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News

Voting has started for the Podcastle Flash Fiction contest. Anyone who has made at least one post should be able to see the stories down in the Arcade.

New groups are posted every two days through the end of April.

Author Topic: EP073: Barnaby in Exile  (Read 7602 times)

Russell Nash

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on: September 24, 2008, 01:11:19 PM
EP073: Barnaby in Exile

By Mike Resnick.
Read by Paul Fischer (of The Balticon Podcast).

“Very good, Barnaby,” she says. “And what is this?”

“Kitten,” I say.

We go through the whole book.

“Where is Barnaby?” I ask.

“Barnaby is an ape,” she says. “There is no picture of an ape in the book.”

I wonder if there are any other Barnabys in the world, and if they are lonely too.


Rated G. Contains nothing age-inappropriate. However, some listeners may find it excessively sad.


Referenced Sites:
2006 Podcast & Portable Media Expo



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



Heradel

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Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 03:57:13 PM
Saddest Escape Pod Ever.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


DKT

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Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 04:13:44 PM
Damn that Resnick. This one definitely got to me, even though I knew what he was doing the whole time.


Talia

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Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 07:17:07 PM
Couldn't believe there was an old Mike Resnick story on here I'd somehow overlooked..

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww :( :(

Very 'Flowers for Algernon.' sort of.



Heradel

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Reply #4 on: September 24, 2008, 07:20:29 PM
Couldn't believe there was an old Mike Resnick story on here I'd somehow overlooked..

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww :( :(

Very 'Flowers for Algernon.' sort of.

Flowers for Algernon if Algernon lost an environment he was smart/learning rather than losing the ability. Which honestly reminds me more of Rand's Anthem if it was reversed.



I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


alllie

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Reply #5 on: September 24, 2008, 07:21:40 PM
After listening to this and the other Resnick stories that made me cry, I don't think I want to listen to any more.

That was really depressing. Especially the reminder of all the animals that are tortured by human hands in research.

Edit: And I'm not saying it wasn't good. Of course it was. Mike Resnick knows how to make us cry. That is an amazing skill. But once he has gotten control of our emotions I wish he would use that opportunity to give us a bit of hope, slip in a way to change the world for the better. Maybe it would be fake and a sellout but I wanted an afterword about how new laws gave bonobos legal rights or how they were uplifted or how, at least, Barnaby found a better life.

I wrote a blog once about happy endings (Happy Endings: A Theory of), about how we like our lessons in stories but without a happy ending a story is only a warning, not a lesson.  I'm okay with Mike Resnick making me cry, but I want it followed by the happy ending or a lesson about how to get there.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2008, 10:35:11 PM by alllie »



mike-resnick

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Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 07:24:18 PM
>> I'm okay with Mike Resnick making me cry, but I want it followed by the happy ending or a lesson about how to get there. <<

On the author's behalf, he has probably published more humor than any other science fiction
writer: over 70 humorous sf stories stories and 9 humorous sf novels (and counting.)

When he writes funny, or happy, or adventurous, he writes funny, or happy, or adventurous.
And when he writes bittersweet, he writes bittersweet. He does none to the exclusion of
the others.

-- Mike Resnick, who is on reasonably good terms with the author



Russell Nash

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Reply #7 on: October 05, 2008, 08:05:36 AM
-- Mike Resnick, who is on reasonably good terms with the author

Really??  What's he like?
 
;D




mike-resnick

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Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 05:01:05 PM
>> Really??  What's he like? <<


Sexiest sonuvabitch around.

-- Mike



wintermute

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Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 05:25:41 PM
Huh. I had to read that three times before I saw the second E in "sexiest"...

Science means that not all dreams can come true


deflective

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Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 08:23:08 PM
i missed the e in 'like'



Unblinking

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Reply #11 on: February 12, 2010, 05:55:59 PM
This has to be one of my favorite EP episodes ever!  The non-human point of view, and the child-like intellect made me really want to meet Barnaby.  The questions about God and whether he lives further away than the zoo were especially compelling.  I didn't cry, but I rarely do for written fiction--that doesn't mean the emotions weren't there.

And there are all kinds of deeper analogies here if you look for them.  The Flower for Algernon comparison is one.  Another is feeling out of place in your own family--He coexists and breeds with them, but they don't understand him at all. 

Incidentally, does anyone happen to know what patch of jungle he got dropped off at?  I would SO adopt him.



yicheng

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Reply #12 on: February 24, 2010, 03:10:29 PM
I just heard this story on NPR, which totally reminded me of Barnaby in Exile (and just as heart-breaking):

http://blogs.wnyc.org/radiolab/2010/02/19/lucy/

"Chimps. Bonobos. Humans. We’re all great apes. This hour we take a look at what happens when we all try to live together. Our main story is about a chimp named Lucy. When Lucy was only two days old she was adopted by a psychologist and his wife who wondered: if given the right environment, how human could Lucy become? This story and other tales of radical sharing between humans and the creatures on earth most like us. Be sure to watch the slide show through to the end to see the image of the hug between Janis and Lucy."



luka datas

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Reply #13 on: December 16, 2012, 12:58:34 PM
i actually like monkeys more now for some strange reason



Marlboro

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Reply #14 on: January 21, 2021, 07:08:40 PM
I recently read a book by Mike Resnick called "Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia." It's a novel composed of related short stories . I'm not sure it would be everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoyed it.

The reason I mention it (besides to plug a good book) is because I think the story "For I Have Touched the Sky" would fit right in here at EP or CoW. Give it a read if you haven't before.



Álex Souza

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Reply #15 on: January 23, 2021, 06:01:26 PM
The sad story with a nonhuman character is an overused trope, even back when Barnaby in Exile was released. This story just does it kinda right. Reminded of The Plague Dogs.

The narration strengthens the story a lot. If I had just read normally it wouldn't feel as good.

One thing that caught my attention is the release of the ape in the wilds after a life of captivity. You just don't do that! As we could see, Barnaby didn't know how to behave. Just like a zoo tiger wouldn't know how to hunt. It's a minor thing, but other stories--like the aforementioned The Plague Dogs--got this part right.

I also noticed a preoccupation in keeping this family-friendly. We all know what he meant by "She touches me and it's nice" :P  If I had written this, I would have gone full Watership Down. ::) ::) ::)

R.I.P Mike Resnick.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2021, 05:04:34 PM by Álex Souza »

I just wanna go pro before AI takes over and the bot dogs from Boston Dynamics kill us all.


mojulasido

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Reply #16 on: March 03, 2021, 02:03:35 PM
ouldn't believe there was an old Mike Resnick story on here I'd somehow overlooked seastar bulkhead hose kits..
« Last Edit: March 24, 2021, 08:14:30 AM by mojulasido »