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Author Topic: Pseudopod 169: The Disconnected  (Read 16330 times)
Jim Bihyeh
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It is the Tale. And the Teller.


« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2009, 07:33:06 PM »

I just listened to "The Disconnected" this morning on the way to work.

Did anyone else get a neat Aldous Huxley-meets-Peter Gabriel's "The Flood" ?

If you haven't heard Gabriel's song, check it out. A lot of those ideas rang in the chamber while I listened to "The Disconnected."

Of course, in this story the "flood" is brought on by technological fascination and eventual choices that are taken out of the hands of the unborn, whereas in Gabriel's reality - where people are "a thousand minds within a flash" - the tragedy is brought on almost by evolutionary accident.

Any similar reactions


 
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wakela
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« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2009, 08:17:20 PM »

I just listened to "The Disconnected" this morning on the way to work.

Did anyone else get a neat Aldous Huxley-meets-Peter Gabriel's "The Flood" ?

If you haven't heard Gabriel's song, check it out. A lot of those ideas rang in the chamber while I listened to "The Disconnected."

Of course, in this story the "flood" is brought on by technological fascination and eventual choices that are taken out of the hands of the unborn, whereas in Gabriel's reality - where people are "a thousand minds within a flash" - the tragedy is brought on almost by evolutionary accident.

Any similar reactions


 
I was a huge P-Gabe in high school, so I'm well acquainted with The Flood, but I always took it to refer to nuclear war.  "as the nails sunk in the clouds the rain was warm and washed the ground."  I thought the thousand minds were lost in the flash, but I just re-read the lyrics and they are not particularly straightforward.  Do you see it more as a song about the Singularity, or whatever they would have called the Singularity back then?
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cdugger
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I read to be smart...er.


« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2009, 07:49:49 PM »

Ya know, I was able to just sit back and enjoy this story.

I listen to a bunch of EP stuff all day at work. Quite honestly, most of the PseudoPod stuff just isn't all that good. Yesterday had a couple. Today had a couple. This was one of them.

Whatever problems there were with the story can be easily overlooked if you just want to hear a good story. If your goal is to "get something" from a story, you're not having fun.

Good job, David. I enjoyed it.
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David Steffen
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2009, 08:14:08 PM »

Ya know, I was able to just sit back and enjoy this story.

I listen to a bunch of EP stuff all day at work. Quite honestly, most of the PseudoPod stuff just isn't all that good. Yesterday had a couple. Today had a couple. This was one of them.

Whatever problems there were with the story can be easily overlooked if you just want to hear a good story. If your goal is to "get something" from a story, you're not having fun.

Good job, David. I enjoyed it.

I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for posting!
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podes
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2009, 04:11:33 AM »

Did anyone think "BladeRunner" or should I say "Do feathersticks dream of Electric Sheep" (that was the name of the title wasn’t it?)

Anyway to comment on does the story belong to horror.

My answer, I usually listen to these stories in bed while fading off to sleep. If the story keeps me up, then it passes the test.

This story kept me up in a cold sweat. Hearing how the guy's last actions went towards protecting his partner and baby while doing the hand rocking motion striked hard into me as I gazed over at my wife lying beside me with her huge bump.

So to the guys who thought it was more dystopia rather then horror, I challenge you to listen to this story 5-8 months into your partner's pregnancy, you will see this story in a whole new light trust me.

And that’s to the author for its creation.

cheers
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Jim Bihyeh
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It is the Tale. And the Teller.


« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2009, 09:52:53 PM »


I was a huge P-Gabe in high school, so I'm well acquainted with The Flood, but I always took it to refer to nuclear war.  "as the nails sunk in the clouds the rain was warm and washed the ground."  I thought the thousand minds were lost in the flash, but I just re-read the lyrics and they are not particularly straightforward.  Do you see it more as a song about the Singularity, or whatever they would have called the Singularity back then?
[/quote]

I always thought "The Flood" was an event where the entire human population becomes telepathic and can no longer use deception or guile. And how strange and frightening that would be...

I couldn't remember the exact wording of how Peter Gabriel phrased the meaning of The Flood, but I tracked it down elsewhere:

"When I wrote this song [Here Comes The Flood] I had an obsession with short-wave radio and I was always amazed at the way in which the radio signals would become stronger as daylight faded. I felt as if psychic energy levels would also increase in the night. I had had an apocalyptic dream in which the psychic barriers which normally prevent us from seeing into each others' thoughts had been completely eroded producing a mental flood. Those that had been used to having their innermost thoughts exposed would handle this torrent and those inclined to concealment would drown in it." ('Peter Gabriel' by Armando Gallo, Omnibus Press, 1986.)
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Bdoomed
Pseudopod Tiger
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« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2009, 02:53:26 AM »

I always thought "The Flood" was an event where the entire human population becomes telepathic and can no longer use deception or guile.
I always thought The Flood was a parasitic race and the reason for the construction for the Halo Rings...
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PodcastingsRichSigfrit
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« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2009, 09:17:56 AM »

Thanks for listening everyone.  I felt with the bouncing of the sane characters to the "insane" characters, a different type of reading was warranted.  It was experimental and I feel it adds a little something to a good story.

