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Author Topic: EP356: Three-Quarters Martian  (Read 6403 times)
chemistryguy
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2012, 05:38:53 AM »

Did anyone else suspect that all of the straws were long and he just waited for the last one to be drawn before going "welp I'm dead" and then scampering off before they can look at his straw.

Yes.  And one of the saving graces of this story was this wasn't pointed out.
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Listener
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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2012, 03:30:08 PM »

Did anyone else suspect that all of the straws were long and he just waited for the last one to be drawn before going "welp I'm dead" and then scampering off before they can look at his straw.

Yes.  And one of the saving graces of this story was this wasn't pointed out.

I did find it kind of a cop-out (for the character, not the story). Sure, we're supposed to think it was a bold, courageous thing to volunteer to die... but it wasn't fair to the others.
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SF.Fangirl
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« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2012, 10:40:32 PM »

Did anyone else suspect that all of the straws were long and he just waited for the last one to be drawn before going "welp I'm dead" and then scampering off before they can look at his straw.

Yes.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2012, 12:14:59 AM »

I thought this story created its own niche in raising the question of whether it is better to face death resignedly on Mars or in a desperate attempt to return to an Earth that no longer exists.

I agree with Devoted135 that this story was not the same old "someone has to sacrifice themselves so the rest can survive" story, precicely because of the backdrop of civilization falling apart on Earth. That I thought was a very thought-provoking concept. I don't know if we have ever experienced this in human history; stranded colony struggling because home is falling apart. Any historians out there care to enlighten us?
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WillMoo
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« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2012, 07:30:39 AM »

I thought this story was pretty much a rehash of the "we only have room in the life boat for 3" device. Even with it combining that, in my opinion, tired plot with the other been-done-before "we are on a planet and Earth is falling apart but we still have to get back" it just felt stale and unimaginative. Granted this is my opinion on the story and other opinions may disagree.
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lisavilisa
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« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2012, 11:25:40 AM »

Yes this story was an exploration of an old trope. So what? Sometimes stories can use old plots to present interesting surroundings and characters.

I liked the main character, it was a good portrayal of a pioneer. She's so smart she turned of her AI when landing because it's praise was bugging her, she doesn't let others boss her around but she listens to their suggestions, and she's determined to colonize mars but not so blinded by that determination that she would choose it over her one chance to survive. My family comes from a long line of pioneers and the utilitarian idealism of her psyche would fit right at home in any of the homes in my family.
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Gamercow
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2012, 04:02:33 PM »

I thought this story created its own niche in raising the question of whether it is better to face death resignedly on Mars or in a desperate attempt to return to an Earth that no longer exists.

I agree with Devoted135 that this story was not the same old "someone has to sacrifice themselves so the rest can survive" story, precicely because of the backdrop of civilization falling apart on Earth. That I thought was a very thought-provoking concept. I don't know if we have ever experienced this in human history; stranded colony struggling because home is falling apart. Any historians out there care to enlighten us?

Something in the back of my brain wants to say that a French colony fell apart because the Monarchy failed...
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Bdoomed
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« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2012, 05:57:11 PM »

Did anyone else suspect that all of the straws were long and he just waited for the last one to be drawn before going "welp I'm dead" and then scampering off before they can look at his straw.
*raises hand*
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Myrealana
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« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2012, 12:50:08 PM »

Did anyone else suspect that all of the straws were long and he just waited for the last one to be drawn before going "welp I'm dead" and then scampering off before they can look at his straw.
Oh yeah. Totally.
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Myrealana
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« Reply #29 on: August 29, 2012, 12:56:03 PM »

Yes this story was an exploration of an old trope. So what? Sometimes stories can use old plots to present interesting surroundings and characters.

I liked the main character, it was a good portrayal of a pioneer. She's so smart she turned of her AI when landing because it's praise was bugging her, she doesn't let others boss her around but she listens to their suggestions, and she's determined to colonize mars but not so blinded by that determination that she would choose it over her one chance to survive. My family comes from a long line of pioneers and the utilitarian idealism of her psyche would fit right at home in any of the homes in my family.
I agree. I saw the final problem and solution coming from way out over the horizon, but I cared because I liked the main character and the way she approached the situation. Sometimes, it's not about having a new and different plot device to surprise the reader. Sometimes, it's about how a person faces the same old problem.
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Kittiwake
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« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2012, 10:54:19 AM »

Am I the only one who thought that the other three crew members would each have a leg amputated so that they would need less air, food and fuel and could all return home as theee-quarters Martians like Anna-Jing?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2012, 10:56:53 AM by Kittiwake » Logged
Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2012, 03:47:41 PM »

Am I the only one who thought that the other three crew members would each have a leg amputated so that they would need less air, food and fuel and could all return home as theee-quarters Martians like Anna-Jing?
In the story the lack of mobility due to having only one leg was a clear liability. They couldn't all do that.
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2012, 11:19:23 AM »

Am I the only one who thought that the other three crew members would each have a leg amputated so that they would need less air, food and fuel and could all return home as theee-quarters Martians like Anna-Jing?

I don't remember much about the story at this point, but here goes:

If the crew all had a leg amputated and then discarded, yes, there would be less fuel required for the trip home.  However, if they decided make use of all that fresh meat via cannibalism or even auto-cannibalism, there would be no net reduction in mass, thus the required fuel would remain unchanged. 

They could, I suppose, make use of Newton's Third Law of Motion and expel any waste in a direction completely opposite to their directional path for a bit more thrust.  The Waste Cannon 3000 springs to mind, but they might not have the components necessary to build such a device.  I'd imagine they'd have a very elaborate waste recycling system onboard, so there wouldn't be much flotsam or jetsam to work with anyway.

Additionally, the human body burns through an enormous number of calories while attempting to heal itself.  Any energy that might be taken in by the newly acquired food source would be more than offset by the heightened needs of the body.  Even more so if one or more decided to opt out of the Consume a Fellow Crewmate Nutritional Plan. 
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LaShawn
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« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2012, 11:16:33 AM »

Not bad. Pretty gritty. I've been reading a whole bunch of end-of-the-world stories and this was a nice twist.
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hardware
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2012, 07:35:10 AM »

I liked this, I'm a fan of bleak SF and this definitely got that sinking feeling just right. Also, american narrators swearing in swedish can not fail to entertain.

Sure, the trope of having to leave one behind certainly was the least interesting part of the story - in fact all the things I liked had to do with the atmosphere of the crew in their station  and the world falling apart as seen from cosmic distances. But that was well enough done that I didn't care too much about the overused plot devices.
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