Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question

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Mr. Tweedy
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:48 pm

There is, evidently, still a little niche for quality in the media ecosystem.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:49 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote:There is, evidently, still a little niche for quality in the media ecosystem.
Yes! It's a Canadian show called Mantracker!
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Mikes » Tue Mar 29, 2011 10:54 pm

This story blew me away. I've never really read any Asimov, not by choice it just worked out that way, but I think I'll have to make a trip to the library after this.

As always the production was top notch, but the inclusion of so much talent was staggering, and including Steve Ely was icing on the cake. Escape Pod was the first podcast I listened to after being pointed towards Ep222 'Infestation' by Garth Nix, and Steve's voice sucked me in from the get go. Soemthing that hasn't happened since I listened to my first DC episode. And once more I was floored by the music. It set the mood perfectly.

Congrats on ep200 guys. I wonder how many more Parsecs await you before Ep 400...
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Tesseract » Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:00 pm

This story pushed so many of my Sci-Fi Squee buttons that I think my brain may have went in to meltdown within the first thirty seconds. Hearing Steve Ely again and, for me at least, for the first time with him being a non back issue voice (I hit on Escape pod the show after he offically left TT--TT) was a real treat.

I have to admit though, Far out sci-fi scares the hell out of me. I'm not sure if it's the fact the time scale is so rediculacely huge or if the culture has become so alien that my mind litterally trys to expell it from my brain via adrinal gland. Ether way it gets my heat pumping in the most delightfull way.
Well..It's that or I'm getting really hot and bothered by them...Hmm...Freaky farout spaceporn anyone?
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Talia » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:39 pm

The couple Asimov stories I've been exposed to have been a bit dry/too hard sci-fi for my personal tastes, but hearing this one in audio, particularly as well executed as done here, made the story a lot more accessible for me. Really enjoyed it, great job everybody.

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Unblinking » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:49 pm

Awesome!!

I first read this story a couple years ago. I'm woefully under-read in the classic SF territory (though I'm slowly trying to remedy that, I have a Heinlein novel, an Asimov novel, "Day of the Triffids", and a couple other classics on my reading shelf that I'm looking forward to reading soon). This one was highly recommended to me by a friend a couple years ago, and I loved it then. Still I am impressed with how well this has aged. With most idea-heavy character-light stories I get a little bored, but in this one the progression through different future cultures and tech kept me interested throughout. In each section you knew that that same question would be asked again but still it was interesting to see everything unfurl.

And the audio production was even better than the written story. Good to hear Eley's voice again! Mur as the universe spanning AC God was a perfect casting choice... maybe a little bit too perfect. Now I suspect that Mur is not an ordinary human pretending to be a universe-spanning AC God, but a universe-spanning AC God pretending to be an ordinary human.

Loved it loved it. Excellent choice for Episode 200, and i'm very glad that you put so much work into making the recording the best it could be. That work was totally worth it!

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by DKT » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:18 pm

Absolutely fantastic. I'm sure this is a good story in text, but it probably would've bored me a bit. Hearing it here, I could easily recognize it as an epic story made better by an amazing cast and Norm's stellar production. Loved the artwork too.

Thanks for all your hard work Norm, and long live Drabblecast!

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Polecat » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:14 pm

I started listening to The Drabblecast as a way to while away the hours sitting in the cab of a van delivering organic vegetables here in Southern Germany - I was introduced to the podcast by the now-defunct "Well told tales". From merely enjoying good and wacky stories I have been drawn in to this community of unusual-thinking individuals (OK, "wierdos"), and very much enjoy not just the podcast, which I regard as the very best on the WWW, but the contributions of the many members here in the forums. Thank-you to all of you, you are enriching my life, but especially to Norm, whom I regard as a very talented performer and audio engineer (also a mean musician). The Drabblecast rates right up with the best efforts of the BBC and NPR, which is amazing, as it has nothing like the budget of these organisations. I sincerely hope you keep doing this, Norm, for a very long time, and thank-you.
Episode 200 was excellent - I am not a fan of classic SciFi, and although I knew the story, I would not have expected it to transfer so well to an audio format, the "philosophical" elements of the plot tend to slow the action down. But the use of most of the best talent on the podosphere prevented any chance of the narrative getting dull. Frank Keys "prayer" to the deus ex machina was the best bit for me - anything Frank says automatically comes out absurd, and talking to a self-replicating omniscient computer served to illustrate the absurdity of man talking to his own self created god. That god becomes God is truly food for thought, given the catastrophes that our technologies are currently leading us into.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by moonowl » Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:44 am

One of my very very favorites. Thank you Norm for choosing this story. It calls to me on a deep level philosophically, and highlights the wonder of a man who was way, way way ahead of his time. Dang.

My only teeny tiny whine is that Abbie didn't get invited to play in the cast! :D

Congrats on show 200, even if the Dunesteef dorks spoiled the surprise. :shock: It's been an honor being a Weirdo and can support this gig with some chump change. I still feel I owe you for Angel of the Ordinary. I've worn out the tape of my ipod on that one.


Congrats to the fabu winners! May you continue to write/draw in infamy!
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by HenryGaudet » Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:31 am

First off, loved the blast from the past in the form of your Episode 1 lead in. To coin a phrase, you've come a long way, bab... er, Norm.

Great story. This was one of my Rumsfeldesque Unknown Knowns, a story that I didn't know that I knew, a bit of yesteryear rattling around in the back of my head without drawing any attention to itself. Made for a great mix of discovery and nostalgia. And the full cast treatment added another layer to a great story.

