Escape Artists
October 26, 2014, 03:29:24 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
Author Topic: EP336: The Speed of Time  (Read 2444 times)
eytanz
Moderator
*****
Posts: 4686



« on: March 17, 2012, 02:57:43 AM »

EP336: The Speed of Time

By Jay Lake

Read by Josh Roseman

Originally appeared at Tor.com

---

“Light goes by at the speed of time,” Marlys once told me.

That was a joke, of course. Light can be slowed to a standstill in a photon trap, travel on going nowhere at all forever in the blueing distance of an event horizon, or blaze through hard vacuum as fast as information itself moves through the universe. Time is relentless, the tide which measures the perturbations of the cosmos. The 160.2 GHz hum of creation counts the measure of our lives as surely as any heartbeat.

There is no t in e=mc2.

I’d argued with her then, missing her point back when understanding her might have mattered. Now, well, nothing much at all mattered. Time has caught up with us all.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
Logged
Magic Smoke
Extern
*
Posts: 7



« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 09:34:30 PM »

I liked the story, but it left me wanting more. There was lots of juicy material left unexplored. For example, there was no explanation for the "Big Ears". I'm assuming that they're some sort of cosmic internet antenna, but what are they used for? Is their sole purpose listening to random radio traffic? Is this an activity that people in this universe regularly engage in?
Logged
Max e^{i pi}
Hipparch
******
Posts: 899


Have towel, will travel.


« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 08:57:26 AM »

I liked this week's story infodump.
It was a tantalizing glimpse into the [deep voice]world of tomorrow[/deep voice].
But that's all it was, just a tantalizing glimpse. Nothing more.
We saw some elements of a new religion (Hubbardism?), the merging of Chinese and Western cultures out in the black (already seen in Firefly), some interesting tech and a novel way to destroy the universe.
What I didn't like was that not a single one of these elements was fleshed out or brought to fruition.
If this were some sort of teaser-trailer for a novel or series of books that would be great. But I'm not sure that it was.
To finish on a positive note: I liked the Mecca-pointer for finding the center of the world. We had discussed monotheistic religions in space in the past, and this seemed like an obvious and clever solution.

Did anybody understand how a "boson gun" (presumably it was a Higgs boson gun, since it was supposed to add mass to the submarine) could tear a whole in the fabric of reality somewhere out in the Kuiper belt that will kill most, but not all humans and yet leave everything else untouched? And don't you dare answer with the old "scifi/magic" response. This was an infodump with the most crucial bit of info missing.
Logged

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted!

childoftyranny
Matross
****
Posts: 169



« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 02:52:51 PM »

This reminded the most of free-form poetry written by high school students, many thoughts, no connection between them. I listened to this story twice through because I thought I must have misses something or hit fast forward on it but no what I heard was what I heard...this one must have just gone over my head.
Logged
NoNotRogov
Guest
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 03:38:05 PM »

I liked this week's story infodump.
It was a tantalizing glimpse into the [deep voice]world of tomorrow[/deep voice].
But that's all it was, just a tantalizing glimpse. Nothing more.
We saw some elements of a new religion (Hubbardism?), the merging of Chinese and Western cultures out in the black (already seen in Firefly), some interesting tech and a novel way to destroy the universe.
What I didn't like was that not a single one of these elements was fleshed out or brought to fruition.
If this were some sort of teaser-trailer for a novel or series of books that would be great. But I'm not sure that it was.
To finish on a positive note: I liked the Mecca-pointer for finding the center of the world. We had discussed monotheistic religions in space in the past, and this seemed like an obvious and clever solution.

Did anybody understand how a "boson gun" (presumably it was a Higgs boson gun, since it was supposed to add mass to the submarine) could tear a whole in the fabric of reality somewhere out in the Kuiper belt that will kill most, but not all humans and yet leave everything else untouched? And don't you dare answer with the old "scifi/magic" response. This was an infodump with the most crucial bit of info missing.

The Hubbard reference was I think to the Church of Scientology, which was founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.

