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Author Topic: EP100: Nightfall  (Read 48282 times)

Thaurismunths

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Reply #50 on: April 14, 2007, 04:29:05 PM
What about extreme sports types who would cave just because it was hard and unpleasant?  They would know about lighting.

Though not explicitly mentioned, I figure they'd be the ones who might survive the night with out going mad and survive to be "he who survived the night" and would carry on to give a full account that would become rumor, that would be come myth, that would become the foundation for religion.

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


slic

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Reply #51 on: April 16, 2007, 03:09:26 AM
What about extreme sports types who would cave just because it was hard and unpleasant?  They would know about lighting.

Though not explicitly mentioned, I figure they'd be the ones who might survive the night with out going mad and survive to be "he who survived the night" and would carry on to give a full account that would become rumor, that would be come myth, that would become the foundation for religion.

More or less, ya.  Just imagine a global catastrophe - a very small percentage of the population is always prepared (check out the zombe thread at http://forum.escapeartists.info/index.php?topic=20.0 ) but most everyone else would go nuts.



nix342

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Reply #52 on: April 16, 2007, 06:05:53 PM
Hooray for 100! I've been enjoying EP for a while now and now I'll make it official...thanks, Steve, for something great.

On to this particular episode, which was excellent, of course.

[
The moon is the biggest stretch. 


No the biggest stretch is the complete lack of artificial lighting.


I had that thought initially myself, particularly considering that this society had discovered electricity. But then I considered the fact that this world was eternally lit. Without regular periods of darkness, there would be no need to create even basic light sources. Furthermore, the intense fear of darkness would limit all activity in dark places, further delaying the necessity and therefore invention of artifical light.



wakela

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Reply #53 on: April 16, 2007, 11:56:45 PM
Best
Escape Pod
Evar

The graphic on top of the EP home page shows the pod escaping from the ailing mothership.  The once great freighters, dragging their loads of speculative fiction between the stars are damaged.  So a scrappy little pod is launched to provide fans with their fix.  Maybe at one time it was looking for a new home.  But not anymore. 



Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Reply #54 on: April 17, 2007, 12:37:24 AM
A belated congratulations on hitting 100, Steven and company.  You deserved every bit of success!  And thanks for putting "Nightfall" into a format wherein I'll have time to get to it :)

Published genre fiction author with stories in print and upcoming.

Official site: http://jonathancg.net/ | Twitter: JCGAuthor | Facebook


FanofIppo

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Reply #55 on: April 19, 2007, 08:29:17 AM
Congrats to EP on the 100th podcast!

Checking from my itunes, I had started listening from the 56th podcast and I had enjoyed all of them!

Thanks for reading Nightfall, it was one of the first Asimov SF stories that I read and is one of the reasons why I love SF till today.

Here's to another wonderful 100!



Thaurismunths

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Reply #56 on: April 19, 2007, 11:25:42 AM
Checking from my itunes, I had started listening from the 56th podcast and I had enjoyed all of them!

I hope you've gone back and listened to the first 55 stories.
They're worth it!

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


Simon

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Reply #57 on: April 19, 2007, 02:01:25 PM
And one final nitpick. The sentence: "Not Earth's feeble 36 hundred stars... " does break the scene of an universe that doesn't know anything about Earth or the possibility of its existence and makes it a story that is too directly aimed at a audience that does know of it.

I noticed this, too, but this was the first time I caught it.  I guess I had to hear it rather than read it.  But yeah, we have a nice third person narrative going from the newspaperman's POV, and then all of a sudden, Asimov starts talking to us, the audience.  It kind of broke me out of the story a bit, but not enough not to enjoy it.

I add to this something which is almost preaching to those who already know, but I am surprised to find this comment isn't on wikipedia:  This final paragraph was not written by Asimov, it was written between submission and publication by Astounding's legendary editor John W. Campbell jr.  Asimov was furious that his prose had been tampered with, but was even more furious when this particularly fluid paragraph started being cited as evidence amongst the SF community that Asimov was indeed capable of writing beautiful language.  Campbell always had a way with beautiful language that Asimov lacked.

