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Author Topic: EP283: Grandfather Paradox  (Read 10682 times)
Listener
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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2011, 07:39:19 PM »

How has no one commented on the author's awesome last name. I mean, come on... MANKILLER! I bet it was wicked cool to grow up with that last name.

I found the story pretty enjoyable up until we started swapping between Anns in 1955 -- I might have needed more differentiation between their voices. I also had difficulty with the ending; I needed more about WHY she and Martin ended up so happy together. Or maybe even a third Ann who went back yet again and screwed everything up. I don't think this story benefited from having a happy ending.

The narration ruined this story for me - I felt like I was being read to by a kindergarten teacher.

There were flashes of goodness, but yeah, this is kind of how I felt. This is one where I think still having an iDevice would've been helpful because I could've played it at double speed. While reading slower is usually helpful, I don't have a lot of difficulty picking up on fast speech.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2011, 08:44:06 AM »

How has no one commented on the author's awesome last name. I mean, come on... MANKILLER! I bet it was wicked cool to grow up with that last name.

I found the story pretty enjoyable up until we started swapping between Anns in 1955 -- I might have needed more differentiation between their voices. I also had difficulty with the ending; I needed more about WHY she and Martin ended up so happy together. Or maybe even a third Ann who went back yet again and screwed everything up. I don't think this story benefited from having a happy ending.

I forgot to comment on her awesome last name.  Even better than Dedman that has had stories over on Pseudopod.  Especially for Mankiller to publish a story about a man killer. 

Regarding the differentiation between Anns, I do and don't agree with you.  Yes, it was hard to keep track of, and normally that might be a criticism of the reader as giving some kind of distinctness to each character makes everything easier to understand.  But how in the world would a reader differentiate between those two--they're the same person, I think they were a similar age even.  If their voices were differentiated then one might complain that they didn't sound similar enough to be the same person.  I don't think there was a better choice for the reader to make regarding their voices--that might just be a way that this story is not ideal for audio.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2011, 09:08:27 PM »

But how in the world would a reader differentiate between those two--they're the same person, I think they were a similar age even.

I was thinking about that while listening. Different versions of the same person would, I think, have slightly different voices -- maybe one is rougher due to a hard life; maybe one is more aggressive in general outlook and so is louder; maybe one is pitched slightly higher. But such subtleties would be extremely difficult to pull off, and maybe harder to notice. The only other thing I can think of is left-channel right-channel stuff which might get annoying pretty quickly. Or maybe some light audio effects -- which might also get annoying.
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stePH
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« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2011, 09:10:14 PM »

But how in the world would a reader differentiate between those two--they're the same person, I think they were a similar age even.

I was thinking about that while listening. Different versions of the same person would, I think, have slightly different voices -- maybe one is rougher due to a hard life; maybe one is more aggressive in general outlook and so is louder; maybe one is pitched slightly higher. But such subtleties would be extremely difficult to pull off, and maybe harder to notice.

JC Hutchins did alright with seven cloned characters; most of them were pretty distinct even if you discount "Kilroy 2.0"
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« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2011, 08:52:26 AM »

But how in the world would a reader differentiate between those two--they're the same person, I think they were a similar age even.

I was thinking about that while listening. Different versions of the same person would, I think, have slightly different voices -- maybe one is rougher due to a hard life; maybe one is more aggressive in general outlook and so is louder; maybe one is pitched slightly higher. But such subtleties would be extremely difficult to pull off, and maybe harder to notice. The only other thing I can think of is left-channel right-channel stuff which might get annoying pretty quickly. Or maybe some light audio effects -- which might also get annoying.

That's true, the left-right might be a good trick.  Although it would have befuddled my listening before I got my car stereo iPod adapter.  Prior to that, I would listen with one earbud in and one out...  so trickery like that would be extremely confusing, as I'd only hear one end of the conversation and it might take me a while to realize that there was another thread going on in the other earbud.
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Listener
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« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2011, 09:17:51 AM »

How has no one commented on the author's awesome last name. I mean, come on... MANKILLER! I bet it was wicked cool to grow up with that last name.

I found the story pretty enjoyable up until we started swapping between Anns in 1955 -- I might have needed more differentiation between their voices. I also had difficulty with the ending; I needed more about WHY she and Martin ended up so happy together. Or maybe even a third Ann who went back yet again and screwed everything up. I don't think this story benefited from having a happy ending.

Regarding the differentiation between Anns, I do and don't agree with you.  Yes, it was hard to keep track of, and normally that might be a criticism of the reader as giving some kind of distinctness to each character makes everything easier to understand.  But how in the world would a reader differentiate between those two--they're the same person, I think they were a similar age even.  If their voices were differentiated then one might complain that they didn't sound similar enough to be the same person.  I don't think there was a better choice for the reader to make regarding their voices--that might just be a way that this story is not ideal for audio.


