EP140: Astromonkeys!

By Tony Frazier.
Read by Norm Sherman (of The Drabblecast).
First appeared in Jim Baen’s Universe, June 2006.

“All right, so I’m chasing these things down the
street, and there’s more showing up all the time, so
now there’s like ten of them. I have no idea how I’m
supposed to wrangle all these space monkeys, and right
about then is when this dude comes swooping down out
of the sky, wearing this blue costume with a big
yellow star on his chest.”

“Another hero,” Jill says.

“Guy named Astro,” I say. “I’d run into him a
few times before, back when GoDS 1.0 was still
together. He would be fighting this monster – that was
his thing, fighting these random space monsters – and
we’d show up to help out. I thought he was okay, but
the other guys didn’t like him much.”

“Why not?” Jill asks.

“Well, he was kind of a dork. No offense,” I
say, turning to Dave. Dave waves it off.

Rated PG. Contains some profanity, some scatology, and a lot of silly superhero violence.

Referenced Sites:
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
Mur Lafferty

Comments (21)

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  1. Sharga says:

    This one was lots of fun and I found myself chuckling more than once while listening. It struck a chord in my heart since I currently live in LA and have eaten at a Tommy’s burger joint. I can attest to the fact that it is the most disgusting and delicious thing you can consume this side of the galaxy.

    It was also nice hearing Norm Sherman twice in a row since I had just finished listening to the most recent Drabblecast. He is quite a humorous fella with an amusing array of voices.

    -Aaron Lambert

  2. Aaron says:

    I loved this story. The reading was excellent, and did a great job of putting humor into some of the expressions.

  3. Me says:

    The sexy-lady-computer-title for this one says “10th January 2007”.

    2007, hmm? 😉

    Is this from a parallel dimension?

  4. This was a classic. Best story in a long time. The first half was enjoyable enough, but the end just nailed it. Even if I saw some of it coming, the execution was perfect.

    I think this is an example of Escape Pod at its very best.

    Great story. Great reader. Great pick, Steve.

  5. Me says:

    I thought I saw the ending coming (and I did. maybe. I suppose).

    But then I really didn’t see the very end coming.

    Was the reading just a little too hammy?
    Nah. 🙂

  6. Om My Lord, this was just wonderful. Flames coming out of their butt. Ha!

  7. […] stories I’ve heard for quite some time. Head on over to the Escape Pod site and listen to Astromonkeys! by Tony Frazier if you have a few minutes to spend […]

  8. Noah says:

    I loved this one. It’s not often that a story will actually make me laugh out loud – other drivers were probably trying to avoid me at all costs! I’m a huge fan of Drabblecast, so the pairing with Norm Sherman was perfect!

  9. Phillip McCollam says:

    Absolutely hilarious! I needed that laugh! The delivery was spot-on perfect, too. I nearly dropped my Zune laughing when he said he didn’t want to die with chili on his shirt, and when he grabbed a shovel because he’s… uh, Digger I knew I’d be sharing this one with my wife.

    Was it just me or did the combination of the characterization and the Norm Sherman’s delivery make the main character sound a bit like the comedian Dave Attel in tights?

    There’s a picture for you.

  10. daddysteve says:

    Now this is what Steve Eley means by “Have Fun!” I’m raising my beer to toast this one!

    It was just plain fun, thanks!

  11. Bo Kaier says:

    Love me some Norm Sherman. He ,ade the story come alive.

  12. Vance says:

    Great story, great reading. It’s good to have a funny and humorous story for a change.I would love to hear more tales from this superhero universe as well.

  13. Greg says:

    Hi Steve…..
    First I have to say Thanks to Ogre for telling me about your podcast and starting this ball rolling….

    now about the story – I saw people commenting that they figured out the end well I have to say that given I have read a goodly number of superhero comics in my life (LOTS) I pretty much had it pegged early on…Its a trope of the genre but the fact the kid faded away still chilled me knowing it could be coming.

    I have to say that I love the supers genre becoming a “literary” genre in addition to a graphic one. Our world really needs heroes to look up to and to point to our foibles. They magnify what it is to be human and show why it matters. I really enjoed the tale of the astromonkies if it was not obvious.

    Keep Em Drilling

  14. Rhio2k says:

    At least they weren’t hurling napalm turds…

  15. Li says:

    You filed this under rated R

  16. terry says:

    how about monkeys coming out your but get this if this was a true story this would be your worst night mare get this this year the president will claim marshall law and stop all elections and start his dictator ship then the world will come to the end now thats a story and it is coming to but facts.

  17. Eric Conrad says:

    At first I was thinking, “Oh no! Not another hero story!!!” But this was definately a unique one. I found it to be VERY enjoyable. One of my favorite stories in a long time!

    I really felt the irritation when the monkey took the burger. I also felt the tension release when he gave it back. 🙂

  18. David says:

    I’ve been a fan of Escape pod for a few months now, I enjoy listening to the stories while driving in my car.

    I think this has been my favourite story so far, made very enjoyable by the believable voice talent.

    I love it!

  19. Wesley says:

    Very funny. “Watch this @#$%” has been a catch phrase in my household every since.

    It is refreshing to hear SF with some humour, but the story also had elements of deeper meaning. Strong lessons and symbolism.

    One of the most memorable stories I have experienced.

  20. […] develop it is completely different from how anyone else would.  Say I wanted to write a book about green space monkeys.  Sure, they’re monkeys, and they’re green, and they apparently have something to do […]