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Author Topic: EP143: Flaming Marshmallow and Other Deaths  (Read 55030 times)

Jhite

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Reply #40 on: February 05, 2008, 04:23:40 PM
Cotton Candy!  That was my impression of this story.  As always I post before reading all the other posts, because I don't want other posts to taint my views until after I have gotten my views down on "Paper." 

As Mr. Eley said at the beginning, if you don't want to remember you high school years you might want to skip this one, wow I wish I had skipped it.  Maybe I am just too old, maybe my high school years were different, maybe maybe maybe... But I doubt it.  I listened to the whole story saying, it is going to get better but, it didn't.

The build up was all about this slip and how it was so important to how cool she would be tomorrow, and then at the end it was all about a father not wanting to think about how it daughter was going to die.  As a father I can understand that, and I could even get into it.  I could even see how my daughter might be more interested in wanting to know what it was than how it might make me feel.  With all that being said It felt out of place in the story.  What about her old friend?  Why was he there?  Did he really add anything to the story?  In a story so short I think I would have dropped him. 

The reader did an excellent job with portraying the standard stereotypical teen aged girl.  So good job on that!  However, with that in mind I am so totally over and stuff, the valley girl thing, I found myself getting annoyed while listening to it.   All teen aged girls are not from that mythical valley, and though they do seem to have their own language, (which in case you are interested there will be a masters degree program in the language of teen aged girls held at my house in two more years) they don't all talk like that. 

So for a wrap up.  Reader: good job.  Writer: sorry but I was not impressed.  Mr. Eley: Please no more of these!

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DKT

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Reply #41 on: February 05, 2008, 06:18:54 PM


I have to admit, i had my doubts about the whole "Machine of Death" concept when i first heard of the contest a year or so ago and wondered if it would produce any good stories. But after hearing that, i'll definitely be checking it out.

eh??  whatchyoo talkin bout willus?

We have a winner for the "Obscure Reference Award" for this thread.

What really scares me is that that reference is now considered obscure. :-\


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Reply #42 on: February 05, 2008, 07:33:23 PM


I have to admit, i had my doubts about the whole "Machine of Death" concept when i first heard of the contest a year or so ago and wondered if it would produce any good stories. But after hearing that, i'll definitely be checking it out.

eh??  whatchyoo talkin bout willus?

We have a winner for the "Obscure Reference Award" for this thread.

What really scares me is that that reference is now considered obscure. :-\

Well Diff'rent Strokes was cancelled over 20 years ago



Darwinist

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Reply #43 on: February 05, 2008, 07:58:15 PM


I have to admit, i had my doubts about the whole "Machine of Death" concept when i first heard of the contest a year or so ago and wondered if it would produce any good stories. But after hearing that, i'll definitely be checking it out.

eh??  whatchyoo talkin bout willus?

We have a winner for the "Obscure Reference Award" for this thread.

What really scares me is that that reference is now considered obscure. :-\

Well Diff'rent Strokes was cancelled over 20 years ago

.......and Kimberly Drummond (Plato) died in 1999 and Willis (Todd Bridges) has moved on to a successfull career as a producer - his latest masterpiece is called "Big Ball'n 2 - Pimp'n Ain't Easy".  Dig it!

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


FNH

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Reply #44 on: February 05, 2008, 08:45:17 PM
What an excellent story.  Wonderful relationships expressed in understated ways.  The father said so much without dialog!

The reading was very good.  However.  I think there might be a production issue there.  The readers voice came over a lot louder than the intro.  I nearly lot an ear drum or three.


DKT

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Reply #45 on: February 05, 2008, 09:05:42 PM


I have to admit, i had my doubts about the whole "Machine of Death" concept when i first heard of the contest a year or so ago and wondered if it would produce any good stories. But after hearing that, i'll definitely be checking it out.

eh??  whatchyoo talkin bout willus?

We have a winner for the "Obscure Reference Award" for this thread.

What really scares me is that that reference is now considered obscure. :-\

Well Diff'rent Strokes was cancelled over 20 years ago

.......and Kimberly Drummond (Plato) died in 1999 and Willis (Todd Bridges) has moved on to a successfull career as a producer - his latest masterpiece is called "Big Ball'n 2 - Pimp'n Ain't Easy".  Dig it!

Yeah, but you guys are forgettin' Arnold run against another fading star named Arnold a few years ago for California's governor race.  (God forgive us.)


Nobilis

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Reply #46 on: February 05, 2008, 11:12:37 PM
There's a formula for writing a science fiction short story.  First, pick a technology.  Whatever you want is fine, as long as it's something that doesn't exist yet.  Second, pick a group of people.  You can't pick "Everyone" because that's too big, you won't be able to cover it in less than 50,000 words, not and do it right.  Then, Madlibs-style, fit those two words into this question:

What would be the effect on _(group of people)_ if _(technology)_ existed?