Dani Cutler pulled it off pretty well on the Dunesteef.

I kind of heard the difference -- angry Ann was a little faster, a little sharper. I just needed a little more differentiation, myself.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2011, 09:42:21 AM »

I was thinking about that while listening. Different versions of the same person would, I think, have slightly different voices -- maybe one is rougher due to a hard life; maybe one is more aggressive in general outlook and so is louder; maybe one is pitched slightly higher. But such subtleties would be extremely difficult to pull off, and maybe harder to notice. The only other thing I can think of is left-channel right-channel stuff which might get annoying pretty quickly. Or maybe some light audio effects -- which might also get annoying.

That's true, the left-right might be a good trick.  Although it would have befuddled my listening before I got my car stereo iPod adapter.  Prior to that, I would listen with one earbud in and one out...  so trickery like that would be extremely confusing, as I'd only hear one end of the conversation and it might take me a while to realize that there was another thread going on in the other earbud.


It doesn't have to be channel-exclusive; it can be balanced so that the "left" is also present in the right channel but at a lower level, and vice-versa. Sounds that are all in one channel annoy the piss out of me. I dumped the Adultspace Childfree Podcast because every interview had Chris hard left and the interview subject hard right... I emailed her about the problem but it went uncorrected too long (I don't know if she ever worked it out... actually I think she got it right for one show, then went back to the old way.)
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Listener
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2011, 01:42:41 PM »

I dumped the Adultspace Childfree Podcast because every interview had Chris hard left and the interview subject hard right... I emailed her about the problem but it went uncorrected too long (I don't know if she ever worked it out... actually I think she got it right for one show, then went back to the old way.)

TV news producers usually do it that way -- VO track on the left, NAT/SOT on the right. Kind of a pain when, like me, you have a radio background and often listen to spoken word in the left ear only so you can hear what else is going on around you.
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2011, 08:51:27 AM »

TV news producers usually do it that way -- VO track on the left, NAT/SOT on the right. Kind of a pain when, like me, you have a radio background and often listen to spoken word in the left ear only so you can hear what else is going on around you.

Mind expanding those acronyms for those of us not in The Biz? I'm guessing VO is Voice Over, but the others aren't as amenable...
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Listener
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2011, 09:53:20 AM »

TV news producers usually do it that way -- VO track on the left, NAT/SOT on the right. Kind of a pain when, like me, you have a radio background and often listen to spoken word in the left ear only so you can hear what else is going on around you.

Mind expanding those acronyms for those of us not in The Biz? I'm guessing VO is Voice Over, but the others aren't as amenable...

VO = voiceover
NAT = natural "nat" sound -- ambient noise
SOT = sound on tape -- this one's kind of weird, because to say "I have a SOT", means you have video with audio on it, but that audio may not be used. When an anchor is talking about, say, high gas prices, and there's images of people pumping gas, that's written into the script as a SOT. But it also means when you have, say, average consumer Mike Litoris* saying "damn, those gas prices are high!"

* Actually seen on a TV station in the midwest. Google it.
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"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

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acpracht
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2011, 12:10:07 PM »

What exactly, uh, happened?

I'll admit I was a little too distracted while listening to this one for a detailed listen, but I didn't find myself engaged enough to go back for a closer redo.

Did I catch on, though, that the concept was basically the grandfather paradox in reverse? Rather than the paradox being set up by going back into the past and killing your grandfather; the paradox is created by NOT going into the past and killing your grandfather?

-Adam
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2011, 12:46:35 PM »

VO = voiceover
NAT = natural "nat" sound -- ambient noise
SOT = sound on tape -- this one's kind of weird, because to say "I have a SOT", means you have video with audio on it, but that audio may not be used. When an anchor is talking about, say, high gas prices, and there's images of people pumping gas, that's written into the script as a SOT. But it also means when you have, say, average consumer Mike Litoris* saying "damn, those gas prices are high!"

Thanks!  And yes, that is rather weird.

* Actually seen on a TV station in the midwest. Google it.

