Search Results for 'van eekhout'

EP Interview: Greg van Eekhout

Interviewed by Scott Janssens.

Greg van Eekhout, one of Escape Pod’s most frequent authors, speaks to us about the virtues of very short fiction, babies in blenders, and an explosive new term for flash fiction.

Greg’s site:
http://www.writingandsnacks.blogspot.com

EP490: Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes
read by Dave Thompson

Flowers for Alfernonabout the author…

from Wikipedia: Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960. The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year’s Nebula Award for Best Novel (with Babel-17).

Keyes was born in New York City, New York.[2] He attended New York University briefly before joining the United States Maritime Service at 17, working as a ship’s purser on oil tankers.[2] Afterward he returned to New York and in 1950 received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Brooklyn College.[2]

A month after graduation, Keyes joined publisher Martin Goodman‘s magazine company, Magazine Management.[2] He eventually became editor of their pulp magazine Marvel Science Stories (cover-dated Nov. 1950 – May 1952) after editor Robert O. Erisman,[3] and began writing for the company’s comic-book lines Atlas Comics, the 1950s precursors of Marvel Comics. After Goodman ceased publishing pulps in favor of paperback books and men’s adventure magazines, Keyes became an associate editor of Atlas[1] under editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee. Circa 1952, Keyes was one of several staff writers, officially titled editors, who wrote for such horror and science fiction comics as Journey into Unknown Worlds, for which Keyes wrote two stories with artist Basil Wolverton.[4]

As Keyes recalled, Goodman offered him a job under Lee after Marvel Science Stories ceased publication:

Since my $17.25-a-month rent was almost due, I accepted what I considered a detour on my journey toward a literary career. Stan Lee … let his editors deal with the scriptwriters, cartoonists, and lettering crew. Writers turned in plot synopses, Stan read them, and as a matter of course, would accept one or two from each of the regulars he referred to as his “stable.” As one of his front men, I would pass along comments and criticism. … Because of my experience editing Marvel and because I’d sold a few science fiction stories by then, Stan allowed me to specialize in the horror, fantasy, suspense, and science fiction comic books. Naturally, I began submitting story ideas, getting freelance assignment, and supplementing my salary by writing scripts on my own time.[5]

One story idea Keyes wrote but did not submit to Lee was called “Brainstorm”, the paragraph-long synopsis that would evolve into Flowers for Algernon. It begins: “The first guy in the test to raise the I.Q. from a low normal 90 to genius level … He goes through the experience and then is thrown back to what was.” Keyes recalled, “[S]omething told me it should be more than a comic book script.”[5]

From 1955 to 1956, Keyes wrote for EC Comics, including its titles Shock Illustrated and Confessions Illustrated, under both his own name and the pseudonyms Kris Daniels and A.D. Locke.

 

narrator Dave Thompson

narrator Dave Thompson

about the narrator…

Dave Thompson is the California King and the Easter Werewolf, and is the host and co-editor of PodCastle. He has narrated audiobooks (by Tim Pratt, Greg van Eekhout, and James Maxey), written short stories (published in or forthcoming from Apex, Drabblecast, Pseudopod, and Escape Pod), and lost NaNoWriMo twice. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

EP472: The Mercy of Theseus

by Rachael K. Jones
read by Dave Thompson

author Rachael K. Jones

author Rachael K. Jones

about the author…

Rachael K. Jones is a science fiction and fantasy author, and the Submissions Editor of Escape Pod. Her fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Strange Horizons, PodCastle, the Drabblecast, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Crossed Genres, Daily Science Fiction, and Penumbra. She has a degree in English and is currently pursuing a second degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She lives in Athens, GA with her husband and perpetual alpha reader, Jason.

You can follow her on Twitter @RachaelKJones.

narrator Dave Thompson

narrator Dave Thompson

about the narrator…

Dave Thompson is the California King and the Easter Werewolf, and is the host and co-editor of PodCastle. He has narrated audiobooks (by Tim Pratt, Greg van Eekhout, and James Maxey), written short stories (published in or forthcoming from Apex, Drabblecast, Pseudopod, and Escape Pod), and lost NaNoWriMo twice. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three children.

