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Drabblecast 138 - Kingdom Come

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 6:26 pm
by normsherman
Drabble- Absent Minded Professor by Peter Recore

Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Oh, it’s been comin’. You can hear it at night when the refugee traffic quiets down. Distant crashes, muffled thuds. Those spindly trees fall over in the front lines and advance the jungle another 15 meters. Or sometimes, it just sounds like soap bubbles fizzing down to scum...

Artwork by Skeet Scienski

Music by Robert Rich and Goma

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:11 pm
by Phenopath
I give this episode an unreserved WOOT.

I am fascinated by the concept of the post-human landscape, although in this case the humans are still about... they just have to get out of the way fast. I also like the main character, an aged hard-arse and the only man with the balls to take the new reality at face value.

Norm is clearly an old geezer at heart - I do not think that he was acting.

You already know that I like the drabble, good job Peter

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:22 pm
by ROU Killing Time
Agree on the drabble, and that Norm is well-practiced for his golden years. Great to hear a fine drabble turned golden with hiis rendering. Gonna have to give a go at dialog in one of mine. Something with a zany character, and make it good enough to make the cut. Norm's narrative is wonderful, but his characterizations are over the top.

As for the story, I have a soft-spot for old-geezer spacers. Must have been all that Heinlein I read in my younger days, and there was a touch of cranky old Lazarus Long in this. Very enjoyable, and I'll be stopping by Powell's Book Store next trip back to Portland to pick up some of Kay's stuff. Felt like I owed it to her, after the nice things she said about my drabble. now I feel like I owe it to myself to give them a read, after hearing this story.

p.s., sounds like you've recovered from your encounter with aersolized pig-brains, Norms. Glad to hear you are feeling better.

p.p.s. If you ever, and I mean EVER make a last episode joke like that again, I'm sending you the bill from my cardiologist.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 9:00 pm
by tbaker2500
Great drabble!

With regards to the story. It hovered right on the edge of either being a truly great story, or falling over the edge and just being strange. If it would have stopped pre-phone call, it would be perfect. But after the phone call, I'm left trying to decide if I "believe" or not.

Regardless, very good.

p.p.p.s. That was one of the best (worst) donation tricks I've seen. I'm with ROU on this one.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:22 pm
by Richmazzer
I predict this one'll be in the drabblecast people's choice award top 5 finalists this year, along with Babel Probe(obviosly) and one of those Tim Pratt stories.
Really loved it, fantastic writing and wonderful imagery. Like phenopath, it makes me want to read more about the larger context this post human landscape is set up in, with time slings, space recon and the forces and mechanisms of mother nature reclaiming the universe. Reminds me of one of my favorite drabblecast stories to date: The Beekeepers, back in episode thirty something.

As usual, Norm shows his mastery of the art of storytelling and compliments this beautiful, creepy,sad and hopeful story with nicely appropriate music. Loved the fading in intro with typical lo-def retirement home type music blended with creepy junglely ambient music. Also, the crescendo at the end with wild aboriginal didereedo music mixed with spoons and metal banging was a really cool idea.

I also think that Drabble will make it to the peoples choice finals, one of my favrites.
So, in short, I agree that this episode deserves a resounding woot and hope someone nominates it for the parsecs next year.

P.s. I too hate it when scary old people nip at you when you're untangling them from your nets.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:26 am
by dreamrock
I loved Absent Minded Professor, but really wasn't a fan of Kingdom Come. I thought maybe I did it wrong, so when I did my second listen through (it's become a ritual with me, I can never listen to a Drabblecast just once) I paid extra attention.

There was never a point where the main character's change of heart made sense. His journey never made sense. At the end of the first listen, I thought maybe I had been misdirected about the original purpose and direction of his journey, but I was convinced by the second listen that I had it right the first time. It also didn't make sense that the staff was so terrified ... but never reacted.

The concept of an Earth in search of biodiversity was very cool, and the transformations were an interesting concept. I just really can't say I liked this one.

P.S. I've always said I can't wait to be a cranky old man. Now I want to be a cranky old man WITH ION CANNONS! :D

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:44 am
by strawman
I agree that this drabble was outstanding. My other favorite is Dinosaur. What's with that? Maybe it says that if Adolescents can have American Pie, it's only fair that Gamps gets what turns him on... assuming he can get a timely reminder of what that is. Sweet irony that he gets to save the world right before the world feeds him to the death panel.
The story was a gem as well. Kind of like Conrad's Heart of Darkness... with a proactive Darkness. It would have been better if it had included Al Gore getting a Nobel Prize for his new movie, An Inconvenient Truth...Never Mind, with foreword by Emily Latella. Kay is to be congratulated on refraining from any I-told-you-so Eco preachiness.
However, it does occur to me that how scary is a threat that even a zombie can outrun? The mental image of a bunch of 90 year old wheelchair-bound nursing home residents in a race to escape the creeping vines nipping at their heels... makes me snort my warm milk out my nose.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:25 am
by tbaker2500
tbaker2500 wrote:That was one of the best (worst) donation tricks I've seen. I'm with ROU on this one.
Ooooohh... I get it. You were doing an Oprah.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 3:28 am
by eric_marsh
Liked the drabble but the main story didn't keep my attention. Guess I'll have to listen to it again focus more.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 5:22 am
by DougallStrange
I really liked the Drabble I mean Really, it gave drabbles everywhere a 1-up. The story had some interesting ideas but I couldn't tell after the phone call if this was real or if this was all going on in this old guy's head. cool story not the best but not the worst either.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:59 pm
by Leadhyena
DougallStrange wrote:I really liked the Drabble I mean Really, it gave drabbles everywhere a 1-up. The story had some interesting ideas but I couldn't tell after the phone call if this was real or if this was all going on in this old guy's head. cool story not the best but not the worst either.
Thank you! From reading the initial comments, I began to think that I was the only one who didn't take the old man's story at face value. The sad story about his getting replaced at his job, the bitterness, the "Jungle" elements taking on technology values, the attachment of Chrissy as being like "the daughter he never had", it all felt like such a headtrip to me. I really felt bad for him.

