Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BYBS: PodCastle

PodCastle: Fantasy short stories in podcast form

I had decided up front that I was not going to like the latest story from PodCastle, "The Small Door," but I ended up changing my mind.

The story is about "...weirdos, children (the two are not mutually exclusive), and a very small door."  In particular it is about the investigations of two young girls into what a rather strange neighbor is doing with a bunch of small animals.  It was written by Holly Phillips and performed (read) by Tina Connolly.

At first brush I was thinking "I hate self-conscious young girl crap which is obviously what this story is about."  The story sucked me in though and I found myself feeling a mixture of dread and curiosity as to the outcome.

One thing that I found very interesting were the emotions it inspired.  I normally expect a story to make me envision the scene and the characters, but this one reminded me that they can make you feel as well.  The suspense comes from not being sure what the characters were going to find.  The complications because one of the characters is prevented from doing something fun because of her sister.  The different way that I "looked" at things after the outcome.

This is all stuff that I knew a story could do, but it has been a while since one made me feel that way.

I can't go into more details without giving away the story (or at least that's my story), but PodCastle is wonderful site with lots of very good stories.  What's more they have some very good performers reading them.  Tina Connolly reads this one and does an excellent job*.

PodCastle's definition of a "fantasy story" is pretty broad so if you find that one story is not to your liking, listen to a couple of others before writing them off.

Till next time, avoid gnomes...and small doors.

* = for those of you that think the reader makes any difference, think of how many times you've been happy with your first try at a greeting for your answering machine or voicemail.