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Author Topic: EP216: βoyfriend  (Read 14807 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: September 17, 2009, 12:59:55 PM »

EP216: βoyfriend

By Madeline Ashby.
Read by Tina Connolly.

Violet snapped three photos of herself from various angles, sent them, and waited for her boyfriend’s response. He rang her up—a slow vibrating purr, unlike the staccato door-knocking of her mother’s ringvibe—and said: “Me likey. Now take it off.”

Violet frowned. “You were supposed to dig up the backstory on the dress.”

“Well, you can’t blame me for getting a little distracted. Besides, isn’t it bad luck for me to see?”

“That’s only for weddings, not prom.”


Rated R for language, teen-adult situations, and virtual steadies. Also, Norm’s sexy talk.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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kethet
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 04:23:55 PM »

I registered for this site just specifically so I could say

loved

it.

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600south
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2009, 07:01:34 AM »

That was a very unusual story... but I have to say, I enjoyed it.
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bamugo
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 08:09:58 AM »

I'm pleased that the closing quote was from Kurzweil. I'm reading "The Singularity Is Near" right now - fascinating stuff.

This was probably the best depiction of what the Singularity might be like for someone who didn't really see it coming. And I like that the AI isn't evil - in fact it's benevolent, though Violet probably won't realize that until she grows up.

I'm pleased that the trope of the blind (or otherwise differently-abled) seer has made its way into progressive sci-fi. We are on the brink of creating a fully functional simulacrum of a non-physical supernatural world - it stands to reason that the same kind of person that has the strongest affinity to magic and the spirit world in fantasy fiction should have access to the modern version in sci-fi.
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ZenMage
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 09:30:27 AM »

The storey was good but the narrator (Norm) was fantastic... keep him around Steve... he is good.

Thanks for the great content week after week.
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Joaquin Escudero Jr
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« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2009, 11:38:33 AM »

Once again another thrilling story, and an interesting one at that. I really loved the idea of this coming change that the blind character keeps mentioned, I would have like to hear more about, but you know what they say about leaving them wanting more.

I have to admit that I've never been able to get my head into stories about kids in High School or even younger. It could be that I've never really understood the dynamics of high school, even while I was in High School let alone now that I am a semi-adult. But even with this set back I was able to truly enjoy the story.
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jcisuzu
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 11:52:54 AM »

Really enjoyed this story. Would have like to hear more of the "hot sticky air" part, though.  Grin
Great read as well. And Norm rocks... makes me think of a stoned Dwight Shroot from "The Office."
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Kevin David Anderson
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 12:13:31 PM »

Very good story.  Great new co-host. 

Where did you dig this guy up? 
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 02:05:15 PM »

Very good story.  Great new co-host. 

Where did you dig this guy up? 

We found him under a rock here in the forums.  We had no idea he'd sound this good once we got him cleaned up.
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Kaa
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 02:28:28 PM »

I have to say that Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Podcastle have been hitting it out of the park, lately. "βoyfriend" is no exception. Not only was the story very enjoyable, the reading was wonderful and, I thought, spot on.  The intro and outro were enjoyable, as well.

I mean it. You guys seem to be tapping into my subconscious and are giving me exactly the type of stories I want to hear.

I don't know whether to be creeped out by this or pleased.
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monkeystuff
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 02:54:36 PM »

what a strange story...   i liked it tho, like every other escape pod i've herd so far,  and the new guy was pretty good too

woot, keep bringing us more sci fi short!!  thx
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bamugo
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 04:20:41 PM »

I really loved the idea of this coming change that the blind character keeps mentioned, I would have like to hear more about, but you know what they say about leaving them wanting more.

You can read all about it in this book: The Singularity is Near

http://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253308752&sr=8-1
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Portrait in Flesh
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2009, 06:33:28 PM »

Very good story.  Great new co-host. 

Where did you dig this guy up? 

We found him under a rock here in the forums.  We had no idea he'd sound this good once we got him cleaned up.

It's wonderful how he's opening up now.  So less shy than he used to be.



Plus with the EA company credit card, he can finally afford those darling boots he's been hankerin' for.
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« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2009, 12:04:15 AM »

Loved the story this week.  Reminds me of my high school niece and her trials and tribulations which to her are world changing but to the rest of us are laughable.   The story also kind of reminded me about how my kids would get upset when their Tamagatchi died after nursing it along for weeks.  Anyway, kind of funny and creepy.  I could totally relate. 
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2009, 12:39:07 AM »

I'm new here and my reaction is sightly negative. I hope I'm not breaking some taboo that will cause me to be shunned forever. However, I have to admit that although I liked this story I thought it had one major flaw. Although the story was about Violet, the author seemed much more interested in John, which left me with a bad taste in my mouth. Violet's moment of drama felt shortchanged in order to make John look cool and neat. I almost felt as though the author was more interested in John - that John was some sort of long-running character or a single expression of a trope that the author is very interested in - while Violet was more of an "everygirl."

