EP042: Practical Villainy

By Janni Lee Simner.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Musical guest: Jonathan Coulton.

The first thing I want you to know is that I drowned those kittens for a reason. Villains rarely do anything without purpose, and I’m no exception, to that or any other rule. Irrational, passionate acts are for heroes, with their bright armor and their grand ideas, their conviction that with enough heart they can right any wrong, unravel any curse. My dragons were once well-fed on their kind, and their skulls still decorate the spikes above my gates.

Rated PG. Fictional animals were harmed in the making of this podcast. Also knights, damsels, dragons, and medieval economies.

Referenced sites:
Dragon Page Wingin’ It

Comments (17)

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  1. J. R. DeRego says:

    Nice story! Hey, any chance you could make that amazingly funny song at the end of the cast available for solo download, or a link to the webpage of whomever the singer is, or provide a link to the iTunes spot where it could be purchased?

    Reminds me of “The Henchman Diaries” 🙂

  2. J. R. DeRego says:

    And yes, I am a big dummy… I just saw the link to Mr. Coulton’s blog.


  3. John Joeseph Adams at F&SF is the Slush God. At best I’m a slush demi-god. Besides, I thought we agreed I was Airwolf.

  4. Bazooka Joe says:

    Great show! As always. And a great tune from Jonathan Coulton!

    I’m going to risk some ire here by directing people to the interview I did with Jonathan Coulton on my Small World podcast at http://smallworldpodcast.com/?p=248

    During the interview we played Jonathan’s “Shop Vac‚Äù, ‚ÄúBaby Got Back‚Äù and, of course, ‚ÄúSkullcrusher Mountain.‚Äù

  5. Huzzah!!! 42nd Episode!!!

    EscapePod…. the other Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything.

    Skullcrusher Mountain rocks. My daughter and I were recently driving to one of our NJ PodCasters meetings, and were singing quite loudly as we drove up and down the rolling skull-crusher hills around our parts of Jersey.

    The story? The story was marvelous. The ending had that cliff-hanger quality that good fiction has. This why I enjoy Escape Pod, the high quality of the fiction… and yes, the readings are great, too. I’ve not always been one for reading short fiction, because it just goes a bit too quick. EscapePod has scratched that itch, though, and I want to thank you for being the ivory backscratcher my mental back has been missing… Snakes on a Plane, there’s an image I shouldn’t have thrown out there…

    BTW, I’m rooting for the dragons too.

  6. Jesse says:

    I first heard Skullchrusher Mountain at the end of a Dragon Page Wingin’ It podcast – it was gut bustingly awesome then, and its gut bustingly awesome now. Long live Jonathan Coulton! Long live Escape Pod! Long live Janni Lee Simner. Great work everyone.

  7. Mark Forman says:

    Ditto and since Bazooka Joe was being a shameless pimp of his Jonathan Coulton interview let me step even lower and do the same: http://legup.blogspot.com/2005/12/freeculture-news8.html
    I played and discussed: 700 Hobo Names John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton
    Dance, Soterios Johnson, Dance
    Skullcrusher Mountain
    Podsafe Christmas Song
    and… look for JC interview on upcoming Slice of SciFi. Bazooka Joe, you rock-along with Steve and Jonathan and Janni Lee.

  8. Bazooka Joe says:

    Begosh and begorrah! I’ve been out pimped!

    I’m listening to Coulton’s “Chiron Beta Prime” which is the best scifi Christmas song ever! In fact, it might be the only scifi Christmas song.

  9. Mark Forman says:

    Booyah, JoCo is the reigning musical Evil Genius with all the right “bionic improvements!” Heard he makes one hell of a Denver omlette as well.

  10. […] Escape Pod last week played a song that I highly recommend you check out (and the story’s pretty good too). It’s Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton, and is available for free under a Creative Commons license. It’s probably not the kind of song you’re expecting from the title The lyrics are just great. It’s also on iTunes. […]

  11. […] Darf ich mir erlauben auf eine hervorragende Kurzgeschichte vom Escape Pod hinzuweisen? Practical Villainy erz√§hlt erfrischenderweise mal wie das aussieht, wenn man der Schurke ist anstatt des Helden. […]

  12. James says:

    Awesome story. I like the fact that the main character is a villain.

  13. Abby says:

    I rarely enjoy humor in fiction, but this one made me chuckle.

    And yay, Jonathan Coulton!

  14. scatterbrain says:

    Why is he killing them all? For such a good organizer, this sole trader’s business plan is all over the place!

  15. […] been a fan of Coulton’s ever since February ‘06 when escapepod used one of his songs as an outro song. As soon as I heard “Skullcrusher Mountain” I knew I had found something […]