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Author Topic: EP314: Movement  (Read 5829 times)
eytanz
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« on: October 13, 2011, 11:00:25 AM »

EP 314: Movement

By Nancy Fulda

Read by Marguerite Kenner

First appeared in Asimov’s March 2011 issue

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It is sunset.  The sky is splendid through the panes of my bedroom window; billowing layers of cumulous blazing with refracted oranges and reds.  I think if only it weren’t for the glass, I could reach out and touch the cloudscape, perhaps leave my own trail of turbulence in the swirling patterns that will soon deepen to indigo.

But the window is there, and I feel trapped.

Behind me my parents and a specialist from the neurological research institute are sitting on folding chairs they’ve brought in from the kitchen, quietly discussing my future.  They do not know I am listening.  They think that, because I do not choose to respond,  I do not notice they are there.

“Would there be side effects?” My father asks.  In the oppressive heat of the evening, I hear the quiet Zzzapof his shoulder laser as it targets mosquitoes.  The device is not as effective as it was two years ago: the mosquitoes are getting faster.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Alasdair5000
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2011, 01:52:12 PM »

Fascinating story. I loved the way that the two different perceptions, of the heroine and her parents, co-existed but didn't communicate. There's real delicacy of touch here and the way that individual elements of the world simultaneously mirrored the story and the thought processes of the characters was fascinating. Great reading too, loved how you were able to delineate the characters with very slight vocal changes. Good Job:)
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l33tminion
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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2011, 09:16:07 PM »

I really liked this one the third time through.  The first two times I was listening at work and too distracted to understand what was going on.

I like the subtlety, and I like the in character digressions.  Not much happens in the plot of the story, but it holds together well.
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« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2011, 09:28:42 AM »

I really enjoyed this one.  A deep POV written well can make a good storyline into a fantastic story.  I'm not sure I completely understood her way of thinking, but I think that's part of the appeal, that the way of processing seems so foreign to me.  At the same time, I could grasp some parts of her alienation.  I tend to get irritated by the expected exchanging of pleasantries in conversation because it's so pointless and ephemeral, so I felt like I could really empathize with her there.

The final line of the story was really well done.  It was clear from the rest that she meant something much more when she said she didn't want more shoes, but likely her parents won't understand.  Her dad will still push to get her the surgery, claiming its for her own good, and she will have trouble articulating it in a way they understand because they are looking only at the veneer of the words, not the shades of meaning underneath.

One thing I wondered during the story:  is this some kind of altered world where evolution has been kicked up a notch?  It said that the mosquitoes had already evolved in just a few years to outmaneuver the shoulder-lasers, and the plants likewise had evolved in just a few years.  I thought it was fine that the story didn't comment overmuch on this oddity, and I think it added interesting subtext to the story.  She is very interested in evolutionary offshoots and dead-ends because she thinks she might BE one.  Like the first branch of the evolutionary tree that was capable of speech, she is misunderstood by her peers, and maybe she won't be the fittest to alter future human evolution, but maybe like speech, in the future her way of thinking will eventually become the most prevalent.

I thought the description of the brain procedure was very interesting, like bending a sapling to influence the stance of the adult tree.

And she had some very interesting insights into parent-child relationships, about how it doesn't make sense to expect the next generation to be like your generation.  Society evolves, and trying to stand in the way doesn't really make sense.  No generation is like their parent's generation.



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« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2011, 12:34:29 PM »

To my surprise, I didn't like this one very much. Ironically, it was because I thought the author deeply misunderstood the nature of neurological illness. Autism isn't a disinclination to conversation; it's a lack of an ability. My cousin who can't speak due to severe autism isn't contemplating "something else," he's got a neurological block that prevents him from acquiring and using language normally.

Another scientific fallacy of the story, perhaps symbolic, was the thing about glass. Glass isn't a slow-flowing liquid. It's just not a crystal. It has no regular structure. That doesn't mean that it flows.

Anyway, I tried my best to focus on the story and ignore the science, but in the end, I couldn't do it. The conceit of the story - she is wrapped up in time, special and misunderstood, needing only space and time to grow into whatever she will become - was continually undercut by the flawed narrative voice (the reading, though, was excellent).

I have to admit that the story also seemed to contradict itself. Time, change, and transformation are SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT that the character can't bare to change. Um...