All that said, it was over all an extremely good story. I enjoyed practically every minute of it. From a wordcraft perspective, it's brilliant.. It's just that in a long parade of positive comments, my contrarian nature has me wanting to express my single negative reaction. Please don't shun me.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2009, 05:32:47 AM »

I'm new here and my reaction is sightly negative. I hope I'm not breaking some taboo that will cause me to be shunned forever.

The forums are here so that everyone can discuss the stories.  It would be really boring if you were only allowed to say positive things.  Our rules here are simple:
  • 0) NO SPAM!!
  • 1) Have Fun!
  • 2) Treat everyone with respect.

Rule two means you can say the story didn't work for you, and you didn't like it.  You can point out any flaws you may see, but you can't say the author is a talentless hack and should crawl back under the rock from which they came.

Welcome to our little corner of weirdness and Have Fun!
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yaksox
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2009, 08:10:41 AM »

Not really my cuppa tea either. Like 90120 meets the disconcertingly disconnected not-too distant future.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2009, 09:10:03 AM »

Like 90120 meets the disconcertingly disconnected not-too distant future.

That's sounds like the description of a horror story to me.
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Talia
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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2009, 11:45:28 AM »

I liked it, and thought it was interesting how the assorted AI's conspired among themselves to bring the kids together. Although, to me the concept of AIs conspiring among themselves is somewhat ominous. (Terminator, anyone?).

also, for a minute there during the last part of the outro I was half convinced Norm was going to break into "never gonna give you up."

Being rickrolled by Escape Pod would be surreal. Wink
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Aaron
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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2009, 02:02:08 PM »

I really enjoyed this one.

Hands down, this is the best coming of age story in a near future setting that I have ever read or listened to.

I enjoyed the story and how the ideas presented were used similar to good special effects, they don't take you out of the story, but rather they help to pull you further into the narrative.

Very good. I give it four out of five thumbs up.
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r4diation
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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2009, 03:35:10 PM »

also, for a minute there during the last part of the outro I was half convinced Norm was going to break into "never gonna give you up."

Same here.

On the whole I enjoyed the story.  I could kind of see it coming that the AIs were bringing them together, though, and I would have liked to hear more about John's role in the whole thing.
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Joaquin Escudero Jr
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« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2009, 06:11:57 PM »

I really loved the idea of this coming change that the blind character keeps mentioned, I would have like to hear more about, but you know what they say about leaving them wanting more.

You can read all about it in this book: The Singularity is Near

http://www.amazon.com/Singularity-Near-Humans-Transcend-Biology/dp/0143037889/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253308752&sr=8-1

Thanks I'll look it up, I've been wanting something interesting to read as of late.
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« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2009, 12:16:47 PM »

I'm admittadly easy to please. But I REALLY enjoyed this one. And now I'm sorta wanting a digital BF- if only as fill in whilst the hubs is away in Korea.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2009, 12:27:03 PM »

I'm admittadly easy to please. But I REALLY enjoyed this one. And now I'm sorta wanting a digital BF- if only as fill in whilst the hubs is away in Korea.

::raises hand::

I'm available.
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scatterbrain
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« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2009, 04:55:56 PM »

My first thumb down!

Artificial Intelligence suddenly upgrading itself and doing something human resulting a humourus dilema! That's original!

A big meh from me; a complete waste of time. In fact, I'd rather watch The O.C.(even though it makes my eyes bleed uncontrollably).

Mod: shameless self promotion where it doesn't belong is a no-no.  You may put it in your signature if you want, but not in an episode comment thread.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 02:11:24 AM by Bdoomed » Logged
MacArthurBug
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« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2009, 05:53:19 PM »

I'm admittadly easy to please. But I REALLY enjoyed this one. And now I'm sorta wanting a digital BF- if only as fill in whilst the hubs is away in Korea.

::raises hand::

I'm available.

Nash- for fear of your terrible greatness I must decline. I would burn to ash in the very presance of that wich is he. ;P
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Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.
wakela
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« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2009, 08:23:30 PM »

It was a neato idea, but the story really slowed down for me at the party.  The reading was great.

quibbles:
I hate it when people (in this case the AI) do things against other's will that is for the other's own good.  But it looked like Violet hated this to, so that lessened the chap-factor a little bit.  Somehow in fiction it always seems to work out for the best, but in real life they end up saying, "ahh.  I didn't think of that.  Sorry."

