Author Topic: EP397: A Gun for Dinosaur  (Read 25468 times)

eytanz

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on: May 24, 2013, 06:38:52 AM
EP397: A Gun for Dinosaur

By L. Sprague de Camp

Read by Ayoub Khote

--

No, I’m sorry, Mr. Seligman, but I can’t take you hunting Late Mesozoic dinosaur.
Yes, I know what the advertisement says.
Why not? How much d’you weigh? A hundred and thirty? Let’s see; that’s under ten stone, which is my lower limit.
I could take you to other periods, you know. I’ll take you to any period in the Cenozoic. I’ll get you a shot at an entelodont or a uintathere. They’ve got fine heads.
I’ll even stretch a point and take you to the Pleistocene, where you can try for one of the mammoths or the mastodon.
I’ll take you back to the Triassic where you can shoot one of the smaller ancestral dinosaurs. But I will jolly well not take you to the Jurassic or Cretaceous. You’re just too small.
What’s your size got to do with it? Look here, old boy, what did you think you were going to shoot your dinosaur with?
Oh, you hadn’t thought, eh?
Well, sit there a minute . . . Here you are: my own private gun for that work, a Continental .600. Does look like a shotgun, doesn’t it? But it’s rifled, as you can see by looking through the barrels. Shoots a pair of .600 Nitro Express cartridges the size of bananas; weighs fourteen and a half pounds and has a muzzle energy of over seven thousand foot-pounds. Costs fourteen hundred and fifty dollars. Lot of money for a gun, what?
I have some spares I rent to the sahibs. Designed for knocking down elephant. Not just wounding them, knocking them base-over-apex. That’s why they don’t make guns like this in America, though I suppose they will if hunting parties keep going back in time.
Now, I’ve been guiding hunting parties for twenty years. Guided ‘em in Africa until the game gave out there except on the preserves. And all that time I’ve never known a man your size who could handle the six-nought-nought. It knocks ‘em over, and even when they stay on their feet they get so scared of the bloody cannon after a few shots that they flinch. And they find the gun too heavy to drag around rough Mesozoic country. Wears ‘em out.
It’s true that lots of people have killed elephant with lighter guns: the .500, .475, and .465 doubles, for instance, or even the .375 magnum repeaters. The difference is, with a .375 you have to hit something vital, preferably the heart, and can’t depend on simple shock power.
An elephant weighs—let’s see—four to six tons. You’re proposing to shoot reptiles weighing two or three times as much as an elephant and with much greater tenacity of life. That’s why the syndicate decided to take no more people dinosaur hunting unless they could handle the .600. We learned the hard way, as you Americans say. There were some unfortunate incidents . . .
I’ll tell you, Mr. Seligman. It’s after seventeen-hundred. Time I closed the office. Why don’t we stop at the bar on our way out while I tell you the story?


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!



Thunderscreech

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Reply #1 on: May 24, 2013, 03:00:20 PM
I'm having difficulty understanding the dialog.  I found a copy of the story online to help decipher words I couldn't make out and suggest that anyone else with similar problems just google the title of the story & author and the first page of results will have what you need.



matweller

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Reply #2 on: May 24, 2013, 03:23:58 PM
...or just look at the post for the episode on our site: http://escapepod.org/2013/05/24/ep397-a-gun-for-dinosaur/



Thunderscreech

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Reply #3 on: May 24, 2013, 03:26:23 PM
That's great!  Thank you, I didn't realize those were posted. 



schizoTypal

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Reply #4 on: May 24, 2013, 09:02:27 PM
Because I listened to the X Minus One episode from 03/07/1956 just yesterday, it's still quite clear in my mind ... the story is the same, but the method of telling it is very much different. I can't make a direct comparison as to quality, as I said they are entirely different. The reading recorded in 1956 is in the style of a radio drama, as one would expect of Dimension X or X Minus One. Somewhat similar to The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. This, however, is a reading of a story. It's as though I was just yesterday going along on this time safari, and today, I'm being told the story of it from the vantage point of the man himself, half a century later.

I do have one very large problem with this particular recording ... not to be rude, but was this listened to by an editor at all? There are a number of false-start sentences with a pause and a second reading. It's very jarring, and takes you right out of the story. I don't fault the narrator, but it seems these should properly have been edited out!
« Last Edit: May 24, 2013, 09:20:18 PM by schizoTypal »



matweller

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Reply #5 on: May 24, 2013, 09:30:58 PM
I will be re-listening and fixing tonight. I can assure you that I spent a long time combing through this file -- it's the reason it posted a whole day later than normal. It's not impossible, though, that somehow the wrong file got mixed in or something.

Thank you for your patience and your overly diplomatic manner.



schizoTypal

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Reply #6 on: May 24, 2013, 09:34:46 PM
I've given the 1956 radio play another listen, and then this a second listen ... and really, they compliment one another just perfectly. I love it!



silber

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Reply #7 on: May 24, 2013, 11:28:08 PM
Dang, Escapepod classic comin' on back!  I've always heard this story referenced in nerd circles.  Loved it. 



Just Jeff

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Reply #8 on: May 25, 2013, 01:33:00 AM
I think this story is too long, and it's much too long for the framing story. Took a long time to get into or care about, but I enjoyed the second half.



InfiniteMonkey

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Reply #9 on: May 25, 2013, 01:58:05 AM
I too had a problem with understanding the narration, at first. And I don't usually have that problem. I have no trouble understanding Alisdair, for instance. I was wondering if the narrator was daunted by the length of the story, and took it as a dead run. It wasn't really a problem with the accent (it's quite a nice accent, really, and he was even better as a mad Scot in the companion sampler) just that he seemed to be reading too fast.

Which made me wonder... do you at Escape Artists ever speed up a narration electronically in post production for time constraints?

Otherwise it was nice story. Curious to see how its aged. Some of the science is current (the debate about T-Rex the carrion eater rages on) but some not (the whole sarupod in a swamp thing has pretty much been shown to be physically impossible). Also curious to see how humanity has changed. The character of the Big Game Hunter hasn't much lasted into the 21st century. Just the game. Well, for the moment.  >:(

If I have a problem with the story, it's the idea that Time is somehow conscious of the possibility of paradox, stoping travel to eras where humans could create paradoxes. How would Time know? It struck me as an awful lot like ascribing motive and awareness to the universe.

Otherwise, I really liked it.



matweller

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Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 03:26:17 AM
The revised file is now loaded. I had a problem with the file during the original edit that I thought was resolved. The two parts in there that seemed to be missed edits were casualties of my file not recovering as completely as it should have. I apologize. Sometimes I do completely blow edits, this time I had digital help.

Which made me wonder... do you at Escape Artists ever speed up a narration electronically in post production for time constraints?
I don't. I'm more concerned with file size than time (podcasters obsess WAY too much about time), but even then we'd have to cap 3 hours before I ran into trouble, and we'll never do that.

What you sensed was a Ayoub finding his stride. I was apprehensive when I first heard the reading, but I think about 5 minutes in he gets more comfortable and finds a better pace. I hemmed & hawed about it until it was too late to have him re-do the beginning, so the responsibility is mine. It's not as automatic as you may think for a voice actor to do long-form narration (Lord knows my narrations have had ups and downs), but I think overall he did a bang-up job.

If I have a problem with the story, it's the idea that Time is somehow conscious of the possibility of paradox, stoping travel to eras where humans could create paradoxes. How would Time know? It struck me as an awful lot like ascribing motive and awareness to the universe.
It's funny, I'd never heard the idea of "sentient time" until recently and I actually like it better than mutiverses or butterfly effects, mostly because its one of the only ways to return to your world, and really, what's the point of traveling if you can't return to the same place? Sure, it adds a bit of mysticism, but that's true of almost any branch of science that you research far enough.



schizoTypal

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Reply #11 on: May 25, 2013, 08:53:08 AM
I also rather like the idea of sentient time ... at least, for fiction. :)



flintknapper

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Reply #12 on: May 25, 2013, 03:26:03 PM
The story was a bit too long for my tastes as a podcast. However, I thought the story was fun. I had not read the tale before. Big game hunters killing dinosaurs is reminiscent of any number of lost world settings, but the time travel added an interesting twist.