So, yeah, not my favorite. Sorry!
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« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2011, 01:25:14 PM »

Autism isn't a disinclination to conversation; it's a lack of an ability. My cousin who can't speak due to severe autism isn't contemplating "something else," he's got a neurological block that prevents him from acquiring and using language normally.

I didn't like that aspect much either. Particularly when she knows that her grandparents will think she is rude but ignores them anyway. I think if that's the case, then yes, she actually is being rude. I'd have thought the issue would be that someone with autism might not even understand the concept of rudeness, let alone know when their behaviour might be considered rude.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2011, 07:51:34 PM »

I loved this story. The writing and reading both made it so easy to imagine her dancing in the foyer of a beautiful cathedral. The description of her ballerina shoes molding to her feet over time to eventually become a part of her was lovely, and served as the perfect metaphor for the central conflict with her parents.

The issue of her temporal disconnect brought to mind Oliver Sacks' work on people who somehow experience time faster or slower than most of us do and how taking hours or milliseconds to do a minutes-long task causes them to view the world so differently. Makes you wonder if we appear to be in slow-motion to hummingbirds or to be moving at super-speed to sloths.



To my surprise, I didn't like this one very much. Ironically, it was because I thought the author deeply misunderstood the nature of neurological illness. Autism isn't a disinclination to conversation; it's a lack of an ability. My cousin who can't speak due to severe autism isn't contemplating "something else," he's got a neurological block that prevents him from acquiring and using language normally.

Given that the MC herself explicitly rejected the connection to autism, would taking that into account alter your opinion? In other words, if the author had written the same story but named her condition temporal disengagement would you have liked the story better for not having that distraction?
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2011, 11:54:51 AM »

I liked this. I found it insightful and penetrating of the autistic condition from within. To address some of the criticisms; autism is a spectrum and communication - usually social - is the key problem. Sometimes language - or at least the expression of it - does not develop. More often, it does but people struggle to use it socially. Hence the MC's capacity to know that her behaviour will be annoying but being unable to do anything about it. I've come across this many times. Generally, if someone cares about whether or not another person is hurt by their behaviour, it would indicate Asperger's, a variant of autism in which people seem to want social contact but have difficulty interpreting it. One of my clients (read 'patients' - we don't use the term but I'd hate to confuse!), after disappearing without trace for several hours and being greeted by his mother as having been lost, said, no he wasn't, he knew exactly where he was at all times. Devastating logic with no social insight.
Nice work, Nancy; nice reading too, Margeurite.
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2011, 02:11:43 PM »

Wonderful reading!

The story, however, was not. As poetic, lyrical and beautiful as the language was, the Romantic idea that the MC was just misunderstood was overplayed.

I found the use of "autism" was highly distracting. Excising the whole thing would have made it a sentimental, but powerful piece.

As it was, I got the sense the piece is supposed to be somewhat of a polemic against trying to "fix" children labeled autistic. The savant is a tired trope in a all too real debate over autism.
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2011, 02:07:12 PM »

I loved this story I understand peoples having problems with the mental disability aspect of the story. But I feel the important part of this story is that we as the human race put down people who we can not understand even when they have a gift. The chance of greatness needs to be able to grow instead of casting it down because they are different from the rest of society. I know that as an art student I am looked at as a strange oddity and even my family thinks I’m wasting though who knows I might become the next da Vinci (no I do not think of my self as in that level). 
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« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2011, 03:07:28 PM »

I enjoyed the story in all ways except one:

The parents know their child "wanders off". It clearly has happened. Why does she not have some sort of RFID chip? I mean, this is approximately 2060 (given the comment the grandfather gave about game consoles). The dad clearly is willing to make his child (who is a minor, so technically he has the right to do what he thinks is best for her) get a brain-altering surgery. What would stop him from chipping her?

This has happened in many stories other than just this one. It just struck me while I was listening.
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2011, 08:02:15 AM »

Thanks for all the comments on the reading, everyone, I really appreciate them.  This was my first EA project and I'm thrilled to help out.  :-)

For anyone interested, I've read a few more stories on "Cast of Wonders".  You'll recognize the host as our excellent friend Mr. Kibitzer.  :-D
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2011, 07:56:56 AM »

First the good:  Liked the reading, it was very well done, and the voice fit the character. 

Now the bad: I did not like the actual story at all.  I can see the point of looking at someone who doesn't fit into the social norms as being different, not broken, but the evolution/time theme just kept repeating, and by the end, I felt like I was getting beaten over the head with it.  I also did not like the MC, I thought she was rude, inconsiderate, and condescending.  Granted, this is somewhat typical of children, especially teenagers,(was the MC's age ever stated?) but this took "Parents just don't understand" and "Old people just don't get young people" ideas to the point of irritation. 

If I had to guess, I would say the author has an autistic child, and/or a child that loves ballet, or loves ballet herself.  I know they say "Write what you know", but there's something almost-but-not-quite Mary Sue that rankles me about this story. 

I will try going back to this story when I am in a more contemplative mood, and see if it doesn't come off as much of a "special snowflake" piece to me.
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2011, 09:03:51 AM »

If I had to guess, I would say the author has an autistic child, and/or a child that loves ballet, or loves ballet herself.  I know they say "Write what you know", but there's something almost-but-not-quite Mary Sue that rankles me about this story. 

Yup, in the outro it was said that Nancy has a child on the autistic spectrum.
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2011, 09:35:13 AM »

If I had to guess, I would say the author has an autistic child, and/or a child that loves ballet, or loves ballet herself.  I know they say "Write what you know", but there's something almost-but-not-quite Mary Sue that rankles me about this story. 

Yup, in the outro it was said that Nancy has a child on the autistic spectrum.

I honestly didn't make it that far, I turned it off as soon as the music started, I was so turned off by this story.
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2011, 11:26:54 AM »

The negative ending was brutal.
Finally she says something and you can realize what her mother will make of the sentence "I dont want new shoes"
She wants to stay the same, and her mother will get the message, I dont need new dancingshoes, because after the operation, I will
never again need new shoes. So her mother will not stop the operation any longer now that she has voiced an opinion.
Even if it will be the opposite of what she wants.

Sad sad story, good but sad.
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2011, 03:33:32 PM »

A great, if depressing, story. I loved the unusual perspective, and the feeling of helplessness the story evoked as you realized just how difficult it was for the protaganist to communicate, and just how little those closest to her cared about her desires or concerns. She was fully capable of making decisions, and if you could listen, expressing her wishes. She just needed someone to actually stop and listen to her. The last paragraph was absolutely chilling, when the author drove home the point that at the end if the day, it made absolutely no difference what she wanted, she was going to be shoehorned into doing whatever her parents wanted. And that was probably never going to change as long as she lived. I half expected this story to end in a suicide, too be honest.
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2011, 03:40:13 PM »

I liked the author's ability to convey a radically different POV. I found the father's impatience a mite irritating; seriously, dude, calm down and listen to her. And her brother's condition struck me as a bit of a mystery; is this a family problem? A greater problem in society? Or something completely different?


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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2011, 04:22:30 AM »

I didn't enjoy this story at all.

I think its biggest problem was having to overcome the dichotomy of portraying a condition of a character that has trouble with speech and language by using her internal monologue expressed as words. True, speech and language aren't quite the same thing but the character seems to take days to find the right words to speak because of all the input she has to process and yet she can produce a perfectly coherent internal story.

The other themes in the story related to the passage of time, the speeded up evolution and the fact that grandparents apparently never had any sort of online gaming all just seem contrivances to fit the writer's theme.

Finally the story adds to the "Rain Man" stereotype that people with autism are all savants in some way. It's only about 10% of people with developmental disorders like autism that have any sort of savant abilities, the vast majority don't.

The reading of the story however was very good.

Also I'll admit the final paragraph and the multi-level meaning of the phrase "no new shoes" was very clever and affecting.
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« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2011, 05:33:59 AM »

I was not put off by the author's use of "autism," as others here seem to be. When I heard "temporal autism," I assumed it was a made-up sci-fi condition.

Once I realized that the MC's disorder was a skewed view of the passage of time (and not an issue with forming words), I enjoyed it. The flow of the glass*, the appreciation of stone, the perception of macro change--even knowing that the mother would wait 12.5 seconds for an answer really keyed in for me this fish-out-of-water story. The ending was strong, but the most powerful image for me is the MC clutching her shoes in the paper sack. They seemed like her anchor through the waves of time, which was beautiful.

*I've heard that glass does flow. It's not 100% solid, and caretakers of very old homes have to flip windows periodically to make sure they don't get too thick on the bottom end. But I'm no glazier.

On a personal note, the story made me consider that maybe my wife actually does perceive time differently than I do. I might just have more patience next time. Also, my cousin is autistic, and I've wondered how he sees the world. Maybe (probably) the author didn't get it right, but I think this unique POV was worth the ride.

