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Author Topic: EP651/EP105: Impossible Dreams  (Read 34143 times)
radiodan
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2007, 01:05:54 PM »

Just a really good story and really well told. I think it would easily be among the top 3 escape pod stories of all time (I've been listening since a few months of it's start). I have to say I expected a darker ending when it was mentioned that the US had to have a land war with Japan, that no Atomic weapons were dropped then. That has so many implications both good and bad my mind boggles. Please keep up the tremendous work!
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Zathras
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2007, 01:15:40 PM »

I have enjoyed this story, but find the effusive praise a bit puzzling.   

I agree.  I thought the story was good, not great like many of the recent stories have been.  Loved madjo's comment about a good "I, Robot".  Why does Hollywood always have to take good sci-fi and ruin it by adding a buncy of "shoot-em-up" or chase scenes?   Or worse yet, just making crap sci-fi based on cool concepts like "A Sound of Thunder".  Ouch. 

Can't wait to here the rest of the nominees!
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contra
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2007, 03:00:39 PM »

Ok.  I haven't posted... well it too many weeks

MP3 player broke... and its only now my friends got me into WoW that I've started listening again.

I loved this story. Its great.  As opposed to a lot of stories I hear and read, it ended in a natural place.  The idea of him deciding whether to leave everything up for a fantastic journey,but them looking into the realistic implications of it, I liked. 

I liked hte idea of the other universe... and I like the bitterness in the ending that you know he has in the back if his head. of while this girl is here now thanks to him... he will never get to see those damn movies...

Ok.  I have nothing great to add.  just A++.  Will listen to again.
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Lochage
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2007, 03:11:56 PM »

I thought the story was very enjoyable and fun, which is something you can't say for a lot of sci-fi.  It tends to be rather dark and scary and (as was noted in the intro to a previous episode) there is rarely any romance.  This was a nice departure because only good things happened and because the guy and the girl both find a good friend, no baggage atached.  I also really enjoyed the pedantic nature of the protagonists, problems.  No money, then wrong money, then wrong disk: All petty little technical issues that ad up to unbearable anguish for the film buff.  It was good, fun humor.

To me, the inclusion of all the film esoteria was a strength: It really built the character, who knows and cares about all this stuff that the average person would never think once about.  I also thought it was quite insightful how it was possible to infer the altered history of the parallel world from the movies on its shelf.

I also liked that the story wasn't about sex.  Even when there is romance (in any media) it usually consists of the characters hopping in and out of bed with some commentary about how great they look without any clothes on.  In this, the romance is cerebral and emotional: The boy and girl empathize.  They care about the same things.  They have the same passions, and that is the basis of their attraction, not just petty lust.  In that sense, the romance is gunuine and deep–and healthy.

With so much going for it, I hate to criticize, but here it is: The story had a very shallow concept.  I really liked it, but I think great sci-fi needs to have more conceptual meat.  More "sci-" you might say.

I hope the stories to come are as good as this one was.  Looking forward...
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waiting4oct
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2007, 04:41:00 PM »

I dunno.. maybe I just love star-crossed lovers.  This is my favorite story since Now+n, Now-n.  This one didn't even have a huge plot hole that other people had to point out to me.

Oddly enough during the climax of both stories I was in the same physical place; the vegetable aisle of my local Tesco Metro.  This story actually brought up deja vu!

-w4o
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earlnewton
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2007, 05:33:38 PM »

I am an avid Escape Pod listener, and have rarely found a story I didn't really enjoy.  But "Impossible Dreams" absolutely dropped my jaw.  Beside the fact that the material was treated in a way I've always felt it should be - taking surreal activities and grounding them in reality - the movies on the shelves made my heart explode.  When I heard "Magnificent Ambersons: The Director's Cut" I actually shouted aloud, "What?!"

Everything after that was like a tent revival...Orson Welles' Jason and the Argonauts, Stanley Kubrick's pure vision for A.I....by the time it got to Return of the Jedi by David Lynch, I was shouting "Preach it, brother!"

Beautiful, wonderful story.  And, despite the fact that it WAS a Hollywood ending, I loved it, because along with the candid realism of the protagonist, I really wanted to be told that sometimes life works out better than life does.

Wonderful selection, Steve.
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Josh
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2007, 06:19:20 PM »

Very nice. At the beginning, I was thinking to myself I hope it doesn't turn out to be a regular boring happy ending, but by the time the story was wrapping up, I found myself rooting for the happy ending Tongue, so I was very pleased when it did. I feel that a story's job is to pull its readers in and, regardless of their views going into it, make them believe in the story, even if that means manipulating the way they see the world. In this context, Impossible Dreams did its job very well!
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Heradel
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2007, 02:08:50 AM »

This is why I'm subscribed to this podcast. I have nothing else to add.
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Thaurismunths
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« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2007, 06:46:03 AM »

I dunno.
Didn't seem very SF to me. I mean, really, if you take out the alternate dimension/history angle it's just another romance story set in a disappearing video store! Wink

Ok, I actually REALLY enjoyed this story.
And now I have a whole list of movies to watch (like this dimension's "Magnificent Ambersons") that I've never heard of.
A strong contestant for the Hugo for sure!

