Author Topic: EP695/EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored (Flashback Friday)  (Read 11880 times)

eytanz

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EP695: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored (Flashback Friday)

EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored

Author : Christie Yant
Narrator : Mr. Lee
Host : Alasdair Stuart
Audio Producer : Adam Pracht

This is an Escape Pod original.

---

Every night I come home and I drink. I trade away the hope, the guilt, the fear, even the love–I think it’s love, crazy as it seems. I trade them for oblivion, because otherwise I won’t sleep at all. I drink until there’s no life left in me, until I’m able to forget for just a little while the chrome vessel in the corner and what’s at stake. Sometimes I hope that I’ll dream of her. Sometimes I’m afraid that I will.

I have two things that belonged to her. The first is a photograph, taken at a party in what looks like a hotel. Her hair is dyed red—it doesn’t quite suit her, so you know it isn’t hers, like an unexpected note in a melody where you thought you knew where it was going and then it went sharp. She’s holding a glass of something pink and bubbly. Maybe it’s her birthday. If so, it’s probably her twenty-eighth. She’s laughing.

She was really young to be a client. Especially back then, most of the people who thought about life extension were retirees. Mortality was very much on their minds, and they’d had a lifetime to accumulate their savings—suspension was expensive. I wonder where she got the money. Her file doesn’t say.

So in this picture she’s laughing. She’s seated, supporting herself with one hand braced against the carpeted floor. Her head is thrown back and her back is arched, and she’s just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. There are other people around her, behind her, just smiling blurs holding drinks, but you get the feeling that she’s the reason they’re smiling. She’s the star they’re all in orbit around. Like me. I fell into her orbit years ago and can’t break free.

The picture moves with me through my bleak basement apartment, from room to room—sometimes it turns up on top of the half-size refrigerator, sometimes absent-mindedly left on a shelf in the medicine cabinet where I discover it again later and take it with me to the bedroom. I’ve found it between the sofa cushions at least half a dozen times. She follows me, or I follow her—it’s been a lifetime since she smiled that smile, and I’m still completely, utterly taken.

The one place it never goes is on the dewar in the corner.  That would just be too macabre, considering.

This is the only photograph she left. I often wonder what it was about this moment, this time in her life, that she could have looked ahead and known that this was as good as it gets. In this picture the cancer’s already killing her, she just doesn’t know it.

She died less than a year later. Pancreatic cancer. It’s in her file.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

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« Last Edit: September 27, 2019, 06:54:32 PM by divs »

Windup

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2014, 01:23:14 AM »
This one did not work for me. I like the idea of exploring the question of what motivates a person to take the "leap into the future" represented by cryogenic preservation, and how the future will react to them. But that's not what I got.

What I got was a drunk guy projecting his ideas of what one cryogenically-preserved person wanted, and his fears that what he had to offer wasn't it.  To me, the fact that the contents of the note explaining what she wanted was never disclosed and that the exact nature of the "restoration" available was never described felt like a cop-out on the author's part.

I liked the part about the company's financial crisis. I'm interested in the issue of how relatively short-lived humans can carry out very long-term obligations, and the emotional consequences of failing in those obligations. But again, there wasn't enough detail that I really understood what had happened, or what the fallout was.

Definitely a time to say, "Better luck next week."
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MrBlister

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2014, 10:25:39 PM »
The first sentence establishes the fact that our narrator is a drunk. I didn't need to hear the reader slurping and drooling to reinforce the fact. It was distracting to the point that, at about 10 minutes I found myself wondering what it would be like if the narrator compulsively ate chicken wings. I switched it off at about the 13 minute mark.

DerangedMind

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2014, 08:19:19 PM »
Contrary to the others (so far) I liked the story.  I read it more as a story of how cyrogenics (and the company) had changed over the years.  The heartbreaking time when they had to kill some of the patrons of the firm to save the rest, how it had changed from whole-body to neurological.  I liked the fact that it dealt with a specific technology and extrapolated from there.

