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CCP Abraxas

Posted - 2007.03.12 16:00:00 - [1]
 

This new Chronicle is a slightly subtler piece than usual, dealing as it does with the life of a normal couple, with no amputations, torture or Fedo sex. It is not a kind story, but it's not entirely without hope, either.

A couple of notes:

  1. Yes, there is no image right now. There will be. Half the company is off sick, it seems, and the poor guy in charge of doing the artwork for this story is busy praying to the porcelain gods.


  2. This piece contains a reference to one of my favourite short stories, by Hemingway.


  3. The self-cleaning coffee brewer was inspired by CCP's coffee & tea machine, which causes no end of frustration and agony with its endless pleas for cleaning and refilling. When we, as a species, finally manage to create a fully automated and autonomous hot drink maker, I will know the future has arrived at last.


  4. For the more juvenile, you may find yourself thinking up several different possible meanings of the story's title, "Soft Passage". Let me assure you that I've already heard them all.



Xaroth Brook
Minmatar
BIG
Gentlemen's Agreement
Posted - 2007.03.12 16:33:00 - [2]
 

I like it.. especially that self-cleaning coffee brewer thingie.. if only they had those for tea...


Nice chron ugh

Maze La'Zie
Sons Of 0din
C0NVICTED
Posted - 2007.03.12 17:01:00 - [3]
 

A really good read. It's nice to have something a bit more subtle :). That was proper sci-fi.

Ifni
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Posted - 2007.03.12 17:11:00 - [4]
 

Originally by: CCP Abraxas
  1. The self-cleaning coffee brewer was inspired by CCP's coffee & tea machine, which causes no end of frustration and agony with its endless pleas for cleaning and refilling. When we, as a species, finally manage to create a fully automated and autonomous hot drink maker, I will know the future has arrived at last.


Haha, yes, it is frustrating. Especially when you've woken up hungover and you need that first hit of caffeine, only to be told to fill up the water Neutral

Victor Valka
Caldari
The Kairos Syndicate
Transmission Lost
Posted - 2007.03.12 18:16:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: Ifni
Haha, yes, it is frustrating. Especially when you've woken up hungover and you need that first hit of caffeine, only to be told to fill up the water Neutral
Those coffee makers are cruel machines indeed. *shudder*

Dread Operative
Sniggerdly
Pandemic Legion
Posted - 2007.03.12 18:18:00 - [6]
 

Edited by: Dread Operative on 12/03/2007 18:14:36
WHY ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME AND WRITING STORIES ABOUT MY LIFE.

Can't tell you how close those interactions and conversations are to ones I have with my wife. YARRRR!!

Good thing I'm a pirate, now I can ransom the shop owner for a self-cleaning coffee brewer.

Terghon Tu
Amarr
DarkNet Node Fanaticus
Posted - 2007.03.12 18:52:00 - [7]
 

Edited by: Terghon Tu on 12/03/2007 18:49:49
Edited by: Terghon Tu on 12/03/2007 18:48:28
Abraxas I think you've spoiled us. I read the story twice, looking for deeper meanings, allegories, hidden plots, and the like. Then I just read it through without such a critical eye so I could see what it was talking about. Smile

Thanks for the tidbit on stations simulating seasons. In a story I'm currently working on I've been trying to find a justification for why a station environment would be "uncomfortable." Since the entire environment of a station is artificial, discomfort would have to be a design choice (or an artifact of shoddy design, manufacturing and maintenance... like Matari stations Wink).

Anyway, since you've published season simulation, it's now canon and I can use it. Thanks! I'm off to delete a dull introspective paragraph. Good story.

Victor Valka
Caldari
The Kairos Syndicate
Transmission Lost
Posted - 2007.03.12 19:12:00 - [8]
 

While the Methods of Torture series had some wicked twists, sometimes I just want to read a story that is just that, a story.

Thanks, Abraxas! Smile


SonOTassadar
Dreddit
Test Alliance Please Ignore
Posted - 2007.03.13 02:56:00 - [9]
 

Nice to see a story that leaves you with a good feeling. The past several (not just the methods of torture) have left a sick feeling in my stomach.

