Author Topic: EP285: Jaiden’s Weaver  (Read 21587 times)

SF.Fangirl

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Reply #25 on: March 28, 2011, 11:17:16 PM
I was pleasantly surprised by this story because I thought it was going to be an historical, fantasy which I usually dislike.  Instead it was a sweet and heartwarming sci fi story.  Sure the plot was simplisitic and we probably all saw the end coming (at least the story acknowledged the cliche), but I enjoyed it alot.

I acknowledge that I am a sci fi fan.  The alien setting added to my enjoyment and perhaps made my enjoyment.  Without it, I certainly would not have encountered a historical short story about a girl and her horse/pet.



Gamercow

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Reply #26 on: March 29, 2011, 12:26:31 AM
Skeptical cow was skeptical going into this story, as I don't like horse and girl stories.  But I really enjoyed this one, and thought that the world building was excellent, with the rings and seasons and futuristic frontier living.  In the end, it really gave me the warm and fuzzies.

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


Devoted135

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Reply #27 on: March 29, 2011, 03:51:16 PM
Wow, I loved this one so much! I'm not generally ok with spiders, but somehow the descriptions managed to make Kali cute enough for me to get over my initial creepy factor. And the relationship between Jaiden and Kali! Makes me so happy inside. :)

FWIW, I thought the "genre stuff" added to the story. All the tech was simple enough that it didn't cause either confusion or excess explanations to get in the way of the narrative. At the same time, it added to my sense of wonder, which helped me to channel my inner little girl and remember what it was like to throw myself into something the way that Jaiden does.



Listener

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Reply #28 on: March 29, 2011, 08:17:31 PM
I wasn't sure at first that this would be a story aimed at a younger audience until the MC started saving her money to buy her own spider.

As a YA (or "girl who wants her very own horse") story, it was pretty good. The worldbuilding was well-done. But I see where others have said "it's just SF thrown on top of an existing plot".

I think there's a difference between just throwing SF on a well-used plot and writing an SF story that draws from existing story archetypes. Star Trek was sold as "Wagon Train to the Stars", but it became more than the sum of its parts (about 50% of the time, anyway). I'm not sure that this story is capable of becoming more than the sum of its parts -- pretty as those parts were.

I was also rather amused that the name chosen for the MC was "Jaiden". I've discussed in the past (perhaps on this forum, perhaps on another) about the use of "nontraditional" names (as opposed to, say, Jenny or Alice or Sarah). We didn't meet any of Jaiden's friends, so I'm not sure what her other friends might be called (though I bet there's an Aiden, a Xander, and one or more girls whose names start with K and include at least one A, one Y, and one N). Also, while the story wouldn't have benefited from this expansion, I am rather interested in knowing more about Jaiden's contemporaries.

The reading was fine. Easy to listen to while walking.

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jenfullmoon

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Reply #29 on: March 29, 2011, 09:24:53 PM
And I wanted a teddy bear spider to go, please! I blame oxytocin. Bastard hormone scuppers us every time!

Me too!

I don't give a crap about "a girl and her horse." The best part of it to me was that Kali managed to solve her own problem. You go, girl! I don't recall any horse story where a horse kept on riding minus a leg...



Mary Robinette Kowal

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Reply #30 on: March 29, 2011, 10:14:22 PM
I always love reading the comments of Escape Pod listeners.  I usually wait for a couple of days before chiming in because I don't want to influence the discussion too much.

First of all I wanted to say that tinygaia nailed it.
... I kept thinking "This is Where the Red Fern Grows as SF."
This is exactly what I wrote, ripping the plot structure pretty much directly from one of my favorite childhood books. Except I gave it a happy ending. And teddy bear spiders.

The decision to revisit "Where the Red Fern Grows," came from the idea that moving to a new planet wouldn't change the sort of frustrations that a frontier child would face.  Kids are always going to want things that they can't have, no matter how far into the future we go.

The other seed of this was the planet. I'd had the idea to do "Where the Red Fern Grows in space!" for a while before tackling it.  I wrote this while at the LaunchPad Writer's Workshop, which is a NASA funded workshop to teach astronomy to SF writers and encourage science literacy.  During the discussion of ringed planets, I became fascinated with the idea of what life on the surface would be like. The rest of the story came from that point.



Unblinking

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Reply #31 on: March 30, 2011, 01:42:15 PM
I don't recall any horse story where a horse kept on riding minus a leg...