Kudos to the narrator. Excellent.
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« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2011, 05:58:38 AM »

The reason old panes of glass are thicker on the bottom is because back in the day they were made, people weren't as good at mass-producing perfectly even sheets.  Thus, you had some sections that were thicker and some that were thinner.  When you're setting squares of glass cut from such an uneven sheet into a windowpane, which end would YOU put on the bottom?

Now goddammit everyone stop spreading the rumor that glass is a liquid.

(I enjoyed the story, mostly, so I don't have much to say about it as a story.  It had a nice zinger of an ending and captured a voice well.  But this glass-is-liquid thing drives me up the wall.)
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« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2011, 02:05:08 PM »

*I've heard that glass does flow. It's not 100% solid, and caretakers of very old homes have to flip windows periodically to make sure they don't get too thick on the bottom end. But I'm no glazier.

Not true:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass#Behavior_of_antique_glass

Glass panes in old windows are thicker at the bottom because old glass wasn't uniform in its cross-section, and it was better to put the thicker edge downward when setting the panes.  But you do find windows where that edge is on top or to the side.
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« Reply #22 on: October 25, 2011, 06:08:05 AM »

I thoroughly enjoyed this story for several reasons.  First and foremost, most of us have preconceived ideas of what we think is going on (or not) in other peoples' heads.  Even more so when that person is autistic or mentally handicapped.  Any story that turns those unspoken assumptions on their heads and does it in an entertaining way gets my vote. 

Second, this reminded me of one of my favorite novels (which has a similar subject matter and is also written by the mother of an autistic child - The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon). 

Finally, I enjoyed the open ending.  There are obviously two ways that her answer could be taken.  How will her mother take it?

One last thought about those who were upset about the running glass thought.  Don't forget that just because the protagonist has some gifts we don't doesn't mean that she is omniscient.  It wasn't stated as a fact in the story, just as something that a fallible human believed to be true.
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« Reply #23 on: October 25, 2011, 11:30:44 AM »

One last thought about those who were upset about the running glass thought.  Don't forget that just because the protagonist has some gifts we don't doesn't mean that she is omniscient.  It wasn't stated as a fact in the story, just as something that a fallible human believed to be true.

I think people (myself included) are taking this to be a projection of the author's beliefs/knowledge rather than the protagonist's. Whether that is valid in this story or in general for fiction is a whole other debate I  guess.

The other point about speeded up evolution I really hope is just there for dramatic effect and not the author's understanding of how evolution works, or as someone else suggested maybe this is an alternative universe where evolution can work over just a few generations, in which case maybe glass flows like a liquid as well.
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« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2011, 01:22:07 AM »

Well, the punctuated equilibrium theory of evolution isn't complete gibberish, and certainly you can see some minor but visible changes in species within only a relatively few generations, given sufficient selection pressure.  (It took, what, ten generations to have noticeable beak differences in birds on different islands?  I remember reading a study about this...)
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« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2011, 02:57:38 PM »

Well, the punctuated equilibrium theory of evolution isn't complete gibberish, and certainly you can see some minor but visible changes in species within only a relatively few generations, given sufficient selection pressure.  (It took, what, ten generations to have noticeable beak differences in birds on different islands?  I remember reading a study about this...)

Yeah good point but it was a pretty specific set of circumstances and a confined environment. I think this might be the study to which you are referring? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/educators/course/session4/elaborate_b_pop1.html I got the impression from the story this was a much more general thing.
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« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2011, 02:22:30 AM »

Right.  There needs to be a very strong selective pressure to get rapid change, but nonetheless, rapid change can and does occur.  It's not just flat-out incorrect, like the glass-is-liquid thing.

I'm not sure how much selection pressure there would be in favor of temporal autism, but hey, who knows?  Maybe they live in the same universe as "'Repent, Harlequin,' said the Ticktockman."
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« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2011, 09:06:00 AM »

I liked the author's ability to convey a radically different POV. I found the father's impatience a mite irritating; seriously, dude, calm down and listen to her. And her brother's condition struck me as a bit of a mystery; is this a family problem? A greater problem in society? Or something completely different?

Although it was never stated explicitly in the story, I got the impression that evolution works much faster in the world of this story than in our world.  I don't know why this would be.  Perhaps some kind of atmospheric condition is increasing the mutation rate, or perhaps this is just a parallel world where stuff just works differently.

