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Author Topic: PodCastle Miniature 74: The Book  (Read 2816 times)
Talia
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« on: December 11, 2012, 08:41:45 AM »

PodCastle Miniature 74: The Book

by Lavie Tidhar

Read by John Michnya

Originally published on the 42scifi-fantasy.com blog

There is a bookshop on Charing Cross Road in London and it’s never open. Its windows are covered in a thick film of dust and spiders grow webbed cities in its darkness. There are books inside that no-one’s ever read; books that human eyes had never seen, books where black ink spells secrets on black paper, books written in darkness that cannot be read in the light.

Rated PG.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 11:11:25 AM »

This tasty nibblet had me wanting more.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 10:00:28 AM »

...So where was the story?  I heard some overexplaining of made-up setting and world details and then it was over. 
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Cutter McKay
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 11:43:13 AM »

...So where was the story?  I heard some overexplaining of made-up setting and world details and then it was over. 
Agreed. There was some fairly interesting world building here, but I kept waiting for something to happen. Still waiting...
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 06:57:21 AM »

...So where was the story?  I heard some overexplaining of made-up setting and world details and then it was over. 
Agreed. There was some fairly interesting world building here, but I kept waiting for something to happen. Still waiting...

I think this was meant to be a glimpse into a fantastic story rather than being a story in itself.  It's like a wall mural, and all of it is hidden from sight save for a few small sections that we're allowed to see.  The pieces don't make any sense on their own, but they hint at something much larger.  It's a tease, really.

It leaves me wanting more although more would have probably just been disappointing. 

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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2012, 03:19:31 PM »

Not sure what this was either.
But one thing did bother me: in the 17th century, unless I am very mistaken, they were unable to tell time with more than 15 minutes precision. So that bothered me.
Looking back at this I'm going to treat it as a teaser trailer for something much bigger.
All in all Lavie is a very good writer, and I like his work, maybe the bookstore will show up at some later point...
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Devoted135
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 09:23:16 AM »

Can a story feel arrogant? Because this story feels arrogant to me. I'll take Penumbra's bookstore over this one any day of the week.
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 09:48:19 AM »

But one thing did bother me: in the 17th century, unless I am very mistaken, they were unable to tell time with more than 15 minutes precision. So that bothered me.

Why not?  They had clocks.  Set your clock by the sun, reset it periodically based on the same to compensate for it being fast or slow.

Honestly, I don't remember what the context in the story was, sure your common man may not have had his own clock, but it was surely possible to keep time at closer than 15 minutes precision--certainly no equivalent to an atomic clock, but 15 minutes is a long way from that.
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 11:21:41 AM »

But one thing did bother me: in the 17th century, unless I am very mistaken, they were unable to tell time with more than 15 minutes precision. So that bothered me.

Why not?  They had clocks.  Set your clock by the sun, reset it periodically based on the same to compensate for it being fast or slow.

Honestly, I don't remember what the context in the story was, sure your common man may not have had his own clock, but it was surely possible to keep time at closer than 15 minutes precision--certainly no equivalent to an atomic clock, but 15 minutes is a long way from that.
I recall reading a history of clocks somewhere, where they say that in the 17th century they had early mechanical clocks. Those things didn't actually tell accurate time, but chimed every fifteen minutes. At least, they were supposed to. They lost as much as 70 minutes a day...
I wish I could remember where I had read that.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 12:21:59 PM »

But one thing did bother me: in the 17th century, unless I am very mistaken, they were unable to tell time with more than 15 minutes precision. So that bothered me.

Why not?  They had clocks.  Set your clock by the sun, reset it periodically based on the same to compensate for it being fast or slow.

Honestly, I don't remember what the context in the story was, sure your common man may not have had his own clock, but it was surely possible to keep time at closer than 15 minutes precision--certainly no equivalent to an atomic clock, but 15 minutes is a long way from that.
I recall reading a history of clocks somewhere, where they say that in the 17th century they had early mechanical clocks. Those things didn't actually tell accurate time, but chimed every fifteen minutes. At least, they were supposed to. They lost as much as 70 minutes a day...
I wish I could remember where I had read that.

I believe that they weren't accurate and lost anoticeable amount of time per day, but I really doubt they lost 70 minutes per day either.  If a clock is off by more than an hour at the end of every day the clock is less useful than just looking at the sun location to eyeball the time.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2012, 12:23:54 PM by Unblinking » Logged
Corcoran
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2013, 12:56:30 PM »

Small and short but Funny and good
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Fenrix
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 01:03:14 PM »

I can't help but think that this story points to The Book in the Earth, particularly the odd book store. I'm not sure these two pieces fit together, but you can look at them and see how the picture could match up with just one or two pieces between them.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2013, 01:06:20 PM »

Niiiiiiiiiice! Liked this one. A tasty tidbit. Particularly liked the idea of God holed up, still writing out the Bible. Hmmm, but freely or as a captive? Hmmmm....
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