Drabblecast 052 - Sleep Age

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Mr. Tweedy
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Drabblecast 052 - Sleep Age

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:59 pm

Image

Around back there's a smaller, dimmer lobby with a line of tired-looking people clutching their little blinking cylinders as they wait to have them verified to get their money...

"Human Battery" by Norm Sherman

1 year of Drabblecast! Woo hoo!

Art by Bo Kaier

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Re: Drabblecast 52- Sleep Age by Jacob Sewell

Post by Kail_Panille » Thu Feb 21, 2008 8:35 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:1 year of Drabblecast! Woo hoo!
Indeed. Congratulations to all and sundry, it's been a good year.

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Post by Dustin » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:54 pm

Happy one year! That was an interesting story and a funny song to go with it.

If we are short on cash, could we donate sleep to the podcast? I am sure the authors would like more sleep! :wink:

Thanks again!

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu Feb 21, 2008 11:20 pm

I have a very mixed reaction to this story. One one hand, it was a great concept with lots of implications and the potential to spark deep discussion about ethics both socially and technologically. On the other, it wasn't a story: No plot, no characters, no particular setting. It was just a description of a concept for a story, notes. For that reason, I've got to say I didn't like it.

Norm's song was the actual story. It did have a plot, characters, emotion and even a healthy dose of irony. I liked that story pretty well.

So we had the notes for the story read to us, and then had the actual story sung...
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Post by strawman » Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:57 am

It's conceivable that sleep deprivation could cause people to turn into hallucinating robots (check out college campuses during exam week.)
:shock:

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Post by hooloovoo33 » Fri Feb 22, 2008 2:23 am

Haha, thats amazing. I was actually thinking of this exact idea, down to the sleep bank and all just this morning. And then i listen to this story this evening.... Thats really ironic, or is there a better word?
-hooloovoo33

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Post by normsherman » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:01 am

Mr. Tweedy wrote: On the other, it wasn't a story: No plot, no characters, no particular setting. It was just a description of a concept for a story, notes.
Yah, I think that would disengage me normally, but concept-based stuff seems to work alright in flash fiction, at least IMO, and that's why you usually see more of it there than anywhere else. Beekeepers was basically the same thing wasn't it?
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Post by normsherman » Fri Feb 22, 2008 4:17 am

hooloovoo33 wrote:Haha, thats amazing. I was actually thinking of this exact idea, down to the sleep bank and all just this morning. And then i listen to this story this evening.... Thats really ironic, or is there a better word?
How bout creepy! :shock:
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Post by cammoblammo » Fri Feb 22, 2008 9:55 am

normsherman wrote:
Mr. Tweedy wrote: On the other, it wasn't a story: No plot, no characters, no particular setting. It was just a description of a concept for a story, notes.
Yah, I think that would disengage me normally, but concept-based stuff seems to work alright in flash fiction, at least IMO, and that's why you usually see more of it there than anywhere else. Beekeepers was basically the same thing wasn't it?
I was thinking the same thing. For me, stories are about ideas. Mr Tweedy's probably right in that this doesn't strictly qualify as a story, but it does a great job of getting the idea over. It breaks the old 'show, don't tell' canard, but who cares? If it works well in audio, and the ideas are strong, I don't really care about how we categorise the piece.

I like 'Beekeepers,' I think for similar reasons. In some ways it's easier to listen to because you don't have to keep track of voices, who's speaking in the dialogue and so on. Although I did miss Norm's range of voices on this one.

There are other ways this could be done --- for example, it could be done mockumentary style (like `This is Spinal Tap') with interviews and stuff. Or, if it's to be read out loud, write it as a radio news report (`War of the Worlds?')

Just on that, Norm, do you get many submissions that are specifically written for audio presentation? I might give it a try one day.

(I should add that my wife fell asleep while we listened to this story. I suggested that she could be earning money while she slept, but she missed my point and went back to sleep. Ah well.)