I also thought the narrator was fine. I did not think he was reading to fast and he should be getting kudos. Reading that story was a daunting task.




Windup

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Reply #13 on: May 25, 2013, 06:44:39 PM
I heard the story mainly as a period piece.  A period piece from a great writer in a good period, to be sure, but definitely something from another era -- much like reading Wells or Verne today.   Fun, but a different kind of fun than reading a story written in the current period, and requiring a different set of expectations.

I found the "expectation adjustment" was necessary not only for the technical details -- our understanding of dinosaurs has changed a lot since the story was written -- but also from the standpoint of the story itself.  The narrative device of, "here, let me tell you this long anecdote to justify a decision or illustrate a point" is much less common today than it was in the heyday of Clarke and Asimov, when whole story collections were built around it. 

Also, the long, expository info-dump laying out the "rules" for time travel would probably earn you a bounce from most editors today.  Style changes generally require today's authors to work their world-building in via character reactions and unfolding action, rather than narrating "here, this is how this works."  Consider the difference between how de Camp handles his exposition on time travel in this story and the way Ferrett Steinmetz handles his explanation of how ad faeries affected the world in Dead Merchandise.

Still, good fun, and I think the narrator did a bang-up job.  I'm glad matweller was able to fix restarts in the narration.  They took me out of the story as I was listening, so that was definitely worth fixing.  Thanks!


"My whole job is in the space between 'should be' and 'is.' It's a big space."


Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 03:48:50 PM
If I have a problem with the story, it's the idea that Time is somehow conscious of the possibility of paradox, stoping travel to eras where humans could create paradoxes. How would Time know? It struck me as an awful lot like ascribing motive and awareness to the universe.

Otherwise, I really liked it.

Really? That was your problem with the story? That's easy. Professor Super-Smart-Whatsisname simply hardcoded that into the time travel device. Because otherwise, even Lloyds of London wouldn't ensure any trip.
What bothered me is that they went back 8.5 million years and were hunting dinosaurs. Now, technically speaking that's OK. You can hunt dinosaurs today, it's called shooting pigeons. But that is not what the author had in mind. 8.5 million years ago was the middle of the Miocene epoch. Most animals are pretty close to what we have today, except for the occasional three toed horse. The Ceratopsidae and Tyrannosauridae were around during the Late Cretaceous, that's right before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event which killed off all the animals that we think of when we say "dinosaur". That's pretty close, but still approximately 57 million years before the destination point of the expedition.
I was impressed with the classification of dinosaurs. I admit that it has been 20 years or so since I've read a dinosaur book, but they sounded right to me.

EDIT:
People, I have made a terrible mistake. I heard "eight five" which I took to mean 8.5 but in fact it was actually "eighty five".
Sorry.
But I'm gonna leave the above because my inner eight year old is very happy to have been let out a little.


EDIT:
Does everybody know the elephant gun joke?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 05:59:50 PM by Max e^{i pi} »

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schizoTypal

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Reply #15 on: May 26, 2013, 06:20:58 PM
If I have a problem with the story, it's the idea that Time is somehow conscious of the possibility of paradox, stoping travel to eras where humans could create paradoxes. How would Time know? It struck me as an awful lot like ascribing motive and awareness to the universe.

Otherwise, I really liked it.

Really? That was your problem with the story? That's easy. Professor Super-Smart-Whatsisname simply hardcoded that into the time travel device. Because otherwise, even Lloyds of London wouldn't ensure any trip.
What bothered me is that they went back 8.5 million years and were hunting dinosaurs. Now, technically speaking that's OK. You can hunt dinosaurs today, it's called shooting pigeons. But that is not what the author had in mind. 8.5 million years ago was the middle of the Miocene epoch. Most animals are pretty close to what we have today, except for the occasional three toed horse. The Ceratopsidae and Tyrannosauridae were around during the Late Cretaceous, that's right before the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event which killed off all the animals that we think of when we say "dinosaur". That's pretty close, but still approximately 57 million years before the destination point of the expedition.
I was impressed with the classification of dinosaurs. I admit that it has been 20 years or so since I've read a dinosaur book, but they sounded right to me.

EDIT:
People, I have made a terrible mistake. I heard "eight five" which I took to mean 8.5 but in fact it was actually "eighty five".
Sorry.
But I'm gonna leave the above because my inner eight year old is very happy to have been let out a little.


EDIT:
Does everybody know the elephant gun joke?

That made me have a happy.



bounceswoosh

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Reply #16 on: May 26, 2013, 11:30:15 PM
Otherwise it was nice story. Curious to see how its aged. Some of the science is current (the debate about T-Rex the carrion eater rages on) but some not (the whole sarupod in a swamp thing has pretty much been shown to be physically impossible). Also curious to see how humanity has changed. The character of the Big Game Hunter hasn't much lasted into the 21st century. Just the game. Well, for the moment.  >:(

Funny. My issue with the aging had nothing to do with dinosaur science, and everything to do with the treatment of the girlfriends at the start.  The blowhard's girlfriend can't come because she's not hearty enough* (despite engaging such masculine pursuits as skiing and piloting boats!), but the small man who admits to never doing anything exciting in his life gets a pass because hey, it's his choice.

Something makes me think the blowhard's girlfriend would have been a better member of the hunting party than he was - but then, that wouldn't make much of a story.  "People travel to the distant past to acquire dinosaur head as trophies; everything goes as planned; The End."

* Yes, I know there was some hedging and the narrator did say that it wasn't strictly true that they never did that sort of thing (bring women? bring girlfriends? I just don't know), but still!



benjaminjb

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Reply #17 on: May 27, 2013, 01:10:59 AM
I laughed out loud at the outro line, "When was the last time something like nationality and ownership got in the way for us? Have you seen the Elgin Marbles? Their original owners haven't for a while."

Well done, sir, well done.

Edited to add: I did find the narrator a little hard to follow, by which I mean I found it easier to understand on regular speed rather than my usual 2x; but that slight problem aside (come on, I've got podcasts to listen to here!), I really enjoyed his voice and interpretation.

As for the story itself, I found it enjoyable and old-fashioned. Do we really need the frame story? And I spent a large part of the story just waiting for the title to show up.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 01:23:18 AM by benjaminjb »



schizoTypal

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Reply #18 on: May 27, 2013, 05:23:08 PM
I, for one, enjoyed the framing of the story and I even wish that would happen more often! I like the old 50's ways of storytelling, I suppose.



chemistryguy

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Reply #19 on: May 28, 2013, 10:54:07 AM
I've read this dozens of times before, so although I obviously had no problem following the story I could see where others might.  I also had a particular accent/pace hard-coded in my head, but that's my problem.

I first encountered this in my early teens, so it is like an old friend.   It is full of outdated science, archetypical characters and sexist viewpoints, but I can overlook all of those.  It is almost 60 years old, and to expect anything else is expecting too much.  It is also the perfect counterpoint to A Sound of Thunder.  Light and airy in contrast to Bradbury's darker, carefully-crafted vision.

What has always bothered me was the concept of using up a time period.  Sure, a billion years is a long time, but if we're eliminating 5000 years in front of any time visited, it really won't be that long until this machine is nothing more than a very expensive meat tenderizer. 

Anyway, if you're anything like me and actually liked this story, I'd recommend the further adventures of Reginald and company in the book Rivers of Time by L. Sprague de Campe.


TheArchivist

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Reply #20 on: May 28, 2013, 12:02:37 PM
I too had a problem with understanding the narration, at first. And I don't usually have that problem. I have no trouble understanding Alisdair, for instance. I was wondering if the narrator was daunted by the length of the story, and took it as a dead run. It wasn't really a problem with the accent (it's quite a nice accent, really, and he was even better as a mad Scot in the companion sampler) just that he seemed to be reading too fast.
I didn't have all that much trouble understanding, but I did find the accent exceedingly grating. I mean, seriously, mind-bendingly, story-ruiningly grating. I guess it was supposed to be "posh-Brit", but as a semi-posh-Brit myself it just sounded FAKE-FAKE-FAKE. The mad Scot in the sampler worked OK, but then I'm not a Scot (I decline to comment on the mad part).

