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Author Topic: EP291: Shannon’s Law  (Read 14211 times)

eytanz

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on: May 05, 2011, 09:58:32 PM
EP291: Shannon’s Law

By Cory Doctorow
Read by Mur Lafferty

Originally published in Welcome to the Bordertown

---

When the Way to Bordertown closed, I was only four years old, and I was more interested in peeling the skin off my Tickle Me Elmo to expose the robot lurking inside his furry pelt than I was in networking or even plumbing the unknowable mysteries of Elfland. But a lot can change in thirteen years.

When the Way opened again, the day I turned seventeen, I didn’t hesitate. I packed everything I could carry—every scratched phone, every half-assembled laptop, every stick of memory, and every Game Boy I could fit in a duffel bag. I hit the bank with my passport and my ATM card and demanded that they turn over my savings to me, without calling my parents or any other ridiculous delay. They didn’t like it, but “It’s my money, now hand it over” is like a spell for bending bankers to your will.

Land rushes. Know about ’em? There’s some piece of land that was off-limits, and the government announces that it’s going to open it up—all you need to do is rush over to it when the cannon goes off, and whatever you can stake out is yours. Used to be that land rushes came along any time the United States decided to break a promise to some Indians and take away their land, and a hundred thousand white men would wait at the starting line to stampede into the “empty lands” and take it over. But more recently, the land rushes have been virtual: The Internet opens up, and whoever gets there first gets to grab all the good stuff. The land rushers in the early days of the Net had the dumbest ideas: online pet food, virtual-reality helmets, Internet-enabled candy delivery services. But they got some major money while the rush was on, before Joe Investor figured out how to tell a good idea from a redonkulous one


Rated PG - language


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 10:32:00 PM by eytanz »



StunGod

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Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 01:58:54 PM
Wow - I loved this.  (I even enjoyed the sausage-making lesson, although it was a bit distracting...It's a good reminder of how much work goes into producing the podcast)

I'm a network engineer, and really loved the combination of real, actual network terminology with the fantasy world.  Cory put a lot of thought into how to blend the two into something entertaining, yet plausible (well, in an internally-consistent way) that just reached out to my inner geek.  The world-building was good too - I'd love to read more stories from the Borderlands.  There's a lot of potential there, I think.

Minor complaint: SYN/ACK is pronounced "sin ack," not "sign ack."  To 99% of people, it's a tomayto/tomahto issue but it was kind of jarring to a guy who uses that term in conversation a couple of times a week.

Thanks for the story and the narration though - it made my day!



Ocicat

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Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 10:13:01 PM
Please note: The file that originally went out had big editing problems, you may wish to download the newer corrected version.  Check the notes - if you see the Update / apology, you have the new file.



heyes

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Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 11:53:49 AM
I have to say I enjoyed hearing the unedited version, it somehow added to the story.  That, and as a newbie podcaster, it was great to see that the greats have to do lots of editing every once in a while.

So, ah, the story.  Good story, great characters, very intriguing way of dealing with a truly "other" other.


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Rain

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Reply #4 on: May 09, 2011, 12:02:11 PM
Overall i thought it was an interesting story, and i liked it, but i had a few problems that nagged me.

The ending was strange, we spend all this time establishing how important it is to Shannon to find a way to transfer information to the elf realm, yet when they don't hear anything from Synack for years they just shrug and ignore it, maybe the poem wasn't beautiful enough, maybe Synack was dead, are we to believe that Jetfuel doesn't care about her sister at all?

I also found Jetfuel's relationship with her father strange, we are told that he doesn't care for her because she is half human, yet when we meet him he is nice and caring and Jetfuel is the one that comes off as cold.

Also i spent most of the story thinking Shannon was a girl because of the name, and it got a little confusing towards the end when he was referred to as a boyfriend.



matweller

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Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 12:56:08 PM
I also found Jetfuel's relationship with her father strange, we are told that he doesn't care for her because she is half human, yet when we meet him he is nice and caring and Jetfuel is the one that comes off as cold.
I thought this was odd too, but it also sounds exactly like my best friend's relationship with his father back in high school days.



Unblinking

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Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 02:05:53 PM
It was an interesting idea, to merge the Fey with internet protocols.  Some parts made me think of Discworld's semaphore towers for obvious reasons.

