EP096: Job Qualifications

By Kevin J. Anderson.
Read by Steve Anderson.

“And do I agree with everything they say?”

“The statements are very much in line with your platform, sir.” Rana formed a paternal smile. “You are, however, welcome to read any of them you like — in fact, I encourage it. The experience would be valuable for you.”

Candidate Berthold gave a dismissive wave. “That won’t be necessary. I’m already tired of the incessant paperwork, and I haven’t even been elected yet.” He laboriously began to sign each one. “I’ll have plenty of time to learn after I get into office.”

Rated PG. Contains moderate violence, suffering, and politics.

Comments (24)

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  1. LG says:

    I’ve been listening to Escape Pod since Ep 11, and I have an announcement to make: I’m tired of Daikaiju. So I have a possibly unpopular request — Pick a new intro/outro track. I’ve never been wild about it, but it really grates me these days.

  2. Perhaps LG is unfamiliar with the concept of a “Theme Song”? It’s a customary procedure in entertainment media – it allows for recognizable branding of a repeating presentation.

  3. Chris says:

    I’m never gonna get sick of it, personally. I’d be upset if it changed.

  4. vburn says:

    I enjoyed the story. It was a little odd at first with the sudden changes, but I think that was in part due to the narration (which I really did not care for this episode) and probably works much better in print where the reader can change voice a little better and quicker. It was a cool concept and well written.

    Sorry to disrupt the conversational flow we had going, so let me say I enjoy the intro/outro music.

  5. Lee Cherolis says:

    I feel Steve Anderson delivered a great reading. I’m certain I’ve heard him read before, can someone please remind me when he did and for what?

    Don’t mess with the Daikaiju. That song is a part of Escape Pod.

  6. SFEley says:

    Steve read “Smooth Talking” for us near the end of last year.

  7. DKT says:

    Probably goes without saying but please don’t screw with the Daikaiju theme music

  8. Lar says:

    Daikaiju stays, or I go.

  9. I like the music; I was introduced to Daikaiju here and ended up buy one of their albums which I regularly listen to.

    However, no matter what you do to the music bumpers, I doubt you can shake me.


  10. Loz says:

    You can’t get rid of Daikaiju, Holmes needs his Watson and Kirk needs his Spock after all.

    This was an enjoyable little story with a neat idea. With minimal editing it could have been broadcast over at Pseudopod, with the criminal clone taking control and going on a rampage but then, when you’ve got Dick Cheney do you really need stories about elected officials going crazy and shooting people?

  11. Winsmith says:

    Eeerie story. I was irritated very slightly once as the narrator seemingly tried to make even the description of the “Happy Waiter”-clone sound dramatic and suspenseful, which just didn’t work. Other than that the story was really well read.

    Oh and I don’t mind Daikaiju ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. emar says:

    Great story, but I’m afraid I didn’t care for the narration, either. He seemed to be making artificial drama where there was none. When on Berthold clone was being tortured the drama made sense, but when another was simply pushing papers the heightened emotions felt quite forced.

  13. emar says:

    correction: When ONE Berthold clone was being tortured…

    Sorry for the typo.

  14. Chris M says:

    I enjoyed this story, I felt the narration was appropriate for the story.


    Daikaiju we love
    in Escape pod they should stay
    as if set in stone

  15. Sunrider says:

    Story was good, though it presents an interesting moral debate (one I won’t start). I also thought the narration was fine.

    Daikaiju rocks. I agree that it just wouldn’t be Escape Pod without that music.

    But Steve – you lost a perfectly good opportunity
    “The next Metacast will be coming up in . . . now + n”

  16. LightningEye says:

    The story raises some important philosophical questions if cloning ever becomes a proven technology. Should the clones share the same rights as naturally-born people do? Is it murder to kill your own clone? These answers have been raised before in other movies and shows, but what made this story unique was how it was intermingled with politics. As much as I detest the idea of what Berthold did, I can’t help thinking it probably would happen if cloning was ever that reliable and memory transplants were commonplace.

    God forbid the voters ever find out though. Can you say “clone scandal”?

  17. Isaac says:

    Cute idea, but it felt to me like the story was longer than just the one idea could justify. I had suspicions about what was going on as clone after clone was named and described. I knew what was going on at the first mention of writhing. After that, the rest was just bare exposition of the idea, followed by extra story that didn’t add anything and just made me think, “Is there a twist coming?”
    Would that there was.

  18. steve says:

    I enjoyed this story, but the question niggling in the back of my mind was,
    Why didnโ€šร„รดt any of the clones Notice that there was someone identical to them standing for election as president? One or two of them may have thought it was important for them to know or at least seen him (Self?) on the News.

    Well I guess we chalk this up to another logic whole, I Enjoyed the Story none the less.


    p.s. monster Surf Rock Should Stay

  19. johnny9k says:

    I enjoyed the story. There’s a lot of talk of making clones for organ transplant so ‘experience transplant’ is a logical leap.

    Whether I enjoy a story or not, I ALWAYS enjoy Daikaiju!

  20. Sarah A says:

    good story. I was a bit confused by the changes but once I realised what was happening at the end, I was sort of disappointed to see the story end so soon.

  21. Setty says:

    The story had a nice pay off–sort of the opposite of a shaggy dog story, but it took a long time to get there

    Steve Anderson’s reading was a bit off. He read quickly and breathlessly as though it was an action piece with a fast pace and a constant sense of urgency. It wasn’t.

    Anderson’s breathless emphasis of EVery OTHer SYLLable Was VERy ANNOYing, like listening to a 1 Hz sine wave–if such a thing were possible.

  22. Baus says:

    We could use 18 Ron Pauls.

  23. Brendan says:

    I really enjoyed this story. One slight observation – obviously this would have had to have been a very long-term plan, as all the clones seemed to be in their 20s or so when their memories were harvested. So when Candidate Berthold was assured that they could create more clones if he wanted more experience – wouldn’t he have to wait another 20+ years for them to come to maturity?

    Maybe there was some sort of rapid aging technology used with the clones? But then that would have counterproductive, since the whole point was for the candidate to have so many different life experiences, right?

    Still, this was a fun story.

  24. scatterbrain says:

    How ironic: The story is called Job Qualifications and he asks for a job at the end!