Oct. 20th, 2013

The Horror

Oct. 20th, 2013 03:03 pm
tablesaw: Futurama's Robot Devil, El Diablo Robotico (El Diablo Robotico)
I'm kind of a horror fan now. And though I'm pretty sure I know how, I'm not sure I know why.

The how is because of Pseudopod. I started listening to Pseudopod about 5 years ago after listening to Escape Pod and then Podcastle. After a while, Pseudopod became my favorite of the three. The stories were more reliably interesting, even when I didn't much care for them.

[personal profile] yeloson pointed out a quote that in a horror story, as opposed to a fantasy story, the rules and logic aren't consistent in terms of the story. Things don't happen because of reasons, they just happen, and the characters have to decide what they do about them. And those choices don't always have clear moral weights to attached to them. I've always liked sci-fi and fantasy for their ability to change reality to fit a story; horror focuses that much more closely, changing reality to point completely at the characters.

Through the same time, I started getting more interested in horror films. I've never much cared for "scary movies" because they usually didn't scare me much. I don't get much of a thrill out of gore or jumpscares. But I started to appreciate that, in trying to reach something specific in "horror," artists reveal something about themselves: what they fear and how they fear it.

And today, I'm excited about my second year of an all-night Halloween horror-movie marathon, last night, I went to see the Carrie remake on its opening night, and I'm going to be posting a bunch of recommendations for Pseudopod.

Apparently, Escape Artists, the group that produces Escapepod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod has been gaining many more listeners than subscribers, and is running something of an emergency fund drive. I've subscribed, and hopefully, I can get a few people interested in the show as well.
tablesaw: "Tablesaw Techniques" (Techniques)
As you would expect, zombie stories show up fairly regularly on Pseudopod. Two that stood out pretty clearly for me are "The Skull-Faced Boy" and "Association." I'm not a big fun of zombie stories (or movies or TV shows), but these two are some of my favorites, and were the first ones I wanted to tell people about when I started thinking about recommendations.

"The Skull-Faced Boy" aired in 2008 and I still remember it pretty clearly. A story of the risen dead who still retain a great deal of humanity, for better or for worse. It's a pretty wide-ranging story, with a cinematic feel to it: a nice variety of well-drawn characters and a slowly building plot. It was my favorite zombie story for a while.

It was supplanted in the top spot by "Association," which has a similar idea, but is definitely more to my taste. "Association" has the narrator tell the story of watching a zombie virus take over his body, watching himself die even though his mind remains lucid and alive. It's very disturbing, inspired by the author seeing people fail to communicate during the last moments of their life.

Pseudopod is one of my favorite podcasts, and it's currently going through some difficult financial times (it pays all of its authors for the stories it produces). If you enjoy these stories, please consider donating through the links on the website.

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