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Author Topic: EP216: βoyfriend  (Read 28582 times)

MacArthurBug

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Reply #25 on: September 20, 2009, 10:53:19 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

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 21, 2009, 01:23:30 AM
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.




deflective

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Reply #27 on: September 21, 2009, 02:31:57 AM
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.



heyes

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Reply #28 on: September 21, 2009, 03:46:50 AM
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, 05:31:45 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.



KenK

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Reply #30 on: September 21, 2009, 03:05:22 PM
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.



deflective

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Reply #31 on: September 21, 2009, 11:06:47 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.



Heradel

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Reply #32 on: September 22, 2009, 04:31:18 AM
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

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


ajames

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Reply #33 on: September 22, 2009, 10:18:33 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!



Listener

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Reply #34 on: September 22, 2009, 12:58:18 PM
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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Joyride Neon

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Reply #35 on: September 22, 2009, 01:34:55 PM
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!



Maze

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Reply #36 on: September 22, 2009, 03:08:13 PM
Really enjoyed the story - I too had the same fear of - oh great :( 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.



eytanz

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Reply #37 on: September 22, 2009, 09:25:17 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.



ElectricPaladin

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Reply #38 on: September 23, 2009, 04:42:54 AM
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?

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

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DKT

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Reply #39 on: September 23, 2009, 03:35:41 PM
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, 03:43:39 PM by DKT »



stePH

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Reply #40 on: September 23, 2009, 08:53:16 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, 05:21:27 AM
I love Norm's voice but strongly disliked his sense of humor on this one.  I agree, he was trying too hard.



Russell Nash

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Reply #42 on: September 24, 2009, 05:36:45 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



BethPeters

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Reply #43 on: September 24, 2009, 05:59:46 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, 06:03:38 AM by BethPeters »



Russell Nash

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Reply #44 on: September 24, 2009, 06:02:33 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.



BethPeters

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Reply #45 on: September 24, 2009, 06:05:48 AM
ooo, my first official scolding from Russell!  ahhh.....

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

thank....you...



Talia

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Reply #46 on: September 24, 2009, 07:00:54 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.



wakela

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Reply #47 on: September 24, 2009, 07:50:25 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.



Russell Nash

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Reply #48 on: September 24, 2009, 08:16:42 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.



Talia

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Reply #49 on: September 24, 2009, 01:00:20 PM
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.