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Author Topic: EP124: Save Me Plz  (Read 28544 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: September 20, 2007, 02:02:01 PM »

EP124: Save Me Plz

By David Barr Kirtley.
Read by Mur Lafferty (of I Should Be Writing and Lulu TV).
First appeared in Realms of Fantasy, October 2007.

Meg hadn’t heard from Devon in four months, and she realized that she missed him. So on a whim she tossed her sword and scabbard into the trunk of her car and drove over to campus to visit him.

Rated PG. Contains sexual innuendo, some mild language, and fantasy violence.


Referenced Sites:
Geek Fu Action Grip
This Day in Alternate History


Blog of the Week:
Ogre Marco’s LiveJournal
(receives Carnal Knowledge by Charles Hodgson)



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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mattatarms
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2007, 02:41:28 PM »

First time poster...been listening to the podcast for months.

This one connected with me enough in such a way that i felt compelled to come here and post...

I am a former MMO addict (Star Wars Galaxies), and during the height of my time in the game.  I really had the feeling that it was my life.  When I was working (the little i was) I would want my life to be that swaggering smuggler/fighter pilot that I was in game.

I was involved in a RP guild, and the stories that we had in there just felt more real to me than real life did.  There was I time where if I wanted to change the world to fit the unverse I was invoved in game I would.

Its been a world of change since I decided to "unplug" though...  I've turned my life around, and found the love of my life.  Moved to a new city and started a new and better life.

Anyway...my point...  The end of the peice where they found the car in their fantasy world that Devon created rung some sort of bell, along with Meg's emotional reaction.  That this peice of the old world that she had mostly forgotten would bring her back in that way..and then cry for help, makes me wonder in my own personal situation reminded me of "reality" and made me cry for help.

Anyway...great podcast...keep up the awsome work!
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Swamp
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2007, 05:58:48 PM »

This reminds me of the kind of stories that attracted me to EP.  Just good geeky fun.  And it was great to hear Mur again.
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bolddeceiver
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« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2007, 09:02:23 PM »

Well, Eley has always said the main editorial criterion is "fun," and this definitely qualifies.  And the "it's all a simulation" explaination for the quantum behavior of sub-atomic particles gave me chills.  Good story, good reading.  I don't have much more than that to say here.
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Pink Shift
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« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2007, 09:55:04 PM »

This Escapepod was
 very good.
Mattatarms hits on the key point
 of missing out on real life
 when engaged in a fantasy computer games.
If there was a weakness in the story
 it was that it did not contrast
 the two worlds as well
 as Mattatarms does.

I would add that
 television is very similar
 to fantasy games.
The average USA home
 watches over 8 hours of TV a day and
 the average person watches over 4 hours per day.
I think of TV as I do of drugs. 
It affects them negatively
 in all aspects of their lives.
Life is much better
 without it

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BigDrahma
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2007, 01:02:18 PM »

This is one of those stories I'd call "old skool Escape Pod" if I were cool enough to get away with it.  Of course, I'm a sucker for Mur's readings, and they almost always end up being highly regarded; her voice lends itself well to the cute, geeky heroines of cute, geeky stories.  There may be a pattern.

I like that the twist was neither overblown nor the climax of the story.  Meg's decision got the weight it deserved, and her reaction at the end was handled well.

All in all, good stuff!  It made me regret not doing Retrieval Detachment anymore.
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mattatarms
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2007, 02:01:29 PM »

I have to agree with Mur.  I couldn't get myself into her other podcasts as much, mainly because I can just sit and listen to her voice and her readings forever, which makes for a real unproducitive work day.
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DKT
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2007, 02:11:40 PM »

I would add that
 television is very similar
 to fantasy games.
The average USA home
 watches over 8 hours of TV a day and
 the average person watches over 4 hours per day.
I think of TV as I do of drugs. 
It affects them negatively
 in all aspects of their lives.
Life is much better
 without it



I don't know.  I think there's a big difference between television and being addicted to MMO games.  I've heard very disturbing stories from friends who's kids went nuts on MMO games because of how interactive it all is and how you do get to create your own world and characters and everything.  TV (in general) doesn't have that effect on people anymore than reading does, IMO.  It's escapism and it can be very good for you sometimes.  Maybe it's me fighting against my Baptist heritage, but I just can't get behind the arguement that there's a one-eyed devil in my living room with horns and a tail.

