Episode 106: Peacemaker, Peacemaker, Little Bo Peep by Jason Sanford


The previously kind, docile, and sane people of town have turned violent and bloodthirsty. They’re killing off anyone in town who is normally willing to do violence, from murderers to police officers. How can Sgt. Davies save herself and her family?

Afterward, Big and Rish talk about feedback, especially comments, about this episode and old ones. A second incentive episode is announced. Also, Rish tries to coin the term “as thick as nails.” And “renumeration.” This is not his night.

Special thanks to Tanja Milojevic for producing today’s story, and Peter Katt, Andriana Marchio, Richard Garner, Jack Kincaid, Moses Bisel, Tobias Queen, Sale Marchio, and Tanja Milojevic for lending their voices to today’s episode.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.


Related Links:
Jason Sanford’s Never Never Stories
Interzone Magazine
Tanja Milojevic’s Lightning Bolt Theater Of The Mind
Jack Kincaid’s Site
Photo by nic0.
Music was Premonition by Axial Ensemble; Silent Virus by Filippo Vicarelli; Childhood, Grotto, Loneliness and Winter by Frozen Silence; La Colere Des Partisans by Jean-Pierre Saussac; Escape and Mission Briefing by Marc Teichert; and Dreamtide by Matti Paalanen.
Some sound effects were provided by freesound.org and Soundsnap.com.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License


42 Responses to “Episode 106: Peacemaker, Peacemaker, Little Bo Peep by Jason Sanford”

  1. Pirvonen Says:

    The way the trilling of “peace” sounded like the bleating of sheep felt wonderfully appropriate. A stampede of enraged weresheep…

    Good story. Good production, mostly. At almost all times there was immersion, but a few occasions brought on a mildly tintamaresque feeling. Very mild, nothing gross or jarring, just a slight distancing. Unfortunately I can’t figure out what it might have been; perhaps something in the background soundtrack colour and rhythm?

    Concerning commenting, yeah, I’m guilty. I listen, I like, even the interminable banter in the end — it is entertaining and sometimes informative. However, unlike you performers I am not an extrovert. It takes a high level of motivation to raise my hand and blurt out in public. What’s worse, I feel that if I participate by even a single comment, I am expected to keep contributing to the “community”, the “social network”, the “togetherness of all us cool extroverted facebook friend twitterer collective” and so on. No. I do want to encourage you, but I don’t feel comfortable with being surrounded by a crowd, no matter how nice people those two persons might be.

    Oh lord. I’m typing this while listening to the post-story banter, and Rish made yet another definitely off-colour joke in that cluelessly deadpan way of his. Lovely. Really, I mean it. Off-colour and all that, it is spicy and what deicacy would you want without a sprinkling of spices? What’s more, despite what you say about thinking about making up skits and jokes, it sounds spontaneous; a lovely flash of personality — not that you don’t have a sufficiency of that already.

    So. I like. Keep doing the good work. I’ll let you know if I change my mind or if you do something really horrible.


    • What kind, encouraging words, Pirvo. I guess I can see what you mean by not being the kind of guy who makes a fuss and draws attention to himself, but I’m sure I speak for Big (and A.M. and Soundwave) when I say I’m really grateful that you made the sacrifice.

      I’m like Fred Krueger in the (only) good ELM STREET film; if no one believes in me, I lose all my power.

  2. Elendae Says:

    My dreams were haunted last night by the trilling of ‘peace’.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    A goofy Rish comment at the top of the show is one of the best ways to get me to listen to an episode, as I go through the back archives and listen to a few minutes of each episode and see what I want to listen to.

    Been listening to all the new episodes so far, back just to Whelp.

    The post-show commentary is a vital part of the Dunesteef, in my opinion.

    And for the record the “trial of Rish Outfield” multipart skit thing was hilarious, and I think that sort of multipart meta-plotline/skit should be an annual thing or something.

    And Rish’s Shatner-voice is half-Christopher Walken, which is funny.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    you guys come on! you know that for every comment here, there are hundreds of people who thought likewise…
    great show.

