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Author Topic: EP646: Subtle Ways Each Time  (Read 1920 times)


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on: September 21, 2018, 10:49:16 PM
Escape Pod 646: Subtle Ways Each Time

AUTHOR : Y.M. Pang
NARRATOR : Peter Behravesh
HOST: Tina Connolly


A man loses a woman.

It’s happened a thousand times before and it’s phrased like this nine hundred times. A man loses a woman. As if she were car keys, an umbrella, a scraggly doll in the arms of a child. A literal and grammatical object to be lost. Let’s find a truer cliché. It takes two to tango. Let’s try again:

A woman discards a man.

Raised voices in a summer-boiled attic. Old records, lovingly collected, smashed up like jagged pieces of skyscraper windows. They’re in his mother’s house, gazing down at the familiar yard, the scent of peach blossoms wafting through the window. They’d played there on wobbly toddler legs, cussed out teachers as teens wearing cut-off jeans and crooked baseball caps, shared their first kiss in the shadow of the peach tree and afterward neither could say who initiated it or who was more surprised. Little fights dogged them throughout those nineteen years, but children’s minds are better at forgiving and worse at carving scars.

Only during that fateful day in the attic did they say things that couldn’t be unsaid, voice words their adult brains forgot how to forgive.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!


  • Matross
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Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 09:13:40 PM
I think we've had some pretty similarly themed time travel stories to this one here in the past, but as was mentioned in the WorldCon episode, that's ok when they are both good stories. I was happy with the ending, and glad he was finally able to let go. Do you think the switch from saving the earth to leaving it had to do with her wanting to get away from him? Maybe even unconsciously?


  • Hipparch
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Reply #2 on: October 16, 2018, 05:44:43 AM
I liked this story. I thought it gave a very interesting perspective of a person trying to regain something lost, only to realize that their loss is a gain for others and so letting go of their heart's desire for the benefit of all.


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Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 11:55:13 PM
Do you think the switch from saving the earth to leaving it had to do with her wanting to get away from him? Maybe even unconsciously?
Can't speak for anyone else, but that was definitely my take on it - especially with the beginning contrast of "A man loses a woman" vs "A woman discards a man". Imagine being her in the situation. Your boyfriend comes around and is sweet & the perfect gentleman for a couple of hours, before switching back to his boorish young self (possibly with no recollection of what he'd said previously) the very next time you talk to him. No wonder she wanted to be as far from him as possible!
Listening to this one while driving, I'm sure I missed details; but my interpretation of the vision where the earth is a wasteland is the timeline where he goes back enough times so that he 'succeeds'. He gets what he desires (her), but in doing so she never gets the time apart to research saving the world OR leaving it. Ultimately, a man's selfishness dooms everyone.

I'm a sucker for time-travel stories. This time around was no different. :D