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Author Topic: EP191: This Is How It Feels  (Read 17556 times)

Russell Nash

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on: March 19, 2009, 05:19:42 PM
EP191: This Is How It Feels

By Ian Creasey.
Read by FNH (of The Cthulhu Podcast).
First appeared in Asimov’s, March 2008.

Guest Host: Tony Smith (of Starship Sofa)

Nathan’s eyes stung as he remembered how Jenny used to do just that: the same jump down the stairs, the same windmilling of her arms as she landed…. The grief swept over him like a palpable wave, making him stagger backward.

“Dad?” Christopher kicked his backpack down the hall to the door. “You all right?”

“It’s nothing,” said Nathan. He rubbed the implant-port behind his right ear. It’s nothing. It’s not real.

But it felt real.


Rated PG. Contains themes of death and child endangerment.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



Listener

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Reply #1 on: March 19, 2009, 06:13:49 PM
Tony was an interesting guest-host. The ad for SSS went on a TAD long though.

As for the story... I figured it out about a minute before it was revealed, and was not disappointed. The concept makes sense, and the story was well-told, but I would have rathered Nathan defeated the implant the way he planned to (by facing the gravesite) but then made a conscious choice to slow down.

Unfortunately, slowing down these days isn't permitted because the moment you slow down you're fired. Perhaps this is a near-future story (2030 is pretty close), but I can't see there EVER being a slowdown in the work world.

Also, a minor point -- how long would Nathan lose his license for? Permanently? A year? A few months? I would think you'd lose your license for less time.

The story doesn't focus on it, but it makes me wonder about the kind of psychological damage the removal of the implant would do -- would you suddenly become more reckless? Or would your psyche be so messed up that you'd need psychological care? And could Nathan go to a psychologist? Or would said psych be in danger of having a license revoked for helping someone get past the implant? Jenny's dad sure as hell can go to a counselor to help him deal with the grief, and in fact it would be very healthy for him to do so. Why would Nathan be forbidden from doing the same? Or does the implant prevent psychotherapy from even working?

It takes a good story to bring up all these questions, even though it's tough to think about if you're a parent. (I'm betting we get at least 20 replies saying something like that; you want the over or the under?)

The reading was done by a professional, as was noted, so there's nothing really to complain about. I like how he pulled off the different characters without really changing his voice very much. Even the dead kid.

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Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42


Darwinist

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Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 01:36:00 PM
I'll take Listener's over.  Good questions, too, Listener.

I really liked the show this week.  The story had me from the first sentence and I thought it was excellent.  Well read, too.

I thought Tony did an excellent job hosting this week.  Love his enthusiasm in the introduction and the talk of his daughter in the outro.  I'm dealing with the same things with my sons as he is with his daughter.  It is a crazy world out there.  Loved the accent, too.  I'll check out SSS. 

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


Void Munashii

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Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 05:37:05 PM
  Like Listener, I pretty much figured the story right before the reveal, but it was still a good story with some chilling concepts (I'm all for headware, but I'm none too keen on the government fiddling with my thoughts; the media tries to do that already). I was a little dissapointed in the ending, and prefer the one that Listener suggested, but it was still quite a good story.

  A bit of Fridge Logic in the story though; wouldn't artificially intelligent holograms of your deceased loved ones make it that much harder to let them go? Pictures are one thing, three dimensional projections another, but a 3d image that can carry on a conversation with you? That just seems like it would be absolutely heartbreaking to endure, even moreso than Nathan's implant.

  I was surprised to hear Tony as a host, but not dissapointed, although I think my wife couldn't understand about half of what he said (she has asked me in the past when hearing me listening to the old SSS how I can tell what they were saying). He had a big pair of shoes to fill, and I think he did so admirably.

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Corydon

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Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 05:40:43 PM
Ooh, I got to "loss of a child" in the intro and decided to skip this one.  I can take a lot of darkness in my fiction, but that's where I wimp out.  I appreciate the mention in advance, though!



Hatton

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Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 06:04:56 PM
I don't tend to like preachy stories and this one falls into that category for me. 

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Poppydragon

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Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 11:03:10 PM
Thought this was superb, a real hard edge to it but well worth the effort. Tony's hosting was a pleasant surprise, nice to hear a local accent  :) Enjoy wasn't the word for this one, but certainly worthwhile.

