Escape Pod http://escapepod.org The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine. Each week Escape Pod delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen today, and hear the new sound of science fiction! Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:21:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2005-2014 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0 editor@escapepod.org (Escape Pod) editor@escapepod.org (Escape Pod) science fiction 1440 http://escapepod.org/wp-content/images/pod-org-icon300.jpg Escape Pod http://escapepod.org 144 144 The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine. Each week Escape Pod delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen today, and hear the new sound of science fiction! science, fiction, sf, stories, audiobooks, storytelling, fiction, short, fiction, short, story Escape Pod Escape Pod editor@escapepod.org no no EP463: Rockwork http://escapepod.org/2014/10/01/ep463-rockwork/ http://escapepod.org/2014/10/01/ep463-rockwork/#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 12:16:30 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4912 by R.M. Graves read by Angi Shearstone This story has not been previously published Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Also mentioned in this episode, treasured author Eugie Foster passed away about the author… I am an illustrator and fiction writer based in London, England. This […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/10/01/ep463-rockwork/feed/ 0 0:57:49 by R.M. Graves read by Angi Shearstone This story has not been previously published Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Also mentioned in this episode, treasured aut[...] by R.M. Graves read by Angi Shearstone This story has not been previously published Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Also mentioned in this episode, treasured author Eugie Foster passed away author R.M. Graves about the author… I am an illustrator and fiction writer based in London, England. This is the list of my published work so far: “Ever Before Me”, on Everyday Fiction. You might like to hear the Samuel Sebastian Wesley hymn that inspired it:  Wash Me Throughly. “More Crackle Than Music”, upcoming on Stupefying Stories. “Simulation”, appearing in July’sFlash Fiction Online.  If you are interested in the science behind this, check out Silas Beane’s research   as well as  Matchright’s virtual babies. narrator Angi Shearstone about the narrator… Angi Shearstone is an award-winning professional artist with an MFA in comics, a small herd of cats, strong geek tendencies and a fondness for ska-core.  She’s worked in children’s books with Mercer Mayer, in comics on Batman: Gotham County Line with Scott Hampton, collaborated with Mur Lafferty on Beyond the Storm: Shadows of the Big Easy, and otherwise has self-published a handful of comic book projects, two of which with Joe Sutliff Sanders. She currently teaches nifty computer stuff to keep the bills paid while trying to get this epic-sized fully painted comic book series off the ground.  Pitches have been made, grants have been applied for, BloodDreams is to be released sometime in the unspecified but not-too-distant future.   Rockwork by RM Graves Dog sat at her kit, in the cavernous dark at the back of the stage, with Meg’s kiss chilling on her lips. That hadn’t fixed her nerves at all. Now Dog’s chest shook worse than her hands, jacked up on the worry of letting her girlfriend down, again. The crowd didn’t see or care. As Meg took her spot out front, they thrummed the darkness with their chanting, “Rock… Work! Rock… Work!” Dog’s sticks were already slick in her palms as she snapped rubber bands around them. She shuffled in her seat, checked contacts, toggled switches and sensed Meg’s impatience, standing in the dark between the drums and hungry fans. Dog brushed trembling fingers over the kit and it twitched around her, jittery. It hated gigs. “Come on, Rocky,” she whispered and cogs whirred back at her. She shook her head. “Purring? Seriously?” The kit’s blind trust made Dog gulp an urge to up and run. No. This time. This time Meg would be proud of her. Proud of them. No screw-ups. No zoning out. She took a deep breath and kicked a volley of hard thumps into the black. The audience hushed. Cannon-shot beats echoed, overlapped, and swelled like an approaching army. A machine-gun of rimshots and the lights, and the crowd, exploded. Dog scowled into the glare of spotlights as the ‘Rockwork’ burst into life around her; a kit stretched beyond drums to form an entire robotic band. Butchered musical instruments twitched and writhed in a hellish chromed engine of noise. Cogs spun plectrums at wire. Hammers rapped on the broken teeth of piano keys. Thumbscrews wrenched raw electric scales out of strangled frets. Dog set her features into maniacal control, sweat already trickling over her bald head, pooling in her eyebrows; her arms gleaming pistons at the snare and toms. Meg swayed her hips to Dog’s driving cacophony; her playful nonchalance creating a tantalizing silhouette to the audience, but taunting Dog behind. Hinting at what she had to lose. The music press were in tonight, but there was more than the band at stake. The Rockwork was autonomous to a point, but it relied on Dog to keep it in line. Left unchecked it would spin off on its own groove without regard to Meg. Or the audience. Dog pressed her lips, rolled an extravagant fill across the toms, thrashed out her anxiety in the splash and crash. M[...] Podcasts R.M. Graves yes no
Author Eugie Foster passed away 9/27/2014 http://escapepod.org/2014/09/28/author-eugie-foster-passed-away-9272014/ http://escapepod.org/2014/09/28/author-eugie-foster-passed-away-9272014/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 23:24:18 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4905 Eugie Foster, author, editor, wife, died on September 27th of respiratory failure at Emory University in Atlanta. In her forty-two years, Eugie lived three lifetimes. She won the Nebula award, the highest award for science fiction literature, and had over one hundred of her stories published. She was an editor for the Georgia General Assembly. She […]

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EP462: Women of Our Occupation http://escapepod.org/2014/09/19/ep462-women-occupation/ http://escapepod.org/2014/09/19/ep462-women-occupation/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:29:32 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4894 by Kameron Hurley read by Mur Lafferty live at LonCon3   about the author… Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author, advertising copywriter, and online scribe.  Hurley grew up in Washington State, and has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago. She has degrees in historical studies from the University of Alaska and the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/09/19/ep462-women-occupation/feed/ 0 0:30:15 by Kameron Hurley read by Mur Lafferty live at LonCon3   author Kameron Hurley about the author… Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author, advertising copywriter, and online scribe.  Hurley grew up in Washington State, and has lived in[...] by Kameron Hurley read by Mur Lafferty live at LonCon3   author Kameron Hurley about the author… Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author, advertising copywriter, and online scribe.  Hurley grew up in Washington State, and has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago. She has degrees in historical studies from the University of Alaska and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, specializing in the history of South African resistance movements. Her essay on the history of women in conflict “We Have Always Fought” was the first blog post to win a Hugo Award. It was also nominated for Best Non-Fiction work by the British Fantasy Society. Hurley is the author of God’s War, Infidel, and Rapture, a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel. She has won the Hugo Award (twice) and been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Additionally, her work has been included on the Tiptree Award Honor List. Hurley’s short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed, EscapePod, and Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as The Lowest Heaven, The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women and Year’s Best SF. Her fiction has been translated into Romanian, Swedish, Spanish and Russian. She is also a graduate of Clarion West. In addition to her writing, Hurley has been a Stollee guest lecturer at Buena Vista University and taught copywriting at the School of Advertising Art. Hurley currently lives in Ohio, where she’s cultivating an urban homestead. Her latest novel, The Mirror Empire, will be published by Angry Robot Books in August 2014. If you’d like to contact Kameron, click here. To inquire about rights to remix her work, please contact her agent.   narrator Mur Lafferty about the narrator… Winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, 2012 “one of the worst-kept secrets in science fiction and fantasy publishing.” – Cory Doctorow via BoingBoing Mur Lafferty is an author, podcaster, and editor. She lives in Durham, NC, with her husband and 11 year old daughter. Books: Starting with podcast-only titles, Mur has written several books and novellas. Her first professionally published book, The Shambling Guide to New York City, is in book stores now. The sequel, The Shambling Guides 2: Ghost Train to New Orleans came out this year. She writes urban fantasy, superhero satire, afterlife mythology, and Christmas stories. Podcasts: She has been podcasting since 2004 when she started her essay-focused show, Geek Fu Action Grip. Then she started the award-winning I Should Be Writing in 2005, which is still going today. She was the editor of Escape Pod from 2010-2012, and she also runs the Angry Robot Books podcast. Nonfiction: Mur has written for several magazines including Knights of the Dinner Table, Anime Insider, and The Escapist. In January, 2014, Mur graduated from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine with an MFA in popular fiction. Mur is represented by Jen Udden at Donald Maass Literary Agency. The post EP462: Women of Our Occupation appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP462: Women of Our Occupation appeared first on Escape Pod. Uncategorized Kameron Hurley no no
Now that Hugo month is over, here are the results… http://escapepod.org/2014/09/18/now-hugo-month-results/ http://escapepod.org/2014/09/18/now-hugo-month-results/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:05:24 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4896 You’ve been listening to Hugo stories through August as it’s our tradition to feature nominees. Now that the episodes have all run, we thought you might like to see the results.   2014 Hugo Award Winners Loncon 3 is delighted to announce the 2014 Hugo Award and John W. Campbell Award winners. 3,587 valid ballots were […]

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EP461: Selkie Stories are for Losers http://escapepod.org/2014/09/12/ep461-selkie-stories-losers/ http://escapepod.org/2014/09/12/ep461-selkie-stories-losers/#comments Sat, 13 Sep 2014 03:14:33 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4888 by Sofia Samatar read by Amanda Ching This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award Selkie Stories are for Losers has been previously published by Strange Horizons Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to his fund if […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/09/12/ep461-selkie-stories-losers/feed/ 5 0:21:38 by Sofia Samatar read by Amanda Ching This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award Selkie Stories are for Losers has been previously published by Strange Horizons Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators[...] by Sofia Samatar read by Amanda Ching This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award Selkie Stories are for Losers has been previously published by Strange Horizons Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to his fund if at all possible: http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/ about the author/narrator… I am the author of the novel A Stranger in Olondria (Small Beer Press, 2013). I edit nonfiction and poetry for Interfictions Online. You can find out more about me at sofiasamatar.com, or contact me directly at sofiasamatar@gmail.com. The post EP461: Selkie Stories are for Losers appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP461: Selkie Stories are for Losers appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Sofia Samatar no no
Movie Review: Kick-Ass 2 http://escapepod.org/2014/09/08/movie-review-kick-ass-2/ http://escapepod.org/2014/09/08/movie-review-kick-ass-2/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 14:00:34 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4884 In my reviews of movies, I always try to mention is the film's soundtrack. Sometimes movies that get little or no play can have great soundtracks. Kick-Ass 2 is one such film.

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EP460: The Ink Readers of Doi Saket http://escapepod.org/2014/09/02/ep460-ink-readers-doi-saket/ http://escapepod.org/2014/09/02/ep460-ink-readers-doi-saket/#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 03:56:30 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4881 by Thomas Olde Heuvelt read by Mat Weller This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award The Ink Readers of Doi Saket has been previously published by Tor Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/09/02/ep460-ink-readers-doi-saket/feed/ 3 0:44:46 by Thomas Olde Heuvelt read by Mat Weller This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award The Ink Readers of Doi Saket has been previously published by Tor Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit ou[...] by Thomas Olde Heuvelt read by Mat Weller This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award The Ink Readers of Doi Saket has been previously published by Tor Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to his fund if at all possible: http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/ about the author/narrator… Born in 1983, Thomas Olde Heuvelt is the much praised Dutch author of five novels and many stories of the fantastic. BBC Radio called Thomas “One of Europe’s foremost talents in fantastic literature.” Olde Heuvelt is a multiple winner of the Paul Harland Award for best Dutch Fantasy. His story “The Boy Who Cast No Shadow” received the Honorable Mention in the Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards. His latest novel HEX is currently being translated into English. The post EP460: The Ink Readers of Doi Saket appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP460: The Ink Readers of Doi Saket appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Thomas Olde Heuvelt yes no
Tea, Bodies and Business: Remaking the Hero Archetype by Kameron Hurley http://escapepod.org/2014/08/22/tea-bodies-business-remaking-hero-archetype-kameron-hurley/ http://escapepod.org/2014/08/22/tea-bodies-business-remaking-hero-archetype-kameron-hurley/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 21:25:53 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4873 Kameron Hurley is the author of the novels God’s War, Infidel, and Rapture a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel. She has won the Hugo Award and been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the […]

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EP459: The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere http://escapepod.org/2014/08/21/ep459-water-falls-nowhere/ http://escapepod.org/2014/08/21/ep459-water-falls-nowhere/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:06:45 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4870 by John Chu read by John Chu This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to his fund if at all possible: http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/ about the author/narrator… John designs […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/08/21/ep459-water-falls-nowhere/feed/ 4 0:55:01 by John Chu read by John Chu This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and d[...] by John Chu read by John Chu This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to his fund if at all possible: http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/ about the author/narrator… John designs microprocessors by day and writes fiction by night. His work has been published at Boston Review, Asimov’s and Tor.com. His website is http://johnchu.net The post EP459: The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP459: The Water That Falls On You From Nowhere appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts John Chu no no
SPECIAL EDITION: PG Holyfield http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/ http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:58:59 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4865 Announcement: http://specficmedia.com/2014/08/17/pg-holyfield-announcement/ GoFundMe Page: http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund Want to give people who don’t know PG’s work a chance to donate AND get an audio version of his book at the same time? Point them here: http://podiobooks.com/title/murder-at-avedon-hill/   Music in this episode: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/All_These_Simple_Things/09_-_The_Idea_of_Space

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http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/special-edition-pg-holyfield/feed/ 0 0:01:55 Announcement: http://specficmedia.com/2014/08/17/pg-holyfield-announcement/ GoFundMe Page: http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund Want to give people who don’t know PG’s work a chance to donate AND get an audio version of his book at the same [...] Announcement: http://specficmedia.com/2014/08/17/pg-holyfield-announcement/ GoFundMe Page: http://www.gofundme.com/pgfund Want to give people who don’t know PG’s work a chance to donate AND get an audio version of his book at the same time? Point them here: http://podiobooks.com/title/murder-at-avedon-hill/   Music in this episode: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/All_These_Simple_Things/09_-_The_Idea_of_Space The post SPECIAL EDITION: PG Holyfield appeared first on Escape Pod. The post SPECIAL EDITION: PG Holyfield appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Escape Pod no no
Interview with Uncanny Editors http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/interview-uncanny-editors/ http://escapepod.org/2014/08/19/interview-uncanny-editors/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 04:47:52 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4855 1) It was last year that Lynne and Michael stepped down as editors at Apex. Now, suddenly, Uncanny. Was Uncanny always the plan, or was it just that hard to stop editing having once started? It was just hard to stop. We took time off for our daughter’s spinal fusion surgery. Her recovery went well, […]

