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Preview: Comments on: Pseudopod 91: Caesar’s Ghost

Comments on: Pseudopod 91: Caesar’s Ghost

The Sound of Horror

Last Build Date: Sun, 22 Mar 2015 08:02:35 +0000


By: Nathaniel Lee

Sat, 18 Jul 2009 02:09:24 +0000

I liked the ghost ferret; those parts were well done, especially the uncertainty about Caesar's intentions. Richard, on the other hand, didn't scan like a realistic threat at all. He was a little too goofy ha-ha psycho to be believable. The tying up with duct tape was just over the top; I'd have bought it if he'd just been an animal abuser, gradually getting more and more involved in it and not yet graduated to human abuse, and the ghosts warned Cathy off. Someone above referenced it feeling "pulpy," and I think that's accurate. I think the horror was quite enough when it was small, domestic, and slightly odd (like ferrets themselves.)

By: scatterbrain

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 23:04:38 +0000

A sad story for one which involves a ferretageist. My own cat is dying from cancer and I hope I'll find a way to make all the bad things I've done or let happen to her right again before she goes. But a post-death visit will be too much even for me...

By: Heather

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 06:46:43 +0000

I was physically sickened by the descriptions of animal torture. I mean it. I actually threw up. I guess that's why it's called 'horror'.

The ending was well worth the hell of listening to such explicit details. But I think I don't want to hear any more tales like this. Some of us have different triggers. Maybe a few of you can't bear child abuse or rape....for some of us it's animals.

By: Sgarre1

Wed, 09 Jul 2008 02:37:09 +0000

Funny, I just reread "Ricki Ticki Tavi" this week (okay, mongoose, but still) and "Shredni Vashtar" about 3 weeks ago. Odd, that.

Why was this not named "Great...Caesar's Ghost" or "Great...Just Great...Caesar's Ghost" - are there no more Perry White fans?

This seemed like a cute, touching, humorous fantasy story that got sullied by becoming a horror story. Because a story with a ghost ferret can still be flexible, but if you want a ghost ferret AND a boyfriend/psychopath, that immediately makes it not only a horror story, but a particular kind of horror story, because that's asking a lot from the reader. Less serious, more (much more) pulpy. So, it's a lot for the writer to juggle and the reader to swallow unless you keep it deliberately cartoonish.

I figured early on that it would come down to the the ghost ferret wanting to "protect" his mistress from her new boyfriend (since those are the two set-ups), but I still figured this would be light-hearted and the boyfriend would be a cad or something. Or maybe, just maybe, the story would be about the boyfriend learning to live with the ghost ferret because he does love the woman and so it's about them both dealing with a new experience - her, the GHOST ferret, him the GHOST FERRET. Surely, neither outcomes are horror but then, there seems to be a lot of bleed from the other genre podcasts happening here, and they both could be fun in a John Kendricks Bangs or John Collier kinda way.

Well, we get dead ghost animals (a nice effect, actually, and presents another direction possibility - the narrator keeps seeing more and more dead pets - is she mad or just overly sympathetic?), which works, but then we get to the "madman just keeping it under control" and the story loses me there. Then, it could only have ended as a Roald Dahl-esque, mean-spirited meditation on how we anthropomorphize pets and ended with the ferret finally getting comeuppance on his helpless owner (and that would have been too bitter and dark to mesh with the opening) to even have a chance of working for me.

So, no, not my kind of story. The writing, separate from the plot, was nice in spots and a little OTT in spots.

Alasdair missed a chance to mention Gef the Talking Mongoose again? I'm shocked!

Thanks For Listening

“Despots prefer the friendship of the dog, who, unjustly mistreated and debased, still loves and serves the man who wronged him.” Charles Fourier, “Elephant And Dog”

By: Spork

Tue, 10 Jun 2008 22:14:47 +0000

This was an excellent PodCastle story. It wasn't horror, as the only scary moment was easily seen ahead of time, and it really didn't last long enough to drive tension or fear for the protag.

Like the ending of this story, it's just too "warm fuzzy" to be even remotely considered horror. There was nothing substantially horrific about it.

By: Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)

Mon, 09 Jun 2008 00:04:43 +0000

A bit predictable, but amusing nonetheless.

By: CD

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 14:22:15 +0000

This one gets saved as a favorite! Even though Richard turned out to be a freak, I still wonder about Kathy... at least another pet will be rescued!

By: Ogion The Silent

Mon, 02 Jun 2008 06:57:42 +0000

Nice theory, but doesn't Kathy actually recognise the semi-roasted ferret as Caesar?

