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Author Topic: EP164: The Right Kind of Town  (Read 16557 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: June 27, 2008, 07:20:24 AM »

EP164: The Right Kind of Town

By Christian Klaver.
Read by Cunning Minx (of Polyamory Weekly).

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Get your free audiobook at: http://audible.com/escapepodsff

In the civilized places closer to Hegemony space, you don’t see many bodies in the street in the first place. When you do, they’re always swarmed with sheriffs, marshals, constables, morticians and the like. Then the body gets moved fast, so as to not ruffle the civilized folk. The rest happens behind closed doors.

Some towns don’t ever get bodies in the street. The only deaths are from sickness or accidents or old age. But I don’t tend to get to those towns so much, since they frown on my whoring profession. The towns I work in, everyone carries a gun. Being a pretty woman in my line of work, I carry two.


Rated R. Contains sex, violence, profanity, the quick, and the dead.




Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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wintermute
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 07:25:46 AM »

It did seem very FireFly.

Nice story, but too many unresolved questions about the main character and her motivations. I enjoyed it, but I'm left feeling I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd read other works in the same universe...
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 08:33:08 AM »

Haven't listened yet, but just reading the teaser I had a feeling Firefly fans would be all over it.
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Void Munashii
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 09:52:55 AM »

  This is one of the better stories recently, and I was glad for the change. I've really not seen a lot of science fictions westerns, and even less space westerns, so this was fun and different for me. I may have to track down some of the author's other stories set in this universe, as it sounds like a fun one, sort of a 'Deadwood' on the final frontier.

  It goes without saying that the reading was wonderful, so I'll move on.

  The only problem I had with the story was at the very end. I know the author went to great lengths to demonstrate how little respect is given to dead bodies in this town, but I still would think that there must be some sort of law in town (or at least paidd thugs) who would react quickly and unkindly to the main character throwing the town's richest man off of a balcony.  Maybe too much of my western experience in through 'Deadwood', but I have to think that there would be some quick and violent retaliation from his cronies. This is just a small complaint now, and does not sour me on the story at all.

  Now let me stand aside for the flood of "If there weren't aliens, this wouldn't be sci-fi at all" comments  Wink

  *ducks*
 
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wintermute
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« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 10:03:30 AM »

It has genetically-enhanced space-hookers! How could it not be science fiction?
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Darwinist
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« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 10:06:49 AM »

Liked it.  Loved Firefly.  The Right Kind of Town might work better as a longer story.  I thought the charachters and world were interesting, more information and background would have made it better perhaps.    
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DKT
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« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 10:22:33 AM »

Something about the story didn't work so well for me.  Mostly, I think it was that I didn't really care that much about the characters.  Freeman, especially.  He turned out to be the bastard so quickly.  But also our protagonist.  I just never felt that connected to her.  Also, the info-dumping (and I have nothing against good infodumping) felt a bit forced. 

The reading was okay. 

I can see how people might put this kind of story in the same category, but it didn't feel at all like Firefly to me.  It was a space western, sure, but aside from that it lacked everything else I loved about the show, especially the characters, the dialogue, and the sense of adventure/romance.

It sounds like I hated this story and I didn't.  It just wasn't one I really enjoyed. 
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 10:34:09 AM »

  This is one of the better stories recently, and I was glad for the change. I've really not seen a lot of science fictions westerns, and even less space westerns, so this was fun and different for me. I may have to track down some of the author's other stories set in this universe, as it sounds like a fun one, sort of a 'Deadwood' on the final frontier.

Look for the movie Oblivion and its sequel.  They've got George Takei as the alcoholic town doctor.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 12:20:43 PM »

I think DKT summed it up for me on this one.

  The only problem I had with the story was at the very end. I know the author went to great lengths to demonstrate how little respect is given to dead bodies in this town, but I still would think that there must be some sort of law in town (or at least paidd thugs) who would react quickly and unkindly to the main character throwing the town's richest man off of a balcony.

She did mention she had to get out of town quickly.  SHe had time until word got back to his people, but that was about it.
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Talia
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« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 12:36:50 PM »

Similar to firefly in "space western" general theme only, IMHO.. A huge part of firefly (for me)is the humor aspect, which wasn't reflected in the story.

An interesting story, but not enough character development for my tastes. Not enough information about what this .. person.. plant.. whatever thing was that died, either.
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DarkKnightJRK
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« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2008, 04:14:27 PM »

No real complaints on this one. Love the world here and the idea of the Nightwalkers, when shown, was very interesting. I'll definately have to go to this guy's website to read some more of his work. In fact, the closest thing I can say for criticism is that while the tension between Kate and Freeman was interesting, when the reveal of her badassery was revealed, I was more interested in this not-all-that-explored part of it then in the conclusion.

Overall, a great EP. Kudos, good sir.
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« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2008, 06:51:31 PM »

Look for the movie Oblivion and its sequel.  They've got George Takei as the alcoholic town doctor.