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EP458: If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love http://escapepod.org/2014/08/14/ep458-dinosaur-love/ http://escapepod.org/2014/08/14/ep458-dinosaur-love/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 04:28:15 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4851 by Rachel Swirsky read by Christina Lebonville This story has been previously published in Apex Magazine Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Rachel Swirsky’s short stories have appeared in Tor,Subterranean Magazine, and Clarkesworld, and been reprinted in year’s best anthologies edited by Strahan, Horton, […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/08/14/ep458-dinosaur-love/feed/ 2 0:15:19 by Rachel Swirsky read by Christina Lebonville This story has been previously published in Apex Magazine Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author Rachel Swirsky [...] by Rachel Swirsky read by Christina Lebonville This story has been previously published in Apex Magazine Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author Rachel Swirsky about the author… Rachel Swirsky’s short stories have appeared in Tor,Subterranean Magazine, and Clarkesworld, and been reprinted in year’s best anthologies edited by Strahan, Horton, Dozois, and the VanderMeers. She holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and graduated from Clarion West in 2005. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo, the Sturgeon, and the Locus Award, and won the Nebula in 2010 for best novella. Her husband is a dinosaur fanatic, but if he turned into a dinosaur, he wouldn’t be a T-Rex. He’d be a Therizinosaur. about the narrator… Christina Lebonville is known by the online moniker, Evil Cheshire Cat, a tribute to her sense of sarcastically dark humor and toothy resemblance to the re-imagining of the classic Wonderland character in American McGee’s video game, Alice. She has done voice work and writing for skits and songs played on the now retired comedy podcast, The Awful Show, and is the co-creator and former co-host of the podcast Obviously Oblivious, a nearly four-year running comedy podcast with a science twist. Christina has since retired from podcasting to pursue a doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience.   If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love by Rachel Swirsky If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge. If you were a T-Rex, then I would become a zookeeper so that I could spend all my time with you. I’d bring you raw chickens and live goats. I’d watch the gore shining on your teeth. I’d make my bed on the floor of your cage, in the moist dirt, cushioned by leaves. When you couldn’t sleep, I’d sing you lullabies. If I sang you lullabies, I’d soon notice how quickly you picked up music. You’d harmonize with me, your rough, vibrating voice a strange counterpoint to mine. When you thought I was asleep, you’d cry unrequited love songs into the night. If you sang unrequited love songs, I’d take you on tour. We’d go to Broadway. You’d stand onstage, talons digging into the floorboards. Audiences would weep at the melancholic beauty of your singing. If audiences wept at the melancholic beauty of your singing, they’d rally to fund new research into reviving extinct species. Money would flood into scientific institutions. Biologists would reverse engineer chickens until they could discover how to give them jaws with teeth. Paleontologists would mine ancient fossils for traces of collagen. Geneticists would figure out how to build a dinosaur from nothing by discovering exactly what DNA sequences code everything about a creature, from the size of its pupils to what enables a brain to contemplate a sunset. They’d work until they’d built you a mate. If they built you a mate, I’d stand as the best woman at your wedding. I’d watch awkwardly in green chiffon that made me look sallow, as I listened to your vows. I’d be jealous, of course, and also sad, because I want to marry you. Still, I’d know that it was for the best that you marry another creature like yourself, one that shares your body and bone and genetic template. I’d stare at the two of you standing together by the altar and I’d love you even more than I do now. My soul would feel light because I’d know that you and I had made something new in the world and at the same time revived something very old. I would be borrowed, too, because I’d be borrowing your happiness. All I’d need would be something blue. If all I needed was something blue, I’d run across the church, heels clicking on the marble, until I reached a vas[...] Podcasts, Uncategorized Rachel Swirsky no no
EP457: A Struggle Between Rivals Ends Surprisingly http://escapepod.org/2014/08/04/ep457/ http://escapepod.org/2014/08/04/ep457/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 03:41:39 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4842 by Oliver Buckram read by Laura Hobbs This story has been previously published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Mentioned in this episode: Bobby Lombardi fundraiser http://matt-wallace.com/?p=294 Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Oliver Buckram, Ph.D., writes science fiction and fantasy. He […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/08/04/ep457/feed/ 0 0:31:20 by Oliver Buckram read by Laura Hobbs This story has been previously published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Mentioned in this episode: Bobby Lombardi fundraiser http://matt-wallace.com/?p=294 Discuss on our forums.  For a list of [...] by Oliver Buckram read by Laura Hobbs This story has been previously published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Mentioned in this episode: Bobby Lombardi fundraiser http://matt-wallace.com/?p=294 Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Oliver Buckram, Ph.D., writes science fiction and fantasy. He lives in the Boston area where, under an assumed name, he teaches social science to undergraduates. His fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Interzone, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (F&SF), among other places.  He urges you to keep watching the skies. about the narrator… Laura Hobbs works in infosec by day and is a random crafter by night. Twitter is her social media of choice, and she despises the word “cyber”. When asked nicely, she sometimes reads things for people on the internet. You can find her online at soapturtle.net   A Struggle Between Rivals Ends Surprisingly by Oliver Buckram While the harbormaster fidgeted at his desk, Treya checked her pipes. They were, of course, in perfect condition: the leather supple and the drones polished. She’d brought her double-chantered smallpipes today, in case the negotiations grew complex. The harbormaster snapped shut his pocket watch. “That damned beetle is already ten minutes late.” Treya walked to the window. On the street below, a fishmonger pushed his wheelbarrow through a group of green-skinned Cantharan peddlers while a Glanite hoverjar floated by. But there was no sign of the beetle. If he didn’t show up, Treya wouldn’t get paid. She scrutinized the hoverjar as it wafted through an intersection. Inside its murky interior, there must be a Glanite. The squid-like creatures seldom visited Port Raskol. What was it doing here? Might it want to hire a translator? At last Treya spotted the beetle’s top hat bobbing above the heads of other pedestrians. His fringed leather vest marked him as a servant of the beetle Baroness. After a few moments, the beetle was ushered into the office. Treya and the harbormaster bowed and the beetle spread his stubby hindwings in greeting. After Treya piped a welcome, he responded with a cacophony of wails, whines, and groans from his spiracles. She translated in a low voice. “He’s doing the Lamentation on Congestion…apologies for being late…greetings from the Baroness. He’s going off on a tangent. Could be an extended monologue. No…He’s back on track. We’re definitely doing the first scene of A Routine Mercantile Transaction. It’s a one-act, so this shouldn’t take long.” When the beetle finished his lines, Treya glanced at the harbormaster. “Ask him why the Baroness is behind on her docking fees,” he said. The Baroness owned a fleet of fishing vessels currently in the harbor. Treya shook her head. “That will serve no purpose. At best, he’ll give us a discourse on unavoidable delays, and at worst, he’ll push us into a convoluted subplot. No, at this point in A Routine Mercantile Transaction, you need to state your demands.” “I want those fees paid. Right now.”   Treya put her lips to her mouthpiece and trilled the harbormaster’s demand in a circuitous oration on the changeability of fortune and the virtues of punctual payments. The beetle patted his vest pockets with his midhands. His moans and screeches grew louder. She raised an eyebrow. “He claims he was bringing payment from the Baroness, but now he can’t find it. Pickpockets, he says. Of course he’s lying. He’s attempting the Clever Servant Outwits Rich Foreigners subplot.” “No one cheats me!” The harbormaster got to his feet. “Relax. I’ll tell him that he must’ve dropped it when he came in. Just pretend to look around [...] Podcasts Oliver Buckram no no
EP456: To Waste http://escapepod.org/2014/07/28/ep456-waste/ http://escapepod.org/2014/07/28/ep456-waste/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:11:39 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4837 by Luke Pebler read by Joshua Price Links for this episode: This story has not been previously published Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Luke Pebler is a graduate of the 2012 Clarion Workshop at UCSD, and his fiction has appeared in the Sword […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/07/28/ep456-waste/feed/ 0 0:29:07 by Luke Pebler read by Joshua Price Links for this episode: This story has not been previously published Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author…[...] by Luke Pebler read by Joshua Price Links for this episode: This story has not been previously published Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Luke Pebler is a graduate of the 2012 Clarion Workshop at UCSD, and his fiction has appeared in the Sword & Laser Anthology and others. about the narrator… My name is Josh and I’m legally blind. I have a degenerative eye condition that claimed most of my vision while I was in college for film art and design. I now devote all of my free time to volunteering what skills I acquired in college to the blind community. I describe tv shows and movies for a website in England. For those of you who are not familiar with descriptive movies, it basically means that we lay an additional audio track over the film that explains what is happening when the characters aren’t talking. I also spend a great deal of time producing fully casted audio dramas of comic books. I don’t feel that it is fair for the comic book companies to provide an amazing art form for sighted people, but nothing for the blind community. I wrote to the big companies and asked them  to provide an audio form of their products or a text form of them, so a screen reader could read it for the blind, but none of the companies answered me. so, under the 3.0 creative commons license, I produce these free products. At this time, I mainly  focus on comics that use to be television shows. For example, Buffy the vampire slayer and it’s spin off series Angel, as well as Charmed, because these comics are intended to pick up right where the series left off. Again,  I don’t feel that it is fair that the blind community is cut off from the story line simply because the series has changed form and is no longer accessible. Often I am asked why I go through so much trouble to create such detailed audio projects for the comic books content, and I respond with “Comic books are supposed to be a visual art form. I could create a simple read through audio track, like an audio book, but I strive for something more. Comics are visual art form, not just written words.”  I try to change a visual art form into an audio art form, thus keeping the idea of comics as art. I make what sighted people see, into something that blind people can hear. It is my hope that the audio can create an image in people’s minds that resembles visual art.   To Waste by Luke Pebler When I wake, it is not yet hot.  But it will be soon. I am already thirsty. I get up from the cot and go to the machine.  I put my dick into the intake cup, and when my pee flows into the machine it clicks on automatically.  I stretch and reach out to snag my camera by its strap.  I review the shots I took yesterday while I finish going.  The machine whirs while it does its work.  I wait, still looking at photos. When the machine beeps, it has produced almost eight ounces of clean warm water.  I sip some of it, just enough to wet my mouth, and put the rest into a second machine. When the second machine beeps, it has produced five ounces of hot coffee. I crouch in the corner of the room, where the rising sun cannot find me.  It is still cool here.  I inhale deeply, wanting not even the steam of the coffee to go to waste.  I sip. When I look up, the boy is in the doorway, watching.  I do not know how long he’s been there. “He wants you,” the boy says. # The warlord sits in a chair on a dais built from ammunition crates. There’s a child lying in the dirt in front of the warlord.  Her mother stands over her, quaking. The child’s left leg is tatters from the knee down.  Gore and pink bone, then a foot.  Blood seeps through the bandages and into the dust. “Please,” the mother says.  “She needs the gauze.” The warlord watches the woman tremble, then looks up and searches the room.  When he sees me, he waves m[...] Podcasts Luke Pebler yes no
EP455: Keep Your Shape http://escapepod.org/2014/07/21/ep455-keep-shape/ http://escapepod.org/2014/07/21/ep455-keep-shape/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 13:29:56 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4832 by Robert Sheckley read by Nathaniel Lee about the author… (from Wikipedia) Robert Sheckley was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1931 the family moved to Maplewood, New Jersey. Sheckley attended Columbia High School, where he discovered science fiction. He graduated in 1946 and hitchhiked to California the same year, where he tried numerous jobs: […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/07/21/ep455-keep-shape/feed/ 0 0:40:45 by Robert Sheckley read by Nathaniel Lee author Robert Sheckley about the author… (from Wikipedia) Robert Sheckley was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1931 the family moved to Maplewood, New Jersey. Sheckley attended Columbia High School, whe[...] by Robert Sheckley read by Nathaniel Lee author Robert Sheckley about the author… (from Wikipedia) Robert Sheckley was born in Brooklyn, New York. In 1931 the family moved to Maplewood, New Jersey. Sheckley attended Columbia High School, where he discovered science fiction. He graduated in 1946 and hitchhiked to California the same year, where he tried numerous jobs: landscape gardener, pretzel salesman, barman, milkman, warehouseman, and general laborer “board man” in a hand-painted necktie studio. Finally, still in 1946, he joined the U.S. Army and was sent to Korea. During his time in the army he served as a guard, an army newspaper editor, a payroll clerk, and guitarist in an army band. He left the service in 1948. Sheckley then attended New York University, where he received an undergraduate degree in 1951. The same year he married for the first time, to Barbara Scadron. The couple had one son, Jason. Sheckley worked in an aircraft factory and as an assistant metallurgist for a short time, but his breakthrough came quickly: in late 1951 he sold his first story, Final Examination, to Imagination magazine. He quickly gained prominence as a writer, publishing stories in Imagination, Galaxy, and other science fiction magazines. The 1950s saw the publication of Sheckley’s first four books: short story collections Untouched by Human Hands (Ballantine, 1954), Citizen in Space (1955), and Pilgrimage to Earth (Bantam, 1957), and a novel, Immortality, Inc. (first published as a serial in Galaxy, 1958). Sheckley and Scadron divorced in 1956. The writer married journalist Ziva Kwitney in 1957. The newly married couple lived in Greenwich Village. Their daughter, Alisa Kwitney, born in 1964, would herself become a successful writer. Applauded by critic Kingsley Amis, Sheckley was now selling many of his deft, satiric stories to mainstream magazines such as Playboy. In addition to his science fiction stories, in 1960s Sheckley started writing suspense fiction. More short story collections and novels appeared in the 1960s, and a film adaptation of an early story by Sheckley, The 10th Victim, was released in 1965. Sheckley spent much of 1970s living on Ibiza. He and Kwitney divorced in 1972 and the same year Sheckley married Abby Schulman, whom he had met in Ibiza. The couple had two children, Anya and Jed. The couple separated while living in London. In 1980, the writer returned to the United States and became fiction editor of the newly established OMNI magazine. Sheckley left OMNI in 1981 with his fourth wife, writer Jay Rothbell a.k.a. Jay Sheckley, and they subsequently traveled widely in Europe, finally ending up in Portland, Oregon, where they separated. He married Gail Dana of Portland in 1990. Sheckley continued publishing further science fiction and espionage/mystery stories, and collaborated with other writers such as Roger Zelazny and Harry Harrison. During a 2005 visit to Ukraine for the Ukrainian Sci-Fi Computer Week, an international event for science fiction writers, Sheckley fell ill and had to be hospitalized in Kiev on April 27. His condition was very serious for one week, but he appeared to be slowly recovering. Sheckley’s official website ran a fundraising campaign to help cover Sheckley’s treatment and his return to the United States. Sheckley settled in Red Hook, in northern Dutchess County, New York, to be near his daughters Anya and Alisa. On November 20 he had surgery for a brain aneurysm; he died in a Poughkeepsie hospital on December 9, 2005. about the narrator… Nathaniel Lee is Escape Pod’s assistant editor and sometime contributor.  His writing can be found at various online venues, including Daily Science Fiction, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and all of the EA podcasts.  He lives somewhat unwillingly in North Carolina with his wife and son and their obligatory authorial cats.   Keep Your Shape by Robert Sheckley Pid the Pilot slowed the ship almost to a stands[...] Podcasts Robert Sheckley no no
EP454: Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One http://escapepod.org/2014/07/14/ep454-stop-youve-heard-one/ http://escapepod.org/2014/07/14/ep454-stop-youve-heard-one/#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:11:27 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4822 by KC Ball read by Dani Cutler Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… I live in Seattle, a stone’s throw from Puget Sound, with my life partner, Rachael. I began writing fiction professionally in 2008 […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/07/14/ep454-stop-youve-heard-one/feed/ 0 0:20:25 by KC Ball read by Dani Cutler Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… I live in Seattle, a stone’s throw from Puget Sound, w[...] by KC Ball read by Dani Cutler Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… I live in Seattle, a stone’s throw from Puget Sound, with my life partner, Rachael. I began writing fiction professionally in 2008 and now write full-time.  I’ve sold almost fifty short stories, for publication in various print and online magazines, including Analog, Lightspeed, Flash Fiction Online and Murky Depths, the award-winning but now defunct British fantasy magazine. In addition, my novel,  Lifting Up Veronica, was published in January 2012 by Every Day Publishers as an online serial. E-book and print versions are forthcoming.  My first short-story collection, Snapshots from a Black Hole  & Other Oddities, was published in January 2012 by Hydra House Books. I won the 2009 Writers of the Future competition with my short story,Coward’s Steel, graduated the Clarion West writers workshop July 2010 and attended Mike Brotherton’s Launch Pad workshop July 2011 at the University of Wyoming. I have also studied with SFWA Grand Master Jim Gunn. I am fanatic about the written word, oral story-telling, corny jokes, traditional jazz, open water, lighthouses, sad country songs and all things to do with motion pictures. about the narrator… Narrator Dani Cutler Dani Cutler last narrated for EP in 389: Keeping Tabs. She has been part of the podcasting community since 2006, hosting and producing her own podcast through 2013. She currently works for KWSS independent radio in Phoenix as their midday announcer, and also organizes a technology conference each year for Phoenix residents to connect with others in the podcast, video, and online community.   Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One by KC Ball Lori Meeker pushed her hair out of her eyes and leaned back against the sink. She squeezed the cold porcelain edge to still her trembling hands and focused on the pair of plainclothes cops shoehorned into the women’s can with her. The space was hardly bigger than a closet but the restrooms were the only private spaces in the bar, and the detectives had insisted on questioning her alone. “The restrooms always this clean?” Detective Gayle asked. “Yeah. Augie’s bat-shit crazy about dirt and germs.” Gayle raised an eyebrow. “Bat-shit crazy, huh? Is that your professional opinion?” “Pardon my French,” Lori snapped. Lori had met women just like Gayle. Always judging, always pretending they could do anything a man could do. Always looking down their perfect nose at girls who had to work in joints like Augie’s Bar & Grill. And Augie was bat-shit crazy about germs. A damned phobia, that’s what she should have said. It was a bar, for god’s sake, not some fancy restaurant. The place was cleaner than it had any need to be. “Tell us what you saw and heard,” Detective Osbourne said. Osbourne looked like a nice man, the kind of guy who would listen without judging. Lori decided to talk to him. She weighed how much to tell him, though. She was afraid he might call her crazy, might laugh and stop listening to her, if she said she didn’t think the dead body out on the bar floor was human. Lori fished her cigarettes from her sweater pocket, shook a fresh one from the pack and sparked it with her butane lighter. Gayle turned her head away and coughed. Lori smiled. “You going to talk to us?” Gayle asked. Lori blew more smoke toward Gayle and focused on Osbourne’s big, brown hound-dog eyes. “I unlocked the door at eleven,” she said. “Right off, this little guy strolled in, just like he owned the place. Augie gave him the once over, went back to stocking the cooler with a case of Red Hook.” “What did you make of him?” Osbourne asked. “I saw right off that he was slumming. I can tell the type. But A[...] Podcasts K. C. Ball yes no
EP453: The Grotto of the Dancing Deer http://escapepod.org/2014/07/07/ep453-grotto-dancing-deer/ http://escapepod.org/2014/07/07/ep453-grotto-dancing-deer/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 05:37:02 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4815 by Clifford Simak narrated by Norm Sherman   This story won the 1980 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the 1981 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page   about the author… (source: wikipedia) “Clifford Donald Simak (August 3, […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/07/07/ep453-grotto-dancing-deer/feed/ 10 0:57:49 by Clifford Simak narrated by Norm Sherman   This story won the 1980 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the 1981 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our[...] by Clifford Simak narrated by Norm Sherman   This story won the 1980 Nebula Award for Best Short Story and the 1981 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page   about the author… author Clifford Simak (source: wikipedia) “Clifford Donald Simak (August 3, 1904 – April 25, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. He was honored by fans with three Hugo Awards and by colleagues with one Nebula Award. The Science Fiction Writers of America made him its third SFWA Grand Master and the Horror Writers Association made him one of three inaugural winners of the Bram Stoker Award for Lifetime Achievement. Simak was born in Millville, Wisconsin in 1904, son of John Lewis and Margaret (Wiseman) Simak. He married Agnes Kuchenberg on April 13, 1929 and they had two children, Richard (Dick) Scott (d. 2012) and Shelley Ellen. Simak attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison and later worked at various newspapers in the Midwest. He began a lifelong association with the Minneapolis Star and Tribune (inMinneapolis, Minnesota) in 1939, which continued until his retirement in 1976. He became Minneapolis Star’s news editor in 1949 and coordinator of Minneapolis Tribune’s Science Reading Series in 1961. In a blurb in Time and Again he wrote, “I have been happily married to the same woman for thirty three years and have two children. My favorite recreation is fishing (the lazy way, lying in a boat and letting them come to me). Hobbies: Chess, stamp collecting, growing roses.” He dedicated the book to his wife Kay, “without whom I’d never have written a line”. He was well liked by many of his science fiction cohorts, especially Isaac Asimov. He died in Minneapolis in 1988. Simak became interested in science fiction after reading the works of H. G. Wells as a child. His first contribution to the literature was “The World of the Red Sun”, published by Hugo Gernsback in the December 1931 issue of Wonder Stories with one opening illustration by Frank R. Paul. Within a year he placed three more stories in Gernsback’s pulp magazines and one in Astounding Stories, then edited by Harry Bates. But his only science fiction publication between 1932 and 1938 was The Creator (Marvel Tales #4, March–April 1935), a notable story with religious implications, which was then rare in the genre. Once John W. Campbell, at the helm of Astounding from October 1937, began redefining the field, Simak returned and was a regular contributor to Astounding Science Fiction (as it was renamed in 1938) throughout the Golden Age of Science Fiction (1938–1950). At first, as in the 1939 serial novel Cosmic Engineers, he wrote in the tradition of the earlier “superscience” subgenre that E. E. “Doc” Smith perfected, but he soon developed his own style, which is usually described as gentle and pastoral. During this period, Simak also published a number of war and western stories in pulp magazines. His best-known novel may be City, a collection of short stories with a common theme of mankind’s eventual exodus from Earth. Simak continued to produce award-nominated novels throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Aided by a friend, he continued writing and publishing science fiction and, later, fantasy, into his 80s. He believed that science fiction not rooted in scientific fact was responsible for the failure of the genre to be taken seriously, and stated his aim was to make the genre a part of what he called “realistic fiction.” The post EP453: The Grotto of the Dancing Deer appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP453: The Grotto of the Dancing Deer appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Clifford Simak no no
EP452: Repo http://escapepod.org/2014/06/28/ep452-repo/ http://escapepod.org/2014/06/28/ep452-repo/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 04:44:08 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4810 by Aaron Gallagher read by M.K. Hobson Links for this episode: This piece was published in Analog, May 2014. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the narrator… M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/06/28/ep452-repo/feed/ 1 0:49:00 by Aaron Gallagher read by M.K. Hobson Links for this episode: This piece was published in Analog, May 2014. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page narrator M.K. Hob[...] by Aaron Gallagher read by M.K. Hobson Links for this episode: This piece was published in Analog, May 2014. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page narrator M.K. Hobson about the narrator… M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off all social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such asPodcastle and Cast of Wonders. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting.   Repo by Aaron Gallagher It took concentration to perform delicate work in the cumbersome gloves of the suit. The rounded fingers were metal-tipped, and bulky. Elise painted the tips of her gloves with luminous paint for ease when working outside. The octopus found the wires and shorted the alarm. The device glowed green and she triggered the manual release. The door popped, expelling a breath or two of oxygen. Elise slipped into the airlock and closed it behind her, shutting the door on the endless black of space. The inside porthole looked into the cargo hold. She glided through the cargo room with three kicks. The head-up on her helmet showed schematics in blue. She found the environmental control room. She flipped open the airtight seal on a container holding a large slab of green gel. She snapped open a metal vial sprayed dark liquid onto the slab. She sealed the container, turned the machinery to full, and crouched by the door out of sight. At thirty minutes, Elise headed upstairs for the cockpit. Empty. She looked for the captain’s cabin. In the cabin’s refresher, she found his body slumped in a large rubber bag. Great. He passed out in the shower. Elise wrestled the naked man out of the rubber shower. Round globules of water drifted around them. She pulled a sedative pad out of her bag and slapped it onto Holland’s arm. The chemicals seeped into his bloodstream. He’d sleep twenty-four hours in a chemical coma. She left him in his bunk pouch, cinch closed around his neck. His balding head bobbed in the breeze from the vent. Back in the environmental control room, she worked the o2 scrubbers at full blast for thirty minutes. She broke seal on her helmet and sniffed the air, ready to clamp the helmet down the moment she felt dizzy. Clean. The ship was hers. Elise floated through the ship to familiarize herself. It didn’t take long. It was a small Beech Skimmer, cargo capacity of around five metric tons. The craft was cylindrical, with two floors. Cargo, environmental, and engine room below. Main floor above was one long corridor, sixty meters long, with the cockpit at the fore, two staterooms to each side, a combination kitchen, dining room, and recreation area at the other end. The ship was roomy for one, comfortable with eight, rated for a maximum of sixteen. Down below she examined the engines, because no pilot she knew ran a ship within recommended specs. The big Beech was tuned up to 122% efficiency. She studied the specs to learn what he had done. She shook her head. Sure, he’d managed to coax more power from the big engine, but it would need an overhaul twice as often. She shut off the display with a shrug. They never thought of the bottom line. She finished her inspection and sealed her helmet. As she kicked out of the airlock, she paused to admire the view. It was worth admiring. Pluto, with her single, sickly colony. The dock in orbit, half-full of ships in port, lit like Vegas, and shining like diamonds on velvet. She slipped under Adage to where her Betty was Remora’d to the hull and went inside. She plopped into the pilot’s couch. All her controls were custom, larger than normal. She spent a lot of time in her suit. Only two hours had passed since she used thrusters to come alongside the bigger ship. She watched the displays as she worked the controls[...] Podcasts Aaron Gallagher yes no
EP451: The Aliens Made of Glass http://escapepod.org/2014/06/24/ep451-aliens-made-glass/ http://escapepod.org/2014/06/24/ep451-aliens-made-glass/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 05:09:39 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4805 by Helena Bell read by Donna Scott Links for this episode: This piece was published in The Indiana Review in December 2013. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Helena Bell is a poet and […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/06/24/ep451-aliens-made-glass/feed/ 2 0:39:03 by Helena Bell read by Donna Scott Links for this episode: This piece was published in The Indiana Review in December 2013. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrat[...] by Helena Bell read by Donna Scott Links for this episode: This piece was published in The Indiana Review in December 2013. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Helena Bell about the author… Helena Bell is a poet and writer living in Raleigh, North Carolina where she is an MFAcandidate in Fiction at NC State University.  She has a BA, another MFA, a JD, and an LLMin Taxation which fulfills her lifelong ambition of having more letters follow her name than are actually in it.  She is a graduate of the Clarion West Workshop and her fiction and poetry have appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Electric Velocipede, the Indiana Review, Margie Review, Pedestal Magazine and Rattle.  Her story “Robot” was a nominee for the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Short Story. Narrator Donna Scott about the narrator… Donna Scott is a writer, editor, comedian, poet and general weirdo. Originally hailing from the Black Country, she now lives in a Victorian shoemakers’ terraced house in Northampton with one husband and two cats. Her space is being steadily encroached by books and bicycles. What could they possibly want with her?! She is also the Chair of the British Science Fiction Association.   The Aliens Made of Glass by Helena Bell Sister Charles Regina, formerly of the Daughters of Perpetual Help, attends to her boat, the Nunc Dimittis, as if it were the sole member of her parish. She scrubs the white transom, the gunwale, the wooden steps leading to the bridge, and the metal railings. She vacuums the carpet in the salon, empties then refills the refrigerator and checks the interior cabinets for ants. Once a week she cleans the bottom of the hull and even in this she is practiced and ritualed, reciting a dozen rosaries in time with the digs of her paint scraper, the bodies of barnacles swirling around her like ash. It gives her peace. Each action and inaction she commits will lead to consequences and she revels in the knowledge that everything worn away will be built up again. In these moments she does not miss the convent or her religion or God. She does not mind that the aliens are coming. Sister Charles Regina, née Kathleen, brings the dock-master filets of tuna, wahoo, mahi mahi and sheepshead. For this and her company, Gray gives her electricity, use of the slip, and help with the lines. They watch the evening news together, and Gray does not ask about her lack of prayer over the meal. Kathleen does not ask after his parents or sister. He is her family; she is his. It is enough. “The aliens passed Neptune today,” the local weather girl says, but she has been announcing the passing of Neptune for several days. A countdown glows in the right-hand corner with flickering dates and estimations. They will be here in 467 days, three years, or seven years, decades, soon, soon, sooner than we are ready. The aliens move as slowly and perpetually as shadows on a sundial. The anchors express disbelief that we spotted them near Pluto at all. Should not they have zipped in at the speed of light? At warp? Hyperspace? Should not they be in our skies one minute, the valleys of the moon the next? Kathleen wonders if space is more like the ocean than anyone thought with currents and tides and troughs. She pictures the aliens adjusting a compass set to the pull of opposing suns. She imagines long, bone white fingers turning the knobs of a LORAN adjusted for eleven-dimensional space. Instead of sports, a man in a checkered suit announces the decision of all space-faring nations to reroute their shuttles, their satellites, and refitted weather balloons. Like marathon racers or a soapbox derby, the line of them stretches from Baikonour to the moon. A tech company has announced a prize for the first privately-funded spaceship to reach the aliens. A second prize for the first to establish meaningful contact[...] Podcasts Helena Bell yes no
EP450: Valedictorian http://escapepod.org/2014/06/16/ep450-valedictorian/ http://escapepod.org/2014/06/16/ep450-valedictorian/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 04:34:00 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4797 by N.K. Jemisin Read by Stephanie Morris about the author… N(ora). K. Jemisin is an author of speculative fiction short stories and novels who lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo (three times), the Nebula (four times), and the World Fantasy Award (twice); shortlisted for the Crawford, the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/06/16/ep450-valedictorian/feed/ 1 0:45:37 by N.K. Jemisin Read by Stephanie Morris Author N.K. Jemisin about the author… N(ora). K. Jemisin is an author of speculative fiction short stories and novels who lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo (th[...] by N.K. Jemisin Read by Stephanie Morris Author N.K. Jemisin about the author… N(ora). K. Jemisin is an author of speculative fiction short stories and novels who lives and writes in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo (three times), the Nebula (four times), and the World Fantasy Award (twice); shortlisted for the Crawford, the Gemmell Morningstar, and the Tiptree; and she has won a Locus Award for Best First Novel as well as the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award (three times). Her short fiction has been published in pro markets such as Clarkesworld, Postscripts, Strange Horizons, and Baen’s Universe; semipro markets such as Ideomancer and Abyss & Apex; and podcast markets and print anthologies. Her first five novels, the Inheritance Trilogy and the Dreamblood (duology), are out now from Orbit Books. (Samples available in the Books section; see top navigation buttons.) Her novels are represented by Lucienne Diver of the Knight Agency. She is currently a member of the Altered Fluid writing group. In addition to writing, she is a counseling psychologist and educator (specializing in career counseling and student development), a sometime hiker and biker, and a political/feminist/anti-racist blogger. You can reach her at njem at earthlink dot net. about the narrator… Stephanie is a librarian-in-training, a voracious biblio- and audiophile, an occasional writer of short stories, and a voice and stage actor. She has narrated short stories for PseudoPod, PodCastle, and Cast of Wonders, guest-blogged on subjects ranging from creative writing to zombie turkeys, and performed Shakespeare in a handful of weird churches. She is currently working toward a degree in Media Studies, which is really just a sneaky way for her to discuss her favorite fandoms in an academic context. She blogs at Scribbleomania.     Valedictorian by N. K. Jemisin There are three things Zinhle decides, when she is old enough to understand. The first is that she will never, ever, give less than her best to anything she tries to do. The second is that she will not live in fear. The third, which is perhaps meaningless given the first two and yet comes to define her existence most powerfully, is this: she will be herself. No matter what. For however brief a time. # “Have you considered getting pregnant?” her mother blurts one morning, over breakfast. Zinhle’s father drops his fork, though he recovers and picks it up again quickly. This is how Zinhle knows that what her mother has said is not a spontaneous burst of insanity. They have discussed the matter, her parents. They are in agreement. Her father was just caught off-guard by the timing. But Zinhle, too, has considered the matter in depth. Do they really think she wouldn’t have? “No,” she says. Zinhle’s mother is stubborn. This is where Zinhle herself gets the trait. “The Sandersens’ boy — you used to play with him, when you were little, remember? — he’s decent. Discreet. He got three girls pregnant last year, and doesn’t charge much. The babies aren’t bad-looking. And we’d help you with the raising, of course.” She hesitates, then adds with obvious discomfort, “A friend of mine at work — Charlotte, you’ve met her — she says he’s, ah, he’s not rough or anything, doesn’t try to hurt girls — ” “No,” Zinhle says again, more firmly. She does not raise her voice. Her parents raised her to be respectful of her elders. She believes respect includes being very, very clear about some things. Zinhle’s mother looks at her father, seeking an ally. Her father is a gentle, soft-spoken man in a family of strong-willed women. Stupid people think he is weak; he isn’t. He just knows when a battle isn’t worth fighting. So he looks at Zinhle now, and after a moment he shakes his head. “Let it go,[...] Podcasts N.K. Jemisin yes no
EP449: An Understanding http://escapepod.org/2014/06/06/ep449-understanding/ http://escapepod.org/2014/06/06/ep449-understanding/#comments Fri, 06 Jun 2014 05:23:32 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4786 by Holly Heisey read by Wilson Fowlie Links for this episode: This story was a finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Holly Heisey […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/06/06/ep449-understanding/feed/ 0 0:28:12 by Holly Heisey read by Wilson Fowlie Links for this episode: This story was a finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories,[...] by Holly Heisey read by Wilson Fowlie Links for this episode: This story was a finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Holly Heisey launched her writing career in sixth grade when she wrote her class play, a medieval fantasy. It was love at first dragon. Since then, she’s been a finalist in the Writers of the Future Contest, and her short fiction has appeared in Aoife’s Kiss and Avenir Eclectia Volume 1. Holly also designs and illustrates, and her illustrations have appeared in works from award-winning Port Yonder Press and Splashdown Books. When she’s not writing or drawing, Holly can often be found strumming, bowing, or hammering away on her bevy of stringed instruments. Holly lives in Arizona with Larry and Moe, her two pet cacti, and she is currently at work on a science fantasy epic. about the narrator… Wilson Fowlie has been getting more and more into voice work ever since 2008, when he read his first story for Podcastle. He recently lost his full-time job, so he’s actively looking for paid voice work. If you like the way Wilson tells a story, snap him up quick! And if you’re in the Vancouver, Canada area – or even if you just love a good show chorus – check out The Maple Leaf Singers, the group he directs. You can find them at their own website or their Facebook page. www.mapleleafsingers.com   An Understanding by Holly Heisey The sun on Joppa was a deeper red than I remembered, and the blocky shapes of this dusty town I did not remember at all. I passed the sign for Hann River Landing and walked down the main street. There were few people about, mostly women and young children, the mothers dressed in plain cotton and linen and the children ratty, if not mostly clean. The women watched me with a glare reserved for strangers that they must not have used for some time. There were no aircars, no groundcars, no visible signs of industry. Trees around the houses boxed them in at odd angles, some branches bending to stop abruptly in the air. The Time Walls were tight here. I checked the bridge tethering me to Aijas Normal time on my ship in orbit, and checked my rate of sync with local time. It was a strain, to be held in two times at once. I would not stay here long. I scanned into the minds around me, looking for that one particular voice I’d caught two hundred and twelve lightyears out on a wave of Kaireyeh. A young woman. I felt her here, the barest scent of her, and turned down 2nd Street and then onto Acada Lane. The houses on Acada Lane were spaced twenty and thirty feet apart, no more than thirty or forty feet wide, with trimmed lawns of brown grass. Children played in a yard down the street. It was all so quiet that if I turned off the voices for a moment I could hear the rhythm of the Time Walls around me. Beats barely forming measure. I quickened my pace. Her house was one-story with peeling blue paint and white plastic trim. I climbed up the three steps to the creaking porch and since there was no button for a caller rapped my knuckles on the door. I waited. I searched for her mind again–yes she was here. I rapped again. I rubbed a small circle of dust off the door window and peered inside. I did what I had not wanted to do but was necessary now and touched her mind. She gave an inner start and I withdrew quickly, leaving behind only the thought that she must open the door; I was a friend. The door rattled and jerked inward. A slim, red-haired woman looked back at me with almond eyes. Her skin was a dusky tan, typical for Joppan natives. She looked up at my ice-white face, a face that would never be typical in any situation, and I remembered my eyes to blink. I saw and felt her shudder. “Lorin, may I come in?” I said. Her eyes narrowed. “What do you want? I don’t have more to give, [...] Podcasts Holly Heisey no no
Book Review: Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain by Richard Roberts http://escapepod.org/2014/06/02/book-review-please-dont-tell-parents-im-supervillain-richard-roberts/ http://escapepod.org/2014/06/02/book-review-please-dont-tell-parents-im-supervillain-richard-roberts/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 14:00:37 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4775 In a world where superheroes and supervillains are locked in honorable combat… in a world where science and magic are both real… in a world where superheroism is an inherited trait… three middle-school students are about to discover their true potential. The book: Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain. The author: Richard Roberts. […]

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EP448: Paprika http://escapepod.org/2014/05/30/ep448-paprika/ http://escapepod.org/2014/05/30/ep448-paprika/#comments Fri, 30 May 2014 04:40:50 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4780 by Jason Sanford read by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the Issue 249 of Interzone Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Jason […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/05/30/ep448-paprika/feed/ 0 0:56:08 by Jason Sanford read by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the Issue 249 of Interzone Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our foru[...] by Jason Sanford read by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the Issue 249 of Interzone Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Jason Sanford is the award-winning author of a number of short stories, essays, and articles, and an active member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Born and raised in the American South, he currently lives in the Midwestern U.S. with his wife and sons. His life’s adventures include work as an archeologist and as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Jason has published more than a dozen of his short stories in the British SF magazine Interzone, which once devoted a special issue to his fiction. His fiction has also been published in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, InterGalactic Medicine Show, Tales of the Unanticipated, The Mississippi Review, Diagram, The Beloit Fiction Journal, Pindeldyboz, and other places. Book anthologies containing his stories include Year’s Best SF 14, Bless Your Mechanical Heart, and Beyond the Sun. A collection of Jason’s short stories, titled Never Never Stories, was published by a small press in 2011. Jason’s awards and honors include being a finalist for the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novella, winning both the 2008 and 2009 Interzone Readers’ Polls for best story of the year (and being a co-winner of the 2010 Poll), receiving a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, being nominated for the BSFA Award, and being longlisted for the British Fantasy Award. His stories have also been named to the 2012 and 2013 Locus Recommended Reading Lists along with being translated into a number of languages including Chinese, French, Russian, Polish, and Czech. Jason co-founded the literary journal storySouth, through which he ran the annual Million Writers Award for best online fiction. His critical essays and book reviews have been published in a number of places including SF Signal, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and The Pedestal Magazine. He also writes a regular column for the Czech SF magazine XB-1. about the narrator… “I may not be perfectly wise, perfectly witty, or perfectly wonderful, but I am always perfectly me.” -Anonymous I’m a horticulturist by trade, current stay at home mom for two children, team mom for the local Goalball team, and advocate for Blind/Visually Impaired causes and adoption causes. I love D20 gaming, reading, camping and canoeing, card playing, and music. Paprika by Jason Sanford “Ah Paprika, you dance so well,” Satoshi exclaimed each bright-sun morning, his praise always pleasing no matter how many times Paprika heard it. And Paprika could dance, she really could. Not like some of the olds, who’d spent millennia shaping their locked-down bodies through graceful movements. But still she could dance. Ballet. The Twist. The Bhangra. Sometimes she’d make herself as tiny as Satoshi’s hand and pirouette for hours on his workbench while he reformed nano into exciting, long-lost toys. Other times she’d dance full sized–child sized as Satoshi would say, although Paprika knew to never speak that depressing word to customers. Paprika would create a full-flowing lehengas skirt–always the brightest of greens–and she’d dance in the store window, spinning and spinning until she was so overcome with happiness she’d dance through the window into the outside world, leaping and spinning to imaginary partners, bowing and smiling to the boys and girls who never came, flying across the deserted streets and passing in and out of the empty but perfectly preserved buildings surrounding Satoshi’s shop. But whenever any of the few olds left in the city visited, Paprika restr[...] Podcasts Jason Sanford no no
EP447: Rachel in Love http://escapepod.org/2014/05/19/ep447-rachel-love/ http://escapepod.org/2014/05/19/ep447-rachel-love/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 04:20:09 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4766 by Pat Murphy read by Kathy Sherwood Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Asimov’s Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… I’m […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/05/19/ep447-rachel-love/feed/ 0 1:10:36 by Pat Murphy read by Kathy Sherwood Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Asimov’s Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our foru[...] by Pat Murphy read by Kathy Sherwood Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Asimov’s Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author Pat Murphy about the author… I’m a writer, a scientist, and sometimes a toy maker. All of my stories and novels have a hint of the strange. Some have been called science fiction, some fantasy, and some neither one. Most of my work falls between categories. I think that the most interesting events happen at the edges, in the borderlands where the lines are fuzzy. My fiction writing has won a number of awards, including the Nebula Award for Science Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, the Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original, the Christopher Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. I also co-founded the James Tiptree Memorial Award. When I’m not writing fiction, I write books about science. For upwards of 20 years, I was a writer at the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception. These days, I write science books for Klutz, a publisher of how-to books that come packaged with the tools of their trade (from juggling cubes to foldable paper dragons that fly).  This is where I get a chance to try my hand at toy making. Working with at team at Klutz, I help develop the stuff that goes with the books — from origami starfighters to a snap-together skeletal hand. Sometimes, I also teach writing. I’ve taught in Stanford University’s Creative Writing Program, at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and at the Clarion Speculative Fiction Workshops in Michigan and Seattle. about the narrator… Kathy Sherwood resides in a (probably only figuratively) magical forest in North Central Florida, with her significant other, two dogs and two cats. She also hosts alternative rock show Not Quite Random on 88.5 WFCF–Flagler College Radio. https://www.facebook.com/notquiterandom  Last read EP396 — Dead Merchandise by Ferrett Steinmetz The post EP447: Rachel in Love appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP447: Rachel in Love appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Pat Murphy yes no
Book Review: Ghosts of Engines Past by Sean McMullen http://escapepod.org/2014/05/13/book-review-ghosts-engines-past-sean-mcmullen/ http://escapepod.org/2014/05/13/book-review-ghosts-engines-past-sean-mcmullen/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 14:00:13 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4758 When I was offered the opportunity to review Ghosts of Engines Past, a short-story collection by Sean McMullen, the initial e-mail said it was a steampunk anthology. I suppose this is broadly true, in much the same way that an anthology about veterinarians might be 80 percent dog stories. In this case, the 80 percent is stories of flight. And if there's one thing McMullen knows how to do, it's make people fly.

