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Author Topic: EP284/EP634: On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy  (Read 19850 times)
eytanz
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« on: March 17, 2011, 02:46:38 PM »

Escape Pod 634: On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy (Flashback Friday)

EP284: On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy


By Desmond Warzel
Read by Joshua McNichols

Originally published in SFReader
---

You’re listening to the Mike Colavito Show on Cleveland’s home for straight talk, WCUY 1200. The opinions expressed on this program do not reflect those of WCUY, its management, or its sponsors.

Fair warning; I’m in a mood today, folks.

We’ve got a mayor whose only talent seems to be showing up at luncheons and waving at the cameras.

Eighty bucks I had to pay yesterday for not wearing my seatbelt. Show me the seatbelts on a school bus.

I saw a Cleveland athlete on national TV last night wearing a Yankees cap.

And every day I get at least a dozen calls from schmucks who think that people like me are the problem in this city.

Tell me America’s not falling apart.

[pause]

And some of you people–including our programming director, by the way–seem to think I’m running my mouth too much and not taking enough phone calls. I’ve only been number one in radio in this city for ten straight years; what would I know?

You want calls? You got ‘em. Steven in Mayfield Heights, you’re on the air.

“Hey, what’s up, Mike?”

The rent. Art in Seven Hills, you’re on WCUY.

“How you doing, Mike. Just wondering if you caught that ball game last night?”

No. Andrea in Rocky River, go ahead.

“Hi, Mike, first-time caller.”

Well, call back tomorrow and you’ll be a second-time caller. Carol in Cleveland, what’s on your mind?

“Mike, what do you think of waterboarding?”

My wife and I waterboard all the time, and it’s improved our sex life dramatically. Chuck in Parma, you’re on the air.

“Hey, Mike, I heard your show yesterday, and I was just wondering, if you know so much about football, why you don’t take over as head coach of the Browns?”

I wouldn’t want to take the pay cut. Mina in Lakewood, you’re on the air.

“Does your wife think that waterboarding crack was funny?”

Play your cards right some night and you could find out for yourself, Mina. Tommy in Beachwood, you’re on WCUY.

“Hi, Mike, just wondering who you think the Indians should try and trade for next year.”

Your mother. Jane in Euclid, go ahead.


Rated PG: This story contains a real obnoxious dude

Show Notes:

  • Feedback for Episode 276
  • Next week… The hopes and dreams of a child, and her pet.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

Listen to the original Escape Pod episode!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2018, 12:53:14 PM by divs » Logged
Tesseract
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« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2011, 12:31:14 AM »

I liked this story, it makes me feel a sense of nostalgia for my nights listening to old Art Bell broadcasts while my hands work a game of Halo. I find the radio show format is something that I can listen to over and over without getting bored and the subject matter is something that scratches the underside of my chin in the most delightful way.

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC; for their fans as well so that they can listen on their MP3 players. All it'll take is someone plugging in to their RSS feed one morning and suddenly the secret's out. It just seems like a War of The Worlds kind of bemusing mistake.
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« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2011, 08:14:41 AM »

I found the story an amusing and enjoyable way to spend most of my 45-minute commute.

I particularly enjoyed the attention the author paid to the cycle of radio, and as a former traffic reporter, believe me, I'm totally used to being in the "Jones Big Ass Truck Rental And Storage Traffic Center" -- and traffic guys HATE that. This really did sound like a radio show, although -- and maybe this is a Cleveland thing -- issues and sports don't usually coexist regularly on the same show. I would expect this Colavito guy to maybe be a morning host on a sports station, rather than an afternoon guy on a "straight talk" station. Also, and this is a REAL nitpick, there are very few local non-sports personalities on during middays -- it's all Boortz, Rush, Clark, Hannity.

I think the narrator is fine, and I wouldn't mind hearing him narrate more stories... but this one required a certain style of speaking, a certain bombast, that he didn't express. I was a radio guy for a while and maybe I'm biased, but I kept rereading each of Mike Colavito's lines in my head in a Rush Limbaugh voice. I think mostly my issue was that the lines that ended in question-marks in the text were spoken as questions, whereas a radio host with this big an ego would almost NEVER ask a question -- he would speak in declaratives, as if daring the caller to disprove him.
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« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2011, 08:57:45 AM »

I enjoyed this one and it was a nice variation from the "typical" story format of narrator plus characters. A fun one.

I think the narrator did a fine job, although I didn't envy him the task of trying to create the "radio sound" as just one person. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something in the pauses... just a bit off somehow.

I did like the reveal of "It's this... No, it's actually this... Actually, it's more scary that what either of you are putting out..."

A minor critique of the plot: At times, the premise seemed a bit belabored. If these events are no important and cosmic, why are the major galactic players: 1) Listening to the 2-bit local radio program. 2) Bothering to call in to talk about what's actually happening, then having to backtrack with "Oh, I've said too much."

The premise obviously required it, but it just came off a tad awkward.
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« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2011, 08:58:32 AM »

I think the narrator is fine, and I wouldn't mind hearing him narrate more stories... but this one required a certain style of speaking, a certain bombast, that he didn't express. I was a radio guy for a while and maybe I'm biased, but I kept rereading each of Mike Colavito's lines in my head in a Rush Limbaugh voice.
I think more "Joe Rogan" than "Limbaugh" but I felt the same way. I was able to sink myself into it, but it took longer than it should have since it wasn't the voice I was looking for in my mind.

In the narrator's defense, I 'll give a little behind-the-scenes and let you know he did this on a SUPER short turn-around, and when you add in the fact that he did the filter that made it sound like the callers were on the phone, his time was even shorter. I'm confident that if he'd had time to read more ahead and make more changes, he would have been fine. I'll look forward to hearing more of him in the future
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2011, 09:56:42 AM »

  I really enjoyed this story, but that's probably because I really enjoy this type of story; it made me think a lot of the movie "Pontypool". I felt it really caught the feel of a Jim Rome style radio show, and I liked the less-than-serious tone it took for most of the story with a sudden swerve into, and then back out of, darkness at the end.

