Escape Artists

News:

News

ATTENTION: NEW FORUM THEME Please see here for details: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=13188.0

Author Topic: EP124: Save Me Plz  (Read 51268 times)

Biscuit

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
Reply #40 on: September 26, 2007, 03:40:26 AM
I agree with "Listener" in that the exposition, twist and writing in the story felt basic. Despite these drawbacks - which I'm VERY picky about - this story really struck a chord with me because it is SO close to the bone.

At some times in my relationship with my husband, I have had to say "Me or the computer game".

And now, I'm fully on the other side. Having watched on the outside for so many years, I decided to find out what all the fuss is about, and now I am a complete Guild Wars fanatic, to the point it IS pushing aside some of my aspirations in life (I want to be a writer, but am "crippled" by the amount of time I spend playing during my free time. Even all my other hobbies have suffered to the detriment of GW).

I sound like a freak, but I'm actually a very well centered human being.

There's a whole lot of emotional Ouch in this story. And after all, isn't that one component that makes a good story?



Bright Lies

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Reply #41 on: September 26, 2007, 03:43:35 AM
I was amused by the story (luv u Mur) but overwhelmed by the comments.
As a  webizen, i realize that using my valuable comment space to its highest potential is critical.
Let's get started with the review of the review awards!!!!

** REST OF POST DELETED **

EDITOR'S NOTE:  No.  Let's not.  Ever.  I'm sorry, Bright Lies, but this isn't cool.  Every opinion on a story is valid; you can criticize the story all you want, or engage in polite debate on ideas, but we will not tolerate insults or criticism of other people for sharing their views.  This is the sort of provocation that turns discussion communities toxic, and I will not have that here.

Questions?  PM me, or post to Metachat.  This isn't the place to discuss policy, either.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 04:23:32 AM by SFEley »



Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #42 on: September 26, 2007, 04:13:35 AM
My favorite part of the story: the breadth of its scope which feels more impactful than most short stories, without making the text itself feel drawn out.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2007, 04:26:26 AM by palimpsest »



eytanz

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6109
Reply #43 on: September 26, 2007, 04:38:52 PM
Second, I think this story gives short shrift to the amazingly mysterious universe we live in. Explaining away quantum mechanics as some sort of "mistake" in a giant meta-game makes me suspect that the author lacks the grand scale of imagination that the story supposedly promotes. Quantum mechanics is far stranger than the spells and magic of most run-of-the-mill fantasy.

Ah, but is it the story that gives short shrift to the mysterious universe we live in, or is it just Devon? It's not the narrator that calls quantum mechanics a mistake, it's Devon. The fact that he cannot appreciate the world is a major plot point; as is the fact that he's always looking for loopholes and errors that can increase his own power, to the expense of actually enjoying the world. I definitely didn't feel like the story was taking his side here , especially not towards the end.



Roney

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 440
Reply #44 on: September 26, 2007, 09:15:57 PM
For me this story was as much Pseudopod as EscapePod.  Game rules are inherently limited to the imagination and the talents of the designer(s).  Not only does Devon give up the possibility of succeeding at anything himself (it can't count as success if he uses a cheat wand) he also denies everyone else in the world the opportunity to do anything meaningful outside the game rules he has chosen.

Even if the characters' reality is just a bigger simulation, perhaps a more complex game with more obscure rules, I don't think it changes the fundamental immorality of his actions.  At the very least, the original game allowed a lot more freedom for the players to define their own goals and live their own lives.  And if he hadn't warped it through repeated application of a simple script-kiddie hack, smarter minds could have investigated similar glitches in the simulation to understand more about their universe, maybe even why the simulation had been created.  Rewriting reality as the fancy takes him seems bound to introduce bigger bugs that someone could use to rip it apart.

With simple selfishness he turns our world into a hell.  It's a cute morality tale.



wakela

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 779
    • Mr. Wake
Reply #45 on: September 27, 2007, 12:27:01 AM
I liked the story, but I did think it took a while to get going.  In the beginning I didn't care too much about this girl chasing after her loser boyfriend.  I wasn't to gripped with the fantasy tropes, either.  At the mention of the giant spider I figured we were in some kind of alternate universe and was eager for an explanation. I also thought the writing was sometimes clumsy "She felt an inexplicable dread as if something something something."  i.e. "Her inexplicable dread could be explained by ...."

