Author Topic: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake  (Read 35650 times)

gateaux

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2010, 04:29:55 AM »
Can I just say that ... the reading done by John Cmar was positively brilliant. I was captivated. And a little creeped, but in a delicious way. Amazing story and reading, one of the most memorable this year.

quantumgenie

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #81 on: July 02, 2010, 12:44:56 PM »
Brilliant, just brilliant.
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Jim F

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #82 on: August 09, 2010, 12:28:26 PM »
I know I'm way behind in listening, so it's as likely as not that no one will ever read this post.

I thought the story was well written, that is the prose was well crafted, but at the same time, the ultimate themes were entirely banal.  What I came away with is that marketing is evil and preys on vulnerable people and its sad and lonely to be fat.  On the one hand, that's fine.  You can't get big ideas from every story and for a YA story these ideas might have been fine.

But on the other hand, what made them stand out in stark relief as weak tea, was that there were some really big ideas here that the author either didn't see or willfully chose to ignore.

There is some serious, serious deep stuff here about the meaning and purpose of life and the nature of free will.

If one were teaching this story on a YA level, one might ask the class about the nature of marketing, and whether or not it would be ethical to create a snack cake with the ability to subvert someone's will, and how does that relate to marketing and advertising today.

But one could teach this story on a college level philosophy class and start out by asking, what is different between Linda and the snack cake?  Why are we sad when Linda dies, and not when Smidgen does?  Smidgen is sentient (or at least believes he is -- is the ability to construct a narrative about oneself proof of sentience?)  Does Smidgen have free will?  Does Linda have free will, given what we are able to observe about her?  Is her free will limited?  Is her suicide an example of the Nietzschean will-to-power, that is, even more than self-preservation, the ultimate driver of human action is a desire to control?  How can Smidgen be so motivated to die, knowing that there can be no concrete pleasure in it for him, as his sentience will no longer exist?  He wants to die as well, but in his case, it doesn't seem to be an act of will.  He apparently longs for it with ecstatic, almost erotic passion.  Can he really be free willed and sentient if he seeks fulfillment in death, absent any belief in an afterlife?  Would it be ethical to create sentient beings who believed there only fulfillment and purpose was to die for us?  Are we gods at that point?  Is that our role with our creator?

Sadly, I don't think the author really considered what he had created here.  There aren't any clues in the story that the author really thought hard about these things.  While its not fair to complain that a story isn't what you wanted it to be, I wish this story had been a little bit more Phillip K. Dick and a little less cute.

Talia

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #83 on: August 09, 2010, 12:58:28 PM »
I personally didn't want to come away from it with anything deeply meaningful to contemplate. I enjoyed it as the sublimely outrageous piece that it was.

Unblinking

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #84 on: August 10, 2010, 04:55:10 PM »
I personally didn't want to come away from it with anything deeply meaningful to contemplate. I enjoyed it as the sublimely outrageous piece that it was.


And all of the food-for-thought must have been in place or it would not have woken so many cool, philosophical questions in the brain of Jim F.  :) 

By the way, Jim, even if it's an old thread, odds are that quite a few people will read/have read your comment.  I check the comment threads fairly regularly and it's fun to discuss and hear what other people thought.

ceruleangrave

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #85 on: August 14, 2010, 11:12:27 PM »
Overall, I really didn't like this story. While I did somewhat appreciate the eroticization of the snack cake and the technology of the grocery store, I couldn't help but be really disgusted by the story as a whole. The suicide was completely off-putting, as were the author's descriptions of Linda. It's a no from me.

justenjoying

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #86 on: January 21, 2012, 04:13:08 AM »
This is way too much fun and super scary all at the same time. The only confort I truly find after this story is that
I've never liked snack cakes, I've always been for a fan of sushi or in my week moments postickers. Only one is any  better
than the cocholate artificial intelligence chip.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 11:53:05 AM by justenjoying »

Rontbe

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #87 on: August 22, 2019, 04:22:46 PM »
I realize this post comes 7 and 9 years after everyone else, but noticed one major thing different between text and the reading.  I like to follow along as it's read and I seem to be the only who did, although I didn't read all comments. 

Why was so much edited out of the story? Granted it may not have changed things much but i didn't think there would be abridgment of the story.  Most missing things I've seen in a story I can follow via text here.  Many small paragraphs disappeared during this reading. Like the snack cakes professing love near beginning, and some dialogue paragraphs between the two just dropped.

Fenrix

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Re: EP242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake
« Reply #88 on: August 22, 2019, 10:59:23 PM »
I realize this post comes 7 and 9 years after everyone else, but noticed one major thing different between text and the reading.  I like to follow along as it's read and I seem to be the only who did, although I didn't read all comments. 

Why was so much edited out of the story? Granted it may not have changed things much but i didn't think there would be abridgment of the story.  Most missing things I've seen in a story I can follow via text here.  Many small paragraphs disappeared during this reading. Like the snack cakes professing love near beginning, and some dialogue paragraphs between the two just dropped.

Where were you reading the text? I'm not seeing it on the Escape Pod page, and this was before Escape Artists paid for text rights. Some authors continue to adjust stories forever or between publications.
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