Sunday, March 18, 2007

Episode 39: N.L.E.

N.L.E. is the name of the story in this episode. I mention in the show that, though I like the title of this story, I wonder if it might be a little cryptic... so it would be great if you could let me know if you were able to infer the meaning of the title from the events in the story through the comments below.

Today's episode features a CLMW first. Here's the sitch:
The infamous Scott Sigler has a hatched a plot to help promote both himself and, via the trickle down effect, other podcast fiction authors. He figures that by having his latest novel, Ancestor , make it to #1 on, he can expose a whole new audience to what us podcast authors are doing. To achieve this, he's asking that those who'd like to purchase Ancestor do so on its release date, April 1st, at about noon(12:00 ET). Scott is a talented author, and Ancestor is a straight-up, monster-driven horror novel, so I'm sure you'll enjoy it. If you have the means, mark your calendars and buy a copy. I'll be keeping my eye on this one for sure.

And, for those that might be curious, here's a photo of the birth of N.L.E. This is how I roll.

You may use the player below if you'd like to hear this episode now.


Blogger Bruce said...

Hi Russell

It’s Bruce (the pro clown and guest CLMW introducer emeritus).

I’ve meant to write you a few times, but your recent story broke the camel’s back. NLE

I thought I had it figured just over a minute in. I thought “the spirit” floating in a dark void, seeing a light and drifting toward it…was a fetus about to be born. Emerging into overwhelming sensory input, etc. I thought next would be a physical blow (the spank to start breathing).

I guess I was wrong (?)

So was the spirit his soul and the light “the hereafter”--and when the spirit went back to the void (back from the light)—the body returned to life?

NLE? No Light Eternal? Next Life Exit?

Okay, “No, I don’t have a clue.”

Don’t know if I sent this comment, so here it is:

I enjoyed the Worldsaver Circusfolk story (title & number lost to my memory; sorry). Especially that the clowns got to be the tough guys.

Not an evil clown with a scythe. A tough, hero clown with a big gun.

Anyway, still listening and enjoying. Keep it up.

And I won't make it a separate entry, but yeah that's a cool eagle pic.


12:35 AM, March 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fine, make me look stupid! LOL! I don't have a clue, either. All I can think of is "Near Life Experience." This story was great! It made me recall a great story I read years ago called "The Death of Ivan Illyich." I think that is his name, and I do not recall the author. I may be confusing 2 stories, but iirc, in this one he had help staying alive...even after he died. He was trapped in a corpse and then desperately wanted to really die. In your story, however, I don't know if the embalming process is a key point or not. I'll have to listen to it again and see if I get any new insights.

3:07 PM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger rlburt said...

Bingo, Anonymous, whoever you may be! N.L.E. does stand for Near Life Experience, and is a twist on the ubiquitous reports of N.D.E.s (Near Death Experiences), where people die for a minute or two and then return to life. This story is the exact opposite, of course, with a little existential angst thrown in.

Now that that has been revealed, I hope anyone else reading this will still post if you came up with that meaning or not, I'm trying to decide if it would have helped the story experience to have simply titled it "Near Life Experience," or if that would have given too much away.

Bruce- great to know you're still out there listening!


4:54 PM, March 19, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NLE Near live experience

9:52 PM, March 19, 2007  
Blogger artm said...

FYI "The Death of Ivan Illyich" is a story by Leo Tolstoy. Available in Russian at

and in English at:

More information at wikipedia:

7:31 AM, March 20, 2007  
Blogger rlburt said...

Thank you Artm! I'll definitely check it out.


5:59 PM, March 20, 2007  
Blogger Lori Ann said...

In the beginning, I thought the same as Bruce (a fetus waiting to be born). Now I do feel dumb, but calling the story Near Life Experience would have given away the surprise!

9:36 PM, March 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, ARTM! I had forgotten the author of that wonderful story. I would sign in here but I don't have a Google account. And I can't believe I was the first to guess correctly the NLE! Anyway, I am a great fan of your show, RLBurt! My faves have to be Chris and Tommy, tho. I hope to hear about them again sometime, but if not, I'll still be around for all your terrific stories. : )

9:51 PM, March 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I had it figured out but the funeral totally blew up all my theories. I like the concept...Near Life if we can only get the Bush Whitehouse to have one...oops, was that political?...oh well!

1:30 AM, March 21, 2007  
Anonymous Renee Litteral said...

Got it, Near-Life Experience. Excellent twist. I also thought was going to be a birth. Insight for those who have experienced NDE-Near-Death Experience as they often feel they began in spirit but never tell of a NLE. I would imagine it would go much as the way you described. Excellent Job.

5:52 AM, March 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Initialy I also thought it was about an abortion because we just had a referendum, with a lot of media coverage. Then, at the begining of the second half of the show, and for a few seconds, I confess I sincerely thought Russel had mixed the pages while reading the text.

Then, as I listened the funeral part, I started to feel a shiver up my spine - and believe me, it takes a lot of effort (and talent)to scare me inside a overcrowded subway station, which was where I was at that precise moment, on my way back to work after lunchtime!

I felt genuinely stressed when that guy went over to look at the corpse!

In the end I was thinking that this might just be on of the best short episodes ever. Great first part - took me back to some of my first memories ever. Also, I somewhat made an effort searching for a memory before being born! How weird is that?!

Congratulations, Burt, for writing and narrating to us such an emotion packed story in so very few minutes.


6:23 PM, March 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Near Life Experience! Coolie Mr. Burt! BTW, this is Annie! I don't have a blogger so I'm using Jay jay's!

9:36 PM, March 29, 2007  

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