Vaslav Tchitcherine
The White Visitation
Posted - 2007.03.13 04:14:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: CCP Abraxas
When we, as a species, finally manage to create a fully automated and autonomous hot drink maker, I will know the future has arrived at last.


Kettle + tea bag = future. Wink

Nicely done.

Radeberger
Caldari
I Care...... Seriously i do
Posted - 2007.03.13 09:59:00 - [11]
 

Not a bad story at all, but i must say that after each sentence i read, i was asking myself "is something going to happen soon?"

CCP Abraxas

Posted - 2007.03.13 14:34:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Dread Operative
Can't tell you how close those interactions and conversations are to ones I have with my wife.
Glad to hear it. Dialogue can be quite tough to write, but I consider it one of the cornerstones of good, readable fiction. Bad dialogue ruins immersion.

Originally by: Terghon Tu
I read the story twice, looking for deeper meanings, allegories, hidden plots, and the like.
There's plenty. I think the only story so far that could possibly compete with it is Postnatal, which is an allegory for the birth cycle (complete with all the things that a developing fetus does, such as focusing eyes, grasping on to things, shedding gossamer hairs, etc). I may post a spoiler for some of Soft Passage's stuff once people have gotten the chance to figure it out on their own.

Originally by: Terghon Tu
Thanks for the tidbit on stations simulating seasons.
No problem. I'm starting to think more and more about life on stations, and so far the main factor seems to be crowd control. Even if you take into account the vast expanses and fertile areas of these places, their residents are still living inside a large metal box and having to forego various perks of planetside life, and I've no doubt that it affects them in all sorts of ways. Anything that detracts from the sterility of this kind of life, and decreases the risk of cabin fever and rioting, would undoubtedly be welcome. One of my upcoming stories, called "A Mind of Infinite Complexity", touches on one of the station features - a private one, set up in your personal querters - whose express purpose is to make you feel like you're still living on a planet. Of course, since this is me writing it, the protagonist doesn't put that feature to its intended purpose.

Originally by: Radeberger
Not a bad story at all, but i must say that after each sentence i read, i was asking myself "is something going to happen soon?"
That's an understandable reaction. It's a slice-of-life, and that kind of story rarely has a lot of overt action. There was plenty going on in Soft Passage, but it's hidden in layers of symbolism.

I like to experiment with different styles, from subtle to express, and to keep you guys on your toes. Sometimes there'll be lots of things happening, and sometimes you'll have to dig a little deeper. Variety is the key. Once you've written a story about a man who has sex with Fedos and travels with the decapitated head of his religious cult leader girlfriend, you really need to let the pendulum swing the other way if you don't want to end up getting arrested.

Jak'ai
Minmatar
Posted - 2007.03.13 15:27:00 - [13]
 

Very nice - my favourite of yours so far. Fills in a bit of the tapestry of EVE wrapped in a touching allegory. Were my vote to count I'd love to see more in this vein.

The bit with the woman saying "I never even saw him coming" nearly had me laughing out loud. I'm at an age now where many friends are experiencing just that "unexpected event".

Guess I'm just a sucker for stories dealing with the poignancy of human experience. Sappy ballads about growing older and leaving legacies sometimes get me too. Embarassed

Victor Valka
Caldari
The Kairos Syndicate
Transmission Lost
Posted - 2007.03.13 18:08:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Vaslav Tchitcherine

Kettle + tea bag = future. Wink

Nicely done.



Lies! The future can't be that simple, it can't!

Please? Crying or Very sad

Xanenal
Deep Core Mining Inc.
Posted - 2007.03.13 20:29:00 - [15]
 

Quote:
Only the capsuleers had access to better technology.


I love little tidbits that compare us to normal people.

Soporo
Caldari
Posted - 2007.03.13 23:43:00 - [16]
 

Edited by: Soporo on 13/03/2007 23:41:04
I kept waiting for something to come along and mash the sh*t out of one of them, slinging brains and guts into the others mouth or something similar.

