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Author Topic: PC042: De La Tierra  (Read 5726 times)
Heradel
Bill Peters, EP Assistant
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« on: March 03, 2009, 06:30:12 PM »

PC042: De La Tierra

By Emma Bull.
Read by Bill Ruhsam (of Talking Traffic)

She was out on the patio by the pool, stretched in a lounge chair. From there a person could see a corner of the Marmont bungalow where Belushi had overdosed. He was pretty sure she knew that; they liked things like celebrity death spots.

Some of them almost anyone could recognize–if almost anyone knew to look for them. They’re always perfect, of their kind. That’s why so many of them like L.A., where everybody gets extra credit for looking perfect. Try going unnoticed in Ames, Iowa, looking like that.

She had wavy golden hair to her shoulders, and each strand sparkled when the breeze shifted it. She wore a blue silk halter top, and little white shorts that showed how long and tan her legs were. She could’ve been one of those teen-star actresses pretending to be a Forties pin-up, except that she was too convincing. She sipped at a mojito without getting any lipstick on the glass.

For fun, he jabbed his molar with his tongue to see if Biblio could tell him anything about her–name, age, rank. Nada, y nada mas. None of them were ever in the database. Didn’t hurt to try, though.

“Your disposal record is remarkable,” she said, with no preface.

“I do my job.”


Rated R. An LA thriller. With elves.
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2009, 08:05:44 PM »

's okay. I would compare the creature with more of an old school fae then elf. But, that's just me nitpicking. Also the description brought to mind the UFO/alien "grays" this felt intentional- but didn't really go anywhere.  Overall the story was mostly just okay with good moments and bad moments. The end tie up was really quite good.
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Listener
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2009, 09:34:29 AM »

I thought the reading was good, but I didn't like the story. It was too complex for such a short space, and I often found myself getting lost. What I took away was: he's an assassin who works for elves and has elvish personalities in his head that help him be a better assassin, but all of a sudden he meets this elf that reminds him of his grandma and her beliefs and even though he kills her he still has a Change For The Bettertm.

I wanted to like the story, but I just couldn't.
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Void Munashii
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2009, 11:13:53 AM »

  I ended up feeling kind of 'meh' about this story. I liked the idea behind it all, but it felt too compressed; like it needed more room to properly be told. I love futuristic urban fantasy (Shadowrun, Metamor City, etc), but it felt like there was an attempt to show me both too much of this world, and yet not enough.

  Not being a big fan of classical fantasy, I am not totally familiar with all of the creature types, so if the intro hadn't told me that this was a story about elves, I never would have guessed.
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2009, 03:42:14 AM »

Even with the intro about elves, I didn't/couldn't see it that way.  I understood the voices as either computerized implants or actual people he could access remotely similar to The Matrix.  As for the "immortals," I didn't really figure out what I thought about them.  I liked the ending, though.
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Zathras
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2009, 04:53:58 AM »

Even with the intro about elves, I didn't/couldn't see it that way.  I understood the voices as either computerized implants or actual people he could access remotely similar to The Matrix.  As for the "immortals," I didn't really figure out what I thought about them.  I liked the ending, though.


The End was my favorite part.  You know the part when there was no more story to listen to?  When I'm not being beat over the head with the Environmental Stick any more?  Yeah, I like that.
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ajames
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 06:22:17 AM »

I give this two solid faerie thumbs up, though the total number of faerie thumbs keeps changing.  Grin

I enjoyed listening to the story, but I have to agree with previous posters that (a) there was an awful lot crammed into a small space, too much at times, and (b) I'm a bit weary of the simplistic urbanization=evil platform. That said, I was fully into the story until near the end, and it was very nice to have an escape pod story and a podcastle story to download all in one day -- my Friday was much better because of it!
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Poppydragon
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 09:53:43 AM »

Hmmm, it said there would be elves, then there was a story with the word elves in it, that could have had the word enviromentalist /  terrorist / criminal mastermind / spymaster / overmind (delete as applicable) in it instead. Just didn't do it from me  Undecided
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« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2009, 04:42:27 PM »

This was my favorite podcastle story so far. I thought it was so smart and lovely and interesting. I loved how it ended too. Bravo!
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stePH
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2009, 04:54:47 PM »

  Not being a big fan of classical fantasy, I am not totally familiar with all of the creature types, so if the intro hadn't told me that this was a story about elves, I never would have guessed.
I would have figured the non-humans for faery even without having "elves" mentioned in the title.  I think my favorite "faery" story is currently The Infinity Concerto by Greg Bear (which was unfortunately destroyed by its sequel The Serpent Mage).  Come to think of that, I must get around to reading the rest of my Charles DeLint books someday; all the ones I've read so far deal in Naive American mythology, but I know some others involve the Good People (and at least one, Forests of the Heart, has both).
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Ocicat
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2009, 06:26:32 PM »

The reading kept loosing me.  Wait, where are we now?  Did we just switch scenes?  Is this a flashback?  What's going on?  Seemed like some odd word emphasis choices and odd pauses too.

