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Author Topic: EP137: Citytalkers  (Read 13998 times)
Rain
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« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2008, 11:24:07 AM »

I didnt like the story but i cant really come up with any great emotion as to why, i was simply bored, i think i would have liked it if there was more substance to the story, a better explanation of how everything worked.
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sirana
Lochage
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« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2008, 02:36:12 PM »

Hmmm, I normally enjoy everything that comes from the glorious godess that is MUR, but this one left me rather cold. The idea of citytalkers per se is interesting, but the characters didn't give me any reason to root for them and the plot didn't really hold my attention.

Plus the Katrina reference seemed a bit misplaced in what was generally a more feelgoody (yes I know that is not a word) story. I'm all for tackling controversial and even hurtful topics in fiction but since this story wasn't about Katrina it seemed a bit like a cheap plot point.
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gelee
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« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2008, 04:43:41 PM »

Hmmm, I normally enjoy everything that comes from the glorious godess that is MUR, but this one left me rather cold. The idea of citytalkers per se is interesting, but the characters didn't give me any reason to root for them and the plot didn't really hold my attention.

Plus the Katrina reference seemed a bit misplaced in what was generally a more feelgoody (yes I know that is not a word) story. I'm all for tackling controversial and even hurtful topics in fiction but since this story wasn't about Katrina it seemed a bit like a cheap plot point.
Agreed.  This one just didn't grab me, though I thought the premise was a great one.  The Katrina reference seemed a bit out of place.
I also was surprised to see cities behave like a bunch of Lenny Small's, mindlessly crushing their consituents in an effort to feel better.
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DDog
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« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2008, 10:50:08 PM »

I liked this one. After reading the comments, I agree that it could have used a little more fleshing out, but I felt it was fairly sound, and an enjoyable listen.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2008, 11:26:41 PM »

I didn't like this one as much as Lafferty's other Christmas stories.  My favorite is still "Merry Christmas from the Heartbreakers".
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strixus
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« Reply #25 on: January 18, 2008, 02:01:48 PM »

No real comments on the story, but I do have a comment on the comments at the end. As a native of Atlanta, the first thing that popped into my head on hearing the description of Atlanta's personality was this: "No, this city is an older female impersonator, well past her prime, who wears too much makeup and too many feather boas, and whose friends lie to her about thinking they are deceived about how old she is. She also likes to crush beer cans between her legs." I think that may just be having grown up in Midtown/Downtown showing through though.
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Kevin David Anderson
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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2008, 04:25:33 PM »

: "No, this city is an older female impersonator, well past her prime, who wears too much makeup and too many feather boas, and whose friends lie to her about thinking they are deceived about how old she is. She also likes to crush beer cans between her legs." I think that may just be having grown up in Midtown/Downtown showing through though.

Geez, Atlanta sounds like that woman/person you meet just as the bartender says, last call. 

I liked the story.  The idea behind the story was fascinating.  I was more intrigued by Toby rather than Gloria, and I'd like to know much more about their unseen employers.   
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PPC2008
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« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2008, 11:02:00 AM »

This is my first post ever here in the forum.
 I've been listening to escapepod for about a year, but only recently I got to download all the episodes and listened to them over a few weeks. I choose comment on this Episode  because of the author: Mur has very innovative ideas.
 The world bulding is great- it's a new take on superpowers- like in her novel (Playing for keeps). The characters are well built but, in my opinion Mur lacked the hability of keeping momentum throughout the story. In short- it's a good story, a wonderfull idea, but it could have a bit more pace.
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2010, 09:51:04 AM »

Hmm...  (by the way, I am making a thinking noise, not addressing Hillary Moon Murphy) 

This was okay, but probably my least favorite of Mur's stories that I've heard.  The concept itself was pretty cool, but the story itself just didn't do it for me.

I agree with others about the use of Katrina being a bad choice.  Apparently if the residents of New Orleans would just be happier, then the hurricane would not have flooded the town. 

The idea of Citytalkers was cool, but it wasn't at all clear to me why we want the cities to heal.  The healing process itself often kills lots of people.  It's said directly in the stories that what is good for the city is not always good for the citizens.  So, why encourage the healing?

