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Author Topic: EP687: Four of Seven  (Read 2389 times)

divs

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on: July 12, 2019, 08:29:20 PM
Escape Pod 687: Four of Seven


Author : Samantha Mills
Narrator : Ibba Armancas
Host : Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer : Adam Pracht

Four of Seven is an Escape Pod original.

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In the waning light of an artificial sun, Camelia Dunlevy climbed a mountain with her sister on her back. Delilah was a hollow weight, bird-boned from reconstructive surgeries, unbreakable.

The trouble wasn’t her bones, but her lungs. She panted in Camelia’s ear, unaccustomed to altitude, a small sound that might as well have been a war drum. Camelia couldn’t call for help, she couldn’t leave Delilah behind, she couldn’t walk the road for fear of company men.

And her sister was still giving bad directions.

“There’s a path up the western slope,” Delilah whispered, her breath hot and tickling. “I swear it.”

“There’s no path.”

“I came up once, with Aster.”

“Then you were on a tram.”

“Yes. I saw it out the window.”

“I don’t know what you saw, but it wasn’t a path!”

An explosion rocked the mountain, pelting them in pebbles and moon dust. Camelia dashed behind the nearest bush—a sickly, transplanted thing, hardly any cover—and counted the seconds before the familiar grind-whir-scream of a strikebreaker started up. Distant, but not distant enough.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



adaz

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Reply #1 on: July 14, 2019, 05:03:29 AM
Dug this story, need more hard scrabble miner fiction.

Couple things about the story -

1.) I liked the consequences of faster than light travel
2.) The fact our protagonist didn't really succeed and was forced to be just good enough to not have to mine, but not good enough to save her family from poverty.
3.) theme of love in spite of tremendous poverty and crippling work.

Honestly about the only thing I didn't like was the 'happy' ending but you know the story and setting was so sad, I guess we'll let it pass.



Scuba Man

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Reply #2 on: July 24, 2019, 07:50:35 PM
Dug this story, need more hard scrabble miner fiction.

Couple things about the story -

1.) I liked the consequences of faster than light travel
2.) The fact our protagonist didn't really succeed and was forced to be just good enough to not have to mine, but not good enough to save her family from poverty.
3.) theme of love in spite of tremendous poverty and crippling work.

Honestly about the only thing I didn't like was the 'happy' ending but you know the story and setting was so sad, I guess we'll let it pass.

... ;D

"What can do that to a man?  Lightning... napalm? No, some people just explode [sic]. Natural causes".  Source: Repo Man.


dainel

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Reply #3 on: August 01, 2019, 09:02:44 PM
Great story. Great reading. But one glaring logic error stuck in my mind the whole time. Doesn't seem fixable.

If the "fast ship" takes 15 days of ship time, and 15 years of "normal time", then the "slow ship" should take even longer. Not 2 years of ship time, and still 2 years of normal time. I haven't done the actual calculations, but off the top of my head, I'm guessing the slow ship should take something like 2 million years.

Or else, the distance isn't that great, and the fast ship will take only like a month, normal time.

The time difference is so central to the story, attempting to fix this underlying error would screw up the whole story for sure.



ThisOneOverHere

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Reply #4 on: November 17, 2019, 02:43:11 AM
i know I'm late to the game, but my father just turned me on to Escape Pod recently, i love it and this story and the narration except, the pronunciation of the youngest sister's name, Calliope is jarringly wrong, and whenever she is mentioned it pulls you right out of the story,
(btw the pronunciation  is "kah-LYE-oh-pee", here it is pronounced "Cally-YOPE") otherwise her voice is great and really works for the story's protagonist.
Calliope is the chief of the nine Greek Muses and matron of eloquence and epic poetry.
So that's my 2 cents.
Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 02:44:59 AM by ThisOneOverHere »



Languorous Lass

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Reply #5 on: November 17, 2019, 03:17:37 AM
I had the same reaction.  Mispronunciations drive me bonkers and pull me right out of the story.



CryptoMe

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Reply #6 on: February 03, 2020, 03:41:23 PM
I had the same problem as other readers; mispronunciation of Calliope and the light-speed time dilation issue.

In terms of the time dilation, it could be fixed if you spell out that the FTL ship has a fixed circuitous route and the University stop is just before the Mining World stop, so someone getting on at Mining World would have to do almost a full loop to get to the University stop. That could account for 15 years of travel to do the equivalent of 2 years direct, non-FTL distance. But then the FTL trip back from University to Mining World would be a very quick trip and wouldn't have a 15 year time dilation. A modification of this kind wouldn't have affected the important story elements, but would have made the FTL part more believable.