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Author Topic: EP217: The Kindness of Strangers  (Read 24561 times)

Talia

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Reply #75 on: October 27, 2009, 06:31:29 PM
I completely agree with Wakela. 

The only reason I kept listening was to see when Jenny would finally stand up to Eric and the redhead, but she never does.  I can't stand characters who mope while others treat them like crap.  Her sudden hatred at the end didn't convince me that she would change and be motivated to do anything.

But if there had just been a closing paragraph in which she tells Eric to go to hell, slaps the horrible mother, and then charges off all blazing with her new purpose, I would have LOVED the story.  ;D

Conversely, the story would have then lost something for me.

I liked it because of what a broken, flawed person she was.

I just dont get the hate for this story, but oh well.




kappclark

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Reply #76 on: November 08, 2009, 01:46:21 PM
This was the first podcast I listened to on my new Squeezebox.

Enjoyed the story, and even more, the narration. I was engaged all through the story, so good choice of material, and Kate has a great gift for narration.

Escape pod is a favorite now on my Squeezebox, and I really enjoy re-discovering science fiction.



CryptoMe

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Reply #77 on: November 11, 2009, 08:42:43 PM
I did not care much for this story for a lot of little reasons, many of which have already been mentioned. But the one that bugged me the most was the blatant sexism - all the men did stuff, while the "wives" (yes that word was used explicitly) hung around, gossiped, and cooked the occasional meal. Really! I'll put up with that kind of stereotyping from Heinlein - different time, after all. But this is a contemporary story. I thought we as a society were well past that....



Sandikal

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Reply #78 on: November 13, 2009, 01:22:58 AM
I did not care much for this story for a lot of little reasons, many of which have already been mentioned. But the one that bugged me the most was the blatant sexism - all the men did stuff, while the "wives" (yes that word was used explicitly) hung around, gossiped, and cooked the occasional meal. Really! I'll put up with that kind of stereotyping from Heinlein - different time, after all. But this is a contemporary story. I thought we as a society were well past that....

We are supposed to be past that, but we're not.  The people in this story pretty much acted the way I'd expect my suburban neighbors to act in that situation.  The women would most likely be busy looking after the children and taking care of meal preparation and hygiene issues.  The men would be trying to "do something" about the situation, even knowing it was futile.  I'm sure the men in the story were doing their share of gossiping, we just weren't privy to it because the story was told through the eyes of a female protagonist.

For the record, I found the protagonist to be very weak and annoying until the end.  Unfortunately, I've known women like her too. 



CryptoMe

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Reply #79 on: November 13, 2009, 04:00:47 PM
I did not care much for this story for a lot of little reasons, many of which have already been mentioned. But the one that bugged me the most was the blatant sexism - all the men did stuff, while the "wives" (yes that word was used explicitly) hung around, gossiped, and cooked the occasional meal. Really! I'll put up with that kind of stereotyping from Heinlein - different time, after all. But this is a contemporary story. I thought we as a society were well past that....

We are supposed to be past that, but we're not.  The people in this story pretty much acted the way I'd expect my suburban neighbors to act in that situation.  The women would most likely be busy looking after the children and taking care of meal preparation and hygiene issues.  The men would be trying to "do something" about the situation, even knowing it was futile.  I'm sure the men in the story were doing their share of gossiping, we just weren't privy to it because the story was told through the eyes of a female protagonist.

For the record, I found the protagonist to be very weak and annoying until the end.  Unfortunately, I've known women like her too. 

I am sure that there are many women, who like to "leave things to the men" as it were, even today. However, I personally know far more women who are the type to "do something" just like the men. The problem is that none of these women were represented in the story....



Gamercow

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Reply #80 on: November 14, 2009, 07:11:03 PM
Well, I don't think I liked this story very much, but I didn't dislike it.  It was just kind of meh to me.  It seemed very real to me, and maybe that was the drawback and possible failure to it all.  Different people will react differently to catastrophic events.  When 9/11 happened, my girlfriend at the time wanted to go to NY and volunteer for the cleanup and wanted to save people.  I just wanted to ignore it and make it go away after I found that the people in NYC I knew were safe.  Was I sad for the loss and the tragedy?  Yes, but I couldn't cope with it, so I just wanted to ignore it until it went away.  Jenny was just coping the way she did, by ignoring the larger picture, and focusing on her own problems. 

I liked the reading, and I liked Norm. 

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


knigget

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Reply #81 on: December 04, 2009, 02:16:50 PM
I liked the story for many of the reasons others didn't.  Jenny had something of a redemption in the end, doing something no one else had the guts to, and the whole "cruel to be kind" theme -- omnipotent space aliens are a great metaphor for powers-that-be.  Makes you think of all the other decisions that are being made for us  "for our own good".

http://www.apoGrypha.blogspot.com

What would have been written. 

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Unblinking

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Reply #82 on: April 27, 2010, 05:23:52 PM
I gave up on this one after about fifteen minutes.

Good premise, cities disappearing into thin air.  And then we spend the next ten minutes hearing her mope about the guy that was cheating on his wife with her, and blah blah blah.  When billions of people disappear, I do not want to hear someone bitch about their relationship troubles.  Maybe it was in character, but it was also very dull.

And when it did talk about the aliens, it was mostly listing dozens of cities, even more dull.  At least Escape Pod pays a flat rate, but at a market that payed per word I can just see a nickel being added to the stack for each city read straight off an atlas.

And, as others have pointed out, the fact that cell phones worked was just ridiculous.  Even if the cities just became unpopulated and not actually destroyed, you'd have no chance to get a call through.  When the I 35W bridge collapsed here in the Twin Cities you couldn't complete a call for at least 12 hours after that because of all the locals calling their friends, and all the people across the world who were calling TO locals to make sure they were okay.  Text messages went through most of the time since they take so little bandwidth.  And that didn't cause any significant damage to the communications architecture like erasing cities would do. 

Not that this story is the only one to make that major error, but it still bugs me.  Cloverfield did the same thing, hinging the entire plot on cell phone calls.  Yeah, a monster is destroying New York City and your call goes through on the first try? Yeah right.



grimmstone

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Reply #83 on: May 02, 2010, 10:35:23 AM
The altruistic grandmother in the story was the only likable character.  The main character was way too self-absorbed and snotty to get behind even after all that's happened.  If the aliens had snapped and decided to vaporize a human to stop them from throwing rocks and shooting at them, I wouldn't mind it being her.