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deflective

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Reply #7 on: March 21, 2009, 01:07:47 AM
solid episode, tho it's gonna take a while it to sound natural without SFEley.

i like the ending the way it is. i could almost imagine the doctors trying to redefine large life changes as an unintended feature of the procedure.

after last week, it sounds like the story selection process may be changing. one listener's request: could we get a little more 'positive' scifi? for a while now, most every story with advanced tech has dealt with dehumanization or oppression. they're still good stories but i like some fun speculation now and again without it turning into a cautionary tale where a gadget is taken to an extreme.



FNH

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Reply #8 on: March 21, 2009, 09:29:27 AM
I've harped on before about how Escape Pod should run more stories with space ships and aliens, but in response Mr Eley said that if they don't get submitted he couldn't select them.  So I guess the problem is they dont get submitted.


FNH

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Reply #9 on: March 21, 2009, 09:30:38 AM
The reading was done by a professional, as was noted,

Aw shucks  :-[  They dont even call me "professional" at work!


MacArthurBug

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Reply #10 on: March 21, 2009, 02:34:35 PM
Very very good story and quite well read. The idea of dealing with someone elses emotions as penence for a crim is facination. I even liked the bits about the adware/malware additions to these implants. IT's frightening to think how close tech like this may be.
I'm a fairly regular listener of SSS and was suprised to hear Tony guest introing. No major complaintes about him- other then he ran on just a bit to long in the intro. Save the babble for the outro!

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CGFxColONeill

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Reply #11 on: March 21, 2009, 03:48:35 PM
I had mixed feelings about this story, I almost turned it off 4 or 5 times but I was just interested enough to stay with it and figure out where it was going (not really sure why tbh I was not really in the mood for a depressing story last night) but the ending made it a better  story which put me pretty much with deflective

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cuddlebug

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Reply #12 on: March 21, 2009, 03:50:21 PM
Great story, just imagine the possibilities. I love those stories that make me go on and on in my head coming up with all the things that could happen in the world described in the story .... so that will take up the rest of the weekend: contemplating memory implants and their social and emotional implications.

But I didn't mean to comment much on the story actually, maybe I'll do that later. I wanted to comment on using Tony as a host. Tony is incredibly funny and knows his stuff when it comes to SF, but I personally find it really hard to listen to him. It might be the accent or the rambling, I am not entirely sure, but that is also why I stopped downloading SSS entirely. I loved the stories and listened to them for a few months, always trying to skip straight to the main fiction, but when that became impossible I stopped subscribing to the podcast.

I am sorry for the criticism, and mean no offense to Tony at all, but I would prefer Steve as a host/narrator.



Zathras

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Reply #13 on: March 21, 2009, 10:31:01 PM
Good story, excellent reading.  I thought the reveal was going to be that Nathan had killed Jenny.

I didn't like Tony's work, but that's personal preference.  I, too, felt the promo for SSS was too long.



thomasowenm

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Reply #14 on: March 22, 2009, 03:20:37 AM
I didn't really like the story, however I did not find it displeasing either.  I know that although I did not have a strong reaction to it, It will be one that will sit in the back of my mind.  The use of technology to disuade unlawful behavior, or promote an agenda is something that I will not readily forget, especially as tech speeds along its course. 

I can however say that listening to Tony was like nails on a chalkboard, very irritating.  We need Steve.



elviiis

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Reply #15 on: March 22, 2009, 03:39:25 AM
Loved the story.  I'm a pension consultant with small children at home. The story captured the daily grind between fretting about the clients and missing my children. 

And as an Actuary I also look for the cohorts every time I walk through a cemetery. 

The AI for the tombstones was a little creepy.



Talia

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Reply #16 on: March 22, 2009, 04:55:40 AM
Enjoyed the story. A little frightening in the sense that I can actually see such a punishment being made legal if the technology were available.

Took me a while to get used to Tony's hosting style, but it grew on me and by the time the outro wrapped up I thought it rather keen. I sometimes have a LOT of trouble understanding accents, but that was not the case here, fortunately.



600south

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Reply #17 on: March 23, 2009, 01:57:28 AM
Excellent! I'm a total sucker for cyberpunk/near-future/crime & punishment stories. This is one of my favorites along with Blink... Don't Blink.

And what a pleasant surprise to hear Tony Smith hosting the show. That man is my SF guru.



wakela

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Reply #18 on: March 23, 2009, 06:37:54 AM
Great story, great reading, great host.

