Author Topic: EP478: People of the Shell  (Read 16849 times)

breezy d

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Reply #25 on: February 11, 2015, 09:48:05 PM
It took me awhile to get a grasp on this story. But when I did I really enjoyed it.

I especially loved that people were living in the shell of a giant snail.



tpi

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Reply #26 on: February 12, 2015, 07:33:47 AM
Didn't aliens with compatible proteins and with no lacking amino acids/vitamines/trace elements bother anyone else?


bounceswoosh

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Reply #27 on: February 12, 2015, 10:17:43 AM
Didn't aliens with compatible proteins and with no lacking amino acids/vitamines/trace elements bother anyone else?
Noticed, but it didn't bother me. The whole story had a bit of a golden era of sci fi unreality to it for me.



Unblinking

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Reply #28 on: February 12, 2015, 02:57:33 PM
Didn't aliens with compatible proteins and with no lacking amino acids/vitamines/trace elements bother anyone else?
Noticed, but it didn't bother me. The whole story had a bit of a golden era of sci fi unreality to it for me.

Yeah, I didn't get the sense it was attempting to be scientifically plausible, only interesting speculation.  So, yes you're right, but no it didn't bother me.



MartianHammer

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Reply #29 on: February 13, 2015, 06:57:48 PM
Personally I liked it a lot. Perfect combination of alternate history and apocalypse fiction mixed into a science-fiction margarita. I'VE NEVER in my life thought of the concept of humans as parasites living on a gigantic alien. It shouldn't come as a shock though. I once flew over manhattan on a plane and from a distance it looked like a giant fungus/ulcer on the beautiful green landscape. Not trying to sound like a militant environmentalist but we humans ARE parasites in our own way. This story points it out literally instead of metaphorically like is usually seen. My hat goes off to the writer. Good job sir. As for the ending that everybody is complaining about... I saw it coming and it made me smile and say,"of course they would" to myself. Norm was right about survival being the only thing that matters at the end of the day. ;)



gregbillock

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Reply #30 on: February 14, 2015, 03:11:57 PM
I enjoyed this story. Something that seemed intended to me even before the (abrupt and surprising) final twist was that the flesh of the snail seemed to have some kind of narcotic effect on the humans. It's hard to imagine someone as clear as Eyonga would want to set up her own dictatorship and swear eternal loyalty to the snail. She seems more likely to resent and want to overthrow it. This seemed confirmed by Cyrus' not eating the snail's body.



Chairman Goodchild

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Reply #31 on: February 16, 2015, 08:53:13 AM
Didn't aliens with compatible proteins and with no lacking amino acids/vitamines/trace elements bother anyone else?

I'm agreeing with everyone else here.  Once the story gets to the point where it introduces giant alien snails the size of mountains from other planets, it's science fantasy.  As long as science fantasy doesn't have any pretensions about having its science right, I'm cool with it.  Whereas when a story starts mixing up blatant fantasy science up with a harder science fiction setting, that unleashes an anguished Darth Vader "NOoOOoo!" from me.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2015, 08:55:41 AM by Chairman Goodchild »



Dethst@lker

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Reply #32 on: February 16, 2015, 05:17:01 PM
"Once the story gets to the point where it introduces giant alien snails the size of mountains from other planets, it's science fantasy."

I couldn't disagree more on this point. If anything, the idea of aliens as truly different, in size and structure and purpose, makes it more credable sci-fi to me. How many stories and movies depict aliens as totally anthropomorphic (klingons, vulcans, asari, minbari, etc.) and eating the same food as us, having sex with us, walking around on two legs and wearing clothes and basically being exactly like us?

I found the shell creatures in this story to be mind-blowingly unique, like something that is perhaps ordiniary on its own world, but displaced to Earth through some kind of explosion or collision or whatever, makes them monsters here. Like ants from Earth are just a nuisance here, but if they somehow hitched a ride in a starship and ended up on an alien world, it might be totally monstrous and terrifying the inhabitants there. Anyway, great story and something really different, choosing an entirely original setting (ancient Persia!) with a truly unique alien and the downright nightmare-inducing way that humanity is forced to adapt. That's what sci-fi is supposed to do, instead of just introducing another Deep Space 9 habitat for humans and human-like aliens to chat around a common tavern area.