It seemed odd that Violet, who spent most of her time chatting with an AI, wouldn't understand the things the disabled kid could do. 

Pet peeves:
The knoweldgeable character who is unnecessarily cryptic, in this case the disabled boy.

Nerds always being morally superior to cool kids.  As a nerd, I felt this way during highschool, but I've since realized that there are jerk nerds and kind cool kids.  But you rarely see this in fiction.  I think it's because the nerds are the ones who grew up to write.

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deflective
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« Reply #27 on: September 20, 2009, 09:31:57 PM »

some interesting stuff in this one.  i was struck by some similarities to flaming marshmallow and other deaths, particularly the way that the characters don't really care about enormous world changes except how they affect their social life.


I really loved the idea of this coming change that the blind character keeps mentioned
You can read all about it in this book: The Singularity is Near

Praxis recently linked to the fourth ambit, an online audio story that does a good job of exploring it.


I've since realized that there are jerk nerds and kind cool kids.  But you rarely see this in fiction.  I think it's because the nerds are the ones who grew up to write.

they're also usually the target audience.
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heyes
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« Reply #28 on: September 20, 2009, 10:46:50 PM »

I have two reactions -

Can we get more overly entitled white middle class american pre-sex fantasy please.  That was not a request.

The other reaction came only after listening to my ipod at work.  I was feeling pissy and the absolute best song came one, something by Neko Case.  I thought o myself, hey hit that genius button thing.  My ipod knew exactly what to play.  Then I got scared.

Here's to hoping the genie genius in my ipod never gains "sapience" and leaves me to search through record stores for my emotional needs.

The reading was done well, the smile in the readers voice was very audible.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #29 on: September 21, 2009, 12:31:45 AM »

I'm admittadly easy to please. But I REALLY enjoyed this one. And now I'm sorta wanting a digital BF- if only as fill in whilst the hubs is away in Korea.

::raises hand::

I'm available.

Nash- for fear of your terrible greatness I must decline. I would burn to ash in the very presance of that wich is he. ;P

I am crushed, but will survive.
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KenK
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« Reply #30 on: September 21, 2009, 10:05:22 AM »

Not to criticize EP's selection of authors but...
It seems lately EP has kinda fallen into a rut. Meaning the stories are well written and produced, but they all seem to have the same couple of tropes. War is hell, AI is coming, and tech may evolve but people basically don't. Is that all there is out there? As I said this not a criticism of any one person at EP or the skills of EP's writers. Just my two cents.
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deflective
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« Reply #31 on: September 21, 2009, 06:06:47 PM »

i'm usually the guy pointing out emerging patterns in story selection so i was a little surprised that you chose this week to mention it.

the war theme was definitely strong (especially if you include the bloodless invasion) but the last one was a month ago.  there's only been two ai stories for several months (another mentions an ai that never enters stage) but there was a block around the hugo nominations.  you may have to resign yourself to this one, ai is to 2010 what space travel was to 1960.  the theme of 'technology changes but people don't' is harder to get a grip on since it's more subjective.

i get the impression that you're including the last two stories in this but i would disagree.  the masks changed the very nature people; book technology had changed what it was to be human and when books become obsolete it was going to change again.  they fit under the broader category of 'changing technology and how it affects people' but that's not so much a trope of the genre as it is an identifying feature.

the book store in particular struck me as a new direction for ep.  it's been years since they ran a story that simply looks at an emerging technology and speculates on what kind of cool changes could result.  plenty of stories about how technology could be used to dehumanize & oppress (implant memories to make people miserable, isolate the sexes from each other entirely) but nothing about how things could get better.  it's been oddly incongrouous on a show with the tag line 'have fun.'

my reading of the story selection over the past couple months is that they had theme oriented content left from pasts selections but made an effort to shuffle them up a bit.  if we get two more ai oriented stories inside a month then, yeah, i'm there with you, but right now it feels like they're moving out of a rut instead of into one.  maybe there's a new rut that you see and i don't.
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Heradel
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« Reply #32 on: September 21, 2009, 11:31:18 PM »

I saved Nash the trouble and split the 'And' discussion, it has been moved here: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=2889.msg52470;boardseen#new
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ajames
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« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2009, 05:18:33 AM »

For the second week in a row, I read the trailer and thought "Oh, I'm not going to like this story very much," and for the second week in a row I was dead wrong. I've never enjoyed a coming of age short story more. Thanks EP!
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« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2009, 07:58:18 AM »

Can we get more overly entitled white middle class american pre-sex fantasy please.  That was not a request.