I'm glad you guys enjoyed it and I think David did a tremendous job writing it.  I hope to read more of his work!
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DKT
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« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2009, 12:22:12 PM »

Congrats, David  Cheesy

I liked it - especially pushing the limit of cellphones and being connected All The Time, and the dangers that could bring. I'd like to hear more about the dangers of the Connected being connected all the time, but I liked this story enough anyway. Maybe that can be in the sequel?

Annnnnnnnnd, now you guys have made me want to go listen to Peter Gabriel.
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Alasdair5000
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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2009, 12:48:17 PM »

You KNOW it makes sense.  Oh regarding Here Comes the Flood?  Firstly it's one of the best things he's ever done, ever (There's a reason it tends to be wheeled out for 'And now you will be sad' scenes in TV shows) and secondly I always associated it with the John Wyndham, Kraken Wakes, gradual collapse of society type of catastrophe.  The telepathic idea Jim mentioned sounds awesome though:)
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Loz
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« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2009, 07:22:08 AM »

I did enjoy this story, even though I couldn't quite see why it was a Pseudopod story rather than an EP one. As I'm a bigger science-fiction and fantasy fan than I am a horror fan I think that made me well-disposed towards it despite what I saw as a flaw, yes all the connected people were a little dumb but a good proportion of people are anyway. I was more offended by the 'a phone for popular people' ad that Alasdair talked about than the future society. Constant horizontal-level surveillance wiping out crime to the degree that a big city only needs a few dozen cops? Sounds pretty good to me.
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Fenrix
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.


« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2009, 11:11:39 AM »

One of the examples of the casual denigration of the disconnected that spoke the loudest to me was the locking mechanism on the doors. As if they're too savage to even bother with keeping people out. How something outside the room could never be a threat.

The one thing that left me wondering at the end of the story is what Topi's plan was. It seemed as if she had an idea of what to do that she was unable to either communicate to or convince Baba of.
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David Steffen
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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2009, 12:23:52 PM »

Congrats, David  Cheesy

I liked it - especially pushing the limit of cellphones and being connected All The Time, and the dangers that could bring. I'd like to hear more about the dangers of the Connected being connected all the time, but I liked this story enough anyway. Maybe that can be in the sequel?

Annnnnnnnnd, now you guys have made me want to go listen to Peter Gabriel.

I wouldn't mind writing a sequel to this one to show what happens to Topi, though I do like the open ending to let people extrapolate her fate themselves.
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David Steffen
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« Reply #33 on: December 16, 2009, 12:25:54 PM »

Did anyone think "BladeRunner" or should I say "Do feathersticks dream of Electric Sheep" (that was the name of the title wasn’t it?)

Anyway to comment on does the story belong to horror.

My answer, I usually listen to these stories in bed while fading off to sleep. If the story keeps me up, then it passes the test.

This story kept me up in a cold sweat. Hearing how the guy's last actions went towards protecting his partner and baby while doing the hand rocking motion striked hard into me as I gazed over at my wife lying beside me with her huge bump.

So to the guys who thought it was more dystopia rather then horror, I challenge you to listen to this story 5-8 months into your partner's pregnancy, you will see this story in a whole new light trust me.

And that’s to the author for its creation.

cheers


I'm glad the story had it's intended effect for you!  Seriously, twas a very cool comment.

And thanks to everyone who's listened and commented.  I'm proud for Pseudopod to be the home of my first fiction sale, and hopefully many more to come.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2010, 11:04:06 PM »

I just got notification that The Disconnected was accepted for an anthology of Minnesota-based speculative fiction writers, put out by Sam's Dot Publishing.  This will be the first time this story has appeared in text.  I'll post more details when I know them.   Grin
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #35 on: May 18, 2010, 10:28:18 AM »

Apparently we, as a group, have had good luck with Escape Artists, I recognize 4 of the 20 in the ToC as stories that have run in Escape Artists, (#s 1, 3, 5, 20, if I remember correctly), as well as familiar authors like Joel Arnold.

