Archive for 10 and Up

EP045: Are You Ready For the End of the World?


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By Danny Adams.
Read by Paul Jenkins and Tee Morris.

Would you like to know how to escape the imminent destruction of the Earth?

Sure, we all would.

And this site can help. Our specially-trained instructors can assist you in putting together your very own personal starship to get off this planet before its obliteration.

Rated PG. Contains a planet in peril, almost-helpful aliens, and a sociopathic football player. One or more of the three fail to come out on top.

Referenced sites:
Infection by Scott Sigler

EP045: Are You Ready For the End of the World?


By Danny Adams.
Read by Paul Jenkins and Tee Morris.

Would you like to know how to escape the imminent destruction of the Earth?

Sure, we all would.

And this site can help. Our specially-trained instructors can assist you in putting together your very own personal starship to get off this planet before its obliteration.

Rated PG. Contains a planet in peril, almost-helpful aliens, and a sociopathic football player. One or more of the three fail to come out on top.

Referenced sites:
Infection by Scott Sigler

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

EP042: Practical Villainy


By Janni Lee Simner.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Musical guest: Jonathan Coulton.

The first thing I want you to know is that I drowned those kittens for a reason. Villains rarely do anything without purpose, and I’m no exception, to that or any other rule. Irrational, passionate acts are for heroes, with their bright armor and their grand ideas, their conviction that with enough heart they can right any wrong, unravel any curse. My dragons were once well-fed on their kind, and their skulls still decorate the spikes above my gates.

Rated PG. Fictional animals were harmed in the making of this podcast. Also knights, damsels, dragons, and medieval economies.

Referenced sites:
Dragon Page Wingin’ It

EP040: Even Vadsø Thaws


By Bruce Holland Rogers.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Musical guest: Red Hunter.

The only person who might understand is Sponheim, the Corrections
Sociologist. He just arrived. It’s his job to understand me thoroughly
and to write a report that his successors will use to decide if it’s safe
to revive me. His report will help them decide if I am no longer a threat
to society because society has changed enough to deal with me, or has
learned to treat behaviors like mine.

“I am already remorseful!” I tell him at our first interview. “I
won’t do it again!” We are sitting at a table by the water. A light mist
falls. “I shouldn’t have done it, shouldn’t even have thought about
it. Once, I was one of the people fighting to preserve the last wild polar
bears! I wanted to protect the earth!” I get myself worked up. I am
close to tears.

Rated PG. Contains themes of ecoterrorism and global disaster. If you can explain that to your kids, it’s family-safe.

Referenced sites:
Short-Short Stories by Bruce Holland Rogers
SciFi Dimensions

EP037: Craphound


By Cory Doctorow.
Read by Jesse Thorn (of The Sound of Young America).

Craphound beat me out the door, as usual. His exoskeleton is programmable, so he
can record little scripts for it like: move left arm to door handle, pop it,
swing legs out to running-board, jump to ground, close door, move forward.
Meanwhile, I’m still making sure I’ve switched off the headlights and that I’ve
got my wallet.

Rated PG. Contains some profanity. That’s it, really.

Referenced sites:
Mostly News
Escape Pod Submission Guidelines

EP034: Free Will, Baby


By Janni Lee Simner.
Read by Swoopy (of Skepticality).

“Hello, this is Kara Donnelly, with Lucifer Enterprises. Whom am I–“

“Yeah,” the man said, as if he’d been expecting her. “My wife just left me. When she takes me to court next month, I want everything she’s got.”

“Well, I’m certain we can arrange that.” Kara smiled. She’d heard somewhere that if you smiled, your voice sounded more pleasant over the phone. “If I could just get some information, I’ll have one of our representatives call back to arrange a
meeting.”

Rated PG. Contains supernatural violence, sexual harassment, and telemarketers from Hell. (Not a redundancy.)

Referenced sites:
PodcasterCon
Escape Pod CD Offer

EP031: Robots and Falling Hearts


By Tim Pratt and Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Alex Wilson (of Telltale Weekly).
All stories by Tim Pratt or Greg van Eekhout.
All stories read by Alex Wilson.

I paused to tie a loose shoelace and a squat robot, like a dirty white trashcan on tank-treads, trundled out of an alley toward me. A red light on top of its domelike top blinked erratically. It said, in a high-pitched voice, “Klaatu barada nikto.” A small panel slid open in its front, and a pole with a cup on the end telescoped out. There were a few coins in the cup, mostly pennies and nickels, and the robot jingled the cup significantly.

“Take me to your leader,” I said, wishing it could be that simple, knowing that these things are never that simple. The robot beeped at me and jingled its cup harder, the coins rattling.

“It won’t go away unless you give it some change,” said a woman standing on the corner. “It followed me all the way to work one day, and hung around outside the door like a dog for hours.”

Rated PG. Contains slight profanity, long flirtations, and excessive Zen. Watch for falling metaphors.

Referenced sites:
Child’s Play
Hooting Yard

EP029: Crystal Balls


By Susie Hawes.
Read by Evo Terra (of The Dragon Page).

Yeah, that’s it. Oh, that’s nice. You’ve got strong hands, Mister. Are you psychic? Maybe just a little? No? Well, I can fix that.

Naw, I can’t tell you where to find a bottle of Mad Dog, but I can get you the money to buy one.

Rated PG. Contains violence, immoral psychic paraphernalia, and grown women scrying.

Referenced sites:
Rent
The Sci Phi Show
Dead White Guys

EP Poem: Making Monsters


A Poem by Tim Pratt.
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Tim Pratt.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

He is the reason clowns so often seem
sinister, the reason mannequins and dolls
can be so unsettling, the reason a child’s
tricycle
sitting unattended in a front yard can be an image
suffused with dread. If he goes on
this way, who knows what other objects
will attain an aura of menace?

Rated PG. May provoke disturbing thoughts.

This poem originally ran in Strange Horizons in July of 2004.