Drabblecast 135 - “Hello,” Said the Stick

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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:22 am

Well those plane trips should give you some time to write again.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by gord42 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:00 am

Steve Eley introduced me to the wonder of podcasts, and Norm Sherman taught me just how strange a listener I could be.

I appreciated hearing Steve on Drabble, and I enjoy hearing Norm host EP. Since I'm already familiar with both...(artists?)...I feel like I'm in on some collegial name dropping that the newbs won't appreciate--yet.

I was disappointed, not because the story wasn't killer quality, but simply because I held out hope that the stick might be there to really do something _good_!

In the end...bad stick. Bad bad stick.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:42 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:Well those plane trips should give you some time to write again.
I'd imagine so. In "On Writing" Stephen King does suggest letting a MS sit and rot in your desk for a couple of months before even thinking about the re-write. Hopefully this works for major sections of it too.

(Oops, off topic...)

Ok, yes I agree. Very Bad Bad Naughty Stick... And there is but one punishment in Castle Anthrax for irradiating one of your enemies...
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:04 pm

Ooh, spank me!

Anywho, Norms comment at the end makes me wonder- Was this whole story written off the statement of "Speak softly and carry a big stick"? It seems like a twisted mind could make that leap. ROU?
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by ROU Killing Time » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:15 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:Ooh, spank me!

Anywho, Norms comment at the end makes me wonder- Was this whole story written off the statement of "Speak softly and carry a big stick"? It seems like a twisted mind could make that leap. ROU?
My twisted mind concurs.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by Praxis » Tue Oct 27, 2009 5:15 pm

tbaker2500 wrote:But why toss in the added complication of getting medical help? It just confused the ending to an otherwise great story.
I thought that this was the (whole) point of the stick doing what it was doing, though. It says itself that a dying-of-radiation mercenary has a bigger detrimental effect than a dead-on-a-moor mercenary.
Sooooo, it lies around on the moor, continually poisons people, leading to a constant drain on their energy and resources.

Slow and subtle but, in an age where out and out war has been made difficult, maybe this is just the sort of thing to which each side would have to resort.

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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by HPHovercraft » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:17 pm

For me, the whole story reminded me of a line from (of all things) Apollo 13 -- "Tell me this isn't a government operation" A government so fiendishly clever as to come up with a totally innocent looking stick, which turns out to be awesomely useful, which turns out to be quite lethal to the wielder.

A government also so completely clueless as to not grasp the fundamental reality that picking off an enemy's soldiers at the rate of one a fortnight is *not* going to win a war.

Can someone give me a "Muhahahahahahahahaaaaaaa!!!!" ?

/crickets

No, I didn't think so.

But it gave me a wicked grin when the soldier awoke the next morning feeling sick & lethargic. As soon as the stick said "Oh, that will be radiation poisoning... I'm powered by a plutonium battery" I fell in love with it.

In a totally plutonic sort of way.

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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by swamp » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:27 pm

I forgot to comment on this. Very good story without the narration. Then you throw in the Norm and Steve factor and it becomes magic.

And a note to ROU, the few (but vocal) AntiNorms are pretty much quiet now on the EP forums.

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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by StalinSays » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:25 pm

swamp wrote:And a note to ROU, the few (but vocal) AntiNorms are pretty much quiet now on the EP forums.
That is to say an anti-norm is not the norm.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:06 am

We just need to keep Norm from shaking hands with Anti-Norm. Now that the Drabblecast exists, I've grown fond of this universe and would hate to see the podcast cut short by universal anhiliation.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by Phenopath » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:10 am

ROU, do we have to go over this again? If Norm meets anti-Norm this will NOT destroy the universe. It will obliterate a large portion of the eastern seaboard. As a rule of thumb the reaction of 1 kg of antimatter with 1 kg is the rough equivalent of 43 megatons of TNT.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by strawman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:07 pm

So to complete the calculations, if Norm weighs 80 kg, the explosive power would be 3,440 megatons. The largest US hydrogen bomb is 25 MT, which is approximately 16,000 times the power of Hiroshima. So we're talking a total force of 2.2 million Hiroshimas?

Just to put this into perspective, MacDonalds has not made this many hamburgers. The U.S. Treasury has not made this many dollars. And if these were molecules, they'd be about the size of a human hair. (Actually, I made that one up.)

In any event, the numbers disguise the most important thing, which is the secondary impact. Possible consequences would be for all the oxygen in the atmosphere to be immediately consumed (bye-bye DC forums), or a universal "back-fire" that extinguishes the sun.