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Post by Philippa » Fri Feb 22, 2008 10:09 am

normsherman wrote:
Mr. Tweedy wrote: On the other, it wasn't a story: No plot, no characters, no particular setting. It was just a description of a concept for a story, notes.
Yah, I think that would disengage me normally, but concept-based stuff seems to work alright in flash fiction, at least IMO, and that's why you usually see more of it there than anywhere else. Beekeepers was basically the same thing wasn't it?
I agree - if there's not enough time to develop decent characters and a complex story line, one of them is going to suffer. I found the laying out of the facts without the distraction of any character interactions in this story left far more scope for my imagination to cook up all the repercussions the technology would have on people's lives. Besides, there is a primary character, you just don't know it until the end.

Only one "inconsistency" that jumped out at me (and this is just nitpicking) - why would there be people who hadn't slept since they were infants? I'd have the baby in the flophouse 8 hours a day at least!

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Post by strawman » Fri Feb 22, 2008 3:05 pm

Philippa wrote: I'd have the baby in the flophouse 8 hours a day at least!
Philippa has identified the core market. Sleep cylinders would definitely revolutionize the baby-sitting and day-care industry.
It would also revolutionize the entertainment industry if a way could be devised to peer into the sleepers' dreams.
But Norm already does that.

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Post by G. E. Lee » Fri Feb 22, 2008 6:19 pm

Not much to add that hasn't been said already. Great story, and I loved the song at the end! Norm will have to issue a "Best Songs of The Drabblecast" CD before too much longer.
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Post by tbaker2500 » Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:00 am

After having a really bad day, I saw this new drabblecast and had a listen. What a joy!

I'm not sure why, but somehow it restored my faith in humanity, and brought a smile to my face.

Thanks for bringing a little more perspective to this world.

Tom
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The Dribblecast, we don't care if you sound like an idiot.

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Post by bolddeceiver » Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:38 am

Even for flash, this felt uncomfortably like a synopsis, and that had me disappointed in the whole thing... until the song. Really pulled it all together. Nicely done, it was stuck in my head the whole week.

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Post by AynSavoy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 7:10 am

I agree with the listeners who compared this story to The Beekeepers, and I think it worked for the same reasons The Beekeepers did...except that the end, coming back to an actual character who has been narrating, felt rather tacked on to me, like there could have been more to it. But, I also didn't feel like I understood what was going on at that point very well.

But, as others have pointed out, I do think there's a place for concept pieces in flash fiction, and I think we're really lucky to have a venue like Drabblecast where they can be presented in audio format, which think makes them a lot more palatable.

The song was AWESOME. When can we get a separate mp3?

Finally, the graphic that went along with this story appeared in my Latin American history textbook last week. Crazy coincidence!
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Post by gfplux » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:10 pm

OK OK I am dumb.
I must be the only one who did not understand what the second invention was.
Put me out of my misery please tell me

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:58 pm

The second invention was solar-powered sleep cells. With it, no one would ever have to sleep, ever. Seems great, right? Well, yeah, except for the fact that there were now millions of people who did nothing but sleep for a living. This invention would put them all out on the street.

Decisions, decisions.

Actually, that's a great setup for novel. Go get 'em, Jacob!
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Post by strawman » Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:29 pm

Fantastic, Tweedy, you could rewrite all the old zombie stories making them Unemployed Sleepers, or Welfare Sleepers, (depending on PC zombie politics).
Matter of fact, I think I'll entertain myself by pretending that the presidential campaign is actually a competition between unemployed sleeping zombies.
It makes more sense than alternative explanations.

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Post by Kevin Anderson » Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:53 pm

Just wanted to say I thought the song was brilliant. I just heard it for the first time, while driving down the 5 freeway – and it made me think how much richer some of the past episodes might have been with a little toe-tapping number. I’d love to hear a nice ditty about the little girl that likes to collect marbles, or a squiggle tune about large worms in unusual places.

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Re: Drabblecast 52- Sleep Age by Jacob Sewell

Post by Unblinking » Tue May 24, 2011 4:24 pm

Very interesting idea! But it was more synopsis than story. I'd be interested in seeing a story based on this.

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