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Author Topic: EP100: Nightfall  (Read 47604 times)

Vomithaus

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Reply #75 on: January 04, 2008, 04:55:22 AM
...it is a bit of a one trick story, though.  On the other hand, it is also kind of a kissing cousin to the "CONTACT" theme...  with SO MANY stars, maybe they are not alone?

I do think that the over-explaining of the situation hurts the story though.  The scientist is so arrogant...  I think Asimov must have been picked on a lot in school, and his fantasy was to know something everyone else missed. I think he got too much into that role.



Bdoomed

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Reply #76 on: February 13, 2008, 08:15:26 PM
Does anyone know where i can find the text of this? I need it for school :P

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


eytanz

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Reply #77 on: February 13, 2008, 08:21:27 PM
Does anyone know where i can find the text of this? I need it for school :P

It's still under copyright and not available online. You might be able to find a collection of Asimov stories in your local library. Otherwise I think your best bet is the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Isaac-Asimov-Complete-Stories-Vol/dp/038541627X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202933915&sr=8-1



Darwinist

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Reply #78 on: February 13, 2008, 08:30:12 PM
Does anyone know where i can find the text of this? I need it for school :P

It's still under copyright and not available online. You might be able to find a collection of Asimov stories in your local library. Otherwise I think your best bet is the following:

http://www.amazon.com/Isaac-Asimov-Complete-Stories-Vol/dp/038541627X/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1202933915&sr=8-1

Or if you have a used / half-price bookstore in your city.  I often see old Asimov collections collecting dust on bookstore shelves.  Probably cost you a couple of bucks. 

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


CammoBlammo

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Reply #79 on: February 13, 2008, 10:26:32 PM
Does anyone know where i can find the text of this? I need it for school :P

It was also in Asimov's three or four months ago. That issue also had one or two stories inspired by Nightfall. You might be able to find it at your local newsagent.

Or at least so I think. It's sitting in the pile waiting for me to read. That iPod I got for Christmas stopped me reading for good.



Sanpaco

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Reply #80 on: March 12, 2008, 04:12:10 PM
This episode got me hooked.  Awesome story and awesome production.



zZzacha

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Reply #81 on: May 18, 2008, 01:06:43 PM
Woohoo! I just finished listening to this wonderful version of Nightfall. I must admit, it's the only version of Nightfall I read/listened to, though I do have some radioplay versions on DVD somewhere. Soon I will listen to those too, I love the story, I love the whole concept Asimov is showing. Wow.
I hate it, that I cannot express my true feelings/ideas well enough, English is not my native language. I'm struggling to get my feelings out. Frustrating! But the story really keeps me thinking about other worlds, other ways a world may be, other ways in which other people may experience the world they live in. LOVE IT!!!!!

Also, Steve&EscapePod: Happy 100th Anniverary! Like you said, you're 1/10th on your way to the 1000th episode and I know EscapePod will live to see that one. I'm listening to all the 'old' episodes (hence this comment on the 100th) and I'm truly hooked. Steve, thank you for bringing all these wonderful stories to my ears (and brains!) and thanks for the intros and outros! Each time they teach me something new: be it a quote of someone, or a wonderful thought and even the stories about your little boy! Keep it up, I love what you're doing.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.


jodymonster

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Reply #82 on: May 21, 2008, 05:14:23 PM
Sorry to veer back on topic, but I just wanted to say that this was the very first episode of Escapepod I ever heard (more than a year ago, isn't it?), and I was instantly hooked.  It's still one of my all-time favorites. 

"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up." -Hunter S. Thompson


Russell Nash

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Reply #83 on: May 24, 2008, 07:12:38 PM
The conversation about the Saga of the Seven Suns complete with DRM rant and Audible bashing has been moved here.

It also has a pretty good plug for public libraries.



Ocicat

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Reply #84 on: May 25, 2008, 02:49:53 AM
(reposting something that was moved, though it has nothing to do with Seven Suns... though admittedly only a little about Nightfall...)

At my software company, for years now we've been giving our releases code names from science fiction planets (why yes, this was partially my idea, why do you ask?)  Anyway, we go in alphabetical order, starting with Arrakis, and we've done Caladan, Hoth, Krypton, Klendathu, etc... Right now I'm working on Lagash.  How cool is that?



birdless

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Reply #85 on: May 25, 2008, 06:30:34 AM
Very! Did you use Gallifrey?



stePH

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Reply #86 on: May 25, 2008, 02:12:34 PM
Very! Did you use Gallifrey?

Oh, and be sure to use Skaro when the time comes!  :)

"Nerdcore is like playing Halo while getting a blow-job from Hello Kitty."
-- some guy interviewed in Nerdcore Rising


Russell Nash

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Reply #87 on: May 29, 2008, 07:35:19 PM
(reposting something that was moved, though it has nothing to do with Seven Suns... though admittedly only a little about Nightfall...)