This idea seemed completely plausible to me.  If the technology existed it would be a very short hop from people/politicians demanding that a murderer feel the grief he caused to a speeder feeling the grief he might cause.  The government usually does a pretty good job of punishing, so I would have been disappointed if he had defeated the chip.  The holograms in the cemetery were creepy, and I could totally see people buying them even though they just make it more painful to let go.  See Sematary, Pet.

I can't listen to Tony without smiling.  He's just so freakin enthusiastic, non-cynical, and open.  IMHO, I feel Steve can come off at times as being a little judgmental (sorry, Steve). 




contra

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Reply #19 on: March 23, 2009, 03:54:37 PM
My first part to this, is that I like the kiwi.  The kiwi fruit is good.  Infact I didn't know how much I liked kiwi fruit till this ep, and I went out and subscr.... or it breaks down there, you get the idea.


I enjoyed this weeks everything.  The story, the guest host and the reading.  All good.  Well done all concerned.

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ChiliFan

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Reply #20 on: March 24, 2009, 10:31:00 AM
I was amazed to hear that the author Ian Creasey claims to live in "Yorkshire"! This is a county which was abolished in 1974 and replaced by several other counties, including North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire, while the other counties didn't even include the name Yorkshire. To make matters, even more complicated some of those counties were later abolished and divided into new "Unitary Authorities". In my experience, people who claim to live in Yorkshire or other abolished counties such as Sussex or Middlesex, usually do so because of holding old fashioned views of the World, or in other words that they wish it really was 1974 or earlier on. I'd like to know where this author *really* lives, otherwise I don't think I'll be listening to or reading any more of his stories.

« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 10:32:52 AM by ChiliFan »



Corydon

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Reply #21 on: March 24, 2009, 01:56:02 PM
I was amazed to hear that the author Ian Creasey claims to live in "Yorkshire"! This is a county which was abolished in 1974 and replaced by several other counties, including North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire, while the other counties didn't even include the name Yorkshire. To make matters, even more complicated some of those counties were later abolished and divided into new "Unitary Authorities". In my experience, people who claim to live in Yorkshire or other abolished counties such as Sussex or Middlesex, usually do so because of holding old fashioned views of the World, or in other words that they wish it really was 1974 or earlier on. I'd like to know where this author *really* lives, otherwise I don't think I'll be listening to or reading any more of his stories.

Cripes, you often hear people refuse to read an author because they disagree with his politics.  But this is the most specific reason I've heard yet!



Russell Nash

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Reply #22 on: March 24, 2009, 05:12:25 PM
I was amazed to hear that the author Ian Creasey claims to live in "Yorkshire"! This is a county which was abolished in 1974 and replaced by several other counties, including North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, and South Yorkshire, while the other counties didn't even include the name Yorkshire. To make matters, even more complicated some of those counties were later abolished and divided into new "Unitary Authorities". In my experience, people who claim to live in Yorkshire or other abolished counties such as Sussex or Middlesex, usually do so because of holding old fashioned views of the World, or in other words that they wish it really was 1974 or earlier on. I'd like to know where this author *really* lives, otherwise I don't think I'll be listening to or reading any more of his stories.

Cripes, you often hear people refuse to read an author because they disagree with his politics.  But this is the most specific reason I've heard yet!

That's being so anal that you better make sure to use lube.



Talia

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Reply #23 on: March 24, 2009, 05:25:07 PM
In my experience, people who claim to live in Yorkshire or other abolished counties such as Sussex or Middlesex, usually do so because of holding old fashioned views of the World, or in other words that they wish it really was 1974 or earlier on. I'd like to know where this author *really* lives, otherwise I don't think I'll be listening to or reading any more of his stories.

And why on earth do you care if he holds old fashioned views or wishes it was 1974? These things offend you morally or something? Everyone must be in align with contemporary thinking or they are worthless?

heh



stePH

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Reply #24 on: March 24, 2009, 07:44:12 PM
In my experience, people who claim to live in Yorkshire or other abolished counties such as Sussex or Middlesex, usually do so because of holding old fashioned views of the World, or in other words that they wish it really was 1974 or earlier on. I'd like to know where this author *really* lives, otherwise I don't think I'll be listening to or reading any more of his stories.

And why on earth do you care if he holds old fashioned views or wishes it was 1974? These things offend you morally or something? Everyone must be in align with contemporary thinking or they are worthless?

heh

Remember, Chilifan also thought the world was coming to an end because of this year's reduced Doctor Who and Torchwood schedules.  I've learned to disregard anything he/she/it says.


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