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Author Topic: EP553: Water Finds Its Level  (Read 1076 times)
eytanz
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« on: December 09, 2016, 04:00:53 AM »

EP553: Water Finds Its Level

AUTHOR: M. Bennardo
NARRATOR: Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
HOST: Norm Sherman
---

“Would you still love me if I were exactly the same,” he’d ask, “but was a Civil War re-enactor?”

“Shut up,” I’d say.

“What if I were exactly the same,” he’d say, “but refused to eat anywhere except McDonald’s?”

“Shut. Up.”

“Or what if I greased my hair with pomade and went tanning every week?”

That’s when I would give him the death-ray glare. “If you want me to stop loving you right now,” I’d say, “you can keep asking those stupid questions.”

“You know why.”

“But it doesn’t work like that,” I’d say. “You can’t do those things and still be exactly the same in every other way. If you did those things, you’d be somebody else. So just shut up because I don’t want to think about it.”

#

When people asked where I met Roger, I always told the truth. “We met in the Collision,” I’d say. Then they’d give me that look that people used to give you when you told them you met somebody online. The look that said you must be reckless or naive or desperate, and that no good would come of it.

It got better over time, of course, once more people understood. Once they had to understand. By the time it was all over, I was the weird one–still living a single life, still just one of a kind.

And Roger–I guess they understood him better.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Maxilu
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 09:22:04 PM »

Confession:

I usually listen to podcasts as background noise, only paying half attention while I work or drive or clean.

This story had my full attention.

Somehow, I didn't see where ending coming, despite being laid out in the opening paragraph.

This is one of those fantastically well designed worlds that is well explained and leaves the reader wanting to know more. I would love to explore the collision from any number of different angles.

Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk

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lodontom
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 06:06:06 PM »

I enjoy Science Fiction as a way to think about the implications of technological, scientific, political or social changes. I am not as bothered about whether great characters are developed or the vivid world building as I sometimes hear discussed.  This story had both.   
I would be interested to get a more scientifically informed take on the dimensionality and multiverse merges.  But for know I just know I enjoyed this story more than many of the other recent episodes.
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Father Beast
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2016, 07:02:19 AM »

I'm pretty sure that I've heard this story before, but I don't know where. Was it on Starship Sofa or something?

Anyway, the story was fairly cool. the concept of alternate worlds colliding and merging was well handled, right down to some people handling it and some people not taking it very well. There is the implied contempt for her parents trying to ignore the alternates living in the other side of their house, which is subverted when she herself does not take an aspect of the change very well either, and so is not so much unlike her parents at all.

All in all, a story worth listening to. I enjoyed it, even though this was the second time.

Edit: Found it, it was in Starship Sofa episode 304
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 07:10:23 AM by Father Beast » Logged
DerangedMind
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2016, 05:53:11 PM »

Yep - its listed as being read by Amy H Sturgis, Sept 2013 on Starship Sofa.
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DerangedMind
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2016, 05:56:37 PM »

First of all, Khaalidah, what an amazing narration.  I think it moved the story from a "meh" for me to a "wow".

Normally I don't like character driven stories too much, but this one seemed to have a good balance of other things going on too.  I found it a compelling listen, and enjoyed thinking about some of what that world must have gone through during the collision. 
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 10:04:18 AM »

Really interesting worldbuilding and character story here.  The constant temptation to go meet your other self, even though it will essentially spawn a third self that won't love the same things as you do.

(Coincidentally I happened to listen to this on StarShipSofa only a couple months ago)
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acpracht
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Posts: 142


« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2016, 02:31:17 PM »

I'm pretty sure that I've heard this story before, but I don't know where. Was it on Starship Sofa or something?

Anyway, the story was fairly cool. the concept of alternate worlds colliding and merging was well handled, right down to some people handling it and some people not taking it very well. There is the implied contempt for her parents trying to ignore the alternates living in the other side of their house, which is subverted when she herself does not take an aspect of the change very well either, and so is not so much unlike her parents at all.

All in all, a story worth listening to. I enjoyed it, even though this was the second time.

Edit: Found it, it was in Starship Sofa episode 304

Yep, and it fact I was editor there at the time. Smiley I intentionally went with a narrator who would put a different flavor on it.

-Adam
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Zelda
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2016, 02:32:33 AM »

For me this story put a fresh twist on Aristophanes' claim that all humans are looking for their other half. Despite romantic love's promise that if we find the right romantic partner we will feel whole and complete, many people do not feel that way. But if you could meet another version of yourself then you would have someone with whom you had complete understanding. If those two bodies can then be combined, the combined individual will feel a sense of completeness that a huge number of people wish for but never find.

This could be seen as selfish, or it could be seen as an attempt to put the ideal of romantic love into a realisitc perspective. Or the author's intention could be something completely different. In any event, I found this a captivating and thought-provoking story.
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Jethro's belt
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2017, 08:32:13 PM »

I wasn't sure where this was going and then it went even further afield than I could have guessed. Very interesting story and I think Ms. Muhammad-Ali has hit her stride as a narrator too; well done.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2017, 10:55:08 PM »

Wow wow! This was such a standout story, I've told multiple people about it. The creepy first hints of the coming Collision, the way the geometry of the world changed to accommodate it, the gamut of reactions people had from embracing it to outright denial... So very, very cool.



 
I would be interested to get a more scientifically informed take on the dimensionality and multiverse merges.

So, I'm a biologist not a physicist. With that disclaimer* in place, I believe current theoretical physics says this interpretation of the multiverse theory is firmly in the Impossible category. If I'm not mistaken, even the concept of branching timelines is basically met with eyerolls. In the most general terms, multiverses are thought to exist in parallel or in sequence, but never actually interacting with each other.

*Also, I remain fully unconvinced by the multiverse theory. Tongue
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Kittenpox
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2017, 12:21:27 PM »

I don't think I have adequate words to praise this one, so please excuse my lack of trying.
The world-building, the differences between the two timelines (including Jennifer's parents and how they handle it), the result of Roger and Jennifer's relationship - all of it was just so good.

This story was a thing of beauty and a joy to behold. Thankyou for writing (and narrating!) it. Cheesy
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Frank Evans
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2017, 04:19:00 PM »

This was excellent. This is a perfect melding between a character and an idea driven story.  The concept was great and well fleshed out, and the character development was very well done. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.
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Piet
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2017, 11:12:41 PM »

The reactions of the protagonist to a unique set of circumstances are well developed. The underlying concept of an alternate world that is almost like our own, to the extent that it includes the same people, and that this world is somehow merging with ours is too unlikely for the story to be fully believable.
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