EP050: The Malcontent

By Stephen Eley.
Read by Paul Jenkins.

Finally Nicholas summoned his overseers and all other servants who were mobile to his chamber. “You are merely robots,” Nicholas said, “but I know you are not stupid. Doubtless during my withdrawal you laid plans to snare me again, to draw me against my will into a plot for my own happiness.”

“Harshly said, sir,” said the Overseer of Planning, “but essentially correct. We have found a young lady with whom we feel you will establish a more-than-satisfactory rapport, and taken measures to ensure that you shall not avoid her.”

Rated PG. Contains killer robots, incidental violence, and love looked for in all the wrong places.

Comments (12)

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  1. Mark Forman says:

    Talking about stacking the deck-1) the guy runs Escape Pod,2) the guy wries a hell of a good story, and 3) If “2” isn’t good enough he gets Paul Jenkins with his wonderful enunciation to read said story.

    You’re a bad,bad man Steve Eley.

  2. Where has this Eley guy been?! How does he not get on until show 50?! How does he not know that this here PodCast is the preeminent location for great stories such as his?! Have you been hiding his story in the closet somewhere?

    Great story, Steve. I wonder if the moral is that we’ll all eventually learn to put up with the coddling of the society because it’s good for us? or is it that we shouldn’t be schmucks to one another? I think some other great philosopher had a similar idea… rock on.

  3. anon says:

    Please self-indulge more.

  4. Domer says:

    Great story – please give us more of your work.

  5. Jose Antonio from Mexico City says:

    I’ve been listening to your most excellent podcast magazine for a couple of months. This episode, being as unique as it is for a number of reasons, shows that you are more than willing and capable to meet the high standards that you set to the submissions.

    Outstanding work, both for your story and escape pod, and congrats for your 50th emission.

  6. Chuck Burkins says:


    Great Story. It had a great voice, and I loved the ending in particular. (I didn’t see it coming…. I love that!)

    (and Paul Jenkins is a *great* reader)

    Thanks, keep up the good work!

  7. James says:

    Great work! I love it!
    And i believe that this story is better than most on this site. not to put the others down, but instead to complement this specifically. Great detail, i liked the presentation and other than that it is all around entertaining to the end…. i had best stop before my Butt-Kiss-O-Meter goes off. but other than that GREAT STORY!!! oh and put more of your own work up more often 🙂

  8. Bas Wijnen says:

    Very good story! Please do some more of that Eley guy soon. And you mentioned he had a podcast, called “Escape Pod”? Why isn’t there a link to that on the website?

  9. Aaron Baker says:

    This story was wonderful. Does anyone know where I can find a print copy? I’d love for my girlfriend to experience the story, but she doesn’t really know how to use her ears.

  10. Gabor says:

    Most stories — intendedly or not — are about happiness in one way or another. And I’m drawn to those fiction stories which have something real, accessible, applicable to say, to teach about that happiness.
    Thank you for working on the subject, Steve!

    And I just want to repeat what has been said by others:
    Thank you for finding intriguing stories for EP! Whether they are from far, or just from under the doormat 🙂

  11. scatterbrain says:

    Like some kind of surreal, neo-noir, anti-fairytale.