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Author Topic: EP098: Just Do It  (Read 12835 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: March 22, 2007, 03:48:30 AM »

EP098: Just Do It

By Heather Lindsley.
Read by The Word Whore (of Air Out My Shorts).
First appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, July 2006.

“What do you see?” he asks.

I want to say a menace, but instead I tap the delivery barrel and give the context-appropriate answer. “Unused ad space.”

Suddenly he’s a schoolmaster who has finally found a bright pupil in a classroom full of dunces.

“Exactly, Ms. Monroe.  Exactly. No square millimeter wasted, that’s what I say.” He leans across the table and whispers conspiratorially, “We’re looking at co-branding an AOL-Time-Warner-Starbucks Lattepaloosa Crave with a Forever Fitness session discount.”


Rated R. Contains sexual innuendo, advertising warfare, and better living through chemistry.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

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Simon Painter
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 05:40:40 AM »

hmm, an interesting one.  It had a great, fun concept.  I can actually imagine the advertisers taking up these methods in the future, which is deeply worrying.

It was generally very well told: the pacing was good and the world was well-developed, though the characters were only sketichily drawn, but that's generally to be expected in a short and so not a problem here.

I'm afraid that it does tap into one of my strongest pet hates: present tense narration, it's just a personal taste thing I know, but I always feel it comes accross as being pretentious.

My only real critisism is that I couldn't quite accept the narrator's change of heart at the end, she seemed to go from anti-advertising protestor to someone who openly uses such things on her son over the course of a marriage proposal (and isn't 6 months a bit sudden for a proposal?) it could be that I missed something, though, did the boyfriend use b-mod on her?

I also loved the Dunsany quote at the end  Smiley

Simon Painter
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2007, 09:31:41 AM »

Let me count the ways in which I adore this story! 1, 2, 3, 4... I'll get back to you when I finish counting. It may be a while.
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thlayli_pirate
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2007, 01:26:59 PM »

I like it. I do not think the main character had a change of heart, the main character succumbed to the "inevitable", which is a common theme in Sci Fi. And yes, he shot her with the b-mod dart to make her say yes to his proposal.
6 months is not necessarily a short time before proposal, even in the real world, but especially not for greed motivated execs who need a trophy wife and geeks who can't get a date.

I think that there is a huge deal of truth to the conglomerates co-opting the movements of small grass-roots organizations. (See the new (RED) campaign)

This definitely creeped me out, but not a Pseudopod story as far as I see it.
Lots of Sci Fi creeps me out, mostly because of how accurately predictive it can be.

Keep them coming!

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The Word Whore
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2007, 02:20:34 PM »

I'm thrilled to have landed such a fabulous story! I admit I really struggled with the narration and still don't feel I did it justice  Embarrassed

Hope to hear more of this author's work on future shows!!!
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Simon Painter
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« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2007, 04:03:06 PM »

Quote
And yes, he shot her with the b-mod dart to make her say yes to his proposal.

Ah, I must've missed that. I was listening at work, so my concentration sometimes shifts between the story and my computer.  This being the case, then, I'm not sure I can find a fault with the story.  Hurrah!

Quote
I admit I really struggled with the narration and still don't feel I did it justice

Actually I thought the narration was terrific, you did an excellent job of the various voices, I almost forgot there was only one reader at times  Smiley

Simon Painter
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VBurn
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« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2007, 04:19:59 PM »

MMMM Clown fries, must go eat clown fries now.  This is a great story, very funny, unfortunately a very believable topic, and I really enjoyed the twist at the end. 

seriously though I would proably self inject the fry crave just to make the experince that much more satisfiying.
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BlairHippo
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« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2007, 06:45:02 PM »

Oh, yeah.  This is why I subscribe to this podcast.

"It's open-season on consumers!"  Brilliantly close to home, that.

The reversal was marvelous.  "Oblivious" hell -- he knew exactly what he was doing.

Though I did find myself wondering, what happens if he misses a "Love Me" dose with his new wife?  Would all the prior doses have enough residual effect for it to not matter, or would he suddenly be sharing his bed with an enraged former guerrilla activist?

Loved the parent gun at the end.

And I loved the narration, too.

This is a keeper.
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Thaurismunths
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2007, 08:04:10 AM »

Very well read Whore, you did a fine job of voicing Ms. Monroe.

The story was good, but I'm a little unsure about the ending.
I get that he used the B-Mod to make her fall in love (and probably kept dosing her), but I think the ending was weak, and adding in the parent gun was just a "golly-gee" moment. I don't think simply clipping the extending ending would have made it better, but it wasn't helping it.
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2007, 08:19:19 AM »

Lots of me toos for this one.

Great story. Great reading - I was impressed that Sandra and the main character had different voices without the reader using funny accents.  My cynical mind jumped to the Love Me dart as soon as he mentioned the behaviour mod research.  I wouldn't say the story telegraphed it - I'm just a devious bastard - and the parent gun was unexpected.  It also got me to thinking that winning an arguement would become something of a quick draw "gun fight".  Junior doesn't want to go to school, so he outdraws Mom and hits her with a shot of "Indifference" (by Calvin Klein) before she gives him his morning shot of "Overachiever".

