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Author Topic: EP219: Sleepy Joe  (Read 4315 times)
Swamp
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« on: October 08, 2009, 08:11:30 AM »

EP219: Sleepy Joe

by Marc Laidlaw
narrated by Ben Phillips

originally appeared in The Infinite Matrix

The plan must have come to Rog fully formed that first morning, as he stepped off the elevator into the lobby of Szilliken Sharpenwright and saw the old soldier newly stationed there in his omnichair between the potted silk ferns and the coffee tables.

“Oh. My. God. I am in love.”

Megan, her arms loaded with Rog-House props and paraphernalia she hadn’t had time to ditch yet, said, “You say that an awful lot for someone who styles himself completely asexual. Not to mention atheistic.”


Rated R. for adult situations, a smattering of violence, and overly friendly chairs.


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« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 08:13:25 AM by Swamp » Logged

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monkeystuff
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 08:22:30 PM »

I liked this story... partially cuz i thought it was better then last week.  but it was just kinda cool.  It had a well defined villain to the story that most working people can relate to.  How nice of the vet to get up and take care of the boss.  I'm not saying people should just take out their boss because he is a jerk, but I don't mind hearing stories about it.   It was kind of a strange story and the storyline wasn't super interesting, but still, I like like story where the evil overload gets his due.  Props to the vet who defended the two main characters and Boo to the chair that tried to molest them...  hehe,  strange story not too bad tho.
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Kanasta
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 02:31:50 AM »

Great story. I like it when an interesting idea about future society is woven into a story about "normal" life. It makes it a more involving story than other potential treatments, eg a monologue from inside the head of the Sleepy Joe, which is an approach some other author might take. This way you still think about the issues, but it's also a three-dimensional tale, not just flat and preachy.

I was a bit surprised when I saw the guy's name was Rog though- from the narration, I had him down as an Indian man called Raj!
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Yargling
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2009, 08:53:12 AM »

Interesting story, and I can certainly see the possiblity of weaponized humans being used as a sort of land mine, given enough advances into bio-tech, though I think custom-engineered lifeforms would be more effective in combat, creating a mind that can react intelligently is a process that took evolution many billions of years to work through.

Anywho, it is assuming to see the guy who treated the vet-rehabber as a person win through over the one to acted as if he were a thing. What Steve said is true; if we treat people as things, thats when real evil starts.

Sadly, I think our species is stuck though; I recall reading an article where it showed our ability to empathise with other humans in a real, "I think of you as a real fellow person", is stuck at around 250, given studies of chimp and monkey brains VS the typical size of their troops, and then comparing their findings to a human brain. Hence, beyond those 250 people who are on our 'friends list', we start thinking of everyone else as a two dimensional cardboard cut out.

Though is does seem crowds are relatively easy to predict, and hence how stadium management works.
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KenK
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2009, 02:24:58 PM »

Interesting story, and I can certainly see the possiblity of weaponized humans being used as a sort of land mine,

"Possibility" you say? Ever hear of "suicide bombers"?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2009, 02:47:25 PM by KenK » Logged
jrderego
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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2009, 02:41:08 PM »

Interesting story, and I can certainly see the possiblity of weaponized humans being used as a sort of land mine,

Possibility you say? Ever hear of "suicide bombers"?

Or Kamikaze pilots?
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ItCameFromTheWest
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2009, 04:53:13 PM »

I mostly enjoyed this story, it was an interesting concept; However, I couldn't really connect with the characters. If I were to rate it out of 10, it would probably get about a 6.
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Talia
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2009, 06:05:13 PM »

I loved this story, largely because Rog, IMHO, was exceptionally well drawn. So vivid, in fact, I'm curious if he was at all based on someone the author knew.

