Archive for Site News

Update on The Alphabet Quartet

Sorry for the delay, folks. Here’s a note from AQ wrangler, Dave:

Hey all,

Dave Thompson here.

Just wanted to let everyone know that the Alphabet Quartet is coming, but it looks like it’s going to be coming a little bit later than we’d originally hoped.

I am sincerely sorry for the delay – we’d hoped to get it to you by the beginning of July. That said, I’ve put a lot of time into it, as has Wilson Fowlie (who is working as the sound producer), and we don’t want to give something unless we’re completely happy with it.

As I said, it is coming, and it should be coming soon. I’ll definitely keep you all updated as to when you can expect it.

Thanks for your patience. I’m looking forward to sharing all these stories with you.


Hey folks,

We’re very sorry for the downtime of the last day or two, and I’m very sorry to also say that it may continue for another few days while we sort through some server issues that have affected the blogs, forums, and RSS feeds. Though we are hopeful that we’ve gotten things fairly well fixed for now.

Please let us know here if you are having issues with the blogs or RSS feeds at this thread on our forums. Or if they go back down, please email me at bill at escapeartists period net.

Thanks for your patience,


Closed to Flash Submissions

Due to an overabundance of flash submissions, we’ll be closed to them while we sort out a release schedule. Please do not send us stories under 2000 words until you read otherwise on this site. (Or until we have another contest!)

Closed to Submissions for December

Hey Folks,

Quick programming note: Escape Pod will be closed to submissions for the month of December. This is partly to get though a slight backlog of stories in the system now and also because as we get closer to the end of the pro-rate experiment we’ve got some things to figure out.

I never know how to end these things, so I’ll steal from Mur and—

Be Mighty,

Customized Escape Pod!

You’ve asked, and we’ve answered! Through the miracle of The Internet and RSS, we bring you more customized feeds!

Please note- most of these stories are picked automatically (via categories on the site) and so it’s possible there may be a story in the For Kids feed, for example, that while not objectionable, may contain content that your kid won’t be interested in. There’s a difference between “for kids” and “family friendly.” Moving forward, the kid feed will contain only “for kids” stories.

  • The For-Kids Feed– currently this includes nearly all G-rated stories especially geared for our younger listeners.
  • The Family-Friendly Feed– This will have all G and PG stories for people who don’t want to get into the harder language or sex that may make a story R. The kids may not be interested, but you can probably listen around them with minimal worry.
  • The Best-Of Feed– New to Escape Pod? Check this feed out if our archives are daunting. We’re going through and cherry-picking your favorite stories and putting them in a feed. We’re starting this one slow, so it doesn’t have a whole lot in it.
  • (And if this is all too much detail for you, the catch-all, no-frills Escape Pod feed is still functioning nicely for our audio and epubs.)

News- changes at Escape Pod- blog, reviews, text, and rate increase!

Hi SF fans!

I wanted to talk about some changes that are happening here at Escape Pod.

First: DON’T PANIC. What you love about Escape Pod – free stories every Thursday – is not changing. At all. We’re not removing things as a change, we’re adding things.

Second: For a while, this site has been little more than a delivery device for the podcast. But now we’re going to add commentary, reviews, and news. We need help, though. If you’re interested in volunteering material for the blog, simply email me and let me know what you’d like to contribute.

Third: Escape Pod is raising its rates. That’s right folks, we’re shooting for the stars and going for an SFWA pro rate format. We’ll be paying $.05 a word for new stories (maximum $300), $.03 a word for reprints (minimum $100). We’re doing this for a couple of reasons- authors deserve to be paid, of course. We’re hoping we can attract a greater caliber of authors, which will therefore grow our audience. Along with the rate increase, we’ll be asking for ebook rights to the stories so we can print them on our site, which will bring in a bigger audience. The rate increase will start with stories I accept after October 1, 2010.

A side note- we’ll only be able to pay pro rates if the donations help us do so. we’re doing a six month trial; if our donations stay strong, it’ll be a permanent change for 2011, if they don’t, then in April we will drop back down to $100 a story. This depends on your support of the site.

Alternately, if you’re a media publisher of any kind — television, movies, video games, a book seller, or just an indie author who wants to sponsor Escape Pod, that will help us out while also promoting you to tens of thousands of listeners. You can email amanda at for current rates and details.

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.