When she said "since Grade Ten", I immediately placed the story in Canada. FWIW.

I really liked this one until the party. I found so many places where it could have ended -- when Megan said "you guys have to see this", when Violet walked out on John in the bathroom, etc. But the author was trying to make a point about (IMO) how some people, no matter how clearly they see the singularity coming, will continue just focusing on their own little problems. Even when Violet was clearly healed by John's nano-tech, all she cared about was her Boyfriend, which was annoying because, before then, she was relatively less facile than most attractive, smart girls her age. So that annoyed me a bit.

Reading was great. I don't know who Dunesteef got to read "27 Jennifers" but I wouldn't be unhappy with Tina Connolly. She pulled off the teenage girl aspect very well.

Progression of technology was EXCELLENT, until the very end with the singularity, which to my mind felt a bit clunky and drawn out. Because, you know, teens at their shadow-prom discuss that sort of thing in the bathroom wearing board shorts and a bathing suit while the girl's having her wrist healed. But the GPS, the phone, even the Boyfriend... all that stuff was great.

Overall: quite good.
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« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2009, 08:34:55 AM »

Longtime Escape Pod fan, and I finally got around to registering for the forums!

When this story started I groaned - ugh, a high school story!  But as it went on, I found myself really liking Violet and drawn into the story. I thought the characters were well rounded and realistic and the sci fi themes were realistically woven into the story. Sometimes high school aged stories seem to be a little heavy handed with the tropes.  And I really enjoyed the intro/outro.

Oh, and I love that the B in Boyfriend is the greek symbol beta. He's out of beta now!
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Maze
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« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2009, 10:08:13 AM »

Really enjoyed the story - I too had the same fear of - oh great Sad high school story - prom - peer pressure - blah blah) - but story was excellent.  Then, while coming down from my happy ending high, the outro is a sleazy drunkstepfather of leers, single entendres and creepiness.

I want my John Hughes moments kept pristine and not re-imagined in a way that would make Jay and Silent Bob have second thoughts.
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eytanz
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« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2009, 04:25:17 PM »

So, I enjoyed this story quite a bit until they reached John's house. And then it sort of fell apart - so, it turns out this wasn't a story about a normal (if rather bright) teenage girl dealing with technology, but a story about a teenage girl who happens to share a class with a super-rich guy with superpowers who has access to a level of technology that apparently supercedes the rest of the world in question (instantly fixing teeth by kissing someone? The rest of the story I can see happening in 15 years. That bit doesn't belong).

The character of John was such a Marty-sue (he looks like a sickly nerd - but he's really a nano-tech Bruce Wayne! And he has two girlfriends! And the coolest house ever! And he's friends with all the AIs!), that he took away the attention from the interesting bit, which was Violet and her AI boyfriend, and the AI conspiracy to make their human partners happy. And, as I said above, worst of all was that the story didn't need him at all.
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ElectricPaladin
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« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2009, 11:42:54 PM »

It seems lately EP has kinda fallen into a rut. Meaning the stories are well written and produced, but they all seem to have the same couple of tropes. War is hell, AI is coming, and tech may evolve but people basically don't. Is that all there is out there? As I said this not a criticism of any one person at EP or the skills of EP's writers. Just my two cents.

I'd argue - maybe I'm just being contrary again - that what you call "rut" I call "some of the central plots of science fiction." Especially that last one.

That said, I'm not really seeing a rut, myself. Many of the stories (especially the creepy mask story whose name I absolutely refuse to attempt to remember correctly) are still unique. Perhaps you should check out some of the other 'pods?
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« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2009, 10:35:41 AM »

Oh, John Hughes, you died too soon. You needed to make this your final HS coming of age masterpiece!

Loved this story, loved this reading. Fantastic pick EP.

Oh, and also Norm Sherman makes me very, very happy.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 10:43:39 AM by DKT » Logged

stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #40 on: September 23, 2009, 03:53:16 PM »

In the minority of one again ... I hated Norm's hosting style.  Just trying too hard to be funny, and Epic Failing.  I don't remember him being nearly so obnoxious the time or two that he guest hosted EP, but this was almost insufferable.

Story was OK.
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izzardfan
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« Reply #41 on: September 24, 2009, 12:21:27 AM »

I love Norm's voice but strongly disliked his sense of humor on this one.  I agree, he was trying too hard.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2009, 12:36:45 AM »

I love Norm's voice but strongly disliked his sense of humor on this one.  I agree, he was trying too hard.