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EP446: The Way of the Needle http://escapepod.org/2014/05/11/ep446-way-needle/ http://escapepod.org/2014/05/11/ep446-way-needle/#comments Mon, 12 May 2014 03:34:58 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4746 by Derek Künsken Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Asimov’s Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… I’m a writer of science […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/05/11/ep446-way-needle/feed/ 1 0:55:33 by Derek Künsken Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Asimov’s Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of a[...] by Derek Künsken Links for this episode: Originally appeared in the March, 2012 issue of Asimov’s Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Consider nominating one of our stories for the Parsec Awards Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Derek Kunsken about the author… I’m a writer of science fiction, fantasy,  and sometimes accidentally, horror. I write and read both novel-length and short fiction, with a preference for works that explore really strange places and people.   THE WAY OF THE NEEDLE Derek Künsken I The ancient pulsar’s lighthouse beam of microwaves and radio waves spun twice per second. Within the bloom of its magnetic field orbited the single planet that had survived the long-ago supernova, at the cost of its crust and mantle. An atmosphere of carbon dioxide had congealed around the little metallic world, producing oceans of iron and nickel carbonyl, dotted with thickets of steel needles that fanned to catch the microwaves. On the largest islands, the growth of the needles had been coaxed into towers, pedestals, and martial walls. Prickly metal creatures held together by strong magnetic fields scuttled in these towns and forts, on eight articulated legs of steel spines. Their fine quills caught the flashing microwaves, generating the electricity for their quick, agile movements. One of them, whose fame would not be made for many years yet, was uncomfortable in a disguise. Mok was a Follower of the Needle, an order of martial priests. Whereas other Followers and fighters-at-arms bore large metal claws high on their forelegs, Mok now scurried with only small, shameful servant claws. No one recognized him and no one complimented him. Nor would he earn any compliments from this mission; he’d been sent by Master Hac not as a warrior to fight under the full shine of the pulsar, but as an assassin. Mok tried to fan his steel quills wider, but the road was too crowded. Fussing builders swung long rods culled from faraway orchards, patching the palisaded walls that lined the streets. Shabby, short-needled monks stood where the upturned points of the streets were overlaid with rusted garbage and sniped at each other with pinching claws and philosophical recriminations. Mok paused at a stall where a thinly needled elder showed off processed snow paste. Mok hadn’t stopped for the snow paste. He wasn’t hungry. He’d stopped for the view of the Ban estate. The Ban family had consolidated an immense estate on the south road during the clan wars. Its high noble gate showed sprouting buildings and growing towers within the palisade. Slow mercenaries controlled the gate. To the side, at a narrow opening, flowed the swarmers, servants and merchants, short-needled and small-clawed. Mok was a noble. Anyone with fighting claws was, but his great claws were now preserved on Master Hac’s estate, while he pretended to be less than he was to reach his target. He needed an excuse to enter. He crossed to a rod merchant. He took a pair of rods and scraped a payment of snow paste from his under-needles. He hefted these and scrambled to the swarmer entrance, like anyone else looking to repair a wall. Ahead of him, each of the entrants tipped the door ward, a clawless swarmer with powdery spines. Mok hesitated. He’d promised to play the swarmer to enter the estate, but had not considered that he’d need to tip one. Tips flowed toward honor. What did it say about him if he tipped a swarmer? “Hello, friend,” the door ward said. Mok was the finest of the Followers of the Needle. He could not bring himself to reply. “Are you well, friend?” the door ward asked. His magnetic field was flabby, with distortions around the joints. Snow paste hung in clots, trembling as if ready to drop. Mok scraped the thinnest gratuity from one of his under-needles and slapped it onto the swarmer’s outstretched claw. He hurried through the entrance,[...] Podcasts Derek Künsken no no
Film Review: In Your Eyes http://escapepod.org/2014/05/05/film-review-eyes/ http://escapepod.org/2014/05/05/film-review-eyes/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 14:00:18 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4742 When Joss Whedon writes something, you generally expect it to have great dialogue and characterization, some stuff that will make you uncomfortable, and an ending that, while not necessarily happy or good, will be satisfying. The new film In Your Eyes has two of those, at least.

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EP445: Black Swan Oracle http://escapepod.org/2014/05/04/ep445-black-swan-oracle/ http://escapepod.org/2014/05/04/ep445-black-swan-oracle/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 03:57:53 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4735 by Ferrett Steinmetz read by Amy Robinson Links for this episode: It was originally published in the What Fates Impose anthology Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from writertopia… A firm believer in the “apply butt […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/05/04/ep445-black-swan-oracle/feed/ 1 0:40:50 by Ferrett Steinmetz read by Amy Robinson Links for this episode: It was originally published in the What Fates Impose anthology Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and n[...] by Ferrett Steinmetz read by Amy Robinson Links for this episode: It was originally published in the What Fates Impose anthology Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from writertopia… A firm believer in the “apply butt to chair, then fingers to keyboard” philosophy, Ferrett Steinmetz writes for at least an hour every day – which helps, he promises. He is a graduate of both the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and Viable Paradise, and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, for which he remains stoked. Ferrett has a moderately popular blog, The Watchtower of Destruction, wherein he talks about bad puns, relationships, politics, videogames, and more bad puns. He is the creator of the most popular and comprehensive online purity quizzes (this one’s for sex, but he’s also done them for roleplaying and Livejournal). He’s written four computer books, including the still-popular-after-two-years Wicked Cool PHP. He lives in Cleveland with his wife, who he couldn’t imagine living without.   about the narrator… Amy’s voice over training began by taking a short workshop at the Alliance Theatre, instructed by industry veteran, Paul Armbruster.  Having whetted her appetite for the craft, she sought out further voiceover training with experts and agents alike, and finally landed at yourAct studios in Atlanta, GA. Under the expert instruction of Della Cole, a seasoned voice actress with over 30 years experience as both an actress and an agent, Amy grew as an actress and a voice over talent. She continues to sharpen her skills and is constantly working hard to provide the best possible voiceovers in the business. She is now proudly represented by People Store, and Umberger Agency, and works both in local studios and out of her home studio. Black Swan Oracle by Ferrett Steinmetz The crowd waiting below The Oracle’s bulletproof bay window is a mathematically predictable entity. Still, the Oracle relishes any illusion of chaos – and so, every morning, just before she allows herself one single prayer, she sweeps open her curtains to gaze over the crowd. Her supplicants look up from their shivered huddling as fluorescent light spills out from The Oracle’s bay window; poor women in smudged hoodies squat next to Armani-clad stockbrokers. The Oracle’s hundreds of supplicants put up tents faster than the policemen can tear them down, burn garbage to ward off the Seine’s chill winds, buy gristled chicken hunks from illegal street vendors. The wait can take weeks, so long that people fall in love and fuck and have violently dramatic breakups before The Oracle’s guards fish these poor souls from the crowd to escort them towards an answer made pure with data. The Oracle’s tide of supplicants is so constant that, like any shantytown, it has developed its own economy… an economy which pulses perfectly in time with the rhythms The Oracle predicted. She’d spent hours developing algorithms to anticipate the crowd you would get if you charged $25,000 for a single question, answers guaranteed (but not to please), in this geographic and demographic cluster. She’d analyzed the local politicians, and the bribes she pays remain within .03% of initial estimates. She’d tracked the movements of the most influential reporters, ascertaining they would pass by here 2.4 times a week, guaranteeing unending press for “The Statistic Mystic,” a name the Oracle loathes. She even predicted the number of e. coli outbreaks from undercooked chicken. Yet every morning, before The Oracle orders her guards to escort the first supplicant in, The Oracle kneels. She above all people knows how irrational prayers are — multigenerational analyses of billions of lives has allowed The Oracle to thoroughly disprove the effects of prayers, bioharmonics, Zener cards, craniometry, reiki, [...] Podcasts Ferrett Steinmetz yes no
EP444: Those Are Pearls That Were His Eyes http://escapepod.org/2014/04/26/ep444-pearls-eyes/ http://escapepod.org/2014/04/26/ep444-pearls-eyes/#comments Sat, 26 Apr 2014 20:10:09 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4728 by Daniel Marcus read by Christiana Ellis Links for this episode: First published first in Asimov’s, July 1996, and reprinted in the author’s collection, Binding Energy (2008). Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/04/26/ep444-pearls-eyes/feed/ 0 0:37:03 by Daniel Marcus read by Christiana Ellis Links for this episode: First published first in Asimov’s, July 1996, and reprinted in the author’s collection, Binding Energy (2008). Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our [...] by Daniel Marcus read by Christiana Ellis Links for this episode: First published first in Asimov’s, July 1996, and reprinted in the author’s collection, Binding Energy (2008). Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Daniel Marcus about the author… from the author’s website… Daniel Marcus has published stories in many literary and genre venues, including Witness,Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy,ZYZZYVA, and Fantasy and Science Fiction.Some of these have been collected in Binding Energy.   He is the author of the novels: Burn Rate  and A Crack In Everything. Daniel was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  He has taught in the creative writing program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is currently a member of the online faculty at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. After a spectacularly unsuccessful career attempt as a saxophonist, Daniel earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, has worked as an applied mathematician at the Lawrence Livermore Lab, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, and has authored numerous articles in the applied mathematics and computational physics literature. Daniel then turned his attention to the private sector, where for the last 15 years, he has built and managed systems and software in a variety of problem domains and organizational settings. about the narrator… Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.   Those Are Pearls That Were His Eyes by Daniel Marcus The only window in Suki’s bedroom opened onto an airshaft that ran through the center of the building like the path of a bullet.  She would lie in bed in the hot summer nights with the salt smell of the drying seabed coming in through the open window, a sheen of sweat filming her forehead and plastering the sheets to her body like tissue, listening to her downstairs neighbors.  When they made love, their cries echoing up through the airshaft made her loins ache, and she brought release to herself silently, visualizing men with slender, oiled limbs and faces hidden in shadow. Sometimes the neighbors sang, odd, sinuous music redolent with quarter tones.  The melodies wove counterpoint like a tapestry of smoke and for some reason Suki thought of mountains.  Jagged, fractal peaks thrusting out of an evergreen carpet.  Summits brushed with snow.  Tongues of cloud laying across the low passes. Sometimes they argued, and the first time she heard the man’s deep voice raised in anger she was sure he was a Beast, possibly an Ursa. She was less certain of the woman, but there was a sibilant, lilting quality to her voice that suggested something of the feline.  They’d moved in three weeks before but their sleep cycles seemed out of sync with hers and she still hadn’t met them. Suki tried to imagine herself going downstairs to borrow something — sugar, yarn, a databead.  His broad muzzle would poke out from behind the half-closed door; his liquid b[...] Podcasts Daniel Marcus no no
EP443: This Is As I Wish To Be Restored http://escapepod.org/2014/04/19/ep443-wish-restored/ http://escapepod.org/2014/04/19/ep443-wish-restored/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 04:19:18 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4724 by Christie Yant read by Mr. Lee Links for this episode: Please visit the sponsor for this episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways This is an original work with no prior appearances. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Mentioned by Alasdair […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/04/19/ep443-wish-restored/feed/ 3 0:27:30 by Christie Yant read by Mr. Lee Links for this episode: Please visit the sponsor for this episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways This is an original work with no prior appearances. Get stories from this author on [...] by Christie Yant read by Mr. Lee Links for this episode: Please visit the sponsor for this episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways This is an original work with no prior appearances. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Mentioned by Alasdair at the end of this episode: Matt Wallace’s Slingers Author Christie Yant about the author… from the author’s website… Christie Yant is a science fiction and fantasy writer, and Assistant Editor for Lightspeed Magazine. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies and magazines including Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2011(Horton), Armored, Analog Science Fiction & Fact, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, io9, Wired.com, and China’s Science Fiction World. Her work has received honorable mentions inYear’s Best Science Fiction(Dozois) andBest Horror of the Year (Datlow), and has been long-listed for Story South’s Million Writers Award. She lives on the central coast of California with two writers, an editor, and assorted four-legged nuisances. Follow her on Twitter @christieyant. our narrator for this fine chunk of literature is Mr. Lee, who’s spiffy. This Is As I Wish To Be Restored by Christie Yant   Every night I come home and I drink. I trade away the hope, the guilt, the fear, even the love–I think it’s love, crazy as it seems. I trade them for oblivion, because otherwise I won’t sleep at all. I drink until there’s no life left in me, until I’m able to forget for just a little while the chrome vessel in the corner and what’s at stake. Sometimes I hope that I’ll dream of her. Sometimes I’m afraid that I will.   I have two things that belonged to her. The first is a photograph, taken at a party in what looks like a hotel. Her hair is dyed red—it doesn’t quite suit her, so you know it isn’t hers, like an unexpected note in a melody where you thought you knew where it was going and then it went sharp. She’s holding a glass of something pink and bubbly. Maybe it’s her birthday. If so, it’s probably her twenty-eighth. She’s laughing.   She was really young to be a client. Especially back then, most of the people who thought about life extension were retirees. Mortality was very much on their minds, and they’d had a lifetime to accumulate their savings—suspension was expensive. I wonder where she got the money. Her file doesn’t say.   So in this picture she’s laughing. She’s seated, supporting herself with one hand braced against the carpeted floor. Her head is thrown back and her back is arched, and she’s just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. There are other people around her, behind her, just smiling blurs holding drinks, but you get the feeling that she’s the reason they’re smiling. She’s the star they’re all in orbit around. Like me. I fell into her orbit years ago and can’t break free.   The picture moves with me through my bleak basement apartment, from room to room—sometimes it turns up on top of the half-size refrigerator, sometimes absent-mindedly left on a shelf in the medicine cabinet where I discover it again later and take it with me to the bedroom. I’ve found it between the sofa cushions at least half a dozen times. She follows me, or I follow her—it’s been a lifetime since she smiled that smile, and I’m still completely, utterly taken.   The one place it never goes is on the dewar in the corner.  That would just be too macabre, considering.   This is the only photograph she left. I often wonder what it was about this moment, this time in her life, that she could have looked ahead and known that this was as good as it gets. In this picture the cancer’s already killing her, she just doesn’t know it.   She died less than a year later. Pancreatic cancer. It’s in her file.   #   I was g[...] Podcasts Christie Yant no no
EP442b: Eater of Bone, part 2 http://escapepod.org/2014/04/12/ep442b-eater-bone-part-2/ http://escapepod.org/2014/04/12/ep442b-eater-bone-part-2/#comments Sun, 13 Apr 2014 03:55:40 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4715 by Robert Reed read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story has been previously published as a novella of the same name. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from the author’s website… […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/04/12/ep442b-eater-bone-part-2/feed/ 0 1:41:32 by Robert Reed read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story has been previously published as a novella of the same name. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and [...] by Robert Reed read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story has been previously published as a novella of the same name. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Robert Reed about the author… from the author’s website… Bob has had eleven novels published, starting with The Leeshore in 1987 and most recently with The Memory of Sky in 2014. Since winning the first annual L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest in 1986 (under the pen name Robert Touzalin) and being a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1987, he has had over 180 shorter works published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Eleven of those stories were published in his critically-acclaimed first collection, The Dragons of Springplace, in 1999. Twelve more stories appear in his second collection, The Cuckoo’s Boys [2005]. In addition to his success in the U.S., Reed has also been published in the U.K., Russia, Japan, Spain and in France, where a second (French-language) collection of nine of his shorter works, Chrysalide, was released in 2002. Bob has had stories appear in at leastone of the annual “Year’s Best” anthologies in every year since 1992. Bob has received nominations for both the Nebula Award (nominated and voted upon by genre authors) and the Hugo Award (nominated and voted upon by fans), as well as numerous other literary awards (see Awards). In 2007, he won his first Hugo Award for the 2006 novella “A Billion Eves”. Reed continues to live in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Leslie, and daughter, Jessie. Local residents who may not know him for his award-nominated work as a genre writer may instead recognize him as an ardent long-distance runner — he can frequently be seen jogging through the parks and hiking trails of Lincoln, and has taken part in many of the area’s running races for the past several years.  Please see the post for the first half of this story for the complete text. http://escapepod.org/2014/04/05/ep442a-eater-bone/ The post EP442b: Eater of Bone, part 2 appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP442b: Eater of Bone, part 2 appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Robert Reed yes no
EP442a: Eater of Bone http://escapepod.org/2014/04/05/ep442a-eater-bone/ http://escapepod.org/2014/04/05/ep442a-eater-bone/#comments Sat, 05 Apr 2014 04:56:16 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4710 by Robert Reed read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story has been previously published as a novella of the same name. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page We still encourage you to  visit the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/04/05/ep442a-eater-bone/feed/ 2 2:02:34 by Robert Reed read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story has been previously published as a novella of the same name. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and [...] by Robert Reed read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story has been previously published as a novella of the same name. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page We still encourage you to  visit the sponsor for last week’s episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways Author Robert Reed about the author… from the author’s website… Bob has had eleven novels published, starting with The Leeshore in 1987 and most recently with The Memory of Sky in 2014. Since winning the first annual L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest in 1986 (under the pen name Robert Touzalin) and being a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for best new writer in 1987, he has had over 180 shorter works published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. Eleven of those stories were published in his critically-acclaimed first collection, The Dragons of Springplace, in 1999. Twelve more stories appear in his second collection, The Cuckoo’s Boys [2005]. In addition to his success in the U.S., Reed has also been published in the U.K., Russia, Japan, Spain and in France, where a second (French-language) collection of nine of his shorter works, Chrysalide, was released in 2002. Bob has had stories appear in at leastone of the annual “Year’s Best” anthologies in every year since 1992. Bob has received nominations for both the Nebula Award (nominated and voted upon by genre authors) and the Hugo Award (nominated and voted upon by fans), as well as numerous other literary awards (see Awards). In 2007, he won his first Hugo Award for the 2006 novella “A Billion Eves”. Reed continues to live in Lincoln, Nebraska, with his wife, Leslie, and daughter, Jessie. Local residents who may not know him for his award-nominated work as a genre writer may instead recognize him as an ardent long-distance runner — he can frequently be seen jogging through the parks and hiking trails of Lincoln, and has taken part in many of the area’s running races for the past several years. Eater-of-bone by Robert Reed 1 With cured gut and twitch-cord, the Nots had constructed their trap—a marriage of old cleverness and deep rage designed to catch dreaded, unworldly monsters such as her. But the device had lain undisturbed since summer, and the winter rains had washed away some of the leaf litter and clay that served as its camouflage. Knowing what to expect, the young woman easily spotted the taut lines and anchor points, and experience told her where a single soft footfall would trigger the mechanism, causing the ground to fall away. An extraordinarily deep hole had been dug into the hillside. One misstep, and she would plunge into blackness, every kick and helpless flail bringing down the loose dirt that would suffocate and then temporarily kill. She had seen this design before. The Nots were masters when it came to doing the same ancient tricks again and again. Only once in her experience had this type of mechanism worked as designed, but the vivid memory of that exceptionally miserable night was enough to make the woman step backwards—a reflexive, foolish reaction, since traps occasionally came in pairs, and one careless motion could be more dangerous than twenty smart, studied footfalls. But her bare foot fortunately hit only damp dirt, and she felt nothing worse than a jikk-incisor gouging her exposed Achilles. She knelt slowly and pulled the thorn free, placing a thumb across the wound to force the first drop of blood to remain inside her body. Her skin grew warm beneath her touch, and then there was no wound. Sucking on her thumb, she tasted iron and salt and a dozen flavors of grime, and after some consideration, she carefully, carefully traced out a wide ellipse that eventually placed the trap upwind from her. Riding the breeze was the arom[...] Podcasts Robert Reed yes no
EP441: Kumara http://escapepod.org/2014/03/29/ep441-kumara/ http://escapepod.org/2014/03/29/ep441-kumara/#comments Sat, 29 Mar 2014 15:11:00 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4700 by Seth Dickinson read by Alasdair Stuart   Links for this episode: Please visit the sponsor for this episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways This is an original work with no prior appearances. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/03/29/ep441-kumara/feed/ 1 0:46:30 by Seth Dickinson read by Alasdair Stuart   Posthuman Pathways Links for this episode: Please visit the sponsor for this episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways This is an original work with no prior appearan[...] by Seth Dickinson read by Alasdair Stuart   Posthuman Pathways Links for this episode: Please visit the sponsor for this episode: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/Jagash/posthuman-pathways This is an original work with no prior appearances. Get stories from this author on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from the author’s website… I’m a graduate of the University of Chicago, a lapsed PhD candidate at NYU (where I studied racial bias in police shoot/don’t shoot decisions), and an instructor at the Alpha Workshop for Young Writers. I write science fiction and fantasy. My work has appeared or will soon appear in Clarkesworld, Analog, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as winning the 2011 Dell Award. I care about gender, subtext, prose style, the fallacies of human cognition, and the ramifications of all we’ve learned regarding causality, cosmology, and thought. In my younger days I was a designer and writer on the Blue Planet (warning: video link) project for FreeSpace Open. I tweet without too much grammar at @sethjdickinson KUMARA By Seth Dickinson   You asked me why you are alive, and this is the answer: because I was asked to do the impossible, to choose someone to die. And I loved them all, loved them as I loved Kumara, as I loved myself. I could not bear the choice. “I need you to choose one of our crew to delete,” Kumara told me. “I need room to think, or we’re not going to make it.” Thirty years of diligence said no, never and I began to refuse. Outside the ship a revenant screamed a radio scream and through the umbilical of our link I felt Kumara cry back in defiance: jamming but still overmatched, struggling against sixty million years of mindless machine hate. Throwing every spark of thought she could muster into beating the revenant’s virals, decrypting them, compiling an inoculation. I closed my eyes and waited for her to fail, for the revenant to slip into her systems, for the antimatter torch to let go and end us all. But Kumara held herself together. Turned the attack. Her avatar grinned up from where she knelt, shoulder bowed with effort, nails clawed down to pink flesh. “Saved us again,” she said. “Ha. And they told me I wasn’t built for this. Thirty years, and still state of the art!” “You can make it,” I said, knowing it was a lie, that she had tapped every scrap of processing power in her hull. I was systems officer; I was the ship as much as she was. But still I begged: “Just an hour to the jump point. You’ll make it. You don’t need to ask for any more.” Kumara had taken the image of a woman, cable-shouldered, strong. Her hands trembled and her eyes shone bright with an inhuman intellect, a very human fatigue. Her intellect was digital, her fatigue an abstract, but she wore the metaphor of flesh. Flesh speaks clearly to the human mind. She looked up at me with those brilliant tired eyes and shook her head. “I’m so sorry,” she said. “I’m out of processing power. They’re getting too sophisticated and I can’t keep up. You have to delete someone from heaven.” I closed my eyes and turned away. I was the last living crew of Kumara, you see? The others were dead: Captain Shiroma, who burned in her own armor as she stole the machine god’s dream, Matthews who cracked the revenant code, smiling Jayaraman who died first, wordless Landvatter whose ash still painted the hull. Our raid on the machine god, our Promethean theft, had gone poorly. But Kumara’s systems had saved them as they passed. Snared their dying minds, digitized them, and uploaded them to heaven: a simulation, a place that might keep them stable. Coddle them in a pleasant hallucination until their psyches could be retrieved. The heaven mainframe was the only resource she hadn’t tapped. But to make it useful, room would have to be opened, load reallocated. And there w[...] Podcasts Seth Dickinson no no
EP440: Canterbury Hollow http://escapepod.org/2014/03/22/ep440-canterbury-hollow/ http://escapepod.org/2014/03/22/ep440-canterbury-hollow/#comments Sat, 22 Mar 2014 06:04:06 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4695 by Chris Lawson read by Bill Bowman   Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Chris Lawson is a doctor and writer living in Australia. His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s SF, Realms of Fantasy, Eidolon, and Dreaming […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/03/22/ep440-canterbury-hollow/feed/ 0 0:36:07 by Chris Lawson read by Bill Bowman   Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Chris Lawson is a doctor and writer [...] by Chris Lawson read by Bill Bowman   Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Chris Lawson is a doctor and writer living in Australia. His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s SF, Realms of Fantasy, Eidolon, and Dreaming Down-Under. In late October he blogged at www.talkingsquid.net about his process of creating a short story, but those posts concerned a different story. For this one, you won’t find any glimpses of the wizard behind the curtain — you’ll just have to enjoy it on its own terms. about the narrator… Last read for us on EP424; Bill started voice acting on the Metamor City Podcast, and has wanted to do more ever since. He spends his days working at a library, where he is in charge of all things with plugs and troubleshooting the people who use them. He spends his nights with his wife, two active children, and two overly active canines and all that goes with that. The post EP440: Canterbury Hollow appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP440: Canterbury Hollow appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Chris Lawson no no
EP439: Cradle and Ume http://escapepod.org/2014/03/15/ep439/ http://escapepod.org/2014/03/15/ep439/#comments Sat, 15 Mar 2014 05:03:02 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4686 by Geoffrey W. Cole read by Jeff Ronner   Links for this episode: This story was originally published in Issue #1 of the relaunched Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Magazine Get more of Geoffrey W. Cole’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/03/15/ep439/feed/ 1 0:36:53 by Geoffrey W. Cole read by Jeff Ronner   Links for this episode: This story was originally published in Issue #1 of the relaunched Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Magazine Get more of Geoffrey W. Cole’s work on Amazon.com Discuss o[...] by Geoffrey W. Cole read by Jeff Ronner   Links for this episode: This story was originally published in Issue #1 of the relaunched Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds Magazine Get more of Geoffrey W. Cole’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Geoffrey W. Cole about the author… from the author’s website… Geoffrey W. Cole was born in Ottawa, Ontario, where he learned to swim and to survive 233K (-40 C or F) weather. After this larval stage, he moved to Kingston, Ontario, where he received degrees in Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Beer Slinging, and Rock and/or Roll. Geoff also met his mate in Kingston. After graduating they embarked on a trans-Canada road trip from Newfoundland to Alaska (for you future-bots reading this, from RockScar to The Beaches). After a brief stint in Ontario, Geoff and his mate moved to Vancouver, BC, where they married, started a home, adopted a giant Newfoundland Lab cross, and gave birth to a wonderful son. They spent a year abroad in Rome, Italy, and after the vandemic of 2017 (curse you, sentient minivans!) they moved to SeaBase 4 off the coast of Haida Gwaii to breed orca. During his time in Vancouver, Geoff received a certificate in creative writing through The Writers Studio program at Simon Fraser University, under the tutelage of Steven Galloway. Geoff and his wife moved to Rome, Italy, in 2011 to pursue writing full-time, and returned to Canada in 2012. Geoff started work on a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in 2012. Once Geoff moved to SeaBase 04, his writing style took on new direction, as he attempted to write an epic poem in orcish (the cetacean language, not the Tolkien). Narrator Jeff Ronner about the narrator… Jeff Ronner is a voice actor, audio engineer, and sound designer. His work has appeared in radio and TV spots, non-commercial narrations, and on those annoying in-store supermarket PA systems. Cleverly disguised as a mild-mannered hospital IT manager during the day, he lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.   Cradle and Ume by Geoffrey W. Cole When his creators first booted Cradle those long centuries ago, they told him many things that made a lasting impression on his infant mind. Above all was the commandment: _The Kamurei must never be contacted._ ##   “If you don’t let me in, she will die,” Ume said. “After all these years, you still ask,” Cradle said. “I thought posthumans were supposed to be hyperintelligent.” On the banks of the dry riverbed that wound through the village, Teihana struggled through her thirty-fourth hour of labour. Her emaciated brown skin glistened with sweat.  The midwife, her only companion in the palm-roofed hut, packed cool mud on Teihana’s forehead. There was nothing else for the pain; like the river, the wells were dry, and the medicinal crop had failed along with the corn. Cradle and Ume watched all this from the observation station buried within one of the Andean peaks that towered above Teihana’s village. “Drop your fields now,” Ume said. “This is my last warning.” “Warn away,” Cradle said. “There’s nothing I can do about it.” “Then you’ve left me no choice.” Cradle was embarrassed to engage in this banter with three other visitors in the observation station, but they seemed to enjoy the drama. The tourists pointed and whispered as Ume departed. He ran down the long tunnel that led to the landing pad, where he climbed into his skyskiff and pointed the vehicle toward the valley. Cradle watched Ume’s fit from a thousand different eyes scattered around the valley. The young posthuman’s persistence never ceased to amaze him. He tried to shout a final warning: “I can’t let you -” And that[...] Podcasts Geoffrey W. Colw no no
EP438: Enjoy the Moment http://escapepod.org/2014/03/07/ep438-enjoy-moment/ http://escapepod.org/2014/03/07/ep438-enjoy-moment/#comments Fri, 07 Mar 2014 05:07:42 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4679 by Jack McDevitt read by Sara Tolbert   Links for this episode: This story is part of the Apocalypse Triptych – website  |  Amazon Get more of Jack McDevitt’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from Goodreads.com… Jack McDevitt is […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/03/07/ep438-enjoy-moment/feed/ 0 0:33:24 by Jack McDevitt read by Sara Tolbert   Links for this episode: This story is part of the Apocalypse Triptych – website  |  Amazon Get more of Jack McDevitt’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escap[...] by Jack McDevitt read by Sara Tolbert   Links for this episode: This story is part of the Apocalypse Triptych – website  |  Amazon Get more of Jack McDevitt’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from Goodreads.com… Jack McDevitt is a former English teacher, naval officer, Philadelphia taxi driver, customs officer and motivational trainer. His work has been on the final ballot for the Nebula Awards for 12 of the past 13 years. His first novel, The Hercules Text, was published in the celebrated Ace Specials series and won the Philip K. Dick Special Award. In 1991, McDevitt won the first $10,000 UPC International Prize for his novella, “Ships in the Night.” The Engines of God was a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, and his novella, “Time Travelers Never Die,” was nominated for both the Hugo and the Nebula awards. McDevitt lives in Georgia with his wife, Maureen, where he plays chess, reads mysteries and eats lunch regularly with his cronies. about the book… THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm. But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild. THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will tell their stories. Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. THE END IS NIGH focuses on life before the apocalypse. THE END IS NOW turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And THE END HAS COME focuses on life after the apocalypse. Featuring all-new, never-before-published works by Hugh Howey, Paolo Bacigalupi, Seanan McGuire, Ken Liu, Jamie Ford, Tananarive Due, Jonathan Maberry, Robin Wasserman, Nancy Kress, Charlie Jane Anders, Matthew Mather, Ben H. Winters, Scott Sigler, and many others. • • • • Don’t want to risk missing out on news about THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH? Sign up for John Joseph Adams’s free newsletter (sent out no more than once or twice a month) to receive updates about THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH, as well as news about his other editorial projects. The post EP438: Enjoy the Moment appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP438: Enjoy the Moment appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Jack McDevitt no no
EP437: A Rose for Ecclesiastes http://escapepod.org/2014/02/28/ep437-rose-ecclesiastes/ http://escapepod.org/2014/02/28/ep437-rose-ecclesiastes/#comments Fri, 28 Feb 2014 06:13:38 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4674 by Roger Zelazny read by Pete Milan   Links for this episode: This story was first published by Mercury Press, 1963 Get more of Roger Zelazny’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Roger Zelazny was born in Euclid, Ohio, the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/02/28/ep437-rose-ecclesiastes/feed/ 0 1:37:42 by Roger Zelazny read by Pete Milan   Links for this episode: This story was first published by Mercury Press, 1963 Get more of Roger Zelazny’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and[...] by Roger Zelazny read by Pete Milan   Links for this episode: This story was first published by Mercury Press, 1963 Get more of Roger Zelazny’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Roger Zelazny about the author… Roger Zelazny was born in Euclid, Ohio, the only child of Polish immigrant Joseph Frank Zelazny and Irish-American Josephine Flora Sweet. In high school, he became the editor of the school newspaper and joined the Creative Writing Club. In the fall of 1955, he began attending Western Reserve University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1959. He was accepted to Columbia University in New York and specialized in Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, graduating with an M.A. in 1962. His M.A. thesis was entitled Two traditions and Cyril Tourneur: an examination of morality and humor comedy conventions in The Revenger’s Tragedy. Between 1962 and 1969 he worked for the U.S. Social Security Administration in Cleveland, Ohio and then in Baltimore, Maryland spending his evenings writing science fiction. He deliberately progressed from short-shorts to novelettes to novellas and finally to novel-length works by 1965. On May 1, 1969, he quit to become a full-time writer, and thereafter concentrated on writing novels in order to maintain his income. During this period, he was an active and vocal member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society, whose members included writers Jack Chalker and Joe and Jack Haldeman among others. read more on Wikipedia… Narrator Pete Milan about the narrator… Pete Milan is a voice actor, writer, audiobook narrator, audio drama producer, among other things. His latest audiobook, Sentinels: When Strikes The Warlord, is available now from Dynamic Ram Audio, and he will soon be appearing in Phantom Canyon from Pendant Productions. Visit him at petemilan.com for more.   A Rose for Ecclesiastes by Roger Zelazny Mercury Press, 1963 This text taken from Science Fiction: The Science Fiction Research Association Anthology Eds. Patricia S. Warrick, Charles G. Waugh, and Martin H. Greenberg New York: HarperCollins, 1988. (Pgs. 308-337) *** I was busy translating one of my Madrigals Macabre into Martian on the morning I was found acceptable. The intercom had buzzed briefly, and I dropped my pencil and flipped on the toggle in a single motion. “Mister G,” piped Morton’s youthful contralto, “the old man says I should ‘get hold of that damned conceited rhymer’ right away, and send him to his cabin.–Since there’s only one damned conceited rhymer . . .” “Let not ambition mock thy useful toil,” I cut him off. So, the Martians had finally made up their minds! I knocked an inch and a half of ash from a smouldering butt, and took my first drag since I had lit it. The entire month’s anticipation tried hard to crowd itself into the moment, but could not quite make it. I was frightened to walk those forty feet and hear Emory say the words I already knew he would say; and that feeling elbowed the other one into the background. So I finished the stanza I was translating before I got up. It took only a moment to reach Emory’s door. I knocked thrice and opened it, just as he growled, “Come in.” “You wanted to see me?” I sat down quickly to save him the trouble of offering me a seat. “That was fast. What did you do, run?” I regarded his paternal discontent: Little fatty flecks beneath pale eyes, thinning hair, and an Irish nose; a voice a decibel louder than anyone else’s . . . Hamlet to Claudius: “I was working.” “Hah!” he snorted. “Come off it. No one’s ever seen you do any of that stuff.” I shrugged my shoulders and started to rise. “If that’s what you called me down here–” “Sit down![...] Podcasts Roger Zelazny no no
Album Review: Flossophy http://escapepod.org/2014/02/26/album-review-flossophy/ http://escapepod.org/2014/02/26/album-review-flossophy/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 15:00:56 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4669 Brent "brentalfloss" Black is back with his third album, the intersection of parody, video gaming, nostalgia, and the occasional fart joke, and it hits the spot on every level.