But, I wonder, do you think he feels cheated?
Sure, he gets the girl, he won't ever get to see all those movies! Instead, she does.
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RKG
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« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2007, 11:09:01 AM »


Wow.. just wow.

This is easily the best Escape Pod story since Ray Bradbury's "Nightfall" or Larry Niven's "{ Now+N, Now-N }"  from back in February.

 Wink Grin

Seriously - can't say enough good things about this story.  Well done (again) Mr Pratt!   

BTW Steve - My (future) wife and I saw "The Princess Bride" on our first date.  In my top 10 all-time.
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DKT
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« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2007, 11:16:08 AM »

IBut, I wonder, do you think he feels cheated?
Sure, he gets the girl, he won't ever get to see all those movies! Instead, she does.

I did wonder this, too.  Part of me thought maybe she brought her laptop with her and they could watch those 5 movies he'd tried to check out the first night...

But I think it's about his character arc -- he doesn't really care for anyone but himself (generally) in the beginning of this story.  And by the end, he finds himself more concerned about losing her than the movies, so I was good with it. 
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Ragbrat
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« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2007, 11:19:18 AM »

I've never really been one for Science Fiction but I found Escape Pod by accident around November last year and honestly I can't get enough now. This podcast has really opened me up into a new realm of fiction. Thank you Steve.

As for Impossible Dreams; I loved it. I thought the story was fun and it made my drive to work this morning very enjoyable. It got me thinking of the ramifications of something like that actually happening and that has been the best part. I'm still riding on a high of imagination.

And since this is my first time poking my nose (and writing) into the forums, I will end here.
And of course, say thank you again to Steve for Escape Pod - the days I get to listen to the stories are the days I don't hate my commute to work.

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SFEley
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« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2007, 11:27:11 AM »

But, I wonder, do you think he feels cheated?
Sure, he gets the girl, he won't ever get to see all those movies! Instead, she does.

True, but she remembers them all.

For at least a couple of years, these two are going to have the best pillow talk in the history of Earth.
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ClintMemo
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« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2007, 12:26:09 PM »

I really enjoyed this one, partly because I worked in a video store for almost a year back when I was in college. 
Best.
Part-time Job.
Evar.

I thought it was cool that he judged a video store by their classics section.  We used to do the same thing.  Smiley
Sadly, those movies almost never rented.  Usually, once a movie left the "new release" wall, it became decoration.  The only exception was "9 1/2 weeks."  We had two copies and they both rented every weekend.  I guess sex really does sell. Tongue
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RKG
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« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2007, 01:31:48 PM »

But I think it's about his character arc -- he doesn't really care for anyone but himself (generally) in the beginning of this story.  And by the end, he finds himself more concerned about losing her than the movies, so I was good with it. 

That was my take.  Through the course of the story he finds that the "sharing" part of a shared interest is more important than the "interest" part.

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sayeth
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« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2007, 06:57:50 PM »

Great story!

Was anybody else reminded of the Library of Dreams from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics? The Library of Dreams is a massive library made up of books that authors dreamed but never wrote. In the background of the comics you can see books like The Lost Road by JRR Tolkien, The Man Who Was October by GK Chesterton, The Conscience of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, and Psmith and Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse.  I've always loved this concept, and I wonder if it was a source of inspiration for Mr. Pratt's story.
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SFEley
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« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2007, 08:48:43 AM »

BTW Steve - My (future) wife and I saw "The Princess Bride" on our first date.  In my top 10 all-time.

Wow.  You got off to a great start.  >8->  

My best wishes to both of you in your upcoming mawwiage.  ("For wove...  Twue wove...")
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RKG
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« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2007, 11:32:09 AM »

BTW Steve - My (future) wife and I saw "The Princess Bride" on our first date.  In my top 10 all-time.

Wow.  You got off to a great start.  >8-> 

My best wishes to both of you in your upcoming mawwiage.  ("For wove...  Twue wove...")

Oops - I see now that the word "(future)" is completely unnecessary and misleading in that sentence (where is a good editor when you need one?).

Yes we did get off to a great start and have been happily married for a while now (and we watch PB at least once a year).

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SFEley
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« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2007, 11:39:19 AM »

Yes we did get off to a great start and have been happily married for a while now (and we watch PB at least once a year).

Even better.

Looking at all filmmaking factors, I'm not totally sure I would put The Princess Bride in the top 2 or 3 best-made movies I've ever seen; but it's easily my favorite screenplay.  It's wonderfully written, and succeeds perfectly at what it intended.  It doesn't have to be "the best" for me to like it best.
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Biscuit
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« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2007, 04:10:28 PM »

mawwiage.  ("For wove...  Twue wove...")

 Grin I had a friend read that scene at my wedding.

On the story:

Sweet and whimsical
A plethora of what-ifs
and may bes
Quiet smile
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