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Author Topic: EP305/EP630: Midnight Blue  (Read 18717 times)
Devoted135
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2011, 09:03:14 AM »

I think Mur got it exactly right, this story was so much fun! I loved hearing the boys' interactions with the various social strata of their class and figure out how to survive in their world with their dignity intact. Everything did wrap up very neatly, but I definitely did not see the twist coming, and the fun factor vastly overpowered the trite factor for me. Smiley I hope childoftyranny is right and the colors cycle, but I guess we can't know since we didn't see anyone absorb a newly made sphere.
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« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2011, 10:42:14 AM »

it would've seemed unlikely that many kids today would be interested in trying to catch carp bare-handed.

Yeah, now they just tune in to Hillbilly Hand Fishing.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/28/hillbilly-handfishin-animal-planet_n_909223.html
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kibitzer
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2011, 03:30:45 AM »

But, I would like to know why this world was stuck in the 70's; Partridge Family, sphere catelogues instead of databases, cashier's cheque instead of automatic money transfer, etc.  I don't know why, but it kind of struck me as odd and needing some explanation.

It's set in the 70's so there's no Internet and you can't just Google "Midnight Blue" to find out what it does. Ha.
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2011, 05:19:50 PM »

It took me a while to connect with this story; my attention was drifting in and out until the boy found the sphere- but after that, the story had my full attention.  I was full of mixed feelings when he decided to sell it- I had been cheering for him as he held out for keeping it, which I saw as a sign of real integrity, but selling for a high price did seem like a practical choice.  I laughed aloud at the 'just desserts' ending. 
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2011, 02:39:21 AM »

It took me a while to connect with this story; my attention was drifting in and out until the boy found the sphere- but after that, the story had my full attention.  I was full of mixed feelings when he decided to sell it- I had been cheering for him as he held out for keeping it, which I saw as a sign of real integrity, but selling for a high price did seem like a practical choice.  I laughed aloud at the 'just desserts' ending. 

Welcome C-Reader! Happy to see you; stick around and have fun.
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2011, 02:41:25 AM »

Is there a "writes awesome stories" sphere out there somewhere? I will offer a very fair price for it. I'm assuming Mr. McIntosh already used his a while ago.
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2011, 05:24:21 PM »

I'm going to have to buck the trend here and say that i was not really a fan of this story.  It seemed really flat and lacking in substance. the plot was basically, 'young kid finds some mcguffin that he's always wanted, but doesn't know what it does. He ends up selling out all his hopes and drems (as if he had a choice), but everything went ok in the end'

I have no problem with fun stories, but I like they to at least have a little bit more about them than this one.
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drewish
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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2011, 04:29:59 AM »

Loved this story. Beautiful parable for the consumption of a finite resource.

I spent some time thinking about how the sequel to this story would play out. Once people know what midnight blue does, would it ever be used again? After considering the example of diamonds which are valued because of extensive advertising by a powerful monopoly—rather providing cool powers—I don’t think it would.

If you were able to obtain the complete charm you’d be able to force a massive devaluation in the market at a moments notice. Assuming the charms have some sort of a futures market the obvious strategy would be short selling charms, absorbing midnight blue and then cashing in. Since a single piece is all that’s required to preserve the status quo it seems some entity (a person or corporation) would would purchase a piece solely to protect their investments.

That lead me to wonder if a government would step in at the behest of charm investors and take control of a piece of midnight blue to provide a stable market. In turn this made me realize that some governments would appreciate the military applications of charms that turned Carl Branson into a superhero and seek to monopolize them.

I think I like the lighter world envisioned Will McIntosh better.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2011, 08:08:20 AM »

I liked this story.  I can't really say a whole lot about it as a result.  It was fun, light, and enjoyable.  I appreciated that the price paid for the midnight blue sphere was enough to be big stakes for the kid, but barely noticeable for the billionaire and thus no real source of conflict.  It helped keep this story in that pleasant middle area.
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« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2011, 01:19:54 PM »

Pure awesome.  Another great Will McIntosh story.  I think that probably makes Will the author of 3 of my 10 favorite EP episodes. 

If you are new and have not listened to Friction (http://escapepod.org/2008/02/08/ep144-friction/), you really should.
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« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2011, 11:02:15 AM »

Pure awesome.  Another great Will McIntosh story.  I think that probably makes Will the author of 3 of my 10 favorite EP episodes. 