But I was won over by the end of the story, and I liked the creepy ending.  I was afraid that the story would end with the reveal that it was a game within a game, and I was relieved that there was more.  But I would have liked to see more hints of the creator of our world.

Will brave Sir Lovestospooge have to come rescue these people from Lord Devon's Empire and return them to their cubicles and mortgages?

My favorite part of the story: the breadth of its scope which feels more impactful than most short stories, without making the text itself feel drawn out.
impactful? C'mon. ;)



sirana

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 409
Reply #46 on: September 27, 2007, 04:13:37 PM
Liked the ideas of the story and the end made it all in all a good story for me, but I had problems with the changing style and narrative voice.
Starts out as a subjective third person narrator [not sure if you can call it that in english, free translation of what it's called in German][edit: I checked with wikipedia and it seems to be called 3rd person limited in english] , but after she slays the car it turns to an omniscient, fairy-tale style narrator. Changes back to the subjective style when she meets the prince in the fortress and the last part is again omniscient/fairy-tale style.
I can see why the author would change styles (mainly to keep her voyage short for the reader) but it was a big turnoff for me.
If you change perspective or narration style during a short story you better hava a good reason for it and for me the reason wasn't good enough in this case.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2007, 04:15:10 PM by sirana »



Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #47 on: September 27, 2007, 04:17:50 PM

Will brave Sir Lovestospooge have to come rescue these people from Lord Devon's Empire and return them to their cubicles and mortgages?


Now THAT would make an interesting alternate-universe story... someone trying to turn the world more like ours, instead of more like a fantasy world.

Hmm.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


Kaa

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 618
  • Trusst in me, jusst in me.
    • WriteWright
Reply #48 on: October 02, 2007, 04:49:15 PM
I was listening to this story on the Atlanta subway while headed to the airport to pick up a friend.  As I was watching the boring, Atlanta scenery swish by, I could easily imagine wanting to reify it.  Here are my thoughts, and they are five:

#1: Yay, Mur! I loves me some Mur.

#2: I thought this was going one place, and I was listening, and then...what? Dog-sized what? Goblins? Hmmmmm! :)  I love it when a story goes somewhere other than where I think it is.  And I liked the ending.

#3: I, too, was strongly reminded of the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation with Moriarty and the movie "The Thirteenth Floor."  I'm not saying that's a bad thing: I enjoyed both of those.

#4: I have friends I don't see for months because they are almost continually playing WoW.  When I do talk to them, they say things to me that make no sense or continue conversations they thought they'd had with me, but I point out to them that I don't play WoW, and there's no way I could have known about whatever it was, and this leaves me out of the loop, much of the time.  If I would just play, they say, then I wouldn't be the last person to know stuff.  It frightens me just a tiny bit just how totally immersive these games get.

#5: Yay, Mur!  I loves me some Mur. (It bears repeating.)

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

About writing || About Atheism and Skepticism (mostly) || About Everything Else


wakela

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 779
    • Mr. Wake
Reply #49 on: October 02, 2007, 11:37:36 PM
Maybe this is old news to you all, but I know a guy who is working in WoW.  I know nothing about WoW, but from what I'm told he's achieved a high level of weapon smithing.  So he spends all day in the game making weapons, then he sells them on real world eBay.

Things like WoW and Second Life are becoming so sophisticated that when the day comes when we can fully download our minds into computers, it will be a much smaller step than we think. 



Listener

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 3187
  • I place things in locations which later elude me.
    • Various and Sundry Items of Interest
Reply #50 on: October 03, 2007, 04:04:01 PM
Maybe this is old news to you all, but I know a guy who is working in WoW.  I know nothing about WoW, but from what I'm told he's achieved a high level of weapon smithing.  So he spends all day in the game making weapons, then he sells them on real world eBay.

On that topic...

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/10/02/charlie-strosss-halt.html

A novel about a bank robbery in a MMORPG.

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


gedion_ki

  • Palmer
  • **
  • Posts: 35
Reply #51 on: October 03, 2007, 07:08:00 PM
Two solid concepts I enjoyed from this story were, one the total immersion into a game and how it becomes the only reality once inside. That and how those not in the game really do loose touch with you.  I've been there and in many ways, falling this deep into a game smothers you as a person. I know that by abandoning MMOGS I discovered SF and that I have artistic talents both of which are much more satisfying to me then days in game.