The story would have worked better in a text format I think, but still doesn't rise above Meh.  Elves?  If you say so.  Whatever.  It read like a bad Shadowrun game, if you ask me. 
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Praxis
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2009, 05:41:14 PM »

This wasn't a story about "elves".

It had other worldly creatures, with their own history and world, mannerisms, etc. etc.  but that don't make them elves.  If it hadn't been put into the story intro it wouldn't have crossed my mind that they were supposed to be (and would have made for a better story, imo).

Listening to this one (with the intro parts about elves) was a bit like someone saying "So....you don't like elephants, eh?  Well, here's a tale about cyborg intergalactic warrior races in an epic battle. with tusks." and saying that both were the same thing.

Having said that, I liked that main character himself, and his situation what with having a role he wasn't entirely comfortable with, and 'voices' in his head helping him along.
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Dwango
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2009, 09:08:49 AM »

Pauses.  There need to be pauses between transitions.  It was a really hard story to follow.

All in all, beyond that, it really was a beating stick.  It was too deep for its own good, drowning in its own message.  I don't mind ideological stories, but this one proves how important subtlety is in such stories.
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DKT
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2009, 10:35:08 AM »

Pauses.  There need to be pauses between transitions.  It was a really hard story to follow.

Yes. I'd read this one before and was confused because of the lack of pauses. The rest of the reading itself was fine, although it felt very gringo. (The "Jesus" in Jesus Christo is pronounced "Hey Zeus!" in my experience Wink )

Still, kind of a cool story, though.
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Loz
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2009, 04:22:07 PM »

I just couldn't follow this at all, and as a few other people have said, where's our stories about how kick-ass modern life is, what with it's treatments for any number of diseases that kill people in other times or parts of the world and, if not actually a more advanced ethical system, at least the intention to strive for one?
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eytanz
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2009, 03:26:13 AM »

This story made me do something I've never done before - stop listening to the audio halfway and just pick up the text version and finish it there. Not that the reading itself was bad, but I don't think this story worked well in audio format. It has a rather uneven pacing, full of starts and stops, and that isn't very apparent when you read it but it's far more noticable when someone is reading it in a regular pace.

Overall, too, this is not one of Emma Bull's strongest outings. The basic notion - that the conflict between modern and traditional is mirrored in the spirit world - is an interesting one (though hardly a new one, this ground has been covered, re-covered, and covered yet again by Charles de Lint), but the implementation here is very one-sided, bordering on a "noble savages" attitude, and therefore hard to identify with. The simple fact that the story gives you two totally different versions of what's going on, one by each side, and no evidence to decide between them - but yet it's entirely obvious who is the good side and who is the evil side - shows this.
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birdless
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« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2009, 10:37:58 PM »

This story made me do something I've never done before - stop listening to the audio halfway and just pick up the text version and finish it there. Not that the reading itself was bad, but I don't think this story worked well in audio format.

I really hate to comment on the reader if i think it was done poorly, but—and my sincere apologies to the reader—i just didn't enjoy his reading. I had dissected it while on the drive home, but i've forgotten what my conclusion was about what it was specifically that bugged  me. But maybe it was simply the pacing of the story... I haven't finished listening to it yet. Maybe i'll just read it, too. Where do you find the text version?
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Anarkey
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2009, 08:14:36 PM »

The basic notion - that the conflict between modern and traditional is mirrored in the spirit world - is an interesting one (though hardly a new one, this ground has been covered, re-covered, and covered yet again by Charles de Lint), but the implementation here is very one-sided, bordering on a "noble savages" attitude, and therefore hard to identify with. The simple fact that the story gives you two totally different versions of what's going on, one by each side, and no evidence to decide between them - but yet it's entirely obvious who is the good side and who is the evil side - shows this.

This.  I love it when eytanz has made my case for me. 

Also, guh, not to pick on the poor reader who has borne much scorn in this thread, but would it be that effing hard to find someone with competence in Spanish to read stories with Spanish dialog in them?  You're making the Anarkey cry, here.

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Paranatural
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2009, 01:26:08 PM »

I was only kind of 'meh' about this story, however, not for the same reasons the other posters have mentioned. I didn't really find the story hard to follow, personally. I also don't think it was as environmentally focused as people seem to think. I never even thought about it in those terms, when I heard it. I took it as more of a 'haves' vs 'have-nots' story. Some of the fey types came to California, got 'rich' (whatever that means to elves, I guess) and decided to keep as much of that wealth to themselves as they could, by killing off any new immigrants.
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JoeFitz
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« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2009, 03:48:23 PM »

While I did enjoy the story once I got into it, I kept being reminded of concepts from Blade Runner and Earth: Final Conflict and that detracted from the piece.
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