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Author Topic: EP380: Punk Voyager  (Read 15938 times)

eytanz

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on: January 25, 2013, 11:55:23 AM
EP380: Punk Voyager

By Shaenon Garrity

Read by Nathaniel Lee

---
Punk Voyager was built by punks.  They made it from beer cans, razors, safety pins, and a surfboard some D-bag had left on the beach. Also plutonium.  Where did they get plutonium?  Around.  f*** you.

The punks who built Punk Voyager were Johnny Bonesaw, Johnny Razor, Mexican Johnny D-bag, Red Viscera, and some other guys.  No, asshole, nobody remembers what other guys.  They were f***ing wasted, these punks.  They’d been drinking on the San Diego beach all day and night, talking about making a run to Tijuana and then forgetting and punching each other.  They’d built a fire on the beach, and all night the fire went up and went down while the punks threw beer cans at the seagulls.

Forget the s*** I just said, it wasn’t the punks who did it.  They were f***ing punks.  The hell they know about astro-engineering? Truth is that Punk Voyager was the strung-out masterpiece of Mexican Johnny D-bag’s girlfriend, Lacuna, who had a doctorate in structural engineering.  Before she burned out and ran for the coast, Lacuna was named Alice McGuire and built secret nuclear submarines for a government contractor in Ohio.  It sucked.  But that was where she got the skills to construct an unmanned deep-space probe.  Same principle, right?  Keep the radiation in and the water out.  Or the vacuum of space, whatever, it’s all the same s*** to an engineer.

f*** that, it wasn’t really Lacuna’s baby.  It wasn’t her idea.  The idea was Red’s.

“f***ing space,” he said that fateful night.  He was lying on his back looking up at space, is why he said it.

“Hell yeah,” said Johnny Bonesaw.

“s*** ain’t nothing but rocks and UFOs.”

“Ain’t no such thing as a UFO.”

“Like hell there ain’t,” said Red.  “CIA knows all about it.  Them and the astronauts.”

Red was always saying that s***, though.  Everything was the CIA and the saucer people with that burnout.


---

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



ToooooMuchCoffeeMan

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Reply #1 on: January 25, 2013, 02:05:00 PM
This story really didn't move me, with the exception of the image of a certain former President getting cockpunched. I mean, lord knows he deserves it - our national scrotum is still aching from the one he gave the entire country. But the story itself was just an extended one-liner that used some sf tropes, as opposed to actual sf.

...And Nancy Reagan would've NEVER been forebearing of someone that just punched her in the tit. She would've been screeching for Al Haig to unlock the missles.



matweller

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Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 03:19:34 PM
Depends on whether it was the real one or the fake one, I suppose.

I'm probably going to hell for that.

I love this story.



acpracht

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Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 08:14:17 PM
I must preface this by saying that I've been cruising blithely and happily along with Escape Pod for... probably about half a year or more. Many stories I have loved, some I was indifferent on. None of them prompted me with any thoughts worth posting to the forums.

This one did prompt a thought, and I find myself bursting until I share it here.

Put simply: "Yuck."

I get that it's satire. I don't even really have a problem with all the cursing. I get what it's going for, at least I think so.

I suppose that I'm just not punk or hardcore enough like the characters to enjoy their story.

Me, I have some different one-word descriptors of the characters.

"Jerks" if I'm feeling generous. "Assholes" if I feel like being accurate.

Truly, who is the reader supposed to identify with if they're not a "screw everyone and everything" personality?

And even those who ended up selling out were, truly, about two inches deep as people.

I would have no desire to spend two minutes with these people in real life. I can't believe I spent 20 minutes with them in this story.

Sorry, guys, this one was a miss in my book.

(Sigh, once again Mat Weller and I have different opinions. Ah, well, someday we'll agree. :)   )

On the plus side, I enjoyed Alasdair's essay - I might just have to check out his book.

-Adam



daikaisho

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Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 11:47:58 PM
Fuck. Fuck. This story just fuckin'... Shit, guys. I'm going to cry, it's so awesome. And then I'm going to have to punch you all in the cock and go crash a car into a Pottery Barn.

But seriously, I think this is my favorite Escape Pod story aside from Kij Johnson's Spar. Which probably tells you all you need to know about me, but there you go. (Also it prompted me to jump on the forum and post about it, and I never do that.)



jenfullmoon

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Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 12:46:45 AM
I get that it's satire. I don't even really have a problem with all the cursing. I get what it's going for, at least I think so.