TBH, bout time yall created something that wasnt patently depressing as hell, on the surface at least.
Good work.

Kassandra Wheldon
Gallente
Purple Passion Procurements
Namtz' aar K'in
Posted - 2007.03.14 07:34:00 - [17]
 

the clothes in the babies store, the wife said they looked worn and used, but still being sold on sale. does that mean, that possibly someone was abducting children, killing them or worse and giving their clothes back for resale?!Shocked

Auri Hella
Downwind Trading Guild
Posted - 2007.03.14 14:42:00 - [18]
 

Originally by: Xanenal
Quote:
Only the capsuleers had access to better technology.


I love little tidbits that compare us to normal people.

And make us come out way on top Smile

Kassandra Wheldon
Gallente
Purple Passion Procurements
Namtz' aar K'in
Posted - 2007.03.15 04:15:00 - [19]
 

nvm

Ilany
Black Moon Mining
Posted - 2007.03.17 11:41:00 - [20]
 

Originally by: CCP Abraxas
I may post a spoiler for some of Soft Passage's stuff once people have gotten the chance to figure it out on their own.


Is that a challenge? Okay, access to furnishings and station services has been covered so let's see... How about:

ArrowStation interiors will be covered in adverts
ArrowStations will have shops
ArrowPlanetary travel will be expensive
ArrowDrones inside stations randomly attack trashcans instead of allies
ArrowWe should, in fact, be grateful for our local chat channels

Hmm... Perhaps I am missing the hidden subtext? Never was any good at English lit.



Parthelon
The Pikey Rebellion
Posted - 2007.03.17 23:51:00 - [21]
 

Edited by: Parthelon on 17/03/2007 23:47:39
Originally by: Ilany
ArrowDrones inside stations randomly attack trashcans instead of allies


Brilliant!

Ok Iím going to try finding some of the spoilers in this:

ArrowStations will not be static with day / night cycles and seasonal cycles?
ArrowWe will be able to purchase houses inside stations and fill them with furniture etc
ArrowThere will be random encounters ranging from helping locals to being kidnapped and having your clothes sold
ArrowPeople with cell phones are cool in eve

Tubiger
Shade.
Posted - 2007.03.19 00:16:00 - [22]
 

Edited by: Tubiger on 19/03/2007 00:12:49
So, the Hemingway reference... would that be the part when the couple is talking about it being "just like before"? Sounds a lot like Hills Like White Elephants :-)

Zomiaen
Gallente
Targaryen Industries
Posted - 2007.03.19 03:19:00 - [23]
 

I suppose part of this is showing how truely elite the capsuler community is, particularly the cell phone bit.

Good story, wasn't what I was expecting but its interesting to see how comoon civilization lives.

Acapulco
Posted - 2007.03.19 09:16:00 - [24]
 

Originally by: Maze La'Zie
A really good read. It's nice to have something a bit more subtle :). That was proper sci-fi.


+1

CCP Abraxas

Posted - 2007.03.21 11:04:00 - [25]
 

Originally by: Jak'ai
Guess I'm just a sucker for stories dealing with the poignancy of human experience. Sappy ballads about growing older and leaving legacies sometimes get me too. Embarassed
I'm not 100% decided on this yet, but the next story may be one called "Invisible Waves" (either that or one called "A Mind of Infinite Complexity"). That one is about growing older, and about death, although the protagonist doesn't leave much of a legacy.

And the poignancy line is a good one.

Originally by: Soporo
TBH, bout time yall created something that wasnt patently depressing as hell, on the surface at least.
Oh, I dunno. Both "The Greatest Joke" and "The History of Flight" have plenty of hope, given the circumstances. And I'll argue with any man that "Saccade" is optimistic; the man gets a job!

Originally by: Ilany
Drones inside stations randomly attack trashcans instead of allies
+10 for near-tea spillage on keyboard.

