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Author Topic: EP087: Authorwerx  (Read 10011 times)
Ryuujin
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« on: January 04, 2007, 05:24:20 PM »

So, what is your opinion on this podcast?

Okay, first off - I made Steve's comment about his handwriting pretty redundant by being able to read his handwriting, so he'll have to either make it worse, stop posting pictures, blur it a bit or think of something else.

So basically this is a very interesting story, with a very nice "pling" to it - the sound effect, that is; the one I always associate with something not all too shabby. Also, it's not entirely clear where it is the 1st person is walking into - my first impression was that of a "gentlemen's club", if you know what I mean.
Anyhow, Nathan P. Horn (if I'm not entirely mistaken) is a rather paranoid guy - not all too different from myself, I have to admit.

Oh, and that ending. That is such a perfect ending, it even had lizards.

The way Greg seemlessly blends the two stories together is really awesome, though - I especially like the way it's not entirely too evident (at the beginning at least) that this is in fact the future. Also, it's not entirely clear where it is the 1st person is walking into - my first impression was that of a "gentlemen's club", if you know what I mean.

Fact of the matter is, I'd love to have this kind of writer in the real world. I'd so read his stories - they sound awesome, the way they're described as blowing up half-way through and ending up on weird islands with lizards and stuff - although Greg somewhat does that; just not as much as I would like if I had a say in it.

Anyhow, Steve - don't worry if you wouldn't know if you were a simulation of youself thinking of a tagline or not. Or if you're something completely different. Perhaps we're all just part of The Matrix anyway. And Irish whiskey does make one feel better - it always does.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 06:11:59 PM by Ryuujin » Logged
SFEley
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 09:10:05 PM »

By Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Stephen Eley.

I launched into my next bit, which I’d rehearsed that morning on the tram. “What I liked about your stories is that you never knew where they were going. It’d start off as a World War II military adventure, but then it would wind up being about android worms from another dimension out to steal Earth’s dirt. It’s like other writers’ stories are bridges: There’s a beginning, there’s an end, and it’s a pretty straight shot through. It might be a long bridge, or curvy, maybe, so you can’t quite see the ending coming. But the trip basically makes sense. Your stories were different, though. You always blew up your bridges halfway across, and you’d have to swim for the banks, and you’d end up on some rock with weird lizards.”

On the verge of laughter, he looked at me. “You’re kidding, right?”


Rated R. Contains profanity and an disturbing resemblance to Philip K. Dick.

Listen to this week's Escape Pod!
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Jim
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Matross
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 04:11:58 PM »

I like the story, and at the same time I noticed that it had the same ring to it that a lot of the first-person narrative sci-fi stories have, in that the narrator is gruff and embittered, with the fantastic elements of the story coming across as not only commonplace but something of an irritant to the characters. Is there a reason for that? Is it easier to write that way, or more challenging? Is it done to evoke the idea that people in the future will be just as annoyed with the failings of the technology of their day as we are with our own?

(This is why I so desperately wanted forums back on the EP site... I'm so relieved to have a place to converse again)
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dyo
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 08:17:41 PM »

Great! One of my favourite scifi-ish news stories from last year was the one about the PKD simulacrum escaping. Glad I wasn't the only one.

Incidentally, since this is my first posting: great show, I'll send a donation when circumstances permit.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2007, 08:19:22 PM by dyo » Logged
grumpylad
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2007, 12:31:10 AM »

Enjoyed this one, more than a passing nod to Mr Dick though

many thanks for the great work
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SFEley
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« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2007, 01:51:33 AM »

Okay, first off - I made Steve's comment about his handwriting pretty redundant by being able to read his handwriting, so he'll have to either make it worse, stop posting pictures, blur it a bit or think of something else.

Or I could just not worry about it.  >8->  Anyone who's going to work that hard to read those pages is welcome to them; it's all rough and random brain-dumping, and a zeroth draft is guaranteed to have little surface resemblance to the final draft. 


Quote
Fact of the matter is, I'd love to have this kind of writer in the real world. I'd so read his stories - they sound awesome, the way they're described as blowing up half-way through and ending up on weird islands with lizards and stuff - although Greg somewhat does that; just not as much as I would like if I had a say in it.

There are writers like this in the real world.  I didn't ask Greg, but I'm almost certain that Nathan P. Horn is really Philip K. Dick.  I'm also reading Vonnegut right now, who's a different sort of headtrip.

And if neither of them scratch your itch, write some stories that do.  >8->

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Ryuujin
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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2007, 05:30:16 AM »

Indeed. Well, as it stands, I'm not going to be writing anytime soon as I think I just may have landed myself a new job - and with a new job on my hands, I won't have time for writing..

