Classics 02 (EP 133) – Over the Walls of Eden

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Classics 02 (EP 133) – Over the Walls of Eden

Postby Kevin Anderson » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:18 pm

Update (Sunday, June 22, 2014): Drabbleclassics 2 – Over the Walls of Eden
Feature: Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake
No drabble for this episode.
Genres: Drabbleclassics Fantasy Mystery Sci-Fi
Original Episode: 133

Image

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
“Why do you remember the books?” he finally asks.
She smiles again. “O Sun, to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell, how glorious once above thy sphere, Till pride and worse ambition threw me down…”


Episode Art: Bo Kaier
Read by: Bill Glover
Music by: Scott Shannon, Bonnie Mitsch, and Norm Sherman
Originally published in in Descant #122, August 2003.

Twabble: “ A common ancestor? Darwin, you poor fool. This ancestor was beautifully complex, and the downward spiral inevitable. ” by GuitarDel
Last edited by Algernon Sydney is Dead on Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:11 pm, edited 7 times in total.
Reason: "Standardize" format. Add or correct links.

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby strawman » Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:38 pm

Don't see how this could be any more different from Clown Eggs, unless it were not as beautifully written, and intelligent. I'm going to have to listen several times to collect things I know I missed. But a story about a child speaking Paradise Lost had me hooked from the start. Jay's range fits magnificently with Norm's range. Mozart was genius in Comic Opera as well as Requiem Mass, which certainly would have raised howls of protest if there had been forums in his day. It seems to me that is what DC is aiming for. Jay, thank you for an excellent story. I'm looking forward to the comments on this one.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby tbaker2500 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:08 pm

I was creeped out by the artwork. Hearing the story, I see the artwork is very reflective of the story. I also thought the music was very well done.

I liked the story! Please help me understand the ending- Is civilization about to be wiped out? I didn't fully understand the mechanisms of the virus.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby tastycakes » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:31 am

tbaker2500 wrote:I was creeped out by the artwork. Hearing the story, I see the artwork is very reflective of the story. I also thought the music was very well done.

I liked the story! Please help me understand the ending- Is civilization about to be wiped out? I didn't fully understand the mechanisms of the virus.


You display diminished capacity.
One day he will look into what a ‘stigmata’ really is; for now, it is his trump card for getting out of work. He simply says ‘stigmata’ and they say ‘shit, hope you feel better soon.’ End of story.

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby tbaker2500 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:28 am

tastycakes wrote:You display diminished capacity.


You know, I was going to come back with a sharp answer, but I think you are right. I've been sick this last week, and I really do display diminished capacity. I should go back to the ship.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby normsherman » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:27 am

"Diminished Capacity" > "Yo Mama "
"Give us all some Jelly"

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby Caid » Fri Oct 09, 2009 11:52 am

I think the ambient music creeped me out more than the story, which I guess can be both praise and critique. I like this sort of short fiction a lot, very limited exposition and a mystic, non-obvious situation that is gradually presented over the course of events. It can really set my mind in motion. I had to concentrate to not have my mind run of on tangents, thinking about what sort of society would treat its agents like this or how this colony could evolve over the centuries (because sooner or later there would be some biological adaptation to this environment).

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby normsherman » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:20 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:I was creeped out by the artwork. Hearing the story, I see the artwork is very reflective of the story. I also thought the music was very well done.

I liked the story! Please help me understand the ending- Is civilization about to be wiped out? I didn't fully understand the mechanisms of the virus.


There's ambiguity, but there is the definite implication that Milton will start an outbreak of "the innocence" virus back at central. However, she mentions that the adults all lived until their first generation of offspring (the vectors-- apparently the virus is latent in children) infected them, and unless you were infected as a child, the virus killed you.

So I think Milton will reach home base, either as a "wild (innocent)" adult or a creepy little virus-laden kid, depending on how long the voyage is. Either way, the virus will spread and wipe out most adults immediately, sparing only children, who will eventually transition into innocence and create this cycle on different worlds throughout humanity. And Emissary's story and name will be remembered and passed on in oral traditions through Milton, his way of giving ship and everyone back home the finger for screwing him over.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby Phenopath » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:06 pm

I found this story confusing. I presume that the mechanics of the virus do not not make sense because the story is allegorical. However I spent most of the time trying to understand the meaning, but failed.

The references to the garden of eden are obvious, but in this story everything is upon its head. Adults, by virtue of their mental incapacity, are the innocents and children are the corrupting influence. The relationship between Emissary and Milton was muddled, he was fascinated with her (why?), but she seemed to patronise him.

I did like Emissary's revenge at the end in which in a moment of lucidity he dispatches the Snake back home.

I am afraid that I preferred Clown Eggs, it was simpler.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby tbaker2500 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:21 pm

I'm glad others display diminished capacity on this story.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby G. E. Lee » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:18 am

Great story. Nice work with the music, too. I likes the way this story hinted at a larger universe behind the scenes without infodumping or leaving me confused. This was also a rare story in that I wasn't a step ahead of the protagonist.
The closing scene was especially touching.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby Praxis » Sun Oct 11, 2009 12:26 am

Hmm.

I did *like* the music, but, especially a few times at the start of the story, it felt faaaaar to heavy handed.
There were a couple of times where, after the narrator and the last bit of music stopped there was a big pause and I was thinking "what's the next tune going to be, then?" rather than being drawn more into the story.

