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Author Topic: Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: Silence  (Read 4545 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: December 06, 2008, 11:20:25 AM »

Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: Silence

By Rachel Swirsky.
Read by M.K. Hobson.

Whatever the midwife told you, it’s not true.


I cannot walk through walls. I cannot conjure a chicken and make it dance or start a fire with my fingers. I cannot shape familiars from fog or examine entrails to see if a man will die. I cannot resurrect your son.


Rated PG.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!


—————

Original Contest thread for Silence
« Last Edit: December 17, 2008, 06:46:30 AM by Russell Nash » Logged
Zathras
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2008, 09:33:28 AM »

Good one!   This is a perfect example of what flash should be.  I wasn't bored at any time through it and wasn't left unfulfilled at the end.  It needed no additonal world building, and the story was complete. 

I've read full length books, and even series, where an author tried to tell the same story.  Rachel did a better job in a flash piece!
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hatton
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2008, 03:20:58 PM »

Heh, I wanted to shout, "Liar, liar tongue on fire!"
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eytanz
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« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 08:22:22 AM »

This was a really great piece. I agree with everything Zatharas said above.

One thought I had after listening, is - is "It is my pleasure to speak to the young and full of faith." also a lie? The narrator had nothing to lose at that point. Or maybe, and this is probably not the author's intent, that sentence is the only lie in the story. Which would raise all sorts of interesting questions.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 09:11:29 AM »

Good one!   This is a perfect example of what flash should be.  I wasn't bored at any time through it and wasn't left unfulfilled at the end.  It needed no additonal world building, and the story was complete. 


+1
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 03:48:49 PM »

Very nice!
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DKT
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 12:39:00 PM »

I'm pretty sure that wasn't Ann reading. 

That said, GREAT little story and a great rendition of it.  It hooked me right from the beginning and left me asking questions after it closed out.  Pretty great for such a short story.  One of my favorites from the FF contest.
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hautdesert
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 03:11:40 PM »

LOL, DKT, I logged on that morning and went, "I have no memory of reading that!" And wondered briefly if I'd had amnesia or something.

It was, of course, the fabulous M.K. Hobson reading.
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thomasowenm
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« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2008, 06:50:09 AM »

Well done piece of flash.  It laid out what was expected and delivered.  From the lie to the parent, and the consequence of that lie, I was not left wondering WTF,  Rachel delivered.  The world she built in under 300 words was very believable, and complete.
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DKT
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« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2008, 12:24:12 PM »

It was, of course, the fabulous M.K. Hobson reading.

I was thinking that's who it was! I must be in the MK Hobson zone or something. Wink
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2008, 11:55:24 PM »

LOL, DKT, I logged on that morning and went, "I have no memory of reading that!" And wondered briefly if I'd had amnesia or something.

It was, of course, the fabulous M.K. Hobson reading.

Nash was high or something.  Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2008, 12:25:47 AM »

I wrote the initial blog entry, actually. So, I must have been high or something. Wink

I've asked Steve to edit the blog entry and fix the narrator.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2008, 12:32:52 AM »

I wrote the initial blog entry, actually. So, I must have been high or something. Wink

I've asked Steve to edit the blog entry and fix the narrator.

I didn't know Hobson was broken.  Grin
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« Reply #13 on: December 15, 2008, 09:54:35 AM »

I don't know who the mythical personage was. Maybe that's a fault of my education. If I knew, I might have enjoyed the story more.
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2008, 04:30:36 PM »

Yeah, I missed something too. Alas..
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Heradel
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2008, 07:06:40 PM »

Yeah, I missed something too. Alas..

I don't believe it is anyone specific.

From Rachel back in her Palimpsest days(see original contest thread):

Quote
To me, the woman (yes, I know the gender was never particularly pinned down) who is telling the story is one surrounded by rumors. She's not working through a modern medium, such as television, where she's advertising specific services. Instead, she's working within the framework of a more traditional system of shamanism. People hear about her by word of mouth, and rumors about her accrue.

I'm thinking less of Sylvia Browne than of, say, the girls in the Salem witch trial. Rumors build and obscure.

(Full confession: I'm writing a novel -- very slowly -- which involves a curandera, which to put it in vernacular is a woman who practices Mexican shamanism. I never set this woman out as a curandera, of course, but the research I was doing bled through, I'm sure.)

I know there are a couple elements in the piece, such as the midwife and the idea of a non-western system of magic, which rest uneasily with the mention of modern elements like soap operas. It's definitely a flaw in the story. At the same time, it was one I decided to maintain because the concept of a modern/traditional dichotomy doesn't describe much of the world. Witchcraft and buildings we would call huts coexist with telephones and telenovellas.

Still, it's not clear, and I know that's a fault. I appreciate the way you dissected it; it made me think differently about the framework readers might set the story into.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2008, 06:49:42 AM »

I wrote the initial blog entry, actually. So, I must have been high or something. Wink

I've asked Steve to edit the blog entry and fix the narrator.

Fixed here.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2008, 09:21:01 AM »

I wrote the initial blog entry, actually. So, I must have been high or something. Wink

I've asked Steve to edit the blog entry and fix the narrator.

Fixed here.

Too late.  We already all know Rachel was high.  Grin
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"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2008, 12:14:22 PM »

I wrote the initial blog entry, actually. So, I must have been high or something. Wink

I've asked Steve to edit the blog entry and fix the narrator.

Fixed here.

Too late.  We already all know Rachel was high.  Grin

that part was irrelevant to me.
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Windup
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« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2008, 11:58:00 PM »

Nice piece of work!!  I agree with those who say this is what flash should be... 
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My whole job is in the space between "should be" and "is."  It's a big space...
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