The stormtalking felt kind of tacked on, to help Gloria escape the corner she'd been written into with the shooting.  For one thing, it sounded like Charlotte chose her specifically because she was a stormtalker.  So, what was the point of the gun?  And even if Charlotte can cause her citizens to do certain things, it seemed rather out of the blue for an unknown person to offer her a gun.  Perhaps not far-fetched for her to acquire a gun, but would think that the people themselves would have to do the micromanagement.

And I agree with others that the shadow organization was totally unnecessary.

And in the end, I just didn't really care that much about either of the main characters.  Mostly because I didn't see the city-healing as a positive thing.
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Fenrix
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« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2013, 02:57:58 PM »


I really didn't like the use of Katrina here. It seemed to me to trivialize the disaster by making it into a plot point and not a very major one at that. I suspect that someone who really cares about New Orleans would look at the situation as one in which a city was neglected by those responsible for it (ie, levies not being rebuilt to a standard that would have held up to the storm) rather than as a not too mentally stable city self-mutilating.

I thought a similar thing, but I arrived at a different conclusion. My job brings me into contact with people who harm themselves, and it is frequently a sign that they believe they are being neglected. And in many cases it has the right effect --- those around them start to realise there is a problem and the people concerned finally get the help they need. Assuming, of course, that they have survived the self mutilation.

I wonder if this was simply New Orleans way of making sure she (he? I don't remember) got the TLC she really needed.


I don't think the use of Katrina too crass or out of character. I love New Orleans but it is terribly bipolar. Given my druthers, I go with the interpretation of Katrina over on Podcastle.

No real comments on the story, but I do have a comment on the comments at the end. As a native of Atlanta, the first thing that popped into my head on hearing the description of Atlanta's personality was this: "No, this city is an older female impersonator, well past her prime, who wears too much makeup and too many feather boas, and whose friends lie to her about thinking they are deceived about how old she is. She also likes to crush beer cans between her legs." I think that may just be having grown up in Midtown/Downtown showing through though.

I would agree with your self assessment more than the description of the town. I thought that the description of Charlotte wasn't too far off from applicable to Atlanta. I would also add that Atlanta has had this thing about burning down everything memorable and rebuilding since the 1860's.

I listened to the re-recording of this for the 12 Days of Christmas giveaway last year, so now I'm going to have to go back and listen to see what I missed in the endcaps.
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Fenrix
Curmudgeonly Co-Editor of PseudoPod
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« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2018, 03:49:44 PM »

I just finished Mur's two Shambling Guide novels (The Shambling Guide to New York City and Ghost Train to New Orleans) and thought I would return to this story. If you wanted more exploration of the Citytalker concept, these two urban fantasy novels are for you.

Something that I really loved about both those novels and this story is acknowledgement of the impact of supernatural activities on day-to-day operations and maintenance. Government service is not exceptionally sexy, but someone's got to get utilities back up and streets plowed and deal with monsters in the sewers. Storm response is grueling and draining. Long shifts and frequent complaints of the response not being fast enough and filled with people who can't follow directions. The ones that make me the most nuts are the stir-crazy who decide they need to go make a quick drive to the grocery store the minute they think it's not going to lead to certain death. Stay off the roads -- crews can work faster if they don't have to deal with traffic.


I also wasn't a big fan of the shadow organization that employed citytalkers and the like to protect the world for no visible gain and with no visible means of support. I don't feel that the existence of such an organization adds anything to the story, nor does it make much sense. It also made the storm-talker's road much too easy after she learned about her gift. Just sign up with the top-secret good-guy organization and get paid to run around saving the world! No more growth, thought, or initiative needed. Become a cog in a hidden wheel. If there were some hint that the organization wasn't the saintly group the citytalker saw it as but merely one side in some kind of shadowy war happening behind our backs that might have been interesting. As it was it just felt like a cop-out to save the citytalker from needing to have an actual job.


Similarly with this, if you want more illumination on the motivations behind a large organization that could utilize Citytalkers, the second novel in particular explores this nicely. A friend is working on integrating parts of those books into a tabletop campaign, because there's some compellingly fun stuff there to explore.

Same with the more nuanced discussion of the impact of Katrina on NOLA. Everyone who said "I wanted more [here]" should pick up either the second or both of the Shambling Guides.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 07:04:01 AM by Fenrix » Logged

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