Norm just needs to settle in to the gig.  It takes a while to figure out what works for each audience.  Al went through the same thing at PP.  Now his monologues are my favorite part of PP
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BethPeters
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« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2009, 12:59:46 AM »

I agree with those who said that the story was great till they got the house.  Then it took a turn for the worse.  That's too bad, because it did a really good job of engaging me up to that point.  I should listen again to figure out what happened that derailed it for me, I just really got distracted and even annoyed by the characters.  At first just the main nerd-hero, then at Violet and everyone.

The reading was amazing though, she nailed it.  More Tina.  Please.

I LOVE having Norm as co-host!  I can see how this is going to be great for Escapepod.  If you listen to his music you know how witty and hilarious he is.  If you listen to his show you know how great his hosting and narration is.  While I cracked up at his Nigerian online relationship and Iphone Glory-hole application, I agree that this was maybe an over-dose of his style and sense of humor.  It was all in the spirit of the story yes, but maybe a "Hey everyone I'm the new guy, Norm, not Steve, here's a few weird/mild jokes to get you acclimated" would have helped the transition here, rather than full-blown Norm-on-sexy-cyber-talk.  Lil' all the sudden.
In humor and pop culture, I'm normally the girl who's like "what, why does everyone think this guy is awesome?  That was lame!"
But with Norm I've gotta side with the majority here.  The minority are people like below who post things like "Story was OK"... and that's it. And nobody really cares about them or reads those posts anyways.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 01:03:38 AM by BethPeters » Logged
Russell Nash
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« Reply #44 on: September 24, 2009, 01:02:33 AM »

Beth, play nice.  No pointing at other people and saying they don't count.  The whole point of a forum is to let everyone get their say.
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BethPeters
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« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2009, 01:05:48 AM »

ooo, my first official scolding from Russell!  ahhh.....

will...play....nice....now....mmmm...

thank....you...
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Talia
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« Reply #46 on: September 24, 2009, 02:00:54 AM »

You can point at me and say I don't count if you want to. Everyone else does!

I'm like Mr. Cellophane from 'Chicago.'

Except not a man.
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wakela
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« Reply #47 on: September 24, 2009, 02:50:25 AM »

I wasn't going to say anything, but I'll chime in regarding Mr. Sherman. 
Drabblecast is one of my favorite podcasts, and I wish every episode had a long, meaty intro from Norm.  I listen to Drabblecast B-sides, and if he did another one I would listen to that.
However, I found myself wishing he would get to the story on EP.  I can't explain it other than I was used to the Escape Pod brand.  It's like going into McDonalds and finding fried plantains instead of fried potatoes.  Not bad, but not really what you were looking for and used to.  Personally, I'm a little warey of Norm on the Escape Pod.  Norm is awesome, and I'm happy he has the exposure and I wish him all the exposure in the world, but this means a little less diversity in my playlist.
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Russell Nash
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« Reply #48 on: September 24, 2009, 03:16:42 AM »

ooo, my first official scolding from Russell!  ahhh.....

will...play....nice....now....mmmm...

thank....you...

Ooh sarcasm.  For that I'll dish out punishment the way I do to my six-year-old.  Give me 30 push-ups and then you can post again.
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Talia
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« Reply #49 on: September 24, 2009, 08:00:20 AM »

I wasn't going to say anything, but I'll chime in regarding Mr. Sherman. 
Drabblecast is one of my favorite podcasts, and I wish every episode had a long, meaty intro from Norm.  I listen to Drabblecast B-sides, and if he did another one I would listen to that.
However, I found myself wishing he would get to the story on EP.  I can't explain it other than I was used to the Escape Pod brand.  It's like going into McDonalds and finding fried plantains instead of fried potatoes.  Not bad, but not really what you were looking for and used to.  Personally, I'm a little warey of Norm on the Escape Pod.  Norm is awesome, and I'm happy he has the exposure and I wish him all the exposure in the world, but this means a little less diversity in my playlist.

Conversely, I liked the intro.

I guess you can't please everyone, though, one way or the other.
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yicheng
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« Reply #50 on: September 24, 2009, 04:31:12 PM »

I enjoyed this story very much.  The teenage banter was probably a bit too witty and spot-on, as to seem a bit unrealistic in a Dawson's Creek kind of way, but it was still enjoyable and interesting.

As for Norm, I love his intros, and found myself snorting out loud several times (to the alarm of my co-workers) at his dry and off-beat humor.  I believe EP's in good hands.

[ sorry can't english today ]
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 05:51:06 PM by yicheng » Logged
Maze
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« Reply #51 on: September 24, 2009, 06:53:00 PM »

No, sorry Norm, no fried plantains for me (what are they?) I may just have to 'LA LA LA' through the intro and push through to the stories.

Intros and outro needs work. DI don't think it blended with the story.

