Escape Artists
April 17, 2014, 04:59:23 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
Author Topic: PC206: Another Word for Map is Faith  (Read 1920 times)
Talia
Moderator
*****
Posts: 2489


I like pie


« on: May 01, 2012, 10:06:21 AM »

PodCastle 206: Another Word for Map is Faith

by Christopher Rowe.

Read by Ann Leckie, editor of GigaNotoSaurus.

Originally appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

On the other side of the valley, across the creek, the real ridge line—the geology, her father would have said disdainfully—stabbed upstream. By her rough estimation it had rolled perhaps two degrees off the angle of its writ mapping. Lucas would determine the exact discrepancy later, when he extracted his instruments from their feather and wax paper wrappings.

“Third world bullshit,” Lucas said, walking up to her. “The transit services people from the university paid these little schemers before we ever climbed onto that deathtrap, and now they’re asking for the
fare.” Lucas had been raised near the border, right outside the last town the bus had stopped at, in fact, though he’d dismissed the notion of visiting any family. His patience with the locals ran inverse to
his familiarity with them.

“Does this count as the third world?” she asked him. “Doesn’t there have to be a general for that? Rain forests and steel ruins?”

Lucas gave his half-grin—not quite a smirk—acknowledging her reduction. Cartographers were famous for their willful ignorance of social expressions like politics and history.

Rated PG.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 08:31:52 AM by Talia » Logged
InfiniteMonkey
Lochage
*****
Posts: 402


Clearly, I need more typewriters....


« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2012, 01:16:26 PM »

I kept waiting for the part that would stop me from posting "Wait, why isn't this in Escape Pod" (in my experience it's rare that happens; the opposite is more often true).

That part comes at the very end.

It was interesting hearing about future religion (at least that's how I heard it) and its various denominations, and how not all of these people got along.
Logged
merian
Extern
*
Posts: 16


« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 01:37:36 PM »

Phew, very well written and well read (I wish Ann Leckie would read a bit more slowly though), but what a terrible dystopia and perversion of academic disciplines into the service of an arrogant and inhumane Christianity.

(BTW, as a European this is a good example of why I'll never understand American ratings. A little bit of eroticism and suddenly something's deemed not acceptable for under-18-year-olds. A 16-year-old drinking beer? Eeek! But this sort of cataclysmic nightmare-inducing horror, yeah, sure, perfectly ok for a child....)
Logged
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Editor
*****
Posts: 4189


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 02:34:00 PM »

(BTW, as a European this is a good example of why I'll never understand American ratings. A little bit of eroticism and suddenly something's deemed not acceptable for under-18-year-olds. A 16-year-old drinking beer? Eeek! But this sort of cataclysmic nightmare-inducing horror, yeah, sure, perfectly ok for a child....)

I blame the Beep Box...
Logged

Scattercat
Caution:
Editor
*****
Posts: 3989


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 10:22:02 PM »

*Can* you bleep the apocalypse?

Anyway, I read this story ages ago in some Years Best collection or other, and it was a definite favorite out of that volume.  As a certified grammar pedant, I deeply enjoyed the idea of altering reality to "correct" the differences between theory and practice.

And honestly, this one could almost be a PP episode as well, let alone EP.  That's why we love Podcastle.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
DKT
Friendly Neighborhood
Editor
*****
Posts: 4189


PodCastle is my Co-Pilot


WWW
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 11:03:10 AM »

*Can* you bleep the apocalypse?

Bleep Box says: "World Nap Day"

 Wink
Logged

danooli
Lochage
*****
Posts: 541



WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2012, 07:54:09 AM »

I don't like being critical here, at all, but I have to admit that I just didn't "get" this one.  It may be that I was having trouble identifying the characters, or it may be that I didn't understand their purpose for being where they were, but by the time I realized that they were reshaping the physical world to match a map, the story was over and I was left feeling...well, I was left feeling a bit dumb.