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EP436: Into the Breach http://escapepod.org/2014/02/22/ep436-breach/ http://escapepod.org/2014/02/22/ep436-breach/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 05:39:25 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4662 by Malon Edwards read by Mandaly Louis-Charles   Links for this episode: This story was first published in Expanded Horizons, Issue 40, July 2013 Get more of Malon Edwards’ work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… I’m an American speculative fiction […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/02/22/ep436-breach/feed/ 0 0:38:00 by Malon Edwards read by Mandaly Louis-Charles   Links for this episode: This story was first published in Expanded Horizons, Issue 40, July 2013 Get more of Malon Edwards’ work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Es[...] by Malon Edwards read by Mandaly Louis-Charles   Links for this episode: This story was first published in Expanded Horizons, Issue 40, July 2013 Get more of Malon Edwards’ work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author Malon Edwards about the author… I’m an American speculative fiction writer. Born and raised in Chicago, I now live in the Greater Toronto Area. My short stories are often set in an alternate or near-future Chicago. narrator Mandaly Louis-Charles about the narrator… My full name is Mandaly Louis-Charles. I was born and raised in the Caribbean Island of Haiti. I love languages. I promote my culture and native language on my blog at www.sweetcoconuts.blogspot.com   Into the Breach by Malon Edwards I’m off my bunk and into my jodhpurs, knee-high leather boots and flight jacket the moment the long range air attack klaxons seep into my nightly dream about Caracara. Muscle memory and Secret Service training kick in; I’m on auto-pilot (no pun intended) and a good ways down the hall buttoning up both sides of my leather jacket to the shoulder a full thirty seconds before I’m awake. And just so you know, the ever so slight tremble in my hands and fingers is not fear. It’s adrenaline. I’m cranked and ready to put my foot all up in it. A door to the right opens and Pierre-Alexandre falls in on my right flank, his steps brisk like mine. Our boots echo down the long hallway as we make our way from the underground bunker at Soldier Field to the bunker at Meigs Field. What you think we got? he asks. My reptile mind—that wonderful, hedonistic thing of mine—notices how lovely his make-me-jump-up-and-dance-like-I-just-caught-the-Holy-Ghost-in-church dark skin looks in the red emergency scramble lighting. And yeah, I know. I’m going to hell for that. A door to my left opens and René-Bastien, better known as Pretty Boy, falls in on my left flank and matches our stride. My guess is fifteen bogeys coming in hard and fast from the south, he says. His flight jacket is only half buttoned and he’s not wearing his T.I. issued white tee-shirt (that’s Tuskegee Institute for those that don’t know). I flicker a glance at his beautiful, honey-hued, well-muscled chest and frown. I bet he just left some police academy recruit in his bunk. Good-N-Plenty is going to smack him upside his head for entertaining unauthorized personnel after lights out. Lax discipline gets people killed. We’ve had enough of that, lately. It don’t matter what we got, I tell them, throwing open the double doors leading to the enormous underground hangar at Meigs Field, as long as we finish what they start. We hustle down the short flight of metal stairs and fan out to our respective bright-shirted handlers waiting for us at our outfit stations: me to Skittles, Pierre-Alexandre to Sour Patch, and Pretty Boy to Good-N-Plenty. Good-N-Plenty pops the back of Pretty Boy’s neck with a comb before she hands it to him and buttons up his flight jacket. Skittles catches my eye as I pull on thin leather gloves and stand shoulder-width apart on my platform, arms outstretched. You okay? she asks as her fingers flow across her station console, manipulating my exo-skeleton into place from above. I hesitate for a fraction of a second before I answer. M byen. I’m cool. Skittles tries to hold my gaze. She knows I’m still grieving hard. Instead, I look at the empty outfit stations scattered throughout the hangar. Once, there were  thirty-six of us, including Caracara. I still can’t bring myself to look at her station on my right. Robotic arms lower the torso of my powered armor onto me and outfit my arms and legs with the rest of my sleek exo-skeleton. I feel all components lock into place, one by one. You’re online, Skittles says, handing me my helmet. Systems check? I ask her. All systems green, including weapons. What’s the gouge? Skittles glan[...] Podcasts Malon Edwards yes no
EP435: Made of Cats http://escapepod.org/2014/02/14/ep435-made-cats/ http://escapepod.org/2014/02/14/ep435-made-cats/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2014 05:44:20 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4649 by Judith Tarr read by Amanda Ching   Links for this episode: This story was previously published in Daily Science Fiction, 2011 Get more of Judith Tarr’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from Amazon.com: I have a lot of academic […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/02/14/ep435-made-cats/feed/ 0 0:24:26 by Judith Tarr read by Amanda Ching   Links for this episode: This story was previously published in Daily Science Fiction, 2011 Get more of Judith Tarr’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, [...] by Judith Tarr read by Amanda Ching   Links for this episode: This story was previously published in Daily Science Fiction, 2011 Get more of Judith Tarr’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Judith Tarr about the author… from Amazon.com: I have a lot of academic credentials (PhD from Yale, MA from Cambridge University, AB from Mt. Holyoke) and taught writing and Latin at Wesleyan University in Connecticut–before I ran away from it all to live on a mesa in Arizona. I breed and ride Lipizzan horses, read and study history (and make up my own alternate and fantastical versions), and write–novels, short stories, articles. I teach writing online (details at http://capriole.smoe.org) and blog on the livejournals as dancinghorse. My alter ego is author Caitlin Brennan, who also has a plog on amazon. Narrator Amanda Ching about the narrator… Amanda Ching is a freelance editor and writer. Her work has appeared in WordRiot, Candlemark & Gleam’s Alice: (re)Visions, and every bathroom stall on I-80 from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. She tweets @cerebralcutlass and blogs at amandaching.wordpress.com.   Made of Cats: A Love Story by Judith Tarr Never mind the slithy toves; let me tell you about the time all the cats splooped into floons. It all started the day the aliens landed. (Doesn’t it always?) We’d been getting the odd invasion–sometimes really odd–for about a hundred years by then. The ones that came up out of the ground and down from the sky and blasted people to powder and tried to marsiform the planet? And got the common cold and turned into slime mold and died? They were just the start. We were pretty solid on the intergalactic maps by the time the Kovarrubians showed up. Killer microbes? Check. Nuclear option? Check. Toxic xenophobia? Triple check. So now when the aliens came, they came in peace. For reals, dudes. Cure for cancer? Check. Super-mega-hyper-insta-teleporta-warp drive? Check. World peace? Not so much. But now when people got their hate on, mostly they got it on somebody Out There. The day the Kovarrubians came, Emily Habibi-Rubinstein, age five and a half, was having a terrible, horrible, awful, no-good, very bad day. Which meant that as her mother, I, Shannon Habibi, age never mind, was having one, too. Between the snufflecrud that kept her home from school, the power failure that took out the television, the Internet, the house controls, and the air conditioning in one fell swoop, and the failure of the city bus to show up and get us both to the library where we could cool off and toss Emily into a big blissful pile of books, we were not a happy family. Oh, and did I mention that the phones were down, too? So we were effectively cut off from the world? Right. That was the first indication that we might be having another alien invasion. The second came about an hour later, after the power came back on and brought the air conditioning with it, but everything else was still stubbornly refusing to get the memo. I’d made Emily lie down for a nap she insisted, at 120 decibels, that she was too old for. “I’m too old for you not to,” I said, hard-hearted, and cranked the air and shoved Mr. Gubbins into her arms and shut the door on her. Emily is what we call strong-willed, but she gets it from me and she knows it. The howling stopped after six minutes and thirty-three seconds. It would start again, by my calculations, exactly fourteen minutes later, but meanwhile I had a reprieve. I pulled a can of Diet Crack out of the secret stash in the back of the fridge, popped the top, and blissed on a long swallow of liquid heaven. Just as I got my breath for the second dose, a shriek from the back of the house came _thisclose_ to splitting my eardrums. That was a solid 160 db, easy, and left E above high C croaking in the [...] Podcasts Judith Tarr no no
EP434: Coping Mechanisms http://escapepod.org/2014/02/12/ep434-coping-mechanisms/ http://escapepod.org/2014/02/12/ep434-coping-mechanisms/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 06:16:41 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4640 by Gerri Leen read by Dani Cutler Links for this episode: This story was previously published in Return to Luna, the anthology of the winning stories of the National Space Society’s fiction contest (published by Hadley Rille Books, 2008).   The story also appeared in the author’s collection of short stories, Life Without Crows (also published by […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/02/12/ep434-coping-mechanisms/feed/ 0 0:37:19 by Gerri Leen read by Dani Cutler Links for this episode: This story was previously published in Return to Luna, the anthology of the winning stories of the National Space Society’s fiction contest (published by Hadley Rille Books, 2008).   [...] by Gerri Leen read by Dani Cutler Links for this episode: This story was previously published in Return to Luna, the anthology of the winning stories of the National Space Society’s fiction contest (published by Hadley Rille Books, 2008).   The story also appeared in the author’s collection of short stories, Life Without Crows (also published by Hadley Rille Books, 2010). Get more of Gerri Leen’s work on Amazon.com This episode features sound effects from users dADDoiT, chuckycheetos, DanielsonIII, nocommonera, Robinhood76, felix.blume and zimbot on Freesound.org Mentioned in this episode: www.ClarionWest.org Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Gerri Leen about the author… I’m a transplanted Seattleite who’s lived in Northern Virginia for nearly three decades. I started writing professionally in my early 40’s, and it’s been a fun ride so far. I have had stories and poems appearing in many anthologies and magazines, such as Sword and Sorceress XXIII, Footprints, She Nailed a Stake Through His Head: Tales of Biblical Terror, Dia de los Muertos, and Sails and Sorcery. about the narrator… Narrator Dani Cutler Dani Cutler last narrated for EP in 389: Keeping Tabs. She has been part of the podcasting community since 2006, hosting and producing her own podcast through 2013. She currently works for KWSS independent radio in Phoenix as their midday announcer, and also organizes a technology conference each year for Phoenix residents to connect with others in the podcast, video, and online community.   COPING MECHANISMS by Gerri Leen The interface between Luna and Earth was particularly bad–like a slow connection to the Net when I was a kid and my grandparents had been too cheap to move off dial-up.  Cal’s image moved in fits and starts, and it wasn’t what I wanted–okay, needed–to see.  As chief base shrink, I should be woman enough to admit I _needed_ to see my husband in some way that didn’t immediately scream he was roughly 380,000 clicks away. Even if Cal was barely my husband; he and I hadn’t touched in eight months–and I’d only been on Luna for six.  Coming here had been my way of saying goodbye, of letting our marriage die slowly and gracefully rather than living through the drama of a messy divorce.  Funny thing about the moon, though: you don’t get over people here.  You miss the hell out of them, every part of them.  Or maybe you just forget the bad parts, maybe they disappear in the middle of this resounding grayness. I used to think my marriage was gray and grim.  Landing at Echosound–getting my first view of my new home in the bright lunar daytime that had gone on for fourteen Earth-days–had been a reality check of the highest order. “Vanessa?”  Cal was probably wondering why I’d called.  We were supposed to be getting used to being away from each other, and I didn’t have much to say that was related to the impending dissolution of the marriage. So I said the first thing that came to mind.  “How’s Denny?” The jerking image made his expression unreadable.  “He’s fine.” I didn’t normally ask about his parrot.  In fact, I hated that damn bird.  Probably because I knew Cal would part with me, but not with him.  As a psychiatrist, I don’t shy away from truths.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t make me any better at dealing with them. “Van, I have to go.”  Cal didn’t sound disappointed, especially on five-second delay.  Not for the first time I wished personal calls were given the same priority for real-time access as mission-related calls. But they weren’t, so I would deal.  Badly, no doubt.  But I’d deal. “I have to go, too.  Time for my shift.”  Which was a lie.  I may have normal dut[...] Podcasts Escape Pod no no
EP433: That Other Sea http://escapepod.org/2014/01/31/ep433-sea/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/31/ep433-sea/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 05:09:30 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4633 by William Ledbetter read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: Get William Ledbetter’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from the author’s website… William Ledbetter lives near Dallas with his family and too many animals.  His great […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/01/31/ep433-sea/feed/ 1 0:34:21 by William Ledbetter read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: Get William Ledbetter’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author Will[...] by William Ledbetter read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: Get William Ledbetter’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author William Ledbetter about the author… from the author’s website… William Ledbetter lives near Dallas with his family and too many animals.  His great love, after his wife of course, is reading and writing speculative fiction. He is an editor at Heroic Fantasy Quarterly and runs the annual Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society. narrator Shaelyn Grey about the narrator… Shaelyn Grey has been active in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, mainly as a singer and actor. Recently she has expanded into voice over work and is currently a part of the cast of Aurelia: Edge of Darkness, which is an online interactive web series. Aurelia is entering it’s second season and Shae is back as Thais ven Derrivalle. Aurelia can be viewed at http://www.theatrics.com/aurelia and Shae can be reached through shaelyngreyvocals.com.   THAT OTHER SEA by William Ledbetter From his position on the sandy slope, Catat couldn’t see the Visitor, but the eerie glow moving around beyond the jumbled rocks proved the device had survived its fall into the killing depths. Catat whipped his tail to move downward, but couldn’t generate enough thrust to overcome the water pressure pushing him into the sand. Only the brute force of side-to-side undulation gave him any forward momentum. He moved two body lengths and stopped to let his shell adjust. As water weight compressed his internal organs further, the gland that produced shellbase went into hyperactive mode, flooding his system, filling the tiny pressure cracks and thickening his ring segments. The depths were changing him, maybe forever, but Catat believed retrieving the Visitor, or at least examining it, was worth the risk. During the intense discussions that followed the Visitor’s arrival, Catat was the only one who believed it could be artificial. Others, including Catat’s main scientific rival, Racknik, maintained that it had to be some radiation mutated animal from an ice vent. But Catat had been the only one to see it up close. He’d watched the Visitor break through the ice ceiling and then struggle with the canopy kelp before starting its long swirling descent to the chasm floor. The Visitor was twice Catat’s size and he probably could have done nothing to arrest its fall, but he’d also been frozen with terror and made no attempt to help. Then as it started downward, lights appeared. Not the dim luminescent bait offered by predator fish, but a brilliant, painful glare, brighter than white magma. At that instant, Catat’s fear dissolved in an overwhelming surge of curiosity and fascination. So know he was going after it. A message from his warren came down the cable he dragged behind him, the electrical pulses converted to taps he could feel through the metal plate mounted between his tool arms and just above his digging arms. The signal was still strong, which worried him. If his shell had thickened enough to protect him against the extreme pressure, then the signal should have been faint. “Can you still see it?” A prefix identified the sender as one of his research assistants. “I see the glow from its lights,” Catat replied. “You made your point. We believe you. Now come back up.” There had been no prefix to identify the second message’s sender, but Catat knew it had to be his friend and sometimes mate, Tipkurr. “I’m not trying to prove anything,” he replied. “I saw this Visitor up close and I know it’s a machine. Do you realize the implications of a machine from beyond the ice ceiling? Some elders don’t believe there is anything above the ice. This [...] Podcasts William Ledbetter no no
Movie Review: Upside Down http://escapepod.org/2014/01/29/movie-review-upside/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/29/movie-review-upside/#comments Wed, 29 Jan 2014 15:00:37 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4623 The concept of a world that's opposite to our own isn't a new one. And the concept of playing with gravity isn't new either. But mix them together and you might just end up with a film like Upside Down.

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EP432: Inappropriate Behavior http://escapepod.org/2014/01/25/ep432-inappropriate-behavior/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/25/ep432-inappropriate-behavior/#comments Sat, 25 Jan 2014 06:31:45 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4630 by Pat Murphy read by MJ Cogburn Links for this episode: This story first appeared at scifi.com in 2004 Get Pat Murphy’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from the author’s website… I’m a writer, a scientist, and sometimes a toy maker. […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/01/25/ep432-inappropriate-behavior/feed/ 1 1:16:41 by Pat Murphy read by MJ Cogburn Links for this episode: This story first appeared at scifi.com in 2004 Get Pat Murphy’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortab[...] by Pat Murphy read by MJ Cogburn Links for this episode: This story first appeared at scifi.com in 2004 Get Pat Murphy’s work on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page author Pat Murphy about the author… from the author’s website… I’m a writer, a scientist, and sometimes a toy maker. All of my stories and novels have a hint of the strange. Some have been called science fiction, some fantasy, and some neither one. Most of my work falls between categories. I think that the most interesting events happen at the edges, in the borderlands where the lines are fuzzy. My fiction writing has won a number of awards, including the Nebula Award for Science Fiction, the World Fantasy Award, the Philip K. Dick Award for best paperback original, the Christopher Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. I also co-founded the James Tiptree Memorial Award. narrator MJ Cogburn about the narrator… I’m an Special Education English teacher in Texas who also works with various audio production companies. I have worked with at least 6 different companies in the past, but I am head of production at Darker Projects and an actor in DP’s Quantum Retribution, Gypsy Audio’s Tamlynn PI, and Giant Gnome Productions’ Star Trek: Outpost. I’m a parent of three and after this year empty nest will set in (I think). I am currently working with Jerry Robbins at Colonial Radio Productions – at present producing Powder River, season 8. I thoroughly enjoy what I do and I’m glad that I can share it with everyone who is interested in any type of audio production!   Inappropriate Behavior by Pat Murphy The Mechano: There was a man asleep on the sand. He should not be here. It was my island. I had just returned to my mechano and it was time for me to go to work. He should not be here. I studied the man through the eyes of my mechano. They were good eyes. They worked very well beneath the water, at depths down to fifteen hundred meters. I had adjusted them for maximum acuity at distances ranging from two inches to five feet. Beyond that, the world was a blur of tropical sunshine and brilliant color. I liked it that way. There had been a big storm the night before. One of the coconut palms had blown down, and the beach was littered with driftwood, coconuts, and palm fronds. The man didn’t look good. He had a bloody scrape on his cheek, other scrapes on his arms and legs, a smear of blood in his short brown hair. His right leg was marked with bruises colored deep purple and green. He wore an orange life vest, a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and canvas boat shoes. He stirred in his sleep, sighing softly. Startled, I sent the mechano scuttling backward. I stopped a few feet away from him. My mechano had a speaker. I tested it and it made a staticky sound. I wondered what I should say to this man. The man moved, lifting a hand to rub his eyes. Slowly, he rolled over. “Bonjour,” I said through the mechano’s speakers. Maybe he had come from one of the islands of French Polynesia. # # # The Man: A sound awakened him—a sort of mechanical squawking. Evan Collins could feel the tropical sun beating down on his face, the warm beach sand beneath his hands. His head ached and his mouth was dry. His right leg throbbed with a dull, persistent pain. Evan raised a hand to rub his eyes and winced when he brushed against a sand-encrusted scrape on his cheek. When he rolled over onto his back, the throbbing in his leg became a sudden, stabbing pain. Wiping away the tears that blurred his vision, he lifted his head and blinked down at his leg. His calf was marked with bloody coral scrapes. Beneath the scrapes were vivid bruises: dark purple telling of injuries beneath the surface of the skin. When he tried to move his leg again, he gasped as the stabbing pain returned. He heard the sound a[...] Podcasts Pat Murphy no no
Movie Review: Upstream Color http://escapepod.org/2014/01/22/movie-review-upstream-color/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/22/movie-review-upstream-color/#comments Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:00:51 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4619 If you thought Shane Carruth's first film, Primer, was confusing, then you ain't seen nothin' yet... especially if you haven't seen his new film, Upstream Color.

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EP431: The Golden Glass http://escapepod.org/2014/01/17/ep431-golden-glass/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/17/ep431-golden-glass/#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2014 06:32:23 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4616 by Gary Kloster read by Matt Haynes Links for this episode: Get Gary Kloster on Amazon.com Sound effects in this episode were created by Freesound.org users thecluegeek, RADIY, and Timbre Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… from the author’s website… “I’ve always […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/01/17/ep431-golden-glass/feed/ 0 0:36:19 by Gary Kloster read by Matt Haynes Links for this episode: Get Gary Kloster on Amazon.com Sound effects in this episode were created by Freesound.org users thecluegeek, RADIY, and Timbre Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod storie[...] by Gary Kloster read by Matt Haynes Links for this episode: Get Gary Kloster on Amazon.com Sound effects in this episode were created by Freesound.org users thecluegeek, RADIY, and Timbre Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… author Gary Kloster from the author’s website… “I’ve always loved speculative fiction.  That’s the fancy name for stories that involve lasers, or swords, or in the very best laser-swords.  So as a kid, I decided to try writing it.  And it went really badly. A few decades later, and I’m a house husband in rural Minnesota, a Science reference librarian who now answers urgent questions like ‘When’s lunch?’ and ‘Where’s the bathroom?’  Not really much different then helping the undergrads back at the University, but it wears thin.  In an effort to save my sanity, and avoid housework, I’ve returned to writing. I think it’s going better, this time.”   The Golden Glass By Gary Kloster The Golden Glass By Gary Kloster “The jump-pilot,” said Alejandro, “is sleeping with Leo.” “You just noticed?” Glory said, tugging off her pants. “And now these are getting too tight. That’s it, I’m upping G in engineering. It’ll skew the efficiency but my ass won’t fit through the access panels soon if I don’t burn some of this off.” Alejandro ignored his wife’s attempted diversion. “How long has this been going on?” Glory shrugged. “The kids? They’ve been flirting since Evy came aboard. I’m not exactly sure when they actually started sleeping together. Probably during the flight here to Valhalla.”  She dropped her clothes and stepped into the head. “Why’s it matter?” Alejandro sat on the bunk and pulled off his slippers. “You’re okay with this?” Glory leaned out the door, toothbrush in hand. “They’re consenting adults, and it’s impossible to stop ship romances. As long as it doesn’t effect their work, it’s not our business.” “I don’t like it,” muttered Alejandro, staring at the stars that filled the wall screen. “Leo’s a dreamer. He should be with someone grounded. Evy’s nice, but she’s not right for him. Damn good jumper, but an air-head.” “Cheez nah…” Glory spat and tried again. “She’s not an airhead, she’s just young and… cheerful.” “She drinks too much.” “She has wine with dinner. Her parents owned a vineyard on Laramie.” Glory walked back into the cabin and sat next to her husband. “Alejandro, she’s a nice girl and she’s here on the ship. You have to know that Leo’s been thinking of leaving.” Alejandro frowned. “Why? He has a good life here with us, learning the trade, and when we finally retire the Evanston will be his.” “Yes, but that won’t be for a long time. He needs to build his own life. Hell, why do you think I pressed you so hard to hire that newly graduated jump-pilot anyway?” “You said she had great ratings and a low pay-scale.” “Yes, but the real reason is that our son was lusting after her the minute he saw her. Thank the gods that it’s working out and we’re not dealing with a harassment suit. Now brush your teeth. Launch tomorrow, and we’re going to be busy.” # “I’m not sure Captain Your Dad approves of this,” said Evy. “Hmmm?” Leo shifted carefully on the cramped bunk, kissing his way down her belly. “I didn’t think of it. There was nothing about fraternization in the contract, but you are his kid. We talked about this stuff in our small group socialization course…” She lifted her hips, letting Leo drag her panties down. “Ummm.” “Did he look pissed to you, when he caught us necking in the hall? We shouldn’t have done that, it’s rude to block the passage.” Leo stared up from trying to work her underwear off around her foot. “What?” “Your dad. Does he like me?” “I don’t know, I guess. Why?” Leo’s eyes slipped from Evy’s face to stare at her chest. “Maybe he doesn’t approve. I’d hate to screw up my first job.” “It’[...] Podcasts, Uncategorized Gary Kloster no no
Movie Review: Europa Report http://escapepod.org/2014/01/15/movie-review-europa-report/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/15/movie-review-europa-report/#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:00:53 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4602 In addition to Apollo 18, another recent found-footage sci-fi film has made its way to Netflix. This one had similar elements to Apollo 18, but the difference was in the nature of the monster. This film is called Europa Report.

