Escape Artists
February 22, 2018, 09:24:50 PM *
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 on: February 20, 2018, 06:39:38 PM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by CogShoggoth
I enjoyed the story. The main character was immersed into an alien culture in which monsters exist. This immersion primes her for mistakenly identifying killer humans for monsters. A culture that believes in witches will have witches in their midst. Luther’s protest and the printing press gave western culture witch trials galore and all the accompanying horror.

 on: February 20, 2018, 05:07:24 PM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by harrietpodder
to clarify, i was freaked out by the author's inspiration for the story.

 on: February 20, 2018, 05:04:14 PM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by harrietpodder
Gotta say...I guessed what was in the cabin...felt too cliche....then I read the author's inspiration and I was Roll Eyes Maleka was someone I loved to dislike, but she was so well-developed. that she was so badass/eventually realized her mistake. given what was outside and her wanting to "neutralize" those inside. I wanted to scream, "Don't piss 'em off! they're you're only hope!" but the insiders could've gone against my expectations and hurt M too. Which monster is worse? I felt for them cuz their arc from denial to doom was so loud and quick, esp when the 2 said goodbye.
plot points: "Going against all her training, she slammed on the brakes..." um, I don't drive, so what is the correct way to avoid a deer?

Were the outsiders ever given a name/anybody have a guess from Georgia folklore?

 on: February 20, 2018, 04:39:22 PM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by harrietpodder
No, I didn't know about the other slaughters Johnfmayer. thanks? for sharing.

 on: February 20, 2018, 12:54:25 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by Scuba Man
This was extremely touching. Gay android moms ftw!

Were they actually gay, though? Am I naive if I didn't get any sexual attraction between them at all? Or am I android-ist? In any case, I just did not think they were a sexual couple. I don't recall sex being ever introduced between them, and I'm the kind of person that if you don't mention that they had sex I assume they didn't have sex. Personally, I really liked the idea that they were close friends and that you can have such a close friendship without it needing to be sexual....

I’m so hungry for representation that sometimes I see things that aren’t there. However, sex is not necessary for a romantic relationship. Whether romantic or platonic, it’s clear that they love each other.

I like to think they were indeed family. This level of self-awareness in the android’s called the singularity, right? Yep, they sound like a couple that MADE IT. That’s my interpretation and I’m sticking to it![/b]  Cool

 on: February 20, 2018, 12:49:47 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by rendall
This is the first Escape Pod episode I have listened to in a long, long time, and I found it quite disappointing, sadly.

First, a synopsis: Byron, a teenager, identifies so strongly with being a robot that he feels body dysmorphia and wants robot transition surgery. He is afraid of his parents' reaction, especially since his father Carlos was dismissive of robots; but he is encouraged by his best friend, Allosaur. When he comes out to his parents as a robot, his father Carlos is bemused and skeptical; and while his other father Akhil is open to talking, Byron feels this is too unsupportive and runs away. He creates artwork to express how he feels. He gains confidence from the social media reaction to his art, including acknowledgement from the only other person in the world to become a robot. He has another meeting with his parents, where they agree unconditionally to support his transition to being a robot, although he has to wait until 18 because of 'reqs'. He is happy. The end. The moral is extremely clear: unconditionally support your friends and family who want permanent surgery to transition to what they feel themselves to be, even if that is a robot.

Let's just go ahead and acknowledge that 'robot' here is a direct and unsubtle metaphor for gender reassignment surgery, and the story is about a person coming out to their parents as transgender. And as such it is pretty much a 1 to 1 mapping: swap out every mention of 'robot' for 'transgender' and without much other adjustment necessary at all, it becomes a contemporary non-science-fiction coming-out story. Which is to say, it was not a science-fiction story at all.

It also reads like a "message" story: explicitly written to impart moral instruction to the listener. Thus it might in this light be instructive to understand the story and its moral from the lens of a kind of "user manual" or script, on how we in the audience should behave when a 16 year old in our lives wants robot / gender reassignment surgery:

First, this story (considered as a manual) encourages the person contemplating transition, and their friends & family, to treat the topic rather casually, as if life-changing body surgery has no more consequence or import than wanting to "go goth" or to bring a controversial date to the prom: Carlos and Akhil never raise a sincere or reasonable concern about their son's desires, nor does Allosaur. Therapy is never mentioned, as if doing so would be horrendously gauche.

Second, it treats awkward confusion or ignorance as lack of support. Carlos, the least "supportive" of the two parents, seems less opposed to the idea than simply baffled by the concept. Akhil, for his part, is fully empathetic; not educated about it, but still open. Nevertheless, Byron runs away. The lesson here, to a teenager who might identify with Byron, seems to be: if your parents are ignorant of the topic, or have any concerns at all, they are not supportive. The answer is to run away until they agree without reservation. Only unconditional, unreserved cheerleading is support; anything less is not support.

It would have been interesting, valuable, supportive and *responsible* of the story to raise and address the very evident concerns and issues involved with Byron's becoming a robot; and the parents would have been the perfect vehicle by which to do that, given that this is their job. It is not only *not* *un*supportive to ask questions, even of a teenager who is certain they want to transition; it is unloving and irresponsible *not* to.

Shouldn't you ask, of someone you love and literally care for, of someone contemplating "robot transition", at least one of the following questions: "Is it possible that you are mistaken?", "Is it possible that what you're feeling is temporary?", "Would it be a good idea to talk to a therapist?", "Let's have a realistic look together at the process and known consequences of robot transition surgery.", "Is it possible to reverse the transition if you decide it is a terrible mistake?", "Yes, it is possible that you will regret it.", "Yes, of course we will love you no matter what."

 on: February 20, 2018, 11:38:07 AM 
Started by Ocicat - Last post by danooli
oh boy. that wasn't easy.

 on: February 20, 2018, 09:03:33 AM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by Scuba Man
The story indeed felt cinematic once Malika locked herself in the cabin. I like the ending (maybe the 4 of them WILL survive the night). All the Nazi paraphernalia? It was a little out of place. Meh, it added to the story’s tone. I got the feeling one of the men was also a vetran. If that element was played up a bit more, it would have been interesting.
Ah, monsters.
Well,adter that well-narrated story, I present to you... a micro house panther!

 on: February 20, 2018, 07:34:28 AM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by eytanz
Escape Pod 615: Lonely Robot on a Rocket Ship in Space

AUTHOR : A. Merc Rustad
NARRATOR : Christopher Cornell
HOST: Mur Lafferty


Byron scribbled crib notes on his wrist the night before he planned to come out to his dads.

He’d told all his friends he was sick so he would have an excuse to stay home Friday night. It wasn’t like he was lying. His stomach was so knotted he thought he’d puke. But he couldn’t sleep, either. The words burned like he’d used acid instead of a Sharpie.

I’m not scared or confused. It’s who I am.

In the tiniest he could write legibly, he added, Please don’t be mad.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

 on: February 19, 2018, 10:53:07 PM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by Metalsludge
I think this one was a lot of fun. I liked how the author starts out with objections to the culture shock streaming out of the main character, but the point of view gradually shifts to something more gentle through humor. By then, the story had grabbed me.

The cabin in the woods setup felt a bit cinematic, but the beats went smoothly throughout to keep the story entertaining.

The hints of the strange don't quite mix in to as satisfying a shooting ending as was seen in, say, Where the Summer Ends though. Felt like this could have gone just a little further in certain directions.

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