Author Topic: EP100: Nightfall  (Read 42413 times)

eytanz

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #100 on: March 04, 2010, 07:56:48 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.

I wasn't trying to be rude. And note that I didn't say you missed the point of the story. I said you missed the intended point. Your interpretation is certainly as valid as mine, but I think in this case - especially as this is a classic story that has been expanded into a novel - we know what the author intended, and it's not what you said. That certainly doesn't devalue your interpretation, or say that it is wrong.

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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".

Whoa, you're taking what I said here and twisting it into something completely different. First, this part of my message wasn't directed at you - it was directed at the proposal I just made (though, I guess, that wasn't necessarily clear). I was trying - badly, it seems - that someone who would attempt to answer your critique of the story by saying these are aliens would be barking down the wrong tree. Secondly, I never said you didn't like it, and I can't imagine why you would think I meant that.

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #101 on: March 04, 2010, 09:29:16 PM »
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I wasn't trying to be rude. And note that I didn't say you missed the point of the story. I said you missed the intended point.

Unless you are Mr. Asimov in disguise, then you can only speculate on his intended point.  Heck, I don't even know what I intend half the time, let alone figuring out the internal workings of another human being.  :)  In any case, even the author's view of a story is but one interpretation, so an intended interpretation carries only as much weight as a reader's interpretation (at least to me).  In any case, I'd misunderstood your intent, and sorry about the rudeness comment.

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Whoa, you're taking what I said here and twisting it into something completely different. First, this part of my message wasn't directed at you - it was directed at the proposal I just made (though, I guess, that wasn't necessarily clear). I was trying - badly, it seems - that someone who would attempt to answer your critique of the story by saying these are aliens would be barking down the wrong tree. Secondly, I never said you didn't like it, and I can't imagine why you would think I meant that.

Any twisting was completely unintentional.  The sentence I was responding to:
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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.

Ah, I hadn't realized that you were explaining that your proposed counter-argument would be barking up the wrong tree.  I'd thought that the "insisting on this sort of realism" and "missing the point" was referring to me and my claim that the eclipse wouldn't end the civilization.  The reason I thought that you were saying that I didn't enjoy the story is that if I insisted on realism and didn't get it, that I'd be dissatisfied.  Which I see now that you weren't referring to me at all, so never mind.

anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program.   ;D

CryptoMe

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #102 on: March 06, 2010, 07:05:16 AM »
"I don't think it would happen quite that way".

I agree. I think it would happen the way Douglas Adams envisioned it. People would see all the stars and say "it has to go".   :D

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #103 on: March 08, 2010, 05:55:25 PM »
"I don't think it would happen quite that way".

I agree. I think it would happen the way Douglas Adams envisioned it. People would see all the stars and say "it has to go".   :D

 ;D  Ah, Douglas Adams, what a visionary!  I always carry a towel.  I never know when I might need it!

captain0terror

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #104 on: January 26, 2011, 09:53:25 PM »
I tried posting comments to the download page, but couldn't figure out how to do it. (do comments close after a certain number of posts or amount of time?)

Firstly, i thought it a fitting story for steve to run at the 100th episode, since he held the story in such high esteem and mentioned as much in one of the very first EP episodes.

Narration by Steve was exceptional as always, but unfortunately i was less than impressed with the story for many reasons:

-WAY too long/boring to tell the story as it was. you could have cut the length by 3/4 and conveyed the same thing, leaving out not a single, important plot device; i fell asleep 3 times in 3 attempts to listen, and finally i just FF to the end.

-Main plot theme is just implausible. perhaps if there were some creative plot development describing how one could could possibly go insane by blocking out the sun.  Hell, i'm all for a crazed, apocalyptic armageddon brought on by some catalyst, just make that catalyst interesting and at least semi-plausible.

-Ending is just dumb. If you're gonna go out on a limb like this with such a thin main plot, at least come up with an interesting twist at the end, or again, some explanation to make it all somewhat believable.
'
I apologize for not liking the story. i feel like a traitor to EP by whining about Steve's "favourite short story of all time,"(i think he said something like that and i apologize again for not being sure how to correctly paraphrase), but this story was just balls.