With that said, now that I do know, I intend to give it another listen soon. Maybe that will help me enjoy it more Smiley
Logged
Devoted135
Hipparch
******
Posts: 784



« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 10:47:12 AM »

Hmm, not my favorite story in the world, probably due to my own bias being a scientist and a former grad student. It's funny, I can stretch my suspension of disbelief for magic and aliens, but apparently not so much for the types of relationships portrayed in this story.
Logged
Allie
Extern
*
Posts: 11


Mapmaker / Weather Chaser


WWW
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 12:06:22 AM »

As a geography grad this made me absolutely lose. my. mind. (in a good way) with laughter. I kept picturing my professors using unfaithful students as human sacrifices to geographic systems gods... blessed are the mapmakers! By the time I heard the line about anthropologists being halfway to witch-doctors I had to pause because I was laughing so much  Cheesy
However, I'm not sure if my reaction (entertained as I was) was the one intended one by the author. I kept looking for a deeper meaning, some larger commentary on man and his relationship with god/nature but it was lost.
Logged
Pirvonen
Palmer
**
Posts: 35


« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 02:14:53 PM »

Disturbing. There are people in this world who are all the time substituting their reality for the one I perceive. Bring the trend to its absurd perfection and we have the universe of this story.

(The tendency to see reality in the Truths of a given belief system is not limited to Abrahamic religions or New Ageism. Rather a lot of human ingenuity has gone into explaining the world as conforming to Writ, no matter which Writ we are examining at any time.)
Logged
Dave
Peltast
***
Posts: 126



WWW
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 08:18:12 PM »

This story should have been on Pseudopod. It grew more horrifying with every sentence. By the end, my stomach was clenching up, I was so profoundly mortified.

This is pretty much how I feel about religion in the real world, too.
Logged

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)
Raj
Extern
*
Posts: 18



WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2012, 04:04:55 PM »

This story should have been on Pseudopod. It grew more horrifying with every sentence. By the end, my stomach was clenching up, I was so profoundly mortified.

This is pretty much how I feel about religion in the real world, too.

This pretty much exactly sums up my reaction to the story.  Chuffing (does that get past the beep box?) terrifying.  Great reading by Ann Leckie though.

Oh, and I loved and was horrified in equal measure by Dave's introduction and the anecdote of the beep box Smiley.
Logged

http://lordofthemoon.com ; (Former) Editor of TBD magazine: http://tbd.org.uk
childoftyranny
Matross
****
Posts: 167



« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2012, 06:57:20 PM »

First of all, I enjoyed this story, it many ways it was very classic sci-fi, its takes an idea or concern and either presents it from a different point of view or takes it to an extreme and I believe this story did both.

The conversion from a Christianity that follows the Bible, to one that follows maps is fascinating. As well as that there were different "local" ,kinds of Jesus, this reminds me of a discussion in a college class about the different forms God used in the bible, where you see Yahweh and Elohim, the latter I believe carried the connotation of a Deity which you had more a personal relationship with, please check on it yourself though I am by far not an expert. This is also reminded me the Hindu religion and in tangent the Shinto religion where there were often spirits for everything and everything had a spirit, respectively. Not to mention the legion patron saints to be found at least in Catholicism. Which leads me to believe that because of such different visions the truth came to be identified with different objects, to maps for the cartographers, perhaps to DNA for the biologists? Though it is hard to imagine the sort of technology surviving into this world. 

I didn't notice any hints as to what had happened that caused the unusual mixture of technologies that would leave a diesel bus, expensive but sounding common and then oil soaked paper as the method of transporting fragile goods. Though obviously this wasn't the main piece to the story. We were also not quite told what the non-religious people of the lake actually had for technology, they were in mud huts, but our group we followed wasn't exactly living the high life either.

Yet there intention was to literally, move mountains. I recall the comment on the mustard seed myself, though I was never raised on the literal Bible position. Which makes their actions all the more intriguing and recalls, the Calvinists I believe, who understood that success in life showed that you were one of the chosen, such that working hard and succeeding was a back-door way or ensuring your place in heaven. And it could just as easily be that none of these influences were meant to be applied as none of them.