As to the story, I agree with the comment about its length - too much for the frame and slow at the beginning. The one-side-of-a-dialogue device in the framing part isn't one I like, and even the old master fell foul of the need to artificially repeat the question just asked, solely to make up for a stylistic device. I didn't mind the story-in-recollection - it felt appropriate, in fact, for the tale of an early mistake by an inexperienced team who couldn't be entirely expected to avoid such mistakes at the time, but clearly felt really stupid for making them in retrospect.

Once it got going, and pre-political-correctness mysogeny aside, the events unfolded nicely and with a good level of detail and vivid description - no great surprises (the blowhard's behaviour was utterly predictable for such a jerk) but a fun romp. I may have to check out that X-minus-one episode.

And then we get sentient time... Expressed like that it does sound rather absurd, but it's not an uncommon SF-nal trope. Connie Willis has something similar in "To Say Nothing Of The Dog", Doctor Who has certain fixed points you can't do anything with. It's a little unusual to let the guy travel back but then "spit him out" when he does something unpalatable, but hey, why not?



Thunderscreech

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Reply #21 on: May 28, 2013, 12:43:28 PM
What has always bothered me was the concept of using up a time period.  Sure, a billion years is a long time, but if we're eliminating 5000 years in front of any time visited, it really won't be that long until this machine is nothing more than a very expensive meat tenderizer. 
"Time is big.  Really big.  You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, timebogglelingly big it is.  I mean, you may think it's a long time between now and supper, but that's just peanuts to time." - with apologies to Douglas Adams.

Even w/ 5,000 year buffers, that's 200 trips within a one million year period or 32,000 time trips over the beginning to the end of what's considered the age of the dinosaurs.  The time machine in the story was, it seemed, a one-off device not in wide use beyond one quirky inventor's lab so his personal time buffers would seem unlikely to inconvenience him. 



matweller

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Reply #22 on: May 28, 2013, 01:08:32 PM
What has always bothered me was the concept of using up a time period.  Sure, a billion years is a long time, but if we're eliminating 5000 years in front of any time visited, it really won't be that long until this machine is nothing more than a very expensive meat tenderizer.  
"Time is big.  Really big.  You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, timebogglelingly big it is.  I mean, you may think it's a long time between now and supper, but that's just peanuts to time." - with apologies to Douglas Adams.

Even w/ 5,000 year buffers, that's 200 trips within a one million year period or 32,000 time trips over the beginning to the end of what's considered the age of the dinosaurs.  The time machine in the story was, it seemed, a one-off device not in wide use beyond one quirky inventor's lab so his personal time buffers would seem unlikely to inconvenience him.  
I just figured it was necessary since my understanding is that dating things that old is only accurate +-10,000 years or more. I actually thought de Camp was being ambitious about future technology getting more precise.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 01:10:04 PM by matweller »



chemistryguy

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Reply #23 on: May 28, 2013, 01:55:12 PM
What has always bothered me was the concept of using up a time period.  Sure, a billion years is a long time, but if we're eliminating 5000 years in front of any time visited, it really won't be that long until this machine is nothing more than a very expensive meat tenderizer.  
"Time is big.  Really big.  You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, timebogglelingly big it is.  I mean, you may think it's a long time between now and supper, but that's just peanuts to time." - with apologies to Douglas Adams.

Even w/ 5,000 year buffers, that's 200 trips within a one million year period or 32,000 time trips over the beginning to the end of what's considered the age of the dinosaurs.  

A whole megabyte of data?!?  That's more than any sane individual could ever use.

p.s. And we've only got more time in front of us...maybe.

p.p.s. Doug would've approved.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2013, 01:57:13 PM by chemistryguy »



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Reply #24 on: May 28, 2013, 04:13:33 PM
I really liked this story. What's not to like about a story about time travel, dinosaur hunting, jerks getting their come-uppance, and the little guy being the hero?

I never understand the criticism Nathan reads out about stories. I'm always grateful to get a free new story every week, and even when one isn't my cup of tea, I don't think to say that it's a problem with the story, more that it's just not for me.



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Reply #25 on: May 28, 2013, 06:38:20 PM
I really liked this story. What's not to like about a story about time travel, dinosaur hunting, jerks getting their come-uppance, and the little guy being the hero?


I'm with you, this was a lot of fun, and the vintage feel of it made it even more so.  I appreciate getting stories like this in the feed now and again because I admit I have not read a whole lot of Golden Age Sf aside from Asimov and a little Heinlein and there are SO many authors and great works out there.  It's cool when Escapepod puts new legs on them.


I never understand the criticism Nathan reads out about stories. I'm always grateful to get a free new story every week, and even when one isn't my cup of tea, I don't think to say that it's a problem with the story, more that it's just not for me.

 I also find myself usually not having the same issues as the HARUMPH crowd round here regarding stories.  Didn't have a problem with the reading, in fact, I thought the voice was perfect for it; I totally pictured an Indian/British guide in a khaki get-up.  Also the length of this story didn't bug me, but I had a looooong Memorial Day car ride and knocked out about 10 episodes of podcasts this weekend.



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Reply #26 on: May 29, 2013, 01:09:15 PM
1956, eh? Well that explains the acceptability of a gung-ho, caricatured, post-Empire (British, not galactic), hackneyed tale about idiots shooting things. It doesn't explain why anyone should think it's any good now. I don't think it stands up to scrutiny and, without the name tag, I doubt it would have got past first base. Nice effort reproducing the era, narrator, but I gave up to just read it through as quickly as possible to see if anything interesting actually happened. It didn't. Where's sentient time when you need it to strangle a daft plot at birth?

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


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Reply #27 on: May 29, 2013, 01:15:29 PM
Just listened to the piece and while I like the story, both the presentation and production values left me cold. There were 2 incidences where the reader deliberately stopped and re-read a line and that was never edited. Sorry, I come from the ancient days of editing magnetic tape and wouldn't have let that slide. I think the reader or producer just didn't want to bother listening to the piece again. I have heard this several times on the escape artists productions and it saddens me.

Then yes, the accent. A good try but just didn't work. Entire paragraphs just were extremely difficult to understand and I am pretty good hearing through British accents.

A 60 out of 100 for presentation. Sorry.



matweller

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Reply #28 on: May 29, 2013, 01:30:38 PM
Just listened to the piece and while I like the story, both the presentation and production values left me cold. There were 2 incidences where the reader deliberately stopped and re-read a line and that was never edited. Sorry, I come from the ancient days of editing magnetic tape and wouldn't have let that slide. I think the reader or producer just didn't want to bother listening to the piece again. I have heard this several times on the escape artists productions and it saddens me.

Then yes, the accent. A good try but just didn't work. Entire paragraphs just were extremely difficult to understand and I am pretty good hearing through British accents.

A 60 out of 100 for presentation. Sorry.
If you read through the previous comments, you would have seen that an apology was made and a revised file was loaded. I'm sorry that your download came from before the revision.

I apologize that the narrator didn't agree with you. That's going to happen sometimes. Some of the narrations I've liked the least ended up being fan favorites and some that I thought were stellar received little notice. Were this a controlled studio production, there are some segments we probably would have tried differently. As it is, I was satisfied that it was worthy of use on the show, and the majority of the response thus far seems to concur.



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Reply #29 on: May 29, 2013, 02:10:04 PM
Just listened to the piece and while I like the story, both the presentation and production values left me cold. There were 2 incidences where the reader deliberately stopped and re-read a line and that was never edited. Sorry, I come from the ancient days of editing magnetic tape and wouldn't have let that slide. I think the reader or producer just didn't want to bother listening to the piece again. I have heard this several times on the escape artists productions and it saddens me.

