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Author Topic: EP392: Aftermaths  (Read 3284 times)
eytanz
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« on: April 19, 2013, 07:52:13 AM »

EP392: Aftermaths

By Lois McMaster Bujold

Read by Mat Weller

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Link to online version of story
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Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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matweller
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2013, 08:25:31 AM »

My apologies for the late posting of this story. The main computer in Escape Pod Production Studios Northeast failed me on several levels on this production and I was forced to go to the backup. The responsibility is all mine and I hope I didn't inconvenience you too much.

Thanks,
Mat
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JDoug
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2013, 02:02:48 PM »

I enjoyed this one.
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Mr. Bunny
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2013, 05:23:00 PM »

I like the story, and have read most of the Vorkosigan stories to my kids. But there were a number of pronunciation issues in the reading. The biggest was Barrayaran. (spelling that from memory, may have it wrong.) The first 'a'  was read so lightly it sounded like "Brayan." Also, I think timorous and vehemence were both mispronounced. That was enough to spoil my enjoyment of a favorite sorry.

Though to be fair, I may be more picky because it was a favorite.
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Litch
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2013, 06:45:43 PM »

The pronunciation of Barrayar really threw me off. Too bad there isn't someplace online where you could find out how to pronounce it, oh wait, there is!

http://www.dendarii.com/bujold_faq.html#barr-names

Barrayar - BARR-ah-yar
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 10:56:16 PM »

I really enjoyed this. I especially loved the humanity of this story, something that somethings gets lost in space opera. I liked the small-scale representation and reminding of the people behind large events.

I love space opera, but I have a shocking confession - I've never read Bujold. I think I may have found the cult-like devotion of some of her fans a bit off-puting .

Clearly I was wrong, and I need to reconsider my next reading selections.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 11:34:16 AM by InfiniteMonkey » Logged
matweller
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2013, 10:35:06 AM »

Unfortunately, I never have either before now, but since reading this I already have her first couple books on my wishlist. I will also re-record with proper pronunciations and update the file this weekend. My apologies to all for whom I diminished this amazingly beautiful story. That's not sarcasm or fishing, it's sincere. This story is amazing and deserves top performance.
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smithmikeg
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2013, 09:14:59 PM »

I really liked how the world building in this story focused on people, traditions, and culture.  It reminded me of how I felt when I first started studying languages and later did study abroad trips.  Now the travel bug is biting again...
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quia ego sic dico
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 11:06:50 PM »

I haven't ready anything else in this series.  Apparently, I'm among the legions of SF fans who haven't heard of this particular author, despite the awards and the evident quality of her work.

However, despite not having any background, I thoroughly enjoyed the story -- the world-building, and the pilot's slightly freaked-out response to the recovery and identification aspects of the mission.  I also loved the description of how the pilot experienced controlling the ship.  It was even more interesting because I listened while working out on Nautulis-like equipment at the gym -- the "oneness with the machine" became rather immediate.

The only way I felt disadvantaged by lack of background was that it took me a while to understand that all the combatants were human -- I thought at first we might be dealing with truly alien customs and traditions. 
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The-Explodey
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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2013, 08:33:19 AM »

After 3 years of listening I've finally got on forums woohoo

I really liked this story Cheesy
Yup after 3 years of wanting to say something ... I've drawn a blank
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smoke me a kipper i'll be back for breakfast
Bdoomed
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2013, 08:35:37 AM »

^ I like this post a lot.
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psyque
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2013, 12:35:55 PM »

I enjoyed this story, though I felt a bit like I was missing something by not having read into this universe before.
Is the narrator-protagonist someone from other story/novel? I had a hard time understanding him, save for his desire to pilot his ship over returning to base when his mission was technically over. Not that I really needed to, as the direction of this story seemed to follow not the narrator, but the medic, and her themes of loss, love, family, and grief. I am no stranger to tales of dead soldiers, but this one story manages to capture so many distinct themes and emotions in just a few lines of prose.

Great choice, editors! I look forward to next week's episode.
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Windup
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2013, 12:50:53 PM »

After 3 years of listening I've finally got on forums woohoo

I really liked this story Cheesy
Yup after 3 years of wanting to say something ... I've drawn a blank

Reminds me of a story told by a friend who used to do retreats at a monastery.  The monastic order had been silent until sometime in the mid-70's when the rules were relaxed.  My friend was talking to one of the brothers about this and asked, "So, what was it like when you finally got the notice from the Father Abbot lifting the order?  What did you talk about?"

"Oh, nothing," the monk replied.  "I really didn't have anything to say."  Cheesy
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TheArchivist
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2013, 04:39:47 PM »

Like a couple of others here, I fall into the Venn diagram section "yes, I've heard of LMB, no I haven't read all her books". Actually, I've read one (Vorkosigan) novel but wasn't massively enamoured of it. This story I did enjoy, a lot. Not a "Wow! I must go out and buy all the others" lot, but I did enjoy it.

