Drabblecast 154 - Family Values

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StalinSays
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Drabblecast 154 - Family Values

Post by StalinSays » Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:16 am

Drabble - The Stone Who Loved
by Nathan Lee

Family Values
by Sara Genge

"Although she was tired, Wu was careful not to show it. Her pregnancies were progressing nicely. The eldest foetus, Hoo, was about to be born, and she was getting too big for parties, but the Senate elections were only months away and her visible pregnancy gave her an advantage she could not afford to waste......."

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Scattercat » Fri Mar 12, 2010 6:37 am

BEST DRABBLE EVAR!!!

;-)

I really liked this story when I heard it on Escape Pod. It's nice to see legitimately alien aliens now and then instead of plot-device aliens.

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by themorg » Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:29 am

Scattercat wrote:BEST DRABBLE EVAR!!!

;-)

I really liked this story when I heard it on Escape Pod. It's nice to see legitimately alien aliens now and then instead of plot-device aliens.
Agreed that the Drabble was my favorite one this year so far. I was sure i had heard it before and i am glad you knew exactly where it had been. Other than escape pod i don't know where else i would have heard it.

Great story, i have been waiting for a pick me up like this after a week of sleepless evenings programing. Tracy was so dead on with the reading it made me feel i was in a far off place that felt local. The way Roman soldiers always have a British accent or how science always surprises me.

I also wish gestation was as simple as a # of kilowatts and coulomb in the womb. If so i would merely figure out a way to create energy and pass as many plyopod through my open circulatory system. In a short time my spawn would have enough bio mass to overtake Asian carp and i would get a Wikipedia page of my own.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by strawman » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:13 pm

Congrats, cat.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by moonowl » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:22 pm

What I like best about this story is the political maneuvering. Instead of motherhood being seen as a negative career damaging move, it's seen as a display of her prowess. Very interesting.

The twabble was great. I'll be careful next time I touch up my roots.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by dreamrock » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:45 pm

I love the Wisest Stone stories and hope to hear them all in audio form eventually. Really awesome work, Scattercat.

The main story is really great in the sense that the society it depicts is truly Other. It's a matriarchy with polyandry where the young are assumed to be conservative by default and the young are an important and respected constituency. But it still has the human qualities that allow us to relate to it. Sex, love, and power are still huge motivators. Money--or in this case, energy--still is a determining factor on how soon you have children for some of the population.

It holds an intriguing mirror up to our own society.

Sadly, I had trouble relating to the characters. It's not that they're insufficiently human. It's that they're too much like Earth politicians (who I have no sympathy for whatsoever) and I didn't find the protag to be a sufficiently better option than her rival to care which won. In a sense, this is still a strength of the writing. I don't think we're meant to sympathize with the protagonist. It just made it hard for me to enjoy it.

Norm's take on the asexual story I linked was stunning. :D Never would have imagined something so wonderful and Drabblecast-y coming out of that.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by moonowl » Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:59 pm

dreamrock wrote:It's that they're too much like Earth politicians (who I have no sympathy for whatsoever) and I didn't find the protag to be a sufficiently better option than her rival to care which won.
I admit this story made me think of Sarah Palin...
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by dreamrock » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:50 pm

moonowl wrote:
dreamrock wrote:It's that they're too much like Earth politicians (who I have no sympathy for whatsoever) and I didn't find the protag to be a sufficiently better option than her rival to care which won.
I admit this story made me think of Sarah Palin...
:lol: Makes me think of Margaret Thatcher. And Barbara Bush.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Phenopath » Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:11 am

Great drabble, great story.

The feature story is really solid. Sex and politics is a winning combination. It did seem ruder than when I heard it on EscapePod, is that a function of Tracy's reading?
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Scattercat » Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:42 am

Well, I think one can prefer the protag because she refrains from actively spreading catty rumors, but that's really not setting the bar terribly high.

I would agree that the mundanity of the politicking was a bit of a turnoff after the interesting setup of the alien societal rules. At the very least, there needed to be at least three more betrayals and a scandal involved before the denouement. (Oh, Vampire LARPs, where hast thou gone? Or a really good Nobilis game. That'd work too.) I think that was part of the point; I suspect this piece is less about "Hey, aliens!" and more about "Hey, ya'll, it's not THAT weird to imagine things being different than they are. Women can be rulers. Polygamy can be the norm. It'd still all look about the same." It's just done with glowy jellyfish instead of a dormload of dirty hippies at Oberlin. (I never did work up the courage to even go into Harkness House, though I did encounter a naked girl in the snow there once.)

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by nolly » Sat Mar 13, 2010 5:45 am

I preferred Alisdair Stuart's Escape Pod reading of "Family Values" -- I found his voice, tone, and pace easier to engage with. I really like the art used for this one, though -- most of the time, I could take or leave the episode art, but this was definitely to my taste. I did enjoy the Drabble.