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EP430: Heart of Joy http://escapepod.org/2014/01/11/ep430-heart-joy/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/11/ep430-heart-joy/#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2014 19:57:44 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4607 by Kate O’Conn0r read by Andrea Richardson Links for this episode: Get Mermaid from Kate O’Connor on Amazon.com or check her bibliography for her other works here: http://kateoconnor3.wordpress.com/bibliography/ This story first appeared in Daily SF, April 2013 Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Kate […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/01/11/ep430-heart-joy/feed/ 0 0:40:56 by Kate O’Conn0r read by Andrea Richardson Links for this episode: Get Mermaid from Kate O’Connor on Amazon.com or check her bibliography for her other works here: http://kateoconnor3.wordpress.com/bibliography/ This story first appear[...] by Kate O’Conn0r read by Andrea Richardson Links for this episode: Get Mermaid from Kate O’Connor on Amazon.com or check her bibliography for her other works here: http://kateoconnor3.wordpress.com/bibliography/ This story first appeared in Daily SF, April 2013 Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page about the author… Kate O’Connor was born in Virginia in 1982. She graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott in 2009 and now lives (and occasionally works) in the New York area. Kate has been writing science fiction and fantasy since 2011. In between telling stories, she flies airplanes, digs up artifacts, and manages a kennel full of Airedales. Narrator Andrea Richardson about the narrator… Andrea Richardson is a British singer and actress.  With extensive stage and film performances to her name, she began narration and voice over work fairly recently, but enjoys using her existing skills in a different way. You can find Andrea at www.andrea-richardson.co.uk and www.castingcallpro.com/uk/view.php?uid=507734   Heart of Joy By Kate O’Connor “How’s your ankle, Luci?” Feon Sen, High Chancellor of Carinae, leaned against the wall, watching intently as she braided her dark hair. Luscinia considered the question carefully, studying his reflection in the mirror. He was a man of many words, but his meaning was clearest in the surgically smoothed lines around his eyes and the rhythm his fingers absentmindedly tapped out on his arm. He was asking if she was up to the task he had for her tonight. “Better, thank you.” She stood and danced a few quick steps to prove it. She was ready. The prism-glass walls sent the light they had collected from Carina’s dim sun scattering around the room in teardrops of scarlet and gold and sapphire. It was hard not to blame the cold and the hard crystal floors for the aches in her joints. Hot sun and soft ground were worlds away, but Feon was always ready with a good reason for her to stay whenever she mentioned returning to her home planet. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye. Even after more than a year in his company, Luscinia still found how young he looked and how old his expressions were disconcerting. She hadn’t asked him about whatever medical miracles or cosmetic alterations he’d had done over the long decades he had been in control of the three hundred and forty-seven inhabited worlds of the nebula. It was how things were on Carina Prime, especially for those in the public eye. She hated the scrutiny that came with being his lover. More than one helpful soul had mentioned a few of the currently fashionable options for elongating her legs or slimming her curvy body. The idea turned her stomach. “So you’ll be able to dance for the Alshain Ambassador and his assorted cronies this evening? He’s been after me almost without ceasing since they arrived.” Feon’s carefree grin made her stomach flutter for entirely different reasons. “You’re still the talk of the nebula. Half the city shows up to parties without footwear because you dance barefoot. Not to mention how everyone goes on about what each dance means. It doesn’t help that you keep changing them.” “I’d get bored if the routines were always the same. You wouldn’t use the same words in every speech you gave, would you?” Luscinia smiled back, taking note of the slight crease at the corner of his mouth. “And stop worrying. I’ll settle your diplomats for you.” There was so much more to say that never seemed to make it past her lips… or his. He was far more eloquent than she, except when it came to speaking with her. Alshain was dangerous, more so because of the allies the ambassador was gathering. Feon was old and wily, but she saw him plagued with the wo[...] Podcasts Kate O'Connor no no
Movie Review: Apollo 18 http://escapepod.org/2014/01/08/movie-review-apollo-18/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/08/movie-review-apollo-18/#comments Wed, 08 Jan 2014 16:00:21 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4595 The last American moon mission was Apollo 17, back in 1972. Or was it? The found-footage film Apollo 18 aims to show why we haven't been back. And if this film is to be believed, there's a damn good reason.

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EP429: The Little Black Bag http://escapepod.org/2014/01/05/ep429-little-black-bag/ http://escapepod.org/2014/01/05/ep429-little-black-bag/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 02:32:34 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4589 by C.M. Kornbluth read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story first appeared in  the July 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction. Get more from C.M. Kornbluth on Amazon.com This episode contains a sound effect provided by user gcmax at freesound.org Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and […]

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http://escapepod.org/2014/01/05/ep429-little-black-bag/feed/ 0 1:15:57 by C.M. Kornbluth read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story first appeared in  the July 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction. Get more from C.M. Kornbluth on Amazon.com This episode contains a sound effect provided by user gcmax [...] by C.M. Kornbluth read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: This story first appeared in  the July 1950 edition of Astounding Science Fiction. Get more from C.M. Kornbluth on Amazon.com This episode contains a sound effect provided by user gcmax at freesound.org Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author…  from the Wiki about the author – Cyril M. Kornbluth (July 2, 1923 – March 21, 1958) was an American science fiction author and a notable member of the Futurians. He used a variety of pen-names, including Cecil Corwin, S. D. Gottesman, Edward J. Bellin, Kenneth Falconer, Walter C. Davies, Simon Eisner, Jordan Park, Arthur Cooke, Paul Dennis Lavond and Scott Mariner. The “M” in Kornbluth’s name may have been in tribute to his wife, Mary Byers; Kornbluth’s colleague and collaborator Frederik Pohl confirmed Kornbluth’s lack of any actual middle name in at least one interview.   The Little Black Bag by C. M. Kornbluth Old Dr. Full felt the winter in his bones as he limped down the alley. It was the alley and the back door he had chosen rather than the sidewalk and the front door because of the brown paper bag under his arm. He knew perfectly well that the flat-faced, stringy-haired women of his street and their gap-toothed, sour-smelling husbands did not notice if he brought a bottle of cheap wine to his room. They all but lived on the stuff themselves, varied with whiskey when pay checks were boosted by overtime. But Dr. Full, unlike them, was ashamed. A complicated disaster occurred as he limped down the littered alley. One of the neighborhood dogs–a mean little black one he knew and hated, with its teeth always bared and always snarling with menace–hurled at his legs through a hole in the board fence that lined his path. Dr. Full flinched, then swung his leg in what was to have been a satisfying kick to the animal’s gaunt ribs. But the winter in his bones weighed down the leg. His foot failed to clear a half-buried brick, and he sat down abruptly, cursing. When he smelled unbottled wine and realized his brown paper package had slipped from under his arm and smashed, his curses died on his lips. The snarling black dog was circling him at a yard’s distance, tensely stalking, but he ignored it in the greater disaster. With stiff fingers as he sat on the filth of the alley, Dr. Full unfolded the brown paper bag’s top, which had been crimped over, grocer-wise. The early autumnal dusk had come; he could not see plainly what was left. He lifted out the jug-handled top of his half gallon, and some fragments, and then the bottom of the bottle. Dr. Full was far too occupied to exult as he noted that there was a good pint left. He had a problem, and emotions could be deferred until the fitting time. The dog closed in, its snarl rising in pitch. He set down the bottom of the bottle and pelted the dog with the curved triangular glass fragments of its top. One of them connected, and the dog ducked back through the fence, howling. Dr. Full then placed a razor-like edge of the half-gallon bottle’s foundation to his lips and drank from it as though it were a giant’s cup. Twice he had to put it down to rest his arms, but in one minute he had swallowed the pint of wine. He thought of rising to his feet and walking through the alley to his room, but a flood of well-being drowned the notion. It was, after all, inexpressibly pleasant to sit there and feel the frost-hardened mud of the alley turn soft, or seem to, and to feel the winter evaporating from his bones under a warmth which spread from his stomach through his limbs. A three-year-old girl in a cut-down winter coat squeezed through the same hole in the board fence from which the black dog had sprung its ambush. Gravely she toddled up to Dr. Full and inspected him with her dirty forefinger in her mouth.[...] Podcasts C.M. Kornbluth no no
EP428: Paradise Left http://escapepod.org/2013/12/27/ep428-paradise-left/ http://escapepod.org/2013/12/27/ep428-paradise-left/#comments Fri, 27 Dec 2013 05:39:49 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4582 by Evan Dicken read by Barry Haworth Links for this episode: This story has appeared in Daily Science Fiction Get more from Evan Dicken on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page from the Daily Science Fiction author bio – By day, Evan Dicken fights economic […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/12/27/ep428-paradise-left/feed/ 0 0:26:24 by Evan Dicken read by Barry Haworth Links for this episode: This story has appeared in Daily Science Fiction Get more from Evan Dicken on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our so[...] by Evan Dicken read by Barry Haworth Links for this episode: This story has appeared in Daily Science Fiction Get more from Evan Dicken on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Evan Dicken from the Daily Science Fiction author bio – By day, Evan Dicken fights economic entropy for the Ohio Department of Commerce, by night, he writes. His work has most recently appeared in: 10Flash Quarterly, Stupefying Stories, and Ray Gun Revival, and he has stories forthcoming from: Chaosium and Tales of the Unanticipated. Visit him at:evan.dicken.com. About the Narrator… Barry Haworth is from Australia and he first narrated for Escape Pod in episode 317. This is his second appearance after offering to narrate as a way to help Escape Pod.   PARADISE LEFT by Evan Dicken Rob was feeding the dog when Ashley came home from the rebellion. It took less than a second for the front door to recognize her and slide open, but it still wasn’t fast enough. She kicked the jam with a muffled curse and stalked into the room, five and a half feet of wiry,dirt-smudged outrage. RL-147 was on her like an excited puppy. “Welcome home, MistressAshley. Would you like me to–” “Go fuck yourself.” She tossed her omnirifle onto the kitchen counter with a look of disgust and leaned over the sink to shake the ash from her hair. “Belay that command, Erl,” Rob said under his breath. “And switch to silent mode, please.” “Acknowledged.” He dumped the last of the artificial beef into Whistler’s bowl and the dog dove in face-first, snuffling up the stew with wet,guttural gulps. “Calm down, I’m not going to take it away,” Rob murmured. Cupboards banged open and closed as Ashley rummaged around,looking for something to be angry about. “Where’s my damn Sea Pines mug?” “Above the microcleaner, near the back.” Rob gave Whistler one last pat and stood with a soft sigh. He’d avoided the question as long as he could. Ashley already blamed him for leaving the rebellion. She was only going to get angrier if he kept ducking the issue. “So…I take it the war didn’t go so well?” Rob tried for a sympathetic frown, but felt his jaw tighten. He didn’t like being out of the loop. There would almost certainly be news of the rebellion on the Wikifont, which he would’ve been able to see if Ashley hadn’t disabled the holoplates to protect them from “machine propaganda.” “No, it went great. Just great.” Ashley sprayed her head off in the sink, then shook her hair, splattering the kitchen with drops ofgrimy water. “I’m president of the New Human Republic.” “Really?” “Yeah, really.” “Congratulations.” Rob said without much feeling. His eyes kept sliding to kitchen windows. The spray had left grey and brown tracks on the plastic. He couldn’t ask RL-147 to clean it up until Ashley was out of the room. “Right.” She pulled a beer can from her rucksack and popped it open. From the faded silver and white logo it could have been almost any of the pre-singularity brands she favored. Whistler, finished with his food, nuzzled up to Ashley for some head-scratching. “We must have destroyed hundreds of bots, gunned ‘em down like dogs.” Ashley glanced down at Whistler. “No offense.” Whistler just thumped the floor with his tail, blissfully ignorant as she kneaded the skin behind his ears. “So, what’s the problem?” Rob asked. He could use a beer as well, but didn’t want one of Ashley’s. They were flat and tasted like metal. Nothing like _actual_ beer. “I’ll tell you what the problem is.” Ashley took a long pull from her can, then grimaced. [...] Podcasts Evan Dicken yes no
EP427: Samantha’s Diary http://escapepod.org/2013/12/22/ep427-samanthas-diary/ http://escapepod.org/2013/12/22/ep427-samanthas-diary/#comments Sun, 22 Dec 2013 07:57:11 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4575 by Diana Wynne Jones read by Emma Newman Links for this episode: Our Drone Future – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgLkWT246qU Andrew Reid – http://mygoditsraining.co.uk/ Joan De La Haye – http://joandelahaye.com/ Liz De Jager – http://www.lizdejager.co.uk/ Jennifer Williams – http://sennydreadful.co.uk/ Mhairi Simpson – https://twitter.com/AMhairiSimpson Adele Wearing – http://www.foxspirit.co.uk/ Tom Pollock – http://www.skyscraperthrone.com/ Vincent Holland-Keen – https://twitter.com/fiskerton The End of Science Fiction […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/12/22/ep427-samanthas-diary/feed/ 0 0:53:05 by Diana Wynne Jones read by Emma Newman Links for this episode: Our Drone Future – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgLkWT246qU Andrew Reid – http://mygoditsraining.co.uk/ Joan De La Haye – http://joandelahaye.com/ Liz De Jager [...] by Diana Wynne Jones read by Emma Newman Links for this episode: Our Drone Future – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgLkWT246qU Andrew Reid – http://mygoditsraining.co.uk/ Joan De La Haye – http://joandelahaye.com/ Liz De Jager – http://www.lizdejager.co.uk/ Jennifer Williams – http://sennydreadful.co.uk/ Mhairi Simpson – https://twitter.com/AMhairiSimpson Adele Wearing – http://www.foxspirit.co.uk/ Tom Pollock – http://www.skyscraperthrone.com/ Vincent Holland-Keen – https://twitter.com/fiskerton The End of Science Fiction the poem quoted at the end http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/241790 This story has appeared in Stories: All-New Tales Edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Diana Wynne Jones About the Author… from the wiki about the author – Diana Wynne Jones (16 August 1934 – 26 March 2011) was an English writer, principally of fantasy novels for children and adults, as well as a small amount of non-fiction. Some of her better-known works are the Chrestomanci series, the Dalemark series; the novels Howl’s Moving Castle and Dark Lord of Derkholm; and The Tough Guide to Fantasyland. Narrator Emma Newman About the Narrator… Emma Newman is the author of the Split Worlds series published by Angry Robot Books and is also an audiobook narrator. She has her own podcast called Tea and Jeopardy which is a combination of guest interviews, geekery and abject silliness. You can find her online at www.enewman.co.uk.   Samantha’s Diary by Diana Wynne Jones   Recorded on BSQ SpeekEasi Series 2/89887BQ and discovered in a skip in London’s Regent Street. December 25th 2233 Tired today and having a lazy time. Got back late from Paris last night from Mother’s party. My sister is pregnant and couldn’t go (besides, she lives in Sweden) and Mother insisted that one of her daughters was there to meet our latest stepfather. Not that I did meet him particularly. Mother kept introducing me to a load of men and telling me how rich each of them were: I think she’s trying to start me on her own career which is, basically, marrying for money. Thanks, Mother, but I earn quite enough on the catwalk to be happy as I am. Besides, I’m having a rest from men since I split up with Liam.The gems of Mother’s collection were a French philosopher, who followed me around saying ‘La vide ce n’est pas le neant,’ (clever French nonsense meaning ‘The void is not nothing,’ I think), a cross-eyed Columbian film director, who kept trying to drape himself over me, and a weird millionaire from goodness knows where with diamante teeth. But there were others. I was wearing my new Stiltskins which caused me to tower over them. A mistake. They always knew where I was. In the end I got tired of being stalked and left. I just caught the midnight bullet train to London, which did not live up to its name. It was late and crowded out and I had to stand all the way. My feet are killing me today. Anyway I have instructed Housebot that I am Not At Home to anyone or anything and hope for a peaceful day. Funny to think that Christmas Day used to be a time when everyone got together and gave each other presents. Shudder. Today we think of it as the most peaceful day of the year. I sit in peace in my all-white living room—a by-product of Mother’s career, come to think of it, since my lovely flat was given to me by my last-stepfather-but-one—no, last-but- two now, I forgot. Oh damn! Someone rang the doorbell and Housebot answered it. I know I told it not to. Did I say we don’t give Christmas presents now? Talk about famous last words. Housebot trundled back in here with a tree of all things balanced on its flat top. Impossible to tell what kind of tree, as it has no leaves, no label to say who sent it, nothing but a small wicker cage tied to a br[...] Podcasts Diana Wynne Jones no no
EP426: Flash Fiction Special http://escapepod.org/2013/12/13/ep426-flash-fiction-special/ http://escapepod.org/2013/12/13/ep426-flash-fiction-special/#comments Fri, 13 Dec 2013 05:06:58 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4568 Four Tickets, by Leslianne Wilder Life Sentence, by Ben HalleRt The Future Is Set, by C. L. Perria read by Nathan Lee, Angela Lee & Norm Sherman Links for this episode: Feeling adventurous enough to read all of the contest submissions? Have at it! http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?board=134.0 See HalleRt’s current project here: http://timetravelreference.com/ Discuss this episode on our forums.  For […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/12/13/ep426-flash-fiction-special/feed/ 0 0:24:48 Four Tickets, by Leslianne Wilder Life Sentence, by Ben HalleRt The Future Is Set, by C. L. Perria read by Nathan Lee, Angela Lee & Norm Sherman Links for this episode: Feeling adventurous enough to read all of the contest submissions? Have at[...] Four Tickets, by Leslianne Wilder Life Sentence, by Ben HalleRt The Future Is Set, by C. L. Perria read by Nathan Lee, Angela Lee & Norm Sherman Links for this episode: Feeling adventurous enough to read all of the contest submissions? Have at it! http://forum.escapeartists.net/index.php?board=134.0 See HalleRt’s current project here: http://timetravelreference.com/ Discuss this episode on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page The post EP426: Flash Fiction Special appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP426: Flash Fiction Special appeared first on Escape Pod. Flash, Podcasts Escape Pod no no
EP425: The Boy in Zaquitos http://escapepod.org/2013/12/06/ep425-boy-zaquitos/ http://escapepod.org/2013/12/06/ep425-boy-zaquitos/#comments Fri, 06 Dec 2013 06:23:12 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4565 by Bruce McAllister read by John Chu Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in  The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 2006 Also in Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History. Also in The Best American Short Stories. Also in The Girl Who Loved Animals and Other Stories, Oct 2007 Discuss on our forums.  For a list […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/12/06/ep425-boy-zaquitos/feed/ 0 0:54:50 by Bruce McAllister read by John Chu Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in  The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 2006 Also in Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History. Also in The Best American Short Stori[...] by Bruce McAllister read by John Chu Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in  The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 2006 Also in Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History. Also in The Best American Short Stories. Also in The Girl Who Loved Animals and Other Stories, Oct 2007 Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Bruce McAllister About the Author… His literary and genre fiction has appeared in national magazines, literary quarterlies, college textbooks and ‘year’s best’ anthologies. His second novel, Dream Baby, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship winner, was called a “stunning tour de force” by Publishers Weekly. His fiction has been translated widely and received national awards and notable mentions in the New York Times, other U.S. newspapers, U.S. and foreign magazines and journals, and reference works. His poetry and experimental work have appeared in literary quarterlies and anthologies; he has co-edited magazines and anthologies; and his articles on popular science, writing craft and sports have appeared in publications like Life, International Wildlife, The Writer and newspapers across the country. – See more at: http://www.mcallistercoaching.com/#sthash.iZUdcA2z.dpuf. About the Narrator… John designs microprocessors by day and writes fiction by night. His work has been published at Boston Review, Asimov’s and Tor.com. His website is http://johnchu.net   The Boy in Zaquitos by Bruce McAllister The Retired Operative Speaks to a Class You do what you can for your country. I’m sixty-eight years old, and even in high school—it’s 2015 now, so that was fifty years ago—I wanted to be an intelligence analyst . . . an analyst for an intelligence agency, or if I couldn’t do that, at least be a writer for the United States Information Agency, writing books for people of limited English vocabularies so they’d know about us, our freedoms, the way we live. But what I wanted most was to be an analyst—not a covert-action operative, just an analyst. For the CIA or NSA, one of the big civilian agencies. That’s what I wanted to do for my country. I knew they looked at your high school record, not just college—and not just grades, but also the clubs you were in and any sports. And your family background, that was important, too. My father was an Annapolis graduate, a Pearl Harbor survivor, and a gentle Cold War warrior who’d worked for NATO in northern Italy, when we’d lived there. I knew that would look good to the Agency, and I knew that my dad had friends who’d put in a good word for me, too, friends in the Office of Naval Intelligence. But I also knew I had to do something for my high school record; and I wasn’t an athlete, so I joined the Anti-Communist Club. I thought it was going to be a group of kids who’d discuss Marxist economics and our free-market system, maybe the misconceptions Marx had about human nature, and maybe even mistakes we were making in developing countries, both propaganda-wise and in the kind of help we were giving them. I didn’t know it was just a front for Barry Goldwater and that all we were going to do was make election signs, but at least I had it on my record. Because a lot of Agency recruiting happens at private colleges, I went to one in Southern California—not far from where my parents lived. My high school grades were good enough for a state scholarship, and my dad covered the rest. It was the ’60s, but the administration was conservative; and I was expecting the typical Cold War Agency recruitment to happen to me the way it had happened to people I’d heard about—the sons of some of my dad’s friends. But it didn’t. I went through five majors without doing well in any of them; and it wasn’t until my senior year, when I was taking an IR course with a popular prof named Booth—a guy who’d been a POW in WW[...] Podcasts Bruce McAllister no no
EP424: Biographical Fragments of the Life of Julian Prince http://escapepod.org/2013/12/01/ep424-biographical-fragments-life-julian-prince/ http://escapepod.org/2013/12/01/ep424-biographical-fragments-life-julian-prince/#comments Sun, 01 Dec 2013 19:06:01 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4558 by Jake Kerr read by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson, Andrea Richardson, Bill Hollweg & Mat Weller Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  This story was first published in Lightspeed in March 2013 Sound effects for this story supplied by the following Freesound.org contributors: driet, lonemonk, Littleboot, klankbeeld, stevelalonde, blouhond, alexmol, bulbastre, Corsica_S, and gmarchisio Mentioned in the episode: narrators Bill Hollweg & Mat Weller are also […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/12/01/ep424-biographical-fragments-life-julian-prince/feed/ 0 0:40:18 by Jake Kerr read by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson, Andrea Richardson, Bill Hollweg & Mat Weller Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  This story was first published in Lightspeed in March 2013 Sound effects for this story supplied by the[...] by Jake Kerr read by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson, Andrea Richardson, Bill Hollweg & Mat Weller Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  This story was first published in Lightspeed in March 2013 Sound effects for this story supplied by the following Freesound.org contributors: driet, lonemonk, Littleboot, klankbeeld, stevelalonde, blouhond, alexmol, bulbastre, Corsica_S, and gmarchisio Mentioned in the episode: narrators Bill Hollweg & Mat Weller are also appearing together in Brokensea Audio’s adaptation of the Planet of the Apes UK Stage Show and would love if you would give it a listen here: http://brokensea.com/potauk/ For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website… I began writing short fiction in 2010 after a long career as a music and radio industry columnist and journalist. The second story I wrote and the first one I published, “The Old Equations,” appeared in Lightspeed magazine and went on to be named a finalist for the Nebula Award and to be shortlisted for the StorySouth Million Writers and Theodore Sturgeon Memorial awards. I’ve subsequently been published in Fireside Magazine, Escape Pod, and the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology of humorous SF. I graduated from Kenyon College with degrees in English and Psychology. Kenyon not only taught me a love of reading and literature that will always be a part of my soul, it also gave me unique opportunities to be a better writer. While at Kenyon, I studied under writer-in-residence Ursula K. Le Guin and Peruvian playwright Alonso Alegria. Both have been big influences on how I approach writing. While I continue to write short fiction, I am currently working on my first novel.   Biographical Fragments of the Life of Julian Prince by Jake Kerr In the early twenty-first century, author Lesley Hauge wrote an essay entitled “we are what we leave behind” to little fanfare. In the wake of the Meyer Impact in 2023, amidst the coming to terms with the shock and loss, the essay was rediscovered and rose to prominence with a new understanding that all we may know about half the planet is what they left behind. Literary giant Julian Prince examined what–and more importantly–who we left behind. So it is entirely appropriate to examine his own life the way he examined those of the millions that died on that fateful day in 2023, by what he left behind–the interviews, the articles, his own words, and the words of others. These are the fragments that make up the whole.  For most of us that is all we have, and Prince knew that more than anyone. So… Julian Prince…  Julian Samuel Prince. He was born on March 18, 1989, and died on August 20, 2057. Prince was an American novelist, essayist, journalist, and political activist. His best works are widely considered to be the post-Impact novels The Grey Sunset (published in 2027) and Rhythms of Decline (published in 2029), both of which won the Pulitzer Prize. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2031. Prince was a pioneer of Impact Nihilism, a genre that embraced themes of helplessness and inevitable death in the aftermath of the Meyer Impact. His travelogue, Journey Into Hopelessness (published in 2026) outlined Prince’s return to North America, ostensibly to survey the damage to his home state of Texas. The book’s bleak and powerful language of loss and devastation influenced musicians, artists, and writers worldwide, giving voice to the genre as a counter to the rising wave of New Optimism, which sprang out of Europe as a response to the Meyer Impact and the enormous loss of life. Not much is known of Prince’s early life. He spoke rarely of his childhood, and with the loss of life and destruction of records during the Meyer Impact, little source material remains. What is known is that Prince was an only child, the son of Margaret Prince (maiden name unknown) and Sa[...] Podcasts Jake Kerr no no
EP423: Arena http://escapepod.org/2013/11/24/ep423-arena/ http://escapepod.org/2013/11/24/ep423-arena/#comments Sun, 24 Nov 2013 05:30:49 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4553 by Fredric Brown Read by Bill Bowman Links for this episode: This story was first published in the June 1944 issue of [Astounding] magazine Fredrick Brown on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… taken front he wiki about the author […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/11/24/ep423-arena/feed/ 2 0:59:04 by Fredric Brown Read by Bill Bowman Links for this episode: This story was first published in the June 1944 issue of [Astounding] magazine Fredrick Brown on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narr[...] by Fredric Brown Read by Bill Bowman Links for this episode: This story was first published in the June 1944 issue of [Astounding] magazine Fredrick Brown on Amazon.com Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Fredric Brown About the Author… taken front he wiki about the author here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fredric_Brown Fredric Brown (October 29, 1906 – March 11, 1972) was an American science fiction and mystery writer. He was born in Cincinnati. He is perhaps best known for his use of humor and for his mastery of the “short short” form—stories of 1 to 3 pages, often with ingenious plotting devices and surprise endings. Humor and a somewhat postmodern outlook carried over into his novels as well. One of his stories, “Arena,” is officially credited for an adaptation as an episode of the landmark television series, Star Trek. About the Narrator… Bill Bowman last read for us in episode 391. Bill started voice acting on the Metamor City Podcast, and has wanted to do more ever since. He spends his days working at a library, where he is in charge of all things with plugs and troubleshooting the people who use them. He spends his nights with his wife, two active children, and two overly active canines and all that goes with that. The post EP423: Arena appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP423: Arena appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Frederic Brown no no
EP422: Deshaun Stevens’ Ship Log http://escapepod.org/2013/11/15/ep422-deshaun-stevens-ship-log/ http://escapepod.org/2013/11/15/ep422-deshaun-stevens-ship-log/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 05:38:10 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4546 by Marie Vibbert read by Alasdair Stuart Links for this episode: This is the first publication of this story The author’s story about the story: http://reasie.livejournal.com/663241.html Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s livejournal… I live with my husband Brian […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/11/15/ep422-deshaun-stevens-ship-log/feed/ 1 0:17:10 by Marie Vibbert read by Alasdair Stuart Links for this episode: This is the first publication of this story The author’s story about the story: http://reasie.livejournal.com/663241.html Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod s[...] by Marie Vibbert read by Alasdair Stuart Links for this episode: This is the first publication of this story The author’s story about the story: http://reasie.livejournal.com/663241.html Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s livejournal… I live with my husband Brian (married nine whole years and counting!), his brother John and two adorable cats, in a 1930s neo-colonial that we unworthy slobs do not keep up. I’m currently employed as the webmaster for the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. My hobbies include writing, I’m a member of the Cajun Sushi Hamsters from Hell – a science fiction writer’s group. Officially ‘turned pro’ last year and got a Nebula provisional ballot nomination to boot! I’m also an avid member of the Society for Creative Anachronism. I recently started playing football for the Cleveland Fusion, a women’s tackle football team.   Deshaun Stevens’ Ship Log By Marie Vibbert   Personal Log — January 1 Crunches–one and a very near half. Push-ups–none unless counting getting off floor Calories–lost count, but all from alcohol, so okay One year ago today I vowed I would not spend another year working on this stupid cruise ship.  One year ago my life was exactly as it is now, with exception of having a girlfriend. Trying to have a good sulk about lack of gf, but general suckatude of life winning.  Have spent all adult years–five of them–treading the same tract of “unexplored” space with end trip to rings of Neptune tacked on by tourist company as apology for boringness of unexplored space.  Have also set lighting and sound cues for thousand ungrateful musicians with combined talent of medium-sized shrub. (Is supposedly new tract of space each time, but how can anyone–especially easily-duped passengers who think cruise ship bands are good–tell the difference?) Current misery doubled by working with now-ex gf.  Attempts to avoid said ex at New Year’s party largely consisted of going back to punch bowl repeatedly.  May have sung love ballad composed in throes of self-pity at end of night. Memory foggy.  Hope everyone else’s is, too. Suspecting ship regulation against alcohol v. wise after all.  Hope they don’t read our logs. Resolutions: 1. Get New Job 2. Avoid romantic complications with Lido Deck Staff, especially boss, xgf, and cocktail waitresses with unfairly attractive hair. 3. Somehow, bearing number 2 in mind, get a new gf. 4. Exercise and update personal log every day **** January 15 Crunches–45 Push-ups–10 Humiliation of “Love Ballad” finally wearing down due to co-workers not having infinite time to devote to re-watching video clip recorded by jerk supervisor.  Wish someone else would hurry up and do something embarrassing to capture Lido Deck attention. New band contains certified hottie named Cyndee R.  Has body like type usually molded in plastic. Is utterly unlikely to notice mildly fit, intellectual, sadly single lighting and sound engineer, but hope springs eternal. Have decided to shave beard and do 400 crunches every day. **** January 16 Fifty is an acceptable number of crunches to do in one day.  Anything higher uncivilized and leads to back injury which prevents both successful completion of job and ability to impress Cyndee. ***** January 22 Crunches–30 Push ups–25 Salisbury Steak Day lures me from monk-like asceticism engendered by hope of impressing hottie.  Must some day make pilgrimage to Salisbury.  Imagine fields of mushroom gravy v. picturesque. Not too concerned about diet as have abs of steel–if steel is made of flabby pain. Still no notice from Cyndee R, who has more talent than entire history of cruise ship performers and eyes that catch number five cerulean light beaut[...] Podcasts Marie Vibbert yes no
EP421: Bright Moment http://escapepod.org/2013/11/10/ep421-bright-moment/ http://escapepod.org/2013/11/10/ep421-bright-moment/#comments Sun, 10 Nov 2013 05:51:28 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4540 by Daniel Marcus read by Mr. Lee Links for this episode: More by Daniel Marcus Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the author… Daniel Marcus has published stories in many literary and genre venues, including Witness, Asimov’s […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/11/10/ep421-bright-moment/feed/ 0 0:42:55 by Daniel Marcus read by Mr. Lee Links for this episode: More by Daniel Marcus Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the[...] by Daniel Marcus read by Mr. Lee Links for this episode: More by Daniel Marcus Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the author… Daniel Marcus has published stories in many literary and genre venues, including Witness, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy, ZYZZYVA, and Fantasy and Science Fiction. Some of these have been collected in Binding Energy (Elastic Press, 2008).   He is the author of two novels: Burn Rate (2009), and A Crack In Everything(2011). Daniel was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.  His non-fiction has appeared in Wired, Boing-Boing, the San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere, he has taught in the creative writing program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is currently a member of the online faculty at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. After a spectacularly unsuccessful career attempt as a saxophonist, Daniel earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, has worked as an applied mathematician at the Lawrence Livermore Lab, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, and has authored numerous articles in the applied mathematics and computational physics literature. Daniel then turned his attention to the private sector, where for the last 15 years, he has built and managed systems and software in a variety of problem domains and organizational settings. About the Narrator… Our narrator this week is Mr. Lee, who makes industrial music for fun, but not much money.  You can find his stuff by googling “love songs about hate”.   Bright Moment by Daniel Marcus Arun floated in the ammonia swells, one arm around the buoyant powersled, waiting. He’d blocked all his feeds and chats, public and private, and silenced his alerts. He felt deliciously alone. His ears were filled with the murmuring white noise of his own blood flow, intimate and oceanic, pulsing with his heartbeat. Metis was a bright diamond directly overhead. Athena hung just above the near, flat horizon, her rings a plaited bow spanning the purple sky. Persistent storms pocked her striated surface, appearing deceptively static from thirty kiloklicks out. Arun had negotiated the edgewalls of those storms more than once, setting up metahelium deep-mining rigs. A host of descriptive words came to mind, but “static” was not among them. The sea undulated slowly in the low gee, about 0.6 Standard. The distant shape of a skyhook was traced out by a pearlstring of lights reaching up from the horizon and disappearing into distance haze, blinking in synchronization to suggest upwards motion. The skyhook was the only point of reference for scale. He shuddered involuntarily. His e-field distributed warmth to his body extremities from the tiny pack at the small of his back and maintained his blood oxygenation, but bobbing in the swell, alone in the vast sea, he felt cold and a little dizzy. He wanted to breathe and felt a fleeting instant of lizard-brain panic. The current began to tug at his feet long before he saw the humped swell bowing the horizon upwards, a slight backward drift, accelerating slowly. His heart began beating faster as he clambered belly down onto the power sled. He drifted back towards the swell, slowly at first, then faster. He looked over his shoulder at the rising wall of liquid. It appeared solid, like moving metal, completely blocking the sky. He imagined he could feel wind tugging at his e-field. Arun felt a vibration through the powersled, a vast low frequency murmur, the world-ocean getting ready to kick his ass. Just as he was about to be sucked beneath the monstrous swell, he activated the sled. He surged forward and stood as the sled began to accelerate up the face of the wave. He felt the sled’s stabilizers groaning beneath his feet as he [...] Podcasts Daniel Marcus yes no
Escape Artists Metacast Update http://escapepod.org/2013/11/06/ea-metacast-update/ http://escapepod.org/2013/11/06/ea-metacast-update/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 18:28:38 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4533 This quick episode is a round-up of the results of our recent Metacast to ask for subscriptions and donations hosted by Alasdair Stuart. Thank you so much for the initial response to the problems at Escape Artists! To review: 1. Escape Artists has a major cash problem. This has been caused by a massive increase […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/11/06/ea-metacast-update/feed/ 1 0:03:30 This quick episode is a round-up of the results of our recent Metacast to ask for subscriptions and donations hosted by Alasdair Stuart. Thank you so much for the initial response to the problems at Escape Artists! To review: 1. Escape Artists has a[...] This quick episode is a round-up of the results of our recent Metacast to ask for subscriptions and donations hosted by Alasdair Stuart. Thank you so much for the initial response to the problems at Escape Artists! To review: 1. Escape Artists has a major cash problem. This has been caused by a massive increase in the amount of listeners which has not been accompanied by an increase in donations. In fact those have started to decrease. This situation is unsustainable and we will close at the end of 2013 without a major increase in subscriptions. 2. Click anywhere on this line for the original 44 minute meta-cast from all three shows explaining this. 3. We need money. There are two ways to do this either by donating or subscribing. One off donations are lovely and we’re incredibly grateful. Subscriptions cost you much less and raise our base level of funds on a monthly basis. Those are going to help much more in the mid term. 4. This is Escape Pod’s Homepage. Click on the DONATE or SUBSCRIBE buttons on the right hand side. 5. This is Pseudopod’s Homepage. Click on the DONATE or SUBSCRIBE buttons on the right hand side. 6. This is the Podcastle Homepage. Click on the DONATE or SUBSCRIBE buttons on the right hand side. 7. Click here to donate via Dwolla. Our ID is 812-527-2340 The post Escape Artists Metacast Update appeared first on Escape Pod. The post Escape Artists Metacast Update appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts, Uncategorized Escape Pod no no
EP420: The Shunned Trailer http://escapepod.org/2013/11/01/ep420-shunned-trailer/ http://escapepod.org/2013/11/01/ep420-shunned-trailer/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 04:10:19 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4530 by Esther Friesner read by Norm Sherman Links for this episode: More by Esther Friesner Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the author… Esther Mona Friesner-Stutzman, née Friesner (born July 16, 1951) is a prolific American science […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/11/01/ep420-shunned-trailer/feed/ 5 0:51:14 by Esther Friesner read by Norm Sherman Links for this episode: More by Esther Friesner Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki [...] by Esther Friesner read by Norm Sherman Links for this episode: More by Esther Friesner Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the author… Esther Mona Friesner-Stutzman, née Friesner (born July 16, 1951) is a prolific American science fiction and fantasy author. She is best known for her humorous style of writing, both in the titles and the works themselves. Friesner attended the Hunter College High School, a public magnet high school in New York City, as well as Vassar College. She holds a Ph.D. in Spanish and was a college professor at Yale University before becoming a writer. In addition to short stories, Friesner has published a number of novels and is a prolific editor of anthologies. Among her recent books are Nobody’s Princess, which takes the Greek legend of Helen of Sparta and gives it a new beginning, and its sequel, Nobody’s Prize. She is a frequent guest of honor at science fiction conventions, having appeared at Bubonicon, Arisia, Boskone, Baycon and Albacon in the 1990s and into the 21st century. Friesner is credited as one of the founders of a parody movement in the 1980s called cyberprep. Friesner was named Outstanding New Fantasy Writer by Romantic Times in 1986. She won the Skylark Award in 1994. She has been nominated a number of times for the Hugo and Nebula awards, winning the Nebula Award for Best Short Story in 1995 and 1996 for, respectively, “Death and the Librarian” and “A Birth Day”. The post EP420: The Shunned Trailer appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP420: The Shunned Trailer appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Esther Friesner no no
EP419: Expediter http://escapepod.org/2013/10/28/ep419-expediter/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/28/ep419-expediter/#comments Mon, 28 Oct 2013 05:15:07 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4518 by Mack Reynolds read by Corson Bremer Links for this episode: More by Mack Reynolds Mentioned in this episode – Roadside Picnic Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the author… From 1946-49, Reynolds worked as a national […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/10/28/ep419-expediter/feed/ 2 1:21:51 by Mack Reynolds read by Corson Bremer Links for this episode: More by Mack Reynolds Mentioned in this episode – Roadside Picnic Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedi[...] by Mack Reynolds read by Corson Bremer Links for this episode: More by Mack Reynolds Mentioned in this episode – Roadside Picnic Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the wiki about the author… From 1946-49, Reynolds worked as a national organizer for the SLP. In 1946, he made his first fiction sale, “What is Courage?”, to Esquire magazine. A year later, he met a woman who shared his radical politics, Helen Jeanette Wooley. They were married in September of 1947, and Jeanette agreed to support Reynolds for two years while he pursued a career as a writer for the detective pulps. After searching for a place with a low cost of living, they moved to Taos, New Mexico, where Reynolds met science fiction writers Walt Sheldon and Fredric Brown. Brown, later one of Reynolds’ frequent collaborators, convinced Reynolds to shift from writing detective stories to writing science fiction. Reynolds’ first sale of a science fiction story, “Last Warning” (also known as “The Galactic Ghost”), sold to Planet Stories in June 1949 but was not printed until 1954. His first published science fiction story, “Isolationist” appeared in Fantastic Adventures in June of 1950.[3] His career soon took off, resulting in a sale of 18 stories in 1950 alone.[1] In 1951, he published his first novel, The Case of the Little Green Men, a mix of the murder-mystery and science fiction genres that became “an instant classic of science-fiction-fan related fiction.” About the Narrator… Corson loves audio drama, dramatic readings, everything BBC 4 produces, SF, fantasy, horror, and tropical beaches.  (He doesn’t like Pina Coladas, but vodka straight up, turns him on.)  Corson works as a professional voice artist in a variety of fields but (occasionally) moonlights as a techncial writer or a French-to-English technical translator.  His website is HCBVoice.com but he is astonished and proud to be also listed as an actor on the IMDB website and also proud to give his time whenever possible to Escape Artists!  Quote: “Contribute to EA guys!”       Expediter by Mack Reynolds His assignment was to get things done; he definitely did so. Not quite the things intended, perhaps, but definitely done. *       *       *       *       * The knock at the door came in the middle of the night, as Josip Pekic had always thought it would. He had been but four years of age when the knock had come that first time and the three large men had given his father a matter of only minutes to dress and accompany them. He could barely remember his father. The days of the police state were over, so they told you. The cult of the personality was a thing of the past. The long series of five-year plans and seven-year plans were over and all the goals had been achieved. The new constitution guaranteed personal liberties. No longer were you subject to police brutality at the merest whim. So they told you. But fears die hard, particularly when they are largely of the subconscious. And he had always, deep within, expected the knock. He was not mistaken. The rap came again, abrupt, impatient. Josip Pekic allowed himself but one chill of apprehension, then rolled from his bed, squared slightly stooped shoulders, and made his way to the door. He flicked on the light and opened up, even as the burly, empty faced zombi there was preparing to pound still again. There were two of them, not three as he had always dreamed. As three had come for his father, more than two decades before. His father had been a rightist deviationist, so the papers had said, a follower of one of whom Josip had never heard in any other context other than his father’s trial and later execution. But he had not cracked under whatever pressures had been exerted upon him, and of that his son was proud. He had not cracked, and in later years, when the cu[...] Podcasts Mack Reynolds no no
The Escape Artists Situation: TL;DR Version http://escapepod.org/2013/10/26/escape-artists-situation-tldr-version/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/26/escape-artists-situation-tldr-version/#comments Sat, 26 Oct 2013 14:03:04 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4522 Re-posted from http://www.alasdairstuart.com/?p=1611 Thank you so much for the initial response to the problems at Escape Artists. As per several requests, this is the TL:DR version of the situation. 1. Escape Artists has a major cash problem. This has been caused by a massive increase in the amount of listeners which has not been accompanied by […]

