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Author Topic: EP586: The 1st Annual Lunar Biathlon  (Read 345 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

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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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« 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."
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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
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