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Author Topic: EP083: Ulla  (Read 1351 times)
Swamp
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« on: October 17, 2009, 05:12:54 PM »

EP083: Ulla

By Daniel Schwabauer.
Read by Jared Axelrod (of The Voice of Free Planet X) and J.R. Blackwell (of Voices of Tomorrow).

The world we now occupy is red, fourth from its sun, and extreme in its temperature. The atmosphere is lethal. Without our shelters we would die. But we will not be here long. Already the attack-cylinders, loaded with machinery and the weapons of destruction, stand ready in the firing tubes. Soon I shall be sending you thoughts from the third planet.

I have loved you.


Rated PG. Contains violence, chemical warfare, and heavy moral themes.
 
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yicheng
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2009, 09:32:16 AM »

Beautifully haunting story.
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davedoty
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2009, 09:06:55 PM »

I can't remember after all this time if this was my very first story, but it was one of the first, and certainly the first that really jumped out at me.  I loved it a lot.  Certainly the refrain "I have loved you" did its job of burning itself in my brain.  I think of it at the oddest times.
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Darwinist
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 12:46:01 AM »

I can't remember after all this time if this was my very first story, but it was one of the first, and certainly the first that really jumped out at me.  I loved it a lot.  Certainly the refrain "I have loved you" did its job of burning itself in my brain.  I think of it at the oddest times.

This was one of my first stories also.  I remember listening to it on a long drive through cold, wintry Wisconsin and it just kicked my @ss.  Great stuff.
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For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan
Yargling
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 08:40:26 AM »

I listened to this one a while ago, before listening to the original War of the Worlds audio-book. It was good then, but better when I listened to it the second time after hearing the War of the Worlds.

Interesting to hear the story from their side. Though the eternal question is how the paranox started if these visions of the future are more than disllutions or dreams. After all, the aliens got the heat-ray off of the visions of the humans using, and the humans got it off of the alien wrecks.

Also, made me think of "War of the Servers" Wink - http://litfusefilms.com/movies/waroftheservers/
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2010, 01:38:13 PM »

Interesting to hear the story from their side. Though the eternal question is how the paranox started if these visions of the future are more than disllutions or dreams. After all, the aliens got the heat-ray off of the visions of the humans using, and the humans got it off of the alien wrecks.

I was wondering about that too.  One of those Time Paradoxes where an idea/object has no origin, it just loops round on itself.  My one concrete idea for that is formed as a question:  How does their future telling device work?  If the device somehow has a mind of it's own, then perhaps it is playing an hilarious (to its eyes) joke, triggering these interstellar wars and looping reverse-engineering.  I somehow doubt that the tripod is really an ideal vehicle shape, so it makes sense for it to all be a joke.  If it's sense of humor had gone a different way, perhaps the alien vehicles would like giant pink fuzzy bunny slippers!

Anyway, I really like this one.  I really like H.G. Wells's ideas, so it's fun to see a different twist on them.  I sold a story to a War of the Worlds themed anthology recently, so it's been on my mind more than usual lately.  I liked the looping reverse-engineering, and I enjoyed looking for similarities and differences between our culture and theirs.  I also liked that they provide an explanation for why the capsules came from Mars when we have now determined there's not much on Mars--it appeared to just be a staging area for this lone attack.  And the aliens' longevity means that the very aliens that sent the attack will likely be the ones manning the home planet when humans arrive to kill.

It didn't really follow the book to the letter, because I believe the aliens were using us for food.  On their home planet they ate creatures that looked very much like us but were squishy unintelligent vertebrates, so when they came here they assumed we were food too.  Sort of like if we went to another planet and found aliens that looked like cornstalks and decided to start harvesting I suppose, only to later discover that we were decapitating intelligent creatures and scraping off their eyeballs for food.

Very good story, and I'm glad I read the blog comments which explained the origin of the name "Ulla".  For those who haven't read those comments, apparently near the end of the book an alien is seen wandering while shouting "Ulla, Ulla, Ulla." which is never explained.
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