Escape Artists
August 16, 2018, 04:27:06 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: EP600: At the Rialto  (Read 1537 times)
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 6065



« on: November 09, 2017, 04:51:42 PM »

Escape Pod 600: At the Rialto

AUTHOR: Connie Willis
NARRATOR: Mur Lafferty
HOST: Divya Breed

---

Seriousness of mind was a prerequisite for understanding Newtonian physics. I am not convinced it is not a handicap in understanding quantum theory.

—EXCERPT FROM DR. GEDANKEN’S KEYNOTE ADDRESS TO THE 1989 INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF QUANTUM PHYSICISTS ANNUAL MEETING, HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA
I got to Hollywood around one-thirty and started trying to check into the Rialto. “Sorry, we don’t have any rooms,” the girl behind the desk said. “We’re all booked up with some science thing.”

“I’m with the science thing,” I said. “Dr. Ruth Baringer. I reserved a double.”


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 06:53:02 PM by Ocicat » Logged
JackSpellman
Extern
*
Posts: 4


« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2017, 09:20:50 PM »

Classic Connie Willis: plotless, thin characterizations, stilted dialogue the like of which has never been spoken by any actual human being, thinks it's hilarious but is not, believes it's insightful but is not, and it goes on and on and on and on...
Logged
acpracht
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 211


« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 11:00:01 PM »

Classic Connie Willis: plotless, thin characterizations, stilted dialogue the like of which has never been spoken by any actual human being, thinks it's hilarious but is not, believes it's insightful but is not, and it goes on and on and on and on...

Lol... So what have you done for us lately, Jack? Wink

-Adam
Logged
irishlazz
Palmer
**
Posts: 39



« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 02:04:38 PM »

I'm big on Newtonian physics.  Found this story somewhere between amusing and annoying right up to the end when I got the point of the story.... feeling like it should have been obvious to me much sooner.
Logged

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." A.Einstein
acpracht
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 211


« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 12:03:19 AM »

The idea and thesis of this one reminded me very much of Connie Willis's "Bellwether." I wonder which one came first...
Logged
StarburstCLA
Extern
*
Posts: 1


« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 12:52:48 PM »

I'm very torn on this one.
I was annoyed most of the way through but not sure if I missed something. Or the entire point.
I get that the analogy of quantum effects through chaos and weirdness in Hollywood with vague hand waves to uncertainty and chaos and entropy in rooms being impossible  to find etc. But either it was making references to quantum mechanics very cleverly in ways I missed. Or the references were just as woolly and non-specific as they seemed and I wont be arrogant enough to assume its the latter. It did seem to put out "coincidences are quantum effects" which is a trope I find continually bemusing.

Also the love story was infuriating, I would have pushed David under a bus if he was that annoying at a conference. And I found his quantum tunnelling abilities.... confusing and still don't see the reference.

It certainly didn't help that I'm a scientist and was very confused at why the scientists were explaining the most basic ideas to each other, and conference speeches about "what is quantum mechanics" at a conference about quantum mechanics. I put it down to another case of non-science authors writing fantastical and deep things about things they don't understand, until I realised the story was nearly 30 years old so that waylaid some of those issues but only after I finished listening.

On a side note this was an epic example of dated stories being totally solvable if somebody had a mobile, oh the past.
Logged
acpracht
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 211


« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2017, 02:21:01 PM »


On a side note this was an epic example of dated stories being totally solvable if somebody had a mobile, oh the past.

Basically the entire original X-Files... Everyone has a camera and a way to call for help... Tongue
Logged
skeletondragon
Palmer
**
Posts: 55


« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 05:29:00 PM »

As Divya and others have pointed out, the story isn't about the effects of quantum mechanics, but about how humans conceptualize it. I think it does a good job of capturing the feelings at the frontiers of science - to the general public it is opaque and mysterious, to undergraduates it is learnable and solvable, and to researchers it is again mysterious, but for different reasons.

Like Mur, I owe a lot to Women of Wonder...I remember reading this story for the first time when I was 13 years old and loving it because of how humorous and fresh it seemed. Like all the stories in that anthology, it changed my conception of what science fiction could be, and led me to seek out more science fiction short stories, which is how I started listening to Escape Pod soon after.

I have grown up with Escape Pod. For so many years, it has fed my imagination and helped me find new authors to read. Thanks for 600 episodes - may there be many more.
Logged
Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
Editor
*****
Posts: 3715


I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.


« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2017, 11:01:44 AM »

Excellent story, and really enjoyed the conversation after the episode.
Logged

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”
Katzentatzen
Matross
****
Posts: 191



« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2017, 04:26:50 PM »

I wish I knew enough about physics and quantum mechanics to get this story. It made me anxious through most of it, but the ending was cute.
Logged

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."
--LILIAN JACKSON BRAUN
CryptoMe
Hipparch
******
Posts: 1006



« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 11:12:28 AM »

This one did not work for me. As a scientist, I was annoyed by all the little things that were wrong. (Technical sessions at 9 pm? No one does that! And any scientists that had a fight during questions could kiss their careers goodbye, I could go on). As a human being, I was annoyed by all the stupid things people did. (Going towards where you know David is when you are trying to avoid David, stalker David, etc.). And I could see the ending telegraphed from the beginning (since David first mentions seeing a movie). So, all in all, this did not work for me.
Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!