I'm pretty sure that would be physically impossible, while a 7 legged spider isn't really at much disadvantage (except for the weaving thing).  There have been stories (the movie Dreamer for one)  where a horse was considered lame and was planned to be euthanized, was saved by a little girl who loved it, and eventually became a racehorse.   Since spiders can move minus one leg it made sense to just remove one instead of making it lame.




matweller

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Reply #32 on: March 30, 2011, 01:45:41 PM
I endorse the addition of spiders to almost all of the classics. I request your next projects to be Moby Dick and Silas Marner. Both would be 10,000% more meaningful if reduced to 10,000 words and infused with arachnids.



matweller

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Reply #33 on: March 30, 2011, 01:48:34 PM
I don't recall any horse story where a horse kept on riding minus a leg...
I'm pretty sure that would be physically impossible, while a 7 legged spider isn't really at much disadvantage (except for the weaving thing).  There have been stories (the movie Dreamer for one)  where a horse was considered lame and was planned to be euthanized, was saved by a little girl who loved it, and eventually became a racehorse.   Since spiders can move minus one leg it made sense to just remove one instead of making it lame.
But there are 3-legged dogs and cats all over the place that live almost completely normal lives. And they're funny to watch, so they spread joy! Imagine that taken to horse size! Yay!

. o O ( Oh Limpypusss, how I miss your antics...)



Devoted135

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Reply #34 on: March 30, 2011, 01:50:15 PM
I endorse the addition of spiders to almost all of the classics. I request your next projects to be Moby Dick and Silas Marner. Both would be 10,000% more meaningful if reduced to 10,000 words and infused with arachnids.


Seconded, but only if they are fuzzycute, teddy bear arachnids :)



Dem

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Reply #35 on: March 30, 2011, 01:54:21 PM
I always love reading the comments of Escape Pod listeners.  I usually wait for a couple of days before chiming in because I don't want to influence the discussion too much.

First of all I wanted to say that tinygaia nailed it.
... I kept thinking "This is Where the Red Fern Grows as SF."
This is exactly what I wrote, ripping the plot structure pretty much directly from one of my favorite childhood books. Except I gave it a happy ending. And teddy bear spiders.

The decision to revisit "Where the Red Fern Grows," came from the idea that moving to a new planet wouldn't change the sort of frustrations that a frontier child would face.  Kids are always going to want things that they can't have, no matter how far into the future we go.

The other seed of this was the planet. I'd had the idea to do "Where the Red Fern Grows in space!" for a while before tackling it.  I wrote this while at the LaunchPad Writer's Workshop, which is a NASA funded workshop to teach astronomy to SF writers and encourage science literacy.  During the discussion of ringed planets, I became fascinated with the idea of what life on the surface would be like. The rest of the story came from that point.

Ok, author; we've got fat plush angry birds we can lob at each other, where does this arachnophobe get her hands on a Teddy Bear Spider to help rehabilitate an entire taxonomic group?  ;D

Science is what you do when the funding panel thinks you know what you're doing. Fiction is the same only without the funding.


Gamercow

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Reply #36 on: March 30, 2011, 02:18:22 PM
I wrote this while at the LaunchPad Writer's Workshop, which is a NASA funded workshop to teach astronomy to SF writers and encourage science literacy.  During the discussion of ringed planets, I became fascinated with the idea of what life on the surface would be like. The rest of the story came from that point.

For me, this came across heavily.  I said "Wow, they've got a good handle on what the sky on a ringed planet would be like, they must have done some research" because most writers would get it wrong, making the rings completely opaque. 

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


Unblinking

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Reply #37 on: March 30, 2011, 04:30:11 PM
But there are 3-legged dogs and cats all over the place that live almost completely normal lives. And they're funny to watch, so they spread joy! Imagine that taken to horse size! Yay!

. o O ( Oh Limpypusss, how I miss your antics...)

Did they also have riders?  Even Whiplash the Cowboy Monkey would get sick from that bumpy ride.  :P



DKT

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Reply #38 on: March 30, 2011, 11:00:11 PM
Dear EA, MRK, etc.:

Please bring me a Teddy Bear Spider Egg this Christmas.

I promise to be a good boy!

Dave


Loz

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Reply #39 on: March 31, 2011, 07:32:21 AM

I promise to be a good boy!


Pfffffft. Well, you're no fun any more.



matweller

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Reply #40 on: March 31, 2011, 12:45:37 PM
Dear EA, MRK, etc.:

Please bring me a Teddy Bear Spider Egg this Christmas.

I promise to be a good boy!

Dave
You're in luck, I heard Mur and Santa have an 'understanding'. Some would say 'smuggling arrangement' but I don't quibble.



Mav.Weirdo

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Reply #41 on: March 31, 2011, 02:31:34 PM
Dear EA, MRK, etc.:

Please bring me a Teddy Bear Spider Egg this Christmas.