  5. There have some studies on people who actually leave a review for something they buy or a diner they eat at. I am not going to go find the numbers but its a very very small percentage of people. I know that for myself I restrained from commenting early on until I had first caught up on all the episodes and then it still took a while before I started commenting.


    …on a more serious note, I really liked this episode. The action setpieces were well handled and delightfully visceral (a tough thing to accomplish without visuals) and the tone was just dark enough. I love how the “why” of the story was left unresolved, it really left it to the worst part of what the audience could imagine.

    I’m tremendously guilty of listening to podcasts without posting comments, I do the same with the Escape Artist ‘casts. So; Here I am, and I’ll try not to make this the only time I appear. I love, love, LOVE the Dunesteef, I find the banter charming and the stories weird and wonderful. I thought the trial of Rish Outfield storyline was fascinating to follow, and I appreciate how much work goes into the production. Like most people, I respect people who can do things I can’t. And, since I do act and write, though I do neither particularly well, in this case I find myself focusing on the soundscapes editing. It’s a stunningly tight technical storytelling that you put out time after time, and the fact that it happens to be well written and acted is a delightful bonus. I can only imagine how much trouble producing one of these suckers must be.

    So there we have it. I discovered the Dunesteef last year, archive trawled your whole back episode catalogue over the course of two months, and now, finally, I’m leaving a comment. I’ll review you on iTunes too. Does that make you happy? Am I not merciful? AM I NOT MERCIFUL?!?!??!

    Big thanks to you, Rish, Big, Announcerman and R080T (who we haven’t heard much from in a couple episodes, and who I assume is away self replicating endlessly in an attempt to conquer the world) for the redonculously fun podcast. Keep steefin’ that Dune…


  7. Because I am being pressured to do so, I refuse to comment on this episode… :)

  8. Liked the story. I am commenting now because I try to on a regular basis, but fall dreadfully short of that goal. Also I’m commenting because you are sounding a little needy and, as a loyal, longtime listener, I feel it’s my duty to comment, you know, to keep you guys going.

    One thing I wanted to address was the Pastor/religious aspect. Being a person of faith, I didn’t feel that it was a commentary on religion so much as the Pastor was an unlikely and so therefore a great bad guy. He was someone people trusted. I find the betrayal of trust from someone like that to be MOST terrifying.

  9. This story really sounds like the first chapter in a very interesting book (or TV show): now that the smart bad guys have caused humanity to eradicate its “toughguys”, and come to conquer the Earth, how will humanity fight? Will the sheep learn how to become wolves, or will they find another, non-violent way to get rid of the manipulators?

    Great story, even if it doesn’t lead to a novel :-)

  10. Maybe you need a forum so that committed fans can feel they have a voice? Seeting up a forum can be a pain, but once rolling, you often find people take on responsibilities, set up contests, suggest and discuss stories etc. You would get a lot more feedback on every episode and see a lot quicker how skits and discussions go down with the listeners…

  11. dvdkfr: seconded, i’d absolutely read that novel.

  12. charmayne Says:

    I grew up in church where preachers trilled and screamed every sunday….Big U pretty much nailed the preacher man! Rish has a weird sense of humor that I love. It works every time:)

  13. Lawrence Says:

    I love this episode, and love the show. I’ve been a regular listener for the last 4 years, and never missed a podcast. I am no podcaster, author, critic, actor or academic. I’m just a listener in the loves to get lost in the creative production of your well selected stories. Please keep up the good work, and the humour!

    Viva la Dunesteef!

  14. I loved this story. I really like how they have to work with this truly terrible killer, and the writer doesn’t take the cop-out of trying to make the killer redeem himself or turn out to secretly not be evil in some way; he’s just a straight up moral monster, who the cops have to work with out of necessity.

    I like your skits Rish! I particularly enjoyed the “reel” of you saying offensive things you had a few months back.