1.  Kissing Frogs -- Jaye Lawrence

 2.  Three Views of the Maiden in Peril -- Catherine Lundoff

 3.  The Desires of Houses -- Haddayr Copley-Woods

 4.  Come and Catch Me, Henry -- Jason D. Wittman

 5.  The Disconnected -- David Steffen

 6.  The Leviathan’s Teeth -- Kelly Barnhill

 7.  Dinosaurs of the Great Depression -- Damian Sheridan

 8.  Garbage Man -- R. Scott McCoy

 9.  Guess Who's Coming to Gotterdammerung -- Terry Faust

10. Bright, Bright City Lights -- Lyda Morehouse

11. Can't Stop, Won't -- Carrie Devall

12. At The Edge Of Twilight, Melissa Remembers Flight -- Michael Merriam *

13. Daedalus -- Patrick Sullivan

14. Sabine Baring-Gould and the Werewolf -- Roy C. Booth

15. Oh, Hell -- Britt Aamodt

16. The Question -- Sharon Hanson

17. Narcissus in Links -- Joel Arnold

18. The Radiator Burped -- Abra Staffin-Wiebe

19. The Robber King And The Blood Orange Tree -- Maggie Della Rocca

20. Run of the Fiery Horse -- Hilary Moon Murphy
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Millenium_King
Lochage
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« Reply #36 on: June 01, 2010, 06:36:24 PM »

I agree with most of the sentiments above: this one was very sci-fi and not so much horror.  I think someone pointed out that, aside from the gore, there wasn’t really any horror in it.  I would say I have to agree.  I would furthermore say that the gore was somewhat unnecessary: when Baba was crushed by the car, was there a need to get all POV with the woman driver?  Was there a need to get all Red Asphalt with the description?  I didn’t think so.  The sickening sound of a car bumping over flesh is sufficiently disturbing – the description made it seem a little cartoonish.

The language was alright, though a little flaccid and not interesting on its own.  But the pace was good and it did not have a long, slow buildup (“The Blessed Days” anyone?).

All that being said, I did not have the trouble others seem to have had with integrating in with the world.  The story, like Star Trek or Twilight Zone (or most good sci-fi) is really more of an allegory or warning.  The phones seemed like implants to me, maybe even partially biological ones.  The fact that they were not well described or explained, I think, is irrelevant: they served well as plot devices.

I usually caution against multiple POVs, but I thought this one was alright.  It was a little disconcerting in audio to switch around a lot, but it was easy enough to follow if one paid attention.

This was an idea I swear I’d seen before, but then again...  I can’t think of where, so maybe this is just a story which I will describe as “Why didn’t someone think of it before?!”  Which is to say that the idea seemed so obvious – but not unoriginal.

Again, I just looked at this one as an allegory a little more than “realistic” or “hard sci-fi” – has anyone ever seen the ST:TOS episodes “The Mark of Gideon” or “Let that be your Last Battlefield?”  Are they totally realistic?  No.  But do they have a lot to say about our society?  Yes.  This was the same way.  Maybe humans are animical to being “plugged in” to this degree – but as more and more people obsess over ephemeral facebook friends or text-message drama, this serves as an interesting signpost of what’s to come – if maybe not a warning.

Anyway, I think this might have been more at home at Escape Pod.  It fails at horror, but definitely succeeds as a story.
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Ben Phillips
Lich King
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« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2010, 04:25:26 PM »

Was there a need to get all Red Asphalt with the description?  I didn’t think so.  The sickening sound of a car bumping over flesh is sufficiently disturbing – the description made it seem a little cartoonish.

I'll take the blame for that one.  I don't ask for many edits from anyone, but I asked for more there.  And I enjoyed it.  And I'd do it again.

Anyway, I think this might have been more at home at Escape Pod.  It fails at horror, but definitely succeeds as a story.

Succeeding as a story is priority one around here.  I'll try to pitch closer to the strike zone when it comes to genre, though, since I know we're pretty fast and loose with genre boundaries -- and always will be, but I can bear it in mind a bit more.

- the editor
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Millenium_King
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« Reply #38 on: June 02, 2010, 05:11:54 PM »

No big deal, Ben.  Don't take me too seriously.  This was an excellent story, and maybe it just didn't hit the horror buttons with me.

(Besides, I'm pretty sure you know who I am and, really, do I have room to talk with the genre thing?)
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #39 on: June 02, 2010, 05:29:31 PM »

I thought the story was improved by the more vivid description, myself.  The original one was a bit bland for what was happening.  And of course I'm completely impartial.   Roll Eyes

For genre boundaries, I like that there are no cracks between the podcasts that stories can fall through.  I'd rather have overlapping definitions than to have gaps between, such that an otherwise amazing story is too horror for Escape Pod but too science fiction for Pseudopod and thus is rejected from both.  It would've been a big loss if Eugie Foster's "Oranges, Lemons, and Thou Beside Me" had fallen into such a gap, for instance.

-the author   Grin
« Last Edit: June 02, 2010, 05:37:45 PM by Unblinking » Logged
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