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Drabblecast 044 - The Arc of Hronos

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 4:00 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
"The Arc of Hronos" by Anden Sharp

“No problem, doctor,” Anash said, his black eyes shining. “I’ve almost finished checking those measurements. That tooth—” He nodded at the incisor. “—it looks homo sapien. It could be the oldest ever- this could be huge Dr”

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2008 12:19 pm
by gifo
To me the twist was telegraphed loud and clear early on in the story (when it became clear he was going back to the same era the jaw had turned up from). After that, nothing of much value was left in the tale.

Strange thing - for a while it looked like "Can you guess my name?" was the title of this story, not the drabble. The answer, of course, was YES.

Pleeze to meet youuuu

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:03 am
by normsherman
I think that Rolling Stones song wins HANDS DOWN as having the WORST guitar solo ever. It's almost beautiful in its awfulness.

I don't pick the stories any more so I feel ok chiming in- I liked the Warden's Last Day better than this one, I agree that there may have been some ways to make the twist stronger and less obvious.
Once I got over expecting a twist I kindof relaxed a bit and enjoyed it more.
I heard there was a Crighton book similiar to this concept?

Story Pickin'

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:11 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Hey Norm - Why did you distance yourself from the story pickin' ?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 6:25 pm
by normsherman
Two reasons kinda. Main one was to even out the work load since I'm responsible for doin the actual show. 2nd was to keep things diverse- but I still dip in and read the things in the final decision folder to make sure I'm not going to hate them.

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:11 pm
by tbaker2500
There were many things which felt unrealistic in the "personal decisions" department of this story. However, the fact the the author stayed away from the overdone time paradoxes and just let the scientist die, brought a nice warm fuzzy feeling to the piece.

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:53 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Can't say I cared for this one at all. Not every story has to have a surprise ending, but this one I saw from three, maybe four miles out. As soon as we learned that the paleontologist was working an the oldest homo sapiens find ever, I was 55% sure it was going to be about time travel. Once it was mentioned that the husband had a distinctive tooth, I was 75% sure it was about time travel and the jaw bone belonged to him. Once we found out he was a physicist working on the proverbial "something big," it was just a matter of waiting for the rock to be chipped off the gold crown.

I think it was so obvious for two reasons: 1.) There really wasn't anywhere else for the story to go and 2.) this has been done many, many times. The causality loop idea has been used in 543 stories, 115 movies and in at least one episode of every sci-fi show since Twilight Zone. (Which doesn't make it a bad idea to use in a story, just a bad twist for ending one.)

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:10 pm
by strawman
Yah, the gold tooth spoiled it, being mentioned so early in the story. If you're going to have a twist, it needs to be sudden. For example, she could have unearthed her husband's wedding ring. Still pretty lame, but not as disappointing.

Re: Arc of Hronos

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 11:44 pm
by RNDG33K
normsherman wrote:I heard there was a Crighton book similiar to this concept?
As a matter of fact, there was. In Timeline, characters are sent back in time to the middle ages while other characters stay in the present and study the ruins of a castle where the people had been sent. One person stays and leaves a momento to his friends and they later get to look at his grave stone.

There are quite a few times in the novel where modern man changes the past.

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:30 pm
by Philippa
Bah, hate predictable "twists" :( Time travel stories are hard to pull off I suppose. Steering clear of explaining paradoxes/plot holes helps though, in my experience. My fave time-travel story is Heinlein's gender-boggling "All You Zombies-".

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:57 am
by normsherman
Have you read Time Traveler's Wife? What'd you think?

Posted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 4:35 pm
by anadrea
Did anyone else hear the Escape Pod story this week (http://escapepod.org/2008/01/18/ep141-t ... ntosaurus/)? It started out pretty similar to this story, but I think the twist it took was pretty far fetched (because time travel isn't...). I think I liked the Arc better.

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 6:30 pm
by vburn
I liked the EP story better. The twist was just as obvious, in fact in the EP story the main character even ponders that it is his bone, but the author did a great job of twisting the twist around. The DC story just gave you the twist you saw coming from jump street.

Posted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:08 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
I liked "Brontosaurus" a lot better. The twist was just as obvious, but the EP story didn't take itself nearly as seriously. "Hronos" seemed like it was trying to be profound and shocking. "Brontosaurus" was fun and seemed to have a self-deprecating silliness that made it much more entertaining.

Posted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:33 pm
by andyd273
I think I figured out the ending of the story as soon as they said the jaw bone looked modern (about a minute and a half in), even before I found out about the time travel.
I listened to the end to see if there was going to be a surprise ending. There wasn't.

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2008 10:42 pm
by Chivalrybean
I heard the EP and this story on the same day since I am plowing through the archives.

I liked the EP one better for reasons stated above. This one was obvious. Not bad, just obvious.

Re: Drabblecast 044 - The Arc of Hronos

Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:33 pm
by sandrilde
Not great but better for me than the painful warden story. Sigh.

Re: Drabblecast 044 - The Arc of Hronos

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:47 pm
by Varda
Agreed with the other commentary here that this story wasn't terribly original, and that it's been done several times but in more compelling ways. I liked it anyway because it brought to mind an old favorite poem that I have been trying to track down for the last 20 minutes now. I believe it was one of the Rhysling award winners for best sci-fi poem a number of years back.

It had a similar plot to this story. A woman goes back in time to study the early hominids, while back in the present her husband unearths her bones, as well as the bones of their child. The woman encoded her own teeth with her journal entries once she realized something had gone wrong and she wouldn't be able to return to the present. Poignant stuff, and if anyone remembers the author or title, I'd sure be grateful as I now have a hankering to reread it.

All that aside, I think this sort of plotline works best if the surprise isn't that the bones belong to one of the paleontologists. It needs something more of a human element so even when we see the twist coming, we still feel the emotional impact of the setup -- which is that time can be just as cruel a separation as space. I just didn't feel it with the husband and wife in this story. Still, I liked it, and now I want to give the EP episode some other folks have mentioned by way of comparison.

Re: Drabblecast 044 - The Arc of Hronos

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:05 pm
by strawman
To prove your point, this is the premise of The Lake House, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Good movie.

Re: Drabblecast 044 - The Arc of Hronos

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:53 pm
by Varda
strawman wrote:To prove your point, this is the premise of The Lake House, starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Good movie.
That really was a good movie! Tragic temporal romance, done right.