Yeah, the protagonist was creepy / stalker dude.  But, he did save the client (assuming that she was one of the people slated to be killed - I don't believe that was explicitly stated - otherwise he just kidnapped / stole her) and is working himself up to getting her revived.  Whether or not he kept her in safely and she will be revivable is a different matter...


skeletondragon

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 12:03:55 AM »
I was also curious about the "crisis" that forced the company to kill (most? a lot? how many?) of its clients. Apparently some of the survived and the company remained in business, and that seemed odd to me. Was it just operating costs? Couldn't they have taken out a loan? Or if they had no expectation of future income, how did they recover? Now I'm getting really bothered contemplating this fictional company's business model. It seemed like this vaguely-alluded-to event was just an excuse for the narrator to steal/kidnap the woman. I think it almost would have been a better story if there hadn't been a crisis, and he was just a seriously messed up stalker. Then people at the company start wondering why they're missing a corpsicle and bam, you have the perfect set-up for an episode of a crime show set in the future.

Zelda

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 07:14:54 AM »
I found this story massively creepy. The narrator has built his life around his obession with this woman based on a photograph and scrap of handwriting. He drinks until he passes out every night because he's so weighted down by the feelings he has about having stolen her body. Or is it to escape his obessive thoughts about her? He stole the body years ago and this woman is still the only thing that exists in his emotional life. But he's palpalably reluctant to carry out her wishes, even though they were his excuse for stealing her. He's creepy on so many levels.

I don't see anything noble or caring in the narrator's deep reluctance to wake up Sleeping Beauty. She can't cope with being alive in the future? Why not? How bad can a future in which an emotionally unstable alcoholic is employed by the same company for decades and is turned to by co-workers during a corporate crisis be? In any event she has the right to find out if she can cope with it. She's an adult human being, not a photograph.

Maybe the author intended this story to be a dark and very twisted variation on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. It works quite brilliantly as that.

Warren

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 11:33:30 AM »
I'm with MrBlister. I switched off at about a dozen minutes feeling that the narrative had been aimlessly and rather unrevealingly wandering, presumably heading for a big reveal that the author felt would function as a payoff but failing to carry my interest long enough to reach that destination, and that the sound effects were intrusive and annoying.

albionmoonlight

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 05:57:43 PM »
Normally, I fall into the less-is-more camp with reveals.  I like stories that leave some things unsaid and do not spoon-feed us everything.  However, in this case, I came off feeling that less-is-less.  The story was structured in a way that made me anticipate a reveal at the end that would have better explained the narrator's motivations.  And then that reveal never came.  Left me unsatisfied at the outro music.

Varda

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 06:34:30 PM »
I, too, wasn't a fan at all of the sound effects. I'm usually pretty tolerant of little audio touches, but in this case it detracted from the story for me instead of enhancing it.

As for the story itself, I'm with Zelda--this story was creepy good, and I think Zelda's assessment of this as a twisted Sleeping Beauty tale is especially astute. I actually rather like that the full text of the note wasn't revealed. There was something appropriate about the fact that a man who had copied this note over and over to the point where he could imitate the handwriting would simultaneously be completely unaware of what a creep this behavior showed him to be. Idealization is dehumanizing. At the end of the story, part of me wondered whether he would ever really get her revived or not, as this would shatter the perfection of the situation for him: a woman who acts as the recipient of whatever he wants to project upon her, but can never actually speak back or answer him.
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Cutter McKay

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 10:14:01 PM »
I find myself hoping, for the narrator's sake, that the excessive background noise was purposeful and intended to allude to the MC's heavy drinking. However, I don't think such was the case. It didn't come across that way, anyway. Shuffling papers, sipping water, smacking lips, sound fading in and out; the whole thing came across as just a poor production. :-\

Sadly, the story wasn't much better. I didn't hate it, there were some very interesting ideas and questions within; however, the presentation was pretty boring. We have the unreliable musings of a creepy kidnapper/savior as he wrestles with the decision to save the girl--and thereby destroy his fantasy--or leave her in a state of perpetual beauty/imprisonment. It's all flashback and all tell. No proactivity, no consequences, and no resolution.

