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Author Topic: EP200: All You Zombies  (Read 14716 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: July 03, 2009, 01:17:43 AM »

EP200: All You Zombies

By Robert A. Heinlein.
Read by Steve Eley.

I was polishing a brandy snifter when the Unmarried Mother came in. I noted the time—10:17 P. M. zone five, or eastern time, November 7th, 1970. Temporal agents always notice time and date; we must.

The Unmarried Mother was a man twenty–five years old, no taller than I am, childish features and a touchy temper. I didn’t like his looks—I never had—but he was a lad I was here to recruit, he was my boy. I gave him my best barkeep’s smile.

Maybe I’m too critical. He wasn’t swish; his nickname came from what he always said when some nosy type asked him his line: “I’m an unmarried mother.” If he felt less than murderous he would add: “at four cents a word. I write confession stories.”

If he felt nasty, he would wait for somebody to make something of it. He had a lethal style of infighting, like a female cop—reason I wanted him. Not the only one.

He had a load on, and his face showed that he despised people more than usual. Silently I poured a double shot of Old Underwear and left the bottle. He drank it, poured another.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 12:27:46 PM by Russell Nash » Logged
deflective
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2009, 01:36:29 AM »

congratulations on four years of great fiction.  it's a fun ride and i'm always curious to see what's next.

fantastic choice for episode two hundred, it's one of a few stories that is absolutely, undeniably a scifi plot.  i can't imagine it translated into any other genre.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 12:26:17 PM by deflective » Logged
Russell Nash
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« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2009, 03:31:26 AM »

congratulations on four years of great fiction.  it's been a fun ride and i'm still always curious to see what comes next.

fantastic choice for episode two hundred, it's one of a few stories that absolutely, undeniably have a scifi plot.  i can't imagine it translated into another genre.

A Battle of Wits.  I accept.  I've never read the story.  I'll give it a shot after I listen to the episode.
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Talia
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2009, 03:38:15 AM »

Oooh.

I've never read any Heinlein. But this certainly qualifies as one of the best story titles I've ever seen.
Can't wait to give it a listen.

As an aside, I'm totally gonna start a band called All You Zombies.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 09:09:20 AM by Talia » Logged
izzardfan
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« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 03:43:13 AM »

I've never read any Heinlein.

Ack!  This rates up there with me saying I didn't like Firefly!  Sacrilege!

 Wink
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Talia
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« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2009, 03:44:49 AM »

I've never read any Heinlein.

Ack!  This rates up there with me saying I didn't like Firefly!  Sacrilege!

 Wink

Ah but my situation is correctable Wink

(don't stab me)
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2009, 05:46:03 AM »

Haven't listened yet, but I already have the Hooters song stuck in my head.  I wonder if this was the inspiration. 


Just checked Wikipedia.  Seems one of the band had read the story as a kid, but beyond the title there's no connection.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2009, 05:52:36 AM by Russell Nash » Logged
Zathras
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2009, 07:06:44 AM »

I've never read any Heinlein.

Ack!  This rates up there with me saying I didn't like Firefly!  Sacrilege!

 Wink

Ah but my situation is correctable Wink

(don't stab me)

I'm giving Freakishly Huge Arms Dude the day off.

::Whacks Talia repeatedly with the chair::

Waiting for the download to finish now.  I had a feeling that EP 200 was a Heinlein story.  When there was mention of a battle with the estate, he was the first author to pop in my head.

Download, damn you! 

Steve's reading + Heinlein's writing = a match made in Mars.
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Zathras
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2009, 08:04:39 AM »

Outstanding reading!  I was concerned that it might not translate well into an audio format.  I love this story, and am ecstatic that it will be introduced to the younger members. 

I liked the outro.  I have introduced my step son to some of the stories I enjoyed as a teen.  Hearing him talk about the stuff is one of the few positives in our relationship.
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2009, 08:38:09 AM »

I love Heinlein -- I prefer his books to his shorts, though -- and this story was complete Heinlein in that it starts out relatively small/simple and blooms into a MUCH larger story. The common aspect of betting for something that runs through a lot of Heinlein fiction that I've read was represented here, though I think that if this was someone's first or second foray into Heinlein s/he might not understand the concept.