  15. Mike Shawaluk Says:

    I just listened to the story this morning, and to me it was an interesting take on the “zombie” story type. Not unkillable zombies, but zombies nonetheless.
    One thing I picked up on while listening to the story, that Rish & Big didn’t mention in their banter, was that “Pastor” is the Latin word for “shepherd” so it seemed appropriate to me that he should be leading the “sheep” in this episode :)

  16. I’m afraid this story didn’t quite score with me.

    Firstly, the production. I actually found this story a little over-produced. I enjoy sound effects, music, etc, but it seemed like almost the entire story had random sound effects or thrilling music underscoring – and overwhelming – the narration.

    Secondly, a lot about the writing just didn’t appeal to me. In particular, I felt that the characters’ voices were not very authentic. They seemed to speak very generically and not at all in the vernacular and vocabulary of their background and location.

    Finally, although I enjoyed the basic idea – the ordinary people turning against violence and rejecting both their protectors and their predators – I thought the story handled it a little clumsily. By turning the “sheep” into mindless, brutal monsters and having them be manipulated by villainous outsiders, the story took a stance: yes, the sheep need their sheepdogs, and there is something noble – or at least, strong, and admirable in that strength – about the wolves. Another example of this confusion is that the trillers turned against firemen, who are heroes in the simplest sense and not necessarily violent. Physical – willing to do violence to doors and windows, certainly – but not violent.

    The author said that he didn’t write this story to express an opinion in this question – and I believe him – but the story seemed to have a very firm stance and failed, in my mind, to become the neutral and even-handed exploration the author intended.

    • Continuum Says:

      Totally agree.

      The author’s message seems twisted and steeped in violence.

      Actually, I found the story’s quite offensive since the author portrayed most reasonable people in our society, the usual agents of peace (ministers, principals, etc) as people of horrible actions. I wonder what the author’s opinion is of the “Sermon on the Mount”.

      Similarly, he gave a “pass” to the serial killer merely because he teamed up with a police officer in order to save his own skin.

      By portraying the populace as sheep, and the police as sheepdogs, the author denigrates the police into agents unto themselves alone.

      The comparison of the citizens to sheep, and the police to sheepdogs is nonsense. Only if sheep choose their own sheepdogs and knew that the sheepdogs would eventually herd them to the slaughter would this comparison be possible.

      The author fails to understand that the citizenry are not sheep. It is the citizenry that provides both the sovereign authority and the laws which they then charge police to enforce. The police are not the masters of the People, but instead the servants selected by the People.

      • Lawrence Says:

        I automatically referenced the sheep with the often Puritan, right of centre law abiding masses of most western civilisations. Their vulnerability being naivety, and a dependency on authority. The corrupt pastor could easily be an metaphor for any kind of radical politicianthat can lead society down the dark path of extremism. People are sheep when when supplied with fear, and given an outlet for their anger. When this happens, people can be turned to any cause. Obviously the story exaggerates this concept, in order to entertain,

    • I agree with pretty much everything Mark said, both about the excessive music/SFX and the fumbling of the message in the stiff dialogue.

      Definitely not my favorite story episode. Ah, well.

  17. In case anyone is interested, the print edition of my collection Never Never Stories, which Big and Rish mentioned in this episode, is now available. Details at http://www.jasonsanford.com/jason/2011/07/spotlight-publishing-releasing-print-edition-of-never-never-stories.html

  18. OK, my mini boycott is over. :) Truth be told I hadn’t listened to the story yet, just the feedback (and no I don’t usually do that). This was an interesting story. It took me a while to get into it, but the whole juxtuposition of the peaceful flock purging theperceived violent ones finially won me over. That and the pastor took the daughter; that’s going too far. He had to be taken down then. He was kind of a cross between Jim Jones and Benjamin Linus, minus the trilling.

