Sometimes when something is really good, more of it is revealed if you read/listen again. I loved how it built and coalesced slowly, the revelation near the end about whose family pet was actually about to pass, and then the "Good dog" moment, which made the road blurry a bit as I drove to work. It hurt my heart because it brought back all those moments with animals we have loved, and the question of whether they are still watching over us in some form.

acpracht
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by acpracht » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:31 am

D00MSDAY wrote:
Sat May 11, 2019 3:46 pm
I first heard this on Escapepod, and I loved it then, but this second listen helped me engage with it more fully. Sometimes when something is really good, more of it is revealed if you read/listen again. I loved how it built and coalesced slowly, the revelation near the end about whose family pet was actually about to pass, and then the "Good dog" moment, which made the road blurry a bit as I drove to work. It hurt my heart because it brought back all those moments with animals we have loved, and the question of whether they are still watching over us in some form.
As the narrator who read this when it first aired over at Escape Pod, I very much echo these sentiments.

If you think it made you cry... I was a blubbering mess after ending that recording...

-Adam

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D00MSDAY
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Re: Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Post by D00MSDAY » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:06 am

acpracht wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:31 am
As the narrator who read this when it first aired over at Escape Pod, I very much echo these sentiments.

If you think it made you cry... I was a blubbering mess after ending that recording...

-Adam
Oh wow. Now I have to go back and listen to the EP one again!

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