Author Topic: EP201: Harry The Crow  (Read 17864 times)

Russell Nash

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on: May 29, 2009, 06:02:08 AM
EP201: Harry The Crow

Editors Note: As you may have noticed, episode 201 is appearing before Episode 200.  We’re still working out the kinks of an agreement with the mysterious agent forces mentioned in an earlier update, but we should have that episode for you soon, and we think it’ll be worth the wait.  Rather than keep you waiting any longer, we’re bringing you 201 out of sequence.

By John Kratman.
Read by Norm Sherman (of Drabblecast).
First appeared in Aeon Speculative Fiction.

“A construct is no Crow!” Tommy shouted, the ridiculous war bonnet he’d worn to my father’s funeral slipping off his head. He pushed it back with an angry swipe of his hand, glaring at the gathered members of the tribe, daring them to laugh.

“Harry can do everything a man can do,” I said. There were many people in the lodge that I recognized, but there were many more, ghosts of my past, who should have been there and were not. “He can hunt, write poetry, sing a song. He can think and he can feel. I taught him how to shoot and how to track, how to read and how to write. No matter that he sprang from my brain instead of my manhood. He is my son, the only one this old man will ever have. He is a Crow.”

“What can a machine know of tradition and honor?” Tommy asked, his lined face veiled in the shadows cast by the fire. He drew a pipe from his pocket and packed it with angry jabs of his age-spotted hand.


Rated R. contains violence, strong language, and counting coup.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 05:36:20 PM by Russell Nash »



Russell Nash

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Reply #1 on: May 29, 2009, 06:04:45 AM
Before you comment about episode 200, read the editor's note in the first post.



alllie

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Reply #2 on: May 29, 2009, 11:32:36 AM
Space-time distortion?



Talia

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Reply #3 on: May 29, 2009, 12:15:14 PM
I havent listened yet, I just wanted to say "yaaaaay" for Norm Sherman. :) One of my favorite readers of all time, and its an absolute delight to see him here on EP.



Russell Nash

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Reply #4 on: May 29, 2009, 12:49:02 PM
This was a lot of fun. 

I loved the old guy saying he got tapped with a stick about three times a month.



Rail16

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Reply #5 on: May 29, 2009, 02:17:39 PM
very nice story.

at first i was worried that it would be an indians in space sort of thing, but i really enjoyed the story.

even though it was the 'future' and stuff, john kratman did a great job of weaving that with the traditions of the crow people he was working to represent to the reader.

i would like to read/hear more stories about harry the crow now that he is a chief of his tribe.  would be cool to see where things go after this story ended.



deflective

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Reply #6 on: May 29, 2009, 09:36:22 PM
i liked the story, a young man's trials for acceptance into a tribe was a good mirror for our inevitable confrontation with artificial intelligence.  i'm not really sure what to make of goatkeeper's claim of hirsute arms before a story about a robot named Harry.  maybe he's a speed swimmer?

the story would have worked a lot better for me if i wasn't already worn out on the theme.  the last three stories plus a couple of the hugo nominees, it all adds up to something like a podcastle theme month and i prefer more variety.



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Reply #7 on: May 30, 2009, 08:19:00 AM
Deflective,  this one was so much lighter and so much more fun than the others, that I didn't even think about it having the same theme.  It just cam eat it from such a different angle.



alllie

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Reply #8 on: May 30, 2009, 08:25:36 PM
I enjoyed the story but I didn't feel it was really science fiction except in its trapping because you could have changed Harry from a mechanical into a human without changing the story in any way. Exactly the same things would have happened and Harry would have behaved the same.



beville

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Reply #9 on: May 30, 2009, 08:38:09 PM
I love Norm
I love Norm
I Love Norm

I loved the mix of space and tradition as well.  BTW, while I understand the goal of a "blockbuster" ep 200, I feel this was also good enough to represent Escape Pod 200 - good mix of future, thought and FUN.



deflective

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Reply #10 on: May 31, 2009, 02:40:18 AM
Deflective,  this one was so much lighter and so much more fun than the others, that I didn't even think about it having the same theme.  It just came at it from such a different angle.

aye, this is much more upbeat (except for the sad state of the sioux, maybe it was just the local band that had dissipated?)

i understand that editors from the other ea podcasts have been pitching in to help out escape pod and it's been interesting to see the effects of those different influences.  we've seen the reader take a larger role with both their performance & effects; this intense concentration on a single theme feels a lot like podcastle.

all of this might just be a short term change (i'm still very interested to see how escape pod will settle) this is just an early request not to go with intentional themes since somebody that finds a theme unappealing has their whole month shot.  but, if themes are the way things are going, a high powered Alasdair5000 outro (maybe episode?) comparing & contrasting would go a long way to make it interesting.  the intentional reintroduction of the neanderthals vs the accidental infestation of elvii, biological vs mechanical constructs, christian religion vs crow spiritualism, comparison to Frankenstein & older myths.  there's no lack of material.



