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Author Topic: EP223: The Uncanny Valley  (Read 35584 times)

Sgarre1

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Reply #25 on: November 10, 2009, 04:29:13 PM
Quote
but from what I think I understood, they should destroy the collected knowledge of the Krell and get the hell off of Altair IV.

 :D  Excellent!



Swamp

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Reply #26 on: November 10, 2009, 05:54:23 PM
EP gets a D- for this episode.

Overall a #4 lane story -- not as good as being in the #1 lane, but not as bad as dealing with the merging traffic in #5. (Roadgeek humor.)

I give this story an F.  If the singularity is going to be this boring, count me out.   >:(

Do we really want to reduce our comments about a story down to a letter grade?  It's not much more descriptive than a "meh".  The 5 lane rating is more creative (and kind of funny :)), but still, all of you did a good enough job explaining your thoughts and offering insightful comments about the story without the grades/ratings.  It's not that big of a deal.  I just envision people posting a grade and nothing else.

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Prank Call of Cthulhu

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Reply #27 on: November 10, 2009, 11:40:46 PM
Holy cow, this was a bad story! How bad? It was so bad that the Star Trek Voyager episode "The Thaw" which was not dissimilar to it was better. Yes, I just said Star Trek Voyager didn't suck as bad as something else. I went there. Just because you throw in some clockwork robots for the steampunk fans, chuck every high-falootin' word and foreign phrase you can for the lit majors, toss in some nattering about the singularity or convergence or whatever to grab the interest of the Cory Doctorow fans, then hang it all off a skeleton built from a little Matrix, a little Dark City, and a dash of Voyager, does not mean you'll come up with a good story. It will, however, give you an unmitigated mess of a story. This is why writers need editors, people. A good editor would have taken one look at the draft of this and set fire to it.



DKT

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Reply #28 on: November 11, 2009, 12:08:45 AM
This is why writers need editors, people. A good editor would have taken one look at the draft of this and set fire to it.

Worth noting: Nick Mamatas also works as an editor.


Darwinist

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Reply #29 on: November 11, 2009, 12:23:34 AM

Do we really want to reduce our comments about a story down to a letter grade?  It's not much more descriptive than a "meh". 

Probably not, but what's the big deal if they do?  Or do we need to come up with some forum rules?   

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


Ocicat

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Reply #30 on: November 11, 2009, 12:32:30 AM

Do we really want to reduce our comments about a story down to a letter grade?  It's not much more descriptive than a "meh". 

Probably not, but what's the big deal if they do?  Or do we need to come up with some forum rules?   

Raising questions without offering answers.  I rate this post a C-



Darwinist

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Reply #31 on: November 11, 2009, 12:34:51 AM

Do we really want to reduce our comments about a story down to a letter grade?  It's not much more descriptive than a "meh". 

Probably not, but what's the big deal if they do?  Or do we need to come up with some forum rules?   

Raising questions without offering answers.  I rate this post a C-

Ooops.  Answer:  let the people grade the stories how they want.  If you don't like it don't read it. 

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


Swamp

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Reply #32 on: November 11, 2009, 01:20:23 AM
Do we really want to reduce our comments about a story down to a letter grade?  It's not much more descriptive than a "meh". 

Probably not, but what's the big deal if they do?  Or do we need to come up with some forum rules?   

We, as moderators, are trying to avoid drumming up a bunch of forum rules.  I don't think anybody wants a bunch of red tape.  However, as the forum grows, that may need to happen.  As I said earlier, it's not a big deal.  I just commented to try to head off a bad trend that could devolve.

Raising questions without offering answers.  I rate this post a C-

 ;D


Ooops.  Answer:  let the people grade the stories how they want.  If you don't like it don't read it. 

I agree with your first sentance, and except in extreme cases, that's pretty much how we roll.  As moderators, we try to establish a community of goodwill from everyone on the forums toward each other, the authors, the readers, etc.  Nobody's perfect.  I've obviously said things in a way that didn't promote good will.

But I do disagree with "if you don't like it, don't read it".  If we are talking only about the grades/rating, okay, I'm with you.  But when you have Prank Call of Cthulu again spewing venom, showing no respect, and dressing down the author as if he were some writing industry authority, it's completely out of line.  It will be read by anyone going through this thread. "If you don't like it, don't read it" isn't going to cut it.

