The Cambridge Geek

Listening Log - 14 January 2022

Here's what I've listened to this week.

Rusty Quill Gaming - Epilogue 3

First, the last, specifically the very last episode of the Rusty Quill Gaming epilogue. Since it appeared on the blog shortly after I first started blogging, it seems reasonable to recognise its ending.

Six years in the making, it is probably allowed to be described as "epic", both in terms of how long it's lasted, how popular it's become, and the story it told - managing to contain both dungeons and dragons - it's perhaps the characters that have granted it its popularity. While the world is complex and interesting, its the grumpiness of Zolf or the stabbiness of Sasha that have kept people listening (as well as Einstein).

It sets a very high standard in a number of ways, the most simple but important perhaps being distinctiveness of voice. It's always useful being able to tell the players apart, and the individual arcs they've all had has been a nice study in character growth.

The one downside of an epilogue has been that it is by nature anti-climactic. The story has ended, and our heroes go back to the Shire, or ride off into the sunset, or have a nice cup of tea. It's a putting away of things, rather than a scattering of the board. But it's perhaps how it needed to end, a gentle relaxing of the story and tension built up over years.

And it also gets in a cheeky meta reminiscent of Magnus.

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Haunted House Flippers - Ep 1 - 7.5

This is one I listened to the first couple of episodes of when it first came out, but failed to get into properly for whatever reason. I started from the beginning again, and have now crunched through the first 7.5 episodes. (Yes I said a half, it runs minisodes.)

As the title might indicate, it's about a haunted house, specifically the haunted house that Tom and Janet have just inherited from one of Tom's relatives. They're keen on doing a bit of DIY, so head up to see if it can be made presentable enough to be sold on for a nice profit.

At least that's their initial aim. Once Tom sees it, he gets rather more keen on capturing evidence of all of the ghosts it's obviously haunted by. And it does seem to be, given that there's a couple of strange things going on (and a very suspicious low rumble whenever the spooky happens - a nice effect).

It's a very slow burn horror, in that the first episode gives us a hint, but it takes a fair while to get to the meat (and I'm still not really there yet). There's definitely something going on, but I'm still not quite sure what it is. I certainly don't trust their overly helpful neighbour Lee though.

Most of the appeal here though has come from the interplay of the three main characters (Tom, Janet, Lee), and the frankly ridiculous level of intelligence displayed by Tom. He's not a clever man, and the antics this causes is rather reminiscent of Valley Heat's Doug Duguay and his neighbourly issues.

It's one I'm enjoying chortling along to.

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Wooden Overcoats - S04E01

Ah, the bittersweet return of Wooden Overcoats, one of my favourite (and one of the most popular) podcasts, due to its combination of excellent writing and wonderful cast. Sweet because we've finally got some more Overcoats after a Covid induced delay, but bitter because this will be the last series.

(To be fair, this is probably a good move - it's often better to finish with a strong punch than to peter out - but we all wish things to carry on the way they have forever sometimes.)

And this was a strong opener, looking like it's setting up answers to some of the questions we've had for so long. Where did Chapman come from? Why is he here? And just how does he get his hair to do that?

Those questions come out of a very nice final couple of minutes reversal, as we get character insight built on years of backstory in the way Funn funerals make use of their knowledge and reputation of the village to get what they want, while still staying true to themselves. I don't know where we'll end up at when this series finishes, but I'm sure it'll be somewhere Funn.

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The Beautiful Liar - Ep 1+2

And finally a very quick one, in that I sneaked in a couple of episodes of one of QCODE's more recent works. Don't know much more about this than it's about a blind superhero, but finding it very distracting that it seems to have partly the same plot as Soft Voice. Here the voice in Clementine's head might be something to do with her powers (not yet been explained), rather than Soft Voice's entirely unexplained version, but it's still telling her how to live her life, as well as helping her "see".

It jumps slightly distractingly between recordings and not - Clementine has a habit of recording her day since she can't take written notes, but there's also a stream in the "future" as agents investigate Clementine's escape from their custody. And sometimes there's no framing device at all. Throws me off a bit. I'll keep listening for now, and see if I bounce off the (as standard for QCODE) way too many adverts. I'm so bored of Noom, Sonos, and Hello Fresh.

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Tagged: Audio fiction Round-up