Author Topic: EP573: Whatever Tower, However High  (Read 5215 times)


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on: April 28, 2017, 03:08:25 PM
EP573: Whatever Tower, However High

AUTHOR: Julia K. Patt
NARRATOR: Logan Waterman
HOST: Tina Connolly


It is my 567th day inside. But I’m not really counting.

Outside, Leo and Maurizio sit by the front steps of the house playing 3D chess. Not far from them, Antonia tinkers with her latest project, which looks for all the world like a wheelchair with exhaust pipes. Our landlady, Miss Penny, hunkers on the stoop with a cigarette in one hand and her morning coffee in the other, trading talk with whoever passes by and calling out the morning news and crossword clues in a jumble. I’m not sure if the Prime Minister of New Slovakia is a headline or the answer to five across.

More than a year and a half ago, I passed a similar scene as I exited the cab with my duffle of possessions. The last time any of them saw my face, even though I have seen theirs most days since then. I have eyes and ears all over the city, but unlike most people, my neighbors know I’m watching.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 10:48:10 PM by eytanz »


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Reply #1 on: May 04, 2017, 04:19:42 AM
I thought this was an interesting listen.  It left me wanting to hear more, another episode, what happens next?  So, I think in that respect, it's successful in drawing me in and making me ask questions, curious as to if there will be more.

Failure is an event, not a person.


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Reply #2 on: May 04, 2017, 02:49:08 PM
So touching, I sympathized so much as someone with mental illness. Sometimes all the horrible things you've been through can be used for a good deed.

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


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Reply #3 on: May 09, 2017, 01:49:46 PM
I freaking loved this story.  My favorite thing was how everyone in this story took care of each other: the eccentric (somewhat grumpy?) neighbors on the stoop, the hospital volunteer turned friend, and even the strangers watching each other on the internet used their powers to take care of each other.  I was also so delighted that even in this small story, the author made room to put in a tiny queer romance. This was a well-rounded world full of diverse and interesting people.  Does Miss Penny have an apartment available for rent?  I'd like to move in.


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Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 12:34:36 AM
Sorry, I can't comment because of my happy tears. *sniffle* agree with the mental illness aspect. Maybe we can come back.

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


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Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 11:44:36 AM
Loved it.  A true neighborhood like I wish mine was.  Some realities of PTSD.  The courage to step out of the comfort zone.  The wild crazy ride to the rescue.  Connecting to a complete stranger because she's "family".  And the awkward first kiss.  What's not to love?

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." A.Einstein


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Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 02:56:17 PM
I was also so delighted that even in this small story, the author made room to put in a tiny queer romance.
I'm really with you on this point, Dragon.
I love seeing diversity in science fiction. I do occasionally have a beef with queer s/f in that some of the stories just whack the reader/listener over the head with it:
"This person is queer! Pay attention to it!"
I appreciate that here, the main character is gay, yes. But the story is not about him being gay. Rather, it's just a fact about the character. Not an inconsequential fact, but just one aspect of a well-rounded character. I think it leads to much better storytelling.


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Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 04:19:13 PM
I didn't really connect with the story... Cyber security, tracking people, just not my kind of thing.
the protagonist being gay didn't help, I could not identify as him. (but that is my fault, not the story's)

Narration was good


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Reply #8 on: November 23, 2017, 03:51:05 AM
This story has a well-developed protagonist character who is interesting because his PTSD was caused by being jacked in as a combatant in cyber warfare. It would be interesting to learn more about the engagements that left him so scarred. The robotic dog used as a trace was another idea that would be worth exploring further. The camaraderie between the agoraphobic protagonist and his neighbours and the life-affirming climax all made for a good read.

It's not the's the glory of the ride.


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Reply #9 on: December 06, 2017, 04:34:01 PM
I liked the story, too. The neighbourhood sense of community was awesome! We should all have neighbours like that.
I particularly like the fact that the MC had PTSD from a deployment that basically consisted of sitting at a computer. It's wonderful that this job, which is relatively risk-free in terms of personal physical harm (unlike a boots-on-the-ground soldier), was still recognized as being able to produce PTSD.