Then yes, the accent. A good try but just didn't work. Entire paragraphs just were extremely difficult to understand and I am pretty good hearing through British accents.

A 60 out of 100 for presentation. Sorry.

If you look up thread you'll see an explanation for the issues with the narration, likewise, in Mat's reply, the sentiments of which I'd like to echo. These things happen and when they do, we do our best to correct them.

However I take serious issue with what you imply about us not being 'bothered' to fix mistakes. We're a volunteer army, and we do this out of love for it. If we couldn't be bothered, we'd all have a lot more evenings, late nights and early mornings free. The mistakes you heard were human error and it saddens me that you don't think it's worth considering that before criticizing our work ethic.




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Reply #30 on: May 29, 2013, 06:11:37 PM
1956, eh? Well that explains the acceptability of a gung-ho, caricatured, post-Empire (British, not galactic), hackneyed tale about idiots shooting things. It doesn't explain why anyone should think it's any good now. I don't think it stands up to scrutiny and, without the name tag, I doubt it would have got past first base. Nice effort reproducing the era, narrator, but I gave up to just read it through as quickly as possible to see if anything interesting actually happened. It didn't. Where's sentient time when you need it to strangle a daft plot at birth?

I had similar feelings about a story run on Podcastle last year.  The Terror of Blue John Gap .  I couldn't fathom why anyone could possibly enjoy the story outside of poking fun of it (which I did).  The fact remained that some did.
   
   
Quote
I'm kind of shocked that these two stories were written by the same author.  I adored "Run, Bakri says."  "Dead Merchandise", in comparison, just didn't grab me by the heart.

And for me - completely the reverse. That's the talent of diversity  :)

Yeah - life would be pretty boring if we all liked the same things!

Nothing to explain why I liked the story other than it's a fun little romp in time that takes me to the past as well.


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Reply #31 on: May 29, 2013, 07:39:53 PM
Quote
I had similar feelings about a story run on Podcastle last year.  The Terror of Blue John Gap .  I couldn't fathom why anyone could possibly enjoy the story outside of poking fun of it (which I did).  The fact remained that some did.

Given the choice, I'll almost always pick older  genre fiction over current genre fiction, myself - not that it's inherently better (it isn't - but neither is current genre fiction) but just inherently more interesting to me.



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Reply #32 on: May 29, 2013, 10:27:49 PM
Quote
I had similar feelings about a story run on Podcastle last year.  The Terror of Blue John Gap .  I couldn't fathom why anyone could possibly enjoy the story outside of poking fun of it (which I did).  The fact remained that some did.

Given the choice, I'll almost always pick older  genre fiction over current genre fiction, myself - not that it's inherently better (it isn't - but neither is current genre fiction) but just inherently more interesting to me.

oh man... I am exactly the opposite. I love the new stuff. Just when you think it has all been done before, someone runs out of left field and hits you with something you didnt see coming.



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Reply #33 on: May 30, 2013, 01:34:33 PM
To Mattweller and Alasdair5000;

Sorry, as you say human error occurs. Mine was to send a very cranky message without re-reading it to realize how harsh it was. Is there anywhere on the forums where people discuss how they record for you? Mics, production techniques, etc? Thanks for the good work.



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Reply #34 on: May 30, 2013, 02:34:28 PM
I enjoy a piece of SF from bygone era from time to time, partly to see how the writing style has changed, and people's perspectives. This was reasonably enjoyable, though I did think it unreasonably long for the framing story it was put into. He's going into an awful lot of ridiculously detailed explanation to justify his statement that he doesn't want to take a smallish man to certain eras.

Other than that, it was a pretty entertaining if somewhat fluffy dinosaur action story.

It's funny, I'd never heard the idea of "sentient time" until recently and I actually like it better than mutiverses or butterfly effects, mostly because its one of the only ways to return to your world, and really, what's the point of traveling if you can't return to the same place? Sure, it adds a bit of mysticism, but that's true of almost any branch of science that you research far enough.

I've got a story upcoming in Stupefying Stories based around a similar concept, though it's from the time-custodian's point of view, who is in charge of keeping space-time from tearing.  :)

Funny. My issue with the aging had nothing to do with dinosaur science, and everything to do with the treatment of the girlfriends at the start.  The blowhard's girlfriend can't come because she's not hearty enough* (despite engaging such masculine pursuits as skiing and piloting boats!), but the small man who admits to never doing anything exciting in his life gets a pass because hey, it's his choice.

For what it's worth, I didn't read the narrator's rejection of the woman on the expedition as misogyny, but as an aversion to mixing romantic entanglements with his expeditions.  I think he would've been fine with taking the woman, or taking the man, but not taking both, because he is worried that bringing a pair of lovers will cause oafish behavior on behalf of the man to act the alpha male to impress her.  It turns out that this particular fellow didn't need a woman to act oafish, so the prevention didn't do much good.

In any case, told as it was, any misogyny can be reasonably cast on the narrator rather than the writer, IMO. 



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Reply #35 on: May 30, 2013, 03:32:31 PM
Funny. My issue with the aging had nothing to do with dinosaur science, and everything to do with the treatment of the girlfriends at the start.  The blowhard's girlfriend can't come because she's not hearty enough* (despite engaging such masculine pursuits as skiing and piloting boats!), but the small man who admits to never doing anything exciting in his life gets a pass because hey, it's his choice.

For what it's worth, I didn't read the narrator's rejection of the woman on the expedition as misogyny, but as an aversion to mixing romantic entanglements with his expeditions.  I think he would've been fine with taking the woman, or taking the man, but not taking both, because he is worried that bringing a pair of lovers will cause oafish behavior on behalf of the man to act the alpha male to impress her.  It turns out that this particular fellow didn't need a woman to act oafish, so the prevention didn't do much good.

In any case, told as it was, any misogyny can be reasonably cast on the narrator rather than the writer, IMO. 


Totally agreed. While it would be totally stereotypical for such an man of that occupation, of that time to be sexist, I don't think that was overtly stated in the story (which may make the reader/listener who believes the stereotype themselves sexist by definition; I'm not suggesting it, just saying it's possible). The main character was much more of a pragmatist than a chauvinist. He wanted to come back with as many people alive as possible, himself being priority 1, and anything that reduces the chance of that happening should be considered for elimination. A person who cannot handle the required weaponry while at the same time being a distraction to someone carrying around a portable cannon is a HUGE liability to the entire enterprise.



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Reply #36 on: May 30, 2013, 03:49:37 PM
To Mattweller and Alasdair5000;

Sorry, as you say human error occurs. Mine was to send a very cranky message without re-reading it to realize how harsh it was. Is there anywhere on the forums where people discuss how they record for you? Mics, production techniques, etc? Thanks for the good work.

Happens to all of us, don't worry:) That's a really good idea actually and one I'll discuss with the powers that be. I know there's been some tech discussion in the Gallimaufry sub forum but none for a while.



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Reply #37 on: May 30, 2013, 04:13:05 PM
Funny. My issue with the aging had nothing to do with dinosaur science, and everything to do with the treatment of the girlfriends at the start.  The blowhard's girlfriend can't come because she's not hearty enough* (despite engaging such masculine pursuits as skiing and piloting boats!), but the small man who admits to never doing anything exciting in his life gets a pass because hey, it's his choice.

For what it's worth, I didn't read the narrator's rejection of the woman on the expedition as misogyny, but as an aversion to mixing romantic entanglements with his expeditions.  I think he would've been fine with taking the woman, or taking the man, but not taking both, because he is worried that bringing a pair of lovers will cause oafish behavior on behalf of the man to act the alpha male to impress her.  It turns out that this particular fellow didn't need a woman to act oafish, so the prevention didn't do much good.

In any case, told as it was, any misogyny can be reasonably cast on the narrator rather than the writer, IMO. 


Totally agreed. While it would be totally stereotypical for such an man of that occupation, of that time to be sexist, I don't think that was overtly stated in the story (which may make the reader/listener who believes the stereotype themselves sexist by definition; I'm not suggesting it, just saying it's possible). The main character was much more of a pragmatist than a chauvinist. He wanted to come back with as many people alive as possible, himself being priority 1, and anything that reduces the chance of that happening should be considered for elimination. A person who cannot handle the required weaponry while at the same time being a distraction to someone carrying around a portable cannon is a HUGE liability to the entire enterprise.