=(
« Last Edit: January 26, 2011, 10:04:40 PM by captain0terror »

eytanz

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #105 on: January 26, 2011, 10:02:33 PM »
I tried posting comments to the download page, but couldn't figure out how to do it. (do comments close after a certain number of posts or amount of time?)


It's not a time-based thing; about 2 years ago or so, the decision was made to avoid having comments in two places so all the posts on escapepod.org point here instead of allowing comments directly. The old comments were not deleted, however, so that may be confusing.

statisticus

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #106 on: July 12, 2012, 05:03:34 AM »
Making my haphazard & non-linear way through old episodes of Escape Pod I finally get to revisit Asimov's classic story.

This is one that I read many years ago and enjoyed well enough, but at the back of my mind I've had Asimov pegged as someone whose work I've enjoyed but who wasn't really up there with my favourite authors.  Coming to this story again after a long break I'm thinking I need to reconsider that.  Great reading from Steve, as others have mentioned already, and the story itself is deservedly a classic.  This time around I noticed how well the alien civilisation is described; like us but not like us.  Like us in that they are obviously human in so many ways, but unlike us in how their psychology and their technology and civilisation is shaped by their environment.  Cameras, cars, newspapers are all commonplace, but candles are a major technological innovation - loved it!

One thing I wondered about though.  Just how well would they be able to see the stars when the eclipse became total?  We Earth humans have evolved in a regular cycle of night and darkness and our eyes are adapted to operate in low light as well as in daylight.  We have separate sensor cells (rod cells) to see in dim light as well as the cone cells which allow us to see bright colours in daylight.  These people are never exposed to dim conditions and so would never need to evolve eyes which could handle them, any more than their minds can handle darkness; I suggest that they would not be able to see stars with unaided eyes with anything like the ease which we can.  Of course, they would see something - some stars are bright enough for us to see  as coloured points & presumably be visible to rod-less eyes, but the sight wouldn't be anything like as majestic as what we would see in the same place.

That's if the stars weren't drowned by moonlight.  Don't forget that the object doing the eclipsing is large (I suspect at least as big as the moon in our sky, prossibly much bigger) and is being lit up by no less than five suns.  While there might be night, it would be lit by a moonlight much stronger than what we would get.

These are quibbles, of course.  Great story, and thanks to EP and Steve for 'casting it.
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Devoted135

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #107 on: July 30, 2012, 08:15:32 PM »
I started listening to Escape Pod right around episode 200 (I can't remember exactly) and started posting here *goes and checks profile information* at episode 266. Now I'm making my way through the episodes that I missed, and I must say that this was a fitting celebration for episode 100! It really is amazing to see what Steve accomplished and I'm so glad to be one small part of his legacy as it lives on.

I've gone back and forth on this story. My initial reaction while listening was to try and imagine the reason for each anomaly as it came up in the story. Wait, why is the dark scary? Oh, they have so many suns that it never gets dark out. Ever. Wait, what about inside? Why do they not have artificial light? Oh, it's always so light out that they didn't bother inventing it, they just made windows. Note that they could very well have electricity (actually, they probably need it for their newspapers, etc) without ever inventing the light bulb.

One really telling moment for me was when a scientist referred to the "fact" that the universe was 4-6 light years across, so conceivably there could be 6 or *gasp* 12 stars in the universe. When the generally accepted wisdom is very suddenly revealed to be so astronomically wrong, I can almost believe that people would go nuts.* I'm not sure I can get 100% of the way there, but certainly I can suspend disbelief high enough to really enjoy this story for the classic that it is, and I'm really glad to have heard it narrated here!



*Anecdote: I work in an HIV research lab. My PI's (=boss) former advisor is notorious for cussing people out for experimental results that challenge her idea of how the virus works. As in extremely foul language accusing people of seriously messing up their data, cc'd to about 20 collaborators. Yeah.

Marlboro

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Re: EP100: Nightfall
« Reply #108 on: November 10, 2019, 07:14:56 PM »
I'm ashamed to admit it, but I didn't really understand what caused the people's madness in this story until it was explained in this thread. I have read the story multiple times, heard at least 3 audio versions, and seen a bad movie based on it and still managed to miss something that was spelled out in the text.  So embarrassing.

 One criticism: I wish the people in the story had been more alien and less 1940s American. It just takes me out of the story when a character on an alien planet exclaims "Baloney!"