Perhaps I should try the drabblecast as well, to get some sense of his style or to become immune.
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Nobilis
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« Reply #52 on: September 24, 2009, 09:03:23 PM »

Liked Norm, liked the story, liked that the singularity was hinted at but not actually explained.  This is a story of the world on the edge, just before it tips, falls... and flies.

Good show.
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #53 on: September 26, 2009, 08:53:35 PM »

No, sorry Norm, no fried plantains for me (what are they?) I may just have to 'LA LA LA' through the intro and push through to the stories.

Intros and outro needs work. DI don't think it blended with the story.

Perhaps I should try the drabblecast as well, to get some sense of his style or to become immune.

Actually- for me anyway- it didn't change much. Norm feels RIGHT over at DC. It's where he's found his strange tenticled groove. He just came on a little strong- like that guy at office that has no idea of personal boundries strong. And I think Norm is hilarious. I'm hoping he'll find his place here. We're not DC's oddball group of mutant lovers (except for those of us that are..) after all. We're respectable zombie/spaceship/pink unicorn lovers darnit (*note, wry tone intended)
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« Reply #54 on: September 26, 2009, 10:27:18 PM »

oooooh this was a cute story.  Great story pick!  That pretty much sums up my opinions entirely, so I won't say anything else on that.

as for Norm, in another concise opinion.... New co-host? A'ight cool.
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« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2009, 01:44:19 AM »

Great story and wonderfully read by the way.  Eyeball Floor was really good, Tina.  So cool to have you reading here as well.  You brought this story to life in a really unique way.

I think it's funny that a lot of people were worried about the story turning into a "90210" after the first 10 minutes or so, then half the people loved it, the other half not so much, but it still never turned into a 90210 at all.  I thought it was a cool, cutting-edge contemporary story.  As Norm pointed out, the line is getting close between social networks, technology, behavior and business.  Singularity very well might lead to crazy competitive monthly plans for your handheld device... (or even pseudo-prostitution for that matter!)
 
I've got a friend who always shows off her Iphone Apps,...wouldn't be surprised if the "Glory Hole" App suddenly became a reality and she half-interestedly showed me all the other, better, new transmogrifying alternatives to download.  But I, like Norm, have a Blackberry, so I'll have to stick to the real deal in the occasional roadstop rest area. 
Between this, Mr. Penubra's 24 hr book store, and Sinner/Baker, it seems like EP is pushing in a direction that is most relevant to the scifi genrei, and I think that's great. 

Cracked up at intro and outro.  I miss Steve but love havin Norm.  Hope Norm doesn't water down his style just for a few nattering people on the forums.  I've heard a lot of "Norm will grow into things" but I think the reality is that we're the ones that will actually be growing into things.  Things are changin for the best, and it's good to be open minded in times like these. 

Also, just wanna say that it's gotta be hard for Steve to step out a little.  It's really a testament to his awesomeness that things are actually getting better than worse through his delegation skills and the support he's built up around here. 
I'm excited for EP, because despite the admin changes and inconstancy, things are now looking great!
  The stories have been consistently better than ever for the past 2 months, IMO.
 Norm was the perfect pick for co-host (regular host-- NO!...the world (and Norm I bet) can only handle one Drabblecast, but co-host with Steve and Alasdair...really, how is that not the best power trio everHuh)   I can't even imagine a better 3 headed beast; the "Stevalasdanorm" kicks Gidrah's ass so hard it's not even funny.  Steve is the main head, the one that can breathe fire. 
  Alasdair is the left head that has a crappy mic but always has really insightful things to say, great insights and memorable quotes.
 Norm is the right head that embodies Steve's call to "Have Fun."  He's the cool guy that doesn't take himself too seriously but also somehow comes across as super serious.  Most people that have heard his music think that he stomps Coulton into the ground, though most people who have heard him host Escapepod think that he sounds like he's hosting Drabblecast. 
I think if EA rotates between the 3, delegating stories to each, they will satisfy the most people.  Steve, Al and Norm have all had a history of love and hate.  Combine em and synergize, you can't lose with the 3 headed space-dragon.

Oh, and keep in mind also that these folks (hosts, not authors) are probably volunteering their time, am I right?  I think stories should be criticized, not pro bono hosts. 


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« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2009, 09:23:22 AM »

Oh, and keep in mind also that these folks (hosts, not authors) are probably volunteering their time, am I right?  I think stories should be criticized, not pro bono hosts. 

The podcast is about the stories, but the hosting is part of the overall presentation, and thusly is fair game for criticism.
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eytanz
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« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2009, 10:31:45 AM »

Oh, and keep in mind also that these folks (hosts, not authors) are probably volunteering their time, am I right?  I think stories should be criticized, not pro bono hosts. 