So, the pilot-narrator that psyque had a hard time understanding... I recognized a relatively common SF trope done well. The ships are controlled through a neural interface by surgically enhanced pilots, which is bound to have some psychological effect on them. Here we see it as part of the world-building, a low-key background presence. We may reasonably expect to find him hard to understand, but since he actually wasn't the protagonist that's not a problem. As a foil to the medic's attitudes, an observer through whom we see her, he worked well. That said, he was a tiny bit quick to leap to the "lesbian necrophiliac" assumption. I'd realised who that final body was before then. But that's a very minor quibble.

The medic's motivations - her extreme care and reverence for her subjects, emphasised by what we don't know at first but clearly also part of her character - and her actions were just right, beautifully portrayed.

The examination of culture, people and traditions was good too. I'm not as immersed in that scene as smithmikeg so it didn't have quite the same resonance, but it's always good to see done well. Some of the best fan-fic I've seen was written by people for whom that's their thing, and in a minor-characters spin-off like I get the impression this was (though as I said, I don't know the universe) it works really well. I did get a slight feel of author-does-fanfic-of-own-work, in fact, but that's not in any way a complaint or criticism. What I mean is that it felt like an exploration of a tiny little corner of no importance to the great story arc - wonderful detail for those whose devotion to the whole may be mistaken for "cult-like", an interesting and very enjoyable stand-alone for the rest of us (assuming it's done well, which this absolutely was).
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albionmoonlight
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2013, 03:43:40 PM »

I liked this story.  Due to the nature of short audio fiction, a lot of what EA runs is plot-driven.  I enjoy that because it really helps to keep my attention during the rides to and from work.  So, based on that expectation, I started out by expecting this story to take a plot-driven turn--would the Med Tech be an enemy spy?  Would the ship be attacked?

Once I realized what this story was--an exploration of humanity--I stopped expecting the Klingons to show up and could meet it on its own terms.  And, on those terms, it's great.
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flintknapper
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« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2013, 07:59:35 PM »

A good story set an interesting and detailed science fiction universe. However, I had read stories by the author before and I am admittedly a fan.... so perhaps I am a bit bias.

I also actually thought the narration was fine. The pronunciation did not both me a bit. I guess I had not give much thought to it before. The critics regarding the pronunciation are probably right.  It just didn't turn me off from the story.
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kongstad
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« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2013, 07:26:56 AM »

I liked the narration.

I've only heard the vorkosigan books as audiobooks from audible, with Grover Gardner as the narrator, so having another narrator was a change. I had to adjust to the different pronunciation of the names, but that was it. in a way it worked well to have a different voice narrate the pilot.

I also found the story very good. in a lot of scifi the focus is on the action or the tech. here we have the flipside. And not only as a "war is bad" message, but as an intimate process of picking up the human debris, naming the dead, and lovingly wash them down and make them presentable again.

I know that finding her daughter was the pay-off of the story, but somehow it cheapened her dedication just a tad. Did she act the way she did because all people are deserving of dignity in death, or were the bodies stand-ins for her missing daughter. On the other hand, perhaps most altruism is based on the fact that we have close and loving personal relationships, and when we act kindly against strangers we are following the patterns we have established in thes intimate relationships?
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Thunderscreech
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« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2013, 09:15:24 AM »

While listening, I found myself asking 'Why is SHE doing all the cleaning and body prep?' then realized that every task has to have some point where the rubber meets the road.  If not her, then it would have been someone else.  I don't know quite how to communicate this clearly, but the idea of this person and job closing the loop for both these people and the task their body recovery entailed resonated with me.  The people who perform these tasks are basically the final punctuation of life sentences.  The pilot's transformation seems to be the realization of this.  It goes from 'waste of time' to 'vital task in service of that which makes us human'.
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Lionman
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« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2013, 09:17:46 AM »

I've not heard stories set in this universe before, but it sounds like it's rich in detail, which makes it all the better.

While pondering this story after listening to it, it struck me as one of those situations where they've paired up the Sergeant with the newly minted officer, in order to temper the freshly filled brain with the experienced wisdom of age.  Our Med Tech was there more than just to pull in, clean up and identify bodies, but to help this new officer and pilot understand why it was done.  Hoping to instill the truth of being in the Military: You practice, plan and prepare, and pray you never have to use one wit of skill you've honed.  Because you are a warrior, does not mean you long for war.
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chemistryguy
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2013, 09:23:14 AM »

I know that finding her daughter was the pay-off of the story, but somehow it cheapened her dedication just a tad. Did she act the way she did because all people are deserving of dignity in death, or were the bodies stand-ins for her missing daughter. On the other hand, perhaps most altruism is based on the fact that we have close and loving personal relationships, and when we act kindly against strangers we are following the patterns we have established in thes intimate relationships?

This was something she'd been doing a long time.  I got the impression that she was going to treat her daughter no differently than anyone else.  She took the time to learn Barrayaran tradition, and waxed fondly about it.
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