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Drabblecast 165 - Doubleheader VI

Posted: Thu May 27, 2010 6:50 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Ringing Up Baby
Mobius, Stripped of a Muse
by Ellen Klages

The baby list is not very long. Babies only come in about six colors — we’re getting one that matches Mother and me. Humans are a lot less interesting than Legos or iBots...


Music by Kerry Muzzey, Norm Sherman, John Scott Trotter, Aaron Derington, Victor Stellar

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Fri May 28, 2010 10:21 pm
by Travelin Corpse Feet
Both cute but ultimately forgettable. In particular, "Mobius, Stripped of a Muse" feels more like a fun experiment with fiction, than it does a bona fide story.

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Sun May 30, 2010 5:01 am
by tbaker2500
A great doubleheader! I loved this one.

Ringing Up Baby didn't go the direction I was expecting. I many ways, this is classic Drabblecast. Catches you off guard, makes you laugh and smile at how crazy the world is.

Mobius was very good. While it is inevitable to see the ending coming (it IS a Mobius strip), the author did a great job of portraying each level. I really saw each scene.

Great use of music throughout!

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:40 pm
by Etaan
You're right about this being an old-school Drabblecast. I'm a relatively new listener and as I've made my way through the archives over the last 6 months or so several things have jumped out to me:

1. Many of the most memorable moments have been when Norm just started riffing Freestyle about his unique take on a story

2. The production quality has been consistently top notch and you can tell that the team really takes a lot of pride in their work

3. The stories have been clearly trending towards a more serious feel. I'm not sure if that's the right word, but it's been less of the oddball alternative fare and more like what you'd hear on Escape Pod or Pseudopod. This was a nice return to the non-epic.

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:35 pm
by strawman
Toast was relatively recent.

If you haven't yet, check out the Escher link. It's explanation about the mathematical basis of Escher's work is first rate.

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:47 pm
by Phenopath
I liked Bringing Up Baby, the ruthless egotism of the prospective big sister rang true. i.e. 'A sister is someone I can be the boss of.' And the phosphorescent conclusion made me smile.

'Mobius, Stripped of a Muse' is a concept have encountered elsewhere, such as Caslvino's 'If on a winter's night a traveller' (although this episode's story was shorter and therefore not as dull). I find the abbreviated stories not very satisfying, and would have preferred to hear the potboiler promised at the start.

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:10 pm
by strawman
Hmmm. I listened twice, because I'm too easily distracted. I agree that Bringing up Baby is amusing.

If I had a young daughter, and my wife were expecting, we would listen to this and laugh.

The Moebius story was made more interesting by Norm's Escher link (thanks!) as an experience of different dimensions: Numbers become geometry become objects. And in this case, become a 'moebius story'.

Might we be singing the last verse of The Song That Never Ends?

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:22 pm
by LajesticVantrashellofLob
Ringing up Baby is amusing?!?

Ringing up Baby was one of the most horrifying stories I've ever heard. The idea of designer children has horrified me ever since Escape Pod ran a story about a couple who broke up because their genes weren't compatible enough to produce a competitive child. The fact that there are now kits that let people test this sort of thing... it chills me to the bone that as this technology grows cheaper, it could combine with human curiosity to eventually form a horrifying world where people who are born "the old fashioned way" are at a disadvantage.

Oh, and while the light touches at the end were nice, they couldn't distract me from the sheer horror of it all. It took a new piece to do that.

Let's see - a space writer being written by a 30's novelist being written by a student in a creative literature being written by a slush reader being written by Janet and... wait, I'm listening to the story as I write this and I just realized the title! That was... that was amazing.

I've been tempted to do something with that trope before - my twist was that the authors are writing each other - and I'm tempted to revisit it because of this piece...

Anyway. Very glad that I decided to spend a summer's night catching up on a Drabblecast episode or two :)

(And I just realized that 'Ringing Up Baby' could do with a B at the beginning - clever pun. Should have seen that earlier...)

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:49 pm
by EvoShandor
I feel let down by both of these pieces. (Just like Intelligent Design.)

Intelligent Design and Ringing Up Baby just explored ideas. Like the SF stories you read about an engineer trying to make something work, but all it’s about is describing the machine so the author can show how smart he is. The reader of Ringing Up Baby did an excellent job turning the narrator into a character, but the character would have been dull on the page. There’s nothing really a risk here. Like Travelin Corpse Feet said: forgettable. It seems like “Here’s a cool idea and, hee-hee, a funny twist at the end.” (And Intelligent Design was an endless repeating of an idea that went nowhere.) Not a story, not satisfying, not engaging.

Mobius, Stripped of a Muse is the same thing. Writing about writers having writing problems is amusing to writers, but not much else. Most sub guides forbid stories about writers. And as soon as she jumped stories, you knew where it was going. If there had been something else like a villain (even an ethereal one) jumping realities, trying to escape but stuck in the endless loop THAT would have been cool. This seems more like a writing exercise than a real story.

I despair for the Hugo and Nebulas when these kind of stories that I used to get from High School students make the ballot.

Re: Drabblecast 165- Doubleheader VI - Ellen Klages

Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:50 pm
by Unblinking
Neither of these did much for me. I agree with EvoShandor about Ringing Up Baby being an idea exploration that didn't really seem to go anywhere. Mobius was cute, but again EvoShandor said it well: more like a writing exercise than a real story.