  I only have a couple of really minor issues. I think the reading was great, but maybe not the right voice for this type of character. In my head I hear the host as have a rasp to his voice. There were a couple of points where the phone effect was either skipped, or given to the wrong voice that kind of pulled me out the story (but this is no worse that finger snaps or repeated lines that were missed in editing), and a couple of times it sounded like Joshua was trying really hard not to laugh (and I don't blame him for that). Like I said, minor and nitpicky things.

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC;

  I had almost this same thought. Even if everyone working on the show or listening has had their memory of the last 30-45 minutes wiped it was all still being recorded. Eventually someone is going to get curious about what they were broadcasting during that lost time, and the cat will be out of the bag.

  Also, what about people who witnessed the jet trails but were not wiped? Not everyone listens to the radio or is on their mobile all the time. It's going to seem funny to them that this large group of people has no idea that there was ever anything flying over the lake.

  The question is: is this a plothole, or were the aliens merely not as clever as they thought they were?
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 10:13:00 AM »

I think the narrator is fine, and I wouldn't mind hearing him narrate more stories... but this one required a certain style of speaking, a certain bombast, that he didn't express. I was a radio guy for a while and maybe I'm biased, but I kept rereading each of Mike Colavito's lines in my head in a Rush Limbaugh voice. I think mostly my issue was that the lines that ended in question-marks in the text were spoken as questions, whereas a radio host with this big an ego would almost NEVER ask a question -- he would speak in declaratives, as if daring the caller to disprove him.

I have to say that I feel the same way. This story really needed a lot of hamminess and attitude, and short turnaround or not, the narrator just didn't pull that off. He'd be fine for reading probably any other story, but this one really needed to be pumped up.
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2011, 10:14:34 AM »

This was fun!  I like that all the voices were the narrator's, especially the women, that cracked me up.  Fun story.  Good narration.  Good fun all around.

The radio personality that came to my mind was Phil Hendrie.  He does a hoax radio show where he starts off with a mildly controversial topic or interview that just keeps getting worse.  He also does the voices himself, and his range is pretty good.  But he gets actual callers who don't realize he is spoofing, and it can be quite hilarious.
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« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2011, 10:52:09 AM »

There were a couple of points where the phone effect was either skipped, or given to the wrong voice that kind of pulled me out the story (but this is no worse that finger snaps or repeated lines that were missed in editing)...

I caught it too: it was 2 or 3 lines and they were within seconds of each other, which is part of what made it distracting. Trust me, in better times this would have been fixed, it was just not possible to do so and meet the posting deadline.
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« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2011, 04:23:29 PM »

No disrespect meant to Joshua McNichols, but I couldn't help thinking during this story--which I loved and which I think he did a good job with--that George Hrab would have done amazing things narrating it with his usual talent for quirky voices and playing with sound. I couldn't help but think some "break music" and helicopter noise would have been good in the appropriate places. Smiley

I love the format of this story. I've never heard anything quite like it before. Strangely, it reminds me of a writing challenge my writing group was given: to write a story using only dialogue with no tags. This is...very timely as an exercise of exactly how it can be done, and done well.
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« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2011, 05:09:12 PM »

I enjoyed it for several reasons already listed. The way it was done with only one narrator for all the different characters made me think of Greater Tuna, a play involving two actors playing every citizen in a small Texas town. I thought the story was more fun this way than if it had been a full-cast production, but I agree that (time permitting) sound effects would have added to the fun. Learning that it was done on short notice only increases my respect for the narrator and the production on this one.
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« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2011, 06:45:23 PM »

Looks like I'm first to not have a great opinion of this one. The story was banal, and the "hit the reset button and make everybody forget" ending was a cheap cop-out. Boo.
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« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2011, 07:53:31 PM »

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC;

  I had almost this same thought. Even if everyone working on the show or listening has had their memory of the last 30-45 minutes wiped it was all still being recorded. Eventually someone is going to get curious about what they were broadcasting during that lost time, and the cat will be out of the bag.

  Also, what about people who witnessed the jet trails but were not wiped? Not everyone listens to the radio or is on their mobile all the time. It's going to seem funny to them that this large group of people has no idea that there was ever anything flying over the lake.

  The question is: is this a plothole, or were the aliens merely not as clever as they thought they were?

If you think about it more, I think the aliens were actually pretty clever.  So, yes, it was recorded.  Someone, sometime, is going to listen to the recording and say "OMG!  This is amazing!  Why don't I remember this?!?" and then, at the end of the tape, that sound will come on and they'll forget all about it (again) and go home.  How would anyone ever learn that there is a sound at the end that erases your memory without hearing it and having their memory erased?  I don't think any investigation would occur based on that. 

Of course, lots of people did see the trails... there is physical evidence.  But the US government will do it's best to suppress that, same as they always do.   Grin
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2011, 08:49:49 PM »

I’m glad stePH beat me to it.  I didn’t really enjoy this one.

I think part of what was off for me is that the host felt like a rather wooden caricature of a opinionated jerk talk show host (and they often feel like caricatures to begin with), and I never got a feel for any of the characters.  Plus, the narration seemed just a bit off (for the reasons others have mentioned) and I felt like it distracted a bit from the story.

I also didn’t think much of the plot – evil alien race destroying an eons old good alien race for no apparent reason tracking down the last two survivors to torture them with the knowledge of their civilizations defeat and taking time to brag to humanity about it before a big mind-wipe – it felt a bit too clichéd with none of the nice twists or fresh takes on the clichés to justify them.

I do have to say though that this did bring back fond memories of late nights listening to Art Bell.  And maybe that too is why this fell flat for me, no intentional fiction could live up to the weirdness and humor of those broadcasts.
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2011, 11:35:03 PM »

Can narrators post? I don't see any bright red lines before me, so, why not?

Voicing this piece was definitely a stretch for me, not the sort of piece I would have thought would be my strength, as my voice sounds a lot more Public Radio than AM radio. It's funny, I actually felt most natural when voicing the final alien at the end of the story! However, I had a blast doing it, and am glad some of you enjoyed it.

I've enjoyed all your comments on the reading, positive and negative, and look forward to hearing more in the future. That minor miss with the "telephone voice" effect - I caught it too on re-listening. Doh!

