podcasts and growth

Whenever I get into the car for a drive of more than 30 minutes, I try to find something good on the radio, ipod (equivalent) or podcast.  One of my most rewarding finds are two podcasts: EscapePod and PodCastle.  They are part of the same group, serving high quality short audio fiction.  EscapePod is all about science fiction, while PodCastle is on the fantasy side.  The stories are usually interesting and sometimes not for kids (although they do provide warnings up front).

This week, I listened to a story on PodCastle called State Change by Ken Liu.  I wasn't sure what to expect and the beginning started off rather slow.  The premise is that in the world of the story, people are born with physical objects that represent their souls.  According to the story, Edna Vincent Milay's soul was a candle that she literally burned at both end to bring light and fire to her life.

The story is about how people view their souls.  In that world, the physical soul can be used up, sometimes providing energy, excitement, or figurative light to the surroundings.  Without giving away any spoilers, the main take away is that change is not necessarily a bad thing.  Sometimes, we start our lives in one direction and assume that we are destined to stay that way for life.  This can be wonderful for some, and a prison for others.  Sometimes, says the story, we can reinterpret our lives, presenting our basic properties in a way that is different, perhaps better.

Listen to the story.  I'de love to hear your take.


Peter said…
An interesting story at many levels. It could be telling us about carrying your soul around with you - considering it an object to be cared for with a finite limit. Or maybe it is that a soul is something that can be consumed and exhausted by choice. Or possibly that we should consider the energy/spirit required to willingly consume a portion of your soul - or the entire thing - to allow yourself to more fully experience life. The alternative is to choose to live a conservative life just keeping that ice cube frozen.

To me, having teenagers in the house really reflects how children let their ice cubes melt while as parents we run around trying to put them back in the freezer. Maybe when our kids have grown and moved out on their own, we can pry our own small ice cubes out of deep freeze and let them melt a little bit. Or maybe we will find that the freezer broke many years ago and it is the melted ice - water - that is our soul.

A good read. Nice choice Elliot.
Talia said…
I must Humph. Although fantasy and science fiction are far from being my cup of tea, I thought it would be a nice sisterly gesture to send your recommendations to my brother (whom i introduced you to at Yonatan's BM). His reply was:
"Um... That’s where I already won two competitions, dear?
But I know you mean well and still love you."
Oh well, thanks for the links anyway...

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