I'm not sure I meant the comment as a criticism of the story, exactly, its reality or the degree of misogyny of the author.  I guess it's more just that (especially as a woman myself?), I don't enjoy spending an hour in a world where men are the de facto money holders and make the decisions about what women do and don't get to do.  Add that to big game trophy hunting, which doesn't appeal to me either, and it just wasn't that fun for me.

The other thing, I guess, is that right from the start you know that the blowhard is going to F the whole thing up, and it's highly likely that the nice guy (nice guy or milquetoast?  I had trouble believing or understanding this character - he's presented as never having done anything remotely meaningful in his life, then somehow latches onto a trophy head as a must-have, and then acts coolly under pressure like a vet) is going to pay for it.  If it had been my expedition, and I'm pretty sure any well-run adventure expedition, there would have been no multiple chances.  The situation is simply too dangerous to allow a loose cannon along.  He would have been disarmed and kept out of the way after that very first shot the first day.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I have a lot of adventure guide acquaintances, and I just can't see them risking the entire party's lives (but now I want to ask them whether they've had similar experiences, and how they handled it).




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Reply #38 on: May 31, 2013, 01:50:26 PM
I'm not sure I meant the comment as a criticism of the story, exactly, its reality or the degree of misogyny of the author.  I guess it's more just that (especially as a woman myself?), I don't enjoy spending an hour in a world where men are the de facto money holders and make the decisions about what women do and don't get to do.  Add that to big game trophy hunting, which doesn't appeal to me either, and it just wasn't that fun for me.

You're entitled to your opinion either way.  In any case, I don't think we're really in disagreement, or at least not much.  The man was clearly a risk to any expedition regardless of the other members.  I suspect the guide'd have been better off in every way to invite her along instead.

The situation is simply too dangerous to allow a loose cannon along.  He would have been disarmed and kept out of the way after that very first shot the first day.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I have a lot of adventure guide acquaintances, and I just can't see them risking the entire party's lives (but now I want to ask them whether they've had similar experiences, and how they handled it).

You're right, it was a terrible idea to allow the loose cannon along.  That seemed fairly clear even before the expedition started, so bad judgment on the character's part to even take the contract.  If I were the guide, I'd be concerned about the prat shooting me if I tried to disarm him, but since the idiot blows both barrels at the slightest opportunity (essentially disarming himself for a short time) all you'd have to do would be to strike when the opportunity arises.



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Reply #39 on: May 31, 2013, 06:29:09 PM
I can't tell you how many times I've read this story, and hearing it was nice. I, too, had an issue with "8.5 million years" until I realized he HAD to have said "eighty-five" and I just misheard.

Good to hear an old classic.

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Reply #40 on: June 01, 2013, 08:49:17 AM
I really enjoy hearing older stories like this one. It's not just because of the different style of narration or language that they used (although that itself is worth a listen). No, what I really like about these kinds of classic stories is that they serve as a piece of history for the period they were written itself. You could take out all the dinosaurs and time travel, and you would be left with a solid story that could be from a real safari in Africa. For me, that makes the story extremely fun, sort of like getting a history lesson on old safari hunting culture in a much more lively way than reading a history book or watching  a documentary. Perhaps the contents seem a bit barbaric to modern eyes, but the same could be said for most of history.

I think I was lucky enough to download my episode a few days after it was out, and got the fixed version. No real trouble understanding on my end. Thanks for another neat episode.



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Reply #41 on: June 02, 2013, 10:14:42 AM
Sorry to say I must add my voice to the ones complaining about the narrator. I'm a brit and I had no trouble understanding, but it grated on me all the way through. The narrator must surely know he can't do the accent he's aiming for. Steven Fry could do it no problems.

And doesn't this show how far the genre has come in the years? Not just the sexist stuff but the story itself was by modern standards a bit blah. Sentient time could have been so much more FUN.



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Reply #42 on: June 03, 2013, 07:00:07 PM
I should start this comment by letting you all know that I was biased in the beginning to not really enjoy this story. I am not much of a fan of dinosaurs or hunting, so the combination of the two weren't really very interesting to me. However, as a fan of the great old ones of genre fiction, I felt obligated to at least give it a try. I wish I could say I was pleased with that decision, but really, it still wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't enjoy the set up, which I viewed as unnecessary, and the story did go on a bit long. In addition, as a non-dinosaur person, I found myself getting quite confused by the fancy jargon for dinosaur names and kept having to turn to good ole Internets to see just which dinosaur the author was talking about. Good news, I saw lots of neat pictures and learned me some science, but as a whole, it did distract me from the story.

On the plus side, I did rather enjoy the ending sequence and felt the karmic retribution brought down against the big brute in the story to be quite satisfying. It was quite a commitment to get there though, and I think I'll probably just stick to Wells or Lovecraft if I'm in the mood for literature of earlier days.

Onto the narrating, I'm on the dissenter's side as well. It was not my cup of tea. There were several instances of hurried, muffled words, and his accent was not pulled off well. With a story as long and as detailed as this piece was, I feel like the narrator really had to a great weight to bear, and I think he was crushed underneath it. It was especially disappointing when I heard him in the piece at the end of the episode, which was so much better. It almost didn't sound like the same person to me. As far as the accent goes, which was his downfall, I believe, would it really have been so bad to have this piece with his natural accent, I wonder? I think it would've been a better choice.



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Reply #43 on: June 03, 2013, 07:50:23 PM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them, so I trusted the Brit to know better. If you say he didn't, then I apologize to you, but I doubt the accent itself was an issue for the wider body of listeners. Regardless, I can assure you it was 100x closer to correct than if I had tried to do it*.

*see also "The Phantastic and Wondrous Adventures of Mr. Jonathan Darby" :P



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Reply #44 on: June 04, 2013, 08:31:05 AM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)

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Reply #45 on: June 04, 2013, 08:38:31 AM
And on the matter of the narration: I think this was a problem not so much of the British accent but of the era. 1950s BBC pronunciation is a tricky blighter that very few people really pull off - here's a spoof http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQWPR9TM0Gk. And, er, the bloke on the right is spoofing the working class accent, guv.

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Reply #46 on: June 04, 2013, 12:56:19 PM
So the UK had its own version of the Mid-Atlantic accent? Interesting.

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Reply #47 on: June 04, 2013, 01:03:44 PM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!



matweller

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Reply #48 on: June 04, 2013, 01:08:57 PM
And on the matter of the narration: I think this was a problem not so much of the British accent but of the era. 1950s BBC pronunciation is a tricky blighter that very few people really pull off - here's a spoof http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQWPR9TM0Gk. And, er, the bloke on the right is spoofing the working class accent, guv.



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Reply #49 on: June 04, 2013, 01:40:05 PM
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

Yeah, we CAN hear the difference between, say, a Geordie accent and a Sussex one. But would we know which was which? Probably not. Just like I can hear the difference when my Chinese friend says a word in Mandarin with different intonations on each syllable. I can HEAR it, but could I reproduce it? No.

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Reply #50 on: June 04, 2013, 02:23:12 PM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

True, true.  And movies can sometimes just make the perceived accents even further off.  The movie Fargo, for instance, despite the title does not occur in Fargo, North Dakota, but mostly in Minnesota.  Several of the characters in the movie talk with what many people think of as a Minnesota accent, although I've never met anyone who talked like that--really it's a very exaggerated version of some Canadian accent.  There are some similarities, mostly in the flatness of certain vowels, but they're not the same accent.  And that goes without localized wordage:  the word "spendy" for expensive, "hot dish" for casserole, "pop" for soda.



matweller

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Reply #51 on: June 04, 2013, 03:09:16 PM
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

Yeah, we CAN hear the difference between, say, a Geordie accent and a Sussex one. But would we know which was which? Probably not. Just like I can hear the difference when my Chinese friend says a word in Mandarin with different intonations on each syllable. I can HEAR it, but could I reproduce it? No.
It's okay, kid, I wasn't speaking for you. You're right, even if I did hear and distinguish I wouldn't know how to attribute, but there are also subtleties that you only catch if you're immersed long enough. West coast folks can't often discern between Philly, NYC and NJ accents. Upstate NY and Minnesotan are similar enough to mistake for each other. Outsiders consider Georgian and Texan to both be "Southern" but they are worlds apart.