As others have mentioned, I'm much more interested in the "crisis" and everything surrounding it. I would like to read a story about the company's troubles, the moral decisions they faced, and the terrible choices they made in the end.
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matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2014, 01:38:55 PM »
I find myself hoping, for the narrator's sake, that the excessive background noise was purposeful and intended to allude to the MC's heavy drinking. However, I don't think such was the case. It didn't come across that way, anyway. Shuffling papers, sipping water, smacking lips, sound fading in and out; the whole thing came across as just a poor production.

I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)? I'll admit, the one paper shuffle I heard in there was annoying to me, and the one time I recall the narrator turned his head away from the mic was not something I would have kept if we were recording in a studio and I got to produce it live, but the fairly constant clink of ice in the glass was in line with the narrative and otherwise the background was pretty devoid of the audio pollution we often get from our narrators. I'm honestly a bit shocked to hear more than one person mention it at all, but I want to learn so we can do better in the future.

Varda

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2014, 03:30:30 PM »
I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)? I'll admit, the one paper shuffle I heard in there was annoying to me, and the one time I recall the narrator turned his head away from the mic was not something I would have kept if we were recording in a studio and I got to produce it live, but the fairly constant clink of ice in the glass was in line with the narrative and otherwise the background was pretty devoid of the audio pollution we often get from our narrators. I'm honestly a bit shocked to hear more than one person mention it at all, but I want to learn so we can do better in the future.

My opinion? I think there are audio effects that enhance a story by drawing attention to important elements and scene-setting, and audio elements that pull attention away from a story. So I liked the very first glass-clink, which helped set the stage that he's drinking at the moment it's mentioned and created a nice harmony with the text, but since the drinking itself is not the important thing about the story, every other use after the first one pulled my brain away from the text and directed my attention toward something irrelevant instead of accenting the experience of the story. I'd probably feel differently if the story itself was using the drinking as a major symbol instead of just a bit of scene-setting.
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davidthygod

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2014, 03:58:36 PM »
Not the best ever but a good solid, pretty twisted story, or at least it was the way I read it.  Zelda's sleeping beauty reference was definitely an accurate comparison.  The only difference is sleeping beauty was locked in a castle behind a forest of thorns to keep up away the molesters, but make no mistake, if she weren't, there would have been similar unspoken fondling and sexual deviancy, as what I can guarantee was happening to the narrator's popsicle girlfriend. 

"I only hope she can forgive me."  I definitely read that as his remorse for all the dirty shit he did to or in front of that poor frozen girl.


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

davidthygod

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2014, 04:01:52 PM »
I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)? I'll admit, the one paper shuffle I heard in there was annoying to me, and the one time I recall the narrator turned his head away from the mic was not something I would have kept if we were recording in a studio and I got to produce it live, but the fairly constant clink of ice in the glass was in line with the narrative and otherwise the background was pretty devoid of the audio pollution we often get from our narrators. I'm honestly a bit shocked to hear more than one person mention it at all, but I want to learn so we can do better in the future.

I didn't mind the glass and the clinking at all Mat.  Like you, the only thing I heard that pulled me out of the story a bit was really when it seemed like the reader pulled away from the mic and the voice volume would change substantially.  The paper shuffling was maybe a bit loud too but the volume change was the only nitpick I had.  I didn't think it was bad at all.  Just my likely incorrect opinion.
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matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2014, 04:21:02 PM »
Not the best ever but a good solid, pretty twisted story, or at least it was the way I read it.  Zelda's sleeping beauty reference was definitely an accurate comparison.  The only difference is sleeping beauty was locked in a castle behind a forest of thorns to keep up away the molesters, but make no mistake, if she weren't, there would have been similar unspoken fondling and sexual deviancy, as what I can guarantee was happening to the narrator's popsicle girlfriend. 

"I only hope she can forgive me."  I definitely read that as his remorse for all the dirty shit he did to or in front of that poor frozen girl.

That's some pretty dark stuff. I took the whole drunkenness and the hope for forgiveness to be attached to the fact that he wasn't 100% sure he was going to be able to restore her at all, and certainly not in the way she hoped, therefore maybe the mass death was the better option.

