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Author Topic: EP620: Promise (Artemis Rising)  (Read 1186 times)
eytanz
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« on: March 24, 2018, 11:40:27 AM »

Escape Pod 620: Promise (Artemis Rising)

AUTHOR : Christi Nogle
NARRATOR : Tina Connolly
HOST: S. Kay Nash

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Brochures fanned across the lace tablecloth in Grandma’s dining room. Up close, I saw the recruiter’s immaculate makeup starting to crack, the silver showing against auburn at the part in her hair. She slanted forward with briefcase on knees and weight on the balls of her feet. I was meant to think she’d bolt and that I’d lose my chance, which made me wonder why she was so desperate.

“An innovative, community-owned academy.” The paper was thick, graphic design on point with a subtle white font over a background of the canyon at sunset. The recruiter dropped names I only pretended to know, graduates who were making waves in the gaming industry, townspeople treating academy kids like a semi-pro sports team. I tried to trust the images on the brochures and turn off the signals I was getting from her.

Grandma’s eyes welled. To her question of how many from my class, I told the truth: “Just me. I think I’ll be the first from town.” It wasn’t just the town. I’d be the first from our state.

I signed, spent the next six months sure that it was a scam. Then I had two weeks after graduation to shop and pack and part from Grandma, nearly weeping. I fit in a few last dates with Jack before it was all over. Then it was the bus to the plane and the wait in a tiny airport until all of our planes had come in and the academy shuttle picked us up in the dark. Each leg of the trip was like another six months.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Katzentatzen
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2018, 02:17:32 PM »

This was deeply unsettling and I loved it. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but it seems that young women with the same mental quirk are being enslaved to create lifelike game worlds?
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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
TheFriendlyNSA
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2018, 07:14:42 AM »

I was reading "The Handmaid's Tale" for the first time when I heard this story. That mindset made the school described here all the more unsettling. A wonderful variation on a disturbing theme!
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NessaNessaJoy
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2018, 10:31:35 AM »

This was... really different.

First, I thought it would be like Thoreau, with the rejection of material values, self-scrutiny/self-improvement, and connection to the land. Then it started mimicking Virginia Woolf, with the introspection, morose mood, symbols with many possible interpretations, and passages of stream-of-consciousness.

As a literature student, I can appreciate the artistic choices that the author made, and could find plenty of material here for a Lit class paper if forced. As a sci-fi fan, however, I don't like the story. It's so vague. I don't know what the ending is. I know the author left it confusing on purpose, but I still don't like it.
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Lieberkuhn
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2018, 09:44:34 PM »

I thought what others are calling a vague ending was appropriate to the thoughts of the main character. Right up until the end she is trying to deny the reality of her situation - clinging to the belief that her work will be appreciated as art, and not just another excuse for sexual exploitation. A second reading made me appreciate how the scattered observations throughout the story came together at the horrific and sadly believable ending.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2018, 10:39:41 AM »

A second reading made me appreciate how the scattered observations throughout the story came together at the horrific and sadly believable ending.

As someone who didn't appreciate the vagueness and lack of explanation at the end of the story, I would love some more details on how this worked for you, Lieberkuhn. What were those scattered observations and how did they come together for you? I am scrambling for something that will help me appreciate this story, because I really liked the prose throughout, but felt kind of cheated by the abrupt ending.
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Moritz
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2018, 06:13:42 AM »

I listened to this twice and honestly didn't get it.
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"D"
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« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 07:03:02 AM »

I really liked the main character and really wanted to believe her life was going to turn out well. The author did a great job transitioning from a theme of hope to one of darkness with an abrupt drop at the end.  By keeping the story vague and dream-like, I feel like it kept me connected to the characters point of view and a state of denial. For me, it wasn't till the very end that the terrible realization hits that this is just an academy for exploitation of women.   Sad
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