Author Topic: EP690/EP298: The Things (Flashback Friday)  (Read 33357 times)

CryptoMe

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2011, 05:18:20 AM »
Okay, I am very surprised by the discussion here. My reaction seems to be completely different from the norm.

First, I didn't mind the derivative/fanfic aspect, except for the fact that it made the story completely incomprehensible for me (never seen The Thing). That to me is a big flaw. Even authors of original work make sure that a new reader can follow along in the nth book if they haven't read the (n-1) earlier books. The fact that this one didn't is a big fail for me.

Secondly, I really did not like the writing style in this story.  For me, it had this quality that tries to scream "Look at me, I am being deep and profound", but all it ends up doing is saying "I'm being pompous!" That aspect in particular, made the story tedious and not enjoyable for me.

matweller

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2011, 02:55:37 PM »
This story made me want to rent Carpenter's film again. Haven't seen it for yonks.
It's on Netflix streaming right now. I...erm..."listened" to it at work the other day to prepare for my upcoming role.

kibitzer

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2011, 02:35:42 AM »
This story made me want to rent Carpenter's film again. Haven't seen it for yonks.
It's on Netflix streaming right now. I...erm..."listened" to it at work the other day to prepare for my upcoming role.

Role as... an amorphous blob?

matweller

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2011, 02:46:19 AM »
No, that would be my reality...I'll be Childs in an upcoming audio drama adaptation.

http://matweller.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/a-new-gig-with-a-flamethrower/

Sorry, I mentioned it in an earlier post in this thread. I promise it's not all ego, I'm just really excited to be in a project like this.

Listener

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #44 on: July 06, 2011, 01:12:19 AM »
This story made me want to rent Carpenter's film again. Haven't seen it for yonks.
It's on Netflix streaming right now. I...erm..."listened" to it at work the other day to prepare for my upcoming role.

My coworker does that all the time. Lucky for him, his desk is in the far back corner of the floor, and you can't see his screen even when you walk down the hallway to speak to him.
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kibitzer

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #45 on: July 06, 2011, 02:53:47 AM »
No, that would be my reality...I'll be Childs in an upcoming audio drama adaptation.

http://matweller.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/a-new-gig-with-a-flamethrower/

Sorry, I mentioned it in an earlier post in this thread. I promise it's not all ego, I'm just really excited to be in a project like this.

I missed the earlier post, sorry. Wow. That sounds freakin' awesome, man, major gratz! Might have to pick your brains about how one finds these auditions...

Kaa

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #46 on: July 07, 2011, 06:49:38 PM »
I was prepared to hate this. I started listening, and couldn't wait for the narrative to stop and for it to get to the meat of the story. Some action. Some dialogue. And then...I realized what it was. What I was listening to.

I listened to it completely entranced from that point on. It's been ages since I saw the movie, but I really like the idea of this story told from the viewpoint of the "bad guy."

I don't agree at all with those dismissing this as "derivative" or "fanfic," myself. I think of it--if anything along those lines--as more of an homage.
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LaShawn

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #47 on: July 07, 2011, 07:39:33 PM »
Most of this was background noise to me. Never saw the Thing. Might, but this story didn't give me a burning drive to watch it. Writing was interesting, though, and that last line....huh. Strong and heavy. I gleaned its impact from the story, but I bet if I seen the movie, it would've left me flabbergasted and raw.
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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #48 on: July 08, 2011, 04:06:37 AM »
This is my first EscapePod story and I think I kind of liked it--or maybe not really. I'm not sure to be honest. Perhaps it's safest to say that I like parts of it, but other parts bored me. I must say that Kate compelled me to keep listening. The last line was like a punch to the face. I also liked the comparision of the human brain to being 'a cancer'.

Never saw 'the thing' but after reading this discussion, I sort of want to now to at least get a better perspective of the story.

Or maybe not.
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kibitzer

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #49 on: July 08, 2011, 06:49:46 AM »
This is my first EscapePod story and I think I kind of liked it--or maybe not really. I'm not sure to be honest. Perhaps it's safest to say that I like parts of it, but other parts bored me. I must say that Kate compelled me to keep listening. The last line was like a punch to the face. I also liked the comparision of the human brain to being 'a cancer'.

