Escape Artists


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Congratulations to the winners of the Podcastle flash fiction contest!

Author Topic: EP312: Night Bird Soaring  (Read 18684 times)


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Reply #50 on: November 07, 2011, 03:28:00 PM
Once we saw the MC not accept the nanite blood, I think we ALL knew he was about to die. That wasn't foreshadowing so much as a giant sign that said "WARNING, THE MAIN CHARACTER IS ABOUT TO DIE, POSSIBLY HOIST ON (by?) HIS OWN PETARD".

I'm not quite so perceptive and insightful. For me it wasn't until he chose to unhook his tether rather than double back and get a longer one.

I was mostly reminded of Orson Scott Card's Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus in which some folks in a dystopian future plan to go back and interfere with Columbus' voyage to the new world... It turns out that our own timeline (and theirs) was a result of a previous time-travel mission that diverted Columbus from fighting in the Crusades, to his historical voyage, in order to stop "the Tlaxcan conquest of Europe."

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Reply #51 on: November 13, 2011, 11:41:21 AM
I have a bit of a respite from work and have been catching up on stories a little. I don't really have much to add to what people have said before; this is very much a story which I have mixed feelings for. I knew, because I have to watch over the threads regardless of whether I listen to the story, about the time-travelling AI, but that didn't change my agreement that the best part of the story was before it introduced itself. Until that point, this was a cool story with interesting world building (though I also agree with the problematicity of assuming human sacrifice would have persisted in this fashion). After that, it was on rails.

But overall very enjoyable, even if I felt it went for some easy choices, storytelling-wise.


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Reply #52 on: November 14, 2011, 10:55:57 AM
I liked this story, not just because it was a kind of original idea, but also because it keeps upending itself, and it asks us to actually accept the idea of gods. First you have the world of horrrible sacrifice. Then comes the reveal about the god of grey goo. Ah, so clearly this points to the religion just being culture without any actual gods. But, as many points out, it doesn't make sense. Why on earth would anyone send back an AI to preserve this horrible tradition in a parallel timeline ? The only way it makes sense was as someone points out, the gods turned out to be real and angry, and as a last attempt to create at least one timeline where humanity survives, they went for the time travel trick. It also fits with the remark that the place he came from doesn't exist any more.

I think re-reading the end also strengthen the idea that the gods really exists.

A large black dog—the god Xolotl, his guide in death—watched from atop the space station, a smile on His face.

That sentence is not written as a thought, or impression. It's written as something actually happening. Earlier, when the protagonist thinks something, or imagines something, it is very clear.


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Reply #53 on: April 10, 2012, 07:32:36 PM
I don't know if I liked this story, simply because i saw the ironic death coming pretty early on. And I don't think the gods had anything to do with the death, planned or otherwise. On T's part, it was sheer negligence.

Hmm...about the culture aspect, I actually found the necessity to have blood sacrifices in a modern world more intriguing than racist. The idea that our own culture isn't as cruel? Let see, here in Wisconsin, our govenor repealed a law that made it harder for women to fight for equal pay. And in the story, more and more people are questioning the need for sacrficies. I would love to see a sequel dealing with that. After all, when Nano-God told T he had a substitute lined up that would be happy to take his place, that was from the Nano-God's POV. We don't know if that substitute actually *feels* that way.

::looks both ways a few extra times when crossing the street.::

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