Joshua
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« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2011, 11:45:49 PM »

Just reading over the comments.  I quite enjoyed this story, though like others I thought the ending just a little bit too "pat" - I don't like "everybody went back to the way they were before the whole thing started" type of endings.  (OK, they don't quite - the primordial galactic baddies are out there somewhere - but no one knows this.)    I must confess I didn't spot the plot hole of recordings being made, or what happened to the people who didn't hear the sound over the radio - unless the sound wasn't coming over the radio of course.

{As an aside, I feel this sort of trope is more a hallmark of Fantasy than Science Fiction.  In Fantasy the action is generally limited, and it ends.  You have three wishes, you use them and you use them up.  You find the One Ring, you destroy it.  The worlds goes on, all the more ordinary.  Whereas in Science Fiction, as in the real world, things go _on_, and change and develop - you invent a car, and a few years later everyone has them, you start working out how to connect computers, and a few years later people are watching news updates on their phones as they ride the bus.  In SF the Genie *never* goes back into the bottle.}

That said, apart from that I enjoyed the story.  I liked the sound editing - making the phone callers sound like phone callers, though I was a bit disorientated at first that they all sounded the same apart from that. 
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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2011, 08:46:51 AM »

I liked the sound editing - making the phone callers sound like phone callers, though I was a bit disorientated at first that they all sounded the same apart from that. 

All talk radio callers really do sound the same. There's southern guy, deep voiced guy, measured-voice-liberal-guy-that-the-host-keeps-interrupting, and New Yorker guy.

(I worked in talk for five years.)
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« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2011, 09:53:57 AM »

I think the narrator is fine, and I wouldn't mind hearing him narrate more stories... but this one required a certain style of speaking, a certain bombast, that he didn't express. I was a radio guy for a while and maybe I'm biased, but I kept rereading each of Mike Colavito's lines in my head in a Rush Limbaugh voice. I think mostly my issue was that the lines that ended in question-marks in the text were spoken as questions, whereas a radio host with this big an ego would almost NEVER ask a question -- he would speak in declaratives, as if daring the caller to disprove him.

I have to say that I feel the same way. This story really needed a lot of hamminess and attitude, and short turnaround or not, the narrator just didn't pull that off. He'd be fine for reading probably any other story, but this one really needed to be pumped up.
I thought the narrator's voice was perfect. But then, I'm a Brit, and we like our radio hosts relatively understated, so hamminess and attitude would have turned me off to this just as it would as a broadcast. I liked the story too and I think it worked because of its structure which distracted from the potential plot holes other people have noted. Those really didn't bother me because the whole was so well contained in this little microcosm of a small-town radio programme, and so well put across by the narrator. Disbelief successfully suspended for the duration. Lovely!
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« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2011, 05:36:18 PM »

Some stories require either a cast, or a skilled voice talent to pull off.  This is one of them.  The reader for this one was obviously enthusiastic, but I kept getting pulled out by how much better it could have been.

Perhaps I'm just spoiled.

Speaking to the story itself, I'm clearly in the minority for this story.  As I've said before, ask yourself: Who changes? Who grows? Who learns?  Even if you take this as a story-at-a-remove, even if you accept that the "criminal", the "warden" and the "invader" are all actual (in the story) rather than hypothetical, there's still very little actual story there, because there's very little actual change.  Even if it's a "Picasso bull," that's all it is... a bull.  It's an exercise, an attempt to see how much one can portray by implication rather than depiction.  In this story, we are invited to imagine the parts that are missing. In that way, it is similar to a Picasso work. But when Picasso does it in a painting--for example, in Guernica--there's a lot more going on.

This piece is interesting, like a Picasso bull, in what it can teach us about minimalism and unusual points of view in writing.  It's less interesting to a reader.

For me, this has been one of the episodes I accept as the price of hearing better stories elsewhen.
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2011, 07:32:45 PM »

I thought the story was fantastic, and the atypical format really worked for me.

RE: recordings - remember, the story ends right after the erasure supposedly happens.

We just don't know what happens after that. Was this a grand prank on the host's part? Did a mysterious studio fire burn the place and all recordings to the ground, hiding all evidence? It's left unsaid. Speculation is fun. Smiley
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acpracht
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2011, 08:10:35 PM »

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC;

  I had almost this same thought. Even if everyone working on the show or listening has had their memory of the last 30-45 minutes wiped it was all still being recorded. Eventually someone is going to get curious about what they were broadcasting during that lost time, and the cat will be out of the bag.

  Also, what about people who witnessed the jet trails but were not wiped? Not everyone listens to the radio or is on their mobile all the time. It's going to seem funny to them that this large group of people has no idea that there was ever anything flying over the lake.

  The question is: is this a plothole, or were the aliens merely not as clever as they thought they were?

If you think about it more, I think the aliens were actually pretty clever.  So, yes, it was recorded.  Someone, sometime, is going to listen to the recording and say "OMG!  This is amazing!  Why don't I remember this?!?" and then, at the end of the tape, that sound will come on and they'll forget all about it (again) and go home.  How would anyone ever learn that there is a sound at the end that erases your memory without hearing it and having their memory erased?  I don't think any investigation would occur based on that. 

Of course, lots of people did see the trails... there is physical evidence.  But the US government will do it's best to suppress that, same as they always do.   Grin

Not to be a naysayer, but, well, easy: They listen to the recording. Go: "OMG, this is amazing!" Then they turn of the recording and go tell someone else about it....
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2011, 08:17:26 PM »

Can narrators post? I don't see any bright red lines before me, so, why not?

Voicing this piece was definitely a stretch for me, not the sort of piece I would have thought would be my strength, as my voice sounds a lot more Public Radio than AM radio. It's funny, I actually felt most natural when voicing the final alien at the end of the story! However, I had a blast doing it, and am glad some of you enjoyed it.

I've enjoyed all your comments on the reading, positive and negative, and look forward to hearing more in the future. That minor miss with the "telephone voice" effect - I caught it too on re-listening. Doh!

Joshua
Joshua: Appreciated the work you did on short notice. I agree that you sound like a good voice for NPR. Have you applied? Smiley

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« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2011, 10:12:58 PM »

Really liked this story, but, couldn't appreciate the actual reading.  It was read artistically, but the reader's style was too casual.  I think this story needed more pace and volume. 

Fun little story though.
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« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2011, 10:18:21 PM »

No disrespect meant to Joshua McNichols, but I couldn't help thinking during this story-- --that George Hrab would have done amazing things narrating it with his usual talent for quirky voices and playing with sound

Yes!
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« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2011, 12:00:20 AM »

{As an aside, I feel this sort of trope is more a hallmark of Fantasy than Science Fiction.  In Fantasy the action is generally limited, and it ends.  You have three wishes, you use them and you use them up.  You find the One Ring, you destroy it.  The worlds goes on, all the more ordinary.  Whereas in Science Fiction, as in the real world, things go _on_, and change and develop - you invent a car, and a few years later everyone has them, you start working out how to connect computers, and a few years later people are watching news updates on their phones as they ride the bus.  In SF the Genie *never* goes back into the bottle.}

because nothing world changing ever happens in epic fantasy...

This story was interesting and i really liked the style, but it didn't exactly let my world alight.
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« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2011, 12:04:46 AM »

{As an aside, I feel this sort of trope is more a hallmark of Fantasy than Science Fiction.  In Fantasy the action is generally limited, and it ends.  You have three wishes, you use them and you use them up.  You find the One Ring, you destroy it.  The worlds goes on, all the more ordinary.  Whereas in Science Fiction, as in the real world, things go _on_, and change and develop - you invent a car, and a few years later everyone has them, you start working out how to connect computers, and a few years later people are watching news updates on their phones as they ride the bus.  In SF the Genie *never* goes back into the bottle.}

because nothing world changing ever happens in epic fantasy...

The point, and I think it's a valid one, is that fantasy often ends with "And then the world was different forever," but it's relatively rare to see a fantasy story that writes a sequel in which the consequences of the dramatic change in the original epic are explored in depth.  Conversely, a lot of SF stories *start* with the idea that in the past, some great change or upheaval occurred, and they work largely on exploring the ramifications of that change as their main storyline.  It's certainly something I can see reflected in the literature around me, and also something I see subverted on a regular basis.  (The Bitterwood trilogy, as the most recent example I've read, or Terry Pratchett's growing and changing Discworld milieu in which the clacks and the free press and so on have actual effects on the rest of the world in subsequent books.)  As to the source of the difference, well, I hesitate to speculate without a lot more thorough research, but the description of the trend does strike a bit of a chord.
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« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2011, 02:05:23 AM »

True, but the idea that 'the world goes on' is false. Sure, the consequences are not explored as they are in Sci Fi, but the status Quo isn't exactly restored most of the time either. LotR isn't just a case of 'The Ring is destroyed, everything is the same as it was before the ring was made', the creation of The Ring and the quest to destroy it have irreversibly changed the world. Sure, we don't see those changes fully realised, but that's because the point is the event itself, not the far reaching consequences.

then again, what is LotR if not a sequel to the Hobbit that builds on the changes that occur in The Hobbit (even relatively minor ones, like Bilbo getting The Ring).
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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2011, 02:36:12 AM »

LotR doesn't explore what happens to the town after the dwarves reopen the mines.  That would be an example of what we're talking about here.  If, say, there was an increase in lung sickness in the nearby town, and tensions between Men and Dwarfs increased due to the sudden change in living circumstances, then you could say that LotR was an exploratory sequel in the manner that SF tends toward.  There's a bit of it in the opening bits of LotR, where we see how Bilbo was altered by his adventures and no longer fit into his comfortable home in the Shire, but given that the One Ring wasn't even solidified as existing when the Hobbit was written, it's hard to say that LotR is anything other than a sequel with some of the same characters in the same world rather than a sequel exploring the impact of previous upheaval events.

Again, the issue is not "The world doesn't change in Fantasy," but rather, "Fantasy stories tend to stop after the climactic upheaval sets the world to rights.  SF tends to explore the ramifications of an upheaval and argue with itself about whether the world has been set right or ruined."
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« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2011, 04:02:38 AM »

I agree. My example was just me playing devil's advocate - ultimately LotR does look at the consequences of Bilbo getting the ring, even if ignores the rest of the book completely!

I'm not sure whether the OP was saying that fantasy just restores the status quo, or whether he was saying it just doesn't explore the consequences. I hope it's the latter, but it sounded awfully like the former!
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« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2011, 08:53:06 AM »

This story was lots of fun.  Sure, there were plot holes (namely, why are these superpowerful aliens bothering to call into radio shows).  Sure, the ending wasn't spectacular.  But it was all very fun how it played out and I thought it was voiced well.  I think it might've worked better as a cast recording with maybe 3 more people using different voices for the call-ins, but this wasn't bad either.

My absolute favorite moment was early in the 2nd alien's call, paraphrased:
Alien2:  The previous caller is a liar.  Don't believe a word he says.
Host:  Yeah, no kidding.  I was playing along for the fun of it.
Alien2:  Really, this is very important.  He's one of the most wanted criminals in the galaxy.

On "galaxy" I just cracked up laughing.  Up until that word it seemed like he was going to be the one of the comedy duo who plays it straight, but that flipped everything around.  Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: March 21, 2011, 10:11:57 AM »

It took a little while, but by the time we got to the traffic report I was totally sucked into this one. Maybe it helps that the only actual radio I listen to is the local station (which has low-key, non-abrasive "personalities") and podcasts of Science Friday/Wait Wait/This American Life. Oh, and some British radio (The Naked Scientists and related podcasts, seriously check it out if you're into following current science news Smiley).  So for me the narration style felt quite natural and as soon as I learned to not anticipate different voices for the callers it wasn't jarring that they weren't there.


I think it's interesting that this story is raising many of the same types of criticism that On a Blade of Grass did. For my part, I thought it was a nice change of pace, and I enjoy having these "thought experiments" sprinkled through the other types of SF. Smiley I'm going to run with the theory that if you listen to the recording that by the time you get to the third alien caller then the mind-wiping is already in progress so that your memory of the details will already be too fuzzy if you turn it off as soon as you realize that you should. Cheesy
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« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2011, 11:23:18 AM »

I think it's interesting that this story is raising many of the same types of criticism that On a Blade of Grass did. For my part, I thought it was a nice change of pace, and I enjoy having these "thought experiments" sprinkled through the other types of SF. Smiley I'm going to run with the theory that if you listen to the recording that by the time you get to the third alien caller then the mind-wiping is already in progress so that your memory of the details will already be too fuzzy if you turn it off as soon as you realize that you should. Cheesy

The real question is:  Why do we still remember the episode at all?  Shouldn't we all be posting to say that we meant to listen but don't seem to remember anything?  Maybe the mind-wiping sound didn't translate well into mp3 format.  I would never have suspected that lossy compression would be the salvation of humanity.  For the sake of safety in the upcoming interstellar war, I think someone needs to mass-produce mp3 listening filters.  You wear heavy noise-blocking headphones and a microphone pinned to your chest--the microphone records all sounds and compresses them into mp3 before playing them back for you, thus filtering out the mind-wipe inducing sounds while still allowing you to hear most everything else. 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2011, 11:25:28 AM by Unblinking » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2011, 12:05:07 PM »

I think it's interesting that this story is raising many of the same types of criticism that On a Blade of Grass did. For my part, I thought it was a nice change of pace, and I enjoy having these "thought experiments" sprinkled through the other types of SF. Smiley I'm going to run with the theory that if you listen to the recording that by the time you get to the third alien caller then the mind-wiping is already in progress so that your memory of the details will already be too fuzzy if you turn it off as soon as you realize that you should. Cheesy

The real question is:  Why do we still remember the episode at all?  Shouldn't we all be posting to say that we meant to listen but don't seem to remember anything?  Maybe the mind-wiping sound didn't translate well into mp3 format.  I would never have suspected that lossy compression would be the salvation of humanity.  For the sake of safety in the upcoming interstellar war, I think someone needs to mass-produce mp3 listening filters.  You wear heavy noise-blocking headphones and a microphone pinned to your chest--the microphone records all sounds and compresses them into mp3 before playing them back for you, thus filtering out the mind-wipe inducing sounds while still allowing you to hear most everything else. 

Hi-larious… I love the idea of superior alien technology being thwarted by sub-standard human. Smiley Of course, if it works over AM Radio, it will surely work over mp3 (but who knows…)
I would (jokingly) argue that we still remember it because we didn't listen to the actual broadcast – we were listening to a dramatization of the original broadcast. To paraphrase Tenacious D: "This is not the alien broadcast. No, this is just a tribute!"
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« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2011, 01:04:37 PM »

I think it's interesting that this story is raising many of the same types of criticism that On a Blade of Grass did. For my part, I thought it was a nice change of pace, and I enjoy having these "thought experiments" sprinkled through the other types of SF. Smiley I'm going to run with the theory that if you listen to the recording that by the time you get to the third alien caller then the mind-wiping is already in progress so that your memory of the details will already be too fuzzy if you turn it off as soon as you realize that you should. Cheesy

The real question is:  Why do we still remember the episode at all?  Shouldn't we all be posting to say that we meant to listen but don't seem to remember anything?  Maybe the mind-wiping sound didn't translate well into mp3 format.  I would never have suspected that lossy compression would be the salvation of humanity.  For the sake of safety in the upcoming interstellar war, I think someone needs to mass-produce mp3 listening filters.  You wear heavy noise-blocking headphones and a microphone pinned to your chest--the microphone records all sounds and compresses them into mp3 before playing them back for you, thus filtering out the mind-wipe inducing sounds while still allowing you to hear most everything else.  


haha, that is awesome! maybe that is the true purpose of those aluminum hats the conspiracy theorists wear? Now if you'll excuse me, I just remembered a few things I need from the grocery store...
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« Reply #34 on: March 22, 2011, 02:12:28 PM »

I really enjoyed this episode, and thought that Josh did a great job with the host/caller switch, even if there were one or two missed switches.  Given the short turnaround time, it is completely understandable.  And I agree with him that his voice is more public radio than AM talk show, though it did not take much away from the story for me.  I wish I had decent recording equipment, then I could say that any time you need an obnoxious talk show host, look me up, as I was one for 3 years.(college)
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« Reply #35 on: March 22, 2011, 03:14:04 PM »

I enjoyed this episode a lot, and I think the narrator did a great job with all the different voices, though, as others said, I felt the radio host persona was a bit low-key. But that was a minor criticism. I also don't think airforce people would be stupid enough to call on-air; they must know that doing so would make panic worse rather than better. But this wasn't a story designed for deep analysis, so I'm not going to fret too much about that.
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« Reply #36 on: March 22, 2011, 05:25:17 PM »

Author chiming in now, if that's not too much of a faux pas.

Thanks very much for the comments, both positive and otherwise.  This tale appeared at SFReader.com in 2009, and I appreciate the opportunity to place it before a fresh audience.  The story stands or falls on its own, of course, but might I spend a few minutes addressing some of the issues that have been raised?

A lot of people have been commenting on the narration.  I think I can say, without causing offense to the gentleman, that his was not the voice I had in my head as I was writing, but that's certainly no crime.  As for the delivery; well, I was thinking along the lines of a faster, more belligerent tone, instead of the more measured pace that we got, but that's just me, and you wouldn't want it sped up to the point of unintelligibility.  What he lacked in belligerence, he made up in sarcasm; the sneers that came though on some of those lines were deliciously obnoxious.  The telephone effects were brilliant; I assumed there would be a single peformer, and had honestly wondered how they were going to pull off all those conversations without being confusing.  Kudos.

Except for one thing: there is no /t/ sound in my last name.  I made a point of telling (to my recollection) two different people at Escape Pod that there's no /t/ sound, and sure enough, there it was.  Ms. Lafferty got it right; even the synthesizer voice got it right.  I made a point of mentioning it because people always put it there spontaneously; I'm not sure why.  Perhaps my name contains a /t/ sound in the original German.  I am not German.  Some of my ancestors were German; that's their affair, not mine.  It's a petty point, but it's my only complaint, so there.

This really did sound like a radio show, although -- and maybe this is a Cleveland thing -- issues and sports don't usually coexist regularly on the same show. I would expect this Colavito guy to maybe be a morning host on a sports station, rather than an afternoon guy on a "straight talk" station. Also, and this is a REAL nitpick, there are very few local non-sports personalities on during middays -- it's all Boortz, Rush, Clark, Hannity.

You're very likely right; Cleveland is the only major city I've ever lived in, and I used it as my model.  In Cleveland, the number one show in the afternoon is a local AM show that touches on all topics indiscriminately, including sports and politics.  In fact, I was wondering if anyone from NE Ohio would weigh in and call me on it, but not so far.  Clevelanders: an Escape Artists, Inc. "No-Prize" to the first person to tell me whose radio style I ripped off emulated for the character of Mike Colavito.

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC; for their fans as well so that they can listen on their MP3 players. All it'll take is someone plugging in to their RSS feed one morning and suddenly the secret's out.

Some others already anticipated my answer to this, which is: any recording would also have the memory-erasing sound.  I honestly believe that anyone listening to this for the first time couldn't resist listening to the entire thing and thereby hearing the sound; and, thanks to that sound, every time one listens to it is the first time...

Also, what about people who witnessed the jet trails but were not wiped? Not everyone listens to the radio or is on their mobile all the time. It's going to seem funny to them that this large group of people has no idea that there was ever anything flying over the lake.

Well, people who weren't listening to the radio don't need to be wiped; they didn't hear anything.  As for the phenomenon itself, it needs no explanation; it looks like a bunch of jet trails, and such trails do occasionally converge in large groups by chance--an entirely mundane, if infrequent, circumstance.  When it happens, absent some other explanation, most people would eventually chalk it up to that and forget about it, while a few nuts outliers rant about UFOs and are roundly ignored, and all in all it's somebody else's problem.

I also don't think airforce people would be stupid enough to call on-air; they must know that doing so would make panic worse rather than better.

Assuming that was the Air Force...

Sure, there were plot holes (namely, why are these superpowerful aliens bothering to call into radio shows.)

Rule of Funny, mostly.

That's about all the time we have for today.  Those of you who liked it: thanks, and I'm glad I could amuse you for a few minutes.  Those of you who did not: also, thanks, and I'm sorry it wasn't what you wanted.

Cheers,

Desmond Warzel
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« Reply #37 on: March 22, 2011, 07:12:39 PM »


I also don't think airforce people would be stupid enough to call on-air; they must know that doing so would make panic worse rather than better.

Assuming that was the Air Force...


As Joe Crummy (Los Angeles radio personality I used to listen to in the '90s) used to say: "Anybody can call a talk show."
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« Reply #38 on: March 22, 2011, 09:31:33 PM »

Cute story, reminds me of the one about the astronomer filling in for a late night radio host. I liked the bit where Mike mentioned that UFO callers normally bother the night-time guy, whereas he was presumably a morning "zoo" radio host without any John Boy and Billy style goons/sidekicks of his own - an angry ranty morning guy, I guess.

Not crazy about the narration, but not from a lack of effort or some intrinsic feature on the narrator's part; just seemed a little rushed with in a few spots not enough space left between host and caller and in some parts too long of spaces. Certainly not going to complain, it's a free podcast and I assume the narration is done by volunteers in order to farm out certain functions parts of the time in order to free up Escapeartists resources for the slush piling and so on.

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« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2011, 11:08:22 PM »

Except for one thing: there is no /t/ sound in my last name.  I made a point of telling (to my recollection) two different people at Escape Pod that there's no /t/ sound, and sure enough, there it was.  Ms. Lafferty got it right; even the synthesizer voice got it right.  I made a point of mentioning it because people always put it there spontaneously; I'm not sure why.  Perhaps my name contains a /t/ sound in the original German.  I am not German.  Some of my ancestors were German; that's their affair, not mine.  It's a petty point, but it's my only complaint, so there.
I'll take the heat for this one. I should have been clearer with the narrator. At least I got robot-lady to say it right...

Seriously, I am very sorry. It's important and the shortcoming is mine.
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« Reply #40 on: March 23, 2011, 04:07:14 PM »

I'll take the heat for this one. I should have been clearer with the narrator. At least I got robot-lady to say it right...

No sweat.  Don't give it another thought.
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Thunderscreech
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« Reply #41 on: March 23, 2011, 04:27:55 PM »

I liked the narration with the exception of a few odd pauses, and while it ended a little weakly, I was enjoying the act of listening to the story.  I'll take that over an excruciating story that's a chore to trod through but has a good ending.  Well, once in a while.

I assume there was, in fact, an amazing ending to this story, we just don't remember because our short term memory was erased by a special sound right afterwards...
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« Reply #42 on: March 24, 2011, 09:09:56 AM »

Author chiming in now, if that's not too much of a faux pas.

Hey, welcome!  Not a faux pas at all.  Many people (including me) like when an author stops by to join the discussion.

Quote
I made a point of mentioning it because people always put it there spontaneously; I'm not sure why.  Perhaps my name contains a /t/ sound in the original German.  I am not German.  Some of my ancestors were German; that's their affair, not mine.

Regarding German pronunciation:  yup, I'm pretty sure that the letter "z" in German always sounds like "tz".  One thing I like about German is that the pronunciation rules are very consistent compared with English.  (Which isn't to say that it shouldn't be pronounced how you say, just commenting on your "Perhaps").  In English, there are so many conflicting cases:  who would think, from reading them on the page, that kook and cook have different vowel sounds?

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« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2011, 09:37:31 AM »

Author chiming in now, if that's not too much of a faux pas.

Just be advised that prevailing attitude on your input is likely to be "you're just the author... what the hell do you know?"
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« Reply #44 on: March 24, 2011, 11:23:53 AM »

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. And the narration was fine for me, too. I'm with Dem: I think a more abrasive delivery would have been more difficult for me to listen to. The ending may have been a little weak, and it did cross my mind how convenient it was that all major players in this story happened to be listening to this one local radio station, but, hell, this is a fun story for fun's sake, and i don't have any problem leaving it at that. It wasn't written to change the world, just to make people smile, and it definitely achieved its purpose as far as i'm concerned. I giggled out loud at "all my skeletons are tastefully arranged on my front lawn." I think i enjoyed it more because it was read aloud than if i had read it on a page.
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« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2011, 11:39:36 PM »

Looks like I'm first to not have a great opinion of this one. The story was banal, and the "hit the reset button and make everybody forget" ending was a cheap cop-out. Boo.

Yes.  My overall feeling was "meh".  Banal is an excellent description.  A silly, pointless story.  I didn't hate it enough to to stop listening, but I really wanted it it hurry up and get to end where it finally revealed what was really happening.  I knew that was going to be the plot flow.  I am not amused by bombastic talk radio hosts so all the lead in was simply dragging out the sci fi conclusion.  It's definately not my cup of tea, but that does appear to be a minority opinion around here.
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« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2011, 05:49:39 PM »

I liked the story -- I saw the alien invasion coming from the beginning, though.  And that was part of the fun.  Hints of War of the Worlds, etc.

The narrator did a good job with all the different voices.  The radio host seemed a little too mellow, though.  I would have thought he would be more excited.

The only question I have about this one is the volume levels.  I'm not an audio engineer, so maybe someone can help me figure out what to do.  When the host was talking his voice was very dynamic and would rise and fall.  Turned the volume up some.  When the callers came on whatever filter was used on the voice made it almost unintelligible for me. Since I was listening in the car I turned my ipod and the stereo all the way up to max volume just to be able to hear the softer parts of his speech. Then the volume would rise again and sound blown out.  So I would turn it down and then I couldn't hear anything.  I know I wasn't in the ideal environment, but is there some way to fix this before I listen to it?
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« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2011, 12:40:34 PM »


The only question I have about this one is the volume levels.  I'm not an audio engineer, so maybe someone can help me figure out what to do.  When the host was talking his voice was very dynamic and would rise and fall.  Turned the volume up some.  When the callers came on whatever filter was used on the voice made it almost unintelligible for me. Since I was listening in the car I turned my ipod and the stereo all the way up to max volume just to be able to hear the softer parts of his speech. Then the volume would rise again and sound blown out.  So I would turn it down and then I couldn't hear anything.  I know I wasn't in the ideal environment, but is there some way to fix this before I listen to it?

I was listening in a relatively quiet environment with my headphones so I didn't have any trouble with the sound effects, but it does make sense that the extra car and traffic noises would have made the callers-in pretty hard to hear. These types of effects are relatively rare on Escape Pod though, so I wouldn't be too worried about having these difficulties on a regular basis. Are you able to save ones like this for when you can listen in a more quiet environment?
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« Reply #48 on: March 28, 2011, 11:10:24 AM »

I liked the story -- I saw the alien invasion coming from the beginning, though.  And that was part of the fun.  Hints of War of the Worlds, etc.

The narrator did a good job with all the different voices.  The radio host seemed a little too mellow, though.  I would have thought he would be more excited.

The only question I have about this one is the volume levels.  I'm not an audio engineer, so maybe someone can help me figure out what to do.  When the host was talking his voice was very dynamic and would rise and fall.  Turned the volume up some.  When the callers came on whatever filter was used on the voice made it almost unintelligible for me. Since I was listening in the car I turned my ipod and the stereo all the way up to max volume just to be able to hear the softer parts of his speech. Then the volume would rise again and sound blown out.  So I would turn it down and then I couldn't hear anything.  I know I wasn't in the ideal environment, but is there some way to fix this before I listen to it?

I've had that trouble before with other podcasts, as I do usually listen over the car stereo on my commute.  But this one I happened to listen to while doing chores around the house instead.
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« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2011, 03:21:32 PM »

The only question I have about this one is the volume levels.  I'm not an audio engineer, so maybe someone can help me figure out what to do.  When the host was talking his voice was very dynamic and would rise and fall.  Turned the volume up some.  When the callers came on whatever filter was used on the voice made it almost unintelligible for me. Since I was listening in the car I turned my ipod and the stereo all the way up to max volume just to be able to hear the softer parts of his speech. Then the volume would rise again and sound blown out.  So I would turn it down and then I couldn't hear anything.  I know I wasn't in the ideal environment, but is there some way to fix this before I listen to it?

That's actually a pretty accurate representation of some talk shows.
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« Reply #50 on: March 30, 2011, 04:28:01 AM »

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC; for their fans as well so that they can listen on their MP3 players. All it'll take is someone plugging in to their RSS feed one morning and suddenly the secret's out.

Some others already anticipated my answer to this, which is: any recording would also have the memory-erasing sound.  I honestly believe that anyone listening to this for the first time couldn't resist listening to the entire thing and thereby hearing the sound; and, thanks to that sound, every time one listens to it is the first time...

So, the sound engineer who has to check how the show sounds before it goes out on podcast is going to be in for a long night then?
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« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2011, 05:59:44 AM »

The ending, however, creates a bit of a problem. Yes the "sound" may erase memory but what about electronic memory? In this modern age of computers and terabyte hard drives, most radio shows are taped in case the station has to defend themselves from the FCC; for their fans as well so that they can listen on their MP3 players. All it'll take is someone plugging in to their RSS feed one morning and suddenly the secret's out.

Some others already anticipated my answer to this, which is: any recording would also have the memory-erasing sound.  I honestly believe that anyone listening to this for the first time couldn't resist listening to the entire thing and thereby hearing the sound; and, thanks to that sound, every time one listens to it is the first time...

So, the sound engineer who has to check how the show sounds before it goes out on podcast is going to be in for a long night then?

More than likely no one would check it as it went out to the podcast. In many stations that's all automated. I thought the show was a good attempt since now we know there was substantial time pressure on the production. One thing that annoyed me was that the host really didn't have the apparent drive or bombast required in the delivery. From the way he described himself at the intro I would have expected a Jim Rome sports guy delivery, that is important. Stingers and liners would have added some verisimilitude as well. Finally some audio processing overall - some compression and limiting would have made it sound more -radio if carefully done and would have evened out the levels. Given the ending to me it sounded pretty light weight to make it onto escape pod but a fair attempt.

-Radio engineer since 1979

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« Reply #52 on: March 30, 2011, 06:12:03 AM »


So, the sound engineer who has to check how the show sounds before it goes out on podcast is going to be in for a long night then?

More than likely no one would check it as it went out to the podcast. In many stations that's all automated...

Frell! There goes the image of someone perpetually editing the same soundclips over and over.
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« Reply #53 on: March 30, 2011, 08:41:03 AM »

From the way he described himself at the intro I would have expected a Jim Rome sports guy delivery, that is important. Stingers and liners would have added some verisimilitude as well. Finally some audio processing overall - some compression and limiting would have made it sound more -radio if carefully done and would have evened out the levels. Given the ending to me it sounded pretty light weight to make it onto escape pod but a fair attempt.

-Radio engineer since 1979
And now for another round of "Behind the Scenes at Escape Pod"... Wink

There were a lot of things we could have done to make it sound more radio-ish, but EP has a strict policy about over-producing. The goal is to be storytellers, not story-producers. Even adding the filter to the calls was questioned before it was done, but it was rightly decided that it was key to separating the callers from the host.

You're not at all wrong, so don't take this as me knee-jerking back at you. I think this has been mentioned before, but in case that's a personal delusion I just wanted to make sure people knew why we handled it the way we did.

Now back to your regularly scheduled forum. The time will be 8:30 at the tone... {beeeeeep}





NOTE TO SELF: Start collecting info on Langly to exploit for other projects in the future...
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« Reply #54 on: March 30, 2011, 08:45:10 AM »

A sly person could use a recording of this as a weapon.  If they were taking notes as they went, they could have written down clues like "memory erasure sounds?" and then when their memory got wiped the note would remain.  If they then clipped the recording down to that sound then they could wear heavy earphones to block out the noise and play it on speakers to erase anyone's memory--Men in Black style.
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« Reply #55 on: March 30, 2011, 01:47:42 PM »

This is basically how I first seduced my wife, except instead of a special sound I used rohypnol instead.
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« Reply #56 on: March 30, 2011, 02:52:47 PM »

This is basically how I first seduced my wife, except instead of a special sound I used rohypnol instead.

d00d... Tee-em-eye. SRSLY. Lips sealed
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« Reply #57 on: April 03, 2011, 01:47:47 AM »

...From the way he described himself at the intro I would have expected a Jim Rome sports guy delivery, that is important. Stingers and liners would have added some verisimilitude as well. Finally some audio processing overall - some compression and limiting would have made it sound more -radio if carefully done and would have evened out the levels. Given the ending to me it sounded pretty light weight to make it onto escape pod but a fair attempt.

I'm happy about the level of production on this episode, personally - there were a few flubs where the callers' voices weren't processed or where the host's voice was, but they weren't too bad. The main issue that I have with this story is the reading. I agree with Langly that it should have been read in more of a Morning Talk-style voice - the kind of guy that you tune in to to hear him being mean and sarcastic on the radio. Although I liked the narrator, I don't feel like his reading gave the radio host the teeth that he should have had. It took me a few sittings to get through this story because of it.

Aside from that, I really enjoyed the story itself - an interesting concept!
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #58 on: April 07, 2011, 01:49:35 AM »

I thought this was fun!
And I'm with birdless, I also laughed out loud at the skeletons on the front lawn line...

I giggled out loud at "all my skeletons are tastefully arranged on my front lawn."
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« Reply #59 on: April 07, 2011, 03:14:44 PM »

This story was clever and fun, but certainly more form than substance. For a SF podcast, the radio format is an obvious match, and it kept the tone close enough to reality, even if it was not pitch perfect. I had Jeff Bridges in the beginning of 'Fisher King' in my head (excuuuuuuuse me). Any way, the story didn't really go anywhere unexpected (aliens are so obvious), and it is a challenge to tell a story by means of pure exposition in an exciting way. The gradual reveal was OK, but didn't exactly have me on the edge of the seat. I think if there had been more than one phenomena or at least some kind of development in the outer world, it would have been more interesting.
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LaShawn
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« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2011, 11:12:27 AM »

I work in a community garden, and a bunch of people kept coming over asking if I was okay as I sat there in the dirt, laughing my ass off. The format was *perfect*! This is a story I'm going to recommend to all my conspiracy friends and relatives. And sadly, I have a lot.
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« Reply #61 on: July 16, 2018, 12:12:31 PM »

Not my favorite. Others have pretty much covered the issues I had.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #62 on: September 11, 2018, 08:37:55 AM »

Interesting to revisit, both the story and the comments (including my own).
I still found the story fun, but seemed to notice more of the problems this time round, specifically how recordings open the possibility for people learning and not being mind-wiped. I also laughed out loud at the skeletons on the front lawn line again (I guess I am consistent).
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« Reply #63 on: September 13, 2018, 03:59:54 PM »

Author here.

I don't know if it's gauche to recommend other podcasts, but The Drabblecast did an excellent rendition of this story as well, and put quite a bit of work into it.  Speaking for myself, I consider it a must listen (the media player is down at the bottom of the page):

https://www.drabblecast.org/2014/10/05/drabblecast-340-clear-day-can-see-way-conspiracy/

As for the most recently (re)voiced objection (recordings), all I can do is reiterate my defense at the time of the original podcast: Any recording would also have the memory-erasing sound.  I honestly believe that anyone listening to this for the first time couldn't resist listening to the entire thing and thereby hearing the sound; and, thanks to that sound, every time one listens to it is the first time...
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divs
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« Reply #64 on: September 13, 2018, 05:17:20 PM »

We fully support the The Drabblecast! Thanks for linking to it.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #65 on: September 14, 2018, 02:27:50 PM »

Author here.
.
.
.
As for the most recently (re)voiced objection (recordings), all I can do is reiterate my defense at the time of the original podcast: Any recording would also have the memory-erasing sound.  I honestly believe that anyone listening to this for the first time couldn't resist listening to the entire thing and thereby hearing the sound; and, thanks to that sound, every time one listens to it is the first time...

Awesome!! I love hearing from the author!!  And while I agree that most people would listen to the end of any recordings, I can't believe there wouldn't be some people who wouldn't get to the end for some reason (late for work, distracted by spouse/dog/children/emergency, etc.). These people would eventually figure out that everybody else who did get to the end of the recording had forgotten all about it. Then those rare people who didn't get to the end would figure out that there was something problematic at the end of the recording and start passing around an edited version.... At least that is what I imagine would happen.

Still a good story, though.
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