Not every move is perfect.



Windup

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Reply #88 on: June 01, 2008, 05:52:35 AM

Not every move is perfect.


Wow.  Not often you hear something like that from a diety....    :D

"My whole job is in the space between 'should be' and 'is.' It's a big space."


wintermute

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Reply #89 on: June 01, 2008, 03:00:59 PM
Sure you do. Just not from the desperate-for-attention ones that make not worshipping them punishable by infinite torture.

Science means that not all dreams can come true


Russell Nash

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Reply #90 on: June 01, 2008, 05:40:43 PM

Not every move is perfect.


Wow.  Not often you hear something like that from a diety....    :D

I am as humble as I am powerful.

Edit: typo.  A little added irony.



Sledge

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Reply #91 on: June 14, 2008, 05:05:19 PM
;D



wintermute

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Reply #92 on: June 16, 2008, 11:53:18 AM
"Oh Homer, you're as smart as you are handsome!"

"HEY... Oh, you meant that as a compliment."

Science means that not all dreams can come true


Bdoomed

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Reply #93 on: June 17, 2008, 05:37:56 AM
is the book version of this story any good? im thinkin of picking it up.

"Oh Homer, you're as smart as you are handsome!"

"HEY... Oh, you meant that as a compliment."
ROFL

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


Unblinking

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Reply #94 on: March 01, 2010, 06:13:50 PM
Good to see an Asimov story, and a fitting choice for the centurian episode!  I don't like much of the "Golden Age" SF, and though this shared some of the same characteristics, it was based on a cool idea and carried it out well.

I did think it was rather longer than it needed to be, and I did have some plausibility problem.  Namely, I could believe the madness of the darkness, but I found it hard to believe that it was civilization ending.  There would be many survivors, and though most of them would have claustrophobia, they would still retain memories of their scientific and social knowledge before the change.  And afterward they could write records, and since everyone experienced the time of darkness, those would be records, not myths.  And, presumably there's some small portion that would not be claustrophobic, and those people would be able to go into the buildings that didn't burn (you can't tell me they're burning down concrete buildings) and salvage information and equipment to share with the rest of them. 

But, the idea at the core was cool enough that this didn't break my enjoyment to any great degree.  :)



Yargling

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Reply #95 on: March 03, 2010, 06:34:05 PM
Good to see an Asimov story, and a fitting choice for the centurian episode!  I don't like much of the "Golden Age" SF, and though this shared some of the same characteristics, it was based on a cool idea and carried it out well.

I did think it was rather longer than it needed to be, and I did have some plausibility problem.  Namely, I could believe the madness of the darkness, but I found it hard to believe that it was civilization ending.  There would be many survivors, and though most of them would have claustrophobia, they would still retain memories of their scientific and social knowledge before the change.  And afterward they could write records, and since everyone experienced the time of darkness, those would be records, not myths.  And, presumably there's some small portion that would not be claustrophobic, and those people would be able to go into the buildings that didn't burn (you can't tell me they're burning down concrete buildings) and salvage information and equipment to share with the rest of them. 

But, the idea at the core was cool enough that this didn't break my enjoyment to any great degree.  :)


The darkness wasn't the source of the madness, as they even said in the story.

The source of the madness was the sudden realisation of how tiny they where in the universe - up until that point, no living being on their world had any idea the Universe was bigger than their own star system. And then to suddenly see the billions of stars in the Galactic core (because their world was located near it) - that is what droven them insane. We were born into a world with a clear night sky, so we've always ahd a notation that Earth isn't all their is.



Unblinking

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Reply #96 on: March 04, 2010, 02:52:27 PM
The darkness wasn't the source of the madness, as they even said in the story.

The source of the madness was the sudden realisation of how tiny they where in the universe - up until that point, no living being on their world had any idea the Universe was bigger than their own star system. And then to suddenly see the billions of stars in the Galactic core (because their world was located near it) - that is what droven them insane. We were born into a world with a clear night sky, so we've always ahd a notation that Earth isn't all their is.

That wasn't what I heard in the story.  That was one theory, sure, but fear of the dark seemed to be the primary cause--otherwise what was the point of the scene where they turned the lights off in the room to see the effect.

Even if I misunderstood that, I still stand by my main point that I doubt that it would've been the end of civilization.  And, like I said, even though I didn't really believe that, it was still a good story for the cool idea at the core.



Yargling

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Reply #97 on: March 04, 2010, 03:10:09 PM
The darkness wasn't the source of the madness, as they even said in the story.

The source of the madness was the sudden realisation of how tiny they where in the universe - up until that point, no living being on their world had any idea the Universe was bigger than their own star system. And then to suddenly see the billions of stars in the Galactic core (because their world was located near it) - that is what droven them insane. We were born into a world with a clear night sky, so we've always ahd a notation that Earth isn't all their is.

