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Author Topic: EP233: Union Dues - The Threnody of Johnny Toruko  (Read 30766 times)

melopoiea

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Reply #25 on: January 11, 2010, 08:00:37 PM
I am *really* happy to hear Mr. DeRego is doing better ( :

Although at least one of his stories in the past has made me so upset that I got a bit shirty, I am really pleased he is writing these. Without him, and without Mur Lafferty's "Playing for Keeps", I'd never have thought I could be into superhero stories.

Kudos!



stePH

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Reply #26 on: January 11, 2010, 08:28:59 PM
I think a breif synopsis of the previous UD:TS stories would be nice.  However, I also recommend people who haven't heard the stories (no, not you StePH :) ) going over and listening to the readings on Clonepod. 
??? I've already heard all the Clonepod stories; in the past I've had mostly favorable things to say about Clonepod in general.  The only "Team Shikaragaki" story that hurt to listen to was Abby's reading of "Kitty Momoiro"; the others were at least tolerable.

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Swamp

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Reply #27 on: January 11, 2010, 09:59:40 PM
I think a breif synopsis of the previous UD:TS stories would be nice.  However, I also recommend people who haven't heard the stories (no, not you StePH :) ) going over and listening to the readings on Clonepod. 
??? I've already heard all the Clonepod stories; in the past I've had mostly favorable things to say about Clonepod in general.  The only "Team Shikaragaki" story that hurt to listen to was Abby's reading of "Kitty Momoiro"; the others were at least tolerable.

I'm sorry, StePH.  I thought I remembered you as being pretty vocal against the podcast.  I must have misremembered, or maybe it was just the "Kitty" story.  Anyway, I should have checked, or just shut up.  I'm glad you spoke up and corrected me.

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stePH

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Reply #28 on: January 11, 2010, 11:38:59 PM
I'm sorry, StePH.  I thought I remembered you as being pretty vocal against the podcast. 

No, just the hosts, particularly the girl.  She had exactly the kind of child voice that grates on me like a squeaking balloon.  But Clonepod tended to have good stories and good readers, and I miss it now that it's gone.

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contra

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Reply #29 on: January 12, 2010, 12:51:49 AM
Any another great Union Dues story.  Another great one.

Just though I'd say I'm also glad Mr. DeRego is doing better. 

I had put escape pod to the side since I tried to listen to the Christmas ep, and failed becuase I was on the bus and couldn't hear anything.  I figured it would be fixed, I'd go back and listen to lots of stories at once.
But I saw it was a Union Dues and was glad to see another one.


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cdugger

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Reply #30 on: January 12, 2010, 02:36:27 AM
Once again, DeRego, you rock!

Glad to get another T:S story in. I enjoyed the Clonepod readings, even the "bad" ones.

Hey, everybody has to start sometime and somewhere! Those kids did great! To those who didn't like them because of their skill level, how well did you do on your first attempt at a new thing?

All of the UD stories are good tales. When you listen to several in a row, chronologically (like I did), they are even better. You guys oughtta try it.

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cdugger

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Reply #31 on: January 12, 2010, 02:49:40 AM
Oh, and one more thing:

Now, I don't want to offend anyone, but I usually don't care for stories with homosexuals. Just a personal preference, and I try not to make any judgments until I hear the story. There are several on EP, and I have listened to them all. Some I liked, some I didn't.

This time, the subject was done in a very UN-offensive manner. The main character is gay, and, that is the main point of the story, but that doesn't take anything away in my eyes.

It takes skill to write a story with controversial subject matter in such a way as to be acceptable to even the hardest of hearts. Mine included.

I read, therefore I am...happy.


stePH

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Reply #32 on: January 12, 2010, 03:06:15 AM
Once again, DeRego, you rock!

Glad to get another T:S story in. I enjoyed the Clonepod readings, even the "bad" ones.

Hey, everybody has to start sometime and somewhere! Those kids did great! To those who didn't like them because of their skill level, how well did you do on your first attempt at a new thing?

When I was learning to play guitar and bass (and even now, as I learn to play Stick) I had the good sense not to inflict my playing on others until I had developed some basic competency on the instrument.  :P

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Reply #33 on: January 12, 2010, 03:27:43 PM
This is the first Union Dues story that I've heard and I thought it was well done.  It was slow at the beginning, and it seemed to hinge on Johnny's homosexuality to be a surprise when it seemed obvious from the blush.  I have heard from gay readers and writers that they'd like to see more stories with gay characters, and I thought this one was done well, letting us feel what the character is feeling instead of trying to go overboard and mix in other elements (like animal sex) that are more liable to get a resounding EW from everyone, instead of letting me understand the POV.



El Barto

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Reply #34 on: January 13, 2010, 03:32:49 AM
I thought this story was just. . . great!   