I promise to be a good boy!

Dave

Like this one


(That is actually a Folkmanis Large Tarantula puppet)
« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 02:35:20 PM by Mav.Weirdo »



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #42 on: March 31, 2011, 03:32:30 PM
For some reason I pictured these creatures as some sort of mixture of a huge tarantula and an Ewok.
I don't know why, but it looks very cute and cuddly in my mind.
Also badass.

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DKT

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Reply #43 on: March 31, 2011, 03:55:40 PM

I promise to be a good boy!


Pfffffft. Well, you're no fun any more.

Well, not this year, at least  ;) Once I've got the teddy bear spider egg, EVERYTHING CHANGES!


blueeyeddevil

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Reply #44 on: April 01, 2011, 11:24:18 AM
While this has all more or less been said already, I would like to add a slight modification to everyone's 'it's a horse book with a non-horse' to 'it's an unusual pet book with a very unusual pet.' This sub-genre, which really flourished in the 50s and 60s, really fits the mold better here. I read a lot of these books, "Owls in the Family" "Rascal" "The Enormous Egg" to name a few that I can remember off the top of my head, and this seemed to fit that mold better, as it also includes the 'creature is injured/damaged somehow' aspect of it as well. It also incorporates a bit of the 'normal pet with magical/special properties' genre that existed in the same time period and after ('Where the Red Fern Grows' is the one that springs instantly to mind for that).

Plus, as someone who is doing a bit of research on horses and horseriding right now, I think the distinction in genre is all the more important.

There is something very specific to horse books, having something to do with the temperment of horses and the strange, usually feminine obsession with them that really creates a specific tenor that is very particular and usually more than a touch turgid.
I have read two different stories about dogs or cats or whathaveyou, and had them be distinctly different in tone. In my experience, horse stories always have the same strange horse-story flavor.

Side note: I hate spiders, though I liked the teddy-bear spiders of the story. That freaking puppet is going to give me nightmares.



acpracht

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Reply #45 on: April 04, 2011, 03:38:05 PM
While this has all more or less been said already, I would like to add a slight modification to everyone's 'it's a horse book with a non-horse' to 'it's an unusual pet book with a very unusual pet.' This sub-genre, which really flourished in the 50s and 60s, really fits the mold better here. I read a lot of these books, "Owls in the Family" "Rascal" "The Enormous Egg" to name a few that I can remember off the top of my head, and this seemed to fit that mold better, as it also includes the 'creature is injured/damaged somehow' aspect of it as well. It also incorporates a bit of the 'normal pet with magical/special properties' genre that existed in the same time period and after ('Where the Red Fern Grows' is the one that springs instantly to mind for that).

Plus, as someone who is doing a bit of research on horses and horseriding right now, I think the distinction in genre is all the more important.

There is something very specific to horse books, having something to do with the temperment of horses and the strange, usually feminine obsession with them that really creates a specific tenor that is very particular and usually more than a touch turgid.
I have read two different stories about dogs or cats or whathaveyou, and had them be distinctly different in tone. In my experience, horse stories always have the same strange horse-story flavor.

Side note: I hate spiders, though I liked the teddy-bear spiders of the story. That freaking puppet is going to give me nightmares.
I remeber "The Enormous Egg"! I really enjoyed that one.



Balu

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Reply #46 on: April 20, 2011, 09:27:40 PM
Ever seen a day room full of people watching this afternoon's Hallmark presentation? Ever seen the way that some of them are eager, even desperate, to tell people where they've seen the featured actors before?

I haven't, and yet still that's exactly the image that springs to mind when reading a lot of these episode comment threads.

Seems a lame form of applause when the actual story itself rocked as hard as this one did. I was listening to this in the office, and I don't mind admitting that I had to turn away and inspect the wall chart for a bit towards the end of this one. It was great to hear something with so much heart.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2011, 09:33:45 PM by Balu »



eytanz

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Reply #47 on: April 21, 2011, 05:57:38 AM
Moderator note: it is natural, when one really likes a story, to express some disappointment when other posters don't seem to like it as much. It's best to suppress that impulse. It's definitely not acceptable to imply that other people are being any less genuine with their responses than oneself.



Balu

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Reply #48 on: April 25, 2011, 01:09:44 AM
The problem is that genuine and asinine aren't mutually exclusive.

Is it too late to change my name to Ed Reardon?



matweller

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Reply #49 on: April 25, 2011, 01:27:08 PM
The problem is that genuine and asinine aren't mutually exclusive.

Is it too late to change my name to Ed Reardon?

They're not mutually exclusive, but the decision of whether or not to be a jerk about it is always a choice.