EP048: Soul Food

By Paul E. Martens.
Read by Stephen Eley.

They are a quick lot, these humans. They dart about, rushing here, there, everywhere, as if
something were chasing them. They speak quickly, as well. I have to remember the sounds they
make, then replay them in my memory at a slower speed to decipher their words.

And my mission is not made any easier by the way they perceive it, and therefore me. To
them, the fact that I have come to eat one of them automatically makes me a monster.

Rated PG. Contains deep moral and gastronomical issues. And yelling.

Comments (10)

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  1. Well, after listening to a dozen or so of Escape Pod podcast, this one tops them all. In short, this one was beyond spectacular. Kudos for the well-inflected dramatization. I never knew that a Tom Sawyer theme could be blended with a marriage theme and an onerous boss theme to produce such hilarity. The Aunt’s antics were so well described I could palpably feel them.

  2. L33tminion says:

    On the intro:

    Actually, when I was reading Snow Crash, I didn’t notice that it was in the present tense.

  3. Tim says:

    I have mixed feelings about this story. On the one hand, I liked the idea, on the other I hated the Aunt! (Which doesn’t mean I hated the writing, just hated the character.) Reminds me of those people who run around saying whatever is on thier minds no matter how insulting then saying, “I’m just telling it like it is.”
    And, sadly, who didn’t see that ending coming? As soon as he gave her the first thing I kind of knew where the story was going to end. Well written, just wished the plot wasn’t so perdictable.

  4. Pete Butler says:

    I enjoyed this story, but it had a flaw that, for me, is wrapped in so much irony that I’m not sure I can explain it properly.

    And yet, I’ll try.

    A couple of years back, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek horror story (ALL my horror is tongue-in-cheek) in which the villain was building computers by harvesting human brains. I sent it through the workshop I attended at the time, where it met with various reactions. But one lady, Flonet Biltgen, pointed-out that the whole brain-harvesting thing didn’t have to be nearly so horrible. You could just collect the brains from people who died of other causes, like we do with other organs. And thus, that aspect of the story was completely deflated. (I figured out how to re-inflate it later, but that’s beside the point.)

    Well, same goes here. Why does the alien need to KILL somebody? Why not go with somebody who has had their body donated to science? In fact, wouldn’t the logical choice be to select somebody who’s life was nearing or had reached its natural conclusion anyway, who had seen more of what the human experience had to offer?

    Somebody like … my friend Flonet. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a writer, an athelete, a sailor, a ham radio operator, a biker babe, and probably many other things of which I’m wholly unaware. She lived a life ordinarily seen only in the more hyperactive kind of sci-fi protagonist.


    She died of cancer last month.

    And, frankly, I think she would have been honored to have her last act on this planet be to get it invited into interstellar society.

    Like I said, a whole lotta irony going on.

    Somehow, I suspect my reaction was unique.

  5. George says:

    Magnificent! This was my favorite escapepod episode. What a wonderful story. I would vot for her in a moment. I just listened to it today 11/14/2007 on the escapepod classic feed.

  6. scatterbrain says:

    Flawed, but enjoyable.

  7. Fletcher Soto says:


  8. Foods says:

    I have to admit; I love the intro!