Which is sort of funny considering that I'm one of those people who really "pure" science fiction stories.   But there's just something about the Union Dues stories that I love. 

I loved this story's twist with the romance and the mind reading.

One question though.   The main character exploded with energy and killed more than just his partner, right?   He brought her back to life with CPR but left a bunch of other dead bodies in the park?   



l33tminion

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Reply #35 on: January 13, 2010, 05:17:34 AM
One question though.   The main character exploded with energy and killed more than just his partner, right?   He brought her back to life with CPR but left a bunch of other dead bodies in the park?   

No, he didn't explode, he just built up an electric charge which discharged when he was touched.  Only one person was killed.  (She got better.)

I'm only a little surprised that they resort to the usual CPR tropes, but it was a bit jarring that neither Johnny (an electricity manipulator with poor power control) nor Miss Jennifer (that guy's supervisor) know basic electricity safety.  In particular, if you get a serious shock, you should seek medical attention right away even if you're seemingly all right, it's possible for electric shocks to cause serious internal injuries that are not immediately obvious.  (Also, did anyone else have flashbacks to this comic?)

That aside, another great story.  The news of a possible TV adaptation for Union Dues is quite exciting, too.



wakela

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Reply #36 on: January 13, 2010, 06:32:22 AM
One question though.   The main character exploded with energy and killed more than just his partner, right?   He brought her back to life with CPR but left a bunch of other dead bodies in the park?   

No, he didn't explode, he just built up an electric charge which discharged when he was touched.  Only one person was killed.  (She got better.)

I'm only a little surprised that they resort to the usual CPR tropes, but it was a bit jarring that neither Johnny (an electricity manipulator with poor power control) nor Miss Jennifer (that guy's supervisor) know basic electricity safety.  In particular, if you get a serious shock, you should seek medical attention right away even if you're seemingly all right, it's possible for electric shocks to cause serious internal injuries that are not immediately obvious.  (Also, did anyone else have flashbacks to this comic?)

That aside, another great story.  The news of a possible TV adaptation for Union Dues is quite exciting, too.

That reminded me of what I wanted to say.  When he performed CPR I got the feeling that it had just occurred to him that he could do it, but it seems to me that the Union would have trained him to use his power this way already.    In general I think the Union would come up with creative uses for superpowers.  Also, though I have no idea how this actually works, I thought that if someone were electrocuted to the point of steam rising from their head, they would be beyond saving.  I could be wrong, but since a guy who can generate electricity would be a fountain of electrical safety tips, the seems like a good point for him to say, "he knew that the steam was just water vapor in the air reacting to the charge differential, but also that he had little time to resuscitate a shock victim...." 

But this is pretty minor.  Overall, even though I'm not that interested in homosexual coming of age stories, this is one of my favorite UDs so far.  The part at the end where he confesses his love and the other guy maybe already knows, but doesn't feel the same way even though he likes the guy as a friend and just wants to diffuse the tension without blowing him off was very well done.   



Talia

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Reply #37 on: January 13, 2010, 06:40:22 AM
you raise good points..but..

what teenage boy would think that way?

I felt the way it was handled was representative of how a teenager might react.



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Reply #38 on: January 13, 2010, 03:07:25 PM
No, he didn't explode, he just built up an electric charge which discharged when he was touched.  Only one person was killed.  (She got better.)

Really?  I thought he killed all those people while listening, but I guess in retrospect it makes more sense that he didn't or there would be a media frenzy.



Nerraux

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Reply #39 on: January 13, 2010, 03:17:09 PM
This is one of the most amazing story series ever podcasted, hands down. And, IMO, this is the best episode of it to appear yet on EP. Thank you for bringing it to us!

Steve -- Any chance you'd hook me up with DeRego to get an interview with him on my show before he gets all famous?

I'm just kidding, I wouldn't beg you for help on your own boards.

No I'm not, I totally would. I am.

Please don't hit me.



Kaa

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Reply #40 on: January 13, 2010, 03:18:38 PM
No, he didn't explode, he just built up an electric charge which discharged when he was touched.  Only one person was killed.  (She got better.)

Really?  I thought he killed all those people while listening, but I guess in retrospect it makes more sense that he didn't or there would be a media frenzy.

I believe he mentioned that when he manifested during the exorcism, that was when he leveled the entire room, including his mother. I don't remember thinking he killed them, just that he did a lot of collateral damage.

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stePH

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Reply #41 on: January 13, 2010, 03:19:44 PM
Steve -- Any chance you'd hook me up with DeRego to get an interview with him on my show before he gets all famous?

I'm just kidding, I wouldn't beg you for help on your own boards.

No I'm not, I totally would. I am.

