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EP117: Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf

By Matthew Wayne Selznick.
Read by Scott Sigler (of Earthcore, Ancestor, Infected, The Rookie).

Yarborough led them through the impromptu village of broad white
tents, rows of outhouses, sensor towers, and heavy weapons
installations that had obliterated the turf of the athletic field.
They stopped at the fence on the edge of the hilltop.

“You can get a pretty good look at the swath, here.”

On a day without monsters, it would have been a nice view. You could
see most of the town center, and all the way to Pacific Coast Highway
the misty ocean beyond. A wide, flat, smoking scar of ruin cut from
the water to a shopping center half a mile inland.

Rated R. Contains profanity and giant monster violence.

Referenced Sites:
Knitwitch’s Sci-Fi & Fantasy Zone on Talkshoe

Comments (18)

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  1. Kurt Faler says:

    i think the link to the author site should be:

    http://www.mattselznick.com/

    not .net

  2. SFEley says:

    Argh. Fixed. Thanks, Kurt!

  3. B.Ruhsam says:

    It seems that you need to have watched all the huge monster movies to appreciate the subtleties of this story. I didn’t really “get” it. What was the relationship between Reggie and the Kaiju? It confused me that they did not actually explain the link other than some nebulous connection developed during Reggie’s contact with Fenris in Berlin.

  4. Kel says:

    Overall a good story, with one little quibble-the cliched “just do (thing that makes no logical sense to do while impending doom is crashing down on you)!” at the end of the story. Why couldn’t Ben just tell Reggie that the kaiju was tied to Reggie’s feelings towards Gwen?

  5. Martha Holloway says:

    I thought it was a hoot! I loved how the ordinary citizenship reacted and the description of the effects of the Kaiju on the landscape were very effective. “Step quakes” indeed! It didn’t bother me that there was an unexplained connection between the Kaiju and Reggie. Within the story logic, no one knew where the Kaiju came from or why. That leaves plenty of space for further unknowns.

    As for Ben’s communication skills–he was represented as a little quirky already, and, besides, haven’t you ever gotten stuck repeating yourself over and over to someone who just doesn’t understand and only after several tries realizing that you need to change how you are saying it?

  6. kaufman says:

    I loved the premise of the story – about the response teams for the monsters, and how the populace deals with them. However, I found the love story plot totally unnecessary and distracting – the main monster story was strong enough without that.

  7. Icepick says:

    Sigler + Selznick, how can you go wrong? It’s really weird, I’m almost getting used to Scott’s female voice… never thought I would.

    The story was great. I found myself thinking back to Forbidden Planet more than Japanese monster flicks. Which is never a bad thing.

  8. yeastbeast says:

    This has been one of my least favorite stories of late. I just don’t get what’s cool about it. Is it a parody of some well-known monster movie trope? What’s the moral lesson of the love story? It reads like an overly breathy bit of adolescent fiction. Sorry to be so negative, as virtually all of the recent stories have been superb.

  9. Martin R says:

    I quite liked it. Cool details around the monster and its rampage. I got the feeling that the author was gleefully sending Godzilla through a town he knows pretty well.

  10. Chris Fisher says:

    This wrapped up so many monster movie and anime tropes that I could barely stop smirking before the next one hit, all with an average Joe and his ex. Also I enjoyed spending some audio time in one of the worlds more parallel to our own than most of the other recent stories have featured.

    I don’t think I’ll ever get used to Sigler’s female voice, though.

  11. Scott says:

    This is one of those where the story was kind of meh, but the world and the ideas took the forefront. If this world was an RPG or a video game I’d buy it. As it is I enjoyed it, but it could have been so much more.

  12. Jenny M says:

    It was very difficult to see what if anything drove the author to write this story. For me, it’s a good example of what happens when theme and plot and characters and setting have no relation to each other (if they exist at all here), i.e. you end up with flat, cliched writing that has no emotional content. You can see the author loosely thinking he’ll write a story with monsters in it; then realising it needs a bit more than that, so introduces a love triangle, hoping the two will somehow link up. But the love interest characters have no more depth than the monster. Unfortunately, this is the kind of sci-fi story that confirms all the worst suspicions of those who aren’t into the genre: schoolboy level characterisation slapped on to a silly idea. I’m a great fan of Escape Pod but sometimes think Mr Ely should exercise more quality control and send a story back so obviously written off the top of the head as this one. Steve Sigler has a good reading voice but his tone for Gwen made her sound like a helpless female, not the tough, independent character she’s supposed to be (although the fact she’s also poorly written doesn’t help).

  13. Joe N says:

    I’m with the crowd that seemed to miss the subtle humor. When the story was introduced as “as serious as the title suggests”, I took that to mean it was a farce. After listening, however, I’m not sure whether:
    a) it was a parody, but beyond me;
    b) it was relatively serious, and I misinterpreted the intro comment; or
    c) the intro comment itself was meant to be farcical.

    I enjoyed the story, but not overmuch; and I’m reasonably certain I was listening to it on a more immediate, literal level than was intended.

    But, hey, the idea of a rapid response team for monster attacks — and of FEMA being on the ground within mere hours of a disaster — was highly amusing.

  14. Lizz B. says:

    I, for one, cannot comment on the story. While it seems like a good fit, and I love a good monster movie (or a bad one!), I just couldn’t get past Scott Sigler’s horrible voices! All I could picture was some creepy guy in plaid pants and madras top, horn-rimmed glasses with white tape on the bridge (and maybe on the temple as well), white socks, black wingtip shoes, doing a pisspoor job of imitating his sister’s voice.

    Please, please, please limit Scott’s narrations! I just can’t listen to them AND pay attention the story!

  15. [...] etc. Like you, I’ve recently begun experimenting more with social networking sites. On a recent podcast, Steve Ely offered Ely’s Heuristic: My new rule of thumb for social sites is this: If [...]

  16. Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) says:

    This is one of those stories that, by itself, is only pretty good. Amusing, fun, but not breathtaking. The world in which it is set, however, sounds thrilling and makes me want more, more, more. Where DO the kaiju come from? What IS the relationship between them and the Touched individuals in humanity? What kind of training does one need to become a First Response agent? What other special weapons and tactics have been developed to defend against the kaiju? Like Scott says above, I would totally play an RPG set in this world. As a matter of fact, I recently picked up Ben Lehman’s excellent game, Bliss Stage, which this made me think of somewhat. Not a perfect match, but it asks some similar questions.

    I personally don’t expect every single EP story to blow me away. I’m totally fine with a good mix of serious and silly, emotional and lighthearted, etc. I think Steve does a pretty good job of picking them. It probably helps that I have an immersive personality, and am easily caught up in just about anything resembling a coherent story. I guess I am the perfect audience for EP!

  17. [...] exactly one piece of fiction in 2007 — one more so than in 2006. That was the short story “Reggie vs. Kaiju Storm Chimera Wolf,” which was bought by Escape Pod, the science fiction podcast magazine, and read by soon-to-be [...]