From my perspective, the bits and pieces of narratives about different characters in different eras combined to form a coherent non-chronological narrative; like a cosmically nihilistic Pulp Fiction. It would just have been nice if either the segments had been expanded to make the framing device unnecessary (expansion on Sameera Glasshouse or on the Imam who she ostensibly pushed in the direction of spreading the search for God's voice/the proton pulse among humanity and thus leading to the pseudo-Rapture in approximately 2088) or if the framing device itself had been expanded. I can see the utility of having every bit of dialogue of Marlys actually be a lonely reminiscence by the Narrator; but his memory of an actual two-sided conversation they had, or of a scene rather than just a line of dialogue, would have helped build up the narrative tension for the revelatory conclusion at the end of the story.

Overall I can't stay mad at a story that fits in both a 1988 Soviet particle accelerator and an intersexed ethnically Lebanese technician, not to mention a small tangent about solar economics that I found myself wanting expanded (someone needs to write a fictional economics essay from the standpoint of a person living in a future or alternate history setting).
Logged
Max e^{i pi}
Hipparch
******
Posts: 899


Have towel, will travel.


« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 07:45:48 AM »



The Hubbard reference was I think to the Church of Scientology, which was founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.

Aww nuts, you're right. I had forgotten about that.
Logged

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted!

Anarquistador
Matross
****
Posts: 267


Servant of Fire


WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 10:31:14 AM »

I'm always fascinated by speculation on how religion and/or spirituality would develop if we ever leave this planet and colonize the rest of the galaxy. There were a lot of fascinating things that just flashed by too quickly. The NINE-Fold Path?! Buddhism added a new virtue?! I really want to know what it was!
Logged

"Technology: a word we use to describe something that doesn't work yet."

- Douglas Adams

http://www.thereviewpit.com
http://thesuburbsofhell.blogspot.com
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6450



WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2012, 09:04:18 AM »

I hadn't even realized that there was a new episode, buried as it was in the midst of 4 Buffy articles.  It would be really nice if the nonfiction were separated off somehow so that the fiction was easier to find.  Maybe I should go make a thread to suggest it.  Off I go.  (Will download the story when I get home again)
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Max e^{i pi}
Hipparch
******
Posts: 899


Have towel, will travel.


« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2012, 09:37:42 AM »

I hadn't even realized that there was a new episode, buried as it was in the midst of 4 Buffy articles.  It would be really nice if the nonfiction were separated off somehow so that the fiction was easier to find.  Maybe I should go make a thread to suggest it.  Off I go.  (Will download the story when I get home again)

Buffy is fiction too Tongue
But this can easily be solved with a slightly advanced RSS aggregator, one that knows what to do with mp3 files (the less advanced ones can only handle text). For example: I use Amarok. There might be a windows installer somewhere for you poor souls still stuck with that.
Logged

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted!

ElectricPaladin
Hipparch
******
Posts: 860


Holy Robot


WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2012, 10:30:38 AM »

This one elicited much the same response as Site 14 - a setup without a story. I kept on waiting for the narrative to really begin, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting... And then it ended. Definitely a big miss with me, but not for any exciting reasons. It just felt like somehow the middle of the story was missing.
Logged

Captain of the Burning Zeppelin Experience.

Help my kids get the educational supplies they need at my Donor's Choose page.
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6450



WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2012, 11:13:46 AM »

I hadn't even realized that there was a new episode, buried as it was in the midst of 4 Buffy articles.  It would be really nice if the nonfiction were separated off somehow so that the fiction was easier to find.  Maybe I should go make a thread to suggest it.  Off I go.  (Will download the story when I get home again)

Buffy is fiction too Tongue
But this can easily be solved with a slightly advanced RSS aggregator, one that knows what to do with mp3 files (the less advanced ones can only handle text). For example: I use Amarok. There might be a windows installer somewhere for you poor souls still stuck with that.

Buffy is fiction, but reviews of Buffy are not.

It could also be resolved by posting only a summary on the main page so that 90% of a single page is not occupied by the nonfiction articles.