 

The Mercy of Theseus
by Rachael K. Jones

Greta and Jamal have three arms, two legs, and one working kidney between the two of them. The kidney belongs to Greta. Its twin went to her little sister three years back, and now she has a laparoscopic keyhole scar over her belly button to remember it by. She can feel it pull tight when she rolls her creeper beneath the chassis of the next project in the shop. Thanks to the war, Jamal has lost the arm, the legs, and the other two kidneys.

All his parts have since been replaced.

#

When Greta picked up Jamal in Washington, D.C. three days back, the first thing she did was insult him.

“You look like shit,” she said. His left hand–the good one–flew up to his right cheek where the surgical scars stood out like red cords. His bionics were top notch–the Army had to put you together again before they could legally discharge you–but you could still see where the silicone skin ended and his real face began.

Greta snorted. “Not your face, you moron. Your sweatshirt. You look like a psycho killer.”

Jamal wore an oversize gray Army sweatshirt with the hoodie cinched tight beneath his chin. He dropped his hand and sidestepped when she tried to hug him. “Where did you park? Let’s get out of here.”

She ignored the slight and led the way to the parking lot. She felt secretly gratified when Jamal’s jaw dropped at the sight of the ancient Mercedes. “Jesus fucking Christ, Greta! You found Mercy!”

Greta sidled up behind him and eased the duffel bag from his hand–the bionic one. It looked like a real hand up close. Just not like Jamal’s hand. “Get in. We’re going on a road trip.” She slung the duffel bag on a stack of Heinleins in the back and took the driver’s seat.

“I don’t remember it smelling like French fries in here,” said Jamal.

Soundproof #10

Download the ePub version here.

Hey folks—

Short editor’s note this month to make sure this goes out reasonably on time to all you faithful listeners. Er, readers.

Last month saw a bit of mopping-up action on the various nominees with Stone Wall Truth, which got nominated in the novella category for the Nebula, and the space-piratical Leech Run.

But most importantly, we hit Episode 300 of the podcast that Steve built with Tim Pratt’s We Go Back. Who Escape Pod goes pretty far back with. His stories are episodes 8, 31 (with Greg van Eekhout), 67, 105, 142, 190, 239, 251 and 276. He’s probably far and away the Escape Pod fan favorite, and Impossible Dreams is still the story I usually recommend as the entry point for new Escape Pod listeners.

It’s been a little over a year since Mur took over and I snuck in through an open side Escape Pod airlock (for closed values of open). We’re still adrift in space, same as it ever was, floating along scanning for the next story, and eventually a planet to set down on. Like many fiction journeys, the path laid out at the beginning is not the path you end up going down, because that would be boring.

Until the next,

—Bill

Promo for The Alphabet Quartet

From Dave Thompson, the co-editor at our sister podcast, Podcastle:

In late 2007, I took a trip down to San Diego’s Conjecture convention. I’d been listening to Escape Pod for a couple of years (PodCastle hadn’t even started yet) and so I was thrilled that the very first panel I got to see featured Tim Pratt, Heather Shaw, and Greg van Eekhout. Tim had just won a Hugo for his story “Impossible Dreams” (which I first heard at Escape Pod, yo!) and proceeded to do a collaborative reading of ABC flash fiction. Essentially, they divvied up the alphabet, wrote flash fiction stories for each letter, such as “E is for Excrement” and “N is for Nevermore Nevermore Land.” It was a fantastic reading – hilarious, poignant, thrilling, and most of all – they knew how to have fun. I left the convention knowing, just knowing, that one day – this ABC book was going to be big.

But nothing happened. Several years passed, and still – nothing happened.

And then, toward the end of last year – I realized, I’m at Escape Artists, co-editing PodCastle, and that awesome book I remember? Is out there still, and nobody’s heard it. So, I talked to Ben Phillips, and then I talked to Tim, Heather, Greg, and Jenn Reese – who came aboard to help them finish up the collection – and we came up with a plan. I decided it’d be awesome to send the Alphabet Quartet out to listeners who’d been kind enough to sign up as paid subscribers or make a one-time donation to us of $50 or more since January 1, 2011. Times are tough, we know, and not everyone can donate, so all the Escape Artists podcasts are going to be sharing a few of these stories with everyone who wants them (and also at the Drabblecast). Additionally, all the stories are available to read there for free at Daily Science Fiction, a great new online magazine that emails you free SF/F stories daily, so everyone wins. Thanks for listening, and we hope you enjoy the extra stories.