It's an interesting thought in relation to Kumara. If someone can't come back the way they thought or intended, is the bigger crime to bring something back or to let it all die? If they come back different, are they even really the same person? If not, is the original person then actually dead, and your sin is absolved because this new incarnation knew no other way? The spiritual implications of science are always so staggering.

matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2014, 04:28:11 PM »
...but since the drinking itself is not the important thing about the story, every other use after the first one pulled my brain away from the text and directed my attention toward something irrelevant instead of accenting the experience of the story. I'd probably feel differently if the story itself was using the drinking as a major symbol instead of just a bit of scene-setting.

Maybe it's a condemning commentary on how badly I pay attention to somethings, but I just hear it as ambient: loud enough to hear and set a tone, but not loud enough to distract. I mean, if I was listening to someone tell a story beside a fire or while standing in a river, I would expect to hear the fire crackling or the river roiling throughout, and it may or may not have any direct relevance to the story itself. Maybe I just envisioned it all differently. It wouldn't be the first time.

Warren

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2014, 07:26:37 PM »
I find myself hoping, for the narrator's sake, that the excessive background noise was purposeful and intended to allude to the MC's heavy drinking. However, I don't think such was the case. It didn't come across that way, anyway. Shuffling papers, sipping water, smacking lips, sound fading in and out; the whole thing came across as just a poor production.

I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)? I'll admit, the one paper shuffle I heard in there was annoying to me, and the one time I recall the narrator turned his head away from the mic was not something I would have kept if we were recording in a studio and I got to produce it live, but the fairly constant clink of ice in the glass was in line with the narrative and otherwise the background was pretty devoid of the audio pollution we often get from our narrators. I'm honestly a bit shocked to hear more than one person mention it at all, but I want to learn so we can do better in the future.

As one of the people who found the audio effects intrusive ...

I don't have any great insight into why I found them intrusive this time. I know it's a very difficult thing to get right. Some of my problem on this occasion may simply be that I wasn't loving the story anyway, and wasn't sufficiently drawn into it, so that it was easier for distractions to pull me out of it - but even so, this would presume the sounds functioned as distractions rather than intensifying the listening experience, which shouldn't be the case. I can make guesses (sound mixing made the effects too prominent compared to a slow, soft, perhaps inconsistent narration; and maybe the effects would have been more effective if used less often, or at times more clearly chosen for effect), but they are just guesses, and without going back I'm not sure either is especially relevant to this instance.

Varda

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2014, 09:12:24 PM »
...but since the drinking itself is not the important thing about the story, every other use after the first one pulled my brain away from the text and directed my attention toward something irrelevant instead of accenting the experience of the story. I'd probably feel differently if the story itself was using the drinking as a major symbol instead of just a bit of scene-setting.

Maybe it's a condemning commentary on how badly I pay attention to somethings, but I just hear it as ambient: loud enough to hear and set a tone, but not loud enough to distract. I mean, if I was listening to someone tell a story beside a fire or while standing in a river, I would expect to hear the fire crackling or the river roiling throughout, and it may or may not have any direct relevance to the story itself. Maybe I just envisioned it all differently. It wouldn't be the first time.

I think I'd find a persistent roaring river or crackling fire equally distracting in an audio presentation of a short story for the same reasons I already mentioned. It's not a question of realism, per se. If you were to accurately portray the atmosphere of my living room right now, you'd need to stick in the hum of the fridge in the other room, but this would hardly immerse you farther into any oral storytelling happening in my living room. I think the problem relates to how the real setting is the narrator's memory, not the present-tense drinking and slurping. Maybe if there were important scene changes between past and present, with the ice cubes being an audio cue to help with the transition, the sound effects may have been effective, but unfortunately this time around it didn't work for me.

Which is not to say I don't appreciate all the wonderful, hard work you do, Mat. Most of the time I think the audio is quite good--like all special effects, so well-done it's almost invisible as part of the texture of the experience of an episode. :)
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Cutter McKay

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2014, 10:14:08 PM »
I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)?
I went back and listened to some of the story again to pinpoint what the problem was. Because, really, I like it when you guys mix in some ambient sounds to help immerse us in the story. So why didn't it work here?