Edit: I realize I didn't say much about the story.  I enjoyed it a lot and will probably listen to it again.  Mur's narration was excellent, as usual.  I hope we get to hear more of her soon.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2007, 02:46:01 PM by DKT » Logged

CieBird
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2007, 04:31:11 PM »

I am SURE that I dated that guy in college...brilliant programmer, always spouting some self important wisdom, never went to class, got high a lot, WAY into gaming, dropped out...
I am sure that was him the story was about.
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Reggie
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2007, 04:33:02 PM »

I also have to agree that the story was just a whole lot of fun to listen to, both for the story itself and for the outstanding reading.

That being said I'm pretty big into video games and computer games, but I've avoided playing MMO's and will continue to do so.  Not so much because I'm afraid I'd get completely addicted to them (although I know there's always that possibility), but more so because I don't want to have to deal with the people out there that already are that addicted and into them.  That may be a bit unfair, but I've read the stories about what goes on.

I do think that video gaming can be used as a social experience, though. It's a lot of fun to get a house full to play Halo on multiple screens, and I'm trying to get a group together on Steam to play some TF2 in a really relaxed not too overly obsessive manner (if anyone's interested, PM me). And I realize that MMO's, when used responsibly and in moderation can accomplish the same things, but locking yourself in your own world can be very destructive, and I really don't want any part of that.  I have a hard enough of a time with social situations to begin with, I'm not going to make it worse by withdrawing even more than I already do.

And I'm wondering, is TV still that big of a problem?  I remember those same figures from when I was much younger about how TV was destroying America....maybe it still is. Maybe it already has. But I would think that with the sheer numbers of people who play games like WoW, TV is quickly being replaced as our means for brain rot.

(not to mention social, relationship, health, and finance rot)

I think the story illustrates these points with a pretty twistedly happy ending.  That is, the characters are happy with what their world has become, Meg still seems to have a hint of her questioning attitude, but all in all, it seemed to work out pretty well for them....but are we as the listeners happy for them, or for what their world has become?
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DKT
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2007, 05:16:03 PM »

I just wanted to add, in case I wasn't clear before, that I don't think there's anything wrong with video games, including MMO's.  They can be a lot of fun.  But there's some people who react to them in a way that seems unhealthy to me, where they shirk off most of life.  That's what I was talking about before.

I'd probably play more video games if I had more spare time (the new Wii lightsaber game has me drooling), but right now, I have very little spare time as it is.
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Monty Grue
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2007, 05:58:54 PM »

Does any body else remember when RPGs were dice, paper, and imagination?  I still lost many years of my youth to gaming without computers.

At first I thought the story was going to be too college centric and too much fantasy games within a fantasy world, but it ended up rather cleverly. 
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ajames
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2007, 08:45:59 PM »

Does any body else remember when RPGs were dice, paper, and imagination?  I still lost many years of my youth to gaming without computers.

I spent some of my youth in RPGs, too.  Falling through the trap-door in the original basic D&D game and being scared s***less on the second level is still a vivid memory for me.  Didn't play for many years after high school but I just finished a five year campaign through Middle Earth with a group of friends [meeting once or twice a month].  That was a treat.

Like the first poster in this thread, I was heavily into an MMO for a time, too.  Lots of fun in the beginning, some very pleasurable memories, but after awhile it was more of a habit then a source of enjoyment.

At first I thought the story was going to be too college centric and too much fantasy games within a fantasy world, but it ended up rather cleverly. 

I had the same initial reaction.  The story did grow on me as it went along, and I went from "Meh" to "Hmm, this isn't bad".  Going to let it sink in now.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2007, 05:15:06 PM by ajames » Logged
Planish
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Fun will now commence.


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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2007, 11:29:37 PM »

Hokay... I do not play any RPGs, and the closest I'll get to a computer game is the Myst franchise, but I have friends (and sons) who play paper-and-dice RPGs, DDO, and WoW.