I gave it a try but after 20 minutes it hadn't gone anywhere besides just telling me that it has a premise of Fey with internet protocols.  I wanted some plot tension to show me what the main character wanted.  There was a throwaway comment about wanting to set up this whole elaborate system so that he could send just one packet, and that was interesting, but then was not mentioned again for a long time after.  I'm sure others will like this one, it is a neat idea, I thought the idea of peddling a huge volumed set of Wikipedia was both silly and interesting, but for me it reminded me of the hard science fiction stories I tend not to like because they spend so much time explaining their premise and never seem to get to the plot.



Listener

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Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 06:00:23 PM
It seemed like there was a huge setup coming, but by almost 50 minutes into the episode I was thinking... um... where's the conflict, exactly? Then we get an interesting world study crunched up with a plot that has no real resolution, other than to pay off the fact that Shannon likes Jet Fuel in that way. This has bothered me with some of Doctorow's other works (but not all). I think in a way that's part of his style -- to remind you that, in the real world, there is rarely a neat, tidy ending that goes the way we expect or want it to.

It took me a while to realize that Shannon is actually a male character. I think that was less a narrator issue than the fact that, in my upbringing/experience, Shannon is generally a girl's name (although not always). The "with your junk hanging out" line should've clued me in sooner than it did.

Overall an enjoyable story, but toward the end it got bogged down in technobabble.

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Wilson Fowlie

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Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 09:07:53 PM
It took me a while to realize that Shannon is actually a male character. I think that was less a narrator issue than the fact that, in my upbringing/experience, Shannon is generally a girl's name (although not always). The "with your junk hanging out" line should've clued me in sooner than it did.

This slightly earlier line:

  I am Shannon Klod, the founder of BINGO, the lad who brought networking to B-town

was my first clue. But it wasn't until the 'dangling junk' line that I was sure.

I liked this story. I didn't actually mind the tech talk at the time (though, in retrospect, I can see how that would make for not wanting to read/hear it twice). I thought it made the story a good vehicle for non-techies to get a rudimentary understanding of how the Internet itself got started. It was as much as history story (in disguise) as it was fantasy.

To me, the conflict arose between Shannon and Faerie (what we, in Canada at least, are taught is the theme of 'man vs. his environment') - his befuddlement at the difference between his world and theirs, his struggling to understand and ultimately subvert the difference, and the outcome. Not all conflict has to be interpersonal.

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Listener

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Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 09:47:03 PM
This slightly earlier line:

  I am Shannon Klod, the founder of BINGO, the lad who brought networking to B-town

was my first clue. But it wasn't until the 'dangling junk' line that I was sure.

I must have heard "lad" as "kid". Ah well. It didn't change my enjoyment of the story in either direction.

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zoanon

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Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 01:26:20 AM
I too kept forgetting that Shannon was supposed to be a man. I pictured him as a lady the whole time and I preferred it that way.
I really liked the set up of this story, all the explanations about the internet and all that. I was totally thrown by the ending, a whole hour of build up to connecting with the fae world and suddenly all that matters is getting the girl ?



Unblinking

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Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 01:50:59 PM
To me, the conflict arose between Shannon and Faerie (what we, in Canada at least, are taught is the theme of 'man vs. his environment') - his befuddlement at the difference between his world and theirs, his struggling to understand and ultimately subvert the difference, and the outcome. Not all conflict has to be interpersonal.

Sure, there's man vs. environment, but what are the stakes here?  If he doesn't keep the internet running smoothly, then the consequence is that the internet doesn't run smoothly.  It's not much of a life-changing consequence, and he said himself he doesn't really care about the money or the prestige, he said he only cares about sending that one packet, but then changed the subject before he told me what that packet meant.  Without knowing what that packet is, or at least what it represents, early in the story, there just wasn't much tension in this conflict, for me.





Devoted135

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Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 02:50:39 PM
This story was sort of middling for me. I also had to keep reminding myself throughout that Shannon was supposed to be a guy, despite all the little hints. Between that and the technobabble I found myself having to concentrate harder on the little details, at the expense of listening to the story. I did like the description of Faery and how everything is perceived differently there, but those details were sort of lost for me in the midst of explanations of semaphore and carrier pigeons.

