Posted on January 4, 2010
Posted by John Scalzi
Read this story from Peter Watts now. Or listen to the audio, read by Kate Baker.
Thanks…What a voice. Subscribed immediately to the podcast. Again…Thanks
I was floored by Peter’s reading of the story at Worldcon this past summer. I’m so glad to finally be able to read the rest of it.
One of my top ten favorite horror movies of all time.
That was total awesomeness.
I second this. Peter’s story is awesome, and Kate nails the reading with a nuanced performance.
That’s really outstanding.
I also wanted to add that that was the least-depressing thing I’ve ever read by Watts ;).
I am being Dirty Wizard Hunter. I have just emerged from communion. I’m starving. I want to be being Arby’s.
Thanks for the great read, Watts. Reading along with Kate Baker was quite the trip. I wish such stories appeared into my searchlights. But such POVs require PhDs.
I have to read Blindsight now.
Yes, thanks, great story indeed…I was liking it already and then I realized what it was about and it was pure glee.
PS Does anyone know how to upgrade the reading voice(s) inside my head? I can’t wait til someone dreams up that application program.
At the 2007 Game Developers Conference in SF there was an exercise where we had to rewrite a well known tale from the POV of the “bad guy”. I chose Aliens from the POV of the queen xenomorph. The other attendees liked it and I was proud…but now I feel shrunken and inferior.
Thanks, Peter Evans. Thevans.
Chris @ 4:
If you liked the movie, read the original story “Who Goes There” by John Campbell.
Peter’s shift of POV is marvelous.
Just listened to it this morning on the drive in to work – another outstanding piece by Watts (the fact that the movie is one of my top 10 movies of all time helps).
I can’t wait for his next!
Jeff @3, I was there too! I didn’t recognize the story immediately, but for some reason I had a specific voice reading it in my mind and I realized where I heard this voice before. Amazing.
Wow! Thanks for fwding that along. Carpenter’s “The Thing” is one of my all time fav sf-horror movies and Watts just made the whole experience better.
A rape story. How nice.
There are six comments over there, plus 19 folks here including Mr Scalzi, who love this. Can someone plz explain?
I mean, I got that it was a retelling of The Thing and mebbe my problem was I never saw the film, only read about it, but this to my mind is icky. Er, for someone whose works are supposed to be philosophical, more than icky.
Even if the point is for us to feel horror and pity for the viewpoint character because its initial goodness was changed by the men’s behavior towards it to evil, I can’t say I find the metaphor particularly innovative, or excusable.
It probably helps to see the film, yes.
For those who are sympathetic to Peter Watts border issue, Michael Yon, an award winning blogger, has also encountered difficulties with the TSA.
I obtained the link from Instapundit.
Watts has one of the wildest imaginations I’ve ever encountered. What’s so great is that he can translate that wildness to words that we all can get. He has answered the question “Who Goes There?”.
For those who haven’t read it, Blindsight is one of the most brilliant intellectual exercises of the las half century.
I loved the story, as I have loved most of what Watts has written, even though I think he can be justifiably labelled as “icky” (and the appelation would most likely please him.) The one thing I am not sure about was the last line: it works for us, but I am not sure the alien would say/think that. You could argue it has absorbed some of our concepts into its new gestalt and the metaphor is a way of showing that; I am just not sure I buy it. But it is a testimony to Watt’s writing skill that I even ask the question: he made the Thing(s) so believeable a character(s). By the way I think his working title was “Rosencranz and Gilderstern are Things” which would have been way too trite for the material.
John — You rock for putting up the links. Thank you!
I really appreciate the wonderful comments regarding the podcast. The overwhelmingly positive reactions have blown my mind.
As for the last line which seems to be getting some attention, Peter explains it in the comments of his story over at Clarkesworld.
Ultimately, if you pay attention to one particular scene in his story, the last line makes total sense. I don’t want to put up spoilers, but if you reread or listen again, you’ll catch it.
Peter Watts is an extremely good author, possibly a great one . . . and after reading this story, I’m convinced I should have stuck to my resolution after reading Blindsight to never read anything he writes again. His stuff scares the crap out of me, and not in a good way.
Taunting the tauntable since 1998
John Scalzi, proprietor – JS
Athena Scalzi, editor – AMS
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