First off, I listened to the story in my car, which has a whole slew of its own ambient noises competing with the story. Not until I just listened to it again did I realize just how much ice sound there actually is. Honestly I didn't catch any of that my first time through, apparently only picking up on the occasional overly loud sound. So that's not really anyone's fault, just a situation where the effects were too quiet for my personal circumstances.

Also, the first "ice" sound effect that I noticed didn't sound like ice to me, but like someone slurping through a straw. So it didn't conjure images of the MC sipping whisky, I thought the narrator had taken a sip of water. So that, along with the shuffling paper and him moving away from the mic, put me in the mindset that it was just a bad recording.

Also, I think another reason I didn't get what was supposed to be portrayed is because, when I think of someone who goes home every night and drinks himself into unconsciousness, I don't picture them relaxing in an armchair with a tumbler of whisky. I see them chugging from the bottle as they lay half-on-half-off a moldy couch. So without the proper picture in mind, the SFX were just a straight miss for me.

Finally, I think Warren hit it on the head. The story itself wasn't holding me, so other things were distracting.

So, as I said, I'm glad it was on purpose and not just a bad narration. I want you guys to know I don't fault either Mr. Lee, or EP. I really appreciate the efforts you put into these stories, especially when you go above an beyond the basic reading and try to add more dimensions. This one didn't work, but don't stop. Thanks for everything. /suckingup.  ;)
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sleepingbear

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2014, 01:35:26 AM »
Ambient sounds added in for effect are disastrously tricky.

There are two stories I can think of that use them in a way that's super immersive to me. "The Bungalow House", and another Psuedopod story that involved a woman over a PA system. Lightspeed's recent "Codename: Delphi" also had something like this to convey radio speech. So that, to me anyway, is great, and really gets me into the story.

But I think the clinking of ice, the shift in volume, can be distracting because, while they are "human" sounds, they're not vocal augments. They're foreign objects within the realm of my mental story space. It's also highly uncommon. in my listening experience.

All that said, I can jive with the attempt, but I'm in the same boat that it was one of several factors that slowly broke the immersion for me.

matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2014, 02:24:22 AM »
For the record, no need to apologize to me, the sounds you hear were recorded by the narrator who read with a glass in hand as the character in the story was doing. As it happens, when I listened, it conjured the image for me perfectly, so I opted to keep it as it was. I wish I could think of a movie to compare it to. There's a vision in my mind of a hero sneaking into the house of the antagonist with murder on his mind, only to discover the antagonist is waiting for him, drink in hand. Confession follows, then murder, or not. It's so vivid in my mind I feel like I should be able to name the movie but I can't. Best I can do is this



or this



and neither really fits. Regardless, point is it set the scene for me.

Also, the unfortunate truth of audio is that is sounds so radically different depending on the player/speaker/location/listener combination that it's not even vaguely possible to control for all factors. I've had people on the forum complain that the underlying white noise made a track unlistenable, when, if I isolate that track, I can only even hear it at all on my studio headphones with the volume halfway up. So, I take all such criticisms with at least that much salt.

But I do listen to your thoughts and I do take them into account even if I can't always adjust for them. And in this case, I got the same feedback from Norm, so you can be sure I'm taking this seriously.

All that said, please feel free to hit me directly with any more thoughts. We shouldn't hijack this thread for meta talk anymore. Back to the story...

 ;) ;)

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2014, 03:02:40 AM »
Best I can do is this


Oh I get the image you're talking about, and once I realized what the ice clinking sounds were supposed to be, I could see it. But for this particular scene in this particular story, the way the MC describes his life and how he drinks until he passes out every night, made me immediately picture the scene closer to this:



With this image in mind, the SFX were just completely lost on me.  :-\ (BTW, I consider this a discussion of the story as we're talking about the scene, rather than further discussion of the SFX even though I did mention them again. ;))
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laurasbadideas

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2014, 07:50:30 AM »
I'm not making excuses, just honestly asking because it seems to have been an issue with a lot of people: this didn't sound to you exactly like a man sitting in a lounge chair, telling a story with a tumbler of whiskey in his hand, gesturing with that hand some (which is pretty much precisely the scene described in the story)?