At the same time I'm struck by similarities between this group and some of the Green movements, the need to keep land natural and the way it is, small parts willing to even resort to terrorism to stop what they see as evil, similar as well to the Red movement of the Mars Trilogy, in their effort to keep the primeval, the correct, the true Mars, alive, well, red.

In contrast to others though I believe that you could had substituted any fundamentalist group into this story, that a group of rogue cartographers trying to return the ideal that their maps of old represent would have worked fine. I can only assume the author intended to raise some of the ideas and question that come from the change a religion will go through as it moves through time. So the question of why Christianity was chosen is invariably raised, and this obviously got a reaction out of people. I am not familiar with the author so I wouldn't be in any position to suggest why.

Overall I enjoyed the story, I found it thought provoking on quite a few levels and hope this gets suggested for a Hugo in the years to come.
Logged
Scattercat
Caution:
Editor
*****
Posts: 3989


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 11:35:03 AM »

So the question of why Christianity was chosen is invariably raised, and this obviously got a reaction out of people. I am not familiar with the author so I wouldn't be in any position to suggest why.

I don't think you have to mind-read the author.  Christianity has been one of the most dominant religions in the world for thousands of years.  If you're going to posit a universal, hegemonic religion, Christianity is the shortest step away.
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Unblinking
Sir Postsalot
Hipparch
******
Posts: 5713



WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 09:33:48 AM »

This was a very interesting story, much more of an "idea" story than a "plot" story but the idea was interesting enough that I never got bored, and it was written at a length suitable for the content (not too long in other words).  Good stuff.

I have some relatives who are missionaries and since I was a kid I have always had mixed feelings about it.  I am not at all opposed to religion or people choosing to follow a religion.  If forced to label myself, I'd call myself an Agnostic theist.  But I've never been particularly comfortable with the thought of trying to coerce others to follow your religion--if your religion is such a fundamental truth then followers should come to YOU, you shouldn't have to drag them into the fold.  On the other hand, these missionaries do a lot of amazing humanitarian work, not least of which giving health education (especially AIDS education) to African communities who really need that education to be healthy.  In the balance I think they do a great deal more good than harm, but trying to push religion on other people still makes me uncomfortable.

This story took those things about missionaries that I'm not comfortable with and exaggerated and multiplied them to good effect, to show how evil missionaries could be if they focus less on humanitarian efforts and more on enforcement of doctrine.  I don't necessarily see this is an edict to say "Missionaries are bad, mkay?" but rather a cautionary tale to provoke thought about the dangers of extremism to any belief system.

I didn't really care for the title.  I guess it succeeds in evoking the content of the story, because I think I'll remember it for a long time.  But my initial, intermediate, and final reaction to the statement of the title is "That's not true because the words are not interchangeable".  I could buy a statement like "A Map is a Type of Faith", or perhaps better is "A Map is Faith").  If anything, I can see a "map" being a TYPE or a SUBSET of "faith".  I realize the beliefs in the story are different, but the words "map" and "faith" were still not interchanged.  Anyway, just a minor gripe, and the title served its main purpose of immediately evoking the idea of the story.

So the question of why Christianity was chosen is invariably raised, and this obviously got a reaction out of people. I am not familiar with the author so I wouldn't be in any position to suggest why.

I don't think you have to mind-read the author.  Christianity has been one of the most dominant religions in the world for thousands of years.  If you're going to posit a universal, hegemonic religion, Christianity is the shortest step away.

Not only that, but when I think of missionaries going out to convert others to their religion, various branches of Christianity are what comes to mind. 
Logged

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Anarkey
Meen Pie
Editor
*****
Posts: 699


...depends a good deal on where you want to get to


WWW
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2012, 03:43:27 PM »


Overall I enjoyed the story, I found it thought provoking on quite a few levels and hope this gets suggested for a Hugo in the years to come.