But I'll definitely be hoping to catch some writing, at least to improve upon my English skills. They've been severely lacking these past months, so I need to fine-tune them.
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TechNoir
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2007, 01:59:54 PM »

While I will say I liked this story I have to say there is something about this story that left me unsatisfied. The story was interesting and the premise while not terribly new was pretty nice none the less. But for some reason it did not sing to me like some previous stories. I wish I could be more specific than that. I feel like someone on a blind date that everything I was told about my date before hand proved to be true but for some reason i still don't think I would want a second date.
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oddpod
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 02:01:49 PM »

good stuff
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slic
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2007, 08:06:07 PM »

Having cut my teeth on stories like "Do Robots Dream of Electric Sheep", "West World", and "Bicentennial Man" this was familiar territory.  The ending was a neat twist, and it also go me thinking about meeting with dead celebrities.

I'd prefer the real thing or nothing at all, for one other point - the engineered copy is someone's (or ones') idea of what the person was like - based on stories and myths and whatnot.  While the robot copy might be more in line with what I'd expect, it would still be off. The re-animated idea is a bit creepy, though - if you believe in souls then what exactly are you interacting with - did you rip some one from Heaven/Hell?  Wouldn't that fundamentally change them.  And if we are just inert matter when we pass on and all you did was restart the battery, what about all the brain damage - reminds me of the Monkey's Paw.
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bmambo
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2007, 10:31:03 PM »

Pretty good story - I enjoyed it.

Butterscotch???
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oddpod
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« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2007, 04:47:21 AM »

rimember kids

HOME CLONING IS KILLING LIVE MUSIC
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Graham
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2007, 07:27:09 AM »

I sensed that Horn was based on Dick too, especially with the stories themes of replacement and unreality. Yea, if you like the sound of Nathan P. Hornes stories, you might want to try something by Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan and Galapogos spring to mind. They blew my mind when I was a teenager.
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zagreus
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« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2007, 07:57:27 PM »

I think the story is great but the ending was a bit duff
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wakela
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2007, 12:18:43 AM »

I thought the story was pretty good, but it lost me in the middle.  It seemed to be building up to the escape from Authorwerx, and then when the escape happened I felt like the story was about to end.  I actually felt the end coming after almost every sentence.  So I was in "end of the story" mode instead of "you need to keep track of the plot" mode. 

Quote
I noticed that it had the same ring to it that a lot of the first-person narrative sci-fi stories have, in that the narrator is gruff and embittered, with the fantastic elements of the story coming across as not only commonplace but something of an irritant to the characters.
I noticed this too, and I'm a little tired of this guy.

Did Poe have a British accent?

Dick->Horn....get it? Grin
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gifo
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2007, 10:32:52 AM »

There is a ton of good material here, but somehow the storyline doesn’t do it justice: Implants, cyborgs, the life-indenture employment system, the weird destructive relationship with the wife, the exciting possibilities of meeting your heroes (be they writers or sports stars)…

I would like to see this universe fleshed out in a meatier plot that would draw out all these great ideas. Probably a short story is too brief too allow that to happen.
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FNH
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« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2007, 04:32:55 AM »

This was an OK story, just the sort of thing you find/expect in a short story collection.

After digesting this for a day I'm of the opinion that perhaps there were a couple of alternate stories that maight actually have been more interesting.  1) Some hard Tech relating to what this "spy" found with his implants back at the office, or 2) Starting the story where this one ended.

Perhaps me thinking about this , means this story was actually a Good story, rather than OK.

Overall, I liked it.  Real Sci Fi, more please.
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sirana
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« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2007, 05:42:08 AM »

I really liked many ideas that were brought up in the story, but even though the story didn't do much for me.
I think there may have been just too much ideas and especially plot for a short story. IMHO the best short stories are ones with one or two really strong ideas around which the plot and environment revolve.
In Authorwerx I had the feeling that the story was missing such a central idea, but just had a collection of "really cool ideas"TM that were put together without a connecting theme.
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eytanz
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« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2007, 04:45:23 PM »

Let me add my voice to the people who think that the story was not quite as good as the sum of its parts - there were a lot of great ideas in here, and the story starts out really interesting, but (unlike Horn's stories) it ends up somewhere very predictable and seems to lose its momentum as it goes along. Still, it wasn't a bad half hour to listen to.
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Brian Reilly
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2007, 07:55:26 AM »

I think the story is great but the ending was a bit duff

I agree. It seems like a story where the author came up with a believable future world and an intriguing plot idea, but lost track of where it was all going when actually writing the story.

Still, it was entertaining
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