Print Story Hugo Diary #3
Diary
By ucblockhead (Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 05:18:12 PM EST) (all tags)
Plus "Up".


On to the Short Stories. I listened to all of the short stories as podcasts either from Escape Pod, which always does the Hugo nominated short stories, or through Starship Sofa, which does the Nebula and BSFA awards. Since the latter came through first, I'd heard a couple before Escape Pod started their round.

1: Exhalation by Ted Chiang: Some might complain that there isn't much of a story here. It is a big idea piece, describing a strange world based on a single idea. But it also is one of the more clear descriptions of Entropy I have ever read. While not directly similar to Anathem, it is exactly the sort of story someone who loved that book would like.

2: 26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by Kij Johnson: This is a lightheared modern day fantasy piece in which the protagonist feels compelled to buy a trained monkey act. It's the sort of story that puts you in a good mood and yet still has a bit of depth to it. This is the sort of American fantasy that there just isn't enough of. It is not dwarves and elves or gods and monsters. It's the strange occurrence at the carnival, the sort of thing that Bradbury excelled at and no one much does anymore.

3: From Babel's Fall'n Glory We Fled by Michael Swanwick: I liked this one a lot. It's the tale of a human caught in the destruction of an alien habitat. The aliens are *very* alien and the hero is perhaps not much of a hero. It is an extremely good work of world building despite the short length. It's about cultures that just don't entirely understand each other, with different basic economics and world views.

4: Article of Faith by Mike Resnik: This is the story of a robot who wants to join the church. Frankly, I thought this was cliched. It is yet another round of "robots as proxies to talk about discrimination". The big problem I have with all of these stories that ask "is a robot human inside" is that every damn one of them assumes "yes". The story itself isn't bad...it's just a very "been there, done that" thing.

5: Evil Robot Monkey by Mary Robinette Kowal: I didn't much care for this one. It starts out promising enough, but there just isn't any real meat here. It's more of a flash fiction piece than a short story.


We saw "Up" this weekend. This is really an amazing film, and not one that should ever be written off as a kids movie. In fact, my biggest complaint is that it sometimes left my kid a bit bored. The opening half-hour montage is one of the most wonderful yet bittersweet things I have ever seen on film. It is something that will make the adults cry, but may bore the kids a bit.

The rest of the movie descends a bit from this height, but is still a classic. Where most of the kids films give you cute animals and fart jokes, "Up" is a story about promises and regret and has a protagonist who undergoes real growth. Only Pixar would have the sheer balls to make a "kid's movie" about an elderly man dealing with a life alone. Hell, most studios don't have the balls to make an adult's movie with that kind of theme.

The visuals are, of course, amazing, but honestly, the plot had me so hooked that I barely noticed. For all that it is consistently at the top of the CGI game, Pixar movies never make the mistake of having the story serve the graphics.

Quite easily the best movie I have seen in a very long while.

< Some things will always baffle me | Daddy's Pop-up Girl >
Hugo Diary #3 | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Comparable to Wall-E? by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 05:56:08 PM EST
Also, "sheer". Ouch.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Better(nt) by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #2 Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 06:37:20 PM EST

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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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Thanks for this by johnny (2.00 / 0) #3 Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:03:18 PM EST
Appreciate the word on UP, would otherwise have ignored it.

It's hard to imagine Ted Chiang writing anything that didn't grab me.  In fact, I can't. I just love that guy. His stories come out so seldom that it's easy to miss them. I had not known of this one. Will check it out.

Likewise, Swanwick is a real talent. I don't think he's much known at all in the mundane world, which is a shame. I'll check this out too.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

Swanwick by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:58:53 AM EST
I've always liked Swanwick a lot. This is the only story I've ever read by Chiang...clearly I need to seek him out. Short story writers are hard to follow.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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Up by SunlightGirl (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Jun 07, 2009 at 11:26:46 PM EST
I had two coworkers say they saw UP with their kids and they say the adults in the audience were very touched and my little buddy Davey says his wife was even in tears.  Between what  they have said and what you wrote I am sure to go see this next week.

=)
Oh fuck the ponies - fuck it all...
WAAAA by codemonkey uk (4.00 / 2) #6 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 05:38:02 AM EST
It's all getting a bit too much for me.  I've been offered rips/downloads/burns of UP two or three times already, and refused, and listening to everyone rave about it is driving me bonkers.

Yes, I said bonkers.

Because I'm English. 

Did I mention UP isn't showing in the UK for another four months.  Which I  bollocks.

Yes, I said bollocks.

Because I'm English.

¬¬

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.

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Move to Texas by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 09:58:54 AM EST
Crash on Stacky's couch.

Or move to Bethesda (I hear there's a game company there) and crash on one of the DC Husians couches.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

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Stacky's Couch by codemonkey uk (2.00 / 0) #9 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:10:08 AM EST
Big enough for a family of five? :D

--- Thad ---
Almost as Smart As you.
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Everything's bigger in Texas. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #10 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:15:28 AM EST


Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by SunlightGirl (4.00 / 1) #12 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:27:17 AM EST

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(Comment Deleted) by SunlightGirl (2.00 / 0) #14 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:27:32 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by SunlightGirl



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Screw that by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #15 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:17:37 PM EST
He should move to San Francisco...I can get him a job here!
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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(Comment Deleted) by SunlightGirl (1.00 / 1) #11 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:19:09 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by SunlightGirl



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I hate the way you address people by name. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:10:26 PM EST
Then patronise them.

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Evil Robot Monkey by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 10:00:57 AM EST
Great title.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Sadly by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #17 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:19:36 PM EST
The actual story wasn't near as interesting as the one my brain created from the title.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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26 Monkeys, Also the Abyss by hulver (2.00 / 0) #13 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 11:27:01 AM EST
This is a lightheared modern day fantasy piece in which the protagonist feels to buy a trained monkey act.

feels?
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

Why must you mock my lack of proofreading!? (nt) by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #16 Mon Jun 08, 2009 at 12:19:02 PM EST

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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
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Hugo Diary #3 | 18 comments (18 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback