Escape Artists
July 24, 2014, 08:00:33 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All
  Print  
Author Topic: EP285: Jaiden’s Weaver  (Read 6106 times)
acpracht
Peltast
***
Posts: 90


« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2011, 09:16:57 AM »

I think people are missing my point.

1) "It's still scifi!"

- I never said it wasn't.  I have no problem calling it so and putting it on EP and the rest.  My point was that it didn't *use* the speculative elements in any way that required them to be speculative; their planet colony was just like a remote farm in the American Midwest, their communications worked just like the Internet and phones, the spider-bear was just like a horse, etc.  It's SF that didn't have to be SF to work just as well.  Compare, for instance, something like, I dunno, "Blade Runner," which wouldn't have been nearly as interesting if replicants were just regular people who had stolen someone's identity.  That's what I'm talking about here.

2) "It's good anyway!"

- I agree wholeheartedly.  It's an excellent story and a good piece of writing, which is precisely why I'm not sure I see why it was an SF story.  See, making something speculative means that you are of necessity limiting the audience; there are a lot more people who won't read genre fiction than who won't read plain fiction.  Also, when you make something speculative, you have to expend precious wordcount either on explaining genre tropes that fans of the genre take for granted or else risk confusing people who don't know what those tropes are.  For this story, the speculative elements were like the paper umbrella in a cocktail; they jazzed it up a bit, but didn't add anything substantive, and I'm left wondering why we would go to the extra trouble to make it speculative when it didn't need to be.  It's a perfectly strong story in itself and doesn't need adorable spider-bears to be good enough to sell and receive considerable praise.

Going to combine this response to also fit with some comments you had above. As to what it adds that's new, well, it actually made me take a look at the story and characters whereas another horse story wouldn't. I've heard probably dozens of the girl and her horse/boy and his dog, whatever. It's so familiar it slides right off of me without engaging me. I can say with confidence this is the first time I've heard one with a teddy bear spider. As such, it got me thinking about what these creatures were like, what it would be like to own one, how its fur would feel, would it be a little creepy or just adorable, etc... Since it engaged me, I actually paid attention, thought about it and took something away from it, whereas I wouldn't with a "standard" animal.

What it comes down to, I think, is that the difference between asking "Why?" and "Why not?"
Logged
stePH
Actually has enough cowbell.
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3781

Cool story, bro!


« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2011, 01:35:36 PM »

Horsey story. Meh.
Logged

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising
Loz
Lochage
*****
Posts: 369


WWW
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2011, 01:37:48 PM »

I'm going to be very interested to see what happens when this comes up in the next Soundless Escape Pod because I think the only thing that saved a slightly twee story was the wonderful performance from Kij Johnson reading it. Like others have said, the actual story itself wasn't aimed at me, I quite like dogs and cats and what I like most is their being the companions of other humans so I can visit them rather than have to look after them continuously myself, but I think this story is probably ideal for the child who's so far losing the argument with their parents over getting a pet. I'm going to be interested to see how well it stands up without the vocal element.
Logged
Melsana
Extern
*
Posts: 8


« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2011, 02:17:43 PM »

I rarely post here, but this one just made me have to come and say how much I loved it.  It was really heart warming, and the type of story I love to listen to.  Definitly going to recomend it to a few of my friends, a lot of the stuff you guys put out, I'm willing to listen to but I can't say that I could recomend it to most of my friends.
Logged
HomespunDreamer
Guest
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2011, 04:20:37 PM »

So far, I've only commented when I really, really, loved a story.... But I personally don't really like girl&horse/boy&dog kinda stories. So I didn't get much out of this one, New Oregon was cool though Smiley
Logged
SF.Fangirl
Peltast
***
Posts: 137


« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2011, 06:17:16 PM »

I was pleasantly surprised by this story because I thought it was going to be an historical, fantasy which I usually dislike.  Instead it was a sweet and heartwarming sci fi story.  Sure the plot was simplisitic and we probably all saw the end coming (at least the story acknowledged the cliche), but I enjoyed it alot.