True, true.  And movies can sometimes just make the perceived accents even further off.  The movie Fargo, for instance, despite the title does not occur in Fargo, North Dakota, but mostly in Minnesota.  Several of the characters in the movie talk with what many people think of as a Minnesota accent, although I've never met anyone who talked like that--really it's a very exaggerated version of some Canadian accent.  There are some similarities, mostly in the flatness of certain vowels, but they're not the same accent.  And that goes without localized wordage:  the word "spendy" for expensive, "hot dish" for casserole, "pop" for soda.

My folks have been in southern MN for about a decade and I was amazed at how accurate Fargo was for the accent that I hear in every single voice when I go to visit. It's a very difficult accent to mimic, but when I go into their little town, all I hear is Howie Mandell doing Bobby's mother from ever female in the place.



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Reply #52 on: June 04, 2013, 03:33:55 PM
Yeah, we CAN hear the difference between, say, a Geordie accent and a Sussex one. But would we know which was which? Probably not. Just like I can hear the difference when my Chinese friend says a word in Mandarin with different intonations on each syllable. I can HEAR it, but could I reproduce it? No.
It's okay, kid, I wasn't speaking for you.

That clearly came across differently than intended. I was agreeing, not arguing. :) I'm from Alabama. There are many, MANY accents in the state, but the rest of the world just hears 'Southern.' Jim Nabors vs. Jimmy Wales, for instance.

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Reply #53 on: June 04, 2013, 09:39:31 PM
I extended my errand-driving so that I could listen to the end of this story - I didn't want to stop.  I thought it was a fun adventure story with an old-school feel to it.  I didn't realize till later that it was, in fact, written in the olden days of the mid-20th century.

As for the narration, I liked it.  I didn't think the narrator was supposed to be British, but Indian.  Having worked with lots of people from India, I've heard a lot of accents mixed with American or British English.  Close enough for me to evoke a feeling of exoticism.  And another reason for the lack of respect shown to him by the rich tourists.

Anyway, please run more of these classic stories again.  I really enjoy them. 



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Reply #54 on: June 05, 2013, 03:09:21 AM
enjoyed this,  nice throw-back story



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Reply #55 on: June 05, 2013, 10:05:38 AM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

Yes please!

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Reply #56 on: June 05, 2013, 10:07:46 AM
We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't.
It occurs to me that we have countries smaller than many of your states, so I shouldn't be surprised!

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Reply #57 on: June 05, 2013, 12:10:26 PM
My folks have been in southern MN for about a decade and I was amazed at how accurate Fargo was for the accent that I hear in every single voice when I go to visit. It's a very difficult accent to mimic, but when I go into their little town, all I hear is Howie Mandell doing Bobby's mother from ever female in the place.

No kidding?  What town specifically?  Maybe it's a very localized thing?  Because I've seriously never met anyone whose accent made Fargo accents anything less than caricature.



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Reply #58 on: June 05, 2013, 12:51:47 PM
Nice to hear an old classic. Not one of my favourites from that author - but mildly fun. I couldn't quite get into the narration though - for some of the reasons previously mentioned (to my UK ear the accent wasn't quite right, and the pacing at the start was a bit slow.)

However - the biggest problem for me was the shift to the UK - as pointed out by A. in the outro.

When I read the stories (and for those who don't know there are more adventures of Reginald Rivers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_Time) I just assumed that the hunters were americans. It was an american author after all. So the character that sat in my head was a kind of cross between Bunny Allen /  Hemingway / Theodore Roosevelt.

Hearing it read in a vaguely-upper-class-buffer accent was jarring for me.



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Reply #59 on: June 05, 2013, 01:27:17 PM
Nice to hear an old classic. Not one of my favourites from that author - but mildly fun. I couldn't quite get into the narration though - for some of the reasons previously mentioned (to my UK ear the accent wasn't quite right, and the pacing at the start was a bit slow.)

However - the biggest problem for me was the shift to the UK - as pointed out by A. in the outro.

When I read the stories (and for those who don't know there are more adventures of Reginald Rivers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_Time) I just assumed that the hunters were americans. It was an american author after all. So the character that sat in my head was a kind of cross between Bunny Allen /  Hemingway / Theodore Roosevelt.

Hearing it read in a vaguely-upper-class-buffer accent was jarring for me.

The text is definitely meant to sound British. Americans don't:

  • talk about weight in stone
  • use the phrase 'knocked base over apex"
  • punctuate a sentence with the word 'what', although Pittsburghers do say "en 'at" ("and that") and folks in eastern PA often finish with "then" or [*shiver*] "aint" which I think is a variation on "innit" ("isn't it") that you hear in New England and other Eastern locales.
  • I don't know if "sahib" was ever a common term over there, but it reeks of English colonialism. We'd be much more inclined to say "suckers" or "clients"

I was actually considering choosing a narrator of any country and just ignoring the obvious linguistic cues, but it seemed truer to the intent to do it this way in the end.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 01:30:35 PM by matweller »



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Reply #60 on: June 05, 2013, 01:34:50 PM
Nice to hear an old classic. Not one of my favourites from that author - but mildly fun. I couldn't quite get into the narration though - for some of the reasons previously mentioned (to my UK ear the accent wasn't quite right, and the pacing at the start was a bit slow.)

However - the biggest problem for me was the shift to the UK - as pointed out by A. in the outro.

When I read the stories (and for those who don't know there are more adventures of Reginald Rivers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_Time) I just assumed that the hunters were americans. It was an american author after all. So the character that sat in my head was a kind of cross between Bunny Allen /  Hemingway / Theodore Roosevelt.

Hearing it read in a vaguely-upper-class-buffer accent was jarring for me.

The text is definitely meant to sound British. Americans don't:

  • talk about weight in stone
  • use the phrase 'knocked base over apex"
  • punctuate a sentence with the word 'what', although Pittsburghers do say "en 'at" ("and that") and folks in eastern PA often finish with "then" or [*shiver*] "aint" which I think is a variation on "innit" ("isn't it") that you hear in New England and other Eastern locales.
  • I don't know if "sahib" was ever a common term over there, but it reeks of English colonialism. We'd be much more inclined to say "suckers" or "clients"

I was actually considering choosing a narrator of any country and just ignoring the obvious linguistic cues, but it seemed truer to the intent to do it this way in the end.

Agreed, definitely had hints of British dialect.  The "what" sentence punctuation was the biggest flag for me.



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Reply #61 on: June 05, 2013, 05:21:40 PM
Nice to hear an old classic. Not one of my favourites from that author - but mildly fun. I couldn't quite get into the narration though - for some of the reasons previously mentioned (to my UK ear the accent wasn't quite right, and the pacing at the start was a bit slow.)

However - the biggest problem for me was the shift to the UK - as pointed out by A. in the outro.

When I read the stories (and for those who don't know there are more adventures of Reginald Rivers http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rivers_of_Time) I just assumed that the hunters were americans. It was an american author after all. So the character that sat in my head was a kind of cross between Bunny Allen /  Hemingway / Theodore Roosevelt.

Hearing it read in a vaguely-upper-class-buffer accent was jarring for me.

The text is definitely meant to sound British. Americans don't:

  • talk about weight in stone
  • use the phrase 'knocked base over apex"
  • punctuate a sentence with the word 'what', although Pittsburghers do say "en 'at" ("and that") and folks in eastern PA often finish with "then" or [*shiver*] "aint" which I think is a variation on "innit" ("isn't it") that you hear in New England and other Eastern locales.
  • I don't know if "sahib" was ever a common term over there, but it reeks of English colonialism. We'd be much more inclined to say "suckers" or "clients"

I was actually considering choosing a narrator of any country and just ignoring the obvious linguistic cues, but it seemed truer to the intent to do it this way in the end.