That's exactly what it sounded like to me -- but I still found the sipping/slurping sounds really annoying. I'm not sure why. It's possible that the drinking sounds were louder, relative to the narrator's voice, than they would be under normal circumstances in real life. But that's just a guess.

BTW, except for the sound effects, I thought the narration was excellent.

skeletondragon

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2014, 04:04:00 PM »
Everyone keeps talking about lounge chairs. I didn't mind the clinking so much, but I pictured a really sketchy, haggard-looking dude hunched over a kitchen table in a small dark house full of stacks of paper and trash and that poor frozen woman. Which is sort of how, like I started getting at earlier, I enjoyed this story, but more as a horror/crime story than an exploration of mortality and personality, and I'm not sure that was what the author intended.

matweller

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2014, 04:58:34 PM »
I dated that dude's daughter once. Worked third shift, came home, drew himself a pitcher of beer, sat at the kitchen table in the dark drinking until the house awoke. Made for some creepy morning trips to the bathroom when I visited and spent the night on the living room couch.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2014, 04:56:37 PM »
For me, the audio FX didn't really work, which is weird since you know that I'm usually one of the most vocal supporters of them! But in this case, most of the sounds seemed like slurping and swallowing, not ice clinking. Basically, ice clinking is cool, but mouth sounds are gross? :-\


I'm down with the creepy stalker Sleeping Beauty interpretation of this story. Honestly, with a few tweaks here and there it probably could have run on PP just as easily. I would have liked to hear more about the outside world; what sort of society is produced when you have the ability to freeze and revive people? For that matter, why is this guy such a drunk that he passes out every night?

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #26 on: April 29, 2014, 03:47:27 AM »
This story just worked for me.  As someone going through some rather nasty mental and familial issues at the moment it resonates deeply with me.  In a way this could be seen as a parent/child story because that last line, "I hope she forgives me" is what I think goes through the mind of every parent at one point or another...

"Her future was a place, and I am a native of it. I know the terrain; I know the weather. And I know that this isn’t the future she wanted. This isn’t what she meant."

For me, this, here, now, isn't the future I wanted. This isn't what I meant. And I don't know what to do with it.

That is the question this story evoked in me, and, as someone who has been at that drinking every night state just to stay sane, it was emotionally resonant on many levels.  I find myself disagreeing with many of the posters about the audio effects.  While they probably could have been better executed, the story would not have been the same without the reminder that this is a very damaged man trying his damnedest to get through the night...

Unblinking

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #27 on: April 29, 2014, 02:41:34 PM »
I didn't really get into this story.  I was waiting for it to start, but it seemed to never get past navelgazing and complaining about whether his choice is the right one or not.  I'm with those who thought he was being a creeper, very much "put the woman on the pedestal" but the ultimate case of it because he can keep her as a bridesicle to keep her on that pedestal.  All his talk about her not being able to handle the future was self-serving BS that didn't even fit in the image that he painted of her.  But all that was well again, but nothing really happened in the body of the story apart from the navelgazing. 


Regarding the sound effects, I thought they detracted from the story.  "Basically, ice clinking is cool, but mouth sounds are gross?"  I think there's some truth to that.  In real life I don't hear mouth noises, but I also don't routinely listen with my ear two inches away from people's mouths.  Microphones pick up all kinds of crap that we filter out in our everyday lives but something about the recording or listening process makes some of them suddenly much harder to ignore. 

Also, at least for me while listening with one headphone while driving, maybe the sound effects were constant throughout but I just heard the occasional one, maybe the louder ones that could rise above the road noise.  Those were quiet, too quiet, to the point that every time I thought "wait, was that slurping or just smacking his laps or what exactly was that?" and then I missed a couple sentences of the words after that.  And with not being particularly engaged in the story it only made me wait and try to predict where the next sound would be because that was more interesting than the story itself.  I think that if the glass noises and stuff were important to establish the ambience (which I don't think they were) then I don't think that the reader actually manipulating a glass was the way to go because the volume balance made it all the more distracting.  If it were important I think that a pre-recorded kind of sound effect that could be volume balanced separately would be better so that if they need to be there they're at a volume that isn't just on the lower edge of my volume listening range.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #28 on: May 01, 2014, 05:52:22 PM »
I found it hard to focus on the story due to the reader's constant slurping, munching & what I presume was meant to be glass tumbling but sounded more like shaking a rattle can in preparation for some graffiti action.

