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Congratulations to the winners of the Podcastle flash fiction contest!

Author Topic: EP155: Tideline  (Read 45746 times)

wintermute

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Reply #25 on: April 26, 2008, 11:12:38 PM
Did anyone else feel that Belvedere sure grew up fast? At the beginning of the story he's just a little boy. But by the end of the story (which I took to last just one summer), he's described as having the beginnings of a beard and the build of a soldier.
I figured that was him getting over the effects of malnutrition, with Chalcedony's nutritional advice.

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williamjamesw

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Reply #26 on: April 26, 2008, 11:31:34 PM
The kid didn't need to be all that old to start growing a beard.  Mine started coming in when I was about 12.

I'll just go back to being silent again now.


mt house

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Reply #27 on: April 27, 2008, 01:00:46 AM
It's Charlotte's Web in another form! I loved it, and I'm not the biggest fan of robot stories. I think the fact that the robot was a "she" helped the story a LOT. I got a LITTLE choked up at the end, but nothing like when Charlotte died. (OOPS, spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't read Charlotte's Web, ha ha)



mt house

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Reply #28 on: April 27, 2008, 01:07:11 AM
oh, and on a completely separate subject, did any one else's universes collide a few weeks ago when they heard Liane Hansen interview Scott Sigler on NPR's weekend morning edition Sunday? WOW, before discovering podcasts, NPR was my audio crack of choice, so hearing those two talking was just bizarre. And Mr. Eley on the drabblecast was a great treat, too. It's like seeing your teacher at the grocery store!



banana989

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Reply #29 on: April 27, 2008, 03:15:08 AM
So um... back to the podcast. Mr Eley mentioned that escape pod didn't win the best science fiction podcast, who did?



Yossarian's grandson

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Reply #30 on: April 27, 2008, 10:05:26 AM
So um... back to the podcast. Mr Eley mentioned that escape pod didn't win the best science fiction podcast, who did?

Good one, I'd forgotten all about that. Indeed, Steve, who could've possibly beaten EP??



Void Munashii

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Reply #31 on: April 27, 2008, 03:39:17 PM
It's Charlotte's Web in another form! I loved it, and I'm not the biggest fan of robot stories. I think the fact that the robot was a "she" helped the story a LOT. I got a LITTLE choked up at the end, but nothing like when Charlotte died. (OOPS, spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't read Charlotte's Web, ha ha)

  I had thought "Charlotte's Web" as well, but I figured it was to do with the voice more than the content. It's interesting to see someone else come up with that as well.

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CGFxColONeill

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Reply #32 on: April 27, 2008, 10:46:55 PM
I liked the story pretty well but I think I would like back story of the robot better than the story itself lol

on a random note did anyone else notice that she was the 42nd member of her platoon?

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Reply #33 on: April 28, 2008, 03:01:19 AM
Great story. I think I freaked out my fellow subway-travelers when I started tearing up at the end.

During the story, my mind's eye kept bringing up beautiful oil paintings of a shore landscape with a boy and his damaged battle-robot walking through the sand.

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SFEley

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Reply #34 on: April 28, 2008, 06:36:11 AM
So um... back to the podcast. Mr Eley mentioned that escape pod didn't win the best science fiction podcast, who did?

Good one, I'd forgotten all about that. Indeed, Steve, who could've possibly beaten EP??

Variant Frequencies.  Took the Parsec Award in the short fiction category in both 2006 and 2007.  No complaints from me: it's a fabulous podcast deserving of honors.  Rick Stringer puts much, much more work into rich sound production than I do, and the stories are top notch.

(Besides.  Given my dates at the award ceremony, I was perfectly happy not getting out of my chair.)  >8->



ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine


DKT

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Reply #35 on: April 28, 2008, 04:05:54 PM
It's Charlotte's Web in another form! I loved it, and I'm not the biggest fan of robot stories. I think the fact that the robot was a "she" helped the story a LOT. I got a LITTLE choked up at the end, but nothing like when Charlotte died. (OOPS, spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't read Charlotte's Web, ha ha)

Not to get too far off topic, but you really should have a link to throw us when you post something like that  ;)

This story...I don't have much to say.  I've listened to it twice now and really loved it.  I loved how the robot (NO idea how to spell her name) was doing what she could to remember the dead, even the ones who could've respected her a bit more.  I really liked her relationship with Belvedere and the way it developed, with her telling him stories.  And although I kind of knew how it was all going to end, it was a very good listen.


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Reply #36 on: April 28, 2008, 06:01:16 PM
Fantastic.



Anarkey

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Reply #37 on: April 28, 2008, 11:21:44 PM
Fantastic.