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Swamp

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Reply #33 on: November 11, 2009, 01:27:44 AM
Holy cow, this was a bad story! How bad? It was so bad that the Star Trek Voyager episode "The Thaw" which was not dissimilar to it was better. Yes, I just said Star Trek Voyager didn't suck as bad as something else. I went there. Just because you throw in some clockwork robots for the steampunk fans, chuck every high-falootin' word and foreign phrase you can for the lit majors, toss in some nattering about the singularity or convergence or whatever to grab the interest of the Cory Doctorow fans, then hang it all off a skeleton built from a little Matrix, a little Dark City, and a dash of Voyager, does not mean you'll come up with a good story. It will, however, give you an unmitigated mess of a story. This is why writers need editors, people. A good editor would have taken one look at the draft of this and set fire to it.

Prank, we have tried to reason with you and explain the type of respect that we want in the forums.  You obviously don't care or want to push our limits.  One more post like this and you will be temporarily banned.

Obviously, you are not the only person who did not like this story, but others have expressed that in more respectful ways.

EDIT:  Responses to this moderation can be found here
« Last Edit: November 23, 2009, 07:37:12 AM by Swamp »

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stePH

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Reply #34 on: November 11, 2009, 02:18:32 AM
...you throw in some clockwork robots for the steampunk fans, chuck every high-falootin' word and foreign phrase you can for the lit majors, toss in some nattering about the singularity or convergence or whatever to grab the interest of the Cory Doctorow fans, then hang it all off a skeleton built from a little Matrix, a little Dark City, and a dash of Voyager,...

Obviously, you are not the only person who did not like this story, but others have expressed that in more respectful ways.

I don't know ... I think the bit of the quote that I kept above, pretty much nailed it.

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


Heradel

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Reply #35 on: November 11, 2009, 02:45:02 AM
...you throw in some clockwork robots for the steampunk fans, chuck every high-falootin' word and foreign phrase you can for the lit majors, toss in some nattering about the singularity or convergence or whatever to grab the interest of the Cory Doctorow fans, then hang it all off a skeleton built from a little Matrix, a little Dark City, and a dash of Voyager,...

Obviously, you are not the only person who did not like this story, but others have expressed that in more respectful ways.

I don't know ... I think the bit of the quote that I kept above, pretty much nailed it.

Doesn't matter, you can say it in a way that respects the author and everyone else involved.

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cdugger

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Reply #36 on: November 12, 2009, 02:36:55 PM
Sounded like a computer wrote this story. Insert random person description, insert random action, insert random room description.

And no differentiation with the voice. At 11 minutes, I stopped because I could never tell who was talking, or what they meant when they said it.

Definately one of the worst on EP.

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Swamp

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Reply #37 on: November 12, 2009, 04:19:18 PM
Sounded like a computer wrote this story.

Sigh.  Again, comments about authors, or other people, don't have to be praising or patronizing, but should have a manner of respect.  cdugger, you don't have a history of spurning comments and I think you are just trying to share your dissappointment with this story, so I'm not picking on you.  It's more to the general principle already discussed due to previous comments.  I don't think Nick Mamatas is a tender flower who cannot take criticism, but basic respect is the baseline that we are trying to establish for the forums.

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wakela

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Reply #38 on: November 12, 2009, 11:34:53 PM
Basically what everyone else said. 

I will add that the last ten minutes or so made sense, and I thought the idea of the id taking over the singularity was pretty interesting.  I also like stories that don't seem to make sense at first, but then something clicks and the reader gets an impression of what happened without having it explained.  But this story was just not clear enough.  The EP editors liked it enough to pay for and publish it, so the story probably works better read than heard. 

The gauge in my head that measures amount of dry, detached, cynical, sarcastic, world-weary, judgmental*, snarky narration I hear is pegged at maximum due to the last few months of EPs.  She canna take much more of this, captain.  Not that this was bad narration -- I  thought it was very appropriate.  It's just that there have been several stories read with this voice lately. 

For all the story's bizarreness, the ending seemed pretty main stream. 

* I almost LOLed at the end when she said, "I won't judge you."  Would anyone want this woman as their therapist? 



cdugger

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Reply #39 on: November 13, 2009, 01:42:13 AM
Sigh.  Again, comments about authors, or other people, don't have to be praising or patronizing, but should have a manner of respect.  cdugger, you don't have a history of spurning comments and I think you are just trying to share your dissappointment with this story, so I'm not picking on you.  It's more to the general principle already discussed due to previous comments.  I don't think Nick Mamatas is a tender flower who cannot take criticism, but basic respect is the baseline that we are trying to establish for the forums.

I do apologize if I offended anyone. I in no means was directing that at the author, just the structure of the story.

I don't generally keep track of the authors on EP, so I likely have/will loved/love something else written by the same hand.

What may have done it is the reading. I've been listening to 6-8 stories a day, M-F, and I hear them all. this one was just plain. Not the voice, the reading.

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Swamp

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Reply #40 on: November 13, 2009, 02:13:03 AM
No worries.  Most of your post was just fine.  That first line just caught my attention relative to the previous comments.  It was more  of a caution than a rebuke.  I may have been over-sensative to the point.

