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Author Topic: EP407: Mono No Aware  (Read 2683 times)
Windup
Hipparch
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Posts: 845



« Reply #40 on: September 06, 2013, 08:14:02 PM »


I see all of your plot holes and science flaws and such, and to them I say: pffft! This was a beautiful story wonderfully narrated and I'm so glad I heard it. Smiley


Yeah, I have a rather severe "tic" for plausibility; strain my credulity a couple of times and the whole "willing suspension of disbelief" collapses, then the story ceases to be fun for me.  Judging from the fact this story was nominated for a Hugo, my quirk is not widely shared.  At least not at that level of sensitivity.   Sad

At least you're consistent? Tongue Sometimes these sorts of issues really bother me as well, and sometimes I just like the story enough to look past them. There's no rhyme or reason to it, just whether or not the story or the plot holes struck me harder while I was listening.

Well, what I'm most sensitive to is the behavior of characters.  I can handle large amounts of handwavium -- either "scientific" or magic -- but the people have to behave in ways that make sense to me, or they have to be given a good reason not to.  In the case of this story, it's mostly the decisions of the starship commander/designer I'm reacting to -- failing to consider micro-meteor damage, sending out one person when there is no reason not to send the entire crew, etc. 
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My whole job is in the space between "should be" and "is."  It's a big space...
TheFunkeyGibbon
Palmer
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« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2013, 01:32:56 AM »

Ok, stepping in here as a moderator.

TheFunkeyGibbon - I didn't comment on your original post because Mat did, but while you are certainly justified to your opinion, your way of presenting it was insulting.

If you disagree with my assessment of the situation, feel free to PM me and we can continue this discussion in private. I ask that no one responds to this post in this thread; let's keep the discussion here on the topic of the story.

I having messages both of you I wanted to make a simple and public apology.

It was never my intention to insult anybody but only to share my feelings about something. Clearly something I thought was okay, wasn't and I apologise unreservedly to John Chu and all at Escape Artists, including any forum members who were upset by my comments.
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Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2013, 09:49:59 AM »

Copying my review from my Hugo Short Story reviews of this year:
Hiroto is one of the survivors of the end of the world, riding on a solar sail away from the earth that has been rendered unlivable by a meteor.  The story is written as a recollection of interactions with his father who was not one of the survivors, who taught him many lessons about life and what it is to be Japanese.

I’m rather torn on my opinion for this story.  I wanted to like it, there were characters, there was good basis for emotion and a plot, a definite speculative element.  For me it walked the line between effective emotional writing and being a wee bit sentimental.  I like a story that makes me feel, but there’s a fine line that separates that from being able to see the author pulling the strings.


I didn't go into more detail there, but I'll also add that the engineering flubs in this bugged me to a large degree, which I think only added to the feeling of being able to see the emotional manipulations.  I found it implausible the failings of the ship's design, as well as the failure of the ship's crew to recognize and try to compensate for the failings in the ship's design.  The only plausible explanation I can think of for why these things happened the way they did was so that the ending could be tragic, which isn't a reason I care for.  Tragic endings are all well and good but if the story or characters have to make implausible adjustments to make them happen, I don't care for that.

For the Hugo Short Story I voted for:
1.  Immersion
2.  Mono No Aware
3.  No Award
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--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #43 on: November 06, 2013, 09:52:03 AM »

Also, I'd like to add that I continue to love the tradition of Escape Pod seeking out as many of the Short Story nominees as they can get.  I decided to register supporting membership for WorldCon this year (and probably for future years in the near future) because I love to get the Hugo packet with it's giant pack of fiction for one low low price.  But Escape Pod was providing these before the Hugo Packet was a thing, and I love that--I still listen to the stories here even though I've read them because sometimes audio can make all the difference.
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--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
vekpire
Guest
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2013, 04:40:42 AM »

This isn't Podcastle.