These activities also seemed to distract the reader who would mispronounce words ("cryo" is not "cairo") and pause at very strange moments. The inflections were also awkward.

Please, don't get fancy with the readings.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2014, 11:13:11 AM »
Woohoo! Finally caught up to the pinned threads! (I cheated and skipped Eater Of Bone, I'll get back to it, I promise).
Sound effects: didn't bother me and I appreciate the effort. I generally listen while jogging through the park, and a few simple effects help a lot to drag me from the hot, sunny park to a darkly lit basement. So that helped.

Story: Not too bad. I'm actually surprised at the hate dislike that the story is getting here. I found it quite interesting, especially with Kumara fresh in my mind. Most cryo stories deal with the person trying to fit in to the future society. Very few of them (that I encountered) deal with the question of: is it even worth trying? Today you freeze yourself hoping that in the future your terminal illness can and will be cured. But, what do you wake up to? At best, some distant descendants who didn't even know that you existed, and didn't care enough to stop the cryo company from letting you die. At worst, a society completely turned upon its head. Maybe monkeys rule the world. Maybe the savior of a religion showed up and all infidels were killed and you are the last agnostic/atheist/other religious person left on the planet. Maybe human bodies have gone out of fashion. Who knows? But do you really want to wake up to that?
And the answer is: you don't get a choice. You chose a hundred, a thousand years ago, and now you have to live with the consequences of that choice. And I hope that you can forgive the people who thawed you out.
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Unblinking

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2014, 03:08:58 PM »
But do you really want to wake up to that?
And the answer is: you don't get a choice. You chose a hundred, a thousand years ago, and now you have to live with the consequences of that choice. And I hope that you can forgive the people who thawed you out.

Yes, I do want to wake up to that. 

I honestly don't see the dilemma.  If she were revived, she could choose to not live anymore.  But if she's not woken she has no choice.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2014, 08:05:05 PM »
I have some resistance to this reading as others did. There wasn't enough density to the story to warrant the sound effects. A minimal (and maybe more energetic) reading would have gotten the voice of the technician across just fine. A more layered story with multiple viewpoints and frames is where more effort in the reading can really spice things up. This story was too straightforward to need that.

The story itself worked well enough. The technological ideas were basic so it works best as a present-day critique of cryo-preservation. It's a critique that goes into the character possibilities beyond the typical jokes about shattered bodies and other failures in cryo-banks that have already occurred. Futurist speculations have to limit themselves to a bubble of limited imaginings, and This is as I wish... is one such limited bubble that does not try to do too much.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #32 on: May 09, 2014, 12:33:56 AM »
I guess I'm in the minority here.

I enjoyed the story and the audio very much.

Story was suitably creepy.

Working in a major tech company (no I won't be more specific than that), I am well aware that the illusion/expectations regarding tech are from the reality of tech: there is a lot more reliance on a few in-the-know (but dubious) people to solve problems than there is reliance on a well-oiled rock stable 'system' to take care of things.  It takes a lot of young punks and old geezers to keep things moving.

I think this story's version of cryobusiness may be closer to what we end up with than any sterile, reliable, glossy Kelvinator fantasy.

As for the audio, as one previous poster said, perfectly natural to me to  hear drunk telling a story with sound of clinking/sloshing drink.

Well done.
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slic

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2014, 08:09:21 PM »
...but since the drinking itself is not the important thing about the story, every other use after the first one pulled my brain away from the text and directed my attention toward something irrelevant instead of accenting the experience of the story. I'd probably feel differently if the story itself was using the drinking as a major symbol instead of just a bit of scene-setting.

