Episode 64: A Princess Of Earth by Mike Resnick

When a man’s wife dies, he is left with little purpose in his life beyond pushing through to the end of each day. Then, in the middle of one of the worst snowstorms of the year, he gets a visitor. A man, stark naked, and freezing out in the snow. What could he possibly be doing here in the man’s backyard in this state?
Also, Rish and Big talk about Andrew Stanton’s next movie, and a little about Valentines Day as well.

Right click HERE to download the episode, select Save Link As, and save the file to your hard drive.


Related Links:
Mike Resnick’s Website
Princess Of Earth on Asimovs.com
Music in today’s episode was Awakening by Zero-Project.
Some sound effects were provided by freesound.org.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


21 Responses to “Episode 64: A Princess Of Earth by Mike Resnick”

  1. Enjoyed this one a lot. Wonderfully written (and performed!) dialogue.

  2. I’m 47 and my husband is 48. We are best friends, soul mates, if you’ll excuse the cheesiness. We don’t celebrate St. Valentine’s day or our anniversary (Jan. 1) because neither of us feel we need a special day to show our love and appreciation of each other. We say “I love you” at least once a day. In the beginning, we did do the Valentine/anniversary thing and it was stressful and seemed a silly waste of money. How many “I Wub You” stuffed pink teddy bears does a person need? We call St. Valentine’s day a “Hallmark holiday.” So, yes, there are women out here who don’t buy into commercial holidays that are supposed to make up for day-in/ day-out indifference the rest of the year.

    Okay, we did pick up Papa John’s for dinner yesterday. Does that count?

    Also, it seems the older you get, the less you want or need stuff.

  3. Dunesteef and Drabblecast both picked real tear-jerkers for Valentines Day! Good story – thoughtful. It did work perfectly for your kind of production.

    Remembering dates is not one of my super-powers. I can sympathize with Big, because I’m usually the one in a relationship who forgets birthdays, anniversaries, major holidays, garbage days… *guilt*

  4. STORY: I’d say I only like about 25% of the Resnick stories I hear/read. This one I liked because I enjoy the “two people talking to each other” genre. I’ve never read the John Carter books (unless you count ER fanfic) and at the start I was really concerned this would be another one of those “fictional character is actually a REAL PERSON!!!!***music sting!***” stories. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get that out of my head. But I enjoyed the ending, because you don’t really know, and it could either be that the character was insane or he was telling the truth. That particular type of ambiguity is very strong in my book.

    PERFORMANCE: Rish is very good at old person voices but I’m not 100% sure about the choice to narrate the whole story in that voice… it grated after a while.

    DISCUSSION: To paraphrase Wendy Testaburger, “Fuck Valentine’s Day! Fuck it right in the ear!” I’ve hated it for the past decade or so, and at this point I’m done with it. I’ve even managed to convince my wife that she’s not getting any gifts, flowers, cards, or special treatment. If she can’t accept the fact that I love her and I don’t need to pick out a special day to show it off, then that’s her problem. This year, she finally relented. Also, on holidays: once you have kids, you can get out of a lot of stuff by giving gifts from your child. And cards — what a racket! $3 for a piece of cardboard with words and a picture of a kitten? I can make a lolcat in five minutes!

    A good episode overall.

  5. Well, you did it to me. You made me cry.

    I was away over holiday and did not have a chance to listen to the story until yesterday. My sister-in-law died on Valentine’s Day, leaving behind her devastated husband and their own love story. This story will haunt me all through the wake and funeral, no doubt.

    The dialog was authentic and raw and powerful. Take this line, for instance:

    “I cherish my memories,” I replied. “Only the present is painful.”

    Wow. You get every part of the narrator with this simple phrase. It’s the drive of the story, with the hope of an eternal love the target.

    If ever a science fiction had a gospel story, this one, to Resnick’s chagrin, might be it.

  6. Your sister-in-law died on Valentine’s day? Oh, wow, Liz, I’m so sorry. Let me offer my condolences to you. That would be very hard to deal with. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers, and your brother too.

  7. This was a nice story. The end was pretty strong. Without that ending, I’m sure the whole story would have been a little too sweet.

    Are we done with the sad stories yet? I can’t spend one day of every week of February being all weepy.

    The John Carter stories were fun. I just happend to have read all of them within the last couple years or so. Never knew they excisted, but a friend of mine told me about them. A different time, a different style or writing. That fact in itself made the stories different. I’ll be curious to see the movie.

    My condolences to You, Liz. Sorry seems so weak, especially from a stranger, but I am sorry for your loss.

  8. Thanks, Big and Wendy. Like in the story, I have amazing memories of a remarkable woman, which will resonate with me forever.

    I’ve never gotten into much Golden Age Scifi, but if has even a tiny bit of this story’s emotional impact, I’m willing to give it a try.
    Any recommendations?

