Author Topic: EP056: The Clockwork Atom Bomb  (Read 4792 times)

Swamp

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on: October 15, 2009, 06:02:38 AM
EP056: The Clockwork Atom Bomb

By Dominic Green.
Read by Dr. Jonathon Sullivan.

The wind in here was deafening. The girl had to shout. “THERE IS MORE THAN ONE IN HERE. THEY LIVE IN THE MACHINES. THE GOVERNMENT MADE THE MACHINES, BUT NOT WITH TECHNICIANS AND ELECTRICIANS. WITH SORCERY.”

The machines did not look made by sorcery. They were entirely silent, looking like rows of gigantic, rusted steel chess pawns twice the height of a man, with no pipes or wires entering or leaving them, apparently sitting here unused for any purpose. Mativi felt an urgent, entirely rational need to be in an another line of employment.


Rated R. Contains profanity and some violence.


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Scattercat

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Reply #1 on: October 15, 2009, 07:45:16 PM
This one scared me way, way more than anything on Pseudopod.  Not dissin' the PP, 'cause it's still my favorite of the three, but I'm just sayin'...



jrderego

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Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 08:03:05 PM
This one scared me way, way more than anything on Pseudopod.  Not dissin' the PP, 'cause it's still my favorite of the three, but I'm just sayin'...

I really liked this one too. This was my favorite of the Hugo stories in this group.

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Unblinking

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Reply #3 on: February 01, 2010, 02:43:09 PM
Didn't care for this one.  It seems odd, but to me it's typical to like everything that doesn't win awards way more than the stuff that wins.  This one just kept beating me over the head with "if stuff keeps going in the devices, the whole world will be destroyed", after hearing that several times a minute it just got repetitive.



yicheng

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Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 06:15:21 PM
This was one of my all-time EP favorite re-listens.  Flawless reading, and ingenious story.  And you thought non-nuclear-proliferation was hard to enforce...

 
Didn't care for this one.  It seems odd, but to me it's typical to like everything that doesn't win awards way more than the stuff that wins.  This one just kept beating me over the head with "if stuff keeps going in the devices, the whole world will be destroyed", after hearing that several times a minute it just got repetitive.

It wasn't so much stuff going into the device, it's that once something goes into the black hole, you can't ever get it back out.  The black holes are contained inside an electro-magnetic field, designed to hold a certain mass, but as that mass becomes bigger and bigger, it's harder and harder for the EMF to hold it and keep it in place.  Think of spinning a bowling ball on a rope over your head, only the ball is getting bigger and heavier the longer you spin.  At some point (assuming it keeps getting heavier) it'll snap the rope (or break your grip) and goes flying off.



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Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 03:14:12 PM
This was one of my all-time EP favorite re-listens.  Flawless reading, and ingenious story.  And you thought non-nuclear-proliferation was hard to enforce...

 
Didn't care for this one.  It seems odd, but to me it's typical to like everything that doesn't win awards way more than the stuff that wins.  This one just kept beating me over the head with "if stuff keeps going in the devices, the whole world will be destroyed", after hearing that several times a minute it just got repetitive.

It wasn't so much stuff going into the device, it's that once something goes into the black hole, you can't ever get it back out.  The black holes are contained inside an electro-magnetic field, designed to hold a certain mass, but as that mass becomes bigger and bigger, it's harder and harder for the EMF to hold it and keep it in place.  Think of spinning a bowling ball on a rope over your head, only the ball is getting bigger and heavier the longer you spin.  At some point (assuming it keeps getting heavier) it'll snap the rope (or break your grip) and goes flying off.

But it still came down to:  "if stuff keeps going in the devices, the whole world will be destroyed" as far as I can tell.  And it kept on saying that over and over.  And over.



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Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 06:17:25 AM
I think the important point was not, "If this happens, it could destroy the world," so much as "This may already have happened.  Look how easily it almost happened just now.  And we'd never know until it was far, far too late to even save ourselves."  The harping on what might happen isn't scary in itself.  (Also, I don't recall them going on about it overmuch, but I was a little slower to catch on to what was actually going on, as hard SF isn't really my genre.)

It's the old nervousness about nuclear annihilation with an interesting wrinkle to it.



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Reply #7 on: December 16, 2012, 08:21:35 AM
genius story 5 stars