    See now stuff like Big trilling “Peeeeeace!” should be what makes it to the video podcast. Of which, in light of the pleas for more feedback, I would like to comment on. I did like the aspect of the video podcast in that you were able to suppliment the conversation with helpful and amusing images, but I don’t know, I think some of the fun of podcasting is listening to people and picturing things as you want to, like the old time radio days. Not that I haven’t seen what you guys look like, but watching you guys talk kind of broke down some kind of wall, maybe the sixth.

    Anyway one last thing, I do think a forum is a good idea for the Dunesteef. I was thinking of setting one up for my podcast, but I’ll let it get some legs first. The Dunesteef already has legs, and if you shaved them they would be shapely. (I have no idea what that means.)

    • I’d like to nth the idea for a forum. That would be awesome. I’d love to be able to discuss stories in a somewhat more accessible format, and the possibility of talking with Dunesteefers about other topics in other threads is pretty exciting.

      • I agree. I think it would be a great idea to have a forum (and that way people could continue to praise “Raising Archie” and “Castle of Sea Hill Road” and/or bash “Hang Up and Try Again” and “Like Cats & Dogs” for years to come!

        The problem is, I have no idea how to set up a forum. It took us two years just to set up a blog (and if it were as easy as the blog was, we’d be doing it already), but unless someone has an easy solution for a forum set-up, it’ll probably never happen.

        Suggestions, anyone?

        • Put out a big shout and you’ll find a fan who knows how to either talk you through it or do it themselves, I’m pretty sure. I’m an admin for another forum, so after yours was set up, I would be happy to help keep it running smoothly. :)

        • I’m not sure how to do it either, but I’m pretty sure there are free frameworks – much like your wordpress blog – that you can upload to your server and, with a little tweaking, create a viable forum.

          Honestly, I’d recommend emailing your favorite podcaster-with-a-forum and asking them for a little advice. Mur Lafferty is actually really nice and approachable, and I know you’ve already got a relationship with Norm Sherman AND Abigail Hilton. I’m sure they’ll be happy to help. You can tell them I said so.

  19. Gad damn you comment whores.

    Ok, I enjoy the show every damn week. Seriously. I even get a little sad when Rich is down on himself too much. Just a little.

    I do a podcast as well (totally unrelated…) I know it’s tough work… I listen to every one you’ve put out. If I wasn’t so broke I’d donate.

    You put out a great show better IMHO than some other speculative fiction podcast… *cough* with numerically worded stories… just saying.

    So in other words… don’t act like bitches. Great show.
    When I get rich as balls you can has some.

  20. Just wanted to chime in to … well just to chime in ;-)

    I thoroughly enjoy the Dunesteef, look forward to every episode, and even listen to the entire thing every time whether it’s good for me or not.

    [Channeling a creepy version of Rish and queueing up the sad piano music] Sometimes…in my lonely, lonely life…I even imagine that …someday… I’ll at least get a chance to look in the window of that kitchen at Bigg’s house … after watching his wife and children sleeping … through the other windows in the house … and then I’ll pretend I’m part of the whole hilarious production process…farts and all … instead of being just a dangerous and pathetic stalker… *sigh* [End channeling a creepy version of Rish and the sad piano music].

    By the way, the word I kept looking for in my mind to describe the sound of the trilling ‘peace’ was not trilling, it was whinnying, as of a horse. It sounded like whinnying.

  21. I loved this story. Religious leaders are such great antagonists becuase the devotion they instill in so many people. They are in a position to do great good, but when they are corrupted it is really bad. This story was such a great example of this mixed with I guess kind of an invasion story.

  22. Nice job as always, guys! I think comments are a bit like applause for this kind of thing. Often it’s the only feedback you get, but a large portion of the audience doesn’t even have to come to the site, thanks to iTunes, etc.

  23. I don’t comment often (or ever), but I have been meaning to post that I started listening to Dunesteef about a year ago when I was looking to break free from just the Escape Artists podcasts. I heard Mario’s Three Lives narrated by Rish and decided to check this podcast out. You guys dis the Kingdom of the Flies story that freaked me out followed by the Corry Doctorow story, which I still don’t think I understood, but I enjoyed the performance and the banter so much that I spent the summer catching up on your catalog (and Doctor Who audio reconstructions). When I got back to Escape Pod, Steve Eely left and I found that I didn’t like it anymore. I’ll still listen to stories, but I skip the opening and closing of everyone but Alistar Stewart. Either your podcast is better or you broke me. It’s a good thing you turned me on to Starship Sofa or else I’d have nothing to listen to.

