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EP065: A Green Thumb

By Tobias S. Buckell.
Read by Matthew Wayne Selznick (of Brave Men Run).

When Jerry walked out across his lawn to catch the morning bus to Effendale High, he stopped to admire the new car Mr. Atkinson had growing in his lawn. Jerry could see the doors stretching up towards the roof, small branches of metal trying to reach their stringy edges up and around the rough frame. It looked like a regular car had melted, but in reverse. Every day Jerry stepped out, he could see more of the car’s gray paneling filling in around the rough frame. Mr. Atkinson tended towards planting larger luxury cars, like any other retired old man. The half-finished Caddilac sat in between the rose bushes and posies that Mrs. Atkinson cared for. Both car and bushes glinted with a fresh coating of morning dew.

Rated PG. Contains profanity and adolescence. (Wait, that’s redundant.)

Referenced sites:
Escape Pod on Wikipedia
Worldcon: Anaheim, CA, August 23–27
Dragon*Con: Atlanta, GA, September 1–4
Podcast & Portable Media Expo: Ontario, CA, September 29–30

Comments (15)

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  1. Jeremiah says:

    I enjoyed the story, I can’t say it was one of my favorites, but I think the fact that I’m a father made it better for me.

    I really like the idea of cars growing as plants.

    And wow, that seemed really short. Was it really short, or was I just losing track of time?

  2. spl0rm says:

    That was a nice short story with not tooooo much ego (sorry to say but I do skip past your intros :\ ). I really like the selection of what detail was included and what wasn’t, the way the coffee table broke and the desciption of the panels.

  3. Dom says:

    Great ‘cast.

    Oh, and nice Twisp and Catsby reference at the end. These steaks are, indeed, tender.

  4. Dianne says:

    Matt’s voice works so well with the material and I hope to hear him read more of the weekly material. Tobias has my interest perked, given the odd tale. As always, you’ve made a good choice with the short story to be read. It’s great to see surresl fiction like this, being picked up by Escapepod. Thanks again!

  5. Archie says:

    I had just bought into the ‘growing cars’ concept when the show ended abruptly. It would have been nice to have had more of a conclusion or a point to the story.

    What there was was quite nicely written although I thought there was a faint echo on the audio as if it was being narrated in a small room?

    Sorry but overall I felt this was substandard.

  6. Jeff S says:

    Quite a good story this week! My only complaint was that I felt as though it ended just as it was getting started!

  7. Jeff S says:

    I forgot to mention Steve…since you’re into Guild Wars, you should head on over to http://www.guildcast.com and check out the podcast that Shawn does for that. Not nearly as professional as Escape Pod, and sometimes he rambles on a bit, but I find that players of Guild Wars are generally interested. Go check it out.

  8. Tim says:

    “Even if cars were grown, I’d still buy a hybrid” Worst. . .Pun. . .ever! I loved it.
    Thought the story was so so, I just couldn’t suspend my believe enough to buy into growing cars, my brain was too distracted on how they would work knowing how complex a real car is. Nice concept that I don’t think translated too well into a story.

  9. Nick says:

    i liked the references to an alternative world – the dictator Hitler dying in 1972. But it led to one big problem for me, the story was US-culture centred – Proms/cars/dates – which is not how I’d see the world if Hitler had been in charge til 1972. I guess this might be more of a problem for a non-US citizen. I’m British BTW.

  10. High School Girl says:

    i really wish that i could grow a car! It would make things alot less expensive and I wouldn’t have to drive the truck that breaks down every two months.

  11. [...] Of course, it could also be a straight line to growing your own car. [...]

  12. scatterbrain says:

    What an exellent alterna-history

  13. [...] at the chance to pick up a short story collection. I first experienced Her, Smooth Talking and A Green Thumb over at EscapePod and I’ll take any excuse I can get to send them some traffic. They keep me [...]

  14. [...] his introductions, he explains that “Tides” was inspired solely┬áby a painting, “A Green Thumb” by a television commercial, and “Something in the Rock” by listening to rock and [...]