Drabblecast 051 - Crimson

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Mr. Tweedy
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Drabblecast 051 - Crimson

Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:03 pm

Crimson by Rob Haines (Episode link)

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What wonders my kin saw as the passed away, none living will ever know. Only those willing to taste the waters see as they did. Only those willing to taste the waters die with their eyes open...

Minnesota Medical Mystery
Last edited by Algernon Sydney is Dead on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Linked story page and episode art
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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:42 pm

I started writing with the idea of saying that I had a mixed reaction to this story, but now I don't feel a mix: This story was flippin' awesome.

As a mood piece, I think that was nearly perfect. The deep and detailed description of the killing sea and it's emotional impact on the characters combined with the utter lack of description on the larger setting or any exposition explaining why this is happening makes the story completely dreamlike and unreal. We empathize with the man and his sister, but we do not understand their suffering. We are horrified by death and destruction in the abstract, not knowing what is being killed or destroyed. But at the same time the nature of all this is left vague, so that we are not really sure if what's going on is really evil or simply strange. Should we be horrified or awed?

I especially like the cryptic idea that being killed by the sea is the only way to understand why it exists. I almost get the feeling that there is some latent purpose or beauty in the crimson water, but that this can only be appreciated if one submits to it fully. In that way the sea seems almost like a metaphor for the most profound things in life–love, God, existence itself–which cannot be rented before purchasing or participated in only half-heartedly.

It was like some of the better Lovecraft stories, but more human and less cold. A wonderful piece, Rob. For the sake of my own selfish hedonism, I hope you write more.

--------

I don't know if Alastair Reynolds was an influence, but the crimson sea reminds me of his Pattern Jugglers. These are sentient oceans in which all the trillions of microorganisms in the water are collectively sentient, creating a slow and ancient mind as large as the ocean itself. A way to achieve immortality is to let the ocean digest you, simultaneously killing you and preserving your mind forever as a piece of itself.
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vburn
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Post by vburn » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:34 pm

Story was OK, not my cup of tea, but well written. But the Drabble News was great. Kind of like Drabblecast does a ripped from the headlines version of House! :D

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Post by normsherman » Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:29 pm

thanks Tweedy- those comments made me appreciate the story in a whole new way.
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Post by bolddeceiver » Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:06 pm

This story didn't really affect me so much either way, which is rare for a drabblecast.

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Post by normsherman » Tue Feb 19, 2008 8:12 pm

I'm surprised feedback is so light on this story- I thought it was great. Maybe Tweedy (as he often does) captured and synthesized most peoples thoughts? Maybe the Drabblenews about ingesting pig brain tissue left a bad taste in everyone's mouth? (hehe)
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vburn
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Post by vburn » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:13 pm

I think the story was just that forgetable. Not bad enough to warrant a flaming, not good enough to earn praise and admiration. To me it was like the salad before a steak, but the steak never arrived. No really meat to it.

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:21 pm

The whole forum has been dead all week. I think everyone's on vacation or, you know, turned into zombies or something.
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Post by adam » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:43 pm

i liked it alright. the premise and the vagueness were cool, and it was good for the reasons tweedy mentioned. but as far as following what the protagonist was going through i got lost around the end when he backed out. i mean, he was completely determined to end it until his sister got there to talk him out of it, at which point he waited till after he watched her die to reconsider- but he didn't even reconsider for the reasons she plead with him about. he would have backed out if she had never come. so anyway, that hesitation after she killed herself instead of seconds before just kindof makes him an ass.
he went on abotu how important she was to him, and the thought of her being alone was the only thing making him want to stay alive, but then as he watched her choke to death right infront of him he didn't express any grief about it, or regret about being the reason she actually died. i mean he killed her right? then he chose life out of some inward resolution to bare the burden of things or something but she just hopped out of his mind and the story as quickly as she hopped in, and her arguments and sacrifice didn't at any point affect his decision making.

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Post by strawman » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:15 pm

Ya, murder/suicide characters lose all sympathy when they back out of the suicide. Maybe that was the moral of the story?

