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Author Topic: EP116: Ej-Es  (Read 38459 times)


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Reply #75 on: October 01, 2007, 05:38:29 PM
I listened to this one again on the way down to San Diego this weekend.  What a sad, beautiful story. 


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Reply #76 on: October 10, 2007, 09:51:01 AM
What I wondered most at the end was how Mia felt about it after she say Esefeb crying. Was she still convinced she did the right thing, or was she regretting it now?

Mia wasn't there to see her wailing - she had already left. :(

I found this to be an immensely sad story. Mia's actions almost seem psychotic to me - she completely fails to understand the morality their society has developed, and sets about overlaying her own upon them.


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Reply #77 on: October 11, 2007, 12:46:07 PM
I like a lot of the discussion I read in this thread. A few thoughts occurred to me after I finished this story...

The colonists are pretty screwed up in that they can barely look after themselves anymore, but their population is growing and they were still living in houses. Maybe they have just turned more 'primitive' (technologically) but are experiencing some other form of societal interactions. Esefeb may not have been caring about what bugs were on the baby - but someone had the baby in the first place, so they are still interacting in that way.

I didn't see any religious overtones in the story. I understand that analogies can be drawn easily enough, but I thought the story operated on a different level: it had more to do with how the functioning of the society had changed, the moral impacts of Mia's decision to 'help', and the exposition of Mia's character.

The reading of this story was tremendous. Sheri Mann Stewart lent such strength and bone weariness to Mia's character that I was completely drawn in to her by the end, which also made the ending seem like such a devastating betrayal!


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Reply #78 on: November 09, 2007, 11:36:58 AM
I just saw the Star Trek Original Series, Return of the Archons.  Reminded me of this story again, as there were some similarities.  A planet of people with, except for the occasional festival, peace, tranquility, and contentment through computer-generated [instead of biological] mind control.  Kirk ends up destroying the computer, and leaving a sociologist behind to help the people adapt to having autonomy again.

An important difference between Return of the Archons and this story is that Captain Kirk and crew cannot leave the planet, and it does become a case of destroy the computer or be killed.  I did not detect a great deal of remorse that the computer was destroyed and the prime directive violated, though.


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Reply #79 on: December 14, 2007, 09:00:23 PM
I have recently discovered Escape Pod and I am slowly getting caught up with the stories.  To me, Ej-Es has been the best story to date.  Interesting and coherent plot, believable characters, and excellent voice-acting.

The dilemma between cure or not was a difficult one to resolve, but for me, the answer was clear:   no cure.  The survivors came into this condition at a very young age if not at birth.  Although the story was  vague on the timing of the colony and the plague, it would not be unreasonable to say that the survivors had lived with their condition for generations.  They weren't dying out, in fact the population was growing.  Granted, their lifestyle was not what healthy by common definitions, but it was theirs.  For Mia to take that away from Esefeb, to change her very perception of the world, to take away her lover / god, without consent is unconscionable.

Thanks Steve for a bringing this great story to us.



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Reply #80 on: September 23, 2010, 05:51:24 PM
Good story!  I like the question of "Freedom or Happiness" as a story element and this one did it well, so well that I wasn't convinced Mia made the right decision.  The fact that the colony's population was increasing and that all the current residents had had the condition since birth were the major factors in that decision.  ajames said it well upthread that it might have made sense to cure them if there was a society to place them back into, but all you're going to end up with if you cure everybody is a planet full of really depressed people who will spend their time reminiscing about how great Ej-Es used to be before he buggered off.

That being said, I don't think the story would've captivated me so much if I had read it in text.  The reader was frigging amazing!  It's not easy to pull off the made-up language lines with such authentic emotion.  Esefeb's final line made me want to cry.


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Reply #81 on: February 23, 2011, 05:47:07 PM
I've been meaning to listen to this story but never got around to it. Then Lightspeed picked it up, so since I'm a slusher for them I put it in my feed. And it turns out, they used the EscapePod reading for the podcast, so it was like a double win.

Normally, with such stories, I side with those who argue against messing with a culture, but this time I found myself, to my surprise, agreeing with Mia's actions. I think it was the scene with the baby that did it. If the joy they have comes at the cost of neglect themselves and those powerless to do so, and if they have such a condition since birth, then Mia's actions to stay behind is just.

But I also liked how the story doesn't end so neatly on Mia's decision, and instead shows the consequences of her actions. Poor Esefeb. I wonder how she will do in the next few days.

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Reply #82 on: October 01, 2015, 11:55:39 AM
This one's worth threadomancy. This was a really great story.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”

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Reply #83 on: October 03, 2015, 02:22:59 PM
It's one of my favorites.  I still remember it very clearly, altho it's been years since I've listened to it.