Episode 202: Will You Be an Astronaut?

By Greg van Eekhout
Read by Christiana Ellis

First appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.

Astronauts are people who ride rockets into space.  They must train for a very long time before they go.  Astronauts must be brave and smart.

Will you be an astronaut?

* * *

The biggest rocket ever was the Saturn V.  On the launch pad it was taller than a 30-story building.  Today’s rockets are smaller and lighter.  Today’s rockets can be launched more than once.  They have wings and can come back to earth and land like airplanes.

When a rocket launches, it’s like an earthquake. The ground is shaking! There is flame and smoke. It’s like an explosion!

Antonio is strapped into his seat.  He is about to ride to a space station.  Because there is no air in space, Antonio must wear a space suit.  In the suit, Antonio can breathe and talk over radio.  He wears a helmet with a special faceplate that protects him from the sun.  The fingers of his gloves have tiny claws that help him work with small objects.

What’s all that noise? It must be a rocket! Astronauts are traveling to space!

5-4-3-2-1!  Lift off!

Rated PG-13. Deceptively G…

Escape Pod Flash: Taco

By Greg Van Eekhout
Read by John Meagher

“Hey, tell me, this look like Jesus to you?”

I come to Tito’s Tacos for a lot of reasons. The freeway overpass
ambience, the way the old men in the kitchen wrap the burritos tighter
than Cuban cigars, the shiny Kennedy 50-cent pieces you always get as
part of your change. A lot of reasons. But conversation isn’t among
them. Nonetheless, I dutifully look up from my lunch to see what the
guy at the next table over is talking about.

Rated PG for a possibly edible messiah

EP138: In the Late December

Nebula Award Nominee!

By Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Closing Music: “Chiron Beta Prime” by Jonathan Coulton.
First appeared in Strange Horizons, December 2003.

They come to a cloud of silver mist, and there Santa finds a little boy made of molten silver with liquid silver eyes and sweeping silver delta wings. His wrists are ringed with missile launchers, and a rounded cone emerges from a cavity in his chest. Once there were many silver boys, fleets of them, protecting the outermost parts of inhabited space against things that came from outside inhabited space. But now, there is only the silver boy.

“You, sir,” the silver boy says, “are a tiresome consciousness cluster. Your binary value system remains as laughable as it is irrelevant. How you manage to remain cohesive is beyond me.”

“My value system is hardly binary,” Santa says. “In between naughty and nice I’ve made room for you: grumpy but fundamentally sound. Do you want a toy or not?”

Rated PG. Contains some dark Santa-related imagery, and the heat death of the universe.

EP087: Authorwerx

By Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Stephen Eley.

I launched into my next bit, which I’d rehearsed that morning on the tram. “What I liked about your stories is that you never knew where they were going. It’d start off as a World War II military adventure, but then it would wind up being about android worms from another dimension out to steal Earth’s dirt. It’s like other writers’ stories are bridges: There’s a beginning, there’s an end, and it’s a pretty straight shot through. It might be a long bridge, or curvy, maybe, so you can’t quite see the ending coming. But the trip basically makes sense. Your stories were different, though. You always blew up your bridges halfway across, and you’d have to swim for the banks, and you’d end up on some rock with weird lizards.”

On the verge of laughter, he looked at me. “You’re kidding, right?”

Rated R. Contains profanity and a disturbing resemblance to Philip K. Dick.

Referenced sites:
Eley’s writing progress
New forums (finally!)

EP044: Show and Tell

By Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Anna Eley.

Dex asks if he can keep the bullet, and Brindi says to give it back, and Teacher reminds her to say please. Brindi agrees to throw bullets at the rest of us, so she does the thing with her finger and it’s BOOM, BOOM, BOOM and whip-whip-whip for the next few minutes.

When she’s done there’s smoke in the air and it stinks and we applaud and give back her bullets. Brindi has had a great show, and I don’t know how anyone can beat it.

Show and Tell is important because it prepares us to be impressive.

Rated PG. Contains mild scenes of violence enacted by somewhat strange children.

Referenced sites:
The Numbers – Movie Budgets
Lies and Little Deaths: A Virtual Anthology
The Speech Accent Archive