But I started a thread to make suggestions about it here, so rather than gab about it here further I'll post the link:
http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=6159.0
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Balu
Guest
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2012, 06:01:32 PM »

I liked this week's story infodump.
It was a tantalizing glimpse into the [deep voice]world of tomorrow[/deep voice].
But that's all it was, just a tantalizing glimpse. Nothing more.
We saw some elements of a new religion (Hubbardism?), the merging of Chinese and Western cultures out in the black (already seen in Firefly), some interesting tech and a novel way to destroy the universe.
What I didn't like was that not a single one of these elements was fleshed out or brought to fruition.

That's often the way with the best stuff on here. It's good precisely because the writer doesn't explain everything.

I like the mystery and sense of 'here be monsters' that you get with these briefly glimpsed worlds.

Logged
Devoted135
Hipparch
******
Posts: 869



« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2012, 09:34:26 AM »

This happens every once in a while where a story is merely a smattering of vignettes that are so out of order and so full of hand-wavy technobabble that I find it incomprehensible. Plus there was all of the annoying faux philosophizing. I was tempted to give it another shot, but then decided that even at only 20 minutes or so I just don't have the patience for it.
Logged
Makefile
Extern
*
Posts: 2


« Reply #13 on: March 21, 2012, 04:55:19 PM »

This story introduced so many great ideas without exploring a single one of them.

I loved the time disconnect, the future of religion, the solar system economy, but none of these was ever really developed.
Logged
InfiniteMonkey
Lochage
*****
Posts: 464


Clearly, I need more typewriters....


« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2012, 05:33:10 PM »

As I suspected, the lack of focus or narrative did not make this popular. I thought it had a lot of interesting ideas and Lakeish whimsy, but it could have benefited from more of a plot.

My biggest problem was one of pronunciation - I've always heard of the moon of Saturn called "en-SELL-a-dis", not "en-saLAD-dus", which makes it sound like Saturnian-Mexician cuisine.
Logged
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6450



WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2012, 09:35:52 AM »

Lots of interesting ideas in this one, but no story.  I don't mind details of the setting being unexplained to entice further thought.  But I really want a story.  I did not care what happened to the characters.  I felt no tension.  Bleh.

Did anybody understand how a "boson gun" (presumably it was a Higgs boson gun, since it was supposed to add mass to the submarine) could tear a whole in the fabric of reality somewhere out in the Kuiper belt that will kill most, but not all humans and yet leave everything else untouched? And don't you dare answer with the old "scifi/magic" response. This was an infodump with the most crucial bit of info missing.

Parts of the story made it sound like there wasn't conclusive evidence that all those other people died, or at least evidence that they were killed by the Boson gun.  There were no bodies.  The narrator theorized, I think, that the gun changed the timescale at which some people live, so that the rest of human civilization collapses around them unseen in a blink and that they could live long enough to see the sun burn out.  So the other people are probably dead, but died in ordinary ways.
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 6450



WWW
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2012, 11:36:12 AM »

Also, I thought the name "Glasshouse" was an interesting one.  I wonder if that's meant to refer to the expression "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"?
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Cattfish
Palmer
**
Posts: 24


« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2012, 09:01:13 PM »

The end of this one felt like a Stephen Baxter novel... Its the End of the universe, I feel fine. And I thought it was an interesting weapon to simply throw someone into a different timespeed. But... like last weeks story it's kind of a fluff story. Good and sweet but not very filling.
Logged
Listener
Hipparch
******
Posts: 3177


I place things in locations which later elude me.


WWW
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2012, 08:35:58 AM »

My biggest problem was one of pronunciation - I've always heard of the moon of Saturn called "en-SELL-a-dis", not "en-saLAD-dus", which makes it sound like Saturnian-Mexician cuisine.

I probably should've looked that up. A cursory googling indicates that the first pronunciation was correct, not the second. My bad.
Logged

"Farts are a hug you can smell." -Wil Wheaton

Blog || Quote Blog ||  Written and Audio Work || Twitter: @listener42
Talia
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2532


I like pie


« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2012, 09:21:52 PM »

Not entirely sure what happened here, but I enjoyed the concepts introduced so much that I didn't care. If a story (and this was a story) can keep my interest, a certain amount of nonsensicalness is acceptable in my book.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.20 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!