I suppose that I'm just not punk or hardcore enough like the characters to enjoy their story.

I normally love Shaenon Garrity, but... I think I'm not punk or hardcore enough to be into this either. To me it was, "lame people do lame things, with lots of cursing, even the aliens." Except for Lacuna, who was the only one I was really interested in, and then she was utterly gone from the story. Darn it.

I wanted to like it, but....eh, no, not really.



Cutter McKay

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Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 12:50:07 AM
The narrative voice of this piece was beautiful; I mean, beautiful in a filthy, disgusting, punk way. The story itself was ridiculous at best, but hilarious. I haven't laughed so much at an EP episode in a long time. The best line was:
"President Reagan came out to greet them and they punched him in the cock."
It's so irreverent and unexpected, probably because I've read so many versions of first contact and NONE of them begin with the President getting junk-punched. I laughed out loud in the middle of an office complex lobby, drawing eyes from not a few random passersby.

I loved this story. I get what everyone else has said so far about the characters being shallow, and the story a thinly veiled SF trope, but my response is: Who cares? It was funny. It was irreverent. It was everything that Punk tries to be. The narrator constantly telling us to fuck off was awesome because that's how most of these people are. I know a few punks, and yes, these characters are a bit shallow, but so are my punk friends.

It was perfect.

And so was Nathan's reading. Kudos.

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InfiniteMonkey

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Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 04:55:54 AM
Yes, yes, very droll, I remember Punk too (it frequently happened in my backyard), and while this story was good attempt on catching the mindset, it, like a lot of Punk, ended up rather vacant.



statisticus

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Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 10:41:55 AM
I liked this one.  Light hearted, irreverent, and fun. 

Also making the good point that aliens are alien.  Maybe they do prefer punk to classical - why not?  I just wish I knew how Lacuna made that space probe.

I am a Statistician.  One false move and you're a Statistic.


keppele

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Reply #9 on: January 26, 2013, 06:57:15 PM
I loved this story. It's essentially the cure for There Will Come Soft Rains, and for that alone it should go into the 2013 anthologies.

Also, finally, we get a tale that takes all those pretentious, meaningful, sanctimonious stories about How We Destroyed Mars and punches them in the cock.




Thunderscreech

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Reply #10 on: January 26, 2013, 07:55:23 PM
I found this week's story simply delightful.  The character's insouciance as expressed through colorful metaphor lent a certain...  je ne sais quoi...  genuineness to the subject.  Like a fine wine, the tale had a delicate bouquet of indifference and realness lacking in so much of today's writing.  A fine wine that'll get you fucking wasted, that is.



Frungi

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Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 05:31:33 AM
I love Nathaniel Lee. That is all.



Listener

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Reply #12 on: January 28, 2013, 01:30:08 PM
This was a hilarious story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't think I would at first, and the part with the punks frolicking on the beach almost went on TOO long, but then it straightened out. I particularly liked the montage from the building of the probe to when the aliens landed. And yes, like everyone else, I got a kick out of the "punched him in the cock" lines. I also thought it was quite funny that Johnny Bonesaw's real last name was Bonesaw -- though it would've been funnier if it was spelled "Bonnesaugh" or something. I also thought the reading was good.

I kind of wonder who the narrator was. Was it Red? Was it one of the other punks? Just an unnamed omniscient presence?

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chemistryguy

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Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 04:30:32 PM
Fucking Punk Voyager!  Yeah!  This was so positively ridiculous and irreverent, how could I not love it.

It came dangerously close to overstaying its welcome near the end, but it left me smiling.


Scumpup

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Reply #14 on: January 28, 2013, 04:39:07 PM
This story made me feel like I'd been punched in the cock in the best sort of way.



Devoted135

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Reply #15 on: January 28, 2013, 05:57:58 PM
There exists a helpful resource called the rating system. EA 'casts have always used them with great discretion and success, and I respectfully request that the editors continue to do so. For example, a "rated R for language" would have been infinitely appropriate here.


Ehh, the story was irreverent and reasonably funny. I think it was quite successful in what it set out to do, it just happens that brand of humor isn't really my thing. I did think it was hilarious that the aliens noted the band members had "gotten old" as if that was a) avoidable and b) a crime. Great reading though.



algae

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Reply #16 on: January 28, 2013, 07:56:39 PM
OK, I know it's getting to be an overused trope, but I literally had to create a login just to comment on this story.