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Thu Feb 21, 2008 3:39 pm

Moral? Nah. He just chickened out at the end and then made up some high-sounding to justify his cowardice. He says he's going to do things, and acts like he's going to do things, but he doesn't actually do anything, and he lies to himself about why. Whether he's just a big sissy or honestly deluded, we're not sure. He's not a heroic character, by any means. Really, his sister is the more noble of the two.

I didn't consider that a flaw in the story, though. I thought it was an interesting twist to get the story from the perspective of its least admirable character. It adds to the mystery, since you know the narrator probably isn't being quite honest with you.
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Post by normsherman » Thu Feb 21, 2008 4:37 pm

If the reason he had to kill himself was because he never wanted to see his sister die or suffer, having seen his sister die negated the initial motivation. Had he really thought she was going through with it he probably would have drank with her, but he was so concerned with checking to see if she was bluffing that he ended up being witness to the thing he feared most.
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Post by strawman » Fri Feb 22, 2008 1:05 am

So he decided to live to punish himself with a life endless remorse!

Sacre bleu!

But what if, secretly, he never really liked his little sister?

Bleu sacre!

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Post by tbaker2500 » Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:03 pm

Abject depression does not a good story make.

If I was meant to emotionally connect with these characters, then I needed a lot more information.

If this was meant to be a story about the struggles of the human condition, I'll pass. Life is hard enough without listening to a fictional unresolvable situation.

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Post by G. E. Lee » Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:30 pm

Mr. Tweedy wrote: I don't know if Alastair Reynolds was an influence, but the crimson sea reminds me of his Pattern Jugglers. These are sentient oceans in which all the trillions of microorganisms in the water are collectively sentient, creating a slow and ancient mind as large as the ocean itself. A way to achieve immortality is to let the ocean digest you, simultaneously killing you and preserving your mind forever as a piece of itself.
I think the Tweedster really hit the mark on this one. I also thought of the Pattern Jugglers when I heard this story, although this seemed to be a malicious version of the sentient ocean. The story definatley had me wondering how everything came to be this way in the first place.
mogera robusta

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Post by bolddeceiver » Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:39 am

tbaker2500 wrote:If I was meant to emotionally connect with these characters, then I needed a lot more information.
That's sums up my reaction to this story.

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Viva la Drabblenews

Post by Kevin Anderson » Fri Mar 21, 2008 5:25 pm

The drabblenews was ,... Assume. If I wasn't already a vegetarian, I would be now.

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Post by zZzacha » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:41 am

Great story! I loved the twist at the end, I didn't see that one coming and it made me laugh. Thanks, I needed that!
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

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Post by normsherman » Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:36 am

zZzacha wrote:Great story! I loved the twist at the end, I didn't see that one coming and it made me laugh. Thanks, I needed that!
I'm dying to know:
1. Did you mean to type this about this story?
2. What made you laugh about it?

To me, it was one of the most lonely, depressing stories we've ever done.
"Give us all some Jelly"

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Post by zZzacha » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:41 pm

normsherman wrote:
zZzacha wrote:Great story! I loved the twist at the end, I didn't see that one coming and it made me laugh. Thanks, I needed that!
I'm dying to know:
1. Did you mean to type this about this story?
2. What made you laugh about it?

To me, it was one of the most lonely, depressing stories we've ever done.
Heheh ;) I'm weird, I know. Heck, most of the time my own friends cannot laugh about my jokes because they don't really get me.

The story stuck to me. Yes, the story was sad, I didn't miss that in my weird mood. It's my wicked humor that laughed at the ending, where the sister came to die, although she tried to prevent her brother from doing so. And that he had to stay behind. Alive (for the time being).

Okay, it didn't make me laugh hard, but it put a wicked grin on my face. From time to time, I just want to grin about stuff like that, because in real life, I'm wickedly nice to everybody. Ah, and there I learn somethin new about myself! _That's_ what I loved about the story, it got me to grin about the sadness of it all, where in real life I wouldn't dream of doing that. So yeah, the Wicked zZzacha in me needed that :)

Thanks norm, for helping me realise that I have a very weird side of me and that I _need_ your stories to keep that weird side of me in place. Again, you make my day. In a weird and wicked way.
I'll be there in 5 minutes. If not, read this again.

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