I also agree with those above who are wondering why the story ended up as a "he gets the girl" instead of a "he succeeds/fails in his life-long goal." All of the conflict was set up around whether or not they would succeed in sending and receiving a packet, and then getting the confirmation back. Simultaneously, his and Jetfuel's relationship was introduced and developed in a way that seemed pretty platonic to me. So I was a bit bemused when Shannon's response to not hearing anything was to shrug and say "well, at least Jetfuel and I are happy together."



zoanon

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Reply #13 on: May 11, 2011, 02:29:17 AM
I totally forgot to say how much I loved the fairies legal system!
I can just imagine laws based on aesthetics, LOVE IT.



Gamercow

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Reply #14 on: May 11, 2011, 04:53:31 PM
I liked this story, but thought it ended in a wave of hands and smoke.  I think that the moral of the story was that Shannon's passion in the early days wasn't really about the adventure of forging new ground, but rather was a passion for Jet Fuel, and once he realized that, getting that one packet transmitted seemed less important.  I was a bit annoyed at their glibness towards Synack's fate, but young people in love can do that sometimes.

Speaking of packets, and referencing to Unblinking's post, that one packet was important because if he could get that one packet along, he could potentially get more packets, and therefore could open up communications between fey and "real" worlds, something that previously could never be done.

Re: the tech. Sending individual packets via pigeon and even light signals is dumb.  Packets are structured in such a way that computers like them, and can understand them, and can process them quickly.  If you reduce this to pigeon, or scroll, or heliography, it is just plain nonsensical.  Use the right tool for the job.  Transmit messages in whole via pigeon, then translate that into 1s and 0s, and THEN feed it into a computer. 

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emmett

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Reply #15 on: May 12, 2011, 08:04:47 AM
I had the same problem with this story as I had with Little Brother: Tedious explanation. Doctorow spends so much time describing novel technologies that the story just fades away. I mean, not much happens. We get an in-depth view of how the hodgepodge network works, but after a few paragraphs of that I could care less. Where's the tension? Where's the conflict? Why should I keep reading/listening? In the end it just feels like someone geeking out over networking.

Too much telling. Not enough showing.

Still, some great concepts introduced. Love how the Fey universe functions chiefly on aesthetics, beauty, and drama.



Gamercow

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Reply #16 on: May 13, 2011, 02:07:36 PM
Finally remembered what this story reminded me of.  Cryptonomicon, at least the cable laying part.

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ElectricPaladin

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Reply #17 on: May 13, 2011, 04:13:40 PM
Classic Doctorow. Fascinating premise, great education value, and interesting characters who fail to achieve emotional reality. I was particularly unimpressed with the smooth, content-free transition from coworkers to lovers. One scene "that would be so inappropriate," next scene "worst boyfriend ever." What the heck? I always feel smarter after reading Doctorow, but I find his characterization incredibly frustrating.

For a while there, I thought Shannon was a girl. It was Mur's excellent reading. That was interesting - I've never known Doctorow to tackle gay or female protagonists, and here he was doing both! Until, finally, it became clear that he wasn't. I was a sad paladin.

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Talia

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Reply #18 on: May 13, 2011, 04:56:58 PM
Classic Doctorow. Fascinating premise, great education value, and interesting characters who fail to achieve emotional reality. I was particularly unimpressed with the smooth, content-free transition from coworkers to lovers. One scene "that would be so inappropriate," next scene "worst boyfriend ever." What the heck? I always feel smarter after reading Doctorow, but I find his characterization incredibly frustrating.

For a while there, I thought Shannon was a girl. It was Mur's excellent reading. That was interesting - I've never known Doctorow to tackle gay or female protagonists, and here he was doing both! Until, finally, it became clear that he wasn't. I was a sad paladin.

His main character in the excellent short story 'Anda's Game' is female.



ElectricPaladin

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Reply #19 on: May 13, 2011, 05:06:16 PM
Classic Doctorow. Fascinating premise, great education value, and interesting characters who fail to achieve emotional reality. I was particularly unimpressed with the smooth, content-free transition from coworkers to lovers. One scene "that would be so inappropriate," next scene "worst boyfriend ever." What the heck? I always feel smarter after reading Doctorow, but I find his characterization incredibly frustrating.

For a while there, I thought Shannon was a girl. It was Mur's excellent reading. That was interesting - I've never known Doctorow to tackle gay or female protagonists, and here he was doing both! Until, finally, it became clear that he wasn't. I was a sad paladin.

His main character in the excellent short story 'Anda's Game' is female.

Huh. Haven't read that one. Is he any good at writing women?