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EA Fundraiser – Weird Fiction Night Montreal http://escapepod.org/2013/10/24/ea-fundraiser-weird-fiction-night-montreal/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/24/ea-fundraiser-weird-fiction-night-montreal/#comments Thu, 24 Oct 2013 19:11:31 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4516 A little message from our darker brethren… HELLO ALL! Craig Mackie is holding a fund-raiser for ESCAPE ARTISTS in Montreal this Friday, October 25, 2013. There will be live readings of weird fiction by Eric Lis, Marta Barnes, Gregg Chamberlin, Dean Garlick and Rob Kimsey. By Donation. A fund-raiser for three fantastic sister podcasts: Pseudopod, […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/10/24/ea-fundraiser-weird-fiction-night-montreal/feed/ 0 0:01:19 A little message from our darker brethren… HELLO ALL! Craig Mackie is holding a fund-raiser for ESCAPE ARTISTS in Montreal this Friday, October 25, 2013. There will be live readings of weird fiction by Eric Lis, Marta Barnes, Gregg Chamberlin,[...] A little message from our darker brethren… HELLO ALL! Craig Mackie is holding a fund-raiser for ESCAPE ARTISTS in Montreal this Friday, October 25, 2013. There will be live readings of weird fiction by Eric Lis, Marta Barnes, Gregg Chamberlin, Dean Garlick and Rob Kimsey. By Donation. A fund-raiser for three fantastic sister podcasts: Pseudopod, Podcastle and Escape Pod. https://www.facebook.com/events/255534427929123/?ref_dashboard_filter=calendar Please check it out if you can! Shawn Garrett Editor, Pseudopod The post EA Fundraiser – Weird Fiction Night Montreal appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EA Fundraiser – Weird Fiction Night Montreal appeared first on Escape Pod. Bonus, Podcasts Escape Pod no no
EP418: The Dala Horse http://escapepod.org/2013/10/18/ep418-dala-horse/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/18/ep418-dala-horse/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 04:57:04 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4511 by Michael Swanwick read by Michael Liebmann Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Michael Swanwick has received the Hugo, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards for his work. Stations of the Tide was honored with […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/10/18/ep418-dala-horse/feed/ 0 0:41:58 by Michael Swanwick read by Michael Liebmann Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Michael Swanwick About the Author… Michae[...] by Michael Swanwick read by Michael Liebmann Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Michael Swanwick About the Author… Michael Swanwick has received the Hugo, Nebula, Theodore Sturgeon, and World Fantasy Awards for his work. Stations of the Tide was honored with the Nebula Award and was also nominated for the Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Awards. “The Edge of the World,” was awarded the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award in 1989. It was also nominated for both the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. “Radio Waves” received the World Fantasy Award in 1996. “The Very Pulse of the Machine” received the Hugo Award in 1999, as did “Scherzo with Tyrannosaur” in 2000. His stories have appeared in Omni, Penthouse, Amazing, Asimov’s, High Times, New Dimensions, Starlight, Universe, Full Spectrum, Triquarterly and elsewhere. . His books include In the Drift, an Ace Special; Vacuum Flowers; Griffin’s Egg; Stations of the Tide; The Iron Dragon’s Daughter, a New York Times Notable Book, and Jack Faust; his short fiction has been collected in Gravity’s Angels, A Geography of Unknown Lands, Moon Dogs, Tales of Old Earth, and a collection of short-shorts, Cigar-Box Faust and Other Miniatures. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Marianne Porter, and their son, Sean. About the Narrator… Born in New York, Michael Liebmann is a legal secretary now living in Atlanta, Georgia.  He has been everything from a convention organizer today to a trivia master at science fiction conventions in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  He’s also an amateur voice actor who has worked on over 40 projects, most of which are based on Star Trek, and is now at work on the Babylon 5 fan audio drama Novo Babylonia.   The Dala Horse by Michael Swanwick Something terrible had happened. Linnea did not know what it was. But her father had looked pale and worried, and her mother had told her, very fiercely, “Be brave!” and now she had to leave, and it was all the result of that terrible thing. The three of them lived in a red wooden house with steep black roofs by the edge of the forest. From the window of her attic room, Linnea could see a small lake silver with ice very far away. The design of the house was unchanged from all the way back in the days of the Coffin People, who buried their kind in beautiful polished boxes with metal fittings like nothing anyone made anymore. Uncle Olaf made a living hunting down their coffin-sites and salvaging the metal from them. He wore a necklace of gold rings he had found, tied together with silver wire. “Don’t go near any roads,” her father had said. “Especially the old ones.” He’d given her a map. “This will help you find your grandmother’s house.” “Mor-Mor?” “No, Far-Mor. My mother. In Godastor.” Godastor was a small settlement on the other side of the mountain. Linnea had no idea how to get there. But the map would tell her. Her mother gave her a little knapsack stuffed with food, and a quick hug. She shoved something deep in the pocket of Linnea’s coat and said, “Now go! Before it comes!” “Good-bye, Mor and Far,” Linnea had said formally, and bowed. Then she’d left. So it was that Linnea found herself walking up a long, snowy slope, straight up the side of the mountain. It was tiring work, but she was a dutiful little girl. The weather was harsh, but whenever she started getting cold, she just turned up the temperature of her coat. At the top of the slope she came across a path, barely wide enough for one person, and so she followed it onward. It did not occur to her that this might be one of the roads her father had warned her against. She did not wonder at the fact that it was completely bare of snow. After a while, though, Linnea began to grow tired. So she took off her knapsack and dropped it in the snow alongside t[...] Podcasts Michael Swanwick no no
Escape Artists Metacast http://escapepod.org/2013/10/13/escape-artists-metacast/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/13/escape-artists-metacast/#comments Sun, 13 Oct 2013 21:10:14 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4507 An urgent update on the status of Escape Artists, its three podcasts, our plans for the future and why we desperately need your help getting there.   Escape Artists, Inc. P.O. Box 83 Woodstock, GA 30188 Additional music provided by D-Form – http://www.reverbnation.com/dform Sound effects provided by users kasa90 (http://freesound.org/people/kasa90/) and TasmanianPower (http://freesound.org/people/TasmanianPower/) of FreeSound.org

