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Author Topic: EP427: Samantha’s Diary  (Read 15179 times)

Unblinking

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Reply #25 on: December 30, 2013, 02:34:14 PM
Actually, in many ways this story felt like it was taking place in a version of Victorian England where they already had housebots.

Yes!  Which was odd.  If it had been slightly reframed it could've been a steampunk story, or just a historical absurdism and it would've made that part easier to swallow.  I mean, I get that times will change by the time this story comes around, but I'd guess they'd change to something entirely different, not something that feels outdated.

Granted, she did have one line about how all this harassment made her realize that Liam was the only one for her, but it felt so far out of left field that it didn't make up for the suddenness of the decision.

And even that line, if I recall, was spoken aloud to Liam, so considering the circumstances I just assumed it was a lie.

Maybe it was meant to be a case of her feeling closer to him because he played an important role in helping her understand the nature of the harassment, knowing about the song etc, and his aid in a time of need made her remember the good times with him again.  But I don't think it's likely that will last once the immediate threat from the outside is gone she'll probably just get annoyed with him again.



danthelawyer

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Reply #26 on: December 30, 2013, 06:17:09 PM
Unblinking expressed nearly all of my thoughts quite well (perhaps better than I could have done myself), but I do have a couple of things to add. I know that satire usually depends on exaggerated characters, but these characters were so exaggerated as to be genuinely irritating -- especially Samantha. I get that she's a model, and so assumedly (at least by the author) stupid, though I think that's an unfair, cliched, and tired assumption. But does she have to be *so* stupid? Why doesn't she call animal control? Or at least let the BSPCA lady take them away?

And then, oh, the ending. Yes, it should have been Housebot. And yes, the sexism was excruciating. Blech.

The narration was good, though.



Anyanwu

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Reply #27 on: December 31, 2013, 03:24:40 AM
The Twelve Days of Christmas has been done better. The housebot barely made it science fiction. Samantha's  Diary is very similar idea in a cute little illustrated book: The Twelve Days of Christmas (Correspondence) by John Norwich and Quentin Blake. The song was used to torture us in grade school when we had to calculate the number of items the poor person received by the twelfth day. I never got that question correct. Grade school flash backs are the worst.



Hilary Moon Murphy

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Reply #28 on: December 31, 2013, 04:01:56 PM
No one has commented on Emma Newman's lovely narration of this piece, so I will do so here.  Emma, you were simply lovely.

I found this story absurd, charming and... yes, tedious.  I loved the descriptions of the birds, but I agreed with everyone that the heroine should have been a bit more proactive about getting rid of them.  Animal control?  Sure.  Or how about auctioning them off so that you can get more shoes?  I might have kept a parrot or two, but the geese?  Never.  I enjoyed the story, but would have relished a more gutsy protagonist.

Hmm


DerangedMind

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Reply #29 on: December 31, 2013, 04:30:28 PM
I agree that the narration was simply fantastic!  I think that Emma was a perfect choice of narrators for the story! (And the clip for Emma's podcast sounds interesting too...)

I'm going to side with the group of people who found this charming.  I thought it was a nice variation on 12 Days of Christmas.  I was a bit dissapointed that the person sending the gifts was identified so easily - I thought that his identity could have been a nice plot twist.  Maybe some kind of multiple personality disorder, which would explain why the housebot was ignoring the orders to not accept the deliveries - after all, she had also told it to accept them.




adrianh

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Reply #30 on: December 31, 2013, 07:51:15 PM
"charming and also kind of tedious"

#metoo

Right up to the end I was expecting a twist and then... flump... nothing.

I normally love DWJ's stuff - but this one fell flat for me.



Listener

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Reply #31 on: January 02, 2014, 01:13:58 PM
I enjoyed this story up until the point where I figured it out. Then it stopped being about a futuristic woman dealing with a truckload of bird poop and started being about a whiny entitled rich girl being romanced by a socially-inept rich guy.

The narration was excellent.

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albionmoonlight

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Reply #32 on: January 03, 2014, 02:51:46 PM
Call it the Bridget Jones effect, but it just seems like diary entries seem more . . . right when they are done by British women.

I am happy to have had a Christmas story, and the narration was awesome.  I do agree with those who note that it did seem to go on a bit too long.  I guess it is hard to fit in that many days of Christmas and keep a tight story.



Fenrix

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Reply #33 on: January 06, 2014, 08:43:10 PM
Loved the narration on this one. If only we could point Sam at Deshaun Stevens, they'd make a delightful neurotic pair. She'd be terribly high maintenance, but he'd be utterly devoted to her.


Actually, in many ways this story felt like it was taking place in a version of Victorian England where they already had housebots.


Yes!  Which was odd.  If it had been slightly reframed it could've been a steampunk story, or just a historical absurdism and it would've made that part easier to swallow.  I mean, I get that times will change by the time this story comes around, but I'd guess they'd change to something entirely different, not something that feels outdated.


This felt to me like a distinct take on a Victorian tale of which I am not familiar. Mainly because I have no interest in exploring Austen and Bronte or deeper into the alphabet.

I'm with HMM in that I would have sold the livestock. With a possible side of breaking out the smoker in order to have some fantastic barbecue. Waterfowl smoke up really nicely.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


ArbysMom

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Reply #34 on: January 06, 2014, 10:21:19 PM
And a rare outro fail for Alasdair.

Really?  I thought it was hilarious.  A suspense/espionage/thriller flash story in over-the-top Dan Brown fashion based around a combination of myths/history and modern/futuristic technology.  He told it so straight that for the first bit I thought he was telling the true military history of the invention of the delivery drone--which on its own would be plausible enough, since military does tend to originate a lot of new inventions--but then it just got silly, and he managed to keep it straight throughout.