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Richmazzer » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:47 am

"One night stands aren't easy... that's long time to stand."

Loved this episode. And yes the drabble and twabble were great. I thought the main story was definitely interesting and enjoyed it. I do vaguely remember hearing it on escapepod a long time ago but it had a much more engaging feel to it this time, for whatever reason. If Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy were jellyfish aliens perhaps.

*just went back and gave a short listen to part of the escapepod version and definitely have to disagree with nolly. I like Alasdair, but IMO Tracy's reading really sold this story much better, not to mention the quality of the recording.*

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Richmazzer » Sat Mar 13, 2010 7:54 am

Oh, but I do agree on the episode art. Top notch

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Poppydragon » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:10 am

Phenopath wrote:Great drabble, great story.

The feature story is really solid. Sex and politics is a winning combination. It did seem ruder than when I heard it on EscapePod, is that a function of Tracy's reading?
Have to agree, definitely sounded ruder this time round, but then I guess a female voice for a female character was always going to work well. Interesting that a comment about the audio on EP came up as for some reson I had problems with the audio on this one. I normally listen in the car without problems but this was sliughtly fuzzy and I needed the volume higher than normal to make out the story.

It was nice to here Norm read my twabble too :oops:

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by dreamrock » Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:11 pm

Poppydragon wrote:It was nice to here Norm read my twabble too :oops:
:lol: No reason to feel embarrassed about that.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by normsherman » Sat Mar 13, 2010 9:33 pm

Poppydragon wrote:
Phenopath wrote:Great drabble, great story.

The feature story is really solid. Sex and politics is a winning combination. It did seem ruder than when I heard it on EscapePod, is that a function of Tracy's reading?
Have to agree, definitely sounded ruder this time round, but then I guess a female voice for a female character was always going to work well. Interesting that a comment about the audio on EP came up as for some reson I had problems with the audio on this one. I normally listen in the car without problems but this was sliughtly fuzzy and I needed the volume higher than normal to make out the story.

It was nice to here Norm read my twabble too :oops:
It was a fun Twabble! I know a girl who's dyed her hair so many times she's gotta be close to that point. :-)

Interesting about the "fuzzy" and volume issues. Anyone else have this problem? Before posting, I always drive around the block and listen to the finished edit while smoking a cigar. If it makes it past my "car test," then I know it's good to hit the feed, and this one didn't raise any flags with me.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by Poppydragon » Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:13 pm

normsherman wrote: Interesting about the "fuzzy" and volume issues. Anyone else have this problem? Before posting, I always drive around the block and listen to the finished edit while smoking a cigar. If it makes it past my "car test," then I know it's good to hit the feed, and this one didn't raise any flags with me.
Might just be my ipod or download, (or maybe my ears just melted)

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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by alhilton » Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:53 am

This was awesome when I heard it on EP, and it just got more awesome on DC.

To me, the funniest thing about this story is the way the jelly fish are referred to as "men" and "women." It fascinates me, because the writer simply refuses to be stumped by a common problem when writing about non-human characters. The words "man" and "woman" carry deep, complex connotations that no other words possess. "Male" and "female" do not mean the same thing, and no made-up can carry the same gut-level weight. "He became a man" makes sense to us. "He became a male" does not.

Often, you need that weight to convey your meaning. You're reaching for the cultural sense of the word, not the species sense, but you can't get one without the other. Most writers bow to the species definition, select weaker nouns, and try to convey the complexity in other (wordier) ways.

This author just refuses to be flummoxed. She's going to call her jellyfish men and women. So there.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by dreamrock » Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:05 am

alhilton wrote:This author just refuses to be flummoxed. She's going to call her jellyfish men and women. So there.
Yeah, I noticed that too. It was an interesting solution to the eternal speculative fiction question "What word do you use say for Trojan Horse in a world that never had a Trojan War?"

In a sense, it's the obvious choice, but it's also a brave one too because the assumption is that picky readers will complain. And maybe they will. Picky readers always will complain, though, and the point is to express the idea in such a way that most of the audience will understand what's going on on both an intellectual level and an emotional level.
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Re: Drabblecast 154 - Family Values by Sara Genge

Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:41 pm

normsherman wrote:Interesting about the "fuzzy" and volume issues. Anyone else have this problem? Before posting, I always drive around the block and listen to the finished edit while smoking a cigar. If it makes it past my "car test," then I know it's good to hit the feed, and this one didn't raise any flags with me.
First off- Norm, we love you, and want the DC to live a long and happy life. My grandfather died before I was born from throat cancer from cigars every night. Nasty stuff.

Second off- The volume was fine. However the narrator has a very hard to understand voice, so I had to turn up the volume about 40% to clearly hear the story. When you mix a silky voice with unusual words, it becomes hard to understand.

The drabble was great, the story was good. I pretty much echo Dreamrock's sentiments.

Awesome intro, as ever.
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