While I was listening to an episode of Escape Pod yesterday I heard about a new podcast, and it is amazing! Unfortunately they only come up with about one a month, so it won't take me too long to catch up, but I will do so gladly!
Last Flight of the Esperanza
Fifteen ships left Earth in search of new places for humans to live. When the Esperanza 15 crashes, only one of the crew is left alive. How will she survive when she is the only human on an entire planet?
This story has sound effects: a sound-scape that intensified the level of imagery invoked by the narration of a magnificent forest world. I kept thinking of the forest as an ocean, and I enjoyed the contrast: slow moving creatures that could almost be translucent jelly fish with their long tendrils, and the height of the trees that felt like the depth of an ocean. Both images (forest and ocean) were imbued in my head with the same sense of age, alien and beauty.
Other themes I greatly enjoyed in this story were transmogrification, adaptation and acceptance - in that order I believe. :) For the protagonist of this story, it wasn't a matter of choice. But it got me thinking of another story I read years ago. "Waiting for the Rain" by Dirk Strasser (found Metaworlds - ISBN 0 14 023766 6). "Waiting for the Rain" is a very sad story with the same themes but in a different order: acceptance, transmogrification and adaptation.
This was a horror story, which to me seemed a blend of Omen (without the child) with a touch of Dogma (without the humour).
All the way through it, my sense of dread grew as I felt the inevitable conclusion draw me in. It was all in the voices, both written and spoken: the angels were all resigned, even at the start of the story. Resigned to the idea that there was no chance of redemption for anyone anymore, because the big G was gone; without evidence of a divine presence, time leached away their hope. It seemed even Raph was only continuing out of a sense of bloody mindedness.
I find this sense of resignation fascinating in vampire stories too: when they grow so old that they lose the ability to be interested in anything. When they become resigned to the idea that there is nothing worth .. un-living for anymore. In those stories it seems to me that it is fitting and right, because it shows that even their great evil can pass.
It this story, it is horrific - the wrong entities are giving up!
Perhaps the only sequel story to this should fall into the same vein as Louise Cooper’s Time-Master.. eventually, millennia from now, the pendulum will swing the other way.. Lu will be so bored of ‘ever lasting’ dominion that he will face his own sense of resignation…