Author Topic: EP768: Balancing the Equation  (Read 1314 times)


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on: June 24, 2021, 09:17:35 PM
Escape Pod 768: Balancing the Equation

January 21, 2021
Author : Justin C. Key
Narrator : Laurice White
Host : Jay Bhat
Audio Producer : Summer Brooks


I don't understand this story.

I understand the horror of loosing a child, especially in such a sudden, tragic way. I understand the mother's despair and desire to "fix" this in any way. But I don't understand how travelling through a black hole will time travel her to before the accident. And I don't understand the visions she was having of her son on the ship before that. Was she hallucinating? Does this mean the scene with her son after the black hole is simply her dying brain spasming as she is pulled apart? None of it made sense to me.

Also, I don't understand how the horror of the entire human race dying out is glossed over so casually.

« Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 11:14:24 PM by divs »

Álex Souza

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Reply #1 on: June 25, 2021, 12:09:31 PM
Gee, it's been a while since I read this, so I don't remember it with detail. But the main theme of the story is motherhood. A mother would do anything to save her child, even go back in time. In real life, there are several accountings of mothers lifting cars to pull their babies out after traffic accidents (I guess adrenaline does that). In Balancing the Equation, the author spices it up with some racial themes.

I guess you felt confused with the black hole because you were expecting a plausible, scientific answer to the story's problem. Maybe you were looking for hard science, but that doesn't seem to be what the author was aiming for. Instead, she aimed to tell the story of a black mother saving her child, and used soft science to do that. And she was right, for using hard science would attract too much attention to the science and not to story's theme, and it would occupy much more space. Soft magic, on the other hand, is often used for metaphores and symbolism, and it doesn't need to be further explained nor fully understood in order to work.

I don't recall the visions and the horror of the entire human race dying out, but I'd say that's the dimensions and timelines intermingling as the MC was messing them up. Also, haven't you heard that, if you find yourself from another timeline and get in contact, that would create a paradox that would destroy the whole universe?

I just wanna go pro before AI takes over and the bot dogs from Boston Dynamics kill us all.


  • Hipparch
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Reply #2 on: August 30, 2021, 03:01:59 PM
 Wow, Álex Souza!! You seem to have read a completely different story than I did here. Not sure I agree with all your interpretations and assessments, since they are so way off what I thought I had read, but they certainly give me new things to think about and chew on. I may even go back and review the story again to see what I can get from it with this new insight. Thanks.