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Raj

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Reply #20 on: May 13, 2011, 05:21:38 PM
Just regarding the whole Shannon girl/boy thing, it never occurred to me that he could be female since very early on when he stated his name was Shannon Claude, which is a pun on Claude Shannon, the father of information theory and so I was visualising him as him all the way through (although mind you, when I first learned about Shannon, I did keep thinking he was a girl :) ).

Being a computing geek, it was fun just hearing about that and how the west 'net was won, although the end did completely throw me as well.

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Talia

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Reply #21 on: May 13, 2011, 05:36:02 PM
Classic Doctorow. Fascinating premise, great education value, and interesting characters who fail to achieve emotional reality. I was particularly unimpressed with the smooth, content-free transition from coworkers to lovers. One scene "that would be so inappropriate," next scene "worst boyfriend ever." What the heck? I always feel smarter after reading Doctorow, but I find his characterization incredibly frustrating.

For a while there, I thought Shannon was a girl. It was Mur's excellent reading. That was interesting - I've never known Doctorow to tackle gay or female protagonists, and here he was doing both! Until, finally, it became clear that he wasn't. I was a sad paladin.

His main character in the excellent short story 'Anda's Game' is female.

Huh. Haven't read that one. Is he any good at writing women?

Well, I liked the story, for what it's worth. I didn't scrutinize the character much, that doesn't tend to be my reading style.



Nobilis

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Reply #22 on: May 14, 2011, 12:32:21 AM
Doctorow spends so much time describing novel technologies that the story just fades away....

Too much telling. Not enough showing.

Still, some great concepts introduced. Love how the Fey universe functions chiefly on aesthetics, beauty, and drama.

Yeah, I avoid Doctorow's fiction for much the same reason.  I don't think fiction is his strong suit, and this story really highlights the reasons why.  The conflict was too small-scale, the stakes too low, the tension too relaxed.



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Reply #23 on: May 14, 2011, 02:10:14 AM
Classic Doctorow. Fascinating premise, great education value, and interesting characters who fail to achieve emotional reality. I was particularly unimpressed with the smooth, content-free transition from coworkers to lovers. One scene "that would be so inappropriate," next scene "worst boyfriend ever." What the heck? I always feel smarter after reading Doctorow, but I find his characterization incredibly frustrating.

Thanks -- that sums up my feelings about this one. I thought it was just me! I felt the same way about Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom. I saw Cory Doctorow at last year's WorldCon and he's a clever, thoughtful, entertaining guy. I really want to like his fiction -- but it seems lacking and I think the characterisation thing may be why.


Talia

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Reply #24 on: May 14, 2011, 02:12:11 AM
Classic Doctorow. Fascinating premise, great education value, and interesting characters who fail to achieve emotional reality. I was particularly unimpressed with the smooth, content-free transition from coworkers to lovers. One scene "that would be so inappropriate," next scene "worst boyfriend ever." What the heck? I always feel smarter after reading Doctorow, but I find his characterization incredibly frustrating.

Thanks -- that sums up my feelings about this one. I thought it was just me! I felt the same way about Down And Out In The Magic Kingdom. I saw Cory Doctorow at last year's WorldCon and he's a clever, thoughtful, entertaining guy. I really want to like his fiction -- but it seems lacking and I think the characterisation thing may be why.

That's funny, I just started listening to Down & Out after finding it on Podiobooks and I'm absolutely loving it so far. Granted I'm only two chapters in, but I just adore the world building.




iamafish

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Reply #25 on: May 15, 2011, 02:11:34 AM
interesting premise, went nowhere. Really unsatisfactory ending. Meh.

I also thought Shannon was a girl. Why do people insist on using blatantly female names for male character and vice-verca? Especially with a female narrator. Just bloody confusing!


eytanz

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Reply #26 on: May 15, 2011, 08:13:14 AM
I'm with Electricpaladin on this one - the plotline and ideas were great (though I'm not quite as gung-ho about the internet as either the author or the narrator), but the characters were rather flat. The only character who seemed to have any level of emotional complexity at all was Jetfuel's dad, and that's probably because he was on stage for so short a time he could retain it without being bulldozed over by the narrative.

I did enjoy it, certainly, but I did not find it compelling.



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Reply #27 on: May 16, 2011, 08:10:45 AM
I liked this story a lot.
The idea of running a Google search on the faerie land appeals to me, and I kinda wish it were true.

