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Short story discussions > March 2011 Nebula Nominee - ARVIES by Adam-Troy Castro

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message 1: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments This thread will host discussion of the first of our March Nebula Nominees,
”Arvies” by Adam-Troy Castro. The story was originally published in the 8/10 issue of Lightspeed Magazine.


message 2: by Karen (last edited Mar 03, 2011 08:20AM) (new)

Karen | 32 comments Wow.
Creepy. Terrifying.

Brilliantly conceptualized.

Oops. Didn't read the rules saying to wait until the 5th to comment. Sorry!


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine | 604 comments Karen wrote: "Wow.
Creepy. Terrifying.

Brilliantly conceptualized.

Oops. Didn't read the rules saying to wait until the 5th to comment. Sorry!"


I agree with your remarks (except for the apology); not sure what to make of this story or the society it describes


message 4: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments Karen - Don't worry about the "rules" regarding dates during the Nebula discussions. We are doing things a bit differently for this themed read. Discussions are open, so feel free to comment anytime!

I agree the story was both creepy and brilliant. I can't say I "liked" it, but I thought it was excellent.


message 5: by Karen (last edited Mar 03, 2011 01:25PM) (new)

Karen | 32 comments Yes, it was a very discomfiting story, especially, I think, for a woman.

Thinking about being taken over by another person living inside of you is strange enough for any of us, and a device many other SF/F novels have employed, but then to have the other being decide to use your body just to give birth for the sake of the experience - bizarre.

The ultimate human hijacking?

The very detached, clinical, third-person voice it was written in made it even more chilling. Once again, brilliant use of this device by the author.


message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen | 32 comments A scathing commentary on our throw-away society? pro-choice run amok? amorality? genetic engineering taken to extremes?

Wow, there's a lot of "stuff" crammed into this one little story!

Great choice, Candiss!!!


message 7: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 971 comments I very much liked the creepiness of the story, especially how the realizations of what was going on just creeped up on you.

The detached, third-person "reports" were effective, so I can't really complain about them too much. But maybe I think of this as a "'70's" device that has been overworked. It ended up being my least favorite part of the story because of that feeling of over-familiarity with the device, but I ended up liking the story a lot, so like I say, I can't complain.


message 8: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments I think this was a very clever and powerful story, mostly because my immediate and continued reaction to it is:

GROSS!!

And I mean that in an adult, this is truly disturbing and horrible way, not a child's toilet humour kind of way.

It started that way and it remained that way as I continued reading. Everything built into that and drew from that. It was awful in a very well orchestrated, carefully developed way.

Karen said:
A scathing commentary on our throw-away society? pro-choice run amok? amorality? genetic engineering taken to extremes?

I saw it as humanity's obsession with remaining young taken to the furthest extreme.

But mostly, GROSS.


message 9: by Karen (last edited Mar 04, 2011 07:14AM) (new)

Karen | 32 comments LOL!

Yeah, but didn't you think it was GROSS, Kerry? ;-)


message 10: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments You know Karen, I think I did! :)


message 11: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Does anyone have a comment on the significance of the term "arvie"? Is it some variation on another word that I've totally missed? Can anyone explain that one?


message 12: by Karen (last edited Mar 04, 2011 02:07PM) (new)

Karen | 32 comments RV = recreational vehicle

Molly June is a recreational vehicle for Jennifer.


message 13: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Thank you Karen. While I know the term, it isn't one we use here, so I didn't make the connection at all.


message 14: by Karen (new)

Karen | 32 comments Creepy, right?


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 132 comments Wow! Creepy story indeed. It somehow felt more Harlan Ellison than the Harlan Ellison story did. They both had similar feel to me, with their dispassionate examinations of creation and life and self-aware story structures.


I thought this was a good quote, nestled in the middle:
"Life, true life, lasts only from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. Jennifer Axioma-Singh subscribes to this principle, and clings to it in the manner of any concerned citizen aware that the very foundations of her society depend on everybody continuing to believe it without question."


message 16: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2241 comments Mod
Wow.

I don't know that reading that story at eight months pregnant was the best idea, I'm really creeped out right now, and devastated at the thought of that poor abandoned child!


message 17: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Shel wrote: "Wow.

I don't know that reading that story at eight months pregnant was the best idea, I'm really creeped out right now, and devastated at the thought of that poor abandoned child!"


Eight months already? Holy cow! Where does time go?


message 18: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2241 comments Mod
Tell me about it! My due date is five weeks from tomorrow :)


message 19: by Dawn (new)

Dawn (breakofdawn) Shel wrote: "Tell me about it! My due date is five weeks from tomorrow :)"

The end goes by the slowest, so be prepared for a long five weeks! But then, of course, once it's over it will seem like it flew by, and then the baby is walking before you know it.. I have a 14 month old, I swear to god I it seems like just yesterday I was pregnant.. lol :)


message 20: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments And before you know it, your grandchildren are wanting the car keys! :D


message 21: by Renee (new)

Renee (elenarenee) | 82 comments Ahh I loved this. Its a fictionalization of something I have tried to say numourous times. I am a non practicing midwife. I stopped when I began my Cancer treatments. I will not be returning for many reasons.

Their is an atitude that evert woman who has become pregnant must give birth. Their are some women who for whatever reason are not pschologically capable. Th\

The view that a fetus has more rights than a mother was beautufully portrayed here.

Many of us who have been with these women have wondered if women ever get equal rights will they include equal rights with her fetus?


message 22: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments ICK!!! Horrifying. You shouldn't have read it, Shel!


message 23: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments Dawn wrote: "Shel wrote: "Tell me about it! My due date is five weeks from tomorrow :)"

The end goes by the slowest, so be prepared for a long five weeks! But then, of course, once it's over it will seem like..."


I agree about the last few weeks. They seem to last forever! My son is 16 years old 17 years old now, and it feels like I was just pregnant a short while ago. (Gah! See? Time flies so fleetly, I keep forgetting he's recently had a birthday. Don't even get me thinking on the fact that he'll be 18 soon.)

And Shel - I wish I'd known what was coming in this story. I feel like it almost needs a bit of a disclaimer warning in the first post (for Strong Emotional Impact) but then I suppose that means the author succeeded in his endeavor, eh?


message 24: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2241 comments Mod
Don't worry about it, Candiss :) I could have stopped reading as soon as I realized what it was about, but I got sucked in. And it didn't give me nightmares or anything, I got over it pretty quickly.


message 25: by Richard (new)

Richard (thinkingbluecountingtwo) | 136 comments I just loved this story. So many issues and conflicting emotions here, totally what I love about a really well written short story. Such an original idea, but also non-judgmental in its tone, made me think of Brave New World in that respect. Terrifically powerful ending.
So far this gets my vote, hope the rest of the stories are up to this high standard.


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