Author Topic: PC165: The Paper Menagerie  (Read 27849 times)

Unblinking

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2011, 08:56:47 AM »
Damn this story was good, probably my favorite from Podcastle in more than a year.  So sad!

I liked how the living origami was a clear speculative element, without which the story would have been diminished, but which was not he point of the story.  This is a good example of my favorite kind of speculative fiction, where the speculation serves as a tool to emphasize the human story.

I could understand every character in the story and they all seemed very believable.  As a kid I never really fit in, and I was desperate to do so, a doomed prospect since I moved to a very small town with well-formed cliques when I was about ten.  The best that can be said of those years is that they are over.  I didn't have anything so obvious to set me apart, and there were others there who had a much harder time of it than I did.  We had one African-American family that moved into the town a few years after me and plenty of rather racist long-term residents.  But I can imagine if I had been in his shoes at that age that I would have probably done the same thing as he did, or tried to, as much as that makes me feel ashamed to admit it. 

The father I related to the least, because he really should have stepped in and made his son behave as less of an ass, but even him I can understand.  Especially since he ordered the bride in the first place, it is not surprising he is not assertive enough to handle this task.

I don't understand why a couple people have said that the cancer was a convenient plot device.  It's not like cancer is that rare a disease that it must be a plot device to happen like this.  I've known at least one person who was in a situation like this, where a parent died while they were being a teenage ass and they regretted it forever.  This captured that very well.


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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2011, 10:42:56 AM »
Yeah.  Basically, if you live long enough and avoid accidental death, you generally end up with a choice between heart failure and cancer.  Huzzah, or something.
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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2011, 10:45:15 AM »
Yeah.  Basically, if you live long enough and avoid accidental death, you generally end up with a choice between heart failure and cancer.  Huzzah, or something.

Nah. Death is a mug's game.
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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2011, 11:22:08 AM »
Yeah.  Basically, if you live long enough and avoid accidental death, you generally end up with a choice between heart failure and cancer.  Huzzah, or something.

Exactly.  And plenty of people get it when they're young as well.  If it's not diagnosed in time, the survival rate is much lower, and it seems likely that neither she nor her husband would insist on her getting regular checkups, so I think that not diagnosing it early would be likely in her case.

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2011, 08:33:25 AM »
Was this the episode where DKT asked what our favorite childhood toys were?  I think it was.  I'll just pretend it was, at least.

For me, although Transformers have always been very high on my list of toys, there is one that tops it in my own childhood, though I certainly would not have admitted in my more self-conscious teen years:  Pooch Patrol.  

I'm not sure how widespread they were, so for those who haven't heard of it, it came out when I was in about grade school.  It was a stuffed dog toy, but the big selling point was that with a couple folds of fabric you could change the dogs mood from mellow to guard dog:






The commercial showed this being used in ways that even I as a kid knew were pretty dumb, like scaring an older brother who's terrorizing you.  I didn't have a terrorizing older brother that needed scaring, but I would've known that it wouldn't've worked anyway.  It was, however, very effective against monsters under the bed.

When I saw the commercials I knew I wanted it, and my dad got it for me for my (9th?) birthday.  He didn't get me the one that I'd asked for (there were 4 different breeds), but it was awesome all the same.  Pooch is still in my storage room with a bunch of other stuffed animals and old toys I haven't wanted to part with.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 09:10:30 AM by Unblinking »

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #45 on: November 01, 2011, 03:38:30 AM »
Was this the episode where DKT asked what our favorite childhood toys were?  I think it was.  I'll just pretend it was, at least.

For me, although Transformers have always been very high on my list of toys, there is one that tops it in my own childhood, though I certainly would not have admitted in my more self-conscious teen years:  Pooch Patrol.  

Well, God. If we're baring our souls like this, mine was a golden-haired rabbit I called "Junior". He squeaked when you squeezed his belly.

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2012, 07:39:44 PM »

Hi,

I'm a big roughty-toughty Glaswegian biker (complete with long hair and a silly beard), but I cried like a little girl with this one.

This was a double whammy for me, when I was growing up although my farther was always there, he was also very distant. I never really got to know him that well. After he died I started hearing stories about him, and discovered just how similar we were. The second whammy was my kids are Eurasian, so again it cut deep.

This was without doubt the best PodCastle (or in fact any of the 'pod' family) story I have listened to so far. As others have said, more from this author please.

