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Author Topic: EP146: Edward Bear and the Very Long Walk  (Read 45470 times)

Windup

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Reply #20 on: February 24, 2008, 05:56:14 PM
Not aiming for quote of the week, unless Steve will be in a really cynical mood at recording time, but didn't anyone else wonder whether the parrotchens (or however its spelt) realize that by aiding Edward Bear, they have basically enabled the invasion of their planet by an alien race which has stripped its own home planet dry of resources and is now coming to do the same to their planet?
I have to admit, that thought occurred to me, too.  Though I buried it by assuming that the ships were fleeing a non-human-made disaster (eruption of supervolcanoes, or some such) and that we've gotten smarter about planetary management. 

I admit there was no evidence for that within the story, though...

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Nobilis

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Reply #21 on: February 24, 2008, 05:59:46 PM
This isn't a Hero's Journey story.  It's incomplete.  The hero never returns to his home; there's an implication that he might in the future, but it's not really a part of the story.  It's like Star Wars without the medals.

Not that that makes the story BAD--it's actually pretty good--but it's not a classic Hero's Journey story.



CammoBlammo

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Reply #22 on: February 24, 2008, 06:07:53 PM
Not aiming for quote of the week, unless Steve will be in a really cynical mood at recording time, but didn't anyone else wonder whether the parrotchens (or however its spelt) realize that by aiding Edward Bear, they have basically enabled the invasion of their planet by an alien race which has stripped its own home planet dry of resources and is now coming to do the same to their planet?

Hmm, note to self:

Next time you invade colonise an alien planet, make sure your vanguard is made up of cute, fluffy, robotic teddy bears.

Like my mum used to say, cuddles are far better than shock and awe.



SFEley

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Reply #23 on: February 24, 2008, 08:37:01 PM
This isn't a Hero's Journey story.  It's incomplete.  The hero never returns to his home; there's an implication that he might in the future, but it's not really a part of the story.  It's like Star Wars without the medals.

My interpretation was that that was covered by having "the boy" and all the animals from his (constructed) memories of the Wood appear to him as he lay dying.  It wasn't a literal physical return home, but it was a spiritual return home.  Since he technically never existed in that Wood to begin with, and the Wood itself never existed, I thought this had appropriate dramatic unity.

And the medals?  Well, the boy does tell him all about the statues and songs and 'pomes' that will be made for him.  Sure, it probably won't happen, but that doesn't matter to Edward Bear.  He gets his closure.

(Yes, I'm commenting with my own opinions on this one more than I usually do.  I still intend not to make a habit of it.)
« Last Edit: February 24, 2008, 08:40:10 PM by SFEley »

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CGFxColONeill

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Reply #24 on: February 24, 2008, 11:49:50 PM
(Yes, I'm commenting with my own opinions on this one more than I usually do.  I still intend not to make a habit of it.)
I think you should keep commenting it is kinda nice to get your opinions and see what made you pick a story ( even if it was not one of your best  in my opinion )

I guess Edward's song was

The bear went over the mountain
The bear went over the mountain
The bear went over the mountain
To see if he could transmit the life-saving medical data to the four remaining arkships



the song I came up w/  yes it was during the episode sorry Steve I know you said not to but it just sort of happened that way
went like this ( to the tune of Day-O)
lame-o
me say lame -o
edward bear is the lamest ep yet
etc
song writing is not my best skill (I am studying engineering for a reason ) but that is what I came up w/

I will prolly get run out of the forum as I seem to be the only one that did not like this one but I hope not lol


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Thaurismunths

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Reply #25 on: February 25, 2008, 12:16:10 AM
Winnie The Pooh, surrounded by dead children, is my new "happy place."
I really enjoyed the story, aside from my own morbid sense of humor.

Col O'Neil, care to expound on why this was the lamest EP yet?

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CGFxColONeill

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Reply #26 on: February 25, 2008, 12:19:15 AM
I dont know what exactly it was about it but the story just did not fit w/ the picture I have gotten from the previous episodes of EP
maybe it was because I listened to them all really fast not over a longer time but it just did not measure up to the standard that Steve gave me from past episodes lol

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Darwinist

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Reply #27 on: February 25, 2008, 02:36:52 AM

This one affected me more than any other EP.  In the grand background of planet colonization and interplanetary spaceships this story of a little bear pulled at my heartstrings.  Very well done - can't wait to have my family listen to 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


Listener

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Reply #28 on: February 25, 2008, 02:17:32 PM
I didn't know that Winnie the Pooh's real name was Edward Bear.  I was all set to comment on how I was getting tired of the Pooh parallels.

(Don't worry, I'm not going to hijack this into another thread about poo.  Or Pooh.)