Little details like saying "sigh" instead of sighing (I've done that! Tongue ), his general flamboyancy (well conveyed by the reading, too, I might add). Very colorful. I just REALLY liked him. And his reluctantly dragged along friend is the perfect foil for his over the topness. Smiley

I also enjoyed the humorous details like the unpleasantly probing chair. The imminent sense of doom the two paralegals felt when returning at least to their workplace. The whole setup was almost like a really well done buddy flick - two friends hare off to do something dumbass, screw up and have their butts miraculously saved at the end. Although one wonders what the next scene would bring! Smiley

The concept of the semi-comatose veterans was interesting too, but of less interest to me personally. I was just very charmed by the setup in general.

Good fun. I'm gonna forward this one on, its worth sharing. Smiley
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yaksox
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2009, 10:08:40 PM »

I think there was a Get Smart episode like this.

Nice outro Steve. Always giving just the right amount.

And bring on the Omnichair flavoured erotica I say!  Wink
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KenK
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« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2009, 07:49:04 AM »

I could see what conclusion this story was going to have from a mile away. No suspense here but it was very emotionally satisfying to have that asshole boss lawyer given his comeuppance and for the vets humanity (such as it was) to be redeemed. Ely's narration was very good also. Why is it that veterans or ex-military members are so often portrayed in these stories as either damaged goods or as sadistic brutes?  Huh
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spork
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2009, 11:36:47 AM »

 Possibility you say? Ever hear of "suicide bombers"?
[/quote]

Or Kamikaze pilots?
[/quote]
How about american kamikazees, like Lt. Church?
http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1984/September%201984/0984valor.aspx
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spork
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2009, 11:37:35 AM »

Great story.
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jrderego
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2009, 12:53:02 PM »

Possibility you say? Ever hear of "suicide bombers"?

Or Kamikaze pilots?
[/quote]
How about american kamikazees, like Lt. Church?
http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/Pages/1984/September%201984/0984valor.aspx
[/quote]

Church wasn't a Kamikaze.
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"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
http://www.encpress.com/EC.html
KenK
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« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2009, 02:44:20 PM »

And bring on the Omnichair flavoured erotica I say!  Wink
I suppose that sort of thing would be properly within the sci-fi genre. It would take a most skillful kind of author though. Maybe Nobilis could help with that. This topic has the potential to be quite funny in the hands of the right sort of writer.  Grin
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2009, 06:22:19 AM »

Mostly I enjoyed this. The reading was well done. It creeped me out PLENTY. Good stuff
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Gamercow
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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2009, 01:51:24 PM »

I really enjoyed the characters in this one, they seemed very alive and thought out.  The story itself was somewhat predictable, but thats just fine, the focus was the characters, and the writer(and narrator) pulled it off. 8/10
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Cerebrilith
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« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2009, 09:46:17 AM »

This one was very weak.  Way too predictable.  The characters were all pretty shallow and absurd.

No suspension of disbelief for me.  Can't the fancy science that creates the sleeper soldiers and makes super life-support chairs do something to put their brains to right afterwards?  How is turning war vets into potted plants in office lobbies going to rehabilitate them?
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Talia
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« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2009, 03:00:49 PM »

This one was very weak.  Way too predictable.  The characters were all pretty shallow and absurd.

I know people just like them actually, at least in regards to the two paralegals. Shallow and absurd yes, but so is most of humanity.

I personally love absurdity. Smiley
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gelee
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2009, 11:13:35 AM »

Something I noticed only after the fact.  Rog (or Rahj?) was precisley the character that usually get's bumped off first.  I kept expecting him to get killed and was pleasantly surprised when his kindness sort of saves the day.
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Gamercow
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2009, 01:07:54 PM »

This one was very weak.  Way too predictable.  The characters were all pretty shallow and absurd.

No suspension of disbelief for me.  Can't the fancy science that creates the sleeper soldiers and makes super life-support chairs do something to put their brains to right afterwards?  How is turning war vets into potted plants in office lobbies going to rehabilitate them?

Thats funny, that we posted just about opposite viewpoints of the characters back-to-back.   Cheesy 
As for the "turning war vets into potted plants" rehabilitation scheme, that's just it, the US often forgets its veterans, and makes them into proverbial potted plants.  I'm thinking that was some subtext of the story, but I could be reading too much into it.
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