Please don't hit me.

d00d, you do know Mr. DeRego is here on this board, and you can address him directly, or send him a private message, right?  ;)

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jrderego

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Reply #42 on: January 13, 2010, 03:28:56 PM
Steve -- Any chance you'd hook me up with DeRego to get an interview with him on my show before he gets all famous?

I'm just kidding, I wouldn't beg you for help on your own boards.

No I'm not, I totally would. I am.

Please don't hit me.

d00d, you do know Mr. DeRego is here on this board, and you can address him directly, or send him a private message, right?  ;)

I even have skype (jrderego) and have been known to field unsolicited skype calls from people.


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stePH

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Reply #43 on: January 13, 2010, 03:40:37 PM
I even have skype (jrderego) and have been known to field unsolicited skype calls from people.

I love Skype; Skype is made of awesome.  I use it to talk to my mom and my brother in Seattle without using cell phone minutes, and having video is even better.

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jrderego

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Reply #44 on: January 13, 2010, 03:43:17 PM
No, he didn't explode, he just built up an electric charge which discharged when he was touched.  Only one person was killed.  (She got better.)

Really?  I thought he killed all those people while listening, but I guess in retrospect it makes more sense that he didn't or there would be a media frenzy.

He killed/injured several people at the church school when he originally manifested during the exorcism before he was captured and taken by The Union. Effectively he duplicated this event in the small scale with TK, only instead of running and hiding in the park he turned around and tried to save her, i.e. he overcame his fear and did the right thing. That's a common theme in the Team stories, by the way :)

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Also, please buy my book - Escape Clause: A Union Dues Novel
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WillMoo

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Reply #45 on: January 13, 2010, 05:12:54 PM
I thought this was one of the weakest stories of late. Not a whole lot of point to it. Not only that but a threnody is a poem or song of mourning composed to a dead person so I don't see the connection there. Big holes in the story also. If they had been team members for so long she would have known not to touch him. Boring "in the closet unrequited love" theme not to mention the overt anti-religious overtones.



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Reply #46 on: January 13, 2010, 05:19:47 PM
Good catch!  Thank you, Zorag.  I've uploaded a fixed version.  Hopefully it won't trigger redownloads for everyone who already has it (it's not worth that) but anyone getting it fresh will have the clean copy.  Again, thanks to you.

Heh, and the little double-click was adorable, by the way. 

I know I'm in the minority here, but this was my first Union Dues story and judging by the reactions of everyone else in the thread that needs to be remedied.  Can someone point me in the right direction?  This might be the perfect occasion for a compilation disc.

Edited 10 minutes later:  And that's what I get for not finishing the thread before posting.  Thank you for the excellent summary, Jrderego!  But I wasn't kidding about that compilation disc...
« Last Edit: January 13, 2010, 05:25:21 PM by MuseofChaos »

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Swamp

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Reply #47 on: January 13, 2010, 05:35:19 PM
I know I'm in the minority here, but this was my first Union Dues story and judging by the reactions of everyone else in the thread that needs to be remedied.  Can someone point me in the right direction?  This might be the perfect occasion for a compilation disc.

Below is a list of Jeff DeRego's stories here on Escape Pod.  They are all Union Dues except for Ambient Sleeze.

Jeffery R. DeRego
EP027: Union Dues - Iron Bars and the Glass Jaw
EP041: Ambient Sleaze
EP049: Union Dues - Off White Lies
EP062: Union Dues - The Baby and the Bathwater
EP080: Union Dues - Cleanup in Aisle Five
EP128: Union Dues - Send in the Clowns
EP149: Union Dues - All That We Leave Behind
EP154: Union Dues - Freedom With a Small f
EP172: Union Dues - Tabula Rasa
EP185: Union Dues - All About the Sponsors
EP233: Union Dues - The Threnody of Johnny Toruko

The link for the former Team Shikaragaki stories on Clonepod can be found in the first post of this thread.

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Kaa

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Reply #48 on: January 13, 2010, 05:51:22 PM
not to mention the overt anti-religious overtones.

I thought it was refreshing to see someone unafraid to take on some of the (frankly) stupider parts of religion. I mean, exorcism? Please. And if the character is anti-religious, don't you think he has a right to be after what was done to him?

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Talia

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Reply #49 on: January 13, 2010, 05:58:34 PM
Not only that but a threnody is a poem or song of mourning composed to a dead person so I don't see the connection there. Big holes in the story also. If they had been team members for so long she would have known not to touch him.

Title could indicate he was the author, not that it was about him. He killed his friend.

Or if it was meant to be about him, he's making a huge sacrifice there at the end, could just be meant to be suggestive of all he's giving up.

Secondly: regards to the touching thing - keep in mind we're talking about teenagers here, who don't always behave rationally, particularly in moments of stress. Also: she's a telepath. She was almost certainly directly picking up on his distress, which would have interfered with her ability to think clearly.