Archive for Flash

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

Escape Pod Flash: Betting the Family Farm


By Wenonah Lyon
Read by Elie Hirschman


It had originally thought the goal was to hit the two small creatures in the distance. They appeared to be identical to the three creatures whom he had joined in the game.

First approximation: separated by some distance, one attempts to down the group ahead of one using one of many metal-tipped sticks (called ‘clubs’) to ‘drive’ a small, hard ball. Those behind would, presumably, be attempting to hit one. So, one dodged and drove.

Rated PG for frequent golf horror

Escape Pod Flash: Get Me to the Job on Time


By Ian Randal Strock

Read by Elie Hirschman

“Maybe it’s what you’d do with the knowledge that determines whether or not you’ll discover the secret of time travel.”

“What?” I asked the old man.

“I know for a fact that time travel is possible. I knew the man who discovered it. And you’ll never guess what he used his discovery for.”

Well, I didn’t believe that old man any more than you believe me, but we’d been waiting in that airport for four hours, so I humored him.

“All right, I’ll bite,” I said. “What did he use time travel for?”

“Wally didn’t need to see the pyramids getting built, or sail with Columbus, or even watch JFK’s assassination. What Wally wanted to do, more than anything, was get to work on time.”

An introduction like that demands a story, so I sat down and let him tell me.

Episode 197: From Babel’s Fall’n Glory We Fled…


By Michael Swanwick
Read by Sarah Tolbert

First appeared in Asimov’s Feb 2008

Imagine a cross between Byzantium and a termite mound. Imagine a jeweled mountain, slender as an icicle, rising out of the steam jungles and disappearing into the dazzling pearl-grey skies of Gehenna. Imagine that Gaudí—he of the Segrada Familia and other biomorphic architectural whimsies—had been commissioned by a nightmare race of giant black millipedes to recreate Barcelona at the height of its glory, along with touches of the Forbidden City in the eighteenth century and Tokyo in the twenty-second, all within a single miles-high structure. Hold every bit of that in your mind at once, multiply by a thousand, and you’ve got only the faintest ghost of a notion of the splendor that was Babel.

Now imagine being inside Babel when it fell.

Rated PG. Contains the destruction of cities, a lack of trust, and sentient suits.

Escape Pod Flash: Semi-Autonomous or ‘For Whom The Warranty Tolls


By Jim Kling.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.
All stories by Jim Kling.
All stories read by Rachel Swirsky.


Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. Leave a message and I will have him return your call.

Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. He will be hosting his birthday party on Saturday night. If you plan to attend, press ‘one’ and then speak your name. I will add you to the guest list. Otherwise, leave a message and I will make sure he receives it.

Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. My records indicate that you have previously RSVP’d for the Saturday night party. Please indicate your alcohol preference. For beer, press ‘one.’ For wine, press ‘two.’ For mixed drinks, press ‘three.’ If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, press ‘four.’ This information will be used for ordering purposes only, transmitted through my wireless connection to Jim’s refrigerator, which in turn is linked to an online grocery. For more information about AutonomInc’s SmartAppliance line, please view our web site at www.autonominc.com. “AutonomInc: We give a whole new meaning to housework!” If you have a message for Jim, please leave it now.

Rated PG and now available in a wide variety of colours!

Escape Pod Flash: Chump Change


By Pete Butler Read by Jake Squid


It’s going to be the Three of Clubs.

I know this, as certainly as I know my own name. I’m less sure about some things than my fans would think. But sometimes, the swirling laws governing what _may_ happen coalesce into what _will_ happen with astonishing clarity. The sun will rise tomorrow, the Pirates will beat the Mets tonight, and as soon as I announce my “guess,” the Three of Clubs will appear on the monitor in front of me.

“Jack of Spades,” I proclaim, full of conviction.

The monitor flickers, and is suddenly filled by a pixilated version of the Three of Clubs.

Rated PG for…welll, you already know why, don’t you?

Escape Pod Flash: The Sincerest Form


By W.G. Hopkins Read by Alasdair Stuart

Bars of light crossed my desk, carved from the sun by the open window. The
scent of hot asphalt rose from the path that led to the capitol buildings.

Beside me, Dr. Singh motioned for the guards to bring in Dr. Norman
Terriault. He looked pale. I motioned for him to sit.

The guards stood on either side. The officer saluted.

I closed the window. A faint buzzing hovered in the air.

“Why me?” Terriault asked.

“You must be familiar with the work of the Imitant Office,” Singh consulted
his tablet, “Dr. Terriault.”

“I’m just like both of you.” Terriault leaned forward, the guards pulled him
back.

“Apparently,” I said.

Rated PG for low intensity inter-species conflict

Escape Pod Flash: Grandpa?


By Edward M Lerner Read by Ben Phillips

The lecture hall was pleasantly warm. Behind Prof. Thaddeus Fitch, busily writing on the chalkboard,
pencils scratched earnestly in spiral notebooks, fluorescent lights hummed, feet shuffled. A Beach
Boys tune wafted in through open windows from the quad.
“And so,” he continued, “travel backwards in time would violate causality, and hence appears to be impossible.” He turned to face the class. “The problem is most commonly illustrated with the ‘Grandfather Paradox.’

Rated PG for paradoxical violence.

Be sure to check out Mr. Lerner’s new book, FOOLS’ EXPERIMENTS.

Escape Pod Flash: A Preference for Silence


By Lucy A. Snyder
Read by Ann Leckie

Veronica was a spaceworthy lass with a definite preference for silence and a sensitivity to detail. She’d never lost her tea in zero gee and had always been the first to note when the coffee maker needed cleaning or when the fluorescent lights would flick-flicker in signal of the bulbs’ impending death.

Rated R. Contains sexual situations and noisy people.