  I've never seen that one, and I loved the Full Moon movies when I was in high school (I still have a 12 inch Blade doll). I hadn't even heard of this one (I sort of stopped watching FM films after the abomination that was Curse of the Puppet Master), so I'll have to check it out.

  Oh my!
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Chivalrybean
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« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 01:09:58 AM »

I liked it a medium amount. Wasn't fantastic, wasn't bad at all. I can't compare to FireFly because I have the boxed set, but I also have a 4 week old, so, yeah, but Steve got away without knowing who Phillip K. Dick was for a long time, so don't yell at me too much {;0)

I think a wild west setting can be lots of fun. I've gotten one story down in an alternate wild west setting (leans towards fantasy, not sci-fi), and this story did remind me that there is a whole lot of life to explore when choosing a story to tell in a wild west setting.

Are all Nightwalker stories western-ish, or was that just because of the planet? If it was located on say, a planet where cops swarm dead bodies, would that be a non-western planet?

I have a GeekDad shirt also! Same design. Go get one. Get robot t-shirt while you are there too, along with... ok, I wont plug it any more. But I do have one of the robots shirts too, it is really neat.
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eytanz
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« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 11:29:14 PM »

I enjoyed the story, but I felt that it could have done with some tightening up. There were quite a few sentences that were basically "Freeman said/did something, which relates to this intimate detail I knew about him because I had sex with him." It was fine the first time, but after a while it felt like she's just hammering the point over and over. She didn't sound so much like a mature, sexually experienced person, let alone a prostitue - she sounded like a teenager that's really proud of his or her first sexual encounter and trying to work it in to every conversation.

Other than that, as I said, I did enjoy it. Westerns don't do much for me as a genre, but space westerns are fun (though I'm nowhere near as big a Firefly fan as some around here).

One thing that I found weird was Steve's outro - what was the point of saying "we have to hurry through the feedback because there's a lot to catch up with" if he only gave feedback to one episode? I was expecting him to give a quick overview of 2-3 episodes feedback, but if he only covers one episode anyway, I can't see how it helps catch up if he hurries through it or not. Anyway, not particularly significant, just something I thought was a bit strange.
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« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2008, 12:06:02 AM »

She did mention she had to get out of town quickly.  SHe had time until word got back to his people, but that was about it.

  It sounded more to me like she was leaving because she had both killed her career and the town's economy along with Freeman. She makes a comment that she has to go pack soon. I would think that if she was fearing for her life she would either leave without packing, or would have packed already.

  "Nothin' would be left here for me"
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eytanz
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« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2008, 12:17:50 AM »

She did mention she had to get out of town quickly.  SHe had time until word got back to his people, but that was about it.

  It sounded more to me like she was leaving because she had both killed her career and the town's economy along with Freeman. She makes a comment that she has to go pack soon. I would think that if she was fearing for her life she would either leave without packing, or would have packed already.

  "Nothin' would be left here for me"

Yeah, I agree. She said something along the lines of "people don't visit whores who can crush bones" - she was not scared of retribution, it just seemed like her business relied on her appearing more vulnerable than she really was.
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bolddeceiver
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« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2008, 02:39:52 AM »

This story left me absolutely cold.  I could understand how it should be an engaging story, but it just didn't pull it off for me.
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Ocicat
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« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2008, 05:19:26 AM »

I hate westerns.  Accordingly, this left me cold.  I didn't realy care enough about the people or setting to try and really figure out what was going on... she's a .... plant hybrid hooker?  With black skin that soaks up sunlight and makes her buffer than the biggest Western badasses?  Okay, whatever - moving along now.

Couldn't get into Firefly either, dispite being a huge fan of Buffy.  The western clothes and mannerisms just put me right the hell off.  And my brain never could get past the economics problems, either.
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Sandikal
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« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2008, 08:36:24 AM »

I liked the story, but it probably would have worked better in novel length.  I don't think the short-story format gave the author enough space to adequately develop either the characters or the setting.
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idratherbecaving
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« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2008, 01:17:25 PM »

I enjoyed this story.  Kept my attention throughout.
The comment at the end about Westerns being out of place in Sci-fi got me to thinking.
That may be so, but in both this and Firefly, is Sci-Fi out of place in a Western?
If you look at it in that respect a Western story, trim with cowboys (galactic or not) has it's share of fun.
And even in the old Western's there are aliens, are there not?  I mean after all an Alien is From Latin aliēnus, "belonging to someone else", then "exotic, foreign".  So how out of place are they really?

I enjoyed this story because I was caught in the western appeal and thus when an alien lifeform was mention it didn't seem forced or out of place.  Similar to how Murder at Avedon Hill can seem like a Irish tale but still have Vampires etc and take place in another world other than what we concider to be Ireland.
Out of place... I don't think so!
Thanks for the great story!
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