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Author Topic: EP562: Meltwater  (Read 915 times)
eytanz
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« on: February 13, 2017, 01:18:49 PM »

EP562: Meltwater

AUTHOR: Benjamin C. Kinney
NARRATOR: Rajan Khanna
HOST: Tina Connolly

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My beloved waits for me in the flooded church. She’s died one time too many, and I can’t get her back without her help. At least, at last, it gives me a reason to see her again.

The church lies at the edge of the Mediterranean fracture, below cliffs barely eight thousand years old. Glacial melt pours down the precipice, filling the air with a fine frigid mist. Rime ice coats the façade, making the church look like a sharp-clawed hand locked in melting wax. Another fork drops me off in a flier, leaving me alone in the valley with my pack and what few memories I can carry.

Boulders and high water have turned the entrance into a scramble over icy stone. My lungs heave against thin cold air as I catch my breath in the nave atop a half-submerged pile of boulders. There’s just enough dry space for me to stand upright. I wish I’d taken a different body, but for this task–for me–only the traditional shape will do.

I first spot Emlune as a glowing line of blue. Her primary lamp cuts across the chamber, and the air glimmers with frozen mist. She clings to the vaulted ceiling with eight articulated limbs. Smaller lights spangle her teardrop-shaped chassis, as if she had swum in water rich with bioluminescent algae.

I cup my hands in front of my mouth. “Emlune!”

The light swivels toward me, even though she must’ve noticed me already. The artifice lends her attention a charming, primitive touch. I say, “There you are. Six thousand years, and this place hasn’t changed a bit. You’re still maintaining it, yes?”


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Kittenpox
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2017, 10:28:21 AM »

I'm not quite sure what to make of this one.
I enjoyed it, and because it reminded me of another story that I think I heard on Escape Pod about people splitting themselves (I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, and the main bit I do remember was someone sending 1% of themselves to break up with their partner) the concept wasn't too difficult to take on. The transhumanism themes of the personality Forks being unbound by gender or physical form were also a very nice touch.

I'm still not sure how to feel about the main character's attempt at suicide via accepting Emlune's fork into his human body, either.
Destroying the part of himself that pines after her makes sense in the narrative (and he wouldn't be the first person to behave self-destructively when he realises she's just not that into him), but I can't help but feel that either it damns the part of her that she forked off into the human body to a relatively short lifespan - or, if she splices that fork back into herself, just how much of Percel survives the overwrite and will get absorbed into Emlune in the process?
He's so damn selfish and I'm not sure he even realises it. (Like, no offense dude, but I think I'm starting to see why she jumped into a volcano. Just move on already! Tongue )

Much like 'This Is As I Wish To Be Restored' (EP443), which also had a main character who wasn't especially likeable due to his obsession with another person, I think this story is one that I'll be pondering for a while... and that isn't a bad thing. Cheesy
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Ichneumon
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 05:46:48 PM »

What a great opening visual. I both liked and didn't like that over 9000 years of 'transcending,' experiencing, and changing, people are still basically people.
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Frank Evans
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2017, 06:21:53 AM »

This one didn't work for me. For whatever reason my attention kept drifting from the story; I wasn't able to get invested in either the characters or the outcome. I can't say I have something I distinctly disliked I could point to, rather I think it's just a case of this not being the right type of story for me.
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VranaCat
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2017, 09:30:38 PM »

When one goes for a completely alien setting one needs to have some way of grounding it for the reader to keep them invested in it.  I get that the long running relationship between the two main characters was supposed to serve that purpose, but the story was so obsessed with the air of mystique that I felt it didn't give us enough details to actually get invested in the characters.  Overall, not one of my favorite pieces.
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Zelda
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 04:35:40 AM »

By the end of the story I wasn't completely sure if it was about two characters or one. Once the name-changing issue came up I began to think that perhaps that two main characters had branched off from a single original. Overall I found this story interesting but confusing.
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TrishEM
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2017, 02:33:12 AM »

I'm not quite sure what to make of this one.
I enjoyed it, and because it reminded me of another story that I think I heard on Escape Pod about people splitting themselves (I can't for the life of me remember what it was called, and the main bit I do remember was someone sending 1% of themselves to break up with their partner) the concept wasn't too difficult to take on.

I think the story that Kittenpox was trying to think of was Subversion, by Elisabeth R. Adams, Episode 398.
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amrowe
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2017, 07:55:21 PM »

Somewhere in the multi-verse there is a fork in which Meltwater is about a relationship and man seeking to regain the love of his life.  Sadly, in this fork we have a story that dwells more on the roadmap of time then on the reasons the character is so desperate to navigate it successfully. 

Also, did anyone else think the recording was a little flat?
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Vivikos2
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 10:06:05 PM »

Stick RPG 2 It is so moving and sad.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 10:26:36 PM by Vivikos2 » Logged
acpracht
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Posts: 180


« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2017, 04:23:56 PM »

Also, did anyone else think the recording was a little flat?

Can you define what you mean by flat? Quality of recording? Voice acting?

I appreciate feedback, but can't do much with it when it's vague.

Thanks,

-Adam
Producer
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Varsha
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Posts: 30



« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2017, 03:06:27 PM »

I didn't like this story that much.

Maybe because it could as easily be done in fantasy setting, the futuristic references were not necessary to the story.
I mean treating "downloads" as souls is a bit off-putting for me.

Narration was good enough.
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