"Jury’s still out on whether Mike punk’d the reporter, or if that’s really his name." I'm betting the former. <smirk>
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"People commonly use the word 'procrastination' to describe what they do on the Internet. It seems to me too mild to describe what's happening as merely not-doing-work. We don't call it procrastination when someone gets drunk instead of working." - Paul Graham
ahutson
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« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2011, 05:25:20 AM »

Coming in late on this one.. but after a few tries I just had to turn the story off.  The changes in dialouge and narration were too much for my pea-brain to handle.  I couldn't follow what was going on.  The narrator was great though.  I hope she does more recordings.
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birdless
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2011, 03:02:16 PM »

The narration ruined this story for me - I felt like I was being read to by a kindergarten teacher. I found the narration so distracting I couldn't actually pay attention to the story being told. Perhaps someone should travel back in time and redo the narration...
I have to say i agree with this assessment. I love time travel stories, but kept getting distracted by the patronizing tone. Part of that is MY issue, though—i've never responded well to that tone (i couldn't stand Mr. Rogers).

There were definitely good things about Kim's narration (some mentioned by others) that I should have noted as well, except that I allowed the slow delivery to distract me from them: good, clear enunciation (the up side of a slow delivery! Smiley ), excellent audio quality and definite emoting.  I didn't always agree with her choices of emphasis, but at least there were choices to disagree with - a monotonic delivery would have been much worse.
And i have to agree with this one, too.

It also has to be taken into account that it was her first time out here, and on short notice.

It's hard for me to comment on the story, because i sorta lost the thread here and there. WAS the paradox that she DIDN'T kill her grandfather?
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eytanz
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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2011, 03:03:50 PM »

And the discussion of Mr Rogers gets its very own thread.
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eytanz
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2011, 03:09:10 PM »

I liked this story, but it felt a bit too easy at points; specifically, the non-reaction of the grandmother to the two Anns. You'd figure there'd be more to that. Also, Ann2 killed herself (I think), but Ann1 got life in prison; did the grandmother never think to interact with her, or tell her son "your future daughter is in prison now if you want to meet her"?
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Thunderscreech
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« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2011, 04:30:40 PM »

I was expecting The Girl Who Folded Herself to be a little different, specifically the grandmother's lack of any real surprise signaled (to me) the future discovery that she actually WAS her own grandmother somehow and had been expecting this, and that the motivations and causes behind her abuse as a child were far more complicated and interesting than we had initially been led to believe.
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iamafish
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« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2011, 04:51:13 PM »

this one did nothing for me. I found it really hard to pay attention to the narration and the story was actually pretty confusing. The repeated jumps in time made it tricky for me to follow who was what and what was happening. I agree with what a lot of people have said - the story wasn't suited to audio and the narrator wasn't suited to the story. I wouldn't mind hearing this narrator again some time, but I think she would be better suited to a very different type of story.
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SF.Fangirl
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« Reply #38 on: March 24, 2011, 10:45:26 PM »

I really enjoyed this story and no problem with the narration.  However I did think it was very close to being unsuitable for audio.  It was just on the right side, but the scene jumps with date stamping would have been easier to track if I had been reading it and been able to flip back a page or simply stop and think for a moment as would the keeping track of which iteration of the main character was in the scene.  I am still no sure I got it all though and I enjoyed this story enough that I will read the print version just to make sure I'm tracking.

I enjoyed the paradox especially when the various iterations encountered each other and the realization that "Grandma" was a part of the problem.  There was some interesting causel effects; although, not all abused people grow up to become abusers.  Ann is an example since she didn't perpetuate the abuse; she just went back in time and tried to prevent it.  But she's also exactly revenge because version 1 was a very damaged and not really a good person; although, I do wonder how she managed to end up as a programmer on an experimental physics project job given how damaged she seemed.
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SF.Fangirl
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« Reply #39 on: March 24, 2011, 11:05:16 PM »

Ann Mk 1 was abused.  At 15/16 she killed her father, was arrested, presumably went to  juvenile detention/jail (?), got out, became a programmer on a time travel project, broke up with Martin, then decided to go back in time to kill her grandfather in order hopefully prevent own abuse from never happening.  She killed her grandfather and go to jail for that murder in 1955. She hoped to fade out of existance when her grandfather was killed so she was at least partially suicidal.   She was a criminal (ie committed numerous crimes in addtion to murder like robbery) and was not a very nice person.

Ann Mk 2 had a sad childhood because her father was a damaged drunk who died when she was 10.  She became a programmer on a time travel project, got married to Martin, had an abortion, and started divorce proceedings.  She blamed her father's abusive step-father for his premature death and decided go back in time try to convince her grandmother not to marry the abusive guy so that she could have a happy childhood.  She was not a criminal except through inaction, but she must have been suicidal too because she apparently drunk herself to death in a snow drift in the past after deciding raising her father herself was a bad idea.

Mk 1 and Mk 2 create Mk 3's life.  She happy enough that she's married to Martin and pregnant.

Reading helped my understanding of the story a lot, but I still couldn't track which Ann was speaking during the exitensial conversation they had on Nov 11, 1955.  I don't know what the narrator could have done to make that clearer in audio.
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