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Drabblecast 097 - Daydream Nation

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:55 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
Daydream Nation by Paul Di Filippo

Image

Although she had been stunned by the artful, alluring tenor of the dreamburst, Cirri was too experienced a player to naively acknowledge her honest reaction. She imperturbably finished her sip of espresso (although, truthfully, her hand was shaking bit), set her cup down calmly and slowly, and, as if manifesting some idle impulse, took out her own iDreams caster.

Drabble - Cryosleep by Jake Freivald

Paul Di Filippo
Heather Welliver

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:09 pm
by Chivalrybean
Not only is this a top Drabblecast story in recent history, it is a top story in many of the short fiction podcasts I listen to in recent history.

Cool sci-fi gadget, believable and interesting characters, a good chickle ending, a pop culture-retarted TV mashup spinnoff series joke, and good readers that fit the story well = This episode of Drabblecast.

Makes me want to load up some other podcasts I've let fade on my iPod in hopes there is a story like this on there that I have missed.

Posted: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:45 pm
by Kevin Anderson
That was a great drabble. Moving and creepy. Haven't heard the main story yet but based on Chivalrybean's review and that surreal picture (Nice pick Tweety) I'm looking forward to it.

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:06 am
by Goldenrat
Excellent! Excellent!

The drabble was probably my favorite of all time.

The feature story was really good. Gawd, it seemed so long ago that the only way to have sex or ogle someone was to physically get together with them. That is so freaking old school now. Can't wait to get my iDreams caster.

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:06 pm
by RicV
i love stories that I cetegorize as relevant scifi. Good scifi has a believable edge and echos our current societal norms. This has both. It is easy to be critical of stories like this but it doesn't deserve this. If you read cyberpunk genre the original stuff is pretty non-relevant because we can see better where tech is going compared to the 80s.

Now this is semi-believable and will most likely be obsoleted within a decade, but the desperate soprano wives reference will also be nonsensical then.

One of my top stories heard here so far, classic boy meets girl undercurrent echoing the cultural survivor-ship that inst messaging, chatrooms, i-pods, casting, facebook, and technology integration are leading us to.

Keep up the good casting.

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:37 pm
by G. E. Lee
Great story. RicV is on the money with this one. Very believable premise, and well executed.

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:36 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
This story made me sad. All stories that revolve around hookups/nightlife always make me sad, and this was no exception. ("What Women Want" is the most depressing movie I have ever seen.)

We have a character who obviously wants love. She wants to find a meaningful relationship based on mutual ideals and passions. She wants to find a man with whom she can genuinely share her life. But, poor fool, she has no idea where or how look. Like so many characters in these types of stories–and so many people in real life–her heartfelt longing for romance has been reduced to a shallow game of bluffs and deceptive posturing. Nowhere is there any respect, appreciation or genuine affection. Everyone is selfish, broadcasting disingenuous messages with goal of tricking others into giving them what they want. That's The Game.

I mean, the story starts with this woman heartbroken over being used and lied to, and it ends with her still trapped in the same futile cycle that got her there in the first place. And she doesn't even realize she's trapped in a cycle. What a downer.

What I think is really interesting is the irony of how the technology in this story affects people. The dreamcaster is the epitome of high-tech, but its effect is to make people more primitive. As shallow as the conventional dating scene can be, iDreams make it infinitely more so. These people's relationships don't start with conversations, eye contact or even amorous assessments of each others' bodies. They just spray out these dreams like pheromones and hope someone in range has the proper receptors. Thought and feeling are marginalized and pushed out by instinctive reactions. Cirri's iDreams bindi makes her less like a human and more like a rutting animal, sniffing the breeze for a scent that trips her switch. (If you think that's being too judgmental, just look how her relationship with Ken starts.)

None of this is a complaint against the story, necessarily. It was well conceived and well-executed, and it provokes some thought, but I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed it.

The drabble also made me sad, but in a warmer, more sentimental way. The character is stricken with grief because of what he has lost, but at least he had something to lose. Cirri, poor Cirri, hasn't got anything she'd really miss.

Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:59 pm
by Kevin Anderson
Interesting, well imagined story - and I agree with Tweedy. To me this was a dehumanizing tale, making the human experience one not much more complex then dogs sniffing each other via technology - and if this is our future then just give HAL the keys to the pod bay doors now, let SkyNet have the damn launch codes, send the Cylons our exact location and a time and date when we are all napping - cuz we’re not worth saving.

Side note - I got a Roomba for Xmas, made by the fine people at iRobot. It's awesome. I'm in love.

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:57 am
by strawman
You mean that Playtex model I've been sharing erotic dreams with is actually a bald, fat Bulgarian in a beer-stained wife-beater?

:shock:

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:08 pm
by Kevin Anderson
strawman wrote:You mean that Playtex model I've been sharing erotic dreams with is actually a bald, fat Bulgarian in a beer-stained wife-beater?