Talia

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Reply #11 on: May 31, 2009, 03:38:49 AM
An interesting story. I too enjoyed the mix of culture and technology. Native American rituals + sentient robots is not a concept I ever would have considered. :)

I really, really, really dig the hubble rap. Its even better the second time. If Carl Sagan were still alive, he would totally blast it while cruising in his lowrider, trying to pick up chicks. ("Hay baby, stick with me and you'll see STARS!")
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 05:14:39 AM by Talia »



Doom xombie

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Reply #12 on: May 31, 2009, 10:12:00 AM
As a member of three affiliated tribes I felt this lice was strange. First off, right now the crow elect their rep/cheif and they have an elected council. The writer is also very optimistic in terms of culture government. The idea that the government would give back that land is something most Indians wouldn't even bother to dream of. That Indian affairs would even become that important is amazing. In short I didn't find it very happen-able(?), something that I rather enjoy in science fiction when it's there.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 10:19:14 AM by Doom xombie »

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MacArthurBug

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Reply #13 on: May 31, 2009, 03:32:49 PM
firstly: YAaaay! Norm!
secondly: really enjoyed this. The robot=human equation has been done many times but seeing it in the robot=crow warrior way made it new and fresh. I, too, enjoyed the old guy talking about getting hit with a stick three times in the last month. It made me sad a bit too: what'll happen when this geezer finaly bites it?
Thirdly: NORM! yeeeeaaay!

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eytanz

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Reply #14 on: May 31, 2009, 04:49:25 PM
As a member of three affiliated tribes I felt this lice was strange. First off, right now the crow elect their rep/cheif and they have an elected council. The writer is also very optimistic in terms of culture government. The idea that the government would give back that land is something most Indians wouldn't even bother to dream of. That Indian affairs would even become that important is amazing. In short I didn't find it very happen-able(?), something that I rather enjoy in science fiction when it's there.


The feeling I got was that this was happening in a future where interstellar colonisation meant that most people no longer live on Earth, and perhaps other worlds are richer in resources, or whatever, so Earth became occupied mostly by people with strong ties to the past. In such an environment, it'd be easier (though I admit, still unlikely) to imagine that Indians get some of their old lands back.



Doom xombie

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Reply #15 on: June 01, 2009, 01:42:02 AM
I love the way that the above explained it! :) Thank you for showing me a different way to look at it


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Russell Nash

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Reply #16 on: June 01, 2009, 09:56:15 AM
I got the idea that the author was intrigued by the traditions and wondered what would happen if a robot was put into that world.  Since the robots don't exist yet and that world doesn't exist anymore, he put it off into an alternate reality future.  Mostly it's just a fun little thought experiment.



Kaa

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Reply #17 on: June 01, 2009, 04:55:04 PM
Does anyone know the name and artist of the song at the end? I'm curious.

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Doom xombie

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Reply #18 on: June 01, 2009, 05:12:45 PM
Pimp my Satellite by Norm Sherman. :)

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Reply #19 on: June 02, 2009, 12:14:53 PM
at first i was worried that it would be an indians in space sort of thing, but i really enjoyed the story.

Why would that be so bad?

***

A very enjoyable story to listen to, though not one I would listen to or read again -- kind of like "Armageddon" or "X-3: X-Men United", which I enjoyed at the time but don't feel any compunction to watch again. Great characterizations, and I too liked the old Sioux man playing Parcheesi.

The reading was great too. Is it just me, or does Norm Sherman sound a hell of a lot like Todd Barry? (http://songza.com/~esrika)

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Doom xombie

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Reply #20 on: June 03, 2009, 05:57:31 AM
Hey russel i realize this was not meant to offend but our world, as a whole, still exists. We still have Pow Wows and sundances although the latter is not very well publicized, nor should it be. It kind of makes me sad to think that poeple think our world has faded...  :'( :'(

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Russell Nash

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Reply #21 on: June 03, 2009, 08:33:45 AM
xombie,  I meant it more in the way you stated it before.  The political system is different.  This story wouldn't have worked in the system you explained.  It works only in a system where the warrior most first prove himself.  Sorry about the choice of words.



Doom xombie

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Reply #22 on: June 03, 2009, 08:36:19 AM
Its alright  :) thank you for the clarification.

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goatkeeper

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Reply #23 on: June 03, 2009, 05:50:23 PM
I loved the old guy saying he got tapped with a stick about three times a month.
My favorite coup also.   ;D

i'm not really sure what to make of goatkeeper's claim of hirsute arms before a story about a robot named Harry.  maybe he's a speed swimmer?
You never miss a thing deflective.  It's true, I am Michael Phelps.  Anybody wanna buy some super-human Olypmic Gold sperm?

Hey russel i realize this was not meant to offend but our world, as a whole, still exists. We still have Pow Wows and sundances although the latter is not very well publicized, nor should it be. It kind of makes me sad to think that poeple think our world has faded...  :'( :'(

If "fading" is bad, a little publicity would be a good thing wouldn't it?  I for one would be interested to know more about the modern expression of NA traditions.



deflective

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Reply #24 on: June 03, 2009, 06:22:44 PM
Anybody wanna buy some super-human Olypmic Gold sperm?

not worth it.  sure, speed swimmer sperm surges swiftly but it just goes in circles.