I think I enjoyed the story, but I kept waiting for something MORE to happen.  I felt that the climax was when Edward fought the Giant Lumps Of Fur to save the Parrotchen children, then went back in -- I got kind of a Richard-Fights-the-Beast-of-London vibe off that one.  ("Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman)  After that, it was kind of clear to me that Edward would succeed in his quest, somehow or another.

I expected something either much more sinister or much more allegorically-simplistic -- either Edward had really been at fault for killing the children, or the Very Long Walk would be from the nursery to, say, the engine room.  Perhaps by not knowing that Edward was Pooh and therefore I should've read this with a Milnean tilt, I was missing out or looking in the wrong direction.

I did like the way the author dropped toys and toy-ish thoughts into a futuristic setting.

The reading was fine.  Had a moment of confusion splitting the holo-boy in the nursery and Edward, since their voices were so similar.  Was it just me, or did Steve seem like he was hitting his consonants harder than usual in this one?

Overall, a not-bad story, but not the kind of thing I think I would necessarily like to hear again.

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VBurn

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Reply #29 on: February 25, 2008, 04:53:47 PM
I think I am getting spoiled by the rich production used in Drabblecast, becuase I kept thinking how awesome would this story be with music, effects, and a little wider range of voicing.  No offense intend toward you Steve, you always do a great job and I always appreicated you slight but noticable vocing for each character in strories you read.

But I would love to hear more Norm on EP, but I think he stays pretty busy taking care of his own podcast.  And vise versa if goatkeeper ever reads this board, lets get some Eley on Drabblecast, either as voice talent or a story!  I have not heard a good Steve Eley story in a while. 



contra

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Reply #30 on: February 25, 2008, 07:21:10 PM
Awesome story. 

When you see these Elmo toys getting more and more advanced
http://gizmodo.com/356488/first-video-of-elmo-live-singing-and-dancing-shows-he-got-skillz
Latest model... dances, sings, tells jokes and stories... worrying amount of stuff.
You need to wonder where this will end up.  Though I think this story would have been VERY annoying if Elmo was used instead of Pooh.... sorry, Edward >_>.  Though I kinda wanna hear Steve do his best Elmo accent...

So yes I liked this one.  Easily. Awesome.  I liked the ending a lot.  Its exactly how I imagined Edward would react if put in that situation in the end...

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Jhite

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Reply #31 on: February 25, 2008, 07:50:04 PM
I was impressed with this story.  I liked the way it handled the childlike aspect of the bear, but showed only the barest of emotions.  (forgive the unindented pun.) It was obvious to me that Edward had emotions but he didn't show them like a child, despite his child like brain. 

I wondered about the alien species on the planet, obviously there are some, and the idea of humans coming and part of me, the cynical part, hoped for Edward to fail.  Humans, in most sci/fi, don't live well with others.  The idea that a simple species would be wiped out by the "incoming invasion" made me sad.  In a universe where we (humans) seem to think that everything is ours for the taking, and we are the over all smartest beings around, how long would it be before some colonist realized that it was one of these species that had the "bug" that killed the people on the first colony ship. 

Please don't get me wrong, the idea of humans dyeing, epically children, puts a knot right in the pit of my stomach.  Heck, I even cried when  Vader killed the "young-lings" as cheesy as that scene was.  But I think of stories like Garden of Rama, when the "humans" that came killed most of the other creatures on the ship because they felt it was their right to do so.  let's not look at the bigger picture here and figure out how we can live together and help each other.   No way we are humans after all and that makes us the best.  Kill Kill Kill :(

Ooops kind of went off there.  In the end the Alien species and Edward did work together, and he proved as good an ambassador as any other to for us.  I understand that most of my commentary is beyond the scope of the story, but as much as I liked the story for itself, this is what it made me think about.  Sorry for the bit of the soap box.  Just something I have been thinking about a lot lately. 

Great Choice on a story Mr. Eley (ooops Steve.)  Keep'em coming

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Loz

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Reply #32 on: February 25, 2008, 09:25:37 PM
Holy Spaghetti Monster but I really didn't need to listen to that story on my way to work on a Monday morning, still, at least my tears mingled with those of other wage slaves heading towards Canary Wharf.

I thought it spoke well of a society that even a throw-away disposable toy like Edward Bear has subroutines designed to comfort him in what is presumably supposed to be the unlikely event of his being so damaged he's going to die. All in all, I think that suggests a race that actually deserves to survive.

I think this story is up there with 'Ej-Es' as one of my most favourite stories so far.



stePH

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Reply #33 on: February 26, 2008, 01:52:57 AM
That was a beautifully sad story.

I was wondering when Tigger would show.  heh.
I missed Eeyore.  :(

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Rain

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Reply #34 on: February 26, 2008, 11:57:20 AM
Very good story. i think it could maybe have been better if the explanation (spaceship, virus, signal transmitter etc.) had been left for last so that it could have had a fantasy style feel with a science fiction reveal at the end, but it was still very enjoyable



ClintMemo

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Reply #35 on: February 26, 2008, 12:53:29 PM
Though I think this story would have been VERY annoying if Elmo was used instead of Pooh..