I've used this formula many times in my own writing.  It's a pretty solid way to create a pretty solid story.  Of course, if you never deviate from that question, and start talking about the characters as individual people rather than just a delivery mechanism for your speculations, that's all you'll get... a pretty solid story.

Still, this was a better story than Lust for Learning (ep. 104) which had a similar structure but nothing else going for it. 

I especially liked the father; even though he only had a few minutes screen time, I especially sympathized with him, probably because my kids are young teenagers.



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #47 on: February 05, 2008, 11:47:34 PM
Question: do kids really say "effing" or "what the ef?"  Not too many high schoolers I know do, they usually just say it.  I was okay with it once but when it happened three times, I thought it was funny.  Still, that's a pretty minor complaint :)

I grew up in a heavily Mormon school district in NW Phoenix; the non-Mormon kids peppered their speech with whatever they wanted, mostly to needle the devout LDS kids.  The less-devout LDS kids would substitute "heck" or (*gasp*) the dreaded "fetch" ... as in "Oh, my heck!" or "What the fetch?"

There are endless euphemisms out there, so "effing" and "ef" are probably not unreasonable.

There was a lot for me to like about this one; I thought Dani's reading was pitch perfect, and, like Bunter, I loved that we didn't delve into the tech ... how many 16-year-olds really CARE how the car works, as long as it gives them status? 

I thought the ending struck just the right tone, as well; I read where one of the commentors on the EP143 post who said they were disappointed that it "just ended", but I thought it was just right.  Being a "fuggy, dad smelling" guy myself, I certainly see the beauty of that juxtaposition where the best news to one of us seems like the worst news to the other.

I'm just glad it didn't have the cheesy twist I envisioned where she got a slip that read "death by flaming marshmallow"...

Quote from: me, writing a fake ending
And then I turned and saw Bradley or whatever his name was coming out of the food court.  I showed him my slip and he smiled and held my hand.  Then we heard screaming, and someone was yelling that the Ghostbusters were outside.  So we stepped out, just in time to see them fry that evil, giant marshmallow man... and *whap*... that's how we ended up here in the afterlife!

This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


wakela

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Reply #48 on: February 06, 2008, 01:39:01 AM
Very cool little story.

Whether or not it was realistic, I found her manner of speaking believable. 

It seemed like the father somehow knew she was going to die young, so I was waiting for this light story to go all DARK and DEEP and CHALLENGING OF MY PRECONCEPTIONS and the slip somehow say that the father was going to kill her or that she was going to die in the next 15 minutes.  That would have blown the story.  That the story was a happy ending for the father and a sad one for the girl was beautiful. 

I too liked the relationship with the father.  Teenagers hating their parents has become a very tired cliche in my opinion (especially with sons and fathers).  That the author realized that parents and children can have completely different world views and still express tenderness for each other was a breath of fresh air. 

The cliques that the kids broke up into perfectly mirrors the inverse relationship between that which makes you socially successful in high school and that which makes you successful after graduation (good at computers, good at football, etc).  I kept wondering "what's with all the burners and crashers?  Where's cancer and heart disease....ah, of course.  They're lame."  Nice touch.

My quibble is that her old friend with the protester mom seemed to be a Chekov's gun that didn't fire.  Though the story of the cool kid who rediscovers her affection for her uncool childhood friend is also pretty cliche, so I'm glad they didn't go there.  But still, it didn't seem to be necessary. 



Jhite

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Reply #49 on: February 06, 2008, 01:55:46 AM
IMHO  would have been a much funnier ending.  As it was I was pretty disappointed in this story.  Too light too fluffy too full of hot air.
Quote
from: me, writing a fake ending
And then I turned and saw Bradley or whatever his name was coming out of the food court.  I showed him my slip and he smiled and held my hand.  Then we heard screaming, and someone was yelling that the Ghostbusters were outside.  So we stepped out, just in time to see them fry that evil, giant marshmallow man... and *whap*... that's how we ended up here in the afterlife!

Captain James T. Kirk
I'm sorry I can't here you over the sound of how awesome I am
http://GreatHites.blogspot.com


Nobilis

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Reply #50 on: February 06, 2008, 02:30:55 AM
I wonder how many people who didn't like this don't have kids.



Jhite

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Reply #51 on: February 06, 2008, 02:32:28 AM
I for one am not one of those.  I have 7 so that is not the issue.

Captain James T. Kirk
I'm sorry I can't here you over the sound of how awesome I am
http://GreatHites.blogspot.com


Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #52 on: February 06, 2008, 03:47:43 AM
I for one am not one of those.  I have 7 so that is not the issue.