I believe that the host (though not the story narrators) are paid for their work.
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TripleAught
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« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2009, 11:13:46 PM »

I liked this story. It was light and fun.

The overtones of trying to get Ted and Violet together were cute as well -- even if they couldn't see it coming.
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El Barto
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« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2009, 08:38:16 AM »

I liked this story but didn't love it, probably because it teased us with other possible directions that were left unexplored, such as

     1.   All of the AIs being exposed as people working in a third world country, rather than sophisticated programs

     2.   Her newly sentient AI being downloaded into a body, to become her real boyfriend

     3.    John being her not just her AI but many other people's.

Also, by the time the singularity arrives I'd think people will have better interfaces with their phones. 

All that said, I liked the style of the story and loved the narration.




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« Reply #60 on: September 28, 2009, 12:05:54 PM »

I think if EA rotates between the 3, delegating stories to each, they will satisfy the most people.  Steve, Al and Norm have all had a history of love and hate.  Combine em and synergize, you can't lose with the 3 headed space-dragon.

Hear hear!
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Talia
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« Reply #61 on: September 28, 2009, 12:39:25 PM »

I can't even imagine a better 3 headed beast; the "Stevalasdanorm" kicks Gidrah's ass so hard it's not even funny.  Steve is the main head, the one that can breathe fire. 

I am frightened of the Stevalasdanorm. It's 16th cousins to the sister of the roomate of the brother of the neighbor of the greatuncle of Cthulhu. Also, I hear it's distantly related to Trogdor the Burninator.
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csrster
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« Reply #62 on: September 29, 2009, 01:26:23 AM »

I think I just had a nerdgasm!
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thomasowenm
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« Reply #63 on: September 30, 2009, 04:36:19 PM »

The story felt rushed at the end like the author did not know what to do once the teens got to the party.  Also the super tech, the super nerd, and the predictable teen angst, left me unsatisfied.  Nice idea but a little flat.

I will raise my hand and say for the record, I do not like Norm's hosting.   
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Alasdair5000
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« Reply #64 on: September 30, 2009, 04:38:31 PM »

I think I just had a nerdgasm!

Trogdooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooor!
TROGDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!
Andthetrogdorcomesinthe...NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHT!

Had to be done:)
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Swamp
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« Reply #65 on: September 30, 2009, 04:51:05 PM »

Trogdooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooor!
TROGDOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOR!
Andthetrogdorcomesinthe...NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIHT!

Had to be done:)

 Cheesy LOL Cheesy

No way.  I never would have pegged you for a Homestar Runner fan, Alasdair.  Don't know why. but...

You are a man of surprizes.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2009, 04:53:24 PM by Swamp » Logged

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« Reply #66 on: September 30, 2009, 05:43:36 PM »

But where did all my sheep go?

You ate them sir.

Oh yeah, they were delicious!
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l33tminion
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« Reply #67 on: September 30, 2009, 08:10:27 PM »

An impending-singularity themed prom!  Awesome!

Also, you'd think the main character would be less incredulous about the upcoming robot revolution given that she's got a boyfriend who lives in her phone.
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veganvampire
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« Reply #68 on: October 01, 2009, 07:55:33 PM »

Hey, was this story implying that AP-highschool students do not have social lives, cannot get a date to prom, and would settle for a virtual boyfriend who lives in their phone?

As a highschooler in an advanced placement program, I am here to tell you...that yeah, that's about accurate. Undecided
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Portrait in Flesh
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« Reply #69 on: October 01, 2009, 08:21:59 PM »

Hey, was this story implying that AP-highschool students do not have social lives, cannot get a date to prom, and would settle for a virtual boyfriend who lives in their phone?

As a highschooler in an advanced placement program, I am here to tell you...that yeah, that's about accurate. Undecided
You high schoolers today with your fancy virtual boyfriends and your fancy phones.

I don't even think cell phones were readily available back when I was a wee pupil. 

Anyhoo, as for the story...it never really got off the ground for me.  I didn't particularly care for teen drama back when I was a teen (it was hard enough dealing with the cooling of the Earth, after all), and I just couldn't get into the swing of this. 
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capteucalyptus
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« Reply #70 on: October 02, 2009, 02:18:04 PM »

Loved, loved, loved the host.

Really enjoyed the story up until the party was revealed and even then, though it was a bit uneven and didn't go were expected, I enjoyed it.  Perhaps because it wasn't expected.  Also I reminded myself that part of the point of EP is sci-fi that is fun and this was fun indeed.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #71 on: October 06, 2009, 08:13:18 PM »

Wow, lotta new posters! Cool stuff.

