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Author Topic: EP Flash: The Uncanny Valley  (Read 4145 times)

Russell Nash

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on: September 10, 2009, 06:07:25 PM
EP Flash: The Uncanny Valley

By Jared Axelrod.
Read by Stephen Eley.

“I’m sorry,” Purby said, reshuffling the papers on his desk. “What was the problem with her?”

“Her breathing. She breathes. She doesn’t stop.”

“Yes, and?”

“It’s unnerving.”


Rated G. (Anything that isn’t G-rated in this story is entirely the product of your imagination.)



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



DKT

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Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 10:54:38 PM
I love love love love love this story. I've kept it on my iPod ever since I listened to it because it's so short and so clever and so funny.


eytanz

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Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 04:12:38 PM
I have to admit - I don't get it. I don't think it's a flaw in the story, I think I'm just being obtuse. Could someone explain this story to me?



DKT

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Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 04:31:32 PM
Guy buys Robot Girl for sex.

Guy returns Robot Girl because she seems more human and life-like than robot, which makes him feel icky.

Store refunds guy for Robot Girl.

Robot Girl is relieved because she thought he was icky.

For me, it worked really well and was funny, especially as a two minute story. But I get if it's not everyone's cup of tea.


eytanz

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Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 04:57:18 PM
So, everything should be taken at face value, then?

Ok, then, this seems like a neat, consise little exrcise in world-building, and well done as such. It's not really a proper story, though.



DKT

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Reply #5 on: September 11, 2009, 05:02:12 PM
Don't get me wrong, I could be missing some kind of subtext. But that's just how I read/listened to it.

Why is it not a proper story? Or at least a proper flash story?


eytanz

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Reply #6 on: September 11, 2009, 05:47:44 PM
Don't get me wrong, I could be missing some kind of subtext. But that's just how I read/listened to it.

Why is it not a proper story? Or at least a proper flash story?

Because, to me at least, nothing that happened was interesting per se - it was interesting because of the world that it implied, where robots are commonplace and sophisticated enough to pass for human, and there are people with a fetish for old-style machine robots. But my impression was that all the piece did was set the scene, not do anything with it; but - and perhaps this is the fault of the reading rather than the text - it felt like it was trying to pretend to do more, and therefore felt like it was coming short.

Come to think of it, I guess the problem isn't that the story fails to meet some objective criterion of storyhood - it's more like it fails to meet the bar it set itself.



deflective

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Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009, 01:03:53 AM
since the x3 was always referred to as 'the woman' i read it to mean that they had actually hired women to go out as prototypes but found out that their clientele had gotten so used to the uncanny valley that it was a selling feature.  maybe the title should have been the uncanny hummock?

... just listened to it a second time.  seems like i was reading my own story into it.



Unblinking

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Reply #8 on: January 22, 2010, 05:24:56 PM
Funny, concise, well worth the time to listen to it (multiple times even).  It crosses the line where robots become so human they're indistuingishable from humans.  Robots that are like humans are cool, robots that ARE humans are creepy.