I normally don't say this, but this story really should have used either a native Chinese reader or someone that could speak fluent Chinese.  While I'm sure Mr. Khanna tried his best, the Chinese language is very tonally dependent.
I do agree, I have commented on this before (although that was about the Thai language). I am not a native speaker of either language, but speak it well enough to be temporarily jared out of the story by mangled pronunciations, like yicheng, I am not attacking the narrator, it is VERY hard to get right.

-Mex



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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #47 on: February 04, 2012, 09:59:27 PM »
Any one know how to fold an oragami tiger, or a good video on how too
I found a website and got super stuck on step 11
here's the link if anyone wants to try it and get back to me:

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2012, 12:22:29 PM »
Congrats to Ken, who is now a Nebula nominee for this story (as well as his novella: The Man Who Edited History: A Documentary).

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2012, 10:19:09 AM »
Congrats to Ken, who is now a Nebula nominee for this story (as well as his novella: The Man Who Edited History: A Documentary).

Always good to see an award nomination that I think is really deserving.  Usually I am just left perplexed.  :)

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #50 on: March 06, 2012, 04:12:57 PM »
Between this, Man Who Ended History (Panverse 3), Simulacrum (Lightspeed), and, to a lesser extent Tying Knots (Clarkesworld) and The Countable (Asimov's), Ken Liu deserves a whole menagerie of Nebulas and Hugos for making me cry like a little girl about once a month last year.  I hope he wins.

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #51 on: March 06, 2012, 04:29:42 PM »
Between this, Man Who Ended History (Panverse 3), Simulacrum (Lightspeed), and, to a lesser extent Tying Knots (Clarkesworld) and The Countable (Asimov's), Ken Liu deserves a whole menagerie of Nebulas and Hugos for making me cry like a little girl about once a month last year.  I hope he wins.

I'm in total agreement. I kind of wish there was a storyteller of the year award, because I'd vote for Liu to receive it. He's had an incredible year. (I thought "Staying Behind" at Clarkesworld was also excellent.)

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #52 on: March 07, 2012, 09:30:57 AM »
Between this, Man Who Ended History (Panverse 3), Simulacrum (Lightspeed), and, to a lesser extent Tying Knots (Clarkesworld) and The Countable (Asimov's), Ken Liu deserves a whole menagerie of Nebulas and Hugos for making me cry like a little girl about once a month last year.  I hope he wins.

I'm in total agreement. I kind of wish there was a storyteller of the year award, because I'd vote for Liu to receive it. He's had an incredible year. (I thought "Staying Behind" at Clarkesworld was also excellent.)

I'm a big fan of Ken's.  "Tying Knots" is the only one of those I think I've read, but that one was really great, and I think I've read something else by him that I enjoyed (at least I have a warm fuzzy association when I think of Ken Liu stories)

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2012, 11:52:26 AM »
We ran his story State Change back in episode 148, as well (wasn't originally published in 2011, of course :))

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #54 on: March 08, 2012, 09:33:12 AM »
We ran his story State Change back in episode 148, as well (wasn't originally published in 2011, of course :))


That's right, thanks for reminding!  That story had a lot of neat ideas in it.  :)

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2012, 04:59:35 PM »
It's seldom that I read a story where I want to reach into the story and choke the living crap out of the main character for being an idiot...and yet consider it an extremely good story. Well done, Mr. Liu.
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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #56 on: May 19, 2012, 04:27:54 AM »
This was my first time hearing the story, and it made my heart sink ... I felt the need to tell my Mom that I love her, and apologize for sometimes being an ass. I've heard a lot of stories that touched me, but this touched me in a way I have a lot of trouble actually describing. Something about the fact that she couldn't properly speak English like her Husband and Son made it hurt more, and I really don't know why that is. She was so sweet... cared so much for her Son, and yet he outright rejected her for so long. I do think that accepting her after death is still accepting her, and that was good - but I just really couldn't shake the utter pain I came away from the story feeling.

All in all ... it was a good story ... it just hurt.

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2012, 10:27:27 PM »
I have no words strong enough to describe my hate and disgust for the son. Against all efforts to stop it, I was really welling up at the end. I'll definitely look out for Ken Lui in the future.

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2012, 11:45:44 PM »
I have no words strong enough to describe my hate and disgust for the son. Against all efforts to stop it, I was really welling up at the end. I'll definitely look out for Ken Lui in the future.

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Re: PC165: The Paper Menagerie
« Reply #59 on: May 20, 2012, 10:04:38 AM »
The Paper Menagerie has won the Nebula Award for best short story 2011