Originally by: Tubiger
So, the Hemingway reference... would that be the part when the couple is talking about it being "just like before"? Sounds a lot like Hills Like White Elephants :-)
Good guess. The entire story is almost an extended HLWE reference, but not an intentional one. If there's any real HLWE moment in it, it'd be the one where they're eating the food from the vendor, and yes, that means that the preceding window-shopping scene takes on a very different meaning.

It's really not possible to describe this in any more detail without spoilers, so I'll use a separate post on that bit...

CCP Abraxas

Posted - 2007.03.21 11:09:00 - [26]
 

Here's some SPOILER space ...







The story has several levels, some more nebulous than others. There's a certain creepiness that the EVE Library people rightly spotted, and which I don't want to explain too much: I have my own version, but it's something I deliberately left open for interpretation. There are also smaller things, passing metaphors that have their own significance, such as the names of the main characters (which I can't believe no one picked up on), and the listing of household implements (bread slicers, coffee machine, iron stoves, etc) that deliberately goes through a diurnal cycle from morning to evening.
That aside, here's one layer of the story: It's an extended metaphor for what the couple's life will be like, from the day of their marriage unto the day of their deaths. Each scene symbolizes a particular development in their lives.
The travel discussion is their carefree days, and also hints at their pasts (he was a bit of a wild child, she was a little pampered).
The windowshopping is their attempt to settle down and start leading a new life as a couple.
There is an unexpected pregnancy (Dappy, which is short for Dvapara).
There is increased distance as Satyan goes on business trips (cell phone scene), a development which ends in infidelity.
They manage to patch things up and try having another child, but as the baby clothing scene shows, Treta has a miscarriage. The Hemingway reference is to his shortest story, a six-word piece that goes, "For sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn.", and has pretty much the same meaning as my scene did.
After that they have to go through a re-evaluation of their priorities, hence the warm meal in the increased cold. I considered making this scene more elaborate, but decided against it. Not too long ago my family went through a deep and terrible loss, and what I observed in the aftermath was a kind of voluminous simplicity: Ties were strengthened and renewed, wordlessly more often than not, and the simplest actions said the most.
There is a fire, which doesn't cost them anything but money, and serves to forge their relationship into an unbreakable alliance. There's ambivalence over their insurance, but they end up being better off financially than they were before.
They settle into a more comfortable middle age, having a bit more money to spend and using it on more "mature" things, such as expensive furniture and more elaborate trips. Life goes on, essentially. Their first (and now only) child moves out and starts his own life.
Eventually they grow old, and take comfort in each other's presence, as anchors in a world that keeps on spinning.
When they come to the second travel agency, they're getting ready for death. Their son and his children think of them as the stalwarts, the ones that will always be here (hence the trees and the leaves & seeds), but they themselves are starting to long for a new life together, being done with this one.
At last they walk into the park, together; and they die.

Stitcher
Caldari
Posted - 2007.03.21 21:24:00 - [27]
 

Proud of myself. I picked up on most of that.

Still can't see the significance in their names, however...

Terghon Tu
Amarr
DarkNet Node Fanaticus
Posted - 2007.03.22 16:37:00 - [28]
 

*blink* *blink*

Ok, I saw some of that. The household items going from morning to evening, and the allusion in the baby shoes (though not the Hemmingway reference). I missed the rest, and even reading it again with the spoilers I have trouble seeing a few.

This, of course, has challenged me as an aspiring writer. Now I absolutely have to write a story that has at least two levels of meaning. :)

(my fear is that I've already been writing stories with two levels... and the 2nd level has been saying "The writer is a n00b!")Very Happy

Kazuma Saruwatari
Posted - 2007.03.23 15:48:00 - [29]
 

I actually picked up a vastly different meaning from the exchange regarding their window shopping, the cell phone scene, and even as early as their discussion on the household items:

EVE's current inflation issue.

Rolling Eyes Now dont tell me this is "an unintended game feature" like you boys at CCP always love to sayLaughing

Reycks Armunicus
The Scope
Posted - 2007.04.04 18:32:00 - [30]
 

not bad. I liked it.


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