By: N. Tate

Mon, 02 Jun 2008 05:24:34 +0000

I think the microwave ferret is a different than her pet. I think he killed IT in place of killing her's.

I do think that because her pet was her guardian angle, that he stole those to try and get to NOT go with him. And that he willing passed to the other-side so that when the time came, he would be there for her.

By: Audita Sum

Wed, 28 May 2008 22:37:04 +0000

Well, a bloody kitten.

By: Audita Sum

Wed, 28 May 2008 22:35:09 +0000

Eugie Foster is the only Escape Artists writer who's been so consistently good that I've remembered her name. This story wasn't spectacular, but for whatever reason it scared me more than usual. Maybe because it was less of an artsy thing like a lot of the stories on here seem to be, and it had bloody kittens in it.

By: Paul Smithee

Wed, 28 May 2008 13:13:45 +0000

I dug this story. Finally, Pseudopod put out something that wasn't about a surreal dystopia (The Exibition), a depressing moral fable (Heartstrung), soft, redeeming body-horror (Wounds, Rapunzel's Room) or a zombie story. I found this story toe-curling creepy. The unstable narrator, the animal-killing asshole of a boyfriend, and a ghost ferret that could be good, could be bad. Cool stuff. On the downside, I felt the microwave scene was kind of a cheap shock. But the story actually scared me, which is much more than I can say about most of the recent Pseudopod offerings.

By: Cian Mac Mahon

Wed, 28 May 2008 13:05:14 +0000

Wow... I didn't think of that. I think you are right, when you think of him stealing the keys and shoes and the like.

By: Ogion The Silent

Wed, 28 May 2008 07:01:06 +0000

I think the microwave thing was Caesar attempting to sabotage the date any way he could.

By: Cian Mac Mahon

Tue, 27 May 2008 21:39:01 +0000

I loved it. Like "Ogion The Silent", I was not sure what the little animals were going to do in the end. Since all of the animals other then (I presume) the ferret were shown as they were killed, presumably all by Richard, how does the microwaveable ferret fit in?

Or am I missing something?

By: Kevin Anderson

Tue, 27 May 2008 17:41:28 +0000

I really enjoyed this one. I thinks its my favorite Eugie Foster story. A nice diversion from the typical ghost story. I'm not a pet person myself and I often scratch my head at the antics of those who are, but the witting really sold me on the character's attachment to her pet, and I felt like I really understood her.

Still don't want a pet though.

By: Adam

Mon, 26 May 2008 16:30:08 +0000

I quite enjoyed this story; I found the depictions of the creepy little domestic animal ghosts quite endearing. If anything, I'd have enjoyed giving them an even larger part in the story; perhaps bringing them into the office, or into her house when he was hanging around.

By: Ogion The Silent

Mon, 26 May 2008 07:11:18 +0000

Psychos and ghosts are always a winning combination. I liked the way Caesar's "motivation" was kept ambiguous as long as possible: was he going to turn out to be an evil jealous ghost-ferret or a kindly, protective ghost-ferret?

Good story - a bit sentimental at the end - beautifully read and with noticeably better sound quality than some recent escapeartists 'casts.

By: Eric

Sun, 25 May 2008 18:45:53 +0000

First story in a while that made my skin crawl. Mmmm... microwave casserole. :Eric

By: Abbie

Sun, 25 May 2008 16:41:30 +0000

That story actually made me cry! But, in a good way. I know that in real life Eugie has a much-loved pet skunk, and I wonder if she substituted ferret, because more people would be familiar with ferrets. Anyway, the linking of violence to animals and violence to women was clever and realistic, and the idea of a pet coming back to help was touching.

By: Pet Lover

Sat, 24 May 2008 18:26:28 +0000

Neat story. I miss my dead hamster.

And I don't know why every story on here turns into a debate about whether it is horror or not. Genre borders are blurry and I think people would enjoy themselves more if they didn't worry about pigeonholing every story.

By: Dom

Sat, 24 May 2008 16:57:46 +0000

I wasn't into this story too much. I guess I like ferrets and everything, but... This one just didn't do it for me. Both characters were insane, and I don't know if I consider this one too much of a horror story.

By: Mari Mitchell

Fri, 23 May 2008 20:16:23 +0000

What the heck was she making in the crockpot: celery and cheese.

There are not enough haunted ferret stories.

I loved when the ferret ran amuck in heaven, steeling saint's sandals.

This story captured the nature of ferrets well.

Great ending. A melancholy and sweet love story.

And my cat loves to be with me. Always in reach , sharing with me his gift of love. May we all know the love of a pet.