On the subject of truth being stranger than fiction, we have here a story of just how fault-tolerant the internet really is.
http://www.dbune.com/news/world/6097-donkeys-take-over-from-dsl-as-syria-shuts-down-internet.html
There's a huge latency on donkey-packets, but better late than never!

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zoanon

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Reply #28 on: May 18, 2011, 12:17:37 AM
On the subject of truth being stranger than fiction, we have here a story of just how fault-tolerant the internet really is.
http://www.dbune.com/news/world/6097-donkeys-take-over-from-dsl-as-syria-shuts-down-internet.html

the first time I clicked on the link I got an error message :P oh the irony.



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Reply #29 on: May 18, 2011, 01:07:26 AM
I love this story!  Great writing, great reading, and I got upset when it ended. This story left me wanting more!!!!!! 



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Reply #30 on: May 18, 2011, 11:29:48 AM
Fascinating concept, that laws are shaped by aesthetics, but I agree with quite a few other folks in finding that it felt thin; no real jeopardy for Shannon and his enterprise if it failed, and the characterisation wasn't all that great.  It felt like we were going one way and suddenly, yank the reins and pull that stagecoach to the side of the road because the journey's over.

Oh, and on sneakernets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers  ;D



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Reply #31 on: May 18, 2011, 02:15:35 PM
I also thought Shannon was a girl. Why do people insist on using blatantly female names for male character and vice-verca? Especially with a female narrator. Just bloody confusing!

Shannon is one of those names that can go either way. Like Dana, Kim, Shane, Lee, Jamie, Jordan, Elliot, Rory, Tracy, Leslie, Ashley, and probably others that have slipped out of my mind at the moment.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 02:17:55 PM by stePH »

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Reply #32 on: May 18, 2011, 08:57:28 PM

Oh, and on sneakernets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers  ;D


Glad there weren't any packet collisions.

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Mav.Weirdo

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Reply #33 on: May 20, 2011, 04:20:42 AM
I liked the story very much, and had no problem with Shannon's name.

My one complaint was Shannon not recognizing that there was an aesthetic quality to what he did.

He was on a quest to be the first one to establish reliable communication with the fae realm. Why? Because it would be cool. "Cool" in this situation is a subjective/aesthetic term.

He says himself at about 22:45 "I recognized her tone, and it warmed my heart; the sound of a techie who was offended at the existence if an inelegant solution to a challenging problem."

An elegant solution is exactly what it takes to communicate with the fae realm. If someone had told him that the fae laws of physics resist kludge* he would have understood that.

*Technically a totally hideous kludge could work, but a solution like that would likely only work once.



CryptoMe

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Reply #34 on: May 20, 2011, 09:57:01 PM
Like many other posters, I also enjoyed the the concept of trying to bring internet to Faerie Land. But all the weird transport mechanism just lost it for me. The reason the internet is so useful is because it is *fast*!! Take that away, and you may as well stick to snail mail or old fashioned encyclopedias.  

One other minor quibble about pronunciation. At 23:28 Mur says  "Jet Fuel... unscrewed her thermos and tit-er-at-ed some caffeine into her bloodstream." That really jarred me, because it's pronounced tie-tray-ted (or tit-ray-ted if you are British). Check out the neat sound clips (both versions) here.



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Reply #35 on: May 21, 2011, 04:32:47 AM
All I can say is.... <expletive deleted>, Cory Doctorow. You don't lead me on a 70 minute journey based on an interesting premise only to yank the bait away from me at the end and say "just kidding! nothing ever comes of it!" Homey don't play that.

This story had me captivated right up until it ended abruptly with no resolution, no payoff, and not even the faintest hint of an excuse. I expect better from a guy whose name passes for legend on the internets.

I mean, there was even a good, sensible ending telegraphed throughout that story that would have perfectly suited the logic of the world... but nope. Seems ol' Cory got bored after an hour and just decided to wrap it up and go do something else.

Grr. I'm angry. Can you tell I'm angry? I really wanted to like this story. The premise is great. But, as anybody who has read my comments before knows, I'm picky about endings, and this story had none. Or at least none that gave the story itself the credit it richly deserved. The romantic subplot was fine as a subplot, and it even could have made the main plot work, but it... GRR! ARGH! I can't even articulate my thoughts, I'm so peeved.

*sigh*... deep breaths... deep breaths...

