Author Topic: EP132: Sparks in a Cold War  (Read 24286 times)


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Reply #25 on: November 28, 2007, 05:35:46 PM
I was with it, more or less, until the end. I'm not sure I read it as "preachy", though I can understand why others did. Instead, I felt it was simply a stretch. For me, that final epiphany to surrender came out of nowhere, and felt very out of character. Bryer wasn't concerned about the politics until that last couple paragraphs, and he certainly wasn't tired of running or breaking the law(s). The more the narration elaborated on the reasons for Bryer's surrender, the more I felt like I was listening to the end of some other character's story. 

Also, the politics of the planet felt tacked on -- the politics and inter-special tensions were told-not-shown, and as a result, the stakes felt very abstract, especially when compared to the very tangible action, which I did enjoy. It seemed like the story could be stronger, more visceral, personal, and disturbing without the political angle. That, or the politics and tension could take a step into the foreground, and permeate the piece, as in a story like "The Sundial Brigade".

Really enjoyed the planetary and xenomorphic descriptions, though. And reading was quite good.


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Reply #26 on: November 28, 2007, 08:03:48 PM
Bruce Willis as Bryer, yes.... Lucy Liu, Eliza Dushku, and Hilary Swank as the clients

I'd probably watch that.  A few times.  Although I'd vote for Russell Crowe as Bryer.

Even a bad Hollywood interpretation of this story would likely be better to watch than recent summer blockbusters.


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Reply #27 on: November 28, 2007, 09:44:10 PM
Russell Crowe irritates me and Bruce Willis doesn't *sigh*, but what about Matt Damon as Bryer? Rawr.

*cough* Sorry.

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I really loved this episode. It reminded me of Robert Heinlein adventures, like Glory Road or something; good fun gadget-full sci fi stuff with a bit of deadly force. And who doesn't just love an alien sidekick? Political comments aside, this was a fun episode for me.

And yeah, I agree with the 'glider' conclusions; it's just a name of a thing and has less to do with physics than what people want to call it. (Maybe it's actually short for it's real name, power glider or something like that.)
We drive cars. If they flew, what would we call them? Flying cars or some shorter, hipper name? hehe. Glider sounds cool too, and I don't blame the author for using it in this case, however improper a designation.  :)

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Reply #28 on: November 28, 2007, 11:30:49 PM
Did I like this story?
All the characters did exactly what I expected them to as we learned about them.  It didn't surprise me on any level.

But somehow, those are not bad points for this story.  It worked.  It was well written and well executed with a believable conclusion.

Tell this story to kids as a tale of what breaking the rules, covering it up and lying can cause.

Mike---Glasgow.  Scotland.-->


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Reply #29 on: November 30, 2007, 10:21:58 PM
We drive cars. If they flew, what would we call them? Flying cars or some shorter, hipper name?
We'd start out with flying cars as a generic term, which would be shortened to flycars with the next generation, eventually coming to be pronounced like "flickers" because they would also get an increase in speed in conjunction with a hyper-intelligent air traffic routing system that made sure two or more cars would never be in the same place at the same time. Of course, the population would get complacent with the subsequent sudden drop in the frequency of auto accidents, paving the way for pranksters and terrorists to gum up the works and bring the country to a frightened, screeching halt with a few well-placed system hacks and suicidal stunt drivers.

In other news, not a bad story. Not one of my favorites, and my favorite bits were the tech, flora, and fauna rather than any of the story. Perhaps the story would work better in long form, using this version as a plot sketch to work from--I would be satisfied to delve into the many worlds with fantastic denizens and wildlife, and the seedy underworld of illegal hunting expeditions, and the political brouhaha of the barely glossed Alliance. There just wasn't enough space to develop all of that to the fullest extent in the short story.

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Reply #30 on: December 03, 2007, 04:21:58 AM
I really enjoyed this story.
It was perhaps a little too well rounded, but it was a very colorful and entertaining piece of SF.
I couldn't enjoy a story like this every week, unless it was a series, but I think it was a great choice for EP.

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Reply #31 on: December 06, 2007, 01:59:27 PM
I don't mind a story being preachy, as long as it is a well written sermon that is cleverly woven in to the story (ex.Blood of Virgins  I loved the action, adventure, aliens, razor grass (I think I had some of that in Amsterdam once), glider chase, shoot out, everything you could ask for in SF that this story gave.  However the sermon seemed to be all crammed into the ending which left a hint of a meh taste in your mouth. 

But it was entertaining and that is why I come to EP so good job to all.


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Reply #32 on: January 08, 2008, 01:52:58 AM
Short comment on the story proper: I enjoyed it, but I'm apparently easy to please  :P

What I really wanted to mention relates to Eley's comment beforehand about how much he enjoyed "Asimov's" Fantastic Voyage.

In truth, Asimov is no more the author of Fantastic Voyage than Alan Dean Foster is the author of Dark Star or Alien.  The film was first, and the novel was based on the screenplay (actually according to Wikipedia, the release of Asimov's novelization preceded the film's release, but it's still a novelization, not an original novel by Asimov.)

But I can certainly identify; as a kid I enjoyed the book as well (though I came to it the other way 'round, having seen the film first.)

Asimov did write an original sequel to his novelization: Fantastic Voyage II: Destination Brain.  It was in the foreword/preface to this novel that I learned that the earlier work was actually based on the screenplay.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2008, 01:54:43 AM by stePH »

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Reply #33 on: January 13, 2008, 07:46:17 PM
Bryer wasn't concerned about the politics until that last couple paragraphs, and he certainly wasn't tired of running or breaking the law(s). The more the narration elaborated on the reasons for Bryer's surrender, the more I felt like I was listening to the end of some other character's story. 

Oh, exactly. I was going to say that I loved the story right up until the end, when we got this interior monologue info dump. I'm not sure how else this could have been handled so that the reader felt "eased" into his decision to surrender - maybe the author could have added some highlights of his interest in interplanetary politics, or mentioned that he had a friend who worked for the Alliance, or something.

But anyway, overall a good story. Anything that involves tentacles usually gets a thumbs up from me.


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Reply #34 on: September 21, 2010, 04:10:42 PM
This story had a lot of good and a lot of bad.

Most of the good was that I liked the descriptions of the offworld animals and plants, especially the razor grass.  I liked the main character, who did remind me a bit of Mal for most of the story.  The basic idea of illegal off-planet game hunters, and a psycho hunting for sentients is a good one.

The bad:  the female characters were clearly going to try to screw him over so it was just a matter of waiting for it.  The ending came way out of the blue.


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Reply #35 on: July 30, 2021, 04:42:15 PM
A great Sci-Fi adventure story, and well told.  I liked the Bryer character.  He reminded me of the safari guide in Hemmingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber."

Oh, thank goodness, I'm not crazy (at least not about this.) I knew there was something sort of familiar-seeming about this story, now I know it was reminding me of a radio drama presentation of this Hemmingway!

I did enjoy it, but because I was constantly wondering why the story/main character seemed so familiar, I couldn't get 100% in to it.