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Author Topic: EP586: The 1st Annual Lunar Biathlon  (Read 547 times)
eytanz
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« on: July 29, 2017, 09:41:47 AM »

EP586: The 1st Annual Lunar Biathlon

AUTHOR: Rachael K. Jones
NARRATOR: Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
HOST: Divya Breed

---

Raji and I were always designing new torments for ourselves, and then calling them good, and running around the Moon was just the latest idea. We tattooed wedding bands on each other’s fingers after our courthouse elopement, and for good measure, each other’s names. Raji ran down my thumb, and Valanna nestled in his palm along the fleshy crease. We honeymooned outdoors in the dead of winter on the Appalachian Trail, eating garlic couscous boiled in a bag. When we got the flu, we shared it between us like a good book, like a tissue box passed from one nightstand to the other. He worshipped at the mosque, and I at the cathedral. We sinned extravagantly, and we repented extravagantly too. We prayed and fasted with devout abandon. We prided ourselves on our self-denial, on the stares we got when we kissed in our congregation parking lots.

We punished our bodies with crash diets and binge drinking. We took up brutal sports. We ran farther and farther each evening. Eventually, we quit our jobs to seek our limits.

We liked making love on beaches in the rain so the chill drove us closer together. We relished the friction of sand. We got sunburned just to drip aloe down each other’s backs at night. These things reminded us we were alive. Our families called us damned, and most days, we agreed, but this too delighted us. Like Dante, we wanted to pass through Hell at least once before we saw Paradise.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Katzentatzen
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2017, 08:39:05 PM »

I was so sure Raji was going to die. I interpret the ending as positive but it was ambiguous.
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spidervet
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 03:28:38 PM »

I listen to Escape Pod while running, and this was perfect! A great episode.
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Scuba Man
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2017, 06:55:07 PM »

I was so sure Raji was going to die. I interpret the ending as positive but it was ambiguous.

I had to know... he survives, eh (I'm at timestamp 20:01). These two adrenaline junkies (?) made me shake my head in disbelief (good for them -- me... nope. Nope. Nope). Re: Fasting on the Moon. Mordichai Richler's "Solomon Gurskey Was Here" had a similar scene. Re: Inuit had converted & were fasting for Yom Kippur.

Re: ambiguous ending. Whoosh. I bet.
Xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Ending -- indeed, it's less about the race and their relationship.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 07:50:14 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.
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 09:28:15 PM »

I also listened while running and thought Raj was a goner as it skirted closer to an unhappy ending than I thought could be pulled back. I know he may still not finish alive but it kind of doesn't matter, he gets to fly.
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Varsha
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 12:11:19 PM »

This was a good story, I enjoyed it.
How sports would change on other planets due to different environment? This was a good try of exploring that idea.

Now some criticism:
I don't like mention of a real-life religion Islam, just as much as I don't like the assumed Christianity religion in early SF, it all distracts from the story, by bringing up RL issues.

Narration was good.
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Katzentatzen
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« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2017, 02:51:35 PM »


Now some criticism:
I don't like mention of a real-life religion Islam, just as much as I don't like the assumed Christianity religion in early SF, it all distracts from the story, by bringing up RL issues.

Narration was good.

I'd argue that sci-fi must include "real life issues" if it's to be anything more than meaningless fluff.
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Khaalidah from Vega
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K from Vega


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« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2017, 01:41:03 PM »

I was going to hold my tongue on this one, but I can't.
This is a RIDICULOUS NONSENSE critique.
If you're distracted by "real life issues", then were you also distracted by Valanna's handicap? Were you distracted by the racism they faced? Their marital issues? Their undying love for one another? The physical and health issues associated with their athletics? In fact, if you're distracted by "real life issues" in your SF, how do you even bother with the genre at all?
And if you think Christianity was only "assumed" in early SF, then you're so out of touch that I'd question if you read SF at all. Christianity is always assumed unless otherwise indicated. In fact, it is often assumed even when otherwise indicated. Just the same way that characters are assumed white unless clearly and painstakingly described.





Now some criticism:
I don't like mention of a real-life religion Islam, just as much as I don't like the assumed Christianity religion in early SF, it all distracts from the story, by bringing up RL issues.

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K from Vega
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« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2017, 01:48:33 PM »

I was going to hold my tongue on this one, but I can't.
This is a RIDICULOUS NONSENSE critique.
If you're distracted by "real life issues", then were you also distracted by Valanna's handicap? Were you distracted by the racism they faced? Their marital issues? Their undying love for one another? The physical and health issues associated with their athletics? In fact, if you're distracted by "real life issues" in your SF, how do you even bother with the genre at all?
And if you think Christianity was only "assumed" in early SF, then you're so out of touch that I'd question if you read SF at all. Christianity is always assumed unless otherwise indicated. In fact, it is often assumed even when otherwise indicated. Just the same way that characters are assumed white unless clearly and painstakingly described.





Now some criticism:
I don't like mention of a real-life religion Islam, just as much as I don't like the assumed Christianity religion in early SF, it all distracts from the story, by bringing up RL issues.


Yaaaas Khaalidah! I thought it was nonsense too but I was trying to be diplomatic because I've felt battered lately by "so much for the tolerant left" comments and such. But next time I'll stand up more loudly for what I believe in. I think the commenter should go back and listen to "Your Body By Default" again.
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"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."
--LILIAN JACKSON BRAUN
eytanz
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2017, 07:49:56 PM »

Now some criticism:
I don't like mention of a real-life religion Islam, just as much as I don't like the assumed Christianity religion in early SF, it all distracts from the story, by bringing up RL issues.

So, late to respond because I found myself unexpectedly without regular internet last week, but above and beyond everything Khaalidah very rightly pointed out, I'm somewhat boggled by the idea that stories taking place in the future cannot assume that issues that are relevant now will remain relevant. This isn't a story taking place on an alien planet, or in a distant future where humanity had forgotten its past. And Islam isn't some sort of recent fad like fidget spinners or gluten-free diets, that may be forgotten by 2020. It's a religion that's been around for nearly 1400 years, and which, in 2017, is practiced by roughly 25% of the world. Do you really think that it won't be relevant in a few decades?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2017, 07:51:49 PM by eytanz » Logged
CryptoMe
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2017, 12:02:41 AM »

I really wanted to like this one. I mean, come on, ultra marathon on the Moon! What's not to like?

But I really had a tough time with many of the decisions the characters make. They just were totally unprepared for this race and that made it hard for me to care about them, and their relationship. First off, if they were serious about this race, they would have come several weeks early at least and trained for the environment. Also, if the male MC wanted to keep his fast during Ramadan, he should have come even earlier and trained for that too. Ramadan fasting is difficult at any time, but during a month long race in an alien environment is just too dumb for any athlete to do without lots of prep. And finally, the concept that they would crater "fly" for the very first time at the end of the race was just beyond belief for me. Seriously, rule #1 for race day is you don't do anything new on race day. To try a completely new (to them and most people) sport for the first time at the end of their race is ridiculous. And it's not like they couldn't have tried it out before hand on the oh-so-many craters that are found all over the surface of the Moon. 

Little things, I know, but it completely ruined the story for me. Sad
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Scuba Man
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2017, 10:49:48 AM »

Um... crap. I thought it was a neat story of a couple doing extreme racing across the Moon.  This thread got intense. Sigh.... Undecided Undecided
« Last Edit: December 13, 2017, 10:51:30 AM by Scuba Man » Logged

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.
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