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Author Topic: EP556: In a Manner of Speaking  (Read 304 times)
eytanz
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« on: January 01, 2017, 03:44:57 AM »

EP556: In a Manner of Speaking

AUTHOR: Charity Tahmaseb
NARRATOR: Amy H. Sturgis
HOST: Tina Connolly

---

I use the last of the good candles to build the radio. I still have light. The fire burns, and there is a never-ending supply of the cheap, waxy candles in the storeroom. I will–eventually–burn through all of those. My fire will die. The cold will invade this space.

But today I have a radio. Today I will speak to the world–or what’s left of it. I compare my radio to the picture in the instructions. It looks the same, but not all the steps had illustrations. This troubles me. My radio may not work.

I crank the handle to charge the battery. This feels good. This warms my arms, and I must take deep breaths to keep going. I shake out my hand and crank some more. When buzz and static fill my ears, I nearly jump. That, too, sounds warm. I am so used to the cold. The creak and groan of ice, the howl of the wind. These cold sounds are their own kind of silence. They hold nothing warm or wet or alive.

I decide on a frequency for no other reason than I like the number. I press the button on the mouthpiece. This, according to the instructions, will let the world hear me.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Kaa
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 05:20:02 PM »

This was awesome. It reminded me strongly of the second-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Pen Pals."
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I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

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katiekawaii
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2017, 12:07:06 AM »

I have never commented on the Escape Pod forums before, but this story was so good that I just had to. It was *so good*. Like, be late to work because you have to hear the rest of the story good. I just loved it.
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acpracht
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2017, 09:35:33 AM »

This was awesome. It reminded me strongly of the second-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Pen Pals."
That was the one where Data was communicating with a young girl on a planet about to be destroyed, right?
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Kaa
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« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2017, 09:39:06 AM »

This was awesome. It reminded me strongly of the second-season episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called "Pen Pals."
That was the one where Data was communicating with a young girl on a planet about to be destroyed, right?

Yes, that's the one.
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I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

About writing || About Atheism and Skepticism (mostly) || About Everything Else
user364826
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« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2017, 12:52:31 PM »

There is no doubt in my mind that this will join the likes of "Exhalation" and "Friction" in my personal "best of escape pod" list. It has a beauty of its own that accents the beauty of everything.

Being a short story, it says a lot. It's paradoxically epic.
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DerangedMind
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2017, 10:37:04 AM »

There was one point where Amy paused for a second during the narration where I went "NOOOOO!  Don't you dare end the story here!!!!"  I think that's the first time I've done that on a podcast....

Loved it, and loved the twist at the end where you start hearing things from the other perspective....
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Scuba Man
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2017, 04:05:19 PM »

I have never commented on the Escape Pod forums before, but this story was so good that I just had to. It was *so good*. Like, be late to work because you have to hear the rest of the story good. I just loved it.
Welcome to the forum!  There all kinds of topics floating around in here (EP keeps it hopping). I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts about more stories, eh. Re: Episode 556. It's definately one of their better podcasts. I was able to visualize the setting and connected to the 2 characters.  Gripping narative.
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"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
Scuba Man
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2017, 04:15:49 PM »

There is no doubt in my mind that this will join the likes of "Exhalation" and "Friction" in my personal "best of escape pod" list. It has a beauty of its own that accents the beauty of everything.

Being a short story, it says a lot. It's paradoxically epic.

As a weekend bushcrafter (I mess around with knives, axes, firebuilding, twigs, and tarps) I wanted to jump into the story and help her fortify her shelter.  The story took a dark turn (after the avalanche) where I think she's freezing to death. I got a cold pit in my stomache...  No! No! NO! The story's grippiness went to "11" as I wondered how the radio-voice would TRY to rescue the girl from hypothermia.
Now, THAT'S good story telling.  When a piece of writing can get a 46-year-old high school science teacher to get all worked up into a tizzy... nice!

The story gave me a hell of suprise at the 40 minute mark.  What's going on?  Is the shuttle-pilot-AI-being doing some kind of time travel thing and trying different senarios to get Sochi to survive longer?  I visualized this being a kind of matrix moment... where different outcomes are tried out to see with will give the most successful consequence.

Here's another image I mused... The Green Lantern Corp. Is the AI-being a Green Lantern protector? I'm assuming that the Green Lantern Corp has to witness countless planet extinctions. I wonder how the corp deals with this workplace hazard?

Whatever's happening in this story -- it's rich story telling. I like it! More, please.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 04:36:24 PM by Scuba Man » Logged

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
Jason Fischer
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2017, 10:27:26 PM »

This story was SO good. I was gripped from start to finish and genuinely forgot that I was driving my car. Outstanding work - the story of the girl, trapped in a cold cabin, the radio her only lifeline to....to somebody? This would translate to film so easily and somebody needs to make it happen. 10/10.
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 02:35:37 PM »

Hmmm... As it went with her perspective I was very interested in where it was going and the reveal of what this being was that could somehow see what she's doing despite communicating over the radio.   

But it lost me near the end when it became clear that... there wasn't really any reason other than handwaving that it should be reaching her at all, and the looping nature of the relationship from his point of view... I just don't really see what the point of that was, I guess.  It seemed like a big distraction to me to insert a time-loop element right at the end (it was suggested perhaps by some of the earlier dialog, but not clearly enough so it still felt like a big twist out of nowhere).
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VranaCat
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2017, 01:27:34 PM »

I loved this story right until the end.  I can't really articulate why, but the fact that the alien being was in the process of dying while going through this loop just struck me as unsatisfying. I suppose that I understand that the author seems to be trying to make a point about his attempt to comfort the doomed girl even as he himself is dying, but it made his sacrifice seem less sincere to me.  It's like.. "I'm dying anyway, might as well talk to her I guess," as opposed to if he hadn't been dying it being "I'm caught in a time loop, and I know that until I find a way out this will keep happening, but I won't find a way to free myself until I find a way to save her, or at least grant her as much comfort as possible before her death."
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