At least with dice and paper RPGs you have to arrange for a group of people to convene somewhere/sometime in meatspace. They don't have the instant and endless gratification one might get from firing up an MMO, where people don't slide the chair back and say they gotta work/go to classes early tomorrow morning. Maybe they do, but there's always another group to join, who don't. MMOs can be abused much like video lottery terminals. I'm sure we've all heard the cautionary tales of lost university degrees, health, jobs, or mortgages.

Once you get more than two gamers in the same room, or around the same bonfire, all meaningful conversation grinds to a halt. *yawn*

I'm thinking TV's role as a time monopolizer might be lessening because nowadays (as opposed to in the '50s and '60s) we can record shows and watch them at a time convenient to us, rather than when they're aired.

back to the Episode...

Having our heroine pack her sword in her car before going off to visit a friend was no surprise to me, I do the same thing myself on a regular basis. Here are some of them:



Although ... I seriously question the wisdom of her packing it in the trunk, and having to stop and get out in order to retrieve it.

Having her encounter a giant spider... okay. This is some sort of SF/Fantasy story.
Having somebody say that there was no such thing in Real Life as "knights in shining armour" or "pirates on the seas", that piqued my interest.

That was pretty much the high point for me. I thought it was going to decay into Tron (not that Tron wasn't cool for its time), but it turned into more like an update of Ursula K. Le Guin's The Lathe of Heaven.

Still, it was okay enough, and I really enjoyed hearing Mur read again.
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robertmarkbram
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2007, 11:55:53 PM »

Brilliant!

Reminds me of the Star Trek - The Next Generation, Episode 138: Ship in a Bottle (1987) where they trick the holographic character Moriarty into thinking he is roaming the galaxy when in fact he is in a holographic gadget, forever running around in his own simulation. At the end of the episode, Picard says something like "Who knows, maybe we are all stuck in a simulation." Reg Barclay is left alone in the room, looks around him and then nervously says "computer, end program!"

I particularly loved the giant spider and bats a very cool twist to the narration.

Mur Lafferty's reading is always brilliant, and this was up to par. I enjoy how earnest she makes the protagonist sound.

There is of course, one other sci-fi movie this strongly reminds me of, but I will not mention it here. David Barr Kirtley - brilliant story, but please please please don't make a sequel.. Not a second. Not a third. This is perfect just as it is.
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robertmarkbram
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2007, 11:59:41 PM »

Although ... I seriously question the wisdom of her packing it in the trunk, and having to stop and get out in order to retrieve it.

Heh. Smiley

I love the pics Planish - that sounds like so much fun!
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swdragoon
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« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2007, 01:06:46 AM »

Woot Mir

oh and the story was good too

and i agree i would never leave my blades a place so easly damaged.
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Loz
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« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2007, 01:34:05 PM »

That was quite a fun little story, though I like the dark ending when Meg has ended up being turned into Devon's fantasy woman. Put's a different spin on all his nonsense about how he's making the world better for everyone, he's really just doing it for his own jollies.
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Peter Tupper
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2007, 01:49:22 PM »

A good riff on "The Lathe of Heaven".

I think just about everybody who's been into science fiction/fantasy has thought, "Why can't reality be more interesting, not to mention just, beautiful and otherwise to my liking? (And I'd be in charge, of course.)"

The problem is that most people imagine a hackneyed fantasy novel or something equally cliched as their perfect world.

Ultimately it just shows that our world can be magical and beautiful and challenging, if you're lucky, or maybe if you just look for it.
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bolddeceiver
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2007, 05:59:59 PM »

I find it interesting how many people will wish to live in [insert fantasy world/sf world/historical period], even when, on a bit of analysis, the world in question wouldn't be a very fun place to actually live.  A couple of prime examples would be Middle Earth, or on the historical side medieval Europe.  In both places, the lives of the vast majority really suck, and even the very best-off mostly live way under the standard of living for your average lower-middle-class modern American.  It's "exciting" to be attacked by giant spiders in a videogame, but if one jumped out at most of us in real life, I'll bet most of us would prefer to be at home in front of a computer screen.  The real joy of escapism is you can turn it off whenever you choose; if you really could stick yourself into most any fantastic world of print or screen, you'd probably want to read books and play videogames about working in cubicles to forget, if only briefly, the cold seeping through the castle walls and the dire wolves outside the gate.
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