The main reason I thought that is the behavior of the mosquitoes.  Her father got a shoulder laser to pick off mosquitoes as they come near him.  If I remember correctly:
-The laser is only a few years old
-The laser had been much more effective when he first got it
-The mosquitoes who attack him now are now much faster and able to avoid the laser most of the time
-I got the impression that the lasers aren't even particularly common
-Mosquitoes get swatted all the time, but they haven't evolved any new defenses against it.  They just breed enough to make this death rate insignificant
-For a mosquito to even recognize the need to dodge a laser would seem to show new level of intelligence.

Venus fly traps had also evolved drastically in just a few years as well.  The mosquito thing alone, though, made me think that this was a speculative fiction element that Fulda put in place intentionally to support her story.  And I think it worked in that respect.  So I get the impression that the accelerated evolution is in effect for humans as well as other creatures, and the protagonist exhibits a new mutation.  You might say that the brother did as well, but in that case it might not be driven by his biology but his technology, having adapted to this brain computer from a very young age.

So I think that the protagonist is exhibiting a new mutation, and she spends much of her time contemplating whether she is an evolutionary dead end or whether her condition will become more widespread if she has children and they have some kind of advantage over others.  This was strongly supported in the text, I believe, by much of her idle speculation:
-She contemplates the evolution of the plant that grows too heavy to support itself.  She considers this plant more beautiful than the others simply because she thinks it an evolutionary dead end.
-She practices forms of dance that no one has practiced in centuries, because she consider it an evolutionary dead end of the art form.
-I think it's strongly implied that the reason that she "doesn't want new shoes" is because those "shoes" (her unique mind) is what makes her the evolutionary dead end that she finds so beautiful.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 09:08:03 AM by Unblinking » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: October 30, 2011, 04:08:51 PM »

I agree with everything Unblinking said, and I also loved this story a whole bunch (currently my favorite Short Story from Asimov's this year, from what I've read), but I do want to add one thing.

Hannah certainly finds evolutionary dead ends beautiful, one of the more interesting themes in the story, but I think the reason she likes dead ends isn't that she thinks of herself as one, it's that she thinks there is no distinction between a dead end and the first of a great new thing in the moment they first appear.  History is written by the winners, as they say, and dead ends were just innovations that lost.  Hannah likes any innovation, and considers herself, and her brother, innovations that may or may not pan out.

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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2011, 02:02:37 PM »

Although it was never stated explicitly in the story, I got the impression that evolution works much faster in the world of this story than in our world.  I don't know why this would be.  Perhaps some kind of atmospheric condition is increasing the mutation rate, or perhaps this is just a parallel world where stuff just works differently.

I just took it as yet another misunderstanding of how evolution actually works, and the time frames involved.  Either way works, so it is a moot point.
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2011, 04:55:36 PM »

Having a brother with uncategorized autism, this story stuck out at me. Ms. Fulda seems to get that sometimes people just throw names at a condition just because it makes it simpler for us to have something to say rather than knowing what it really is. (By the way, this story would have made my dad cry).

Anyways, I thought this was a spectacular story for many reasons. The POV was fantastic for it's isolation from what other characters are doing/thinking/saying. Sometimes it's really difficult talking to my brother because he operates on a different level from me. I want to move faster, do more, and do it better and bigger. And in his own way, my brother is striving for more. He has this incessant need to to talk (even if he has to talk to himself or repeat himself 20 times.) Clearly, he has a different form of autism than the MC, but the principle is the same. He can't communicate in quite a way that is clear to ME, but it makes perfect sense to him. I often wonder what is going on inside his head and I REALLY wonder if he isn't doing the same with me wondering how I could be so thick as to not understand what he's really trying to get at.

Another cool thing is that I never thought of "greatness" being a factor/ function of evolution. Just thought that was an interesting idea.

With the deepest regard,
The Captain
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« Reply #31 on: November 07, 2011, 12:23:50 PM »

Although it was never stated explicitly in the story, I got the impression that evolution works much faster in the world of this story than in our world.  I don't know why this would be.  Perhaps some kind of atmospheric condition is increasing the mutation rate, or perhaps this is just a parallel world where stuff just works differently.

I just took it as yet another misunderstanding of how evolution actually works, and the time frames involved.  Either way works, so it is a moot point.