Usually the background effects, foley stuff and music are part of what makes Drabblecast stand out but damn, girl, tone it down.

As to the story, is it that the virus is basically immune to a population entirely of adults and it is only when there are children around that the virus/fungus/whatever is able to latch on and spread?
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby alhilton » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:31 am

That was a fascinating story! It feels like Norm is trying something different with the music. I found it very effective, but it was more invasive than usual. There were times when the music seemed to be overtly telling me how to react - telling me I was supposed to be scared or creeped out or whatever. I'm not sure I would have gotten that from the text.

The story itself had a complex plot folded into a small space - everything flash should be. I think if I'd read it in text, I might have gone back to re-read a paragraph or two. In audio, I found it a little confusing, although most of the pieces fell into place in the end. I still don't understand how or why literature is preserved in this culture, while all science appears to have been lost. Survival of the fittest applies to ideas, too, and literature seems low on the priority list of things to remember. Still, the quoting from Paradise Lost was awesome.

Milton's journey back to base seems like a possible redemption to me. Maybe they can cure her? Maybe they can cure the others? If she arrives in her right mind, it seems likely that she would tell them her situation because she wants to do and experience all the things that Emissary told her about. ...Although the revenge concept is cooler. :)

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby alhilton » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:39 am

Praxis wrote:As to the story, is it that the virus is basically immune to a population entirely of adults and it is only when there are children around that the virus/fungus/whatever is able to latch on and spread?


It seems that the virus can only infect children. However, once a human is infected, he or she can infect other humans. Only those infected as children survive. I think that's what Emissary thinks, but it might not be true. Perhaps the virus just mutated. It's mode of transmission and severity changed once it got into the population.

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby tbaker2500 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 4:44 am

Eh, shows you how people differ. When I started listening to this story, I thought "Wow, what a good use of music!"
It really enhanced the story for me... it immediately reminded me of twilight zone.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby normsherman » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:46 am

hehe you guys are so stinkin perceptive. I was definitely more heavy handed in application of the soundscape this time round, because I was digging around and found a 4 movement recording of an old favorite from my composition teacher back in the day that made me reminisce. Also thought it would work for this week's story because it's character is both horrifying, maddening and innocent.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby HPHovercraft » Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:29 am

normsherman wrote: And Emissary's story and name will be remembered and passed on in oral traditions through Milton, his way of giving ship and everyone back home the finger for screwing him over.


Hmmmm, not sure that's necessarily implied. He had to keep whacking his foot on something to increase his pain enough just to give her the command passwords; I don't get the impression he had the luxury of also supplying his entire backstory, and Milton, while not stupid, isn't going to be able to interrogate the Ship.

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby normsherman » Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:06 am

HPHovercraft wrote:Hmmmm, not sure that's necessarily implied. He had to keep whacking his foot on something to increase his pain enough just to give her the command passwords; I don't get the impression he had the luxury of also supplying his entire backstory, and Milton, while not stupid, isn't going to be able to interrogate the Ship.


That's true, and I would have maybe liked to see that ambiguity cleared up a little. Still, I personally got the impression that the author was trying to imply the possible employment of Milton, to some degree, as a vessel of vengeance against the New Concordiat. With enough focus mustered up he just might have remembered Ship's override command to relay to Milton and she wouldn't have had to explain nuthin to nobody. Just said the words and cruised on back home to infect others. Wouldn't have been his name necessarily to be remembered, rather Milton's, as the angel of death. But that's why his degeneration and adopting of her name at the end was cool to me. That's all Emissary has become-- an enabling power. Just my interpretation.
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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby Praxis » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:27 pm

normsherman wrote: But that's why his degeneration and adopting of her name at the end was cool to me. That's all Emissary has become-- an enabling power. Just my interpretation.


To me, his taking of 'her' name was both a sign of how far he had degenerated but also (similarly to the DoubleHeader dinosaur story) of reaching a sort of equilibrium where he is not fighting to remain who he was or remember ship commands.
And the fact that the name he takes was most likely not the girl's real name either, just the author she remembered, emphasised how far he had gone from the identity he had when he first arrived.

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Re: Drabblecast 133- Over the Walls of Eden by Jay Lake

Postby Richmazzer » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:03 pm

Praxis wrote:
normsherman wrote: But that's why his degeneration and adopting of her name at the end was cool to me. That's all Emissary has become-- an enabling power. Just my interpretation.


And the fact that the name he takes was most likely not the girl's real name either, just the author she remembered, emphasised how far he had gone from the identity he had when he first arrived.


Ad to that the fact that even her identity was taken from someone else and it gets even more complex.


I thought it was a neat parallel that his name was Emissary. It was said at some point in the story, paraphrasing, "a man who had lost his identity, become his mission." That's essentially the issue with Milton and all of the other children, sacrificing personal identity for preservation, their own "mission."

I had a different impression of the virus than Abbie. I thought the virus could infect anyone, but only children were the vectors. Adults died when they got it from a child, children grow up and transition into wild primitives. Nobody on the first colony was infected until their first children were born, then the virus could take hold on both children and adults.

Oh, and I liked the music, didn't get in the way to me. It crested and I noticed it during scene transitions, but then faded when the scene started and I was back into the story.


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