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A Jar of Goodwill
— by Tobias S. Buckell, read by Kate Baker —
Our first piece of audio fiction for May is "A Jar of Goodwill" written by Tobias S. Buckell and read by Kate Baker.
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Todd Castillo wrote on June 13th, 2010 at 2:13 am:
I like your readings. Your voice is rich and well spoken. I'm not sure if it was the story or the reading, but there was some confusion while listening. I might be spoiled with audio books performed by George Guidall and Frank Muller (very, very, spoiled), but might I suggest perhaps a bit more "tone-shifting" when changing between characters and narrator? You do it very subtly, but often times--in this story more than any others I've heard--I found it hard to figure out who was speaking and had to rewind a bit.
The story itself was my first time I've read anything from Tobias Buckell. Those ship descriptions were awesome, and I let out a little cheering clap when the catapults started firing. It was a fun story with a lot of interesting dynamics pushing it forward. The last section of the story was where it shined, and that's the part that counts most.
craigr1971 wrote on June 10th, 2011 at 9:36 pm:
This is one of the best written CW short I've listened to yet (going back in the archives, don't you know). A very fresh plot incorporating diverse new races credibly. Structure, tone, and direction were journeyman-quality. The struggles the friend had with morality, the faint humanity of the harbor master, and the passivity of the drone - all very well done. Needless to say, the reading was excellent, Kate. The only problems I had were a minor one and a major one. The "friend" was introduced too slowly. I thought he was space-trash as he was presented, not a gifted reader of others. Also, 'companion' or something less diluted that 'friend' would have helped. The major flaw, which was very hard to tolerate, was the logical error at the story's core. The evil crew waited to see if the ant-lifeforms were sentient before they released the knock-out virus. If they were heartless sociopaths, why would they not simply release it and be done with the bugs. If they were sentient, they would then not be. If they were not sentient, then they would be non-sentient still. Overall though, a very good short story.
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ISSUE 44, May 2010
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tobias S. Buckell is a Caribbean-born writer and NYT Bestseller who grew up in Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. His latest novel is Arctic Rising.
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