:shock:
Could be worse. Those might not be beer stains.

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:31 pm
by tbaker2500
With regards to Mr. Tweedy comments- The story is simply pointing one of the directions that the teen culture is going. (Have you had text with her yet?)


But I would argue that none of it is as sad the the bar dating scene.
A. Take desperate people
B. Get them a little woozy to release their inhibitions
C. Have a "wild night" that you don't remember

How many loving relationships are born from this scenario?


And by the way, Norm, shame on you for duping her with a purchased iDream! What a dog!

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:31 pm
by Mr. Tweedy
tbaker2500 wrote:With regards to Mr. Tweedy comments- The story is simply pointing one of the directions that the teen culture is going. (Have you had text with her yet?)
Or culture in general, since people are staying kids into their 30s nowadays. :?

Yeah, I heard two teenage girls talking a few weeks ago. Apparently one of their friends "broke up" with a boy two hours before they actually met each other. (Not joking.)

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:14 am
by thebrog
think unsexy thoughts think unsexy thoughts think unsexy thoughts.

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:02 pm
by strawman
stomp a kitten *crunch* stomp a kitten *crunch* stomp a kitten *crunch*
This might work as backbeat to The Little Drummer Boy...
Barum pa pum pum.

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:28 am
by cammoblammo
Notwithstanding the fact that Ann wasn't a zombie space mutant,* the drabble was freaking awesome. It was really moving.

I didn't dig the story so much. It was well written, it was well read, the ideas were provocative (as this discussion has proven.) It just didn't leave me counting the many types of awesome like previous episodes have.

We've been really spoilt the last few weeks. We're due a dud soon, and seriously, this isn't it. The fact that a story this good left me not-overly-impressed means..., well, you figure out what it means.



* Or was she? She might have been using her mutant powers to lure unsuspecting mourners into her hive so she can feast on them then rule the colony throughout an undead eternity.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:44 am
by Sully2161
I actually quite enjoyed this story. The use of technology was well done.

As others have mentioned earlier, it's very indicative of where our society is currently headed. The entire paradigm of communication has been turned on its head. We've gone from language without writing to written communications without [easy] verbalization (i.e. 'pwn').

And, of course, it's always a pleasure to have narration by Heather Welliver (even though Norm's the man).

- S

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:19 am
by Richmazzer
I'm going to hazard a guess from the name/language style and assume that Sully2161 is Sullydog, one of my fav narrators and personalities from Escapepod?!

I agree with him/others/Norm that this story nailed technology and human social behavior on the head. I think the tragedy of it is summed up in Mr. Tweedy's post, that the protagonist ends up essentially like she started out; that these "advancements" in social circles are really the opposite, more of a facade than anything.
I enjoyed the story but I'm not depressed, because I don't believe this is the "way" of the future...I think this is just another "way", that will probably happen, for singles ages 18-whenever, that are going to bars trying to find a "way." In the long run, we are only able to connect with other humans in specific "human" ways like honesty and transparency. Online dating and Dreamcasting may get your foot in the door, but it won't do anything for you once you're in the room.

Posted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:52 pm
by strawman
I think Paul Butterfield said it best:

I didn't know.
I was such a fool.
And it took me a long time,
Just to find out,
That my head,
Is upside down.
What I was standing on,
You know, it wasn't too solid ground, oh no.
To satisfy,
What I thought I'd be,
I kept on living,
In my own dreams.
And everyday,
I grew blinder.
Thought I was so strong,
I didn't need nobody's help.
Oh, the strongest river,
Can't flow up hill.
To satisfy,
What I thought I'd be,
I kept on living,
In my own dream.
You know, the tides of love, yeah
Are so strong.
You know, it carried me back
And showed me my wrong.

Posted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:43 am
by Sully2161
Richmazzer wrote:I'm going to hazard a guess from the name/language style and assume that Sully2161 is Sullydog, one of my fav narrators and personalities from Escapepod?!
Sorry to disappoint, but I am a mere shadow of Sullydog's greatness who just happens to share his appellation. I will, however, gladly accept the insinuated complement of my coherency, assuming I interpreted your comment correctly.

I do agree with Richmazzer that the story was not depressing. This is at best a representation of a subculture within society, not the fate of humanity as a whole.

Further, as a medium, what better means of expression can there be (aside from direct neural interface) than free-form audiovisual representation? To borrow a quote from Dune, "...truth always carries the ambiguity of the words used to express it."

- S

Posted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:55 am
by Goldenrat
Richmazzer wrote:I'm going to hazard a guess from the name/language style and assume that Sully2161 is Sullydog, one of my fav narrators and personalities from Escapepod?
I'm going to hazard a guess from the name that he is that crazy air captain who landed that goose-battered tin can full of North Carolinans in the Hudson River. I heard it was a miracle.