The striking thing about this story was how easy it was to accept a science-fiction themed delusion over any other delusion. Dragons, cloud monsters, talking tattoos: those are easily dismissed as hysteria; the moment you throw in space drives, time-slings, and killer alien kudzu and suddenly it's much more believable. I hope that when I get senile, that this is the stuff that my delusions are made of.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:21 pm
by TheJebi
eric_marsh wrote:Liked the drabble but the main story didn't keep my attention. Guess I'll have to listen to it again focus more.
I agree, the main story was really hard for me follow. I had very little sense of setting, even after listening to it twice. I liked the beginning and the end, but the story as a whole failed to connect with me.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:43 pm
by phthalo
This story was like a hot babe with a sinister streak: gorgeous imagery but with a heart of darkness. I did have to listen to the start a couple of times, but mainly because Norm's washed-out-old-man-voice lulled me to sleep. Weeeird ambient jungle dreams... Anyway, one of the best stories I've heard on any podcast, ever.

Drabble really made me laugh.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:16 pm
by Talia
I must admit, I would be all about jaunting off on an adventure into the jungle. Bring it on, ForestWorld.

*cue jungle life song*

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:34 am
by Mr. Tweedy
I think the main story was saved by the production. My issues with it are mostly in line with what others have mentioned: It just didn't go anywhere. If it were on paper I probably would have quit reading before the end, because there just wasn't any suspense. The jungle is coming, and the old dude is grumpy. The end. But Norm's convincing reading and excellent choice of music created suspense and interest that I don't think was strong in the text. I was biting my nails because the audio queues kept insinuating that something was happening, even though not much really was. I think this shows that come stories are really well suited for certain media. This story was made for audio. I don't think it would have made an interesting read, and it would have been downright bad in a visual medium. But it worked as audio.

I disagree that the jungle is not scary, though. It is slow, sure. You can outrun it, sure. But you can't stop it. It will get you eventually, 100% guaranteed. It's almost Lovecraftian: It's scary precisely because it's slow. It doesn't need to be fast, because it will eat everything eventually. "Go ahead and run," it says. "I've got all the time in world."

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:01 am
by tbaker2500
Mr. Tweedy wrote:I disagree that the jungle is not scary, though. It is slow, sure. You can outrun it, sure. But you can't stop it. It will get you eventually, 100% guaranteed. It's almost Lovecraftian: It's scary precisely because it's slow. It doesn't need to be fast, because it will eat everything eventually. "Go ahead and run," it says. "I've got all the time in world."
Not as much Lovecraft as Pepe Lepew.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:40 am
by Mr. Tweedy
Tomato tomäto.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:36 pm
by Richmazzer
I agree with Mr. Tweedy that the inevitable, timeless Jungle-machine idea presented here is both scary and Lovecrafty. I also agree with strawman that I'm glad the story shunned messagy environmental stuff that would have detracted from the main focus (I was worried even from the cover before listening. GREAT cover though btw.)

Norm did do a stellar reading here, but I think the story would have stood well on its own in print. Audio is a more dangerous medium for stories in general I think, because Norm can't read them all. This one had a slower pace than usual on DC, but it fit with the increangly menacing pace and shadow of the looming jungle wall. I thought the end was a really cool way to show a well-cultivated ambiguity. At first, I also agreed with the comment above that said a change in the MC's POV should have happened half way, but now I think that would detracted from the ambiguity at the end, which I think was crucial. I liked that we aren't sure if the Jungle is good or bad, and that neither is the main character really, he's just the first to realize that it's inevitable, and so he dips his tip-toe in first by eating the berry and then it draws his whole body in.

Mr. Tweedy mentioned this kind of horror once in another story thread, I think Sarah's Window. The garbling electrons on the phone, the coloring outside the lines imagery at the end, it's all scary to us because it's different from the scheduled, patterned, predictable lives we live (nursing home is a very clever way to set the main characters btw.) But we don't know if the change is evil or wonderful, just that it's unavoidable, and that's scary in itself.

Re: Drabblecast 138: Kingdom Come by Kay Kenyon

Posted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 7:40 pm
by Unblinking
Lots of great ideas in this one, though I too had a bit of trouble telling how much was supposed to be real. Just imagine the movie poster: "Welcome to the Jungle. We all end up here sooner or later".