Maybe it's a condemning commentary on how badly I pay attention to somethings, but I just hear it as ambient: loud enough to hear and set a tone, but not loud enough to distract. I mean, if I was listening to someone tell a story beside a fire or while standing in a river, I would expect to hear the fire crackling or the river roiling throughout, and it may or may not have any direct relevance to the story itself. Maybe I just envisioned it all differently. It wouldn't be the first time.
I see it being two factors to consider - the first is the difference between an audio play and an audio book.  When someone is reading me a story (which is how I see escapepod), I don't mind the occasional embellishment, but not a whole production.
The second is the listening venue(s).  Many of us listen to the stories as a secondary activity, so any and all extraneous noise needs to be parsed - this makes listening to "noisy" stories more difficult.

slic

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2014, 08:40:03 PM »
But do you really want to wake up to that?
And the answer is: you don't get a choice. You chose a hundred, a thousand years ago, and now you have to live with the consequences of that choice. And I hope that you can forgive the people who thawed you out.

Yes, I do want to wake up to that. 

I honestly don't see the dilemma.  If she were revived, she could choose to not live anymore.  But if she's not woken she has no choice.
After reading the posts, I think these two points echo what I saw as the crux of the protagonist' problem.  Maybe the woman has the constitution, like Unblinking, to handle change, but I know plenty that don't.  So this fellow, who was just trying to do a good thing by saving this woman from murder, is on the horns of a monstrous bull of a dilemma.  Does he wake her or not? 
We are not sure how stable he is, but he's alone and drinks heavily.  Either way, after all the time, imagine the anxiety of disappointing this woman. 
The first thing that came to mind for me was my thoughts when my wife was 8 months pregnant with our first child.  It was pretty real that I was going to be a Dad - I would be responsible for another human, I would have a life completely in my hands, and I could mess it up in a huge way by saying or doing something wrong.  I couldn't sleep for days I was so nervous (turns out to be both easier and harder than that, but I only learned that after ;)).

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #35 on: June 04, 2014, 01:56:56 PM »

I find myself hoping, for the narrator's sake, that the excessive background noise was purposeful and intended to allude to the MC's heavy drinking. However, I don't think such was the case. It didn't come across that way, anyway. Shuffling papers, sipping water, smacking lips, sound fading in and out; the whole thing came across as just a poor production. :-\


I think another challenge is that many of these ambient muddy noises were overlapping with the narration rather than during pauses. I turned it radio off at one point to make sure that the car wasn't making odd noises.
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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #36 on: July 21, 2014, 02:58:58 PM »
Not that it has anything to do with anything, but I thought of this episode today when listening to a post human-themed episode of the Stanford Storytelling Project. http://web.stanford.edu/group/storytelling/cgi-bin/joomla/index.php/shows/season-4/441-episode-419-beyond-human.html

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #37 on: August 07, 2014, 04:41:17 PM »
I found this story worked well as a straight-forward meditation on the futility of planning into the future when everything is in such flux. It begs questions about life priorities, about our wish to be in control of our own destiny, but also about loss and failure, and how to cope with it. Not mindblowing in any way, but one that has stayed in my mind longer than the average EP story. The audio was fine, but I guess listening while doing the dishes pretty much camouflaged any recorded ice clinks.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2014, 04:34:47 AM »
I am decidedly NOT a PsuedoPod listener, but I did enjoy the creepy factor here.

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #39 on: July 16, 2019, 06:32:10 PM »
All these years later, (I don't have time to re-listen presently, but) I don't recall either the story or the commentary mentioning that the title of this story is a quote. And I recently found (or re-found, if it is mentioned and I'm just not remembering) where it came from. Listen for it here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/354/mistakes-were-made
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 06:38:42 PM by matweller »

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Re: EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored
« Reply #40 on: September 26, 2019, 04:20:19 AM »
All these years later, (I don't have time to re-listen presently, but) I don't recall either the story or the commentary mentioning that the title of this story is a quote. And I recently found (or re-found, if it is mentioned and I'm just not remembering) where it came from. Listen for it here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/354/mistakes-were-made

Interesting. I never made that connection, either.

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Re: EP695/EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored (Flashback Friday)
« Reply #41 on: October 18, 2019, 01:13:09 AM »
I’m not going to opine on the slurping issue, but I will say that I found this story haunting.  One of my favorites from Escape Pod.