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cercle

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Reply #41 on: November 13, 2009, 11:59:47 AM
Norm was right : I didn't see it coming.  In fact I didn't see ANYTHING coming.  Boring.  Boring.  UNBELIEVABLY boring.  I listened through the whole thing, but every two sentences or so my mind drifted off.  Couldn't make heads nor tails.  Didn't care, either.  A story needs to grab the reader's (or listener's) attention, not leave the reader (listener) to force his attention to story time and again. I got the impression the writer wanted to show off her intelect by throwing about all these metaphores and the like.  Style.  It's not only overrated, it is in fact irrelevant.  Tell your story as crisp and concise as possible.  Style will take care of itself.  The reading itself wasn't exactly great, either. To close : I thought the recent Nancy Kress story hit rock bottom as far as EP stories went, but I bow my head in defeat : this one was (a lot) worse.  Still absolutely loved last week's story, though ! That was fun, and having fun was what the Eley wants us to have, right ?



Swamp

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Reply #42 on: November 13, 2009, 12:29:16 PM
I got the impression the writer wanted to show off her intelect by...

Note: Nick Mamatas is a man.

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Bdoomed

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Reply #43 on: November 13, 2009, 04:33:21 PM

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Doctor Thump

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Reply #44 on: November 13, 2009, 04:51:09 PM
Much like everyone else, I couldn't follow the story.  But maybe more of an issue with me was the quality of the audio.  Certainly not up to normal EP fare; actually given that I work with sound quite a bit, the audio was so distracting, it was hard to put all of the focus on the story (which required maybe more focus than I had anyway).  Cheers!

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Kate_Baker

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Reply #45 on: November 13, 2009, 07:27:26 PM
Much like everyone else, I couldn't follow the story.  But maybe more of an issue with me was the quality of the audio.  Certainly not up to normal EP fare; actually given that I work with sound quite a bit, the audio was so distracting, it was hard to put all of the focus on the story (which required maybe more focus than I had anyway).  Cheers!

I'm rather confused about this statement. To each his own about my narration skills, but really, I try my best to put out a professional sounding product. What were you upset with exactly?

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justinmartyr

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Reply #46 on: November 13, 2009, 08:39:18 PM
There is a period of time, at the start of any tale, after which the reader should at least think they understand what is being described.  A story can then go on to puzzle, surprise or challenge the reader because he or she is following along.  This was like riding a high speed train past billboards too fast to read or make out the images.  There is an intuition that meaning is flying past you, but there is nothing to grab on to so you stop looking out the window.

Keeping with travel metaphors, this story has no on ramp, so it doesn't matter where it goes. The reader can't merge.







Bdoomed

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Reply #47 on: November 13, 2009, 11:35:32 PM
Much like everyone else, I couldn't follow the story.  But maybe more of an issue with me was the quality of the audio.  Certainly not up to normal EP fare; actually given that I work with sound quite a bit, the audio was so distracting, it was hard to put all of the focus on the story (which required maybe more focus than I had anyway).  Cheers!
i have no idea what you are talking about, the narration was awesome.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


ajames

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Reply #48 on: November 14, 2009, 02:50:26 AM
This story managed to piqué my interest in the beginning, but after scene after scene where everything made less and less sense, I just stopped caring or listening. Ultimately, I found the character of Esme far too self-absorbed to give a damn about her or the rest of the story. I've read a couple of posts that say that everything comes together in the last 10 minutes, but I still have no desire to finish listening, especially if the id is really part of the explanation.

Sorry if this sounds harsh - I get the feeling that the author was taking some chances with this story, and I respect that. It just didn't work for me.

Editors - just because you have someone named Alistair working for you, doesn't mean every piece has to be Masterpiece Theater ;-)



Bdoomed

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Reply #49 on: November 14, 2009, 09:38:53 AM
so...
lemme get this straight...
well first, I think I liked it, however I think I'd like it better if I could read it...

SPOILER ALERT! (maybe?)
anyway...
She's a therapist...
and she was talking to an old client turned cyborg via the convergence... who was also her lover at one point...
then at one point she asks him a question that perplexes him so much he kinda turns off... and is then devoured by... whoever is murdering everyone?
he is later resurrected via a backup into another body.
she realizes that she has also been turned into a cyborg but had her memory erased...
she is kept on old Alcatraz...
she somehow escapes...
she realizes that the murders are being committed by... the old machines that are jealous that they've been outdated???
and then she soothes them with her 1337 therapist skillz...

is that right?

convoluted story, great narration, interesting plotline if I got it right, and.... yeah... I dunno what to think of this one.

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?