This exactly!


Devoted135

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Reply #35 on: January 07, 2014, 12:24:39 AM

Actually, in many ways this story felt like it was taking place in a version of Victorian England where they already had housebots.


Yes!  Which was odd.  If it had been slightly reframed it could've been a steampunk story, or just a historical absurdism and it would've made that part easier to swallow.  I mean, I get that times will change by the time this story comes around, but I'd guess they'd change to something entirely different, not something that feels outdated.


This felt to me like a distinct take on a Victorian tale of which I am not familiar. Mainly because I have no interest in exploring Austen and Bronte or deeper into the alphabet.


I count Austen as one of my favorite authors, though I've never been too keen on either Bronte sister. While I'm certainly no expert in the field, I can't think of a story for which this could have been a send-up.



tpi

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Reply #36 on: January 08, 2014, 07:25:04 AM
Totally unbelievable and stupid story.
Public phone in 2233?
Really?





 :D


davidthygod

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Reply #37 on: January 10, 2014, 07:09:25 PM
Tedious. I thought about deleting it around day three and wish I had. And a rare outro fail for Alasdair.

I concur completely.

The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.


Myrealana

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Reply #38 on: January 16, 2014, 03:57:01 PM
The narration was absolutely fantastic!

The story started out alright. It took me about 5 seconds to figure out the first bird was a partridge and deduce the oncoming storm of birds.

I never did get the significance of the rings being too small. I did enjoy the neighbors and the bird protectionists getting into it near the end, but I felt like the solution was a little rushed. All of a sudden she's going to get married to Liam because it will save her from the birds? I was hoping for a much more satisfying solution.

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SF.Fangirl

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Reply #39 on: January 31, 2014, 11:54:54 PM
I was totally picturing Samantha as a future Bridget Jones (perhaps partially inspired by the British accent) and this led me to a thought about the narration (which is rare for me) - it fit nicely.

It took me perhaps until day 2 to realize she was getting the gifts from the 12 days of Christmas.  After that, I was gently amused; although, yes the ending did leave a bit of whiplash and does not bare too much thought because it's sad/pathetic/horrorfiying that she escapes a stalker by marrying someone else. There wasn't enough interaction with Liam to explain her change of heart adequately to not make it sad; although, the fact that her mother has been married 6-ish times as a career makes it plain that marriage is not permanent in the future.

I was bit confused by the end and had to relisten to realize that this was meant to be a true electronic diary no editing, and then the story made less sense.  In the future a vapid, fashion conscious girl would be documenting all her purchases, checking into restaurants and stores through future facebook, etc, etc, etc. The fact that it only documents the weird stalking gifts and then she says I went shopping without more documentation makes the story seem a bit dated.  I certainly wouldn't have wanted to read that story, but it seems to have been written before people, especially shallow ones like this character, felt the need to electronically document the minutia of their day to day in a public forum.

That said it a cute, amusing Christmas story that I really enjoyed listening to (at the end of January because I am very behind on my EscapePod).

Also I learned something! I had never noticed how many birds were in The Twelve Days of Christmas either.   :o  The birds just kept coming and coming.




CryptoMe

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Reply #40 on: May 14, 2014, 03:17:17 AM
Okay, I just heard the feedback for this episode (yes, I am way, way behind) and had to comment.

I personally thought the story was decidedly untedious. I remember thinking while listening "oh, no, don't tell me they are going to go through the entire song" only to be surprised that it was not boring or tedious as I had expected.

Maybe it was the character's reaction to everything that I found so interesting. It was so different from what I think I would have done (though one doesn't really know until one finds oneself in the situation).

Anyway, I liked this story, even the ending, which again was quite different from what I would have done.



hardware

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Reply #41 on: May 14, 2014, 07:35:05 AM
You're not the only one way behind CryptoMe, and you're not the only one who liked it. Maybe it helps to hear this a few months removed from christmas overload ? I'm not from an english speaking country so it took me two days to make the connection with the song.

Yeah, the ending can be seen as rather reactionary, but we don't know on what grounds they had broken up in the first place, so maybe it was just a case of seeing Liam in another light rather than just an escape. In any case, I had fun listening to it and the narration was just about perfect.



El Barto

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Reply #42 on: June 29, 2014, 05:55:13 PM
CryptoMe and hardware, I am even further behind than you.  My two cents:

I absolutely loved the narrator.  When the story started I thought I could never listen to a whole story about the 12 days of Xmas crap showing up but she made it believable -- at first.

Quickly I became embarrassed for the main character and the fact that women hundreds of years from now would meekly tolerate such abuse.   When the housebot first let in the unmarked delivery van I could believe that.  But it quickly became ridiculous.  Anyone with half a spine would simply refuse future delivery, call the police, etc., as opposed to accepting more and more birds each day.

And I double facepalmed when she then not only ran into the arms of an ex but agreed to jump right to marriage.  And then offered him a dowry.   

It was as though the author was saying that technology may march on but unless we work harder, our daughters will be doomed to dependency in a world where men are billionaires with all the power and the best women can do is walk the catwalk and marry one rich guy after another.

I also didn't understand what happened with the abrupt ending, and was frustrated that Alasdair didn't explain.  But I knew the forum would have the explanation.

And as for the public phone in 2233 -- mark my words that public phones are coming back and they will offer technology that is too expensive for individual houses.  For example, phone booths may be full of equipment to generate full holograms (outgoing).