This story is several years old, so it's too late for a Hugo, but it did appear in at least two year's bests for its year.
Logged

Winner Nash's 1000th member betting pool + Thaurismunths' Free Rice Contest!
Max e^{i pi}
Hipparch
******
Posts: 828


Have towel, will travel.


« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2012, 09:23:03 AM »

Wow.
I had to keep reminding myself that this story is a dystopian story (it is one, right?!) and not to be taken seriously.
Because otherwise it would have made me so angry.
In fact, I think it did anyway.
The callousness with which the narrator (and everyone else in the group!) brushed off the death of someone who believed in a "different Jesus" was horrifying.
The death and destruction that these people blithely wreck upon the world and hapless innocents in the name of forcing the world to conform to their reality is nauseating.
The snobbishness and (unfounded) superiority with which they regard themselves and those of different faiths makes me want to do violence to them.
There was not a single character in this story I could relate to, no conflict that engaged me and the whole premise of the story brought forth images of a personal vendetta against the idiots who blindly followed some mistaken map and accused the natural world for being at fault.
I think that that is my main complaint.
When faced with a map with an error, rather than assume that the topology has changed since last drawn or that measurements were poorly done, they accept the map as gospel and do whatever it takes (kill people!) to change the world to conform to their map. How stupid can you get?

Yes, I get it, it's an allegory to organized religion in general, and religious zealots in particular.
But I am familiar with several organized religions, and personally know many religious zealots. And while they have many "issues", this isn't one of them. When faced with facts on the ground that contradict their scripture these zealots that I know don't try and change the facts. They don't disregard the measurements. Instead they try to understand the facts better, and then delve into their scriptures, trying to see if maybe it doesn't conflict. And you know what? More often than not they come back and are grateful for this "contradiction" because it gave them opportunity to deepen their own personal understanding of their religion.

I can respect another person's opinions, even if I don't agree with them. I can even understand that there exist people who can't.
But to draw a picture of an entire world run by people like that, who not only can't accept that other people have different opinions, but also force the very geography to conform to these opinions! (and to hell with the consequences, the end justifies the means) that is horrifying.
So yeah, Psuedopod for this piece.
I'd like my 35 minutes back please.
Logged

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted!

Scattercat
Caution:
Editor
*****
Posts: 3989


Amateur wordsmith


WWW
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2012, 11:58:27 AM »

Then you don't know zealots, Max.  Zealots are people who pass laws to prohibit the teaching of evolution or to require the committee that's supposed to plan for sea level change to ignore any projections based on global warming.  You are fortunate that you have not encountered such people, quite honestly.  Religious people who enjoy doubt and adjust their faith to incorporate new factual discoveries are liberal theologists, though, pretty much by definition.  That's what liberalism means
Logged

---
Mirrorshards: Very Short Stories
100 Words.  No more.  No fewer.  Every day.
Splinters of Silver and Glass - The Mirrorshards Book
Max e^{i pi}
Hipparch
******
Posts: 828


Have towel, will travel.


« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2012, 01:38:48 PM »

I'll admit that I haven't met any frothing Christian zealots, but people should be allowed some amount of self-defintion. And these people define themselves as zealots.
Logged

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

Registered Linux user #481826 Get Counted!

Special Ed
Extern
*
Posts: 19


« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2012, 07:15:39 AM »

Ah!  Thank you!
I'm a bit out of sync with the various Escape Artists podcasts and I found myself way behind on Podcastle.  I just listened to this one on commute this morning.  For whatever reason, I've not been particularly impressed with the last 5 or 6 stories I've listened to across the three podcasts (nevermind which ones, it is just a temporary problem.)  This story restored my faith.

In my current job, I'm an engineer working with a bunch of scientists.  While I still don't understand them, I was able to recognize the blind, pedantic devotion of my real world colleagues in the characters of this story.

If my wife and I ever get our RPG gaming group back of the ground, I have a new group of morally gray antagonists.

Dave's closing phrase, "I shall make this world the way it was mapped" is chilling.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!