Chairman Goodchild

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Reply #33 on: February 17, 2015, 02:15:12 PM
"Once the story gets to the point where it introduces giant alien snails the size of mountains from other planets, it's science fantasy."

I couldn't disagree more on this point. If anything, the idea of aliens as truly different, in size and structure and purpose, makes it more credable sci-fi to me.

An alien like this would be crushed under its own weight.  There's just literally no way something that large could move at all, much less eat enough to support its metabolism.  And that's to say nothing of actually having functional organs and the like.

And that's ok.  I don't begrudge it in this story, and I love giant monster flicks.  I don't debate the science in Godzilla, I just enjoy the movie, like I enjoyed this story.  But make no mistake, there's no way anything like these creatures are remotely possible in real life.  Physics doesn't allow for it.



Fenrix

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Reply #34 on: February 18, 2015, 06:25:12 PM
It took me a little to warm up to this story, but once I was in I loved it. This felt nicely pulpy, with some heavy dollops of Clark Ashton Smith's Zothique with some dashes of Howard's chest thumping violence.

There are an awful lot of Pollyannas in this thread. On more than one occasion are we shown how the former kings and emperors did not see their underlings as people. Every that was not them was chattel. So of course they discounted the female priestess. Maybe I've been reading too much in the Dying Earth subgenre, which is filled with terrible people doing terrible things to other terrible people. This story fits comfortably in there, and was awesome.

Another interesting trend I found in this thread is the widespread assumptions regarding the reproduction cycles of the devil beasts. Add this to the analysis that they're destroying the world. This is meta-analysis, while interesting, can't be used to judge the decisions of the different leaders. It may create dramatic irony, but the leaders have no idea what these creatures are, why they are there, and what they are doing. They only know that they can be killed and eaten.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Aristotle

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Reply #35 on: February 26, 2015, 01:26:57 PM
I loved the story despite it being such a doomsayer



c210344

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Reply #36 on: February 28, 2015, 10:51:11 AM
Hello all, I'm new to Escape Pod but very old to Pseudopod, just thought I'd try some of the episodes.
I LOVED this one, giant monsters with people living inside them, chopping bits off them to eat! Didn't see the ending as "cheating" or anything like that, definitely a suprise though.



Fenrix

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Reply #37 on: March 01, 2015, 03:50:22 PM

Hello all, I'm new to Escape Pod but very old to Pseudopod, just thought I'd try some of the episodes.
I LOVED this one, giant monsters with people living inside them, chopping bits off them to eat! Didn't see the ending as "cheating" or anything like that, definitely a suprise though.


Check out this thread as well, for some recommendations of EP stories for PP listeners: http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?topic=6345.0

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Sgarre1

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Reply #38 on: March 01, 2015, 05:44:21 PM
In particular, if you like people living inside giant monsters and consuming them, check out the wonderfully contentious "Our Drunken Tjeng":

http://pseudopod.org/2012/04/06/pseudopod-276-our-drunken-tjeng/



Devoted135

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Reply #39 on: March 02, 2015, 08:42:38 PM
I enjoyed this one, and though I did find the ending abrupt I didn't have the same level of objection that others have raised. For me, it's just sad that the People of the Shell have basically won a pyrrhic  victory since this way of life clearly has a limited time that it will work.



UnfulredJohnson

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Reply #40 on: March 08, 2015, 03:24:04 PM
A classic. Loved it. That is all.



CryptoMe

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Reply #41 on: August 26, 2015, 03:34:06 AM
Okay, living inside a giant snail. Did no one else think of the 1967 Dr. Doolittle movie?




Chairman Goodchild

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Reply #42 on: August 26, 2015, 01:17:35 PM
Okay, living inside a giant snail. Did no one else think of the 1967 Dr. Doolittle movie?



The more appropriate question would be, "Did no one else see the 1967 Dr. Doolittle movie?" and the answer would be yes. 



CryptoMe

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Reply #43 on: August 28, 2015, 05:21:18 AM
Is that a "Yes, no one saw the movie" or "Yes people did see the movie"? Not clear on that here....



Devoted135

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Reply #44 on: August 31, 2015, 03:42:13 PM
Aw, I heart that movie so much! :D