'Sahib' was used commonly by old military types who often also referred to their wives as 'the Memsahib'. I'm guessing no one under 80 does that now, unless they're stuck in a nostalgia loop!

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Reply #62 on: June 05, 2013, 06:32:41 PM
I'm guessing no one under 80 does that now, unless they're stuck in a nostalgia loop!

That sounds like one of those things on Star Trek that can only be escaped from by either:
a) Punching someone very dramatically or wooing her (also dramatically).
b) Having a nice cup of tea while your android and his blind friend to do something with flashy lights (or maybe someone whose species has anger management issues does something violent).
or
c) Bark at people when your coffee gets cold. (Unless it's season four and up and then the hot Borg in the skintight uniform does b).
« Last Edit: June 05, 2013, 06:34:38 PM by Max e^{i pi} »

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Reply #63 on: June 05, 2013, 06:44:51 PM
Quote
The text is definitely meant to sound British

Oh yes - you're absolutely right.

The point I was (badly) making was that I originally read it as a kid in the 1970s. It fixed itself in my head as being american at that point - the linguistic cues not being as obvious to one of tender years ;-)

It's just one of those odd cases where a voice or actor sounds "wrong" because of how you originally imprinted on a book.

(To pick another weird example - I was convinced for years that the central character in The Forever War was a woman - which stopped me finding the book again for ages.)



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Reply #64 on: June 05, 2013, 07:12:29 PM
Ohhhh - it turns out that there was a version that was translated into kg too ;)

"De Camp revised the story slightly for its inclusion in Rivers of Time to update obsolete paleontological terms and dated references.[8] In one instance the result was unfortunate; in the original version of the story, Rivers estimates Seligman's weight in both pounds and stone;[9] in the revised version both measures are rendered as kilograms, resulting in Rivers appearing to make the same calculation twice.[10]" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Gun_for_Dinosaur#Revision_and_continuations







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Reply #65 on: June 09, 2013, 12:05:13 PM
My inner twelve-year-old loved the heck out of this. After years of books on dinosaurs, this would be the next obvious step for that kid. I wish twelve-year-old me had actually found this book. Adult me is glad to have finally found it also thought it quite enjoyable.

I've been bothered by overlong stories, but this one didn't do that for me. The length was padded by lush descriptions of the time period. It's amusing that some folks are annoyed at the science portion of their science fiction story. Some of the science has likely been updated since this was written, but while I was listening nothing jumped out to me as being wrong.


And doesn't this show how far the genre has come in the years? Not just the sexist stuff but the story itself was by modern standards a bit blah. Sentient time could have been so much more FUN.


This story wasn't fun? You keep using that word but I do not think it means what you think it means. I'm not sure how a big game expedition for dinosaurs can be anything but fun.

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Reply #66 on: June 09, 2013, 07:52:51 PM
I really liked this story, including the accent :)



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Reply #67 on: June 10, 2013, 07:16:13 PM
I liked this one. Not a new idea, but the characters had that, I know someone like that, quality.  ;)



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Reply #68 on: June 11, 2013, 04:16:18 AM
I appreciate hearing classic stories from time to time, especially since my exposure to such tales has been woefully lacking. This one put me firmly in mind of British imperialism in India, big game hunting in Africa, and Theodore Roosevelt.

I could definitely have done without the framing story. I mean, who brings a potential client to a bar in order to explain why they won't actually be your client? Despite this, it was a fun romp, though I must admit some disappointment in the fairly anti-climactic reveal of the "title line".



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Reply #69 on: June 11, 2013, 04:23:14 AM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

I'd love to hear that. I have a distinct memory of riding in a hotel shuttle from the airport in Philly and being shocked that I couldn't understand A. SINGLE. WORD. of what the driver was saying over the walkie talkie.


I moved from Chicago to North Carolina (hi Scattercat!) seven years ago and it was a long time before I could understand people who are from the mountains. Contrast that with the heavy, yet still easily understandable eastern NC accent, and the almost non-accent of many people who grew up in Raleigh or Charlotte.



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Reply #70 on: June 11, 2013, 08:11:39 AM
I appreciate hearing classic stories from time to time, especially since my exposure to such tales has been woefully lacking. This one put me firmly in mind of British imperialism in India, big game hunting in Africa, and Theodore Roosevelt.

I could definitely have done without the framing story. I mean, who brings a potential client to a bar in order to explain why they won't actually be your client? Despite this, it was a fun romp, though I must admit some disappointment in the fairly anti-climactic reveal of the "title line".

It wasn't why they won't be your client, but why they won't be going to that particular time period.  And the narrator was clearly interested in how he'd get on with his clients in informal situations.  It wasn't a "here's your money now rotate my tires" situation.



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Reply #71 on: June 11, 2013, 01:52:19 PM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

I'd love to hear that. I have a distinct memory of riding in a hotel shuttle from the airport in Philly and being shocked that I couldn't understand A. SINGLE. WORD. of what the driver was saying over the walkie talkie.


I moved from Chicago to North Carolina (hi Scattercat!) seven years ago and it was a long time before I could understand people who are from the mountains. Contrast that with the heavy, yet still easily understandable eastern NC accent, and the almost non-accent of many people who grew up in Raleigh or Charlotte.

Philly accent is VERY different from Pittsburgh, plus Pittsburghese repurposes a lot of words (like 'jumbo' means 'bologna') and makes new ones (like 'nebby' means 'nosey').

This would be an interesting experiment, though... If we had a story -- preferably a very short, 1st-person piece -- and gave it to narrators to translate into their dialect and record, then we could put them together and put it in the feed as a bonus track. That might be very interesting. Or maybe do a month where we run the regular stories, then at the end of each episode, tack on a version done in regional dialect. Or just do a thread in the forum inviting people to submit a recording of their favorite part of that week's story read in their regional dialect and recorded on their phone or something. Then, if enough of those are interesting, maybe assemble them into an episode or something.

Hmm -- interesting possibilities.



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Reply #72 on: June 11, 2013, 04:17:34 PM
Quote
This would be an interesting experiment, though... If we had a story -- preferably a very short, 1st-person piece -- and gave it to narrators to translate into their dialect and record, then we could put them together and put it in the feed as a bonus track. That might be very interesting. Or maybe do a month where we run the regular stories, then at the end of each episode, tack on a version done in regional dialect. Or just do a thread in the forum inviting people to submit a recording of their favorite part of that week's story read in their regional dialect and recorded on their phone or something. Then, if enough of those are interesting, maybe assemble them into an episode or something.

I always make it a point to sample the alternate language extras on THE SIMPSONS dvds just to hear how foreign voice actors approach the character voices - the French-Canadian Marge was really good!



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Reply #73 on: June 11, 2013, 04:28:07 PM
I appreciate hearing classic stories from time to time, especially since my exposure to such tales has been woefully lacking. This one put me firmly in mind of British imperialism in India, big game hunting in Africa, and Theodore Roosevelt.

I could definitely have done without the framing story. I mean, who brings a potential client to a bar in order to explain why they won't actually be your client? Despite this, it was a fun romp, though I must admit some disappointment in the fairly anti-climactic reveal of the "title line".

It wasn't why they won't be your client, but why they won't be going to that particular time period.  And the narrator was clearly interested in how he'd get on with his clients in informal situations.  It wasn't a "here's your money now rotate my tires" situation.

Oh, you're totally right! That'll teach me to wait a couple weeks before commenting. :)



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Reply #74 on: June 12, 2013, 05:24:03 PM
I thought this one was great.  I often find this style of story-telling a bit slow, and the story was long.  It's also very structured (the story within a story, the title-drop right at the end).  But I was never bored with this one, and I enjoyed the reading a lot.