Asimov agreed with you that the mention of Earth broke the tone of the story, and I would like to say "Hurrah" to Steve for posting the original Astounding version as opposed to the Asimov version that has seen print in a few anthologies.  Much like a Horace Gold story for Galaxy in the 50s (there is a particularly amusing section about Gold's meddling in Fred Pohl's autobiography The Way The Future Was), a story for JWC was always partly a collaboration - this story was written from an idea given to Asimov by JWC.

Steve,  may you be SF's new JWC.

I am currently away from my library, so excuse me for the lack of citations for this little bit of sf history.



Swamp

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Reply #58 on: April 19, 2007, 04:00:12 PM
This final paragraph was not written by Asimov, it was written between submission and publication by Astounding's legendary editor John W. Campbell jr.  Asimov was furious that his prose had been tampered with...

...Asimov agreed with you that the mention of Earth broke the tone of the story...

Thanks for the info.  Information like this is another example of why I love these forums.  I find these tidbits of publishing inside knowledge extremely interesting and entertaining.  And now it makes complete sense why the prose took a divergence at the end.

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ClintMemo

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Reply #59 on: April 19, 2007, 05:01:03 PM
So did it replace something Asimov wrote or did Campbell just tack it on the end?


Life is a multiple choice test. Unfortunately, the answers are not provided.  You have to go and find them before picking the best one.


sirana

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Reply #60 on: April 20, 2007, 04:54:57 PM

I add to this something which is almost preaching to those who already know, but I am surprised to find this comment isn't on wikipedia:  This final paragraph was not written by Asimov, it was written between submission and publication by Astounding's legendary editor John W. Campbell jr. 


wow, this is indeed interesting. and I can understand Asimov beeing furious about it. thanks for sharing!



mummifiedstalin

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Reply #61 on: April 22, 2007, 12:38:20 AM
So did it replace something Asimov wrote or did Campbell just tack it on the end?


Either way, wasn't that often typical of Campbell and one of the reasons so many writers often combined their admiration of him with a bit of uneasiness? Are there any other well-known examples?



Roney

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Reply #62 on: April 25, 2007, 08:01:58 PM
it's one thing to draw the curtains or go into a cave, when you know you can get the light back, and it's something completely different when the light goes away on it's own and you don't know if it will come back.

Absolutely.  I know intellectually that a total eclipse is a perfectly ordinary natural phenomenon and that totality only lasts a couple of minutes at most.  But seeing that shadow rush across the ground towards me, feeling the air cool and the light grow dimmer, hearing everyone and everything around me hush, and having the world go deep dark in the middle of the day was totally unnerving.

(Even though the sky was overcast at the time.  ****ing Cornish weather.  8) )

Compared to that, a lasting eclipse on a planet that had never known nighttime would have to be terrifying.



Febo

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Reply #63 on: May 19, 2007, 08:01:17 PM
Perhaps these are photosynthetic people?
The quip about life not being sustainable on Earth because there isn't nearly enough light suggest that they need a lot of light for survival. That being the case, they wouldn't build structures that had dark spots. It'd be like us filling rooms with water or noxious gases: We could, but they'd be a bit of a hazard, so why bother?

I bet if Asimov wrote this story about 20 years later, he would have included details like the people being photosynthetic.



Michael

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Reply #64 on: May 20, 2007, 03:09:23 AM
Asimov suffered from severe phobias and anxieties--he couldn't fly, which severely limited his ability to travel.  Much of his writing had that subtest--germ phobics, agoraphobics--this fear of darkness. Rather limits my enjoyment of his work, as I don't really relate.  Another 10 years and he might have made it to Prozac and not been so worried about it all. 


