Author Topic: EP418: The Dala Horse  (Read 10579 times)


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Reply #25 on: November 01, 2013, 09:35:28 PM
Reminded me of Adventure Time on Cartoon network.  Adventure Time is better.  This was confusing and random. 

The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.


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Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 09:26:54 AM
Fallen rather behind on my EP listening so I've only just got to this one.

I can see where some people had problems with it. There's quite a lot unstated and unexplained. I think Windup probably has it about right on the matter of what that unstated stuff is.

There is a perfect middle ground (a.k.a. "fine line") between overexplaining for the hard-of-thinking and failing to account for the reader not being in the author's head already. I guess this one edged slightly too close to the latter. Personally I'd rather that than the former.


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Reply #27 on: November 11, 2013, 04:38:38 PM
There is a perfect middle ground (a.k.a. "fine line") between overexplaining for the hard-of-thinking and failing to account for the reader not being in the author's head already. ...  Personally I'd rather that than the former.

(please note - none of the below is in response to this particular story or comments about it)

Yes.  And sadly, as much as this line has always had to do with author skill, it also has to do with a number of outside factors - presentation format, audience receptivity, general culture at the time.  As we now live in a fragmented culture based around affinity groups instead of the top-down (admittedly authoritarian) "cultural canon" of preceding history, this line will become even more difficult for writers to walk and, truthfully, may end being an impossible task without more aggressive support from the reader side of the equation (that is to say, readers realizing what responsibilities they face when reading fiction - if one chooses to believe people have any responsibilities when interacting with art.  Some don't, I know, but I tend to find the critical feedback from such viewpoints so subjective as to be worthless, and perhaps that's understood in the formulation of that viewpoint as well, although given the amount of time devoted to "registering one's opinion", I'd guess not by many).

It's an interesting problem, the friction from which is (in a positive/negative overview) bending/distorting modern genre fiction in interesting/troubling directions.  But it's always important to remember that where we came from is as equally important as where we're going.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 05:15:57 PM by Sgarre1 »


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Reply #28 on: November 15, 2013, 06:06:50 PM
Reminded me of Adventure Time on Cartoon network. 

I'm just now catching up on this one, but came here to say the same thing! It almost could have been set in the same post-nuclear future as Adventure Time, what with the child protagonist, talking personified objects, and inexplicably powerful beings roaming about that no one seems to think are out of place. I personally love the deliciously surreal end result, where you can catch a glimpse of the underlying explanations out of the corner of your eye but not quite bring them into focus. Bad things happened in the past, giving us a future that looks like magic, but somehow isn't. Loads of fun. :)

Medical Microfiction: Stories About Science

Anthony Creamer

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Reply #29 on: November 16, 2013, 08:31:15 PM
I have to post to keep account active so I chose this story for my first post as I just got around to listening to it last night.
Great story, enjoyed the end where the girl gets to go home but with her pet troll.


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Reply #30 on: November 19, 2013, 04:30:13 AM
I was mixed about this one as well. I actually enjoyed the beginning of this story more than the ending. I thought the mechanical helpers were a cute touch (although I am deeply troubled about parents who are willing to let their child go wandering alone in the wilderness with just three robots, none of which are capable of shooting, punching, or otherwise taking down panthers, bears, wandering madmen, or any other wildlife she might encounter.) I would've actually liked this story more if it hadn't have gotten so grand, and for me, confusing. I was honestly fine with the huge goddess following Gunther, but everything that happened after that seemed jumbled and out of place. My main issue, actually, was why Europa left Gunther alone after his brain gets played with. Just because he doesn't remember doesn't mean his actions never happened. That threw me off balance, and took away the enjoyment of the final scene for me.

This gets a solid C+, in my book.

This pretty much sums up my reaction as well. At first I was completely flummoxed that a little girl who is incapable of continuing to walk for a full day -much less make rational decisions- was sent out on her own. Then the talking companions revealed themselves and I spent a good bit of the story trying to scold myself into enjoying it as a fairy tale. It wrapped up alright once the Swedish origins asserted themselves more strongly and gained more context. Honestly, for some reason I think the Dora connection has helped me to appreciate it even more, though I never would have connected the two on my own.


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Reply #31 on: November 19, 2013, 02:56:41 PM
I just had a thought, and now I have to listen to this one again…

What if the little girl was a robot -- the robot embodiment of the land's protector? That would explain why she was so passively involved in relationships, why she had little concern for what the troll would do to her, and how the Dala horse crawled into her head (maybe it didn't actually crawl in, but it was some sort of threat assent module that, when plugged in like a thumb drive could activate the defenses).

For that matter, the whole thing could be a virtual world metaphor inside software… The girl is the defender program, sent out to waylay the troll virus, which turned out to actually be a Trojan to get the bigger baddie into the system, but the defender program actually had a Power Rangers-esque upgrade card at her disposal -- the Dala horse -- and used it to squash the hacker/big/virus/whatever.

Maybe it's nothing, but re-listening with either of those in mind might make me dig the story even more.


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Reply #32 on: November 19, 2013, 03:06:57 PM
Both interesting ideas, but require a bit of textual gymnastics - there are quite a few references to biological aspects of both the girl and the troll-guy, and once Sveta takes over the girl, it is mentioned that she enjoys having a living host more than once.


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Reply #33 on: March 24, 2014, 02:40:08 AM
Lots of really neat and great ideas that need to be tied more firmly together. Which is to say, I personally would have liked some more explanation of those cultural points that I am unfamiliar with.

And I completely missed the Dora parallel until I saw it on the forums. And then I couldn't stop laughing! :)


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Reply #34 on: March 31, 2014, 11:22:15 AM
So, being swedish, I was interested in what this story might have extracted out of swedish culture to create a compelling science fiction story. Not that much, it turned out. Sounds like he used what he found in the souvenir shop on Stockholms airport. Now, I like stories that doesn't spell things out, but that doesn't mean that it's OK when a world is not very thought out. This world felt that way, new things kept popping up and demanded to be accepted without making much sense, and strangely inconsequential to what was going on. Neither did we get much to grab on to when it came to little Linnea, emotionally. I admire our dear forum audience attempts to reverse engineer a world where this story would make sense, but I'm not sure it was worth that effort, at least for me.