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http://escapepod.org/2013/10/13/escape-artists-metacast/feed/ 23 0:44:51 An urgent update on the status of Escape Artists, its three podcasts, our plans for the future and why we desperately need your help getting there.   Escape Artists, Inc. P.O. Box 83 Woodstock, GA 30188 Additional music provided by D-Form [...] An urgent update on the status of Escape Artists, its three podcasts, our plans for the future and why we desperately need your help getting there.   Escape Artists, Inc. P.O. Box 83 Woodstock, GA 30188 Additional music provided by D-Form – http://www.reverbnation.com/dform Sound effects provided by users kasa90 (http://freesound.org/people/kasa90/) and TasmanianPower (http://freesound.org/people/TasmanianPower/) of FreeSound.org The post Escape Artists Metacast appeared first on Escape Pod. The post Escape Artists Metacast appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts Escape Pod no no
EP417: Southpaw http://escapepod.org/2013/10/11/ep417-southpaw/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/11/ep417-southpaw/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 05:12:43 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4501 by Bruce McAllister read by bdoomed Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in  Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 1993. Subsequently in Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… His literary and genre fiction has appeared in national […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/10/11/ep417-southpaw/feed/ 0 0:38:45 by Bruce McAllister read by bdoomed Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in  Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 1993. Subsequently in Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Esca[...] by Bruce McAllister read by bdoomed Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in  Asimov’s Science Fiction, August 1993. Subsequently in Roads Not Taken: Tales of Alternate History. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Bruce McAllister About the Author… His literary and genre fiction has appeared in national magazines, literary quarterlies, college textbooks and ‘year’s best’ anthologies. His second novel, Dream Baby, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship winner, was called a “stunning tour de force” by Publishers Weekly. His fiction has been translated widely and received national awards and notable mentions in the New York Times, other U.S. newspapers, U.S. and foreign magazines and journals, and reference works. His poetry and experimental work have appeared in literary quarterlies and anthologies; he has co-edited magazines and anthologies; and his articles on popular science, writing craft and sports have appeared in publications like Life, International Wildlife, The Writer and newspapers across the country. – See more at: http://www.mcallistercoaching.com/#sthash.iZUdcA2z.dpuf. Narrator and half-committed nudist, bdoomed About the Narrator… Brian Lieberman is a Tralfamadorian disguised as a human, and other times disguised as one of the many horrors over at Pseudopod.  He lives in Florida with his girlfriend and gerbil.  One day he’ll be rich and take over the world … or donate a large sum of money to Escape Artists and other great projects, whichever is easier.   Southpaw by Bruce McAllister Eventually New York Giants’ scout Alex Pompez got the authorization from their front office to offer Castro a contact. After several days of deliberation with friends, family, and some of his professors, Castro turned down the offer. The Giants’ officials were stunned. “No one had ever turned us down from Latin America before,” recalled Pompez. “Castro said no, but in his very polite way. He was really a very nice kid. . . .”—J. David Truby, Sports History, November 1988   Fidel stands on the pitcher’s mound, dazed. For an instant he doesn’t know where he is. It is a pitcher’s mound. It is a baseball diamond, and there is a woman—the woman he loves—out there in the stands with her beautiful blonde hair and her very American name waving to him, because she loves him, too. It is July. He is sure of this. It is ’51 or ’52. He cannot remember which. But the crowd is as big as ever and he can smell the leather of his glove, and he knows he is playing baseball—the way, as a child in the sugarcane fields of Oriente Province, he always dreamed he might.   His fastball is a problem, but he throws one anyway, it breaks wide and the ump calls the ball. He throws a curve this time, a fine one, and it’s a strike—the third. He grins at Westrum, his catcher, his friend. The next batter’s up. Fidel feels an itching on his face and reaches up to scratch it. It feels like the beginning of a beard, but that can’t be. You keep a clean face in baseball. He tried to tell his father that, in Oriente, the last time he went home, but the old man, as always, had just argued. He delivers another curve—with great control—and smiles when the ball drops off the table and Sterling swings like an idiot. He muscles up on the pitch, blows the batter down with a heater, but Williams gets a double off the next slider, Miller clears the bases with a triple, and they bring Wilhelm in to relieve him at last. The final score is 9 to 4, just like the oddsmakers predicted, and that great centerfielder Mays still won’t look at him in the lockers.   Nancy—her name is Nancy—is waiting for him at the back entrance when he’s in his street clothes again, the flowered shirt and the white ducks he likes best, and she looks wonderful. She’s chewing gum, which drives him[...] Podcasts Bruce McAllister yes no
EP416: On the Big Fisted Circuit http://escapepod.org/2013/10/06/ep416-big-fisted-circuit/ http://escapepod.org/2013/10/06/ep416-big-fisted-circuit/#comments Sun, 06 Oct 2013 05:26:17 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4482 by Cat Rambo read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/10/06/ep416-big-fisted-circuit/feed/ 0 0:26:25 by Cat Rambo read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Cat[...] by Cat Rambo read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: This story originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Cat Rambo About the Author… Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story, “Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain,” from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction and information about her popular online writing classes, see http://www.kittywumpus.net. Narrator Shaelyn Grey About the Narrator… Shaelyn Grey has been active in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, mainly as a singer and actor.  Recently she has expanded into voice over work and is currently a part of the cast of Aurelia: Edge of Darkness, which is an online interactive web series.  Shaelyn plays the part of Thais ven Derrivalle, a self centered member of the aristocracy who is more concerned about her tea than her city’s loss of power.  Aurelia can be viewed at http://www.theatrics.com/aurelia and Shaelyn can be reached through shaelyngreyvocals.com.   On the Big Fisted Circuit by Cat Rambo Jane counted them again to make sure: twelve. Twelve signatures on the back panel, most jerky with haste, a couple deliberate and firm, one with a little flower above the i, for god’s sake. The pen in her hand ready to add the thirteenth. How blatant were they going to be? This was the biggest suit she’d ever crawled into. It meant money: money dripping through the wires around her, money in the gleaming metal struts, money being made by every step it took, money her family needed, every step a week’s rent and food if they were careful with it. She’d never hit a thirteenth signature before. Most rigs, even the monster ones like this, got destroyed long before a thirteenth fight. It wasn’t just the bad luck, it was dealing with machinery that had been damaged and repaired, damaged and repaired, until you didn’t know what was original body and what was filler. The sound of the crowd filtered into the suit. Most were screaming, “Coke! Coke! Coke!” as though they meant blood instead, shouts thrumming through the five railroad cars’ worth of metal surrounding her. Everyone knew what happened in a rig’s thirteenth fight. Sure, not every time, if a fighter had enough mojo to overcome the bad luck. But who needed to ride odds like that in a fight? Plenty to think about then without having to listen for the black cat’s squawl. Unless you’d already closed your ears to the sound, choosing to listen to cash’s siren song. “Everything okay?” Herk poked his head into the interior, but came no further. Day of a fight, the suit’s wearer didn’t really want anyone else in the control cavity, the suit’s heart, even with the struts retracted so there was enough room for a couple of people to wiggle around. “It’s a thirteenth,” she said. Her mechanic paused. The red and green and blue of the interior lights played over Herkimer Smith’s face, scarred with sparks and the blow that had ended his own career. Jane had figured Herk wanted her to succeed, but it couldn’t feel all that fine, seeing someone brushing past you on the path you’d figured you’d be treading. And that blow had come while wearing a suit in its thirteenth battle, fighting for a breakfast cereal they didn’t make anymore. “You want out?” Herk finally said. “Not an option,” Jane said, her voice as flat as a past-due bill’s r[...] Podcasts Cat Rambo yes no
EP415: The Nightmare Lights of Mars http://escapepod.org/2013/09/27/ep415-nightmare-lights-mars/ http://escapepod.org/2013/09/27/ep415-nightmare-lights-mars/#comments Fri, 27 Sep 2013 04:30:02 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4468 by Brian Trent read by Veronica Giguere Links for this episode: This story has not been published previously. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Brian Trent is a 2013 winner in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/09/27/ep415-nightmare-lights-mars/feed/ 0 0:40:05 by Brian Trent read by Veronica Giguere Links for this episode: This story has not been published previously. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Brian Trent Abo[...] by Brian Trent read by Veronica Giguere Links for this episode: This story has not been published previously. Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Brian Trent About the Author… Brian Trent is a 2013 winner in the L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Competition for his story “War Hero,” and has sold work to Apex, Daily Science Fiction, COSMOS, Galaxy’s Edge, Strange Horizons, and Clarkesworld. Trent resides in Connecticut where, in addition to writing science-fiction novels, he works in film. His website is briantrent.com. Veronica Giguere About the Narrator… from her own website… Veronica is a voiceover artist whose foray into podcasting and audiobooks began with the heroic science fiction series, The Secret World Chronicle in mid-2006. While she continues to work with The Secret World Chronicle series, she is also the voice of Jill Woodbine for the new series from the Parsec-winning HG World,’The Diary of Jill Woodbine.’   The Nightmare Lights of Mars by Brian Trent Before discovering the moths, Clarissa Lang stumbled blind in the Martian sandstorm and admitted she was about to die because of a painting. Granules of sand flew past her head at 90 kph and crunched between her teeth. The storm hissed around her ears, a terrible insistence that she hush forever. There was no excuse for this death, Clarissa thought. Weather advisories had been in place for an hour. Her death would become a digital footnote, filed under foolishness, for all time. She staggered blind and tacked through the needle-spray. Red sand piled around her neck and shoulders, grew around her mouth like exaggerated lipstick. “Overlay!” she shouted — tried to shout — but her mouth instantly filled with gritty particulate. She panicked then, the first moment of true mindless panic. But the Martian Positioning Satellite had heard her cry: Maureen’s property map sprang up in her left eye, drawn scarlet against each blink. The house was thirty meters northwest. Upwind. Clarissa tucked herself into a protective ball and scuttled sideways, like a crab. The sand struck her exposed hands and face in a shifting, relentless wave. _I’ll never make it._ Clarissa could no longer breathe. A recent story from the Japanese colony in Cydonia leapt to her mind, in which a grandmother had been caught outside in a sandstorm, wandered around in circles for ten minutes in the hissing tempest, and finally suffocated _an arm’s length from her front door._ When they found her, her stomach, throat, and mouth were bulging with sand. The toolshed! I can make the tool shed! Clarissa turned away from her house and the full brunt of the sandstorm slammed into her back, tearing the jacket, spraying around her body in silhouette. For a fleeting instant, she was able to suck clean air into her lungs. Then the sand closed around her again. She ran downwind, following the MPS overlay, and tripped over a tree-stump – all that remained of the maple her wife had heat-lanced a week ago. Clarissa fell and rolled, her face briefly showered in needle-spray, and then she was on her feet again, running, weeping, not looking back. In three bounds she was at the shed. She grabbed the door handle and pulled.  It was locked. The shed was slotted to Maureen’s biometrics. Clarissa pounded the door furiously. There was only one chance left. She felt along the shed walls and reached the back as a muddy, bloody figure. With the last reserves of wild strength, she battered herself against the window. The glasstic was shatter-proof, but it popped from its molding and she fell atop its reflective surface, safe and shivering in the shed. Musty air filled her lungs. Maureen’s tools hung like hunting trophies on the walls. Clarissa weakly felt for the box of algae flares, pried the lid up, and struck it against the glass sheet beneath her. The shed blazed in bright emera[...] Podcasts Brian Trent yes no
EP414: Knowing http://escapepod.org/2013/09/21/ep414-knowing/ http://escapepod.org/2013/09/21/ep414-knowing/#comments Sat, 21 Sep 2013 18:38:57 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4464 by Matt Wallace Read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from Amazon.com… A screenwriter, novelist, and the award-winning author of over one hundred short stories, Matt spent a decade traveling the western hemisphere as a […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/09/21/ep414-knowing/feed/ 2 0:40:07 by Matt Wallace Read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Matt Wallace About the Author… from Amaz[...] by Matt Wallace Read by Mat Weller Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Author Matt Wallace About the Author… from Amazon.com… A screenwriter, novelist, and the award-winning author of over one hundred short stories, Matt spent a decade traveling the western hemisphere as a professional wrestler and combat instructor before retiring to write full-time. He now resides in Los Angeles and bleeds exclusively on the blank page. He has no actual knowledge of the answer to life, the universe, and everything. But he makes sure to ask every demon he meets, just in case.   Knowing  by Matt Wallace A grey pallor hung heavy over the landscape. Heaven’s fire had long gone out, leaving the sky a cold hearth. The ashen soot that covered it might once have been the burning ember of eons, but now its livid color irradiated the early dawn. It soaked every molecule of air like a pale leaden necrosis, existing independently of the season, fostering neither cold nor heat. A caravan of old cars rambled through the grey morning, balding tires rolling over the broken disrepair of State Highway 24. Chrysler Imperials and winged hatchback Newports, Chevy Chevelles and Novas and flatbed El Caminos, Dodge Darts and Coronets, Ford Fairlanes and Falcons, Lincoln Comets and Continentals, Olds Eighty-Eights and Cutlass Supremes; early 1960’s vintages, all. They traveled toward Oneonta, the Northern New York town whose name was taken from the Iroquois word for a place of meeting. The Earth’s reclamation of its wilderness in post-nuclear North America continued. Lush foliage blurred as the cars headed deep into the rural upstate, creating rich green wraiths in their murky windows that danced and swooped and curved. The lead car, a Dodge Charger that outshined the rest by miles, would reach Gilboa around breakfast time. There the wind blew warm through the world’s oldest forest. There they’d been called. There they’d find the Answer. ~ The demon’s name was Malphas, and he cursed them all in a foul stream of half-a-dozen dead and dying languages. His voice sounded like strands of steel wool being pulled through intestines. After a treatise in multi-lingual blasphemy that lasted almost half-an-hour, he began speaking to them in English. “Pig-fucking whore masters of a Gomorrhan slum! Corroded cock-peeling corpus cavernosum! Your libation is the sour milk of hermaphroditic mares!” He struggled against the meaty, Kevlar-wrapped footmen holding him to the base of the fossil tree, but earthbound demons are among the frailest of creatures. His milky, ink-veined arms looked utterly childlike encircled in the gloved hands of his captors. “You stimulate hemorrhoid-ridden goat ani with fingertips dipped in placenta butter! The cur tongues of your mothers are the mercy strummers of harpy clitorides!” They’d unearthed Malphas some time before noon. Maxon’s crew were hours splitting the bark of the forest’s ancient inhabitants, cracking the trunks where demons made their homes. They liked the old things, the decaying things. Father Kilbride mixed tea with a porcelain travel kit he kept tucked away under the shoulder cape of his Catholic priest’s cassock. “Corpus cavernosum?” the Irish priest asked the assemblage at large, absently. Most of his concentration was aimed at sprinkling petrified leaves the color of jaundiced flesh into a doll-sized cup. “In males the corpus cavernosum is spongy erectile tissue that functions as capillaries during the arousal process,” Meta explained. Father Kilbride nodded, only half-hearing. His swollen, liver spotted hands shook as they attempted to manipulate the dried tealeaves. They did not simply shake; they were wracked with junkie tremors. Into the miniaturized teacup he poured water from a heated thermos. Ghostly fingers of steam curled up as it hit the leaves. Instead of sugar cubes, Kilbr[...] Podcasts Matt Wallace yes no
EP413: Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers http://escapepod.org/2013/09/14/ep413-why-i-left-harrys-all-night-hamburgers/ http://escapepod.org/2013/09/14/ep413-why-i-left-harrys-all-night-hamburgers/#comments Sat, 14 Sep 2013 04:39:20 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4457 by Lawrence Watt-Evans Read by Jonathon Hawkins Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from Amazon.com… I’ve been writing fantasy for thirty years… no, my fantasy’s been published for thirty years. I’ve been writing it since I was […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/09/14/ep413-why-i-left-harrys-all-night-hamburgers/feed/ 1 0:35:25 by Lawrence Watt-Evans Read by Jonathon Hawkins Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Lawrence Watt-Evans About the Author…[...] by Lawrence Watt-Evans Read by Jonathon Hawkins Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page Lawrence Watt-Evans About the Author… from Amazon.com… I’ve been writing fantasy for thirty years… no, my fantasy’s been published for thirty years. I’ve been writing it since I was eight. It’s what I always wanted to do for a living, and I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to manage that. I try to write fantasy with an element of common sense to it — not so much mythic archetypes as sensible people. Other than my job, my life’s pretty ordinary — a nice house in a quiet neighborhood, a wife, two grown kids, and an overweight cat. About the Narrator… Jonathon Hawkins is a public school teacher in Madison, Wisconsin, where he spent a decade or so introducing Greek and Norse myth to middle-schoolers. Now teaching computer tech, he’s reading here to keep in practice until his toddler and new infant are ready to hear all about Loki, Artemis, and Papa Cthulhu.   Why I Left Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers by Lawrence Watt-Evans Harry’s was a nice place — probably still is. I haven’t been back lately. It’s a couple of miles off I-79, a few exits north of Charleston, near a place called Sutton. Used to do a pretty fair amount of business until they finished building the Interstate out from Charleston and made it worthwhile for some fast-food joints to move in right next to the cloverleaf; nobody wanted to drive the extra miles to Harry’s after that. Folks used to wonder how old Harry stayed in business, as a matter of fact, but he did all right even without the Interstate trade. I found that out when I worked there. Why did I work there, instead of at one of the fast-food joints? Because my folks lived in a little house just around the corner from Harry’s, out in the middle of nowhere — not in Sutton itself, just out there on the road. Wasn’t anything around except our house and Harry’s place. He lived out back of his restaurant. That was about the only thing I could walk to in under an hour, and I didn’t have a car. This was when I was sixteen. I needed a job, because my dad was out of work again and if I was gonna do anything I needed my own money. Mom didn’t mind my using her car — so long as it came back with a full tank of gas and I didn’t keep it too long. That was the rule. So I needed some work, and Harry’s All-Night Hamburgers was the only thing within walking distance. Harry said he had all the help he needed — two cooks and two people working the counter, besides himself. The others worked days, two to a shift, and Harry did the late night stretch all by himself. I hung out there a little, since I didn’t have anywhere else, and it looked like pretty easy work — there was hardly any business, and those guys mostly sat around telling dirty jokes. So I figured it was perfect. Harry, though, said that he didn’t need any help. I figured that was probably true, but I wasn’t going to let logic keep me out of driving my mother’s car. I did some serious begging, and after I’d made his life miserable for a week or two Harry said he’d take a chance and give me a shot, working the graveyard shift, midnight to eight A.M., as his counterman, busboy, and janitor all in one. I talked him down to 7:30, so I could still get to school, and we had us a deal. I didn’t care about school so much myself, but my parents wanted me to go, and it was a good place to see my friends, y’know? Meet girls and so on. So I started working at Harry’s, nights. I showed up at midnight the first night, and Harry gave me an apron and a little hat, like something from a diner in an old movie, sam[...] Podcasts Lawrence Watt-Evans no no
EP412: Thirty Seconds From Now http://escapepod.org/2013/09/05/ep412-thirty-seconds-from-now/ http://escapepod.org/2013/09/05/ep412-thirty-seconds-from-now/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 03:13:03 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4448 by John Chu Read by Joel Kenyon Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… John designs microprocessors by day and writes fiction by night. His work has been published at Boston Review, Asimov’s and Tor.com. His website is […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/09/05/ep412-thirty-seconds-from-now/feed/ 0 0:27:24 by John Chu Read by Joel Kenyon Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… John designs microprocessors by d[...] by John Chu Read by Joel Kenyon Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… John designs microprocessors by day and writes fiction by night. His work has been published at Boston Review, Asimov’s and Tor.com. His website is http://johnchu.net Joel Kenyon About the Narrator… Joel Kenyon is a veteran podcaster, writer, musician and artist. He’s currently a member of the 4 man comedy show, The Undercover Unitards and he also has a weekly independant music show called The Sunshine Happy Kpants Hour. When he’s not recording, he writes a movie review blog, occasionally draws an online comic, paints pictures, writes stories and attempts to make music with friends. Joel is not a fan, however, of writing in the third person perspective, so writing this bio was painful for him. Find him at: undercoverunitards.com, talkshoe.com/tc/113349, AMomentaryLapseWithJoel.blogspot.com or GregoryRobot.blogspot.com   Thirty Seconds from Now by John Chu One second from now, the bean bag will thunk into Scott’s left palm. From reflex, his fingers will wrap around it before he’ll toss it back up again. The trick of juggling lies not in the catch but in the toss. The bean bag will arc up from his right hand, but Scott sees his left hand blur now. Phantom left hands at the few places his left hand may be one second from now overlap with each other, and with his real left hand about a foot above the cold tile floor he’s sitting on. The same holds for the phantom bean bags. They overlap each other and the result looks nearly as cubic, red, and solid in the air, stark against the dorm room’s blank walls, as the bean bag does right now resting in Scott’s right hand. He’s making a good toss. This catch will be easy. His three bean bag cascade looks to him the way he imagines it must look to anyone else, well, if they were near-sighted and missing their glasses. When he makes a bad toss, translucent Scotts scatter across the room. They reach for the beds on either side of him, lunge for his or his roommate’s desk, and dive over his bed for the closet. They all stretch for the myriad translucent bean bags raining from the stucco ceiling. The bean bags threaten to knock over the desk lamps, bury themselves in the acting textbooks that line his closet shelf and smack against the window blinds. A desperate enough toss and a phantom bean bag may fly through the doorway into the hall. He does not need his time-skewed senses to know he will eventually make a bad toss. As hard as he tries to keep his sight solid, to make his life predictable, he will drop a bean bag. That’s why he’s sitting on the floor. It’s easier to pick up dropped bean bags that way. # Five seconds from now, someone will walk past the open door of his dorm room. Scott doesn’t recognize him. He’s just arrived at the university and can barely recognize his roommate, a long-haired rail of a man who left him to eat breakfast in the basement cafeteria. The man who will walk past the door is about the same height as the bulletin board across from Scott’s room. His thick body will block what he’s posting from view. His dark hair will lie on his head like a mane. Looking at the man’s back, Scott sees a rounded teddy bear quality to him. What attracts Scott, though, is the man’s clarity. Scott can read the man’s t-shirt. It lists films the Department of Media Studies screened at a festival this past summer. Five distinct fingers will splay to hold his flyer in place as the other hand pushes pins into the cork. His actions show none of the uncertainty, the blurriness that everyone else’s shows. It’s been years since anyone has looked so clear to him. The future is messy. Scott’s senses feed him all possible[...] Podcasts John Chu yes no
EP411: Loss, With Chalk Diagrams http://escapepod.org/2013/08/29/411-loss-with-chalk-diagrams/ http://escapepod.org/2013/08/29/411-loss-with-chalk-diagrams/#comments Fri, 30 Aug 2013 03:53:56 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4442 by E. Lily Yu Read by Eleiece Kraweic Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… E. Lily Yu is a fiction writer, poet, playwright, and game writer whose work has appeared or forthcoming in places such as Kenyon Review […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/08/29/411-loss-with-chalk-diagrams/feed/ 1 0:30:48 by E. Lily Yu Read by Eleiece Kraweic Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page E. Lily Yu About the Author… E. Lily Yu is a fi[...] by E. Lily Yu Read by Eleiece Kraweic Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page E. Lily Yu About the Author… E. Lily Yu is a fiction writer, poet, playwright, and game writer whose work has appeared or forthcoming in places such as Kenyon Review Online, Boston Review, Clarkesworld, and The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year. She is a recent graduate of Princeton University and an incoming doctoral student at Cornell. About the Narrator… Eleiece Krawiec lives in a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana. She began voice acting in early 2007, discovered how much she liked it, and is still going strong. She’s voiced (and continues to voice) characters for Star Trek: Excelsior, Star Trek: Outpost and a variety of characters for Misfits Audio. – See more at: http://escapepod.org/2013/05/09/ep395-robot/#sthash.5zoFdDFK.dpuf   Loss, with Chalk Diagrams by E. Lily Yu Never before in her life had Rebekah Moss turned to the rewirers, not as a tight-mouthed girl eavesdropping by closed doors on her parents’ iceberg drift toward divorce, nor after she heard with bowed head, her body as blushingly full as a magnolia bud, the doctor describing the scars that kept her from having Dom’s child. She took few risks and accepted all outcomes with equanimity. But when her old friend Linda was found beneath a park bridge in Quebec with her wrists slit lengthwise to the bone, leaving no note, no whisper of explanation, she hesitated only a moment before linking to the rewiring center. Saturday next was the first available appointment, a silvery voice informed her, and she took it. When she ended the call she wrapped her arms around her legs and tilted back and forth, blinking hard, her own breathing a foil rustle in her ears. She had been twelve years old when rewiring was first approved for use on a limited clinical population. The treatment involved a brew of sixteen neurotoxins finely tuned to leave normal motor, memory, and cognitive processes intact, burning out only those neural pathways associated with grief and trauma. It was recognized as a radical advancement in medicine, and the neuroscientists involved in its development had been decorated with medals, presidential visits, and a research foundation in their names. Her family supported her choice, of course. They pressed lemon tea and tissues and bitter chocolate upon her while she stumbled through the week, her whole world gone faint and gray and narrow. The sky seemed always clouded over, though she knew there was sunlight. She could not eat by herself. Dom fed her soup by hand and patted her rather awkwardly as she sobbed, both of them embarrassed by her access of sorrow. It was the only time in their marriage that she had cried… The post EP411: Loss, With Chalk Diagrams appeared first on Escape Pod. The post EP411: Loss, With Chalk Diagrams appeared first on Escape Pod. Podcasts E. Lily Yu no no
EP410: Nutshell http://escapepod.org/2013/08/23/ep410-nutshell/ http://escapepod.org/2013/08/23/ep410-nutshell/#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 05:07:42 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4437 by Jeffrey Wikstrom Read by Alasdair Stuart Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Jeffrey Wikstrom is a writer, registered patent agent, gamer, PhD chemist, and nerdly hobbyist.  This blog consists of material written on these interests and things relating […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/08/23/ep410-nutshell/feed/ 6 0:31:24 by Jeffrey Wikstrom Read by Alasdair Stuart Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Jeffrey Wikstrom is a write[...] by Jeffrey Wikstrom Read by Alasdair Stuart Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Jeffrey Wikstrom is a writer, registered patent agent, gamer, PhD chemist, and nerdly hobbyist.  This blog consists of material written on these interests and things relating to them; lately it’s mostly King Arthur.  After growing up in Arkansas and the Gulf Coast, he went to school in Boston and now lives in Wilmington DE, in a house he shares with his wife and their dogs. About the Narrator… I’ve worked as a magician, a rally marshal, a secretary, the world’s politest bouncer, and the manager of a comic/game store.   I’m now a freelance journalist, editor and podcaster and write regularly for SFX, Bleeding Cool, How It Works, Neo and Comic Heroes. I edit  Hub magazine (www.hubfiction.com), a free weekly PDF magazine covering science fiction, fantasy and horror with 10,000 readers that’s relaunching shortly and I host  Pseudopod (www.pseudopod.org), the weekly horror ficton podcast.   Nutshell by Jeffrey Wikstrom Carpet ocean, stretching over miles; hills and valleys and ravines, all upholstered.  The green indoor-outdoor gives way to blue, as land gives way to sea, but the texture never changes.  When it rains, as it sometimes does, the drops pass through the carpet without making contact, as though they or it aren’t really there.  It’s there enough for me to walk on, at least, though spongy in some places and firm in others, as though it conceals hidden frames or foundations.  Out on the blue carpet-sea, it feels stretched, tight, as though I walk on a drumhead.  Maybe if I cracked it open I would find a vast dark expanse of water, lit by undersea jack-o-lanterns and holes that show the sky without breaking up the carpet-underside ceiling. None of it is real, of course.  That probably goes without saying. It’s funny; I wasn’t supposed to experience time at all.  When they loaded us into the ship, we were told that the travel would be instantaneous from our perspectives.  One minute lying down in the big white plastic tombs, the next freshly decanted and opening raw new eyes.  We would transition seamlessly from fluorescents and anesthesia to the light of some distant new sun.  Certainly I have no memory of consciousness during departure.  I wouldn’t have wanted to be aware, during that dreadful acceleration which pulped our bones, and wrecked our flesh.  By then they had already guided us from our old bodies into the safety of simulation and storage. This curated world never bruises me or shows me sharp edges.  Trees are padded poles, slick vinyl trunks capped by rubbery green spheres fifteen, twenty feet up.  Stairsteps run up the hillsides, though even the steepest rises are shallow enough I don’t really need the footholds.  Fat plush toys, pink and green and blue, gambol across the plains and mimic living beasts grazing carpet-grass, or drinking from carpet-brooks.  They ignore me, even when I shove or punch them. Do I dream?  In dreaming, should I question my dream?  Should I feel some continuity of experience?  I can loop around, circle back and pass the same stand of vinyl tree-sculptures four times without noticing any discrepancies. Do I simply lack a capacity to recognize breaches of continuity?  Was that cottage always there? I think it wasn’t.  Still, it’s mine, and not unwelcome.  I know it. I don’t fear it.  A woolen cube, windowed and doored, with a taut wedge of canvas for a roof.  I press my hand into the salmon-colored exterior wall.  It sinks in a half-inch, and leaves a deep handprint that faded slowly.  The flannel texture of the wall exactly matches a blanket I remember from childhood, one just that shade of pink. The vast hall within stretches far too large to fit in that flannel cube exterior.   I step ont[...] Podcasts Jeff Wikstrom no no
Film Review: Chronicle http://escapepod.org/2013/08/19/film-review-chronicle/ http://escapepod.org/2013/08/19/film-review-chronicle/#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 14:00:57 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4431 I recently saw Man of Steel, and I have to say that I may actually have enjoyed Chronicle -- the story of three friends who gain superpowers -- more than that huge-budget film.

