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Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:19 pm
by StalinSays
Feature: Power Armor: A Love Story by David Barr Kirtley
Drabble: Eyes by Steven Saus

Image

Thursday, February 14th, 2013
It was quite a party. The women wore gowns. The men wore tuxedos. Anthony Blair wore power armor.

Armor that was sleek and black and polished, and made not a whisper as Blair paced the lawn behind his mansion, passing a word here or there with one of his guests. In those days the most advanced exoskeletons were crude affairs, and Blair’s armor seemed decades, if not centuries, ahead of its time…


Art by Mike Dominic

Twabble: “ "Doctor Doom? I'm from Mothers Against War, Anguish, Horrors, Anger, Hate & Atrocity." "Mawahaha!" "Yes, that's us." ” by nevermore_66

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 8:24 pm
by GeekAba
Great story! I'm going to try to turn this one on to some of my friends who wouldn't think about listening to a sci-fi story. I'd call this a 'cerebral' romance since you do have to do some thinking about it. Great reading as usual, Norm!
Spoiler:
I'm not sure I believe him when he says he could have prevented himself from dying, so i'm still thinking about that one
I think the Twabble works better in print than on audio, but since I read it online first, I still found it funny :)

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:31 pm
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
GeekAba wrote:... some of my friends who wouldn't think about listening to a sci-fi story.
Might be time to upgrade friends. :?

Anywho, welcome aboard, GeekAba!

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:16 am
by tbaker2500
That was a very sweet story. I liked it.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:35 pm
by strawman
It is actually a very straight parable about intimacy, if you want to take it that way. Which is why I agree with GeekAba. That makes it a good one to share with normal people that you hope to infect, er, I mean upgrade.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:58 pm
by Richmazzer
That story was straight up adorable. And very very well written (and well told.)

"Sounds like the risks outweigh the rewards." "I think you're underestimating the rewards." What a great way to frame the idea of love. I agree with strawman, the analogy about trusting and making yourself vulnerable is nicely done here. "To hold my life in your hands and choose to spare me."
Nicely finessed twists at the end as well.

Big kudos to David Barr Kirtley, this is one of my new favorite short stories to date and will be sharing it often with others!

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:25 pm
by El Barto
+1 on all the praise. Highly enjoyable episode.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:07 pm
by Gr0d
Does anyone here watch "Continuum"?

This story reminded me of how the season ended.
Spoiler:
Even though they started on opposite sides, Kiera and Kellog ended up together in the end because he was the only person she had that knew the same things that she did.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:49 am
by swamp
I really enjoyed this story! Although, I shouldn't be surprized. I haven't read a David Barr Kirtley that I didn't like. Certainly, I like some more than others, but I like his brand of storytelling in general.

This story was surprizingly moving. I came in expecting a good story, but something more two-dimentional and smarmy. I think the Drabblecast episode art is much more appropriate for the tone of the story than the art for the Armored anthology. This is a much deeper and layered story than the original art suggests, and even the title of the story itself.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:24 am
by Josefstadt
So was that supposed to be the "real" ending to the story after the outro? That's dark.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:10 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
Josefstadt wrote:So was that supposed to be the "real" ending to the story after the outro? That's dark.
I think that was just Norm reacting to the jerk that ruined his audio with that car horn.

Welcome aboard, Josefstadt!

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:24 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
Excellent episode all around (Art, Drabble, Story, Twabble). The art and the story were a cut above. The Twabble was good, but it didn't seem to fit the theme as well as scores of other twabbles might.

Anyway, the story did a great job of engaging us, keeping up the suspense, and delivering on a nice happy ending -- all without obvious gimmicks or logic problems. The twists were perfect; the narrative clear.

Charming finish, and you know that the girl really did love him, because she threatened to drown him in the blood of government goons -- instead of something truly evil, like Mountain Dew. :)

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:46 pm
by kingolf
I found this story to be pretty disappointing. The main character was the usual self-insertion, so cool that it would almost be a crime if he didn't get everyone's adoration and, of course, the romantic interest. It would have been an effective criticism of that bland and semi-sexist narrative if she had actually killed him. As it stands it's just another hero story, as cliché and repetitive as the moral: "You must make yourself vulnerable to be able to love." Served not with a twist but a half-assed tweak.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 12:56 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
So jaded!

How it's dealt with (in other stories) can be cliché, sure. But love is not just a bargain, it's a sacrifice. We subvert part of what we want (or much more, if it's unhealthy love), to the perceived needs or desires of our loved one.

We expend effort, resources, and time -- far beyond what the practical economics would dictate -- on those we love. Some of us wouldn't hesitate to risk our lives for theirs. Even the most "rational" human being, is a social animal first and foremost1.

And, yes, we *must* make ourselves vulnerable to love or be loved, almost by definition. That's a fact of nature, deal with it. But, it also doesn't mean that you have to be weak or *let* your partner walk all over you. (But, don't knock it until you've had a practiced partner try it!)

Anyway, thank you for being "the exception that proves the rule" that this story was good. :)



1 It's part of why they all must die.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:13 am
by tbaker2500
For example, this is the first time here that ASID has shown he has a heart, a tender side. Who knew. It would be cruel of me to stomp on it.

Kingolf, I would have the same opinion if I was in a bad mood when I listened to the story. I was in a good mood, so I enjoyed it.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:44 am
by Algernon Sydney is Dead
tbaker2500 wrote:ASID has shown he has a heart... It would be cruel of me to stomp on it.
You wouldn't be the first (or second, or fifth).
Note to self: redouble efforts to SHOW THEM ALL!

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:56 am
by ROU Killing Time
Some comment threads just turn golden spontaneously. Not unlike lead to gold.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:43 am
by kingolf
Oh I totally agree with you, it's just that those points have been hammered home so many times in so many stories that, in a story, they seem not so much profound as a cheap way to get out of having to actually pose a question. Not food for thought, but a facile reinforcement of the conclusions we've all drawn again and again and again.

The wish fulfillment part of it was so blatant that I felt stupid halfway through the story not to have realised it was satirical. Only then it wasn't. And the whole gender power dynamic that accompanies these kinds of stories is pretty troubling to me. The ceding of a bit of control to her only to reveal that, just kidding, he was of course in charge all along, left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The only power she has comes from him allowing her to have it, which isn't really agency.

Also, yeah, I was in a foul mood and I might have enjoyed it if I hadn't been. It's not that it's all that terrible really, mostly just boring. I guess I was really rooting for her killing him, which incidentally would have presented the points you make much more effectively, I think.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 5:28 pm
by tbaker2500
kingolf wrote:Also, yeah, I was in a foul mood and I might have enjoyed it if I hadn't been. It's not that it's all that terrible really, mostly just boring. I guess I was really rooting for her killing him, which incidentally would have presented the points you make much more effectively, I think.
:D :D

There should be two versions of this story- One for those jaded by love stories, where she kills him, and this one for romantics.

Re: Drabblecast 272 – Power Armor: A Love Story

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:16 pm
by swamp
Another thing to take into consideration is that DBK wrote this story specifically for an anthology titled ARMORED, of which at least 80% would consist of military SF. Making a love story out of it was pretty original and was pulled off nicely IMO.