Best. Escape Pod. Ever.

I was listening while flying (on a plane, not... you know, actually flying), and the person in the seat next to me kept looking at me like I was doing a different kind of flying (like, the kind that involves taking above the recommended dose of incompatible mind altering substances). Probably because I kept snickering throughout the whole story and actually LOL'd when Regan got dickpunched.



Scattercat

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Reply #17 on: January 28, 2013, 11:37:22 PM
I kind of wonder who the narrator was. Was it Red? Was it one of the other punks? Just an unnamed omniscient presence?

I can't speak for the author, but when I read it, I was picturing Red Viscera sitting in an alien bar snarling over a beer and making fun of the people ordering those neon-bright drinks Whoopi Goldberg used to give out.

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cyberlogi

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Reply #18 on: January 29, 2013, 12:58:11 AM
Can't say that I enjoyed the story, but I did enjoy the punk characters. The author did a great job of showing the (IMO) bizarre attitudes and behavior of the punks and their culture.



matweller

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Reply #19 on: January 29, 2013, 04:45:20 AM
There exists a helpful resource called the rating system. EA 'casts have always used them with great discretion and success, and I respectfully request that the editors continue to do so. For example, a "rated R for language" would have been infinitely appropriate here.


Ehh, the story was irreverent and reasonably funny. I think it was quite successful in what it set out to do, it just happens that brand of humor isn't really my thing. I did think it was hilarious that the aliens noted the band members had "gotten old" as if that was a) avoidable and b) a crime. Great reading though.

Unfortunately, there does not exist a formalized rating system at EA to my knowledge. Mur made an effort to make mention of things at the beginnings of episodes, and we did talk about a project for formalizing it a long time ago, but it never developed. I will take the heat for this one because I've probably taken it for granted as something the editor handles and I didn't give it the right attention post-transition. I did manage to get an EXPLICIT tag on the file itself and the post on the site says "Rated 13+ for rebellious vulgarity," but I did not get it in the audio.

The good news is that my ego loves reasons to put more recordings of my voice on things, and therefore I will take it upon myself to start recording & saving warnings that I can use at the beginning and hopefully it won't be long before I have a tag for all occasions. Fair enough?



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #20 on: January 29, 2013, 01:53:42 PM
There exists a helpful resource called the rating system. EA 'casts have always used them with great discretion and success, and I respectfully request that the editors continue to do so. For example, a "rated R for language" would have been infinitely appropriate here.


Ehh, the story was irreverent and reasonably funny. I think it was quite successful in what it set out to do, it just happens that brand of humor isn't really my thing. I did think it was hilarious that the aliens noted the band members had "gotten old" as if that was a) avoidable and b) a crime. Great reading though.

Unfortunately, there does not exist a formalized rating system at EA to my knowledge. Mur made an effort to make mention of things at the beginnings of episodes, and we did talk about a project for formalizing it a long time ago, but it never developed. I will take the heat for this one because I've probably taken it for granted as something the editor handles and I didn't give it the right attention post-transition. I did manage to get an EXPLICIT tag on the file itself and the post on the site says "Rated 13+ for rebellious vulgarity," but I did not get it in the audio.

The good news is that my ego loves reasons to put more recordings of my voice on things, and therefore I will take it upon myself to start recording & saving warnings that I can use at the beginning and hopefully it won't be long before I have a tag for all occasions. Fair enough?
Fair enough.

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

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Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #21 on: January 29, 2013, 02:04:38 PM
I liked this story. It made me smile and laugh and was generally rather fun.
Yes, the people in the story are shallower than that puddle of beer on the bar.
Yes they are more vulgar than a college fraternity portrayed by Hollywood.
But you know what? They stuck it to the Man and turned out to be right.
Someone has already posited that the reason why aliens have not visited the Earth is because they find us backward/boring/a disease/whatever. Well, in the story's world it's true. Only someone did something about it.

Also, I'm pretty sure that this was all meant to be sarcasm and parody, so....
I enjoyed it and that's what counts (for me).

EDITED to remove pointless and out of place rant.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 10:20:27 AM by Max e^{i pi} »

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Devoted135

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Reply #22 on: January 29, 2013, 02:19:33 PM
There exists a helpful resource called the rating system. EA 'casts have always used them with great discretion and success, and I respectfully request that the editors continue to do so. For example, a "rated R for language" would have been infinitely appropriate here.


