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Author Topic: EP183: Beans and Marbles  (Read 14262 times)
Russell Nash
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« on: November 09, 2008, 04:14:00 PM »

EP183: Beans and Marbles

By Floris M. Kleijne.
Read by Stephen Eley
First appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, August 2005.

When Flight Control assigned us utility privileges, I don’t think they expected me to brew espresso in the centrifugal head. But the weight of the espresso machine was well within the parameters they’d set, as was my use of a couple of ounces of fresh water and a fraction of the ship’s power supply each day, so there was nothing, really, they could say or do about it. Privileges are privileges, and if the purpose was to give both of us something to keep us happy, it worked for me. My morning espresso ritual kept me sane. I looked forward to it every day.

Richard, however, wasn’t quite as tolerant as Flight Control.


Rated R. Contains violence, strong language, and disturbed individuals. Who use strong language and violence.



Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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godzilla8nj
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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2008, 05:07:49 PM »

A terrific and chilling story. Wonderful use of the unreliable narrator. I'd like to hear more from Mr. Kleijne.
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eytanz
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« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2008, 05:18:27 PM »

I haven't listened to the story yet, but as usual I skipped ahead to the feedback first, and I want to point out that the quote of the week (from the feedback to "How the World Became Quiet"), which Steve attributed to me, is actually by Windup.
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SFEley
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« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2008, 09:15:02 PM »

I haven't listened to the story yet, but as usual I skipped ahead to the feedback first, and I want to point out that the quote of the week (from the feedback to "How the World Became Quiet"), which Steve attributed to me, is actually by Windup.

D'oh!  Sorry, Windup.  I'll put a correction in next week's episode.  Thanks for letting me know, Eytanz.
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ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
Gordy
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 09:11:07 AM »

"Open the pod bay doors, Hal."

"I can't do that, Dave."
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Raving_Lunatic
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Lochage
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2008, 02:09:00 PM »

As i said in the bloggy-wog, it's been done before, but still works well. It may not add anything to the genre, but I liked it.
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stePH
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2008, 10:09:24 PM »

I liked the story, but ...


GOD DAMN IT is it too much to ask that the errors be edited out?  It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that I was bitching about this same problem with a Podcastle story.  I thought the "clicker" was supposed to mark the retakes.
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Zathras
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2008, 10:13:55 PM »

Meh.  So much about coffee to start for so little pay off.

Ditto on the editing.
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SFEley
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2008, 12:46:25 AM »

I'm sorry about the editing mistakes.  I've posted a corrected version. 
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ESCAPE POD - The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine
stePH
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Hipparch
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Cool story, bro!


« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2008, 12:56:44 AM »

Great.  I've already got the flawed version through iTunes; is there any way to re-access the feed?
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nem0fazer
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« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2008, 12:58:00 AM »

I kind of liked the edit snafu's. My mind was racing ahead trying to figure out what sort of time loop effect was going on. Maybe this was a sign I needed more from a story but I enjoyed it anyway.
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deflective
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« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2008, 01:20:24 AM »

i was disappointed in Richard.

he was the sane guy, relatively, and had hundreds of lives and the fate of a planet depending on him. what does he do? get worked up into a shouting anger and launch himself midair with a hypodermic needle.

dude, too much was riding on you to make rookie mistakes at zero g combat.
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Boggled Coriander
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« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2008, 02:13:16 AM »

I really enjoyed this one.  But I think I have a soft spot in my heart for stories with delusional unreliable narrators.
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2008, 08:55:38 AM »

I really liked the science, and how the author tried to keep things realistic inasmuch as we know about it. The concept of "space sickness" as being depression. I mean, after all, you ARE in the middle of nowhere for a LONG time.

John's concept of being a coffee plantation owner was cool, and the love with which he treats his coffee and also the gradual increase of gravity is well-done.

I kept thinking that Richard was either already dead or an imaginary friend. Apparently that was not the case.

As for the reading, I liked that the voices were not appreciably different but we still knew who everyone was (all two of them).
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RKG
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2008, 04:15:16 PM »


Nice narrator. First he suckers me in with espresso & space colonization and then he goes all unreliable on me.  I did keep half-expecting him to turn out to be "unreliably unreliable" and for Richard to really be the crazy one.

BTW - people who write better in their second language than I do in my first make me feel inadequate Smiley

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tazo
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2008, 07:22:29 PM »

Caffeine really does mess you up, it seems.

Funnily enough, I actually thought the clicking and repeating wasn't an editing mistake at all but actually in the story.  I had already discerned that the narrator was not in possession of all of his marbles and thought his insanity was causing him to repeat moments in his own head.

Perhaps we should just pretend that's what it was the whole time... yes...

And I have to agree, the narration for this was fantastic, which kind of surprised me.

Before tomatoes, throwing stars and large works of iron statuary  are thrown, I don't have any problem with Steve's narrations most of the time.  In fact, his work as the Dog in "My Partner Lorie" was the best narration I've ever heard on any Pod episode yet.

It's just that... well, Steve has the most friendly and cheerful regular speaking voice of pretty much any human being I've ever heard.  And him narrating a scary story just didn't seem to work in my mind.

In this case, though, that particular quality of his voice was what made the story so spine chilling, and the madness of the narrator so utterly convincing.  Good work, Mr. Eley.

The descriptive language in this piece also sold me.  Something about zero gee really brings out the poet in SF writers.
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MacArthurBug
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« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2008, 09:20:20 AM »

Total horror material! HE lost his coffee! That's freaking terrifying!

Okay that aside, I liked this.  The editing mistakes were a mite bit annoying- but I got over it. Good story, I love tales of insanity anyway, so..

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Oh, great and mighty Alasdair, Orator Maleficent, He of the Silvered Tongue, guide this humble fangirl past jumping up and down and squeeing upon hearing the greatness of Thy voice.
Oh mighty Mur the Magnificent. I am not worthy.
bluerequiem
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« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2008, 10:08:45 AM »

I loved the fact there was only one standard outlet on the ship, and it was in the head module away from all the living quarters.  That little detail of the story has "government contractor" written all over it.
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Zathras
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« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2008, 10:28:10 AM »

I loved the fact there was only one standard outlet on the ship, and it was in the head module away from all the living quarters.  That little detail of the story has "government contractor" written all over it.

There were standard outlets in the control module, but no gravity.
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ColdWarrior
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« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2008, 10:44:17 AM »

I liked it.  Quite a bit, actually.  Not really bothered by the editing errors.  It kind of gave me time to pause and think about where it's going.

Steve, for what it's worth, I love your readings, this one included.
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