Author Topic: EP402: The Tale of the Golden Eagle  (Read 23413 times)


  • Hipparch
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Reply #50 on: July 26, 2013, 02:08:05 PM
For me this story started of slow.  Interesting, but slow.  Then around the time of the card game, my brain clicked, the penny dropped, and I started viewing this story as a "tale", along the lines of Arabian Nights, or the Knights of the Round Table.  Viewed from that standpoint, the wordiness of it became a beautiful weaving of story.  Not sure how I can explain it, but it definitely made a difference.  Excellent narration, by the way.

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


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Reply #51 on: August 02, 2013, 03:53:38 PM
I liked the first part, and would have loved to hear more about the eagles being used to drive ships through space, on the other hand everything in present time was a little dull i thought.

Two questions : First we are told that Eagles were the best creatures, that makes me wonder how useful a human would be.
Also the eagle (can't remember her name) says that travelling through space is so painful she would rather die than do it, yet the guy at the end apparently had no problems..

The original starships were driven by Human brains. It was only after using Humans for this purpose was outlawed that engineers looked around for another method of guiding starships through space. I doubt the Golden Eagle brain was better than the Human brain, since it required additional technology to be grafted on in order to work, but it served because the Golden Eagle's brain has a large visual cortex.

As to the pain: the pain wasn't in flying the ship. The author made it very clear that she loved flying between the stars. The pain came when she was cut free from the keel of the ship and her brain case was connected to equipment it wasn't designed for. While she loved starflight more than anything, she simply couldn't go through the pain again in order to have that opportunity.


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Reply #52 on: August 02, 2013, 04:12:07 PM
I absolutely loved this story. I loved the fairy tale style, and I thought the author's reading was great. (And for what it's worth: Steve read a couple of his own stories in the past.)

I have to admit that I'm a sucker for stories that explore relationships between humans and AI's or Humanoid robots. One of the biggest reasons I  watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles was the relationship between John, the Human and Cameron, the Robot.

This story is interesting, not so much because a man falls in love with a (mostly) machine, but mostly I think because the man himself is such a study in opposites: he's a good man, as can be seen by the way he treats the "story telling machine", but he's also a bit selfish: he lures the duke into a card game with the express purpose of taking the robot.

But again, this goes back to the fairy tale nature of the story: fairy tales and fables are full of characters who fall in love and who will do anything to have the object of their affection. And there's no doubt he loves Nerissa thoroughly and utterly. She's not a machine to him. She's a person, and she deserves her freedom, not to be bound as a slave.

That, of course, is what makes his sacrifice so poetic. He not only gives up his Human life in order to save her, but he actually becomes what she was. After that moment, neither of them could ever possibly be apart from the other. After all, who better could understand Nerissa but another ship mind, and who would ever love Denali more than Nerissa could?

That they loved each other, I have no doubt. She loved him for his kindness and his sacrifice and their shared bond of this experience of being a ship mind, and he loved her not just for her glittering jeweled body - remember that he was going to sell it for parts before he actually met her - but for her charm and wit and for the things she brought to his life.


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Reply #53 on: August 02, 2013, 05:01:05 PM
Completely loved this story, it's just so full of great imagery! Did anyone else have the song "Dancing in the Moonlight" stuck in their head by the end?

I know some didn't like the long exposition at the start, but that didn't bother me. It felt like an important part of the story rather than just a lot of unnecessary info.

I did accurately guess how it was going to end the moment he presented the ship and she refused to be taken from her current body. It seemed the only way for things to work out, though I also wondered if she'd just fly the ship manually rather than by brain power, which, in a way, she kinda did.

The only thing this story left wanting was more tales of their adventures. Do you know if David D Levine wrote more about this pair or is this a one-off?


  • Hipparch
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Reply #54 on: August 07, 2013, 03:19:27 PM
I'm with adianh and TB3: I got a very strong Cordwainer Smith vibe off this story. Perhaps because of that association, I guessed pretty early where the story would go. But that didn't diminish my enjoyment of the piece, which got along well with me without surprise but with some interesting characters and scenes.


  • Palmer
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Reply #55 on: August 19, 2013, 07:50:23 AM
I loved this yarn.  I'm glad I was in a mood and place to be able to let it unwind at its own pace and get lost in it: it had a lovely slow and steady rhythm that drew me in.  If there are more stories of the silver captain and human ship, I'd love to read or hear them.


  • Lochage
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Reply #56 on: September 16, 2013, 03:36:26 PM
Oh, beautiful! Gorgeous story. I really enjoyed it from beginning to end. the card game had me on edge, though David had dropped hints it turned out well. I did see the end coming when the MC realized he was out of options, and yet I enjoyed the bittersweetness of it.

David's a great storyteller. Loved it to bits. Now I'll have to check out his book as well!

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  • Hipparch
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Reply #57 on: October 15, 2013, 12:36:27 AM
Fascinating story.  Excellent narration.  Loved it. 

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.    -  Carl Sagan


  • Palmer
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Reply #58 on: October 15, 2013, 05:04:52 PM
This is also one of my favorite stories I've heard on Escapepod.  Brilliant, original and emotionally engaging.  This is why I come to science fiction.


  • Hipparch
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Reply #59 on: October 28, 2013, 01:51:45 AM
Add me to the "what info dump, where?" camp. To me, it just sounded like the natural unrolling of a good story. But I am partial to stories that begin at the beginning and not in the middle.


  • Matross
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Reply #60 on: January 14, 2014, 12:32:08 PM
This was unexpectedly enjoyable. A fairy-tale styled story set in a Science Fictional universe where there was actually an co-evolution of technology and ethics, and a pretty touching love story to boost. Not much to dislike in my eyes. OK, maybe that dance scene in the moonlight felt a wee tacky, but that's a minor spot. The reading was also very good.   


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Reply #61 on: February 08, 2016, 08:25:46 PM
I think this was one of my favorite ones so far. The end was amazing, it gave me the chills.