Author Topic: EP551: The Most Absurd Dance at the End of the Worlds  (Read 2970 times)


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on: November 28, 2016, 05:01:52 PM
EP551: The Most Absurd Dance at the End of the Worlds

AUTHOR: Holly Heisey
NARRATOR: Andrea Richardson
HOST: Alasdair Stuart


It was the end of the worlds, and Mr. Jamison and I were arguing over peas. Not the mush you get in a cafeteria, but peas that smelled like grasshoppers and summer. Real, in the shell, peas.

Mr. Jamison detached his monocle and peered down at the pea pods on my outstretched hand. He made a huffing sound that poofed his drooping moustache. He looked like a side character in an old John Wayne movie, stuffed into fussy clothes.

“It is an altogether sensible looking vegetable,” he finally said. “But how will they help us to program the Back Button?”

He motioned to the collection of brass pipes and gauges that hulked on the sturdy worktable. Afternoon sunlight slanted from the warehouse windows and gave the Back Button a purposeful glint. If we could figure out what that purpose was, we could save the worlds.

I picked a pod off my hand and held it to the sunlight. “I think this pod is like the shape our worlds are taking now. The brane that contains the one hundred and nineteen realities is stretched thin and long, and our worlds are lined up inside of it.”

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

Scuba Man

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Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 09:10:15 PM
Hell yeah! This was a fun story to untangle.  And it had its absurd bits to it.  I'm a sucker for a happy ending  :)

I'm a stand-up philosopher until 2024. Then, I move onto my next gig. I'm a gentleman forester and farmer. I also enjoy jumping into Lake Huron and panicking the fish.


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Reply #2 on: December 06, 2016, 03:16:07 PM
Hm...  I like the idea of trying to find a way that the worlds won't all collide horribly, and the struggle involved with trying to actually sort that out.  The simulated world that you can't think of as a simulation without disrupting the simulation was a nice touch.

I probably just missed something, but I had trouble wrapping my head around the fact that they had a device that could apparently fix things if they just decided how it worked.  If you don't know how it works, then how do you build it?  If you don't know how it works, then how do you know that it can work?  I guess it didn't seem clear to me through most of the story that it COULD work, and it struck me as two people building sandcastles on a beach to hold back a tsunami, but it will only work if they build just the right sandcastle.  Maybe it made total sense to other people, but it seemed to me like they were spending all their waning energy trying to construct a solution without the slightest understanding of the problem--not so much that they just needed more time to try different ideas, but that they were just flailing uselessly in the dark.


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Reply #3 on: January 27, 2017, 03:34:35 AM
Stories like this are often very engaging, and then either suffer from a disappointing ending or simply no ending at all. So I appreciate the author for including such a satisfying ending to what essentially boils down to a thought experiment. Plus, I enjoyed both of the main characters, and the rapport they had together.


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Reply #4 on: December 01, 2017, 04:23:25 PM
I got the impression that this was some kind of punishment/therapy that the MC's were sentenced to and the only way they could get out of their prison was to learn something specific that would fix whatever personal defect had gotten them sentenced here in the first place. In this case, I think they needed to learn compassion. I think....