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Author Topic: EP121: The Snow Woman’s Daughter  (Read 11439 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: August 30, 2007, 08:13:50 AM »

EP121: The Snow Woman’s Daughter

By Eugie Foster.
Read by cunning minx (of Polyamory Weekly).
First appeared in Cricket magazine, February 2007.

When I was a little girl, I thought my mother’s name was Yuki, which means snow. That was part of her name, but I didn’t learn the rest of it until the night my father died.

My mother left us on a slate-gray evening when I was five, with her namesake falling from the sky and piled high around the windows and doors. Awakened by raised voices, I watched through a tear in the curtain that shielded my sleeping mat as my mother wrapped her limbs in a shining, white kimono. As far back as I could remember, she had always worn the dark wool shifts that all mountain people wear, spun from the hair of the half-mad goats that give us milk and cheese. In her kimono she looked like a princess, or a queen. Her skin was paler than mine, and I am thought quite fair. Roku, the boy who lived on the northern crest, used to tease me when we were little, calling me “ghost girl” and “milk face.”


Rated G. Contains non-graphic death and childbearing.


Referenced Sites:
Daily Dragon Podcast
Dragon*Con 2007



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2007, 11:25:49 AM »

Cute, sweet, but I've heard it a thousand times before.
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coreyjf
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2007, 12:16:15 PM »

I enjoyed it, I agree with Russell that this story has been told a thousand times before, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  For me, it captured the essence of a fairy tale, lessons of love and loss sprinkled with hope. 
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« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2007, 12:27:57 PM »

I like this story for what it is, and I'm glad that the fantasy stories are spinning off onto their own show so we can have Column A, B, & C to listen to every week.
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« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2007, 01:27:47 PM »

I enjoyed it because of its non-cynical take on romance and because it has some cool imagery.  It made me feel happy, but it isn't remarkable.  Wholesome and atmospheric, but fluffy none-the-less.

Get it?  Fluffy?  Snow?  Snow is fluffy.  Ha ha...  (awkward silence)
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2007, 01:57:32 PM »

Get it?  Fluffy?  Snow?  Snow is fluffy.  Ha ha...  (awkward silence)

::Crickets chirping::
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2007, 03:15:00 PM »

Get it?  Fluffy?  Snow?  Snow is fluffy.  Ha ha...  (awkward silence)

::Crickets chirping::
*puts in own cricket to chirp*
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2007, 05:36:58 PM »

I would never think
 I would be saying this;
 I was hoping for an alien, space ship and hyperdrive
 would have been inserted somewhere
 to make it interesting.
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bolddeceiver
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2007, 08:32:29 PM »

The writing and the imagery were beautiful, but this kind of warmed-over folklore/fairy tale always feels a little like plagiarism to me.  I know that that's just my own prejudice, but it feels kind of... dirty.
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Josh
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« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2007, 08:44:23 PM »

I agree with most everyone, the imagery was fantastic, but other than that, it was a little too cookie cutter for me. Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice, Beetle Juice.
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eytanz
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2007, 10:43:57 PM »

The writing and the imagery were beautiful, but this kind of warmed-over folklore/fairy tale always feels a little like plagiarism to me.  I know that that's just my own prejudice, but it feels kind of... dirty.

That's very interesting - it really shows how attitudes towards storytelling have changed in the past two centuries. The concept of plagarism is totally foreign to oral tradition - folklore is *meant* to be retold, and to be reshaped and re-envisioned by every teller. That was how it survived.

I respect the fact that authors own their own work - and that they should be able to control how people use their ideas, at least for a while - but these days, it becomes harder and harder for authors to use the work that is public domain without being censured for being unoriginal. I can't help but feeling we've lost something valuable here.

(As for the story itself, I enjoyed it, and that's more or less it. It wasn't a particularly deep or thought provoking story, so I don't really have much to say about it).
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 10:46:05 PM by eytanz » Logged
bolddeceiver
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Plunging like stones from a slingshot on mars...


« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2007, 12:09:03 AM »


That's very interesting - it really shows how attitudes towards storytelling have changed in the past two centuries. The concept of plagarism is totally foreign to oral tradition - folklore is *meant* to be retold, and to be reshaped and re-envisioned by every teller. That was how it survived.