I acknowledge that I am a sci fi fan.  The alien setting added to my enjoyment and perhaps made my enjoyment.  Without it, I certainly would not have encountered a historical short story about a girl and her horse/pet.
Logged
Gamercow
Hipparch
******
Posts: 644



« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2011, 07:26:31 PM »

Skeptical cow was skeptical going into this story, as I don't like horse and girl stories.  But I really enjoyed this one, and thought that the world building was excellent, with the rings and seasons and futuristic frontier living.  In the end, it really gave me the warm and fuzzies.
Logged

Love the EscapeArtists Podcasts?  Donate today!  If you don't, they may die out at the end of 2013!  No more stories!  http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=7571.0

The cow says "Mooooooooo"
Devoted135
Hipparch
******
Posts: 829



« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2011, 10:51:16 AM »

Wow, I loved this one so much! I'm not generally ok with spiders, but somehow the descriptions managed to make Kali cute enough for me to get over my initial creepy factor. And the relationship between Jaiden and Kali! Makes me so happy inside. Smiley

FWIW, I thought the "genre stuff" added to the story. All the tech was simple enough that it didn't cause either confusion or excess explanations to get in the way of the narrative. At the same time, it added to my sense of wonder, which helped me to channel my inner little girl and remember what it was like to throw myself into something the way that Jaiden does.
Logged
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3150


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 03:17:31 PM »

I wasn't sure at first that this would be a story aimed at a younger audience until the MC started saving her money to buy her own spider.

As a YA (or "girl who wants her very own horse") story, it was pretty good. The worldbuilding was well-done. But I see where others have said "it's just SF thrown on top of an existing plot".

I think there's a difference between just throwing SF on a well-used plot and writing an SF story that draws from existing story archetypes. Star Trek was sold as "Wagon Train to the Stars", but it became more than the sum of its parts (about 50% of the time, anyway). I'm not sure that this story is capable of becoming more than the sum of its parts -- pretty as those parts were.

I was also rather amused that the name chosen for the MC was "Jaiden". I've discussed in the past (perhaps on this forum, perhaps on another) about the use of "nontraditional" names (as opposed to, say, Jenny or Alice or Sarah). We didn't meet any of Jaiden's friends, so I'm not sure what her other friends might be called (though I bet there's an Aiden, a Xander, and one or more girls whose names start with K and include at least one A, one Y, and one N). Also, while the story wouldn't have benefited from this expansion, I am rather interested in knowing more about Jaiden's contemporaries.

The reading was fine. Easy to listen to while walking.
Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
jenfullmoon
Palmer
**
Posts: 45


« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2011, 04:24:53 PM »

And I wanted a teddy bear spider to go, please! I blame oxytocin. Bastard hormone scuppers us every time!

Me too!

I don't give a crap about "a girl and her horse." The best part of it to me was that Kali managed to solve her own problem. You go, girl! I don't recall any horse story where a horse kept on riding minus a leg...
Logged
Mary Robinette Kowal
Extern
*
Posts: 10


« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2011, 05:14:22 PM »

I always love reading the comments of Escape Pod listeners.  I usually wait for a couple of days before chiming in because I don't want to influence the discussion too much.

First of all I wanted to say that tinygaia nailed it.
... I kept thinking "This is Where the Red Fern Grows as SF."
This is exactly what I wrote, ripping the plot structure pretty much directly from one of my favorite childhood books. Except I gave it a happy ending. And teddy bear spiders.

The decision to revisit "Where the Red Fern Grows," came from the idea that moving to a new planet wouldn't change the sort of frustrations that a frontier child would face.  Kids are always going to want things that they can't have, no matter how far into the future we go.

The other seed of this was the planet. I'd had the idea to do "Where the Red Fern Grows in space!" for a while before tackling it.  I wrote this while at the LaunchPad Writer's Workshop, which is a NASA funded workshop to teach astronomy to SF writers and encourage science literacy.  During the discussion of ringed planets, I became fascinated with the idea of what life on the surface would be like. The rest of the story came from that point.
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 5963



WWW
« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2011, 08:42:15 AM »

I don't recall any horse story where a horse kept on riding minus a leg...

I'm pretty sure that would be physically impossible, while a 7 legged spider isn't really at much disadvantage (except for the weaving thing).  There have been stories (the movie Dreamer for one)  where a horse was considered lame and was planned to be euthanized, was saved by a little girl who loved it, and eventually became a racehorse.   Since spiders can move minus one leg it made sense to just remove one instead of making it lame.

Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
matweller
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 519



WWW
« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2011, 08:45:41 AM »

I endorse the addition of spiders to almost all of the classics. I request your next projects to be Moby Dick and Silas Marner. Both would be 10,000% more meaningful if reduced to 10,000 words and infused with arachnids.
Logged
matweller
EA Staff
*****
Posts: 519



WWW
« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2011, 08:48:34 AM »

I don't recall any horse story where a horse kept on riding minus a leg...
I'm pretty sure that would be physically impossible, while a 7 legged spider isn't really at much disadvantage (except for the weaving thing).  There have been stories (the movie Dreamer for one)  where a horse was considered lame and was planned to be euthanized, was saved by a little girl who loved it, and eventually became a racehorse.   Since spiders can move minus one leg it made sense to just remove one instead of making it lame.
But there are 3-legged dogs and cats all over the place that live almost completely normal lives. And they're funny to watch, so they spread joy! Imagine that taken to horse size! Yay!

. o O ( Oh Limpypusss, how I miss your antics...)
Logged
Devoted135
Hipparch
******
Posts: 829



« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2011, 08:50:15 AM »

I endorse the addition of spiders to almost all of the classics. I request your next projects to be Moby Dick and Silas Marner. Both would be 10,000% more meaningful if reduced to 10,000 words and infused with arachnids.


Seconded, but only if they are fuzzycute, teddy bear arachnids Smiley
Logged
Dem
Lochage
*****
Posts: 546


aka conboyhillfiction.wordpress.com


WWW
« Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 08:54:21 AM »

I always love reading the comments of Escape Pod listeners.  I usually wait for a couple of days before chiming in because I don't want to influence the discussion too much.

First of all I wanted to say that tinygaia nailed it.
... I kept thinking "This is Where the Red Fern Grows as SF."
This is exactly what I wrote, ripping the plot structure pretty much directly from one of my favorite childhood books. Except I gave it a happy ending. And teddy bear spiders.

The decision to revisit "Where the Red Fern Grows," came from the idea that moving to a new planet wouldn't change the sort of frustrations that a frontier child would face.  Kids are always going to want things that they can't have, no matter how far into the future we go.

The other seed of this was the planet. I'd had the idea to do "Where the Red Fern Grows in space!" for a while before tackling it.  I wrote this while at the LaunchPad Writer's Workshop, which is a NASA funded workshop to teach astronomy to SF writers and encourage science literacy.  During the discussion of ringed planets, I became fascinated with the idea of what life on the surface would be like. The rest of the story came from that point.

Ok, author; we've got fat plush angry birds we can lob at each other, where does this arachnophobe get her hands on a Teddy Bear Spider to help rehabilitate an entire taxonomic group?  Grin
Logged

Science is what you do when the funding panel thinks you know what you're doing. Fiction is the same only without the funding.
Gamercow
Hipparch
******
Posts: 644



« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 09:18:22 AM »

I wrote this while at the LaunchPad Writer's Workshop, which is a NASA funded workshop to teach astronomy to SF writers and encourage science literacy.  During the discussion of ringed planets, I became fascinated with the idea of what life on the surface would be like. The rest of the story came from that point.

For me, this came across heavily.  I said "Wow, they've got a good handle on what the sky on a ringed planet would be like, they must have done some research" because most writers would get it wrong, making the rings completely opaque. 
Logged

Love the EscapeArtists Podcasts?  Donate today!  If you don't, they may die out at the end of 2013!  No more stories!  http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=7571.0

The cow says "Mooooooooo"
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 5963



WWW
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 11:30:11 AM »

But there are 3-legged dogs and cats all over the place that live almost completely normal lives. And they're funny to watch, so they spread joy! Imagine that taken to horse size! Yay!

. o O ( Oh Limpypusss, how I miss your antics...)

Did they also have riders?  Even Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey would get sick from that bumpy ride.  Tongue
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Editor
*****
Posts: 4304


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2011, 06:00:11 PM »

Dear EA, MRK, etc.:

Please bring me a Teddy Bear Spider Egg this Christmas.

I promise to be a good boy!

Dave
Logged

Loz
Lochage
*****
Posts: 369


WWW
« Reply #39 on: March 31, 2011, 02:32:21 AM »


I promise to be a good boy!


Pfffffft. Well, you're no fun any more.
Logged
Pages: 1 [2] 3  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!