Fair enough.  Smiley  To me it seemed that the sped-up evolution was intended to be actually there.  It seemed that her observations of the mosquito's abilities were based on facts, and those facts were decidedly different than how it would work in our world. 

In our world, I'd guess that most mosquitoes that sting people end up dead.  This doesn't kill off the mosquito population because they 1.  have lots of offspring.  2.  they don't feed only on humans, feeding also on dogs and cows and birds that aren't as capable at swatting.  So, I don't see adding a shoulder laser as being a significant evolutionary drive in any case (especially when not all people use them), the slower ones would still have plenty of food.  Unless the evolution here is accelerated.

Anyway, that's not to say that my interpretation isn't wrong, it just seemed to me that facts that she observed supported a hypothesis of accelerated evolution.
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« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2011, 02:47:45 PM »

So, I had to listen to this one a few times before I could understand the context. I really liked it because of the subtlety of the alternate universe. Great world building. Although, it wasn't what I was expecting I enjoyed the change in pace very much.
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« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2011, 09:38:44 AM »

Where's the goofy face icon when you need it? Officially recording this episode as my first appearance on the feedback slot. Strikes up band of trumpeters and pipers that all Brits have to hand in case something noteworthy happens.
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« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2011, 09:57:03 AM »

Where's the goofy face icon when you need it? Officially recording this episode as my first appearance on the feedback slot. Strikes up band of trumpeters and pipers that all Brits have to hand in case something noteworthy happens.

Whoo!  Smiley  I still get a kick out hearing myself quoted on the cast.  It makes me feel that it's just a little bit more likely that I actually exist.
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« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2011, 10:35:08 AM »

Where's the goofy face icon when you need it? Officially recording this episode as my first appearance on the feedback slot. Strikes up band of trumpeters and pipers that all Brits have to hand in case something noteworthy happens.

Whoo!  Smiley  I still get a kick out hearing myself quoted on the cast.  It makes me feel that it's just a little bit more likely that I actually exist.


Oh, you definitely exist. Only, (and I hate to break it to you like this) you seem to have recently undergone a radical species change operation... Roll Eyes
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« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2011, 12:19:08 PM »

Where's the goofy face icon when you need it? Officially recording this episode as my first appearance on the feedback slot. Strikes up band of trumpeters and pipers that all Brits have to hand in case something noteworthy happens.

Whoo!  Smiley  I still get a kick out hearing myself quoted on the cast.  It makes me feel that it's just a little bit more likely that I actually exist.

Think you're ahead of me in the existence stakes - I probably still have a good 14 minutes and 30 seconds of my allocated famousness to fill!
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« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2012, 10:07:15 PM »

Hey everyone, I encountered a news story regarding an autistic girl and her ability to communicate that might be of interest to people who enjoyed this story.

You can find the video here; it's just under 10 minutes long.
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« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2012, 09:52:57 AM »

Hey everyone, I encountered a news story regarding an autistic girl and her ability to communicate that might be of interest to people who enjoyed this story.

You can find the video here; it's just under 10 minutes long.

Oh wow, that is an amazing story! *wipes tears from cheeks*
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« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2012, 10:09:58 AM »

Hey everyone, I encountered a news story regarding an autistic girl and her ability to communicate that might be of interest to people who enjoyed this story.

You can find the video here; it's just under 10 minutes long.

There's this one as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmTXGQ2BhUA Amanda Baggs uses Second Life as a social and intellectual outlet.
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« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2012, 11:09:43 AM »

Additionally, there's the new show "Touch", on Fox, about the autistic super-intelligent kid.  Personally, I'm going to give that one a miss, because it just looks contrived.  I'm not sure why I'm so bothered by the theme of autistic kids being misunderstood super-beings, but I am.
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« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2012, 02:37:09 PM »

I'm not sure why I'm so bothered by the theme of autistic kids being misunderstood super-beings, but I am.
Probably because most of them aren't super-anything, they're just ordinary folk trying to function in a world that doesn't work according to their rules. I think ascribing special talents or characteristics can be the 'normal' world's attempt to compensate for disability. Sad
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« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2012, 04:35:21 PM »

Nancy, congratulations on the Nebula nomination!!

http://www.sfwa.org/2012/02/2011-nebula-awards-nominees-announced/
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« Reply #43 on: February 20, 2012, 05:37:30 PM »

The negative ending was brutal.
Finally she says something and you can realize what her mother will make of the sentence "I dont want new shoes"
She wants to stay the same, and her mother will get the message, I dont need new dancing shoes, because after the operation, I will
never again need new shoes. So her mother will not stop the operation any longer now that she has voiced an opinion.
Even if it will be the opposite of what she wants.