    Thanks for everything in your podcast: story, banter, running Friends references, and running jokes, but I think Optimus Prime gas to weigh in and say no more “what does Dunesteef mean?” jokes.

    Thanks again.

  24. Nicolas Says:

    Hi, I also have to admit I am not as regular for comments as I should, and I felt guilty listening to this story and banter yesterday. As I can’t make real donations, I will go for the micro donation of a comment !
    I discovered the Dunesteef a few months ago, and it is a place I check for new episodes every second day. I also like to go backwards in the episode list and get some more to listen during longer trips. What I really like is how you guys sound “real” in your banter, speaking about anything you have been inspired by, from the difficulty of writing to…. Steven Tyler for example. I also like your child-like humor and Rish’s offensive remarks :)
    As for the stories, they usually fit pretty well my tastes in speculative fiction, and I enjoyed all the ones I listened too. The couple of last ones, since you started to have guest producers, sounds to me more and more ellaborate, with regards to the music, sound effects … For now I think I like it this way, but I also understand people feeling it a bit “over-produced”. I myself also enjoy the more story-reading style episodes, with you guys, two microphones, a hammer and a watermelon in the kitchen (if you see what I mean :) ).
    So to sum up, I love the Dunesteef! Keep up the excellent work, you guys also are a motivation to write stories, with the hope of being one day aired (and thus get rich) on this already famous show of yours!
    (…Oh and sorry for the language, I am not an native english speaker)

  25. Cool story. Great cast reading – I thought the serial-killer was pretty damn terrifying.

    It kinda tapped into a scary realization I had one day while I was in front of a class I was teaching, which was something like ‘These are mostly good kids – but if they decided en masse to attack me – I’d be a freaking dead man.’

    Anyways – I liked it.

  26. Morgan Elektra Says:

    I really enjoyed the story, and there was a great background sound… a creaking maybe?…. throughout that made it really creepy. I really liked the exploration of violence, and what can be acceptable in a given situation. And I also really loved the stinger at the end, of now that most of the people willing to do violence were wiped out, who was going to come in a take advantage of the situation. Very cool. No surprise though, since I dug the hell out of Sanford’s The Plague Birds.

    And I listen to every episode, and love every episode… even if I don’t comment. You guys do an awesome job every time. But I worry that if I comment every time, Rish will begin to fathom the level of my obsession and close his blinds more often. ;)


  27. Anonymous Says:

    OK… first time commenting… anywhere.

    I guess the plea for feedback struck me.
    Plus, I really loved this story.

    First, about the story. I haven’t had a story pull me in this many directions in awhile. Through the entire story I felt an underpinning that maybe the heroine wasn’t a heroine… maybe she really did have some darker side that wasn’t coming out when she told the story from her point of view. I was uncomfortable with the actions from both sides of the conflict… but I was glued to it. I was immensely satisfied with the bigger picture having an open ending, and the local picture having closure with the description of a pair of gloves. Very cool stuff.

    Now, about the podcast.

    I often get fussy about the content I listen to. I want plots to go certain ways… I want certain actions to happen. So I find it sometimes hard to stay engaged with short fiction podcasts. However, one of the things that dunesteef has done for me is given me a greater appreciation of character driven stories. I’ve sat through some stories that my instinct told me to bail on… I hung in there… and they ended up being great stories. Your story selection is amazing. You bring so much life to the stories and the characters. I appreciate the commentary (although I don’t always listen to all of it). However, I did enjoy the run of Rish’s trial immensely and I get excited to hear the Broken Mirror results. I’ve been listening for awhile and this has been consistent high quality entertainment. On days with dunesteef, my commute is a breeze, and I often can’t stop thinking about the podcast (story and commentary) afterwards. Thank you for all of your efforts.