Never saw 'the thing' but after reading this discussion, I sort of want to now to at least get a better perspective of the story.

Or maybe not.

...as long as you're sure ;-) ;-)

NoNotRogov

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #50 on: July 09, 2011, 07:52:23 PM »
Norm is freaking hilarious as a narrator, but I sometimes wonder if he's jarring to people not used to him from the Drabblecast, where comments such as his in this show are to be expected.

The story itself: there's so much homage/pastiche/etc. in everything from classic to contemporary SF that "plagiarism" or "fanfic" never even crossed my mind. What stuck out in the story for me, was that Watts came up with explanations that made the characters proven to be non-Things in the testing scene to actually be Things; which makes MacCready all the more alien and impressive in the story. He's the only one who avoids being very quickly assimilated, and yet the Thing is disjointed enough and not able to control all of its' tendrils that it fears him despite outnumbering him so heavily.

I'll also note something: for some reason in stories that have the well known hero as the Antagonist, as the monster, they seem to give them less dialogue and characterization than regular monster villain antagonists are given. From Beowulf in Grendel to this story here, it seems to often be the case.

As awesome as making a well known hero out to be a force of nature, an impending doom or indescribable horror from the perspective of a protagonist (like the way the fictional version of Orson Welles in "The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril" pitches a The Shadow movie where the gangster are the protagonists and The Shadow is antagonist - hunting them down and never seen clearly), I would also like to read just one story where the Hero Antagonist has a lot of dialogue and is like a chatty well characterized Villain Antagonist character rather than a plot device like zombies or an avalanche.

Overall this story gets one self-aware, mutating thumb up from me.

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #51 on: July 10, 2011, 11:24:43 AM »
I see where everyone's coming from with the whole 'this is fanfic' thing. But I suppose you could then ask, where do you draw the line between fanfic and homage? That said, I do think you ought to have seen the film in order to really appreciate this story.

But moving on from that and focussing on the story in itself, I thought it was excellent, if a little self-conscious at times. The language was tight, with some cool turns of phrase. Also, the Thing's horror at the concept of individuality etc was conveyed very well, in my opinion.

jrderego

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #52 on: July 10, 2011, 01:18:54 PM »
...But I suppose you could then ask, where do you draw the line between fanfic and homage? That said, I do think you ought to have seen the film in order to really appreciate this story.

At the risk of reopening this discussion here and not on the thread where it belongs... The way I see it is, if you're writing a story using the characters, plot, setting, mechanics, and event sequence as written by someone else, you're writing fanfic, if you're writing a story that references those characters, plot, setting, mechanics or event sequence you're writing a homage.

But go to the other thread and see how the argument went (it was a fun one).
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 01:39:10 PM by jrderego »
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Dem

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #53 on: July 10, 2011, 04:53:47 PM »
...But I suppose you could then ask, where do you draw the line between fanfic and homage? That said, I do think you ought to have seen the film in order to really appreciate this story.

At the risk of reopening this discussion here and not on the thread where it belongs... The way I see it is, if you're writing a story using the characters, plot, setting, mechanics, and event sequence as written by someone else, you're writing fanfic, if you're writing a story that references those characters, plot, setting, mechanics or event sequence you're writing a homage.

But go to the other thread and see how the argument went (it was a fun one).
Unless it stands up on its own, you don't need to know about the other perspective, and it comes from a POV that wasn't even mentioned in the 'original'?
Sorry, I don't know how to get this over to the other thread  :(
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jrderego

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #54 on: July 10, 2011, 06:58:36 PM »
...But I suppose you could then ask, where do you draw the line between fanfic and homage? That said, I do think you ought to have seen the film in order to really appreciate this story.

At the risk of reopening this discussion here and not on the thread where it belongs... The way I see it is, if you're writing a story using the characters, plot, setting, mechanics, and event sequence as written by someone else, you're writing fanfic, if you're writing a story that references those characters, plot, setting, mechanics or event sequence you're writing a homage.