Sad sad story, good but sad.

I got a more open ended interpretation. I wasn't thoroughly engaged in the story, so I missed this interpretation. Brutal. Brings it up a notch.
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« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2012, 01:38:48 PM »

I think I would have to read this one just to get all the nuances. When I heard it, the writing was beautiful, but I found myself getting impatient because the story was taking to long to come to the decision. Then I read the comments and saw that I missed a lot of the context (I didn't get her autism was temporal). I was also hung up on the fact that for a girl who took a long time to choose her words, her inner monologue was chugging along fine. But just because it's inner monologue doesn't mean we say what's in our minds automatically (and in fact, there are people who really shouldn't say what's on their mind at all.)

So I think I'm going to reread this at a slower pace.
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« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2012, 12:51:25 PM »

In light of the Hugo and Nebula nominations, Asimov's put a .pdf of the story up for free on their website.  They usually take these things down eventually (after Hugos and slow website updating) but for now at least, you can read or download it here if you want the actual text version.
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« Reply #46 on: May 15, 2012, 10:13:09 AM »

For what I think is the first time in these forums, an episode has been repeated and thus its thread gets re-stickied. Hopefully, some people who didn't catch it the first time round will listen to this excellent story.

For those of you who have already listened to the episode, a quick heads up - the reposted one is entirely identical, with the same intro and outro. So if you missed Bill Peters' reading of episode commentaries, here's your chance to get your fix Smiley
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 10:16:27 AM by eytanz » Logged
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« Reply #47 on: May 19, 2012, 11:48:21 PM »

The negative ending was brutal.
Finally she says something and you can realize what her mother will make of the sentence "I dont want new shoes"
She wants to stay the same, and her mother will get the message, I dont need new dancing shoes, because after the operation, I will
never again need new shoes. So her mother will not stop the operation any longer now that she has voiced an opinion.
Even if it will be the opposite of what she wants.

Sad sad story, good but sad.

I got a more open ended interpretation. I wasn't thoroughly engaged in the story, so I missed this interpretation. Brutal. Brings it up a notch.

I, too, got an entirely different interpretation of the ending. I more viewed it as "I don't want new shoes" being a stand-in for "I don't want this." A rejection of things moving forward more rapidly than she would tolerate, and her way of taking a stand. The only way she new.
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« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2012, 11:09:27 AM »

So I listened to this again, as well as read it, since I'm going to Worldcon this year, and as I suspected, the second time around, I fell in love with it.

I love how the different elements of time, plants, atoms and the universe mesh together, and the ruminations on how quickly things change, whether it be glacial, such as glass, or evolutionary, such as how the net evolved within lifetimes. I loved the language and this time, the protagonist's inner ruminations seemed more natural to me.

Right now, this is fighting with the Cartographer Wasps story to be my Hugo pick. Cartographer's wasps was gorgeous and innovative, but there was an emotional distance that was more satisfied in this story. But this one moves at a glacial scale, which you have to match in slowing yourself down to read, whereas Wasps pulls you in and never lets you go...

AUUGH...WHY CAN'T WE HAVE BOTH?!
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« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2012, 03:00:47 PM »

Personally, it seems like Movement has more to offer than the Wasps does to begin with. The story of the Wasps seems very centered on purposely making the story fit a sci-fi mold, whereas Movement has a story to tell that necessitates sci-fi elements. It seems more natural, I suppose. 

So I listened to this again, as well as read it, since I'm going to Worldcon this year, and as I suspected, the second time around, I fell in love with it.

I love how the different elements of time, plants, atoms and the universe mesh together, and the ruminations on how quickly things change, whether it be glacial, such as glass, or evolutionary, such as how the net evolved within lifetimes. I loved the language and this time, the protagonist's inner ruminations seemed more natural to me.

Right now, this is fighting with the Cartographer Wasps story to be my Hugo pick. Cartographer's wasps was gorgeous and innovative, but there was an emotional distance that was more satisfied in this story. But this one moves at a glacial scale, which you have to match in slowing yourself down to read, whereas Wasps pulls you in and never lets you go...

AUUGH...WHY CAN'T WE HAVE BOTH?!
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