Huge two thumbs up for Norm. Excellent.
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umamei
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« Reply #72 on: October 12, 2009, 12:36:32 PM »

Yeah, I was totally thinking about Sleep Dealer the whole time.  I loved this story, but mostly because they used the beta character in the title.  I know that's a very frivolous reason to like something, but that's just the way I roll when I listen to stories very early on Monday morning.  In fact, very early on a Monday morning, I can be won over with many simple things--punny titles, coffee, fluffy pillows that remind me of sleep...

Even now, later in the morning, slightly more awake than I was when I listened to this, I still like the story.  But I don't mind that it alluded to 90210--it's hard not to do so when writing about teenagers, since 90210 practically defined teen drama in the 90's (at least here in the US--I don't know what was on TV elsewhere).  I kept expecting it to turn out that the boyfriend app involved a clever set of programming and a Mexican teenager working for low wages somewhere remote, a la Sleep Dealer (an indie sci-fi movie, I highly recommend--easily found via Google, probably can order on Netflix or similar).  And then when it got to the part where they entered the house and the one character mentioned creepy serial killers, I couldn't be totally sure that it wouldn't actually turn out that way in the end.  After all, though Escape Pod may be science fiction, that doesn't mean it won't occasionally also involve horror elements, right?  I was waiting for someone to die or something, and instead Violet got a broken arm and a kiss.  I'm not sure injury (or death, for that matter) are really all that romantic, and I was still waiting for the horror-style ending.  I like horror, though.  I think especially on Monday mornings, I like horror.

Still, the story amused me.

I liked this story but didn't love it, probably because it teased us with other possible directions that were left unexplored, such as

     1.   All of the AIs being exposed as people working in a third world country, rather than sophisticated programs

     2.   Her newly sentient AI being downloaded into a body, to become her real boyfriend

     3.    John being her not just her AI but many other people's.

Also, by the time the singularity arrives I'd think people will have better interfaces with their phones. 

All that said, I liked the style of the story and loved the narration.





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Ocicat
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« Reply #73 on: October 15, 2009, 02:24:47 PM »

Hey, was this story implying that AP-highschool students do not have social lives, cannot get a date to prom, and would settle for a virtual boyfriend who lives in their phone?

As a highschooler in an advanced placement program, I am here to tell you...that yeah, that's about accurate. Undecided

Heh!  Ya, pretty much (though I'm far removed from my high school days)

This was a fun story.  I agree with a lot of the criticism leveled against it... it wasn't a great story, but it was good and fun.  I appreciate that the coming-to-sentience AI wasn't in fact a robot.  A networked AI seems much more realistic to me somehow.  I really liked how all the boyfriends/girlfriends both were and weren't the same entity. 
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Unblinking
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« Reply #74 on: April 29, 2010, 12:36:25 PM »

Not a bad story, but I tend not to really like high school stories that much, probably because I didn't like high school that much.  It was an interesting twist on the singularity topic, but didn't really transcend for me.

The disabled kid was interesting, but ended up being more interesting than the protagonist, so sort of weakened my interest in her.  I did think it was odd that she was surprised at his techno abilities, and then was surprised again.  And again and again.  I was starting to wonder if she'd gotten hit in the head while she was chicken-fighting and lost some of her AP-level cognitive abilities--yes, he's shown that he can make phone calls with a blink.  Get over it.

Was interesting to hear some hosting from The Norm.  I get a kick out of his sense of humor though sometimes his intros and outros run a little long, maybe it's just because I'm used to the EA format which usually keeps the intro micro-short and even the outro is fairly focused.  I'm about a half dozen episodes into the Drabblecast now, so I'm getting a taste of his style on his home turf.  Smiley
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« Reply #75 on: November 02, 2011, 09:25:09 PM »

Now that I'm done with PseudoPod, I've started picking at the edges of the Escape Pod catalog, starting with writers and readers that I know I'm predisposed to like. The story was enjoyable. Tina Connolly is an awesome reader as ever. But what really made it for me was Norm's opening. The Nigerian girlfriend bit was laugh out loud funny (for realz, not just internet lolz).

With regards to the emotionally clueless protagonist, I didn't find it too much of a stretch. I've known far too many smart folks who can do brainy super-nerd things but have far too few clues regarding how people work. There aren't enough good manuals regarding how people function for those nerds to be able to get it.
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bluetube
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« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2012, 09:15:54 AM »

Just heard this story via a link at Tina Connolly's website.

Loved it. Two years old and not outdated... that's pretty good in these times of rapid change.

Loved the intro and outro humour, too.   Cheesy
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