Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan


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Post August 03, 2007, 12:02:33 AM

Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

when the story opened i had a real problem with its tone of voice: the language was too poetic for me. but then the allegorical nature of this fable dawned on me and i started digging it.

the characters weren't much, sorry, but the Metropolis-meets-Matrix setting worked great and had just enough of the hint-hint factor to it to be enlightening while never revealing.

and the ending was quite emotional, so there it scored some points too.

overall, a pleasant read. maybe not enough going on for action lovers, but something to think about for sure.
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Post August 06, 2007, 08:33:39 PM

Re: Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

After all those stories you've read about abandoned cities -- this story tells you what happened to the Little People who did all the work after their masters decide to leave. (We must leave aside Bradbury and Clark stories, where the perfect mechanical cities (or Enchanted Villages) soldier on, waiting for someone to serve...)

Unfortunately, the 'created' have little chance for survival after having been kept in ignorance for untold generations. All they have left is hope, and vague legends of perfect Other Places. (see also "Logan's Run"...)

RM
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Post August 14, 2007, 06:26:45 AM

Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

didn't find logan's run in this, after all that story didn't really have any little people in it, not in this sense. as for logan's runs, now that's something else altogether. see Rob i can do that too!

upon closer inspection this was a very thought provocing tale, but i stand by my assertion that the language was too fanciful for its own good.

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Post August 21, 2007, 12:15:29 PM

Re: Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

Tastes differ.

I loved the use of language and found the story beautifully written.

As for the lack of character, I'd say that was part of the point. The "created ones"  were brought into being to perform the mundane tasks of the city without complaint. When the machines failed, they "sat idle with no tasks to perform." Up until the time they leave the city they are drones, without any real personalities.

If the story had been longer, the author would have needed to develop his characters. At this length they seem to me just right.

And the talking stones themselves  "like distant music in an unknown language".

Brilliant! Excellent story.

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Post August 22, 2007, 05:57:53 AM

Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

welcome to Aphelion Coalbiter, now let go of that lump. sorry, couldn't help myself.

yes, it makes sense for the workers to be rather plain people, but then that wasn't my main gripe here. as a recent convert to the William Gibson school of simplification, i've become hooked on straight-shooting, keep-it-mundane writing.
that's not saying the language here wasn't well-writeen, just too much.
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Post August 29, 2007, 03:55:53 PM

Re: Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

Did anyone besides me have a little trouble figuring out what actually happened to everyone in the end?  Right up to the last I thought that the other refugees were simply dying in the desert.

Do 'wind spirits of the fallen' regularly transform these folks?  Is this something new?  I can't tell from the story, itself.

One aspect of this story that I thought was absolutely brilliant, was the possibility that people born and raised in the 'guts' of a supercity might be tuned-in to the sounds that surround them in a way that others may not.  Being accustomed to the subliminal information of things like circulating fans and water systems may make them more willing to try and find the 'language' of the rocks that surround them once they are out of their environment.

And who's to say they're wrong, just because 'we' don't hear the stones talking?

Bill Wolfe
"I am Susan Ivanova. . . .I am the Right Hand of Vengence. . .I am Death Incarnate, and the last living thing that you are ever going to see. God sent me."
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Post August 29, 2007, 03:58:34 PM

Re: Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

Many people have heard the Stones talking. However, most say that they can be hard to understand, especially Keef and Bill. (Mick speaks fairly clearly.) ;D
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Post August 30, 2007, 06:09:10 AM

Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

of course the story had a lot in common with the hebrews leaving egypt. the stones were probably like the burning bush and the other signs.
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Post August 30, 2007, 09:34:03 AM

Re: Talking to Stones by Joel Doonan

of course the story had a lot in common with the hebrews leaving egypt. the stones were probably like the burning bush and the other signs.


Burning Bush? That kind of talk will have Homeland Security knocking on your door (with a battering ram).
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

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