I understand the sentiment, but it also wasn't couched and sold, as we have today, in a world that generally assumes "original" fiction.  I feel like there's a big difference between a story-teller, who is expected to pass along pre-existing stories, and a writer selling work to a fiction market.
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ajames
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« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2007, 05:24:44 AM »

Looking forward to Podcastle.  Time was when I would have been much more interested in Podcastle than Escapepod, but now I'm glad I'll have both.

As for this story, I enjoyed it.  Well-written, well-told, good imagery, true to its genre.  I'm glad the author didn't feel the need to be "original" and put her own, neon mark upon the story. 
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eytanz
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« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2007, 06:50:32 AM »


That's very interesting - it really shows how attitudes towards storytelling have changed in the past two centuries. The concept of plagarism is totally foreign to oral tradition - folklore is *meant* to be retold, and to be reshaped and re-envisioned by every teller. That was how it survived.

I understand the sentiment, but it also wasn't couched and sold, as we have today, in a world that generally assumes "original" fiction.  I feel like there's a big difference between a story-teller, who is expected to pass along pre-existing stories, and a writer selling work to a fiction market.

If the author had tried to pass this off as totally original work, then I would sort of see your point. But, while I don't know about anywhere else this story might have appeared, at least here in Escape Pod this story was explicitly labeled as "based on Japanese folklore". And I don't understand what is the difference between a storyteller - gaining his or her food and board by retelling stories - and an author doing the same. It is my opinion that what the fiction market should be paying for is not just original ideas, but also the skill and craft in the telling. That people have started assuming otherwise is what I feel unfortunate.
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Bolomite
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« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2007, 08:30:11 AM »

Meh...this story kind of bored me.  I thought it was pretty dry, but maybe I'm just shallow and need action or a twist or something.

I'm pretty excited about this new fantasy podcast.  Hopefully Steve will mention when it starts producing episodes so I remember to go subscribe to it.  November is a long time away.  Darn him for showing me the cheese to just take it away!-   Grin
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Reggie
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« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2007, 03:08:30 PM »

This may be entirely out of place....actually, I know it is, but all I could think about while listening to this story was the snow level in Twilight Princess (that part's about love....and snow....as well), but that game is all I've been thinking about lately....

-sigh-
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mjn9
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« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2007, 06:02:58 PM »

I agree it was a sweet little story but not a lot more.  For awhile I thought I was listening to the Crane Wife and hoped maybe to hear some Colin Meloy tunes.
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bolddeceiver
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« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2007, 10:05:35 PM »

And I don't understand what is the difference between a storyteller - gaining his or her food and board by retelling stories - and an author doing the same.

Well, unless you want to get into Jung and Campbell and archetypal stories, an author's job usually isn't retelling stories.  I'm not saying whether this is good or not, but you ask ten people on the street and you'll get an overwhelming consensus that original content is a big part of what an "author" does today.
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eytanz
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« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2007, 07:38:49 AM »

And I don't understand what is the difference between a storyteller - gaining his or her food and board by retelling stories - and an author doing the same.

Well, unless you want to get into Jung and Campbell and archetypal stories, an author's job usually isn't retelling stories.  I'm not saying whether this is good or not, but you ask ten people on the street and you'll get an overwhelming consensus that original content is a big part of what an "author" does today.

Oh, I agree with you that that would be the result. I just wish it wasn't.

Just to make it 100% clear, what I find unfortunate is the general attitude in our society to authors and storytelling. I was only commenting on your personal reaction since it is a direct consequence of this larger attitude.
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Etherius
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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2007, 08:10:44 AM »

It's a simple story, but I liked it. The question of embracing one's heritage or choosing one's own path is a classic theme, one of several that run through this story; while the ending was largely what I expected, it was well told for what it was. I Had FunTM while listening to it, and that's the most important thing. I also love hearing more of Japanese mythology; it often seems to me that the Japanese and the Celts were both living next door to the same Faerie-world even though they were thousands of miles away from each other.  Smiley
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