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Author Topic: EP036: Connie, Maybe  (Read 3851 times)
Swamp
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« on: October 12, 2009, 09:45:33 AM »

EP036: Connie, Maybe

By Paul E. Martens.
Read by Wichita Rutherford.

Conrad McManus claimed he was kidnaped by aliens and replaced by an exact duplicate of himself.

But, Connie, we said, that doesn’t make sense. If you were a duplicate you wouldn’t say a thing like that.

Connie shook his head. “The aliens destroyed my body while they were doing their tests and experiments and what not and they had to make a new one so no one would know about them.”

So they destroyed everything, we asked, except your brain?

“No,” he said. “They destroyed my brain, too.”


Rated G. Contains alien abduction, brainwashing, and conspiracy. Unless it doesn’t.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

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Boggled Coriander
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 11:16:04 PM »

I don't remember much about the story, but I'd love to hear Wichita Rutherford as a narrator again.  If another suitable story can be found for him, of course.
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jrderego
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 07:47:47 AM »

EP036: Connie, Maybe

By Paul E. Martens.
Read by Wichita Rutherford.

Conrad McManus claimed he was kidnaped by aliens and replaced by an exact duplicate of himself.

But, Connie, we said, that doesn’t make sense. If you were a duplicate you wouldn’t say a thing like that.

Connie shook his head. “The aliens destroyed my body while they were doing their tests and experiments and what not and they had to make a new one so no one would know about them.”

So they destroyed everything, we asked, except your brain?

“No,” he said. “They destroyed my brain, too.”


Rated G. Contains alien abduction, brainwashing, and conspiracy. Unless it doesn’t.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



I've successfully used this story as a gateway drug to Escape Pod on no less than 13 occasions! it's still my favorite story published here.
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 02:29:32 AM »

This story is one of my favorites too!
I've listened to it many many times Smiley
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2009, 10:15:04 AM »

This story was extremely well-suited to Rutherford's reading.  But I can't think of any others that would be.  "Head of State" didn't benefit from it; actually it suffered from it.
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Swamp
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2009, 11:55:20 AM »

This story was extremely well-suited to Rutherford's reading.  But I can't think of any others that would be.  "Head of State" didn't benefit from it; actually it suffered from it.

I actually liked the production of Head of State with Wichita.

Someone suggested that Ann Leckie's tearless onion story would have been a perfect story for a  Wichita Rutherford reading, and I heartily agree.  It has since been run on PodCastle with a different reader.  It was still good because the story is so hilarious, but I had hoped for Wichita.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 12:08:31 PM by Swamp » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2009, 09:23:32 AM »

Connie, Maybe is the best story Escape Pod has ever done. Why? Because it showcases everything that's right and unique about Podcasting.

First, it has a tremendously excellent narrator who is perfectly suited to the story. His reading is dynamic and engaging. It really goes beyond just narration to true voice acting. Why on earth would I want to listen to a story instead of reading it? It takes longer to listen than to read, and by listening I lose the ability to "random access" the story (going back and rereading something is trivial with text, harder with audio), or focus more on a particular passage than another. Listening has to bring some added value, and Witchita's outstanding reading does this by giving each character additional depth and feeling. Would Witchita's voice be suited to every Escape Pod story? Certainly not! For many stories it might actually detract from them. But it's spot-on here.

Second, the audio quality is excellent. Escape Pod suffers from uneven audio quality, with some of its narrators using awful equipment that can distort the reading into the realm of unlistenableness. Clear audio is especially important when dealing with accents that might be unfamiliar to a large swath of the audience. Compare this story with "Other People's Money," that combined bad audio and a heavy accent to make some of the sentences positively indecipherable.

Third, it's an excellent, polished, tight story. It uses humor well. Too often in sci-fi, humor can be overdone and comes off as just cheesy. This story nicely balances the silly with the unnerving. It raises some interesting questions about what it means to be "you." It leaves the reader wondering about the reliability of the narrator. It's not a story to just listen passively to, you do need to think a bit about what's being said. On the other hand, it's not overly pretentious (far from it!) or self-consciously obtuse. If this story were a meal, it would come from a Michelin-starred restaurant, with all flavors perfectly balanced.

Everything is right about this story and its Escape Pod production. I've given copies of it to many people, and probably gotten some hooked on EP as a result. I always warn them, though, not to expect everything to be this good. I think if the EP editors take a hard look at what made Connie, Maybe so successful, they'd really be able to ratchet up the quality of EP.
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Boggled Coriander
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 10:13:04 AM »

Why on earth would I want to listen to a story instead of reading it? It takes longer to listen than to read, and by listening I lose the ability to "random access" the story (going back and rereading something is trivial with text, harder with audio), or focus more on a particular passage than another.

Well, so I can experience a story while walking around outside, or doing the dishes, or sweeping/mopping the floor, or riding the bus, or standing on a subway.  Those are pretty good reasons.

But I'm just being nitpicky; I agree with everything else in your post.
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2010, 09:51:25 AM »

This has to be in my top 5 favorite EP episodes so far!  Wichita was perfect for the reading, and I was laughing throughout the whole thing.  Especially the idea that not getting up in the night to pee is a sign of alien abduction.  So so so so funny, I love it!  Just the matter of fact way it all panned out was priceless.
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2010, 12:25:16 PM »

Yay for Wichita I for one love the reading would welcome more of him.  He also would have been great for the story... Aliens Love Oranges, I don't remember if that was podcastle or escape but I remember thinking he would have nailed that to the wall.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2010, 12:54:28 PM »

First, it has a tremendously excellent narrator who is perfectly suited to the story. His reading is dynamic and engaging. It really goes beyond just narration to true voice acting.

I've heard Mr. Rutherford in several places, and this seems to be the only character he's capable of playing -- as a "voice actor" he's a one-trick pony whose one trick happened to suit this story perfectly.

I'm not so sure "Aliens Love Oranges" would have been a good fit; I didn't think much of him reading the one about the president's head.
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 07:28:06 PM »

I do agree that he is a "one-trick pony" but man, when he gets paired with a story that suits him, it's friggin PERFECT.
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Balu
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2011, 07:43:17 PM »

I don't have much to add to the posts above except that this is my favourite EP episode to date.

Oh, and where has this Rutherford guy gone? I say we find him, bundle him into the back of a van and chain him up in the Escape Pod recording studio.

Who's with me?
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