  28. I never comment because I’m always listening to these episodes 1-4 weeks after they air. I save them for when I really need them, like road trips, or if I’m stuck in traffic, or when I just really want this one commute home to feel like it was only 2 minutes long instead of 30.

    I listened to this episode. I’ve listened to every episode. I haven’t heard a single one I didn’t like. This was a particularly enjoyable one for the acting alone, and the imagery of Big flailing his arms over his head like some of inflatable tube man.

    On second thought, I liked every episode EXCEPT the All Music episode. That one can suck it big time. Oh, and the one where you explained where “Dunesteef” is from. And every episode with Announcer Man. But besides THOSE ones… solid gold.

  29. Michael Says:

    I only just got around to this episode because I wanted to give my full attention to a Jason Sanford story. I’m glad I did, I really enjoyed the story, but the production was also fantastic, It really added to a great story. Well done, guys.

  30. Hey guys, just finished listening to this episode. Quite liked it, production was excellent, although sometimes the music and screaming noises in the background were a bit distracting.

    I’ve not commented much before, but will try to do more it more often. I should know better, I ran a blog which I got bored with because people didn’t comment much (even though we got lots of visitors looking at the Google Analytics stats). It’s mostly that I listed to podcasts in the car, and when I’m back behind the computer, my mind is on other things than what I listened to in the car.

    In any case I enjoy every episode of you guys; started listening some 20 episodes ago. The stories are excellent and the banter afterwards is always fun. Off-color comments are always welcome if you ask me but I understand you are trying to keep it accessible to many people, so filter out swear-words.

    I see you guys have an $5 a month subscription option; that’s great, gonna set that up after I post this.

    Funny side note: It took the longest time to find you guys. I heard you guys mentioned on Escape Pod and Drabblecast, but searching for ‘Dunesteve’ never gave any hits; I’d never seen it written anywhere, and it sure sounds like dunesteve in audio. :)



  31. I’m catching up on old episodes, so, per request, here is a comment.

    Good luck on getting thicker skins, sending in more submissions and keeping your head out of the oven.

    Always love the show, even the 99 minutes of banter!

  32. This is another of those stories that I’ve fallen in love with. It’s always fun to see something deep and serious, but without being a full downer (the idea that “normal” humanity would survive the peace-screaming hordes is uplifting, to me. Even if it’s just the world’s defense forces and the criminals). I loved the story. I feel like there’s so much more to the world, and to me that’s a mark of a good story, one that lives on beyond the point where the book ends, the one that makes you think the world is living on.

    As far as commenting… I’m a terrible not-commenter. I’m lazy, and I admit it. But I felt moved, and that’s when I crawl out of my pit and actually write something.

  33. Angela M. Says:

    LIke Pirvonen, I’m someone who listens and enjoys, but don’t really comment. On the one hand, like Scott Pigg, if I do comment I wait till I’m all caught up. Then, I’m sure Big can understand that listening while commuting means you’ll go through several episodes depending on the length of your commute and the length of the episode. I can also listen at work, so I could go through three or four. So by the time you’re in a place where you can sit down and comment, you’re off on other things. For example, it’s been several days since I listened to this episode, and I’m just now commenting. The skits are great, the commentary is fun, and you guys (and your helpers) do a great job of producing stories. I know that Podcasters, Authors, Bloggers, etc. love feedback, and it’s encouraging. But please don’t get discouraged when no one does comment. We’re still listening (and enjoying).

  34. I’m catching up on old episodes, so I’ve always been hesitant to comment on old episodes, but this one seems the most appropriate.

    It is interesting how this sheep, sheep dog, wolf analogy is playing out in 2015, what with so many recent news stories about police violence against the public. I kept coming back to these incidents in my mind as the characters discussed how the “sheep” only like the “sheep dogs” around when threatened by the “wolves”.

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