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Reply #75 on: June 12, 2013, 06:50:40 PM
Y'know, I don't know where we got sentient time from for this story.  It's just the way time travel works.  We can't go faster than the speed of light, but no one today talks about how Light just "knows" when you're about to go too fast and smacks you around.  It's merely a consequence of the physical laws and the universal constants.  No one in the story gave any indication that they believed there was some sort of entity behind the limit on repeat visits; it's just how the stuff works, and running into your time duplicate is akin to running into a brick wall in a racecar.  (The "visible signs" thing was presumably a nod to the idea that observation collapses the quantum waveform, albeit one rooted in a common misconception about what constitutes "observation.")

Anyway, off to cull some comments.  I just didn't see anyone address this initial complaint beyond amusement at the idea of sentient time.  (Shades of Astro City and "The Nearness of You," perhaps?)



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Reply #76 on: June 20, 2013, 01:56:32 PM
I asked Ayoub to play it how he felt comfortable. Unfortunately, my American ear doesn't discern English accents well enough to know between all of them,

Isn't that sad? Brits are familiar with so many nuances of US dialect and speech patterns because of the wealth of films and TV we receive. But you miss out on our Brummies, Geordies, Scousers, Estuaries, Scots, Welsh, Irish (northern, Eire, Dublin, Belfast), Sussex (they have 'chickings' and 'kitchings') and West country drawlers, and Cumbrian yollerers and farm yakkers. Probably you get the Eastenders though :)
Not so sad. We have dialects in every state that you've never heard. My home state of Pennsylvania has four or five that I know of and probably a couple that I don't. I'll read for you sometimes in Pittsburghese, then we can watch the hate comments roll in by the millions!

I'd love to hear that. I have a distinct memory of riding in a hotel shuttle from the airport in Philly and being shocked that I couldn't understand A. SINGLE. WORD. of what the driver was saying over the walkie talkie.


I moved from Chicago to North Carolina (hi Scattercat!) seven years ago and it was a long time before I could understand people who are from the mountains. Contrast that with the heavy, yet still easily understandable eastern NC accent, and the almost non-accent of many people who grew up in Raleigh or Charlotte.

Philly accent is VERY different from Pittsburgh, plus Pittsburghese repurposes a lot of words (like 'jumbo' means 'bologna') and makes new ones (like 'nebby' means 'nosey').

This would be an interesting experiment, though... If we had a story -- preferably a very short, 1st-person piece -- and gave it to narrators to translate into their dialect and record, then we could put them together and put it in the feed as a bonus track. That might be very interesting. Or maybe do a month where we run the regular stories, then at the end of each episode, tack on a version done in regional dialect. Or just do a thread in the forum inviting people to submit a recording of their favorite part of that week's story read in their regional dialect and recorded on their phone or something. Then, if enough of those are interesting, maybe assemble them into an episode or something.

Hmm -- interesting possibilities.

Ooooh, dialect discussions.  Love em.  Love deciphering them.  Love listening to people and trying to figure out where they're from through their accent and choice of words.  I had a friend from Philly come up to visit me in Boston, and we went to a sub shop.  He ordered a "chicken cheese steak".  Hilarity ensued.  Another time dialects came up was when I was in the Air and Space Museum in DC, and overheard a woman asking the info desk "Where can I find a bubbler?"  The poor person behind the desk was baffled, so I went over and I pointed the woman to the water fountain that was hiding around the corner.  As we walked over, I said "Are you from the Boston area?"  She replied in the affirmative, and wondered how I knew, because she didn't have a noticable Boston accent. I explained that bubbler was one of those very specific regional words that just doesn't migrate for whatever reason.  She looked confused, but thanked me all the same.

If we ever do a dialect episode, or if anyone needs anything read in a Boston accent, sign me up. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go drink a cabinet.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 01:59:08 PM by Gamercow »

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Reply #77 on: June 20, 2013, 02:15:13 PM
"Bubbler" is CLASSIC New England.

Is anyone here old enough to have ever seen the kind of fountain that word comes from? We had one in the park my folks took me to when I was a kid and kids pretty much always made it a routine to use it through the course of play, much to the horror of parents (and to present day me -- how did we all not get hepatitis?). For those not familiar, bubblers were always-on fountains that shot a Sharpie(tm) -thick jet straight up a couple inches that doubled back on itself as it fell to the drain, giving the "bubbling" appearance. The one I mentioned above, though, wasn't very strong and had a slow drain, so that using it pretty much meant sinking your face into a pool of water, which kids didn't mind, but -- ewww.


Imagine this, with the intent for public drinking...
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 02:16:44 PM by matweller »



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Reply #78 on: June 20, 2013, 03:03:18 PM
"Bubbler" is CLASSIC New England.

Is anyone here old enough to have ever seen the kind of fountain that word comes from? We had one in the park my folks took me to when I was a kid and kids pretty much always made it a routine to use it through the course of play, much to the horror of parents (and to present day me -- how did we all not get hepatitis?). For those not familiar, bubblers were always-on fountains that shot a Sharpie(tm) -thick jet straight up a couple inches that doubled back on itself as it fell to the drain, giving the "bubbling" appearance. The one I mentioned above, though, wasn't very strong and had a slow drain, so that using it pretty much meant sinking your face into a pool of water, which kids didn't mind, but -- ewww.


Imagine this, with the intent for public drinking...

I'm no germaphobe, but yuck.


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Reply #79 on: June 20, 2013, 03:19:13 PM
We had the foul-smelling 'health giving' waters of Harrogate and many's the miserable encounter I had with that stinking effluence as a child! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Pump_Room,_Harrogate

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Reply #80 on: June 20, 2013, 06:55:16 PM
"Bubbler" is CLASSIC New England.

I've heard "bubbler" is used in some parts of Wisconsin as well, not sure how it migrated there from New England.



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Reply #81 on: June 20, 2013, 07:53:51 PM
"Bubbler" is CLASSIC New England.

I've heard "bubbler" is used in some parts of Wisconsin as well, not sure how it migrated there from New England.

Yeah I spent several years in Milwaukee and "bubbler" was ubiquitous.

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Reply #82 on: June 21, 2013, 02:04:57 PM
"Bubbler" is CLASSIC New England.

I've heard "bubbler" is used in some parts of Wisconsin as well, not sure how it migrated there from New England.

Yeah I spent several years in Milwaukee and "bubbler" was ubiquitous.

That's news to me, but very interesting.  I really wonder how that word migrated there.

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Reply #83 on: July 10, 2013, 10:23:18 PM
"Bubbler" is CLASSIC New England.

Is anyone here old enough to have ever seen the kind of fountain that word comes from? We had one in the park my folks took me to when I was a kid and kids pretty much always made it a routine to use it through the course of play, much to the horror of parents (and to present day me -- how did we all not get hepatitis?). For those not familiar, bubblers were always-on fountains that shot a Sharpie(tm) -thick jet straight up a couple inches that doubled back on itself as it fell to the drain, giving the "bubbling" appearance. The one I mentioned above, though, wasn't very strong and had a slow drain, so that using it pretty much meant sinking your face into a pool of water, which kids didn't mind, but -- ewww.

LOL!

I just drank from one of those fountains on my run today. But this one was the properly functioning kind, where the jet smacks you in the face as soon as you turn it on to drink.

Interestingly enough, I have never heard the name "bubbler" before. And I spent 5 years in Rhode Island....

Anyway, misogyny aside, I thought the story was fun.



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Reply #84 on: July 11, 2013, 06:30:14 PM
Anyway, misogyny aside, I thought the story was fun.

Was it misogynistic?  I was taught that misogyny meant actual hatred of women.  What I read in the story seemed more like sexist perhaps.

Or has the definition changed?



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Reply #85 on: July 11, 2013, 08:20:02 PM
Etymologically speaking, misogyny would translate directly to "hatred of women," yes.  In meaning, however, the word is not limited solely to Jack D. Ripper ranting about his precious bodily fluids.  This story minimizes and dismisses the female characters for nonsensical reasons based on patriarchal "common wisdom" about gender roles, which is misogyny, however unintended or expected given the cultural milieu.