The thing second thing that really struck a cord was the final part of the story where the girl finds herself feeling a hint of longing for what use to be reality. This says a lot about human nature, fantasy or mundane world, we tend to long for what is different. The grass isn't really greener on the other side of the fence so to speak.



darusha

  • Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 393
    • M. Darusha Wehm
Reply #52 on: October 03, 2007, 07:13:35 PM
The grass isn't really greener on the other side of the fence so to speak.

Or maybe it's always greener.  She chose (maybe) to change the world to a "better" one, then when she's there, longs for what she's lost. 



Hatton

  • Peltast
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
    • Front Porch Political Talk
Reply #53 on: October 05, 2007, 03:19:41 PM
Second post on the forum - EP addict since almost the beginning.

The first thing I thought of in this story was when I used to teach at ITT.  We *constantly* had students drop or be absent because they were always playing WoW.  The instructor's nickname for that game is World of Warcrack.

Granted, as a kid I would stay up with my friends for entire weekends eating pizza, drinking coke and playing DnD.  Now that i have a wife, children and most importantly a job, such activities are no longer an option.

As much as I loved the story and the characters, the thesis of the story did not change my impression of the MMORPG environment.

Cheers!
Hatton

Normal is just a setting on the washing machine.


Rachel Swirsky

  • Hipparch
  • ******
  • Posts: 1233
    • PodCastle
Reply #54 on: October 07, 2007, 04:32:21 AM
I believe it's been announced that this story will be appearing in Rich Horton's Years Best Fantasy, 2007. Congratulations, Mr. Barr Kirtley!



Loz

  • Lochage
  • *****
  • Posts: 370
    • Blah Flowers
Reply #55 on: October 09, 2007, 08:03:32 AM
The thing I liked best about this story is that "bad guy" wasn't really what most people would call evil; he was just trying to make the world into what he thought would be a better place.

Well, he was removing people's right to self-determination without their consent and, apparently, turned a woman into his sex-kitten, sex-elf, whatever. Fits into 'evil' in my value scheme.



Chang

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • Chang's Place
Reply #56 on: October 09, 2007, 01:47:58 PM
First-time poster, longish time listener!  Love the Escape Pod!

For me, this story was o-kay.  Honestly, it was a lukewarm mash-up of World of Warcraft and The Matrix.  Kind of amusing, but didn't thrill me like "Sundial Brigade" or some of the others.

- Chang
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
http://chang3002.livejournal.com/
"you know, once you've been to fucking detox, the prospect of lolling around talking shit about post-structuralism really loses its charm."
- m. stearns


Drakona

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • I am woman, hear me ramble
Reply #57 on: October 10, 2007, 03:11:29 PM
I love the way this story ended: very light sounding, but in reality (uhm, well, as far as reality goes in this case...) very, very very dark.

Loved it!



darth_schmoo

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • Banned Sorcery
Reply #58 on: October 17, 2007, 11:20:40 PM
I really liked this one.  I was hoping that the twist in the end would be that everyone was living in The Matrix.  That is to say, the online world had grown to take over most peoples' world, to the point where the only way to get the real-world work done (educating people, doing drudge work) was to have it controlled from within the game.  Then, so much drudge work has to be done in the game that people wrote a game within the game to give themselves a place to escape to.  My assumption was that, because "real life" contained evil goblins and quest-giving gnomes, the heroine was actually within a game, and had been her whole life.

I think the author's ending was better (although having the inner game affecting the outer game makes more sense to me in my version).

Fun, geeky, timely stuff.  Mur did a great narration.



Hysteria

  • Extern
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Reply #59 on: October 25, 2007, 08:54:28 PM
Two points--

First, where did the original wand of reification come from?

Second, and slightly more disturbing, how did Meg come to be Lina?  We know he may have changed her at least slightly over the course of the quests, and I'm willing to bet she didn't complain.  Who'd complain about being magically thinner, or magically better-looking?  Thing is, though...at some point he made her stop being Meg, and start being Lina.  I'm pretty sure that crosses that fine line between selfishness and evil.

Anyway, it was a good story, and I was trying to figure out what would happen right up until the end.  Also, Mur reads brilliantly. :)