That wasn't what I heard in the story.  That was one theory, sure, but fear of the dark seemed to be the primary cause--otherwise what was the point of the scene where they turned the lights off in the room to see the effect.

Even if I misunderstood that, I still stand by my main point that I doubt that it would've been the end of civilization.  And, like I said, even though I didn't really believe that, it was still a good story for the cool idea at the core.

Yes, that was the point of the 'dark room' experiment - they showed that the darkness, whilst uncomfortable and scary, wasn't enough to drive them mad. Their experiment didn't include billions of light pinpoints in the sky showing how insignificant their world was compared to their previous thoughts.

I mean, they though the universe was only 1 star system big, and a 2 to 4 star system universe was HUGE for them to think of. Imagine that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING you thought you knew about reality was suddenly shown to be wrong in one escapeable view of the galactic core. And at the same time, there is a huge dark clinging void above you on a world were you may never have seen thick shadow before. And its so dark you can't even see yourself. For them, burning everything and anything they could was the answer.



eytanz

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Reply #98 on: March 04, 2010, 03:47:21 PM
The darkness wasn't the source of the madness, as they even said in the story.

The source of the madness was the sudden realisation of how tiny they where in the universe - up until that point, no living being on their world had any idea the Universe was bigger than their own star system. And then to suddenly see the billions of stars in the Galactic core (because their world was located near it) - that is what droven them insane. We were born into a world with a clear night sky, so we've always ahd a notation that Earth isn't all their is.

That wasn't what I heard in the story.  That was one theory, sure, but fear of the dark seemed to be the primary cause--otherwise what was the point of the scene where they turned the lights off in the room to see the effect.


I'm sorry to say this, but I really think you missed the whole intended point of the story. As Yargling points out, The darkness thing is very carefully set up as a red herring, but the scientists prove conclusively that it cannot be the cause of civilization collapse. They are expecting to see a night of pure darkness, and they are ready for it. What drives them mad is that night is not pure darkness, but rather the existence of stars.

That said, you may well be right to argue that this is psychologically implausible - that whatever madness this revelation created would be short-lived and people would recover. After all, humans have an amazing ability to move past shocking events; maybe shaken, but not destroyed. There is a cop-out argument here (these aren't humans, after all, but an alien race - maybe their psychological makeup is different), but I think that insisting on this sort of realism here is, again, missing the point. This isn't a story about how people get driven mad, but rather this is a story about the limits of science - the scientists in the story could plan for darkness, but they could never anticipate stars, because there was no way for them to get any evidence of their existence. What about our own science? What are scientists missing simply because the evidence is out of our field of vision? That is what the story, ultimately, is about.



Unblinking

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Reply #99 on: March 04, 2010, 07:15:07 PM
I'm sorry to say this, but I really think you missed the whole intended point of the story.

That seems rather rude.  If I didn't get the same point out of the story that you did, then you shouldn't jump to the immediate conclusion that I missed the point.  Interpretations being what they are, none of them are more correct than any other if drawn from the story.  I'm not saying that your interpretation is wrong.  I'm just saying that mine is not wrong either, any more than an interpretation of a painting can be wrong.

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The darkness thing is very carefully set up as a red herring, but the scientists prove conclusively that it cannot be the cause of civilization collapse. They are expecting to see a night of pure darkness, and they are ready for it. What drives them mad is that night is not pure darkness, but rather the existence of stars.

They didn't prove it in any way that convinced me.  They put some guys in the dark and poked some holes in the ceiling for a couple hours and they didn't go crazy.  As they'd already pointed out before that, sitting in a dark room is not the same thing as seeing the sun apparently extinguish itself for half a day.  They did already know about the existence of stars, or at least had strong theories about it, because they talked about it long before the sun went out.  It was even included in their experiment--though again, such an experiment is such a far cry from actually seeing the sun turn off that it doesn't conclusively prove a darn thing.

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There is a cop-out argument here (these aren't humans, after all, but an alien race - maybe their psychological makeup is different), but I think that insisting on this sort of realism here is, again, missing the point.

There were many clues that these are humans, are at least a parallel universe portrait of humans.  No mentions of different anatomies.  Their societal structures and buildings are very similar to what we've had.  They have psychological disorders like claustrophobia that are identical to ours.  They even have theme parks with roller coasters.  To me there's no compelling evidence that they are different from us in any significant way other than the world they grew up on.

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but I think that insisting on this sort of realism here is, again, missing the point.

I'm not insisting on anything and I've said multiple times that I liked the story anyway.  Though I don't insist on absolute plausibility to enjoy a story, I think plausibility is still an interesting aspect of a story to discuss.  I'm not crying "This story is crap because I don't believe it".  I'm simply saying "I don't think it would happen quite that way".