Heradel

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Reply #65 on: May 20, 2007, 10:17:05 AM
Asimov suffered from severe phobias and anxieties--he couldn't fly, which severely limited his ability to travel.  Much of his writing had that subtest--germ phobics, agoraphobics--this fear of darkness. Rather limits my enjoyment of his work, as I don't really relate.  Another 10 years and he might have made it to Prozac and not been so worried about it all. 

Well, if he could write whilst taking it.

I Twitter. I also occasionally blog on the Escape Pod blog, which if you're here you shouldn't have much trouble finding.


Michael

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Reply #66 on: May 20, 2007, 10:53:45 AM
Quote
Well, if he could write whilst taking it.


True that--many artistic types who tend to the bipolar or melancholic go off of or refuse to take their medications for that reason.



Russell Nash

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Reply #67 on: May 29, 2007, 07:04:48 PM
Throughout history the eclipse has always had a huge impact.  One of the biggest forces pushing the science of astromonomy was the king's(or other type of leader) need to be able to tell the people that it was coming.  The sun disappearing from the sky was often seen as the end of the world or a message from the gods. 

As far as the whole world going dark, I have a few ideas:

1) Maybe they haven't explored the rest of the world yet and don't no if there's anything else
2) There may only be land on one side. The same as when the earth had Pangea(sp?)
3) The planet has stopped spinning in relation to the alpha star, just like the moon in relation to the earth.  Therefore the other side doesn't get enough heat to support life.
4) Combining #1 and #3 everyone is too scared to explore the other side of the planet, because it does get dark.

Oh yeah, belated congrats on #100 and the Beer here in Germany is known to be alright.  I'd be happy to supply the research material if you want to check that for yourself.



Vomithaus

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Reply #68 on: December 18, 2007, 02:24:08 PM
What about blind people?  Would they not have had an easy time of this?  (forgive me if they covered in the story)



Thaurismunths

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Reply #69 on: December 18, 2007, 11:18:12 PM
What about blind people?  Would they not have had an easy time of this?  (forgive me if they covered in the story)
You're right in that the blind (if they existed) wouldn't have noticed the dark, or the impending stars, but with the whole rest of the world going crazy around them they wouldn't have lasted long... they're blind.

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


gelee

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Reply #70 on: December 19, 2007, 03:39:42 PM
What about blind people?  Would they not have had an easy time of this?  (forgive me if they covered in the story)
You're right in that the blind (if they existed) wouldn't have noticed the dark, or the impending stars, but with the whole rest of the world going crazy around them they wouldn't have lasted long... they're blind.
Perhaps all blind people are already batshit crazy in this setting?
I personally found the whole premise a bit difficult to swallow, but I think he made his point nicely about assuming certain universal constants, like a day-night cycle.



Czhorat

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Reply #71 on: December 19, 2007, 09:12:35 PM
I read this story as a parable about the line between science and reason and how a society would react if what they saw as the laws of reality were to suddenly break down. Picking at the details of whether or not it would work is, in my opinion, beside the point.

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gelee

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Reply #72 on: December 19, 2007, 09:34:48 PM
I read this story as a parable about the line between science and reason and how a society would react if what they saw as the laws of reality were to suddenly break down. Picking at the details of whether or not it would work is, in my opinion, beside the point.
Well put.



Rain

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Reply #73 on: January 02, 2008, 04:07:09 PM
I really didnt like this story, part of it may be that it was announced as the best short story ever and i was expecting too much, but it also felt way too long with most of the time spent repeating the same message over and over and i felt the ending was very unimaginative, everyone is afraid the eclipse will drive them insane and then it does...



eytanz

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Reply #74 on: January 02, 2008, 05:47:35 PM
i felt the ending was very unimaginative, everyone is afraid the eclipse will drive them insane and then it does...

That's pretty unfair to the story, I think - the point is not whether or not the eclipse drives them insane (which was a given), but the reason it did - everyone thought it would be the darkness that'll do it, but really it is the stars...