  9. Well, Liz, these stories are actually pre-golden age. That is, if I’ve got my ages right. In my mind, I think of golden age SF as 1930 or so through 1960 or so. Maybe that’s not right…I don’t know. Have I said before that I’m not well read?

    Anyway, these Edgar Rice Burroughs tales come from a little earlier time. 1917 was the publication date for the first of them, “A Princess Of Mars.” If you’re going to read them, you should probably start there, since it’s the first one. I wouldn’t say that they will likely have the same emotional impact of Mike Resnick’s story though. They are adventure stories, like Tarzan. So don’t expect cries, so much as excitement. They are fun, and they’re short, so you don’t have to invest too much time in one to get through it.

    Hope that helps.

  10. Nicole Suddeth Says:

    Just thought I’d mention the antithesis of the ‘female oriented hallmark holiday’ i.e Valentine’s day…it’s called ‘Steak and Head’ day which is celebrated on March 14. The woman makes a steak for her man and then…

    Well, I think the name speaks for itself. Perhaps something to consider guys.

  11. Rish Outfield Says:

    Do not tempt me, Nicole!

    Understand, I would use a holiday like this from a desire to do good . . . but through me, it would wield a power too great and terrible to imagine.

  12. Bennett Jackson Says:

    Let me start by saying that I hate Mike Resnick stories. I hate them because they’re always too well-written and make whatever I try to write look horrible. So, even though this was well-written, performed, etc… I still feel obligated to hate it.

    Secondly: Valentines day as a day for men to show romanticism is really only present in the West. In Japan, for instance, V-day is when girls give chocolates to guys they like, and Christmas is the lovey-dovey time of year. (The guys also have to give gifts to the girls on White Day, a month later).

    Thirdly: stacked birthdays/other holidays: My birthday is the same day as my mom’s birthday, and once every six years it lands on Mother’s Day too. Combine this with my dad’s birthday being a week away from my brother’s, and both of them occasionally falling on Easter, (and my dad’s falling on Tax Day every year) means that my family has a lot of doubled gift occasions. Lot’s of fun there.

  13. I’ve heard of S&BJ day. It’s a complete myth in my house.

    Well, at least half of it is. The other half… well, I cook a pretty good steak for someone who doesn’t own a working outdoor grill.

  14. 1. Steak and Head day? Wow.

    A moment of silence please.

    You know, when you put it in these terms, it makes it alot easier for me to empathize with women getting upset when their mates forget Valentine’s Day. Imagine how it would feel to a guy to miss Steak and Head day.

    ‘I showed up 4 hours early!!! Where were you?!!!’

    And imagine how upset you’d be if she gave you a burger and the ripped off head of a Cabbage Patch doll or a kiss on the head or something. It would be majorly disappointing!

    2. Bennett, when’s your birthday, man? I ask because mine–May 12–also occasionally coincides with Mother’s Day. Who knows? Maybe there’s some statistical association with being a fan of the Dunesteef podcast.

  15. Jeez, you think you’re gonna spend the night on the couch if you forget to get something for Valentines Day, just imagine how long you’ll be on the couch if you try to institute Steak & Head Day.

  16. Nicole Suddeth Says:

    I feel like if i throw my hat in for support of the eating of meat and a blow job I’ll run the risk of alienating my gender. But come on, a little equal opportunity never hurt anyone!

  17. Personally never been a fan of any holiday that forces people to buy something for each other, or in some way compels obeyance.

    When I wish people a happy “Chocolate Marketing Board Day” on February 14th, they often take a surprisingly long time and parse that…

    When I was in second grade, I read A Master Mind of Mars (one of the few non JohnCarter ones in the series) because my dad has weird friends. Frankly, it spoiled me for all the rest of the books, since I liked the characters in this one SO much, and they never showed up again.

    At school that year, our teacher covered one fo the side chalkboards with black paper, and we all got to draw on it in pastels – making a big murally thing (though each picture was seperate) for the upcoming parent’s day.

    Girls all drew animals and flowers. Boys all drew cars and rock band logos. I drew the cover of The Master Mind of Mars, which featured a scantily clad woman on a slab in the foreground and a guy in gladiator-like costume approaching.

    Needless to say, I had to keep explaining it all night at parents night, and never quite knew why…..

  18. This story touched me. I just lost my mother and wonder what the hell my father is going through. At on point my dad said “i dont care any more, if i drop while mowing the lawn, check to make sure I am dead then call the ambulance.” I still feel thee anguish in that statement and it hasn’t been a year yet. Great story. Break out the kleenex!

  19. uncre8d1 Says:

    Once again, mike r. Makes me cry. Wonderful story.

  20. I reviewed this story on Free Listens: http://www.freelistens.blogspot.com Thanks for the excellent story, guys!

  21. Absolutely phenomenal story. Thanks so much for doing this story. You guys are amazing..thanks for doing this podcast. Keep up the great work.

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