Yes.  I agree.  Loved this as much as I expected to.  Worked well in audio.  Love the idea that EP runs all the nominees it can get its hands on, even when I don't love the stories. 

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DaveUnique

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Reply #38 on: April 29, 2008, 07:32:08 PM
I liked the story pretty well but I think I would like back story of the robot better than the story itself lol

I believe you can find the back story here: http://escapepod.org/2007/10/04/ep126-the-sweet-sad-love-song-of-fred-and-wilma/

Who knew Wilma ran off to the military?



contra

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Reply #39 on: April 29, 2008, 09:51:42 PM
I liked this story.  I didn't reduce me to tears like some of escape pod has... but I enjoyed it greatly and will be keeping it to listen to it again.

It was the classic end of the world story where a teacher meets someone who is only just surviving and tells them how to live, not just survive.  And I like to think that through this machine the human race carried on.  Not just biologically; our humanity itself survived due to this machine we created to kill.  Though what was potentially one of the causes of our own destruction, we are given a second chance.

I'd like to see what happened in 50 years in this universe.  Though I know that would spoil the story... as then we know what happened next... but I can dream.


In a personal note, I'd like to say how much I appreciate what escape pod does every week ( and with the Hugos and such yearly).  This week there was a deathin the family, and living on my own and other factors (people worrying about me in general and such), I didn't find out for 4 days.  I was hit pretty hard by it as I felt blindsided by it; the funeral is tomorrow.  When something like this happens you feel like there is nothing else out there, and that this is it.  It makes us think life could end anytime, and there may not be a tomorrow. 
Then at work yesterday, while on my lunch break,  my playlist moves on, advert and I hear the intro music play.  I smile a little thinking that I don't know if I'm in the mood for a sci fi story fight now, but I'd give it a chance.  Then you said it was a Hugo, and I realised things go on. I enjoyed the story, and the escapeism is gave me.  For a while I'm taken to the end of the world with a robot teaching a human, and I enjoyed it.  For a while I smiled.  Thank you.

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RandyNose

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Reply #40 on: April 30, 2008, 03:30:28 AM
First. I just loved Tideline. Sorta wished that the kid had figured out a way to fix her leg, rust etc, and get her off the beach...

Second, I've listed to a couple of the Variant Frequencies episodes, and found some of the sounds to be very annoying and distracting, and didn't finish the stories, and removed them from my podcatcher.  - Not that I don't like an audio drama, but to many bells and whistles and flashing lights, forget it.

To paraphrase what one of the things you and your wife wanted to teach Alex about life was that Game Play wins over graphics. (I think that the Wii proves it)

The same holds true here. You won't overhear someone say, "oh yea, that's a great podcast, they have great sound effects". You'll hear them recall the STORY or the information. Sure, you might recognize that they put work into good production, as you know from experience what it takes, and that's deserving of notice, but honestly. What do we recall? The information, the story. And yea, snazzy effects are nice, but how many movies or video games that had nice visuals but had lousy story lines ever stood the test of time?

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:)

So um... back to the podcast. Mr Eley mentioned that escape pod didn't win the best science fiction podcast, who did?

Good one, I'd forgotten all about that. Indeed, Steve, who could've possibly beaten EP??

Variant Frequencies.  Took the Parsec Award in the short fiction category in both 2006 and 2007.  No complaints from me: it's a fabulous podcast deserving of honors.  Rick Stringer puts much, much more work into rich sound production than I do, and the stories are top notch.





goatkeeper

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Reply #41 on: April 30, 2008, 03:47:45 AM


The same holds true here. You won't overhear someone say, "oh yea, that's a great podcast, they have great sound effects". You'll hear them recall the STORY or the information. Sure, you might recognize that they put work into good production, as you know from experience what it takes, and that's deserving of notice, but honestly. What do we recall? The information, the story. And yea, snazzy effects are nice, but how many movies or video games that had nice visuals but had lousy story lines ever stood the test of time?


So um... back to the podcast. Mr Eley mentioned that escape pod didn't win the best science fiction podcast, who did?

Good one, I'd forgotten all about that. Indeed, Steve, who could've possibly beaten EP??

Variant Frequencies.  Took the Parsec Award in the short fiction category in both 2006 and 2007.  No complaints from me: it's a fabulous podcast deserving of honors.  Rick Stringer puts much, much more work into rich sound production than I do, and the stories are top notch.


I agree completely.  I hope to see Steve tear it up this year- I have a feeling he will...

because of stories like this.... I LOVED this story.  What an atmosphere Bear creates; reminds me of "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy- eerie and sad, yet with a strange and redemptive love that is tragically set to expire.  Wonderful.



