Author Topic: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me  (Read 5764 times)

Bdoomed

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Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« on: November 09, 2009, 07:36:19 PM »
Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me

By Eugie Foster
Read by Paul S. Jenkins

With fingers still lightly dusted with confectioner’s powder, Khloii reached for the I/O wire that would meld them together, letting them share the memories of the last eight years. As children, after their implants had been installed, the learning programs downloaded and processed, they had double interfaced mind-to-mind. Their minds so similar, forged together now by circuitry and wire, sharing sensation, thoughts, memories, and emotions, they had become closer than brother and sister, even twins of the same womb. They spent hours silently communing, at last not even trying to hide their obsession with each other. Sabin caught her hand before she could press the needle-thin plug into the port at the base of his skull. “You want to live eight years of war?”


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Scattercat

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2009, 04:59:48 AM »
Is there anyone who didn't like this one?  I thought it was pretty much awesome.  I forget if it was this one or the one about masks that made me e-mail actual fanmail to Eugie Foster, which is something I don't normally do.

My one nitpick is that I felt like it went one twist too many at the end.  Like, I was okay with the revelation about the sister, but the final turn felt like, "Okay, now you're just giving me whiplash."  Plus, it felt a little cheaty-faced, since she really didn't have a good reason to pull that off the way she did. 

(Being vague in case anyone is silly enough to read this thread without listening to the story first.)
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Bdoomed

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2009, 07:14:14 AM »
HOLY !@#$ WOWNESS!
I didn't remember this story at all, so I had a re-listen.
and.
wow.
awesome story!
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Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?

Unblinking

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2009, 04:09:31 PM »
This was a great story!  I really argued with myself whether to put this one on my Best of Pseudopod list, but it just barely missed.  If I made a top 11 list, it would be on there, I think.

This is my favorite of Eugie's work I've come across.  The others I've read by her all have their good qualities, but have something I didn't like about them.  This one I don't have a bad thing to say about.  The twists and turns seemed completely natural to me, and the nature of their warfare is simply terrifying.  Lots of really good imagery, and even though I kept changing who I was rooting for throughout the story, I didn't consider that a bad thing at all.

Excellent work!

Jim Bihyeh

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2009, 07:01:05 AM »
I'm with you on the natural turnings and twistings of this story.

The idea that a person can have mental control over another and disable them on a level that we all perceive to be invoilable is truly frightening. And Foster's story brought that out excellently.

This was the second Pseudopod story I'd ever listened to and it's one that kept me coming back to the podcast. The narration - with its precise but snarly aristocratic tone - fit the groove of the prose perfectly.

The end was a bit whip-lashed, though. However, I seemed to have developed a strong neck for such endings, especially in the podcast format.
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Millenium_King

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2010, 12:22:31 AM »
I really, really liked this one (yes, there's a "but" coming).  It was solidly told, very clear despite being an "otherworld" and strongly plotted.  In short: speculative fiction done absolutely right.  I only felt a little let-down in the ending department: Khloii taking over her brother's body did not make a ton of sense.  If such a thing is possible, why wouldn't the enemy soldier's he interrogated have attempted it?  After all, they knew they were going to die.  I felt like that was a bit of a plot hole and that it violated the world's "rules."  Besides that, I really liked the story and only that flaw has kept it from making a best-of list.
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Scattercat

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2010, 03:47:16 AM »
I think the idea was that he was really, really good at beating people at their mind games and thus always won his "fights" against the soldiers, but his sister was the one who taught HIM.  She had him wrapped around her finger from day one, and only a pair as closely entwined as they were could have even managed the level of connection needed to do what she did to him at the end.  That's what I took from it, anyway.
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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2010, 01:29:06 PM »
I think the idea was that he was really, really good at beating people at their mind games and thus always won his "fights" against the soldiers, but his sister was the one who taught HIM.  She had him wrapped around her finger from day one, and only a pair as closely entwined as they were could have even managed the level of connection needed to do what she did to him at the end.  That's what I took from it, anyway.

That's the way I took it too.

hronir

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Re: Pseudopod 018: Oranges, Lemons and Thou Beside Me
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 11:58:04 PM »
I have just revisited this one. Great title. I loved the bursts of orange and lemon throughout and really felt it on my tongue. This was gorgeous. As was, in a different way, the description of the rape in the dirt- so vivid. I agree with what has been said by some regarding the final twist- it took the edge off this fantastic piece of work (very slightly).