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Author Topic: EP720: Child and Orb  (Read 360 times)

divs

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on: February 25, 2020, 06:36:42 PM
Escape Pod 720: Child and Orb

Author: James Dunham
Narrator: Alethea Kontis
Host: Tina Connolly
Audio Producer: Summer Brooks

Escape Pod 720: Child and Orb is an Escape Pod original.

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The child spent most of her time watching the empty stars from the pod window. They were always nothing but distant, dead glitter–not a planet, cloud, or rock, not a fleck of wreckage from the explosion. With only one window, she often wondered whether, if there had been another vista at the rear of the two-room pod, she might still be able to see the spinning pieces of hull and conduit, see that glove someone hadn’t gotten a hand into in time.

Even though the stars ahead never grew closer, she knew the pod kept moving. A display in a lean-to showed speed, fuel, and probably a destination, though none of the numbers meant much to her. The windowed orb that had carried her onto the pod told her what she needed to know–the pod was heading to meet another ship, still weeks distant. She appreciated that the orb hadn’t lied to her the way adults sometimes did, to make her feel better or to give her time to adjust. Instead it told only the truth.




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Chuk

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Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 07:12:52 PM
This one was hard to read! I was very concerned for the child, and I think it brought at least one flashback to my own childhood, protesting about something that I then never got the chance to do. (nothing too traumatic, but it felt like it was at the time)

--
chuk


CryptoMe

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Reply #2 on: June 17, 2020, 03:24:38 AM
I didn't appreciate this one. The child came off as a whiny brat. Even before the accident, she was being sullen and petulant. I couldn't relate at all.



Languorous Lass

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Reply #3 on: June 20, 2020, 05:00:03 AM
Completely disagree with you, CryptoMe.  I thought the story did an excellent job of making clear that  the child’s acting out resulted from her terror at being abandoned.  I much prefer stories that reflect the way humans actually behave—which is frequently not very pretty—to those that wrap up their characters’ feelings and actions in neat little packages. 



CryptoMe

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Reply #4 on: June 21, 2020, 07:36:11 PM
Completely disagree with you, CryptoMe.  I thought the story did an excellent job of making clear that  the child’s acting out resulted from her terror at being abandoned.  I much prefer stories that reflect the way humans actually behave—which is frequently not very pretty—to those that wrap up their characters’ feelings and actions in neat little packages.

Fair point, Langourous Lass. But I have a young nephew who's been through some trauma, and when he lashes out inappropriately, we make sure to stop that behaviour. It's very important to teach kids that inappropriate behaviour *is* inappropriate, otherwise you end up with inappropriate adults - and we currently have a very public example of that.

Also, I don't agree that the child was acting out because of a fear of being abandoned. Sure, after the accident, I can see that might have been possible. But I see nothing in the story to justify such a fear before the accident. And yet, the child was equally petulant and bratty before the accident. She was demanding, got everything she wanted (except her mother's attention), and still behaved like a brat. And the orb did nothing to stop her bad behaviour. Frankly, *that* is the part which isn't the way humans actually behave. Maybe that was the point of the story; to point out how bad machines would be at parenting, because they wouldn't have human reactions to bad behaviour???

That's my position, anyway. I understand that not everyone will agree.



Languorous Lass

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Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 07:44:57 AM
Fair enough.  Thanks.