Dang... I usually "wow" the room with my 4!  (And if I never hear the phrase "your hands must be full!" again, it'll be too soon!)

And I'm curious to see what my 11 year old thinks of this story, if she gets around to listening to it.  I'm sure everyone will be waiting for a tween POV. 

This Wiki Won't Wrangle Itself!

I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


postazure

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Reply #53 on: February 06, 2008, 04:04:18 AM
The narrator, and I say narrator not reader, as the narrator was more a part of the story and less simply translating it from text to voice, this made the story for me.

I didn't particularly like this story as the plot was less technologically driven and more driven by society. This story stimulated thoughts of 1980's high school stereotypes and clicks. However the story itself was perfectly built up.



stePH

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Reply #54 on: February 06, 2008, 04:30:11 AM
I wonder how many people who didn't like this don't have kids.
I liked the story, have zero kids and intend to keep it that way.

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tpi

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Reply #55 on: February 06, 2008, 07:40:53 AM

The only slight gripe I have is with the actual predicted cause of death: what on earth is 'millenium space atrofy' ???? I mean, I get what it meant in the context of the story, but what is it?

I agree with that. in fact, I logged here to ask what really was the cause of death. I listened that part several times, and I thought that I heard 'millenium space atrofy'. I was thinking that I must have misheard or misunderstood, because that CoD doesn't seem to make any sense.



tpi

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Reply #56 on: February 06, 2008, 07:47:07 AM


I have to admit, i had my doubts about the whole "Machine of Death" concept when i first heard of the contest a year or so ago and wondered if it would produce any good stories. But after hearing that, i'll definitely be checking it out.

eh??  whatchyoo talkin bout willus?

We have a winner for the "Obscure Reference Award" for this thread.

What really scares me is that that reference is now considered obscure. :-\

Well Diff'rent Strokes was cancelled over 20 years ago


Hello, need some explaining here, would someone help?
As someone not living in US those references don't mean anything to me.
I know Different Strokes is a TV-series, but I have never seen a single episode of it. I think I have heard about it (was it about black or mixed race family or something?), but what "machine of death" concept and what it has to do with an old TV-series?


LPLFC1892

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Reply #57 on: February 06, 2008, 09:31:00 AM
Kia ora

Question:  "do kids really say "effing" or "what the ef?"  Not too many high schoolers I know do, they usually just say it.  I was okay with it once but when it happened three times, I thought it was funny.  Still, that's a pretty minor complaint "

Answer :  Unfortunately Yes they do !

I thought this was just another story until tonight, came out of the movies walked into the book/mag shop attached to the Mall and there was the latest WIRED magazine, with the headline articla being about individual DNA analysis perhaps being able to identify how we live and how we could die !

Dave A



Russell Nash

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Reply #58 on: February 06, 2008, 10:16:21 AM
I have to admit, i had my doubts about the whole "Machine of Death" concept when i first heard of the contest a year or so ago and wondered if it would produce any good stories. But after hearing that, i'll definitely be checking it out.
eh??  whatchyoo talkin bout willus?
We have a winner for the "Obscure Reference Award" for this thread.
What really scares me is that that reference is now considered obscure. :-\
Well Diff'rent Strokes was cancelled over 20 years ago
Hello, need some explaining here, would someone help?
As someone not living in US those references don't mean anything to me.
I know Different Strokes is a TV-series, but I have never seen a single episode of it. I think I have heard about it (was it about black or mixed race family or something?), but what "machine of death" concept and what it has to do with an old TV-series?

Explanation:  Goatkeeper was saying that he didn't know about MoD and was asking for an explanation.  He did this by using a pop reference.

Quote from: Wikipedia
This sitcom starred Gary Coleman as Arnold Jackson and Todd Bridges as his older brother, Willis. They played two African-American children from a poor Harlem neighborhood whose deceased mother previously worked for a rich white widower, Philip Drummond (Conrad Bain), who eventually adopted them.

[snip]

 As Arnold, Coleman popularized the catch phrase "Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" which was popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and is still mentioned in pop culture references today. The line was supposed to be "What are you talking about Willis" but on the script was spelled "Wha'choo talkin' 'bout, Willis"



Loz

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Reply #59 on: February 06, 2008, 11:03:17 AM
I wonder how many people who didn't like this don't have kids.

Hello! Don't have kids, don't particularly want kids, only really like kids in small batches.

I don't think it's school stories I have a problem with, but more American school stories. I try to avoid anything set in school now, I stopped with 'Smallville' somewhere near the end of the first season partly because of that and partly because everyone was so stupid, the 'Claire at school' parts of 'Heroes' make me wince.

This story felt like a pretty good flash piece with a lot of filler to try and delay the joke ending as long as possible. Not one of my favourites.