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)


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Reply #36 on: May 22, 2011, 01:07:08 PM

His main character in the excellent short story 'Anda's Game' is female.

Huh. Haven't read that one. Is he any good at writing women?

In my opinion his women are the best thing about "Little Brother" and when I recommend it, it is on those grounds.  The women characters in that book are varied, closely characterized and play a gamut of parts from queen of evil to heroine.  The men in that book, by contrast, are a little lackluster.  But I can deal with that if the book will make me happy in its characterization of women.  It's one of the reasons I'm so happy the book is YA.  I sure could have used a book like that when I was a teenager.

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Reply #37 on: May 25, 2011, 12:15:29 PM
As most people have pointed out, there is great world-building and a very clever idea here, and it is not really clear why in the end the result didn't matter to them anymore (because they found love ? Doesn't ring true to me). Also, it overdid the technological explanations a little bit, there's not really room for the detailed error-checking algorithms of data packages in a SF story unless you have something cool new aspect of it that could only come from this faeri land. So, a little less education, a little more action would have been good, but I still kept focus during a pretty long story which is in itself a high grade.



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Reply #38 on: May 25, 2011, 03:22:51 PM
Also, it overdid the technological explanations a little bit, there's not really room for the detailed error-checking algorithms of data packages in a SF story unless you have something cool new aspect of it....

Somebody should tell that to Neal Stephenson :P

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Reply #39 on: June 02, 2011, 09:09:02 PM

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


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Reply #40 on: June 05, 2011, 06:43:59 PM
Being one of those folks who doesn't like fantasy stories, I greatly appreciate Mur giving us a heads-up in the intro that this story had fantasy elements of magic and elves.   Her description of the story also having good sci-fi elements elements convinced me to give it a listen, however.   

And for the first 90% of the story I was glad I did. 

I loved the idea of the boundary between worlds and the concept of dimensions we simply can't comprehend.   I also loved the idea that what we call magic is maybe/probably just physics we can't comprehend, though I think that thread would have been better explored on "their" side of the boundary where the physics were different.

Unfortunately, the end of this story was just . . .  huh?   All the build-up went for . . . nothing.   Shannon's previous comments about never wanting to explore romance with Jet Fuel just somehow faded away into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.  Why?   

Is the point here that wanting love drives creativity and hard work and getting that love makes you indifferent and lazy?   

Maybe everyone on the other side of the boundary is so focused on aesthetics and beauty because they're unable to find love?

I doubt the author intended that conclusion but I sure would like to know why a story that was building up so nicely finished with such a whimper.




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Reply #41 on: June 05, 2011, 07:19:35 PM
Being one of those folks who doesn't like fantasy stories, I greatly appreciate Mur giving us a heads-up in the intro that this story had fantasy elements of magic and elves.   Her description of the story also having good sci-fi elements elements convinced me to give it a listen, however.   

And for the first 90% of the story I was glad I did. 

I loved the idea of the boundary between worlds and the concept of dimensions we simply can't comprehend.   I also loved the idea that what we call magic is maybe/probably just physics we can't comprehend, though I think that thread would have been better explored on "their" side of the boundary where the physics were different.

Unfortunately, the end of this story was just . . .  huh?   All the build-up went for . . . nothing.   Shannon's previous comments about never wanting to explore romance with Jet Fuel just somehow faded away into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.  Why?   

Is the point here that wanting love drives creativity and hard work and getting that love makes you indifferent and lazy?   

Maybe everyone on the other side of the boundary is so focused on aesthetics and beauty because they're unable to find love?

I doubt the author intended that conclusion but I sure would like to know why a story that was building up so nicely finished with such a whimper.



My thoughts exactly.

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)


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Reply #42 on: June 06, 2011, 07:32:03 AM
Did you know the method used by syn/ack, jet fuel and shannon is an actual encryption method?  Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity."
I actually did know that, and I had wondered why they felt it was so clever and innovative. I mean, the solution is obvious...

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Reply #43 on: June 20, 2011, 07:55:45 PM
Sorry. I listened for 20 minutes, then turned it off because the jargon went way over my head. I'll probably appreciate it a lot better if I read it instead of listening to it. Mur did an awesome reading, but all the server slang was just too much.

But I instantly knew Shannon was a guy. Maybe because I also know a guy named Shannon (whose wife's name is Kriss--awesome couple!)

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