So, Pheno, while you are right that the universe would survive a Norm/AntiNorm blast, it is possible that our solar system would not, and definite that Norm would not, and therefore DC would not. And without DC, what would the rest of it matter?
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by Phenopath » Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:55 pm

Normageddon!

To avoid this fate every effort should be made to identify and neutralise the anti-Norm. I would expect that the anti-Norm is probably practicing his banjo and eating Ferrero Rocher in the residence of a US ambassador somewhere in the world, in the manner of Damian.

Alternatively Norm could go on a diet.
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:05 pm

So nice to know when I go off-topic you guys are ready to pick up the ball and run with it. BTW, since I'm now living on the Eastern Seaboard half the time, I'm not really comforted much by the limited nature of the catastrophe. And as was pointed, if Norm turns into a bunch of sub-atomic waste particles, what else matters?
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by strawman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:18 pm

And if anyone SEES the anti-Norm, please remember to get out of his way, because it doesn't matter if Norm is the one he touches, Normageddon is the result...

...unless we could somehow get the anti-Norm into the Hadron Super-Collider and use those magnets to keep anti-Norm suspended while we bombard him with particles, harnessing the energy of the small detonations to produce carbon-free electricity, and applying the resultant carbon offsets to the DC PayPal account.

(And can you believe people accuse me of not having a plan?)
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by HPHovercraft » Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:32 pm

strawman wrote:So to complete the calculations, if Norm weighs 80 kg, the explosive power would be 3,440 megatons. The largest US hydrogen bomb is 25 MT, which is approximately 16,000 times the power of Hiroshima. So we're talking a total force of 2.2 million Hiroshimas?
The truth is far more romantic and Science-Fictiony in a Cocoon/Encounters of the Third Kind/Awesome Bright Lights kind of way.

Remember your old chemsitry teacher telling you that reaction rates varied with surface area? How grain siloes were potentially giant bombs just waiting to go off even though all they had inside was a bunch of wheat?

Well, in a Norm/Anti-Norm encounter, the annihilation would proceed along the contact interface. So, Norm would give Anti-Norm a great big bear hug and a wet kiss, and lots of bright light would shine out from between them where they touched.

They wouldn't go bang, but they'd be all awesomely sci-fi silouhette bright, at least until they burned through something and then they'd just be all hot, messy and sticky, kind of like the first time you went out with - ah, never mind.

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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by ROU Killing Time » Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:49 pm

So, can I derail a thread with an off-hand comment, or what?
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by strawman » Wed Oct 28, 2009 9:20 pm

HPHovercraft wrote: Well, in a Norm/Anti-Norm encounter, the annihilation would proceed along the contact interface. So, Norm would give Anti-Norm a great big bear hug and a wet kiss, and lots of bright light would shine out from between them where they touched.
They wouldn't go bang
Well, powerful enough to bust my bubble, anyway.
You're from "the sticks"? My irony alarm is sounding.
Would that be Cambridge or New Zealand?
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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by Praxis » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:16 am

I think we all know who the anti-norm is, don't we.

In fact she has been hanging around for a while. Biding her time till she and our dear 'Origino' Norm can embrace in the blinding light of particle annihilation.

Haven't you Norma Sherman.....

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Re: Drabblecast 135- “Hello,” Said the Stick by Michael Swanwick

Post by myke_deschain » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:09 am

Praxis wrote:I think we all know who the anti-norm is, don't we.

In fact she has been hanging around for a while. Biding her time till she and our dear 'Origino' Norm can embrace in the blinding light of particle annihilation.

Haven't you Norma Sherman.....

You know I've heard some talk about this Norma-stalker-lady and have yet to see one of her postings on the board never mind her face in the bushes outside of his house when I'm stalking him.. So whats the deal, seems like kinda a phantom to me and If I were to- Huh?...oh...oh that's right... the dick stick...

Well........ I also liked this story... But yes i agree norms intro was slightly misleading. I found this to be about how we may make rules for the public eye or to feel like we're doing things properly/humanley/civilized or what have you. Though in the end we still cheat. We still find loopholes and ways around the rules... Especially in war... Because hell, no one wants to lose. And no one wants to be betrayed by a smug, self-rightious, plutonium powered super stick...

Et tu, stick?

and one last thing... I'm really surprised no ones made a lame 'stick in the mud' pun... not impressed..

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