Personally I think Heinlein must be rolling over in his grave so frequently these days that he could power an artificial gravity system. You can tell, reading his books, where he readjusts his thinking as to what the future's going to be like every few years or so. Eventually, as with The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, I think he gave up and just slammed all his futures together because he knew that none of them would come true no matter how much he wished for it. I would love to see just about any Heinlein future come to fruition because, as dark as some of the things were in his books, they all had this positive feel to them, like if the main character could just do something, go somewhere, complete a task, that everything would work out better. You see it in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Friday, Time Enough For Love, Job: A Comedy of Justice, and the like. If I wanted any human to be immortal just so he could keep producing great stories, I would want that human to be Heinlein.

So, in short: I liked the story, though not as much as his books.

Not a huge fan of Steve's "big dude" voice, but that's not such a big deal.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2009, 12:42:41 PM »

Wow, I've never heard Vicki so flustered.
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2009, 01:40:45 PM »

bravo, Steve.
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I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?
Musings and Ramblings
Russell Nash
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2009, 02:24:53 PM »

That's what  get for not really paying attention to dates in stories.  This one snuck up behind me, ripped out my brain, and showed it to me. 

Excellent number 200.  Who do we get for number 300, Clarke?
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deflective
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2009, 05:46:40 PM »

This one snuck up behind me, ripped out my brain, and showed it to me. 

is that a concession in the battle of wits you declared? =P
« Last Edit: July 04, 2009, 12:31:04 PM by deflective » Logged
izzardfan
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2009, 04:16:26 AM »

I've never read any Heinlein.

Ack!  This rates up there with me saying I didn't like Firefly!  Sacrilege!

 Wink

Ah but my situation is correctable Wink

(don't stab me)

 Grin
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alllie
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2009, 08:17:55 AM »

Congratulations on the 200th episode!!

All You Zombies: So typically Heinleinian. A combination of brilliance and sexism. So in the future there’s a Whore Corps in Space. I bet it was someone like Heinlein who decided there should be “comfort women.”

I hate Heinlein and enjoy him. Sometimes. He’s one of the first science fiction writers I ever read and certainly the first one whose name I learned because he was the first writer whose politics offended me even when I was so young I had no politics. Interesting story. Except for the part where he made my flesh crawl. Sometimes we don’t treat ourselves as well as we should. We eat the wrong things, drink the wrong things, take the wrong things. But I don’t think many people, given the chance, would seduce and abandon themselves, leaving themselves to growing up in an orphanage, etc. Except in a Heinlein story.
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Zathras
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2009, 10:09:11 AM »

Unwed Mother (UM) did not know he was seducing herself. 

The Recruiter knew what had transpired.  This story is more about paradox.  He was accepted into the Corps because he had always been accepted into the Corps.

The rank issue was nicely handled.  The Sergeant was in a unique position of outranking and being outranked by the same person at the same time.
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Raving_Lunatic
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« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2009, 10:34:09 AM »

It's stories like this that remind me why I chose the path of the geeky SF-loving kid in the corner rather than the normal person I could have become. Truly fantastic, can't reccommend it highly enough and worth a wait. Thank you, and kudos.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2009, 02:50:05 PM »

This one snuck up behind me, ripped out my brain, and showed it to me. 

is that a concession in the battle of wits you declared? =P

Weekends are a little busy for me so I'll work on it on Monday.  In your original challenge you said this story couldn't be forced into a Fantasy setting, but I think it would probably work fine there.  The technology here is basically magic.
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Talia
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I like pie


« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2009, 03:32:19 PM »

OK, I finally had a listen and msut admit, interesting as it was, I don't get the "zombies" part.

:/

I mean I guess its a reference to his/her past selves.. I just don't get it. Why would he think of them as zombies? Or it some way of thinking of them as not real people, since he's him, and they aren't, or something.
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