Puncture-me Elmo?

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ClintMemo

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Reply #36 on: February 26, 2008, 12:59:25 PM
I read quite a few Pooh books to my daughter when she was younger, so this story really hit home for me. 

Good story.
Good reading.

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Anarkey

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Reply #37 on: February 26, 2008, 04:35:07 PM
Man, I hate to speak up and remove all doubt of my cold-hearted bitchedness, but this story...

I didn't think it was moving, unless by moving you mean my hand moving to the delete key as quickly as possible.

This is not an execution criticism, I think it was well-written and that it held together thematically (though the ending, because I wasn't all emotionally hooked, gave me a few 'that doesn't make any sense' moments) and it was a very good example of its type.

But urgh.  I had cute allergy so strong I thought I might have to whip out the Benadryl.

I am astonished at the number of people for whom this tale produced a wave of nostalgia and emotional connectedness.  I am flipped out by how many people this story this worked for.  To each his own, as they say, except apparently the masses have an own that boggles my poor outsider mind.

I like Pooh just fine!  I've sat through "Piglet's Big Movie" with my daughter at least seventeen times, and I still enjoy it.  Further, I'd wager my love of children's lit exceeds that of most people's here. 

But man, I haven't had this kind of negative "Gimme a break," reaction since the EP story about the penguin balloon and I thought I'd be less alone in the naysaying camp.

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DKT

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Reply #38 on: February 26, 2008, 05:15:42 PM
Was it the cute allegory bit that bothered you, Anarkey?  I can tell you didn't like the story, but I'm not 100% sure why.

I'm in the other camp.  At first, I thought it was going to be a rollicking adventure story, more Winnie the Pooh Conquers the Martians than LotR, but although I still got a definite feel of adventure, it came off more nostalgic and emotional than I expected it to be.  Pooh's "Tell me about Someday" at the end got me a little teary-eyed.  I really like what I've read by Ken Scholes (about three stories now).  It'd be cool to hear more from him.  And I think this one of the best readings I've heard Steve give. 


eytanz

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Reply #39 on: February 26, 2008, 06:21:33 PM
While my reaction wasn't as negative as Anarkey's, I have a serious problem with this story, and I've been struggling with myself for the past few days trying to understand it and express it. Here is an attempt to do so; you'll probably learn quite a lot more about me than you ever cared to if you read it.

Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner were two of my most beloved childhood books. The badly worn copy of The House at Pooh Corner that sits on my shelf right now is the second one I owned - the first fell apart from repeated reading. The relatively pristine copy of Winnie the Pooh that sits by it is the third one, the first two having suffered the same fate.

Notice that I made reference to the books - the original ones - and not to the Disney movie/books/franchise. I never saw the Disney movie; or if I did see it as a child, I had forgotten about it a long time ago. Movies played a large role in my teen years, but they were not that important in my childhood. But, for as long as I can remember I loved reading, and before I could do that my parents used to read to me nearly every night.

This story is competant. It is touching. I'll grant that. But it would be as compentant and touching if it was about a toy bear that was not a literary referent. If instead of Edward bear we had George Bear, and instead of halucinating recognizable characters he dreamt of his parents and siblings (for example), the story would work just as well, or nearly so.

Instead, the story co-opts a well-known set of characters (and, mind you, it doesn't even have the temerity to do so properly - either totally ignoring copyright or getting permission - and instead plays a weasly game of "lets get as close as possible to being explicit without crossing the line". This works sometimes, when it's not a main plot point as it Late December, but here it just felt stupid. End of tangent) - it co-opts well-known characters, and in doing so, it sets itself up against a whole new set of expectations.

As far as I am concerned, the ending of "The House at Pooh Corner" was, and still is, one of the most touching and poignent endings in all literature. It is as bittersweet and tragic as the end of childhood always is.

The ending of this story, while touching, doesn't come anywhere near. Maybe it's just me, but self-sacrifice isn't nearly as universal or tragic as the inevitability of leaving one's childhood behind.

I'm not sure why the author of this story chose to use Pooh as his main character - there could be a variety of reasons, some better than others. But in doing so, he set himself up to a comparison against a source he cannot best, or even improve. I'm not upset - if I were to be upset at the commodification of Pooh I'd have far greater targets to be angry at than this story. I'm just unimpressed. Someone just tried to repackage a part of my childhood and hand it back to me with a more sophisticated, more adult finish. But, just like in the books' ending, there's a place inside me where my childhood still lives, and that place is always going to be more attractive than this new packaging.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 10:05:55 PM by eytanz »