While there are some folks that don't adore John Chu's narration, I dare say "awful" is far from being the majority opinion. He's always done very solid work for us, and his ability to give a higher level of authenticity to Asian stories is priceless. I'm not saying he's above critique, but he's well beyond weak derision, so I would ask that you keep your opinions constructive and save the insults for the playground.
jumping in really really late to this debate on a side note:
i have no opinion one way or another about john chu's narration skills. however, as an asian woman, i feel that it is kind of racist to say that chu's narration lends "a higher level of authenticity to Asian stories," and here's why: saying so is a vocalization of a commonly held western imperialist view that all asian cultures, voices, accents, etc are homogenous.  it would be one thing to say that because of x background he knows how to do a, b, and c specific things. but to put it under the umbrella term "asian" is erasure of the many and varied cultures within asia, most of which i would venture to say have not been experienced by this narrator.
it's a little thing, really, but microaggressions via vague language are still hurtful. just try to be more specific and less homogenizing in the future! thanks.
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CryptoMe
Hipparch
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Posts: 773



« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2014, 10:46:04 PM »

Catching up slowly on my EP backlog...

I didn't much care for this story either. I have to agree with Unblinking. The tragedy in this story seemed forced and stupid to me, because there seemed so many ways it could have been avoided. I, personally, find nothing beautiful in tragedy and self-sacrifice for stupid reasons. But that is just my humble opinion.

As to the narration, I have no complaints about it. But, I have been listening to stuff from LibriVox, where the narration can be a mixed bag, including very amateur readings, a range of international accents, and even different readers from one chapter to the next. So, I may have developed a high tolerance for such variety.
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matweller
EA Staff
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« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2014, 09:12:40 AM »

This isn't Podcastle.

While there are some folks that don't adore John Chu's narration, I dare say "awful" is far from being the majority opinion. He's always done very solid work for us, and his ability to give a higher level of authenticity to Asian stories is priceless. I'm not saying he's above critique, but he's well beyond weak derision, so I would ask that you keep your opinions constructive and save the insults for the playground.
jumping in really really late to this debate on a side note:
i have no opinion one way or another about john chu's narration skills. however, as an asian woman, i feel that it is kind of racist to say that chu's narration lends "a higher level of authenticity to Asian stories," and here's why: saying so is a vocalization of a commonly held western imperialist view that all asian cultures, voices, accents, etc are homogenous.  it would be one thing to say that because of x background he knows how to do a, b, and c specific things. but to put it under the umbrella term "asian" is erasure of the many and varied cultures within asia, most of which i would venture to say have not been experienced by this narrator.
it's a little thing, really, but microaggressions via vague language are still hurtful. just try to be more specific and less homogenizing in the future! thanks.

Well, I'm naming myself the decider of all such things and you're wrong, it's not racist. It is fully valid -- in my opinion -- that, simply by merit of proximity  and his native tongue, his approximation of the differences in Asian languages would be significantly better than mine. I can hear the difference between Korean and Chinese and Malasian languages, but I can't reproduce the sounds well, much less the accents. Similarly, I guarantee you I can do Mexican or Canadian or English or 10 dialects of American better than 90% of Slavic narrators simply because of the similarities in romance languages and my significantly increased likelihood of regularly being in the presence of native speakers.

I also happen to know, but didn't originally think it was necessary to waste time saying, that Ken Liu has always been very happy with Chu's work and has even requested him to narrate at Escape Pod and, if I'm not mistaken, other shows as well.

You can be offended about that if you like. I think I'll be offended that you assumed my statements were racist without asking for a more thorough explanation before passing judgement. So let's call it a push.

I have SO many opinions that would make so many more people angry, let's not waste time on this one.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 09:16:07 AM by matweller » Logged
Fenrix
Curmudgeon
EA Staff
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Posts: 2353


Have you found the Yellow Sign?


« Reply #47 on: January 20, 2014, 01:36:48 PM »

Thanks y'all for working to get as many Hugo stories as possible. I wouldn't read them for years (if ever) without your dedicated effort. This one's made of good stuff. It's no Paper Menagerie, but very little is.
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I always lock the door when I creep by daylight.
hardware
Peltast
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Posts: 124



« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2014, 04:13:08 AM »

I must directly say this is not my favorite Ken Liu story. Just as someone already pointed out, it feels somewhat safe and a bit too straightforward, compared to what we got recently in "Good Hunting" for example. As usual the meeting of cultures is in the center, and is well captured, but neither the science-fiction element nor the characters felt like they had been very carefullly thought out, and though well written the end didn't have a particularly strong impact on me. Well, I will still expect great things from Liu in the future, only funny that this comparatively weak story is what got him the hugo nomination.
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