But go to the other thread and see how the argument went (it was a fun one).
Unless it stands up on its own, you don't need to know about the other perspective, and it comes from a POV that wasn't even mentioned in the 'original'?
Sorry, I don't know how to get this over to the other thread  :(

The other thread is pegged at the top of Science Fiction Discussion.

http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=5081.0

And, yes. Even if it's a different POV, it's fanfic. As stated several times, this is my opinion not a universally acknowledged truth. Fanfic by design can't stand up on its own. The responses to The Things, from all who haven't seen The Thing or read Who Goes There (read the bleedin' thread) all complain about some measure of narrative confusion. That's because the The Things is requires knowing the situation, setting, and characters of the donor work(s) to be completely comprehensible.

Also, as stated, I liked this story. I thought it was clever and well written. My complaint was that the fan community doesn't value originality by virtue of this work being nominated for a Hugo. Ok, I'm out of this discussion because it's getting repetitive.
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Anarkey

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #55 on: July 10, 2011, 08:06:24 PM »

And, yes. Even if it's a different POV, it's fanfic. As stated several times, this is my opinion not a universally acknowledged truth. Fanfic by design can't stand up on its own. The responses to The Things, from all who haven't seen The Thing or read Who Goes There (read the bleedin' thread) all complain about some measure of narrative confusion. That's because the The Things is requires knowing the situation, setting, and characters of the donor work(s) to be completely comprehensible.

I wanted to mention that I have not - so far as I know - seen the original and had no idea the story was related to anything else, but managed to understand the gist of it just fine.  Here's to keeping the stats real, and avoiding the whole universal response blanket statement which is rarely true anyway.  

Then again, I may have a higher than mean tolerance for narrative confusion.  Then again, again, I'm sure I'm not the only one who understood it well enough to enjoy it without the frame of reference of the original, even if I'm in the minority.    

And while this isn't my favorite, I still heart Peter Watts and I dug this story.

edited to remove extraneous article.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 08:08:15 PM by Anarkey »
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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #56 on: July 11, 2011, 02:29:14 AM »
Ugh. This is the first story here in a long time that I just could not get through. The writing style, the content, the fact that it drags on and on and goes nowhere, sorry, absolutely terrible. I kept going for far longer than I should have, hoping that it would somehow redeem itself, and it never did.

iamafish

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #57 on: July 11, 2011, 10:34:44 AM »
this one actually grew on me quite a bit. At first i was very confused and slightly bored. I've never seen The Thing or read Who Goes There, so i was pretty lost to start with. Eventually i managed to see through the confusion and get the point, even if i didn't get the story too well. Enjoyable, but not outstanding, because it was just too hard to get into for someone unfamiliar with the original work

I think that is a massive flaw in the story, because it makes it very hard for someone unfamiliar with the original to get into it. It's like watching a sequel where so much is reliant on the first film, that it's impossible to get into. Any derivative work needs to stand up on its own, not be propped up by the work from which it is derived.

on a different note, reading through a thread which has been the subject of a split is really odd, because you get the eerie feeling that there's something missing, but you're not sure what until the mod says the thread has been split.

jrderego

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #58 on: July 11, 2011, 09:53:17 PM »
this one actually grew on me quite a bit. At first i was very confused and slightly bored. I've never seen The Thing or read Who Goes There, so i was pretty lost to start with. Eventually i managed to see through the confusion and get the point, even if i didn't get the story too well. Enjoyable, but not outstanding, because it was just too hard to get into for someone unfamiliar with the original work

I think that is a massive flaw in the story, because it makes it very hard for someone unfamiliar with the original to get into it. It's like watching a sequel where so much is reliant on the first film, that it's impossible to get into. Any derivative work needs to stand up on its own, not be propped up by the work from which it is derived.

on a different note, reading through a thread which has been the subject of a split is really odd, because you get the eerie feeling that there's something missing, but you're not sure what until the mod says the thread has been split.

we're doing blood serum tests in the split off thread.
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Scattercat

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Re: EP298: The Things
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2011, 07:53:54 AM »
we're doing blood serum tests in the split off thread.

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