Roland

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Reply #42 on: April 30, 2008, 07:22:44 PM
I really enjoyed this story, my only complaint would be the voice effect made it very hard to understand sometimes.
After a couple of stories recently that were not really to my tastes this was right back on form.
I think sense of duty to remember the dead came across well and the lack of a "twist" ending was a nice change.

Well done.


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Reply #43 on: April 30, 2008, 08:30:16 PM
Just heard it.  Thought it was really very good.    Odd that even an aged war robot would develop feelings though.  Yet it worked here and produced a very touching story

.


Windup

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Reply #44 on: April 30, 2008, 09:09:45 PM
Just heard it.  Thought it was really very good.    Odd that even an aged war robot would develop feelings though.  Yet it worked here and produced a very touching story

.

Actually, I thought the author handled that well.  Without beating us over the head with it, it was made clear that the machine had to function as an integral part of a mixed force of humans and machines.  With that in mind, it makes sense that the AI would have some understanding of human emotions -- she had to be part of the team. 

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Biscuit

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Reply #45 on: April 30, 2008, 09:12:02 PM
Here's an interesting one. I remember reading this story when it ran in Asimovs (or Analog? I can't remember. I read em both, and they're all entangled on my bookshelf). At that time I felt it was a too simple story, with too much sentimentality (something I'm not fond of in SF).

However, read out loud, this story really moved me. Steve's voice really brought it alive.

Maybe some stories are best read out loud. This one certainly benefitted, and it made me realize the intricacies of Bear's writing.

And it got me to thinking - if I ever get round to being a published writer, I can SO hear (in my head) Steve reading my stories.


Original Digga

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Reply #46 on: April 30, 2008, 10:33:02 PM
I very much enjoyed this story.  I chuckled at the "human enemies are soft targets" bit.

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birdless

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Reply #47 on: May 01, 2008, 08:50:06 PM
And I like to think that through this machine the human race carried on.  Not just biologically; our humanity itself survived due to this machine we created to kill.  Though what was potentially one of the causes of our own destruction, we are given a second chance.

I'd like to see what happened in 50 years in this universe.  Though I know that would spoil the story... as then we know what happened next... but I can dream.
Very cool line of thought, Contra, that a machine we created to destroy actually served to help humanity survive. And that is a fascinating idea for a broader, novel-length story. I would definitely pick that up if the author chose to develop it so.

In a personal note, I'd like to say how much I appreciate what escape pod does every week ( and with the Hugos and such yearly).  This week there was a deathin the family, and living on my own and other factors (people worrying about me in general and such), I didn't find out for 4 days.  I was hit pretty hard by it as I felt blindsided by it; the funeral is tomorrow.  When something like this happens you feel like there is nothing else out there, and that this is it.  It makes us think life could end anytime, and there may not be a tomorrow. 
Then at work yesterday, while on my lunch break,  my playlist moves on, advert and I hear the intro music play.  I smile a little thinking that I don't know if I'm in the mood for a sci fi story fight now, but I'd give it a chance.  Then you said it was a Hugo, and I realised things go on. I enjoyed the story, and the escapeism is gave me.  For a while I'm taken to the end of the world with a robot teaching a human, and I enjoyed it.  For a while I smiled.  Thank you.
Thanks for sharing that with us, Contra... Hang in there. I don't mean to be trite, and I wished I could say more, but... well, it comes from someone who may not be able to share that particular pain, but who has been going through a lot for a long time. Sometimes hanging on is all we can do. But the bright light at the end of the tunnel isn't always a train.



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Reply #48 on: May 01, 2008, 11:36:00 PM
Wow... great story.  (I wish I hadn't had to wait nearly a week to get a chance to listen to it, but circumstances dictate.)

I was actually glad not to get bogged down in the "back story" of the robot; she was a battle bot, 'nuff said.  The battle was just set dressing; all we needed to know was that one had taken place.  Tideline wasn't about the battle, and if the story isn't about that, the extra detail would be pointless.  At the end of the day, all battles are basically the same; two (or more) sides disagreeing about something, and destroying anything that gets in their way.  Granular details about it would be part of a different story.

I thought the whole concept of a damaged being working to leave a legacy was beautiful; the setting was gorgeous (at least it was in MY imagination)... much better than what I've been reading this week.  :)


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Reply #49 on: May 04, 2008, 09:00:10 AM
I really enjoyed this story.  All too often war robots drive a plot along by continuing to fight wars that are long over.  It's refreshing to see a robot who wants to create closure after a war.  I like to think that if her consciousness could somehow be sent back in time and installed in her fresh off the assembly line body, she would be a conscientious objector.