Quote from: BlairHippo
Though I did find myself wondering, what happens if he misses a "Love Me" dose with his new wife?  Would all the prior doses have enough residual effect for it to not matter, or would he suddenly be sharing his bed with an enraged former guerrilla activist?
Ditto, or even if her body developed a tolerance - so she gradually stopped loving him.  It would make a great sequel or perhaps from the POV of someone else.  I would guess the gov't would be misting the every street corner with the "Behave yourself" spray (a la Miranda planet in the Serenity movie).  What if the spray broke down - would people rebel or would the behaviour be so ingrained...

Quote from: Thaurismunths
I don't think simply clipping the extending ending would have made it better, but it wasn't helping it.
I agree in that I expected the story to end with the proposal.  The extended ending was not needed in the story itself, but it left me with all sorts of cool/scary ideas - which I love from sci-fi.  So, yes, I agree that the ending was unnecessary to the story proper, but I liked having it.

Intro Comment:  Didn't like it.  I did find the topic interesting and the reader did fine, but I've grown accustomed to having Mr. Eley warm up the audience, so to speak.  Just as I'm accustomed to the talk starting in the same chord of the intro song.  It's a comfort thing, like Johnny Carson hosting the Tonight Show or, in more current pop culture, Jon Steward hosting the Daily Show (I'm wondering how many posters even know who Mr. Carson is?).  No offence to the guest host, and I'm sure others liked the change of pace.
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SFEley
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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2007, 08:54:41 AM »

I just noticed that the story's been BoingBoinged:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/03/23/just_do_it_sf_podcas.html

Kudos to Heather, the Word Whore, and Sal!
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Rachel Swirsky
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2007, 09:06:06 AM »

I assigned this story to my class last semester. We read it the same day as Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild," (there's a psuedopod story), which may have affected the way the "JDI" conversation went.

Interestingly, a lot of the students also disliked the ending. Personally, I think it's a good example of how a grace note can be used to give a sense of forward-momentum to a closed arc.
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Alasdair5000
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2007, 09:12:08 AM »

Loved it:)  The old line about Max Headroom being 'twenty minutes into the future' sprungg to mind here, especially the idea of dodging advert-snipers.  I also loved the fact that even though victims crave whatever they've been dosed to crave, they know the desire is fake and are bitterly resentful of it.  Also, any story that features automarts, one of my favourite pieces of 'World of Tomorrow' tech is okay with me.
   A good story and a good reading.  Nice work:)
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BlairHippo
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2007, 10:57:28 AM »

I would guess the gov't would be misting the every street corner with the "Behave yourself" spray (a la Miranda planet in the Serenity movie).  What if the spray broke down - would people rebel or would the behaviour be so ingrained...

... or would 0.1% of the population have, shall we say, an anomalous reaction....
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Swamp
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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2007, 11:01:52 AM »

Intro Comment:  Didn't like it.  I did find the topic interesting and the reader did fine, but I've grown accustomed to having Mr. Eley warm up the audience, so to speak.  Just as I'm accustomed to the talk starting in the same chord of the intro song.  It's a comfort thing, like Johnny Carson hosting the Tonight Show or, in more current pop culture, Jon Steward hosting the Daily Show (I'm wondering how many posters even know who Mr. Carson is?).  No offence to the guest host, and I'm sure others liked the change of pace.

Ditto.

I really liked what Sal Fadhley had to say and I enjoyed his voice and narration. However, I look forward to hearing Steve give the intro.  Like Slic said, it's definately a comfort thing.  I assume that this was just to try something new, which is cool.   It's not a bad thing, every once in a while, like maybe once every four months or something.
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The Word Whore
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« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2007, 11:45:25 AM »

I just noticed that the story's been BoingBoinged...
Kudos to Heather, the Word Whore, and Sal!

General, you have no idea how hard it is for me to not 'filth this up'
in your nice clean podcast forum  Wink
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Jim
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« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2007, 01:53:51 PM »

I smirked at each mention of a massively-merged corporate name-string, although AOL-Time-Warner is actually out-of-date now, unless one believes they'll re-merge someday.

We're already on the trajectory this story postulates, insomuch as products we consume are known to include habit-forming chemicals. It's only a matter of time before the battle for market share is taken to the street in dart gun form.

Now, if only the megacorporations can just get those pesky laws against felony aggravated battery out of the way.
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« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2007, 10:32:59 PM »

i loved this story on so many levels.
it is so scary because this stuff can actually happen...
and i loved the parent gun at the end!  Great reading by the Word Whore too, it surprised me when i realised she was reading!  This was a funny, interesting story, and i will forever be on the lookout for crave snipers.  I swear if they start making this kind of stuff I'm gonna make my own crave for those a$$es who shoot me up with crave.  I'll make them crave something they'd never EVER want to eat. *grins maniacally*
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2007, 12:31:38 AM »

Sounds like it would fit in the anarchist movement just fine Grin
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RKG
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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2007, 10:09:42 AM »


I hate to just be "me too", but me too!  This was great!  Word Whore: superb.

Interestingly, a lot of the students also disliked the ending. Personally, I think it's a good example of how a grace note can be used to give a sense of forward-momentum to a closed arc.

The story was good, but I'm a little unsure about the ending.
I get that he used the B-Mod to make her fall in love (and probably kept dosing her), but I think the ending was weak, and adding in the parent gun was just a "golly-gee" moment. I don't think simply clipping the extending ending would have made it better, but it wasn't helping it.

Yeah - I liked the ending, but understand the criticism.

I wonder what a fleeting sense of discomfort at using the parenting gun would have done to it?


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