If you are new and have not listened to Friction (http://escapepod.org/2008/02/08/ep144-friction/), you really should.

Yes!  That is still one of my favorite EP's of all time, too.
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DKT
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« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2011, 11:16:33 AM »

Wow. Just wow. I love McIntosh (in addition to Bridesicle, see also: One Paper Airplane Graffito Love Note, run pre-Dave and Anna at PodCastle).

This was absolutely fun, no question about it. As people have mentioned, it made me think of Willy Wonka, video games like Zelda and Super Mario Brothers, the retro 70's vibe.

But what I loved most was that at the heart of this story, it was about collecting, and how in this world, only the rich can hope to collect, and how broken of a system that is.

You can read quite a bit into that. Samuel L. Jackson won't sell the guy at his comic shop a piece of art because the dude says he's going to give it to his kid. Also - the cool stuff - the stuff we really love, shouldn't be horded and hidden from everyone else. I guess you could even say that's Biblical (parable of the talents). The stories/talents don't belong to a certain class, they should be available to anyone who can find them, they should be shared. The more that's out there, the more exciting it all is. Hello, Escape Artists! (Yes, Scattercat, I realize I'm brining my own reading/experience to this, no doubt about it. I am totally fine with that.  Grin)

I felt most let down by the final sentence. Why not "there were so many spheres out there to find, swap and share, and Jimmy wanted to every one of them. Gotta get 'em all."

Because, no offense, McIntosh did it better. Your sentence kind of flies in the face of everything this story is about. The spheres aren't meant to be controlled by one person, or even one class. When that happens, the spheres hit reset.

But, I would like to know why this world was stuck in the 70's; Partridge Family, sphere catelogues instead of databases, cashier's cheque instead of automatic money transfer, etc.  I don't know why, but it kind of struck me as odd and needing some explanation.

It's set in the 70's so there's no Internet and you can't just Google "Midnight Blue" to find out what it does. Ha.

Ha. True, there's that. I think it was also set in the 70's because that makes it a different world than this one, and a 70's with Super Mario Easter Egg super powers is a very alien place for us today.

(I agree with the sentiment that the 70's aren't any more innocent than where we are now. It's the age of the kid himself/herself in any age that captures that innocence.)

Great pick, Mur, and a good reading by Paul.
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FireTurtle
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« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2011, 02:36:45 PM »

Chiming in just to say: Fun story = fun listen. ( Also, I find it hilarious that no one has been at all uptight that this story could easily have played on PodCastle. Man, when everyone likes a story...-not that there's anything wrong with that  Wink)

Loved the simplicity of the story. Escapepod is a wonderful beastie because it runs stories like EP294 The Night Train which blew my mind with its complex world and plotlines and then turns around and runs a sweet little gem like this. I doff my hat to the great folks at Escape Artists that provide me with such fab entertainment.
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« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2011, 08:06:31 PM »

JUST. PLAIN. FUN.

'nuff said
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« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2011, 10:29:45 PM »

This is one of the better stories I've heard on Escape Pod. Truly fun!
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El Barto
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« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2011, 11:31:34 PM »

Great ending, there.   I kept thinking it was going to go one of two directions and I didn't like either one.  And then we went a third and I smiled and wondered when we will hear the back story of who created the spheres, why, and how they got there.

One quick note to my fellow fans of Will McIntosh -- a nice way to show our support for him, other than praising him, is to buy his book!  I bought Soft Apocalypse and enjoyed it, though not as much as his short stories, which I love.
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« Reply #36 on: August 27, 2011, 12:25:07 PM »

This was the first episode of Escape Pod I listened to and I'm impressed.

The foreshadowing was very good, though by the way he was talking about the unfairness of it, had me believing the power was RESET. That all existing powers would go away, and respawn as it essentially started a new game.

That's exactly what this was, a video game, a video game world given a serious treatment.

Very impressed I'll be looking forward to more stories.
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2011, 01:14:20 PM »

This thread is too long to read right now. Did I miss the discussion on this not being (or yes being) scifi?
I don't care. It was fun, I enjoyed it and I'm glad EP bought it.
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« Reply #38 on: August 28, 2011, 09:59:17 AM »

I enjoyed this story; it was fun. But I don't see why it ran on Escape Pod instead of PodCastle; this was a fantasy story all the way.
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« Reply #39 on: August 28, 2011, 12:00:47 PM »

Ask, Max e^{i pi}, and ye shall receive. Smiley
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