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Author Topic: CoW Ep. 201: Miss Darcy’s First Intergalactic Ballet Class (& Ep 228 Staff Pick)  (Read 1545 times)
danooli
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« on: March 29, 2016, 04:25:52 PM »

Episode 201: Miss Darcy’s First Intergalactic Ballet Class by Dantzel Cherry

(edit: This is also Episode 228, as Associate Editor Alexis Goble’s Staff Pick for 2016!)

• Narrated by M K Hobson
• Audio production by Rikki LaCoste
• Originally published in Galaxy’s Edge (July/August 2015)

By day, Dantzel Cherry teaches pilates and raises her daughter, and by night/naptime she writes. Her baking hours follow no rhyme or reason. She is prone to dance as the need arises, and it often does. Her stories have appeared in Fireside, Galaxy’s Edge, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and other magazines and anthologies. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband, daughter, and requisite cat. Follow her online or on Twitter.

For your narrator we welcome back the fantastic M K Hobson, who has decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such as Podcastle and here at Cast of Wonders. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting. Detailing all of M K’s work in the Escape Artists arena might take longer than the story itself, so we’ve linked to her EA wikia page above, along with her social media links.

Darcy walked up to the gilded starship door and it dissolved, revealing what had to be the gaudiest room in the galaxy. Gold, silver, bronze, and minerals that probably didn't even exist on Earth covered the high ceiling and walls in panels, interlaced throughout with precious stones – and was that tinsel? – depicting who-knows-what. The effect was much like a wild animal had eaten all the jewelry at Tiffany's and then vomited all over the walls.

Click here to listen to Episode 201
Click here to listen to Episode 228
Click here to read the text of the story

Tags: aliens, ballet, Cast of Wonders, children, dance, Dantzel Cherry, expectation, families, learning, M K Hobson, Rikki LaCoste, Science Fiction, siblings, teacher, tinsel, Young Adult fiction
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 12:48:23 PM by danooli » Logged
Ocicat
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 04:07:30 PM »

This never showed up in my podcatcher.  Anyone else have problems?
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danooli
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2016, 05:26:25 AM »

I use BeyondPod, and it is there for me.  Huh
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 09:58:08 AM »

This one was cute and fun.  But, I guess, it seemed a little too straightforward to be super substantial if you get what I mean?  Excellent teacher is hired to teach an unskilled arrogant group of aristocrat children (who happen to be aliens) and succeeds well enough at it.  It seemed a little too easy that the aliens had such good memories to be able to perform the moves in a recital after 45 minutes of instruction when they don't even have the number of limbs the instructor is used to directing. 

Maybe I'm just projecting my own kinesthetic ineptitude wherein I could take a year of ballet classes and probably be less impressive then these beginner aliens were supposed to have been. 
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danooli
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 11:05:15 AM »

This one was cute and fun.  But, I guess, it seemed a little too straightforward to be super substantial if you get what I mean?  Excellent teacher is hired to teach an unskilled arrogant group of aristocrat children (who happen to be aliens) and succeeds well enough at it.  It seemed a little too easy that the aliens had such good memories to be able to perform the moves in a recital after 45 minutes of instruction when they don't even have the number of limbs the instructor is used to directing. 

Maybe I'm just projecting my own kinesthetic ineptitude wherein I could take a year of ballet classes and probably be less impressive then these beginner aliens were supposed to have been. 

I was willing to  believe that the time spent watching ballet on TV helped the dancers remember the steps. But, that's just me.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 08:43:09 AM »

This one was cute and fun.  But, I guess, it seemed a little too straightforward to be super substantial if you get what I mean?  Excellent teacher is hired to teach an unskilled arrogant group of aristocrat children (who happen to be aliens) and succeeds well enough at it.  It seemed a little too easy that the aliens had such good memories to be able to perform the moves in a recital after 45 minutes of instruction when they don't even have the number of limbs the instructor is used to directing. 

Maybe I'm just projecting my own kinesthetic ineptitude wherein I could take a year of ballet classes and probably be less impressive then these beginner aliens were supposed to have been. 

I was willing to  believe that the time spent watching ballet on TV helped the dancers remember the steps. But, that's just me.

I guess it's not so much that I find it implausible, after all who knows what non-human abilities are, but that it made the story too easy. Although I guess she didn't actually meet the requirement so I guess not too easy, exactly, but she did as much as anyone possibly could have and didn't meet the requirement.

The two main sources of tension in the story were:
--teaching a bunch of non-human-shaped young ones from another planet.  But they learned remarkably well with only slight modifications to her usual techniques.
-- The threat of humanity's destruction if she didn't teach them everything she knows in 1 hour.  But she didn't meet that absurd requirement and everything was still okay.
I guess it seemed like she was set up with a challenge she couldn't meet with the promise apocalyptic consequences.  She didn't meet the unmeetable challenge, but the consequences never happened.  Seemed like a bit of a copout I guess?
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Dantzel
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« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2016, 11:48:34 AM »

Ha. Interesting point, David. I'd intended the 'beautiful performance' to be impressive, yes... for precocious toddlers, with parents who don't really know the difference.

That's not to discount your points, though. I think they're fair arguments, and though it may not always work, they're something I'll keep in mind when I write future silly stories like this. Because who doesn't like checking off ALL the 'elements of a successful story' boxes?
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2016, 04:10:12 PM »

Ha. Interesting point, David. I'd intended the 'beautiful performance' to be impressive, yes... for precocious toddlers, with parents who don't really know the difference.

That's not to discount your points, though. I think they're fair arguments, and though it may not always work, they're something I'll keep in mind when I write future silly stories like this. Because who doesn't like checking off ALL the 'elements of a successful story' boxes?

Oh, I wouldn't put too much credence in one person's opinion, especially about a humor story.  Humor is one of the trickiest things to write because each person's reaction can be very narrow in ways they can't even explain.  And I get some laughs out of it, so it didn't even miss on the humor level.  And I've written humor stories for which I would say the same thing I've said here.  *shrug*  Smiley
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Dantzel
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2016, 01:27:19 PM »

Exactly all of the above.  Smiley
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Devoted135
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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2016, 03:02:05 PM »

This one was cute! I'd argue that it wasn't the lack of consequences at the end that was slightly jarring. Actually, the ending fit the overall tone very well. For me, it was the initial stakes being so high that seemed out of step with the rest of the story. BUT, I really enjoyed it. My favorite part was her continued exasperation at both the parents and the students. Her sarcastic commentary made the story for me. Oh! And the talking cat. Smiley
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