Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: From Liquid to Glass

By J. R. Blackwell.
Read by Rachel Swirsky (of PodCastle).

He smelled like new cars and cologne, he moved with a measured rhythm. His mouth tasted like mint toothpaste. She looked over his shoulder through the white light of the window. She was sweating into her sheets, her breath silent, and her lips thin and tight.

Rated R. Contains sex and melancholia.

Comments (10)

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  1. Raving_Lunatic says:

    Well done to Rachael and the Podcastle team, this turnover is miraculous!

    Anyways, the story was good. It deserved a mention, at least.

  2. tjhart says:

    the voices enterpretation was as artfull as painter with brush. the intense reading and soft tone also enhanced the idea with orgasmic result. great reading rachael.

  3. Martin R says:

    Yeah, good story and good read! Though I wonder if I’d really be in the mood for a fleshbot if I spent the whole time tight-lippedly staring into space.

  4. scatterbrain says:

    Not entirely original one must say, but while it is brilliantly written, there is this feeling of dred I have that Escapepod let all of its friends have all the prizes and HMs. I entered a contest at Chizine a while back; didn’t even get on to the HM list, but the top three were all well-known with websites and isfdb pages and the like, no new discoveries at all. One must wonder…

  5. Rachel says:

    Hi Scatter,

    That’s not an unfair question. However, I can rebut your premise a bit:

    1) It’s true that a lot of the names you’re seeing around the place have become familiar, such as mine and Ann Leckie’s. However, neither of us had ever interacted with Escape Pod before the contest. We both signed on to work with Escape Pod after the contest, when Steve had observed our work and thought we were interesting people.

    2) There are a few honorable mentions and winners who haven’t worked with Escape Pod before or since. For instance: Gideon Fostick and Jeffrey Valka (whose honorable mention, “Tooth Fairy,” appeared recently on PodCastle).

    So while I do see your point, and I understand how you came to that conclusion, it’s really not what’s going on.

  6. Rachel says:

    Also, the only time I ever entered a ChiZine contest, I totally didn’t get anywhere either. 😉

  7. Steve says:

    AHHHH! Okay, I got excited about this one… not THAT kind of excited… because I loved the way she cheapened the male persona. She turned him completely into a farce, a generic joke, a complete robot if you will. But then to make him an actual robot ruined it. Okay, I know you have to tie it into SF somehow but… Frustration at its zenith.

  8. […] “From Liquid to Glass” by J. R. Blackwell (read by Rachel Swirsky) is extremely short—just enough words to set up a scenario (a woman takes on a substitute for her unfaithful lover) before effectively undermining it. […]

  9. Emilia Cruz says:

    Very good, short but extremely deep and touchable expression of feelings.

  10. jabberwocky says:

    This is a short story that is an all to real foreshadowing warning of how we as a culture could be going.