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Author Topic: EP162: God Juice  (Read 11571 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: June 13, 2008, 05:36:33 AM »

EP162: God Juice

By M.K. Hobson.
Read by Christiana Ellis (of Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts).
First appeared in Polyphony 6, ed. Deborah Layne and Jay Lake.

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“I wish to give you the opportunity to purchase a very valuable artifact from the great age of Ja’ardi civilization,” he said. “We stole it from a rival tribe, who revered it as possessing divine powers. I am prepared to offer it to you at a very reasonable price.”

I rolled my eyes. If I had a nickel for every time someone tried to sell me an artifact with divine powers … Zhee must have seen the eyeroll, for he hastened to add:

“It is reputed to bestow upon its owner the ability to create flowing rivers of God Juice.”

I tilted my head slightly to see if some sense might roll downhill from his words. “Correct me if I’m wrong,” I said, sucking on the wedge of flesh-colored fruit, “But isn’t God Juice the stuff that caused your civilization to collapse?”

Zhee shifted, scratching the back of his head. “Well … yes.”


Rated R. Contains strong language and sexual tomfoolery.




Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 06:57:52 AM »

It grew on me.

I didn't like the story at first; the setting, the character, her voice, and even the narration.  But as I got comfortable with the story and got a few laughs out of it, I started to enjoy it more.  The reader found her voice, there was more dialogue and more humor, and the story got more exciting.

The story itself was fairly straightforward -- no real twists, no real new ground covered, but then, in an adventure story, do you really WANT new ground, or do you just want adventure?  I think the author did a good job building the universe without getting into a lot of exposition.

I feel like there were unanswered questions about Trumbull's luck -- was it her material empathy that led to that, or her brush with God Juice, or what?

Am I the only person who, when I hear something along the lines of "like what we did to our planet 1000 years ago", I cringe at the social-consciousness-forcedness of it?  Or am I sensitized to it because I work in news.

Anyway, not my favorite story, not my favorite type of story, but it wasn't bad.
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yicheng
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 05:11:42 PM »

I loved the reading on this!!!  And, in my opinion, it saved what would have otherwise been a lukewarm story.  Am I the only one that thought of World of Warcraft's Draenei race when listening to Christiana's accents?

As for the story itself, it was okay, but suffers from a rather weak and rushed ending.  I like that the protagonist heroine was very gritty and believably hard-boiled.  The setting was raw and the world was nicely developed. The whole "God Juice saves the planet" thing at the end just sounded too magically sweeping to me. 
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doctorclark
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 06:44:09 PM »

I loved the reading on this!!!  And, in my opinion, it saved what would have otherwise been a lukewarm story.  Am I the only one that thought of World of Warcraft's Draenei race when listening to Christiana's accents?

As for the story itself, it was okay, but suffers from a rather weak and rushed ending.  I like that the protagonist heroine was very gritty and believably hard-boiled.  The setting was raw and the world was nicely developed. The whole "God Juice saves the planet" thing at the end just sounded too magically sweeping to me. 

I second yicheng's comments.  I'd like to add that it was jarring having such a strong woman (a freakin' Amazon!) melt down so quickly for Zhee at the end.  And having Zhee go from being an anthropology-apprentice man-whore to sage, God-juice-wielding savior of the planet: a bit too abrupt to believe the protagonist's sudden and complete faith in him.

Overall, I loved this story, though.  A tad slow to start, and quick to end, but excellent writing and a great narration!
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 07:18:07 PM »

I loved the reading on this!!!  And, in my opinion, it saved what would have otherwise been a lukewarm story.  Am I the only one that thought of World of Warcraft's Draenei race when listening to Christiana's accents?

Maybe not, but having never played WoW, I can't say I'm with you on this.  Smiley

Not one of the best stories I've heard on EP, but I enjoyed the ride.
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Cerebrilith
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 07:49:08 PM »

The story was okay, enjoyable but not anything special.  I liked the narrator, I think she did a fair bit to add to the experience.

I listened to a previous podcast here about a man-whore who spent all his time rubbing his excretions into food not too long ago and combined with this one I'd like to ask for a moratorium on stories about people lapping up each other's fluids for awhile.  Seems like hookers are the last people you should be drinking the juices of.  Big yuck factor.
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qwints
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A fine idea, but who bells cat?


« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 09:13:57 PM »

It's good to know that far in the future, the Texas Hold Em fad will still be around.
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DarkKnightJRK
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2008, 12:28:09 AM »

Not a bad little adventure yarn. I compliment the reader for this piece.
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Chivalrybean
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2008, 01:54:25 AM »

Great choice of readers. If you liked Christiana in this, check out Space Casey.

The story was good. Not great, but good. No complaints.
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petronivs
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2008, 11:05:41 AM »

It was an ok light story.  The thing that popped out at me most was that I thought it was really out of character for the protagonist to throw her hand in the poker game.  I mean, her god-juice stud was still going to be around later, wasn't he?

By the way, where was this sexual tomfoolery we were promised?  I didn't see any, which made me sad. Sad
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Schreiber
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2008, 02:09:17 PM »

I think everyone's already voiced my thoughts on the story.  All I can add is "ooooh, sick burn!" regarding Steve's closing jab at The Kingdom of Crystal Skull.
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ajames
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2008, 08:27:10 PM »

A bit of a let down from M.K. Hobson's other stories on Podcastle, IMO. It had the feeling like it was part of a series, and not the best part, either. But it kept me entertained and interested, so I can't complain too much.
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Windup
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2008, 10:36:56 PM »


Am I the only person who, when I hear something along the lines of "like what we did to our planet 1000 years ago", I cringe at the social-consciousness-forcedness of it?  Or am I sensitized to it because I work in news.


I thought it was part of the reversed "Great White Hunter and His Noble Native Assistant" trope that the author played for laughs throughout the story.  Instead of a Moment of Silence for a Great Lost Civilization it was, "Oh yeah, us, too..."   At least that's how I heard it.

I think you only get to blame "working in news" as the source of your sensitivity if you're working for Bill O'Riley....  Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: June 14, 2008, 10:54:21 PM by Windup » Logged

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Windup
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2008, 11:03:49 PM »


I liked this story a lot.  OK, it didn't have profound concepts relating to the human condition or thought-provoking insights, but it was one of the funniest things I've heard in a while.  Sort of Allan Quatermain played backwards by Sigourney Weaver and sponsored by The Poker Channel. 

As to the ending, I didn't think she was actually all that convinced God-Juice Boy was going to "use his power wisely" (why should he be different?) as it was a way to show how crushed out on him she was.
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Rain
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2008, 10:34:35 AM »

I thought this was an ok story, the first part wasnt very good but it got a little better later on, my main problem was the reading, a really good reader or just someone who seemed to care could have done much for the story instead all of the weaknesses came to the front.

My one word review : Meh
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lieffeil
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2008, 03:13:03 PM »

I think the narrator's reading gained a lot of strength when she hit on the characters' individual voices. The story was light and funny, in a drained dust-bowl cowgirl kind of way. And it got me thinking, no one really talks about aging amazons who play poker and run pawn shops. Original. I like that. Some of the details also cracked me up. "Shit-brown eyes" at the end of a string of praising descriptions, and the "gold covered hockey puck"... They emphasized the main character, and how, no matter what was going on, she still thought of things in simple, down-to-earth terms.
The ending was a little weak, a little predictable, but I can forgive that since the rest of it kept me smiling.
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Darwinist
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2008, 06:45:12 AM »

I liked this story.  But it was a ripoff of one of Ray Bradbury's stories and it wouldn't have been sci-fi if our heroine had two bewbies instead of three bewbies.    Wink
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hatton
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2008, 08:56:05 AM »

I don't know if I felt more like I was listening to a story written in retaliation to the latest Raiders as Steve inferred or someone's writing assignment after a long weekend of watching World Poker Tour and the Naked Archaeologist.

The reading was good and the story had flow... substance not so much.  As with others the ending just landed.  Maybe the word limit was reached in the writing assignment, I'm not sure.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2008, 09:37:47 AM »

I liked this story.  But it was a ripoff of one of Ray Bradbury's stories and it wouldn't have been sci-fi if our heroine had two bewbies instead of three bewbies.    Wink

I believe our heroine had two.  The slut on the bordello flyer had three.
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2008, 11:07:53 AM »

I liked this story.  But it was a ripoff of one of Ray Bradbury's stories and it wouldn't have been sci-fi if our heroine had two bewbies instead of three bewbies.    Wink

I believe our heroine had two.  The slut on the bordello flyer had three.

Doh!  My dog must have been barking during that part.
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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
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