Congratulations on 200 episodes, and I look forward to congratualting you on your 400th. Hang on, wait just a so and so minute there... This story... entropy... winding down... Is this your way of saying the Drabblecast is (eventually) ending?!! That we're not going to eventually see episodes numbers that require coefficients?!! For the love of Weird, man! Don't do it!!! What are we going to listen to when the sun goes out?

Congratulations to the award winners, too! Well done and I'm only a little jealous.

Great job and keep em coming!

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by TheBori » Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:34 pm

There have been may comments regarding the superb production of episode 200. I concur. As one of the narrators, I only recorded (and saw the script for) my small part. When I finally heard the finished work, it was seemless. I had a conversation with Ray Sizemore (check that off the list) without ever meeting the man.
Very well done Norm & co. Thanks for letting me in on it.

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by munsi » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:48 pm

a remarkable, seamless read of a story of scope and ambition. love, love, love, LOVE this. it absolutely made my day. way to really raise the already high bar...

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Travelin Corpse Feet » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:00 am

Listening to the intro to Drabblecast #1 takes me back... only a few months because I listened to it for the first time last year while perusing the archives. But still. Norm's voice has gone from supernerd to relatively smooth. As I've only listened to Drabblecasts 1-10 and then 140+, I'd like to imagine the transition was made with a big shiny lever with a red knob like a clown's nose on top. First Drabblecast I ever listened to was one with an Ellen Klages story about a young God baking critters into life. I seem to remember a dung beetle in the climax. Didn't actually like the story, but Norm's monologue before it was awesome and that's what hooked me in as a listener.

Took me a couple of minutes to realize that I'd actually read this one before. I'm kind of "eh" on it, but I suppose if you want to make a big bang for your 200th show, this is the right piece to go with. :)
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Kibitzer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:10 am

I'm really curious as to what Norm's done to/with his voice since that first episode -- better mic? Better technique? Surgery? I hardly recognised it.

Ah, Asimov. Heavy on the exposition, big ol' punch right at the end. Nice. I'm kinda surprised no-one's commented on the size of the computers in the story. Yeah, I know it's an old story but it's still kinda funny hearing something that takes up the entire spine of a spaceship described as "microvac" :-)

On Asimov, I knew the guy was prolific and did, f'rinstance, bible commentaries but I'd no idea he was so prolific. What a brain the guy must have had! He could probably barely sleep what with the ideas zinging around in his head.

Enjoyed the ep and production. Goddam you folks are good.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Kibitzer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 8:17 am

Forgot to say: I like all the art pieces done for this one but that first one is just friggin' awesome. It captures that first piece of the story really well and suggests the hugeness of the computer in a way that's in keeping with the story, yet has a modern vibe. The swirls could be evolved ribbon cables or something. Marvellous.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Unblinking » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:55 pm

Regarding Norm's changing voice: Obviously he has been taken over by a Bodysnatcher.

I'm guessing new recording equipment helps too. And extra confidence. But mostly the Bodysnatcher thing.

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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:57 pm

Yes. That first illustration kicked much ass.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by Travelin Corpse Feet » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:23 pm

One last thought on the topic of Norm's voice: I think the major change came when he stopped referring to himself as "Norman." Norman is polysyllabic and formal. Norm is short and rhymes with "warm". It's kind of avuncular (thought I doubt Norm is old enough to be anyone's uncle).

Norman is someone with collection of pens from various Best Westerns.
Norm is someone who will take you fishing (meaning, drinking on a boat).

Norman drives a beige 97' Corolla in good working order, serviced regularly by his Toyota dealer.
Norm also drives a 97' Corolla. His is 83% rust and covered in duct tape. The duct is also covered in rust.

For your thirteenth birthday, Norman would give you a crisp check for twenty dollars, written in clean handwriting.
Norm gives you a crumpled twenty-dollar bill in an old issue of playboy. Also, he'll let you have one of his cigarettes if you don't tell your mom.

Norm is a dude you drink with at the bar.
Norman is inevitably a scrawny guy who dresses in drag and murders people.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by strawman » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:59 pm

This episode gave me much satisfaction. Azimov is my favorite SF writer, and Last Question is my long-time favorite. In a perfect world Norm would do the whole Foundation Series. I'm surprised, however that he didn't foresee digital replacing analog. Gave it something of a hiccough, as the brits say. (Don't they?)

At any rate, the cast was awesome, the artwork was awesome. My wife interviewed Azimov in the 70's when she was a journalist in NYC. He would have loved it.
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Re: Drabblecast 200 - The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

Post by shagin » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:28 pm

How odd that episode #201 came out before #200. Norm is right...time is not linear.

And here we are at #200...Oh. My.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who brought this episode together, from Norm and Matt, to the voice actors and artists, to 19ActionNews, to the folks reaching deep into their pockets to help fund this bizarre, wondrous dream. I smiled the entire way through this episode. I'm smiling now. I attribute this to pharmecuticals, and kick ass podcasts.

I'm a fan of Dr. Asimov's short stories, and admit that I'd somehow missed "The Last Question" What an introduction to a fabulous story! Dr. Asimov was indeed prolific, and at times his work can seem quite dry, but "The Last Question" brought the realities of death, an end of not only the self but of everything, to the fore of the imagination in a manner which not only encouraged thought but a sense of wonder. Mur's portrayal as the AC didn't hurt, either.

I also appreciated the introduction to 19ActionNews, another talented genre band.

Thank you for allowing us to share in the weird, wonderful, and squishy, Norm. Or is that the weird, wonderful, squishy Norm? Same difference. Kudos all around!

Sandra

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