Ehh, the story was irreverent and reasonably funny. I think it was quite successful in what it set out to do, it just happens that brand of humor isn't really my thing. I did think it was hilarious that the aliens noted the band members had "gotten old" as if that was a) avoidable and b) a crime. Great reading though.

Unfortunately, there does not exist a formalized rating system at EA to my knowledge. Mur made an effort to make mention of things at the beginnings of episodes, and we did talk about a project for formalizing it a long time ago, but it never developed. I will take the heat for this one because I've probably taken it for granted as something the editor handles and I didn't give it the right attention post-transition. I did manage to get an EXPLICIT tag on the file itself and the post on the site says "Rated 13+ for rebellious vulgarity," but I did not get it in the audio.

The good news is that my ego loves reasons to put more recordings of my voice on things, and therefore I will take it upon myself to start recording & saving warnings that I can use at the beginning and hopefully it won't be long before I have a tag for all occasions. Fair enough?

I'd call that more than fair enough! Thanks Mat!



Dem

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Reply #23 on: January 29, 2013, 02:22:05 PM
I must preface this by saying that I've been cruising blithely and happily along with Escape Pod for... probably about half a year or more. Many stories I have loved, some I was indifferent on. None of them prompted me with any thoughts worth posting to the forums.

This one did prompt a thought, and I find myself bursting until I share it here.

Put simply: "Yuck."

I get that it's satire. I don't even really have a problem with all the cursing. I get what it's going for, at least I think so.

I suppose that I'm just not punk or hardcore enough like the characters to enjoy their story.

Me, I have some different one-word descriptors of the characters.

"Jerks" if I'm feeling generous. "Assholes" if I feel like being accurate.

Truly, who is the reader supposed to identify with if they're not a "screw everyone and everything" personality?

And even those who ended up selling out were, truly, about two inches deep as people.

I would have no desire to spend two minutes with these people in real life. I can't believe I spent 20 minutes with them in this story.

Sorry, guys, this one was a miss in my book.

(Sigh, once again Mat Weller and I have different opinions. Ah, well, someday we'll agree. :)   )

On the plus side, I enjoyed Alasdair's essay - I might just have to check out his book.

-Adam

I had to go back and look at the rating, 'thirteen for rebellious vulgarity'- ruddy Nora! I'm with Adam pretty much. I see what it's trying to do and that it stayed in character the whole way through (as did the episode feedback - good theatre but hoping N is channelling someone a little more agreeable again next time) and that it's supposed to be vile. Well, it succeeded - it was indeed vile, and I'm the one got a telling off for being a bit too sweary in the EP flash comp!

Science is what you do when the funding panel thinks you know what you're doing. Fiction is the same only without the funding.


Dem

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Reply #24 on: January 29, 2013, 02:26:20 PM
There exists a helpful resource called the rating system. EA 'casts have always used them with great discretion and success, and I respectfully request that the editors continue to do so. For example, a "rated R for language" would have been infinitely appropriate here.


Ehh, the story was irreverent and reasonably funny. I think it was quite successful in what it set out to do, it just happens that brand of humor isn't really my thing. I did think it was hilarious that the aliens noted the band members had "gotten old" as if that was a) avoidable and b) a crime. Great reading though.

Unfortunately, there does not exist a formalized rating system at EA to my knowledge. Mur made an effort to make mention of things at the beginnings of episodes, and we did talk about a project for formalizing it a long time ago, but it never developed. I will take the heat for this one because I've probably taken it for granted as something the editor handles and I didn't give it the right attention post-transition. I did manage to get an EXPLICIT tag on the file itself and the post on the site says "Rated 13+ for rebellious vulgarity," but I did not get it in the audio.

The good news is that my ego loves reasons to put more recordings of my voice on things, and therefore I will take it upon myself to start recording & saving warnings that I can use at the beginning and hopefully it won't be long before I have a tag for all occasions. Fair enough?

I'd call that more than fair enough! Thanks Mat!

Yep that would do it. I'm not saying I wouldn't listen, I just like a little bit of consideration in case I really wouldn't. If I'd been a first timer to EP, I might not have been back :(

Science is what you do when the funding panel thinks you know what you're doing. Fiction is the same only without the funding.