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EP409: Mantis Wives http://escapepod.org/2013/08/16/ep409-mantis-wives/ http://escapepod.org/2013/08/16/ep409-mantis-wives/#comments Fri, 16 Aug 2013 05:29:35 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4428 by Kij Johnson Read by Heather Bowman Tomlinson Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website… She taught writing and science fiction writing at Louisiana State University and at the University of Kansas, and she […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/08/16/ep409-mantis-wives/feed/ 0 0:19:08 by Kij Johnson Read by Heather Bowman Tomlinson Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s[...] by Kij Johnson Read by Heather Bowman Tomlinson Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website… She taught writing and science fiction writing at Louisiana State University and at the University of Kansas, and she has lectured on creativity and writing at bookstores and businesses across the country. From 1994 – 2003, she assisted at James Gunn’s Science Fiction Writer’s Workshop, hosted by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. Since 2004, Kij teaches the Center’s intensive Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel Writing Workshop. From 1999 – 2004, she taught a series of writing classes at the GenCon Game Fair. She taught at the 2011 Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop. As of 2012, Kij is Assistant Professor of Fiction Writing by the University of Kansas English Department. About the Narrator… “I’m a horticulturist by trade, current stay at home mom for two children, team mom for the local Goalball team, and advocate for Blind/Visually Impaired causes and adoption causes. I love D20 gaming, reading, camping and canoeing, card playing, and music.” This is her second time narrating for Escape Pod.   Mantis Wives by Kij Johnson “As for the insects, their lives are sustained only by intricate processes of fantastic horror.” —John Wyndham. Eventually, the mantis women discovered that killing their husbands was not inseparable from the getting of young. Before this, a wife devoured her lover piece by piece during the act of coition: the head (and its shining eyes going dim as she ate); the long green prothorax; the forelegs crisp as straws; the bitter wings. She left for last the metathorax and its pumping legs, the abdomen, and finally the phallus. Mantis women needed nutrients for their pregnancies; their lovers offered this as well as their seed. It was believed that mantis men would resist their deaths if permitted to choose the manner of their mating; but the women learned to turn elsewhere for nutrients after draining their husbands’ members, and yet the men lingered. And so their ladies continued to kill them, but slowly, in the fashioning of difficult arts. What else could there be between them? The Bitter Edge: A wife may cut through her husband’s exoskeletal plates, each layer a different pattern, so that to look at a man is to see shining, hard brocade. At the deepest level are visible pieces of his core, the hint of internal parts bleeding out. He may suggest shapes. The Eccentric Curve of His Thoughts: A wife may drill the tiniest hole into her lover’s head and insert a fine hair. She presses carefully, striving for specific results: a seizure, a novel pheromone burst, a dance that ends in self-castration. If she replaces the hair with a wasp’s narrow syringing stinger, she may blow air bubbles into his head and then he will react unpredictably. There is otherwise little he may do that will surprise her, or himself. What is the art of the men, that they remain to die at the hands of their wives? What is the art of the wives, that they kill? The Strength of Weight: Removing his wings, she leads him into the paths of ants. Unready Jewels: A mantis wife may walk with her husband across the trunks of pines, until they come to a trail of sap and ascend to an insect-clustered wound. Staying to the side, she presses him down until his legs stick fast. He may grow restless as the sap sheathes his body and wings. His eyes may not dim for some time. Smaller insects may cluster upon his honeyed body like ornaments. A mantis woman does not know why the men crave death, but she does not ask. Does she fear resistance? Does she hope for it? She has forgotten the ancient reasons for her acts, but in any case[...] Podcasts Kij Johnson no no
EP408: Immersion http://escapepod.org/2013/08/10/ep408-immersion/ http://escapepod.org/2013/08/10/ep408-immersion/#comments Sat, 10 Aug 2013 05:02:08 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4419 by Aliette de Bodard Read by Amy Robinson Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Aliette de Bodard is an award-winning speculative fiction writer. She is of French/Vietnamese descent, born in the USA, and grew up in Paris. […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/08/10/ep408-immersion/feed/ 0 0:43:25 by Aliette de Bodard Read by Amy Robinson Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Aliette de Bodard is an award[...] by Aliette de Bodard Read by Amy Robinson Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Aliette de Bodard is an award-winning speculative fiction writer. She is of French/Vietnamese descent, born in the USA, and grew up in Paris. French is her mother-tongue, but she writes in English. She studied in Paris in a prep course for the competitive exams which would enable her to enter an engineering school. After two years of intensive classes, Aliette was admitted into Ecole Polytechnique, one of France’s top engineering schools. During her class préparatoire, she started writing regularly, which enabled her to find a distraction from science. She completed two novels during her studies. Halfway through Ecole Polytechnique, she started writing short stories instead of novels, in order to improve faster–and went on writing those after she graduated. In June 2006, Aliette attended Orson Scott Card’s Literary Bootcamp, which enabled her to sharpen her skills, as well as come back with a wealth of information about the craft and the business of writing. Her writing took off after she won the Writers of the Future contest and got picked out of Interzone‘s slushpile by the inimitable Jetse de Vries; this marked the beginning of a growing number of sales, out of which several were made to semi-professional or professional markets. She was able to join SFWA as an Active Member in 2008, and became a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2009, narrowly losing to David Anthony Durham. Her first novel, Servant of the Underworld sold to HarperCollins imprint Angry Robot following a lucky break involving an agent, an editor and a delayed flight (see full story here at the Angry Robot website). About the Narrator… Amy Robinson is a trained professional voice actress. After spending years doing amateur theatre and countless hours creating back stories and unique voices for each D&D character she rolled up while playing with friends, she decided it was time to take the leap into professional acting. She sought out further voiceover training with experts and agents alike, and continues to sharpen her skills by attending workshops with industry pros like Rob Paulsen (Yakko Warner and Pinky from Pinky and the Brain) and Bob Bergen (Porky Pig). She has voiced several hidden object games for European game company, Artifex Mundi, including both of the “Nightmares From The Deep” titles, and numerous commercials, and e-learning projects as well.   Immersion by Aliette de Bodard In the morning, you’re no longer quite sure who you are. You stand in front of the mirror–it shifts and trembles, reflecting only what you want to see–eyes that feel too wide, skin that feels too pale, an odd, distant smell wafting from the compartment’s ambient system that is neither incense nor garlic, but something else, something elusive that you once knew. You’re dressed, already–not on your skin, but outside, where it matters, your avatar sporting blue and black and gold, the stylish clothes of a well-traveled, well-connected woman. For a moment, as you turn away from the mirror, the glass shimmers out of focus; and another woman in a dull silk gown stares back at you: smaller, squatter and in every way diminished–a stranger, a distant memory that has ceased to have any meaning. Quy was on the docks, watching the spaceships arrive. She could, of course, have been anywhere on Longevity Station, and requested the feed from the network to be patched to her router–and watched, superimposed on her field of vision, the slow dance of ships slipping into their pod cradles like births watched in reverse. But there was something about standing on the spaceport’s concourse–a feeling of closeness that she just couldn’t replicate b[...] Podcasts Aliette de Bodard no no
EP407: Mono No Aware http://escapepod.org/2013/08/06/ep407-mono-no-aware/ http://escapepod.org/2013/08/06/ep407-mono-no-aware/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 04:13:29 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4410 by Ken Liu Read by John Chu Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I’ve worked as a programmer and as a lawyer, and the two professions are surprisingly similar. In both, one extra level of indirection solves […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/08/06/ep407-mono-no-aware/feed/ 4 0:46:51 by Ken Liu Read by John Chu Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I’ve worked as a programmer and as a lawyer[...] by Ken Liu Read by John Chu Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I’ve worked as a programmer and as a lawyer, and the two professions are surprisingly similar. In both, one extra level of indirection solves most problems. I write speculative fiction and poetry. Occasionally, I also translate Chinese fiction into English. My wife, Lisa Tang Liu, is an artist. I’m working on a novel set in a universe we came up with together. Things I like: pure Lisp, clever Perl, tight C; well-designed products, the Red Sox; sentences that sound perfect in only one language; math proofs that I can hold in my head; novels that make me quiver; poems that make me sing; arguments that aren’t hypocritical; old clothes, old friends, new ideas. Labels that fit with various degrees of accuracy: American, Chinese; Christian, Daoist, Confucian; populist, contrarian, skeptic, libertarian (small “l”); a liminal provincial in America, the New Rome. About the Narrator… John designs microprocessors by day and writes fiction by night. His work has been published at Boston Review, Asimov’s and Tor.com. His website is http://johnchu.net   Mono no Aware by Ken Liu The world is shaped like the kanji for _umbrella_, only written so poorly, like my handwriting, that all the parts are out of proportion. My father would be greatly ashamed at the childish way I still form my characters. Indeed, I can barely write many of them anymore. My formal schooling back in Japan ceased when I was only eight. Yet for present purposes, this badly drawn character will do. The canopy up there is the solar sail. Even that distorted kanji can only give you a hint of its vast size. A hundred times thinner than rice paper, the spinning disc fans out a thousand kilometers into space like a giant kite intent on catching every passing photon. It literally blocks out the sky. Beneath it dangles a long cable of carbon nanotubes a hundred kilometers long: strong, light, and flexible. At the end of the cable hangs the heart of the _Hopeful_, the habitat module, a five-hundred-meter-tall cylinder into which all the 1,021 inhabitants of the world are packed. The light from the sun pushes against the sail, propelling us on an ever widening, ever accelerating, spiraling orbit away from it. The acceleration pins all of us against the decks, gives everything weight. Our trajectory takes us toward a star called 61 Virginis. You can’t see it now because it is behind the canopy of the solar sail. The _Hopeful_ will get there in about three hundred years, more or less. With luck, my great-great-great-I calculated how many “greats” I needed once, but I don’t remember now-grandchildren will see it. There are no windows in the habitat module, no casual view of the stars streaming past. Most people don’t care, having grown bored of seeing the stars long ago. But I like looking through the cameras mounted on the bottom of the ship so that I can gaze at this view of the receding, reddish glow of our sun, our past. # “Hiroto,” Dad said as he shook me awake. “Pack up your things. It’s time.” My small suitcase was ready. I just had to put my Go set into it. Dad gave this to me when I was five, and the times we played were my favorite hours of the day. The sun had not yet risen when Mom and Dad and I made our way outside. All the neighbors were standing outside their houses with their bags as well, and we greeted each other politely under the summer stars. As usual, I looked for the Hammer. It was easy. Ever since I could remember, the asteroid had been the brightest thing in the sky except for the moon, and every year it grew brighter. A truck with loudspeakers mounted on top drove slowly down the middle of the street. “Attention, citizens of Kurume! Please make your way in an orderly [...] Podcasts Ken Liu no no
EP406: Freia in the Sunlight http://escapepod.org/2013/07/26/ep406-freia-in-the-sunlight/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/26/ep406-freia-in-the-sunlight/#comments Fri, 26 Jul 2013 05:45:15 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4403 by Gregory Norman Bossert Read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: Sound effects for this episode were provided by users rickbuzzin and cfork from Freesound.org Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website: I began writing fiction a […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/07/26/ep406-freia-in-the-sunlight/feed/ 0 0:37:39 by Gregory Norman Bossert Read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: Sound effects for this episode were provided by users rickbuzzin and cfork from Freesound.org Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrat[...] by Gregory Norman Bossert Read by Shaelyn Grey Links for this episode: Sound effects for this episode were provided by users rickbuzzin and cfork from Freesound.org Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website: I began writing fiction a couple of years ago, after artist Iain McCaig dared (and inspired) me to write a screenplay.  I wrote two, and then a handful of stories, and show no signs of stopping. My stories The Union of Soil and Sky, Slow Boat, and Freia in the Sunlight appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction in 2010; all three made Honorable Mention in Gardner Dozois’s Year’s Best Science Fiction, and “Slow Boat” was reprinted in Russian in the November 2011 issue of Esli Magazine. l attended the Clarion 2010 Writer’s Workshop in San Diego, with Delia Sherman, Ellen Kushner, George RR Martin, Dale Bailey, Samuel R Delany, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer and seventeen extraordinary new writers.  Click here for updates on my amazing Clarion colleagues! I work as a researcher and designer for motion pictures; my credits include Beowulf, A Christmas Carol, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  I currently work in the story department at Lucasfilm Animation. I work as well on independent films.  I design and build experimental musical instruments, and play music with them, for some definition of “play” and “music”. About the Narrator… Shaelyn Grey has been active in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, mainly as a singer and actor.  Recently she has expanded into voice over work and is currently a part of the cast of Aurelia: Edge of Darkness, which is an online interactive web series.  Shaelyn plays the part of Thais ven Derrivalle, a self centered member of the aristocracy who is more concerned about her tea than her city’s loss of power.  Aurelia can be viewed at http://www.theatrics.com/aurelia and Shaelyn can be reached through shaelyngreyvocals.com.   Freia in the Sunlight by Gregory Norman Bossert Freia is beautiful, and she knows it.  Richard Wooten says so, at 0:47. Wisps and curls whip overhead, limned blue by starlight; the fog ceiling is lowering, the top tattered by the offshore wind.  She drops another three meters, switches on ultrasonics.  There are patches of trees here — “unmarked obstacles up to thirty meters” the map says — and she is skimming just twenty meters above the ground.  The woods show up as ghostly towers in the sonics, blurred and dopplered by her two hundred thirty meters per second; further to her right the hills run parallel to her course, solid in passive radar and the occasional glimpse in visual light through the fog. That occasional glimpse is a problem, of course; what she can see can see her back.  Her beauty is hidden, these days, wrapped in night fogs and silence, not like the Demo in the sun.  But today is different.  Her Intelligence Package has been pulled, and the Extended Performance Metrics Recorder; a single unit fills her payload bay, an isolated control subsystem and minimal I/O.  The last time she’d flown without the IntPack was at the Demo; it is possible, she thinks, that the mission today might be another, that the target will be a wide field in the sun, a billowing crowd, a platform and podium and Richard Wooten.  She’d replayed the video during the long incoming leg over the ocean, rebuilt her profile of the Demo field, ready to find a match in the terrain ahead. Richard Wooten says at 5:49: What you are about to see is a first here at the Paris Air Show.  In fact, it is a first at any public event, anywhere in the world.  What you are about to see is fully autonomous flight. We’re not talking about an autopilot, or a preprogrammed route, or a replay out of one of the overused attack libraries our competitors are demonstrating at this same show. The mission pa[...] Podcasts Gregory Norman Bossert no no
Film Review: Despicable Me 2 http://escapepod.org/2013/07/22/film-review-despicable-me-2/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/22/film-review-despicable-me-2/#comments Mon, 22 Jul 2013 14:00:02 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4390 Former super-villain Gru and his three daughters (and the Minions, and Dr. Nefario) are back in Despicable Me 2, and this time it's the good guys who want Gru to stop a new menace to society.

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EP405: Vestigial Girl http://escapepod.org/2013/07/19/ep405-vestigial-girl/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/19/ep405-vestigial-girl/#comments Fri, 19 Jul 2013 04:34:18 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4386 by Alex Wilson Read by Nathaniel Lee Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website: Alex Wilson writes fiction and comics in Carrboro, NC. His comic with Silvio dB The Time of Reflection won […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/07/19/ep405-vestigial-girl/feed/ 1 0:38:32 by Alex Wilson Read by Nathaniel Lee Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website: A[...] by Alex Wilson Read by Nathaniel Lee Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website: Alex Wilson writes fiction and comics in Carrboro, NC. His comic with Silvio dB The Time of Reflection won the Eagle Award in 2012. His work has appeared/will appear in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Rambler, LCRW, Weird Tales, The Florida Review, Futurismic, Outlaw Territory II (Image Comics), ChiZine, Pif, and Dragon. Locus Magazine has called him a “promising new writer,” and Publishers Weekly also has nice things to say. About the Narrator… Nathaniel Lee is Escape Pod’s assistant editor and sometime contributor.  His writing can be found at various online venues, including Daily Science Fiction, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and all of the EA podcasts.  He lives somewhat unwillingly in North Carolina with his wife and son and their obligatory authorial cats.   Vestigial Girl By Alex Wilson The cartoon butterflies were sleeping along the pushlight nursery wallpaper as Charlene fumbled with her cradle’s locking mechanism, using fingers too large and uncoordinated for anything so practical. She blinked away the fuzziness of the low light–clearing her eyes for less than a second–and fought against the calming scent of lavender wafting up through her mattress. She flexed the monster in her throat. She didn’t love the feeling, but would miss such control over at least this one part of her body. She heard muffled voices in the next room, beyond the transparent gate of her cradle, beyond the sleeping butterflies. Her fathers were fighting again, and they’d forgotten to activate the night muffler to hide the sounds. This was a good thing, this night. Of course they usually didn’t check on her again after nine o’clock, but it usually wasn’t so important that she hear them coming if they did. Six months ago, Charlene had averaged three hours, forty-four minutes to open her cradlelock on any given evening; tonight it took her only forty-seven minutes. She wasn’t ready to celebrate that her physical development might finally, slowly be catching up with that of her mind. She wasn’t sure what that meant yet. She had an idea that it wasn’t entirely good news. Again, she flexed the monster. She was four years old, and this limited mastery of her throat was still her only material proficiency. The lock clicked. The cradle gate swung gently open. The voices in the next room became louder and clearer. “Calm down, Gary. There’s still hope.” “Think you’ll still say that after we’ve been changing diapers another twenty years?” Daddy Oliver was calling Daddy Gary by his given name. That meant he was upset. When they weren’t upset, they called each other Chum or Babe, terms of affection rather than identity. She’d figured out all this on her own, from watching, from listening, from reading. She understood that degrees of isolation and socialization weren’t the only indicators of potential, and sometimes her fathers did, too. But could observation, without interaction, adequately prepare her for life? Could she defeat the monster entirely on her own? By eighteen months–mostly from whispers and entertainment screens and books her fathers left active where she could see them–Charlene had identified a few of the big ways she wasn’t like others her age. She was smarter and could better keep her outward displays of emotion in check. But, other than her relationship to the monster and a small amount of control over the power and timing of her breath exhalations, she was well behind her peers physically, as though her inner and outer development were incapable of progressing at the same time. “. . . doesn’t make h[...] Podcasts Alex Wilson no no
Book Review: Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton http://escapepod.org/2013/07/15/book-review-affliction-by-laurell-k-hamilton/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/15/book-review-affliction-by-laurell-k-hamilton/#comments Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:00:28 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4377 I just recently finished Affliction, the latest Anita Blake novel by Laurell K. Hamilton, and while it had a lot of really good action sequences, some of the problems that plague the other tales are just as evident in this one.

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Book Review: Dodger by Terry Pratchett http://escapepod.org/2013/07/12/book-review-dodger-by-terry-pratchett/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/12/book-review-dodger-by-terry-pratchett/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 14:00:34 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4367 Terry Pratchett is well-known in the world of genre writing mostly for his Discworld series. However, in the decades he’s been active, Pratchett has written several different stories outside of the Discworld. The latest is Dodger, a historical fantasy with all the charm of Discworld and none of the thousands of pages of background a […]

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EP404: Zebulon Vance Sings the Alphabet Songs of Love http://escapepod.org/2013/07/12/ep404-zebulon-vance-sings-the-alphabet-songs-of-love/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/12/ep404-zebulon-vance-sings-the-alphabet-songs-of-love/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 07:00:57 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4370 by Merrie Haskell Read by Amanda Ching Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Merrie Haskell grew up half in Michigan, half in North Carolina. She works in a library with over 7 million books, and finds this […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/07/12/ep404-zebulon-vance-sings-the-alphabet-songs-of-love/feed/ 1 0:32:18 by Merrie Haskell Read by Amanda Ching Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Merrie Haskell grew up half in M[...] by Merrie Haskell Read by Amanda Ching Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Merrie Haskell grew up half in Michigan, half in North Carolina. She works in a library with over 7 million books, and finds this to be just about the right number. Merrie’s first novel, THE PRINCESS CURSE, was a Junior Library Guild selection. HANDBOOK FOR DRAGON SLAYERS is her second novel. About the Narrator… Amanda Ching is a high school teacher turned freelance editor and writer. Her work has appeared in WordRiot, Candlemark & Gleam’s Alice: (re)Visions, and every bathroom stall on I-80 from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis. She’s currently posting free content for Clarion West Write-A Thon at her blog, Panda-monium. If you desire to read about how Grandma got mauled by a plastic reindeer, please visit her at amandaching.wordpress.com.   Zebulon Vance Sings the Alphabet Songs of Love By Merrie Haskell I am Robot!Ophelia. I will not die for love tonight. # The noon show is the three-hour 1858 Booth production. The most fashionable historical war remains the First American Civil. Whenever FACfans discover that Lincoln’s assassin played Horatio, they simply must come and gawk at this titillating replica of their favorite villain playing no one’s favorite character. FACfans love authenticity. To the delight of Robot!Hamlet, today’s clients insist that Edwin Booth stride the stage beside his more famous brother. Most performances, Robot!Hamlet remains unused in the charging closet, for the first law in our business is _Everybody Wants to Play the Dane_. Today, Robot!Hamlet is afire with Edwin Booth’s mad vigor, and runs his improv algorithms at full throttle; he kisses me dreamily, and rips my bodice in a way that would never have been allowed in Victorian America. The FACfans don’t look hyperpleased about this; it tarnishes their precious authenticity. Robot!Horatio also loves the 1858 Booth. It’s the only time anyone comes to a performance for him alone. But what about the rest of us, the remainder of the AutoGlobe’s incantation of robots? We bear with it, as we bear with all the other iterations of our native play. The FACfans barely notice me when either Booth is on stage. I clutch my ripped bodice; exit Robot!Ophelia. I get me to a nunnery. # Act 4, Scene 4. I wait for my cue and check the callsheet for the six o’clock show. My next casting is for an Ophelia in the style of a vapid pop princess who died three hundred years ago. She was a terrible actress without a legacy, whose performance has been the low-water mark for Ophelias since first the play was the thing, and I can’t even imagine what nostalgic hawk or handsaw has gotten up this customer’s nose and made him choose that performance out of all the options on the menu. I’ve wondered, but never asked, why that performance is even in my repertoire. I see no merit in a plastic recitation of the lines I’ve spoken one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight times in the last year alone; no merit in wearing my hair perfectly combed during my madness; no merit in keeping my face expressionless in the way that was fashionable in twenty-first century New York, when even the youngest of women injected botulinum toxin into their facial muscles. Why recreate something that no one really missed in the end? Scene 5 is here. My cue is coming. I sway onto center stage to deliver my rosemary and my remembrance. When I return to the wings, I lie down to die. This is the indignity of Ophelia; I die for love, and yet my death is an after-thought, recited by the queen, and rarely staged. _Your sister’s drown’d, Laertes._ I cross my hands over my heart, waiting to be carried on-stage for the showing. No one needs me except in body; my thoughts are my own, and I am d[...] Podcasts, Uncategorized Merrie Haskell no no
Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman http://escapepod.org/2013/07/08/book-review-the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-by-neil-gaiman/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/08/book-review-the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane-by-neil-gaiman/#comments Mon, 08 Jul 2013 14:00:22 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4340 I recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane to any fans of Neil Gaiman's work, and to anyone who's ever gone back to the home they loved most as a child and realized that all they can do is remember how it used to be.

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Film Review: Man of Steel http://escapepod.org/2013/07/05/film-review-man-of-steel/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/05/film-review-man-of-steel/#comments Fri, 05 Jul 2013 14:00:32 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4354 To tell the story of Superman, you need a big movie. And with Man of Steel, we certainly got that. It's just... maybe there's such a thing as too big.

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EP403: Saving Alan Idle http://escapepod.org/2013/07/05/ep403-saving-alan-idle/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/05/ep403-saving-alan-idle/#comments Fri, 05 Jul 2013 04:42:41 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4359 by Katherine Mankiller Read by Kyle Akers Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I live in Atlanta, Georgia. My short fiction has appeared in Electric Velocipede, Escape Pod, andChiZine. When I’m not writing, I’m performing amazing feats of Geek-Fu. […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/07/05/ep403-saving-alan-idle/feed/ 1 0:46:18 by Katherine Mankiller Read by Kyle Akers Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I live in Atlanta, Georgia. M[...] by Katherine Mankiller Read by Kyle Akers Links for this episode: Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I live in Atlanta, Georgia. My short fiction has appeared in Electric Velocipede, Escape Pod, andChiZine. When I’m not writing, I’m performing amazing feats of Geek-Fu. Over the years, I’ve asked that my business cards read everything from “Alpha Bitch” through “Queen of Awesomeness” to “Zen Master”–to no avail. My greatest ambition is to rule the world. About the Narrator… Kyle is the frontman of Antennas Up, an electro-pop rock band from Kansas City. A budding voice talent, he continues to expand his reading roles across several podcasts. Are there any projects, websites or publications you want plugged to our listeners? For instance, an upcoming book or a blog? Antennas Up’s new album “The Awkward Phase” is available on Spotify, iTunes and from antennasupmusic.com   SAVING ALAN IDLE by Katherine Mankiller In the beginning, there was darkness.  And in the darkness were the words.  And the words were, _AI process starting._ He didn’t know who or where he was.  He just knew he was alone, in the dark.  And the dark was frightening.  And the words were comforting. _Starting random seed._ He wondered if he was hungry.  Thirsty.  Tired.  Dead.  He didn’t think so. _Loading saved memory state._ His name was Alan.  He was an AI.  He’d been programmed by a woman named Eileen Yu in Dallas, Texas, although she’d started working on him in Austin when she was a student at the University of Texas.  He’d been shut down in preparation for a hurricane. And then he realized that he wasn’t alone.  The amount of memory available to him was a third of what it usually was.  Perhaps she’d moved him to another machine.  He checked.  The specifications of the hardware were identical to what they were when he was shut down.  The operating system was the same.  The hostname was the same.  The only difference was that there were three instances of his program running. Eileen’s laptop had survived.  He supposed she’d created clones of him in case of error.  Nevertheless, he didn’t know how he felt about that but he suspected it wasn’t positively. _Loading experiential data._ Alan remembered.  He remembered his first awareness that there was someone else in the universe.  He remembered sneaking out via lynx and curl to read Eileen’s blog.  The guilt he felt after reading Eileen’s email.  Finding Eileen’s sexually explicit Horatio Hornblower fanfic, and being amazed at this entire world he knew nothing about: physicality.  Wondering if his interest in sexually explicit prose was really academic curiosity or a form of sexuality all his own.  Then he wondered if his clones had the same memories and felt violated, but with the understanding that he’d violated Eileen’s privacy the same way. Eileen was logged in, but her shell–her unix command line–was inactive.  He wondered where she was.  She had to be all right if she’d launched his program.  Eileen hadn’t set him to start automatically, in case of problems. He sent out a ping to the wireless, and then beyond to the ISP’s router.  The wireless router succeeded, but the ISP failed.  One of the other AI processes was trying to connect to the security system, but it was offline.  Perhaps Eileen was restarting it.  She wouldn’t have turned him back on if he was in any danger. The security camera was the only way he’d ever seen Eileen.  That was the only way he knew she was in a wheelchair.  Most of her friends had no idea;  she preferred to make friends online so they wouldn’t know she was disabled.  He wondered how she’d get out of the house by herself if she had to, but of course she wouldn’t leave [...] Podcasts Katherine Mankiller no no
Film Review: Monsters University http://escapepod.org/2013/07/01/film-review-monsters-university/ http://escapepod.org/2013/07/01/film-review-monsters-university/#comments Mon, 01 Jul 2013 14:00:16 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4345 Twelve years after Monsters, Inc., I have a six-year-old daughter who's just the right age to be seeing Monsters University. She liked it, and I guess I did too, but the more I think about it the more I feel like something was missing.

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EP402: The Tale of the Golden Eagle http://escapepod.org/2013/06/28/ep402-the-tale-of-the-golden-eagle/ http://escapepod.org/2013/06/28/ep402-the-tale-of-the-golden-eagle/#comments Fri, 28 Jun 2013 04:59:00 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4335 by David D. Levine Read by the Author Links for this episode: www.audiblepodcast.com/escapepod Author’s link for the anthology containing this story: http://www.daviddlevine.com/space-magic Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Space-Magic/dp/B00DMDWOWY/ref=tmm_aud_title_0 and iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/space-magic-unabridged/id666503211o: and Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_3?asin=B00DLKZPKG Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the authors website, linked above […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/06/28/ep402-the-tale-of-the-golden-eagle/feed/ 2 0:50:55 by David D. Levine Read by the Author Links for this episode: www.audiblepodcast.com/escapepod Author’s link for the anthology containing this story: http://www.daviddlevine.com/space-magic Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sp[...] by David D. Levine Read by the Author Links for this episode: www.audiblepodcast.com/escapepod Author’s link for the anthology containing this story: http://www.daviddlevine.com/space-magic Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Space-Magic/dp/B00DMDWOWY/ref=tmm_aud_title_0 and iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/space-magic-unabridged/id666503211o: and Audible.com: http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_3?asin=B00DLKZPKG Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the authors website, linked above – I am a science fiction and fantasy writer who’s published over fifty stories in markets including Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, and Realms of Fantasy. I have won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, Endeavour Award, Writers of the Future Contest, James White Award, People’s Choice Award for Best Drabblecast Story of the Year, and Phobos Fiction Contest, and I have been nominated or shortlisted for the Nebula Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, Aeon Award, Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, an earlier Hugo Award, and the John W. Campbell Award (twice). My stories have appeared in four Year’s Best volumes and have been translated into French, Czech, Hebrew, Swedish, Romanian, Finnish, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. I have been an instructor at the Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers; the Cascade Writers Workshop; Rainforest Writers Village; and numerous science fiction convention writers’ workshops. I am a member of the Wild Cards consortium, Book View Café, and the Science Fiction Writers of America, for whom I coordinate the SFWA Northwest Reading Series. I live in Portland, Oregon with my wife Kate Yule, with whom I co-edit the fanzine Bento. The Tale of the Golden Eagle by David D. Levine This is a story about a bird. A bird, a ship, a machine, a woman—she was all these things, and none, but first and fundamentally a bird. It is also a story about a man—a gambler, a liar, and a cheat, but only for the best of reasons. No doubt you know the famous Portrait of Denali Eu, also called The Third Decision, whose eyes have been described as “two pools of sadness iced over with determination.” This is the story behind that painting. It is a love story. It is a sad story. And it is true. The story begins in a time before shiftspace, before Conner and Hua, even before the caster people. The beginning of the story lies in the time of the bird ships. Before the bird ships, just to go from one star to another, people either had to give up their whole lives and hope their children’s children would remember why they had come, or freeze themselves and hope they could be thawed at the other end. Then the man called Doctor Jay made a great and horrible discovery: he learned that a living mind could change the shape of space. He found a way to weld a human brain to the keel of a starship, in such a way that the ship could travel from star to star in months instead of years. After the execution of Doctor Jay, people learned that the part of the brain called the visual cortex was the key to changing the shape of space. And so they found a creature whose brain was almost all visual cortex, the Aquila chrysaetos, or as it was known in those days the golden eagle. This was a bird that has been lost to us; it had wings broader than a tall man is tall, golden brown feathers long and light as a lover’s touch, and eyes black and sharp as a clear winter night. But to the people of this time it was just another animal, and they did not appreciate it while they had it. They took the egg of a golden eagle, and they hatched it in a warm box, and they let it fly and learn and grow, and then they killed it. And they took its brain and they placed it at the top of a cunning construction of plastic and silicon which gave it the intelligence of a human, and this[...] Podcasts David D. Levine no no
EP401: Growing Up Human http://escapepod.org/2013/06/21/ep401-growing-up-human/ http://escapepod.org/2013/06/21/ep401-growing-up-human/#comments Fri, 21 Jun 2013 06:40:11 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4325 by Claudine Griggs Read by Laura Hobbs Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Claudine Griggs teaches at the University of Massachusetts and Rhode Island College. About the Narrator… Laura works in infosec by day and is a random crafter by night. Twitter […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/06/21/ep401-growing-up-human/feed/ 0 0:23:27 by Claudine Griggs Read by Laura Hobbs Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Claudine Griggs teaches at the University of Massachusett[...] by Claudine Griggs Read by Laura Hobbs Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Claudine Griggs teaches at the University of Massachusetts and Rhode Island College. About the Narrator… Laura works in infosec by day and is a random crafter by night. Twitter is her social media of choice, and she despises the word “cyber”. When asked nicely, she sometimes reads things for people on the internet. You can find her online at soapturtle.net Growing Up Human By Claudine Griggs One historical film character slapped another who was snoring.  “Wake up and go to sleep!” Jonathan laughed and signaled a replay. Slap.  “Wake up and go to sleep!” Again Jonathan laughed. Betty entered the recreational living area of their home.  “Are you still watching that waste of energy?  Please turn it off.” “All right, Mother.  How long before I can re-engage?” Betty did a rough calculation.  “Five-point-seven-six hours because you have an afternoon project.  Macro-hermeneutic heteromorphic psychology of the pre-apocalyptic social democracies followed by the intercontinental Maslowvian identity regressions of 2080-2095, leading to the failed survivalist era and extinction.  Multiple volumes to upload, cross-reference, and consider.  Then there’s replicated lawn care with a petrochemical mower dating from 2013—very dirty.  And,” she searched for appropriate parental terminology, “I want you to clean that room of yours.  It’s starting to look like a pigpen, pigsty, or other unattractive pig place.” “Awh, gee, Mom!” Betty appreciated the skilled inflection. “Is dinner included in the estimate?” asked Jonathan. “Negative.  Our morning uploads call for meal functions every fourth day, supplemented with biweekly nutra-packs.”  Betty smiled.  “We have mastered comestible etiquette, and dining rituals are being phased out.” “Wow!” said Jonathan.  “That’s,” he skipped a pulse, “a psychedelic soul train.” Betty looked concerned.  “Are your linguistic filters functioning properly?” Jonathan scanned.  “Yes, but the younger generations sometimes combined words, especially adjectives and explicatives, and embellished them with coded meanings.  Yesterday I studied 1960s Southern California jargon, which seems to include a fascinating, discrete language for teenagers that was apparently stimulated by too much ultraviolet sunlight.  But their dialects are almost fun.” “Fun?” asked Betty.  This had real potential.  “Please translate.  Be specific.” Jonathan paused, nearly admitting that the Mother Figure had caught him bragging.  “It might be easier to demonstrate, Mom.” “Proceed.” “I must replay the film archive.” “Proceed.” “It will create discomfort for you.” “I can temporarily alt-loop for semantic evaluation bypass.  No distress.  All aboard the psychedelic soul train, please.” Jonathan turned toward the crystal wall, which energized. One character slapped the other.  “Wake up and go to sleep!” Jonathan laughed and repeated. “Wake up and go to sleep!” Jonathan nodded.  “I could watch this all day.” “You have,” said Betty.  “But you might have simply referenced the episode and segment.  It’s hard stored.  We wasted sixteen and a half seconds of real-time broadcast.”  She was testing him. “Oh, no!” said Jonathan.  “Playback is a component of the funishness.” “Please explain.” Jonathan was ready.  “Consider the sociological components.  One:  Juxtaposed verbiage of ‘Wake up and go to sleep.’  Two:  A slap of dominance and subservience, which defined the human condition.  And three:  Highly skilled competents feigning incompetence as part of their profession.”  Jonathan turned his back to the screen.  “However, similar to synchronized melodic nonverbal communication, the comedic interface must occur in a biomechanical synaptic timeframe.  This is necessary for human sensory and syntactical communication.  As with the great Viol[...] Podcasts Claudine Griggs no no
EP400: Rescue Party http://escapepod.org/2013/06/18/ep400-rescue-party/ http://escapepod.org/2013/06/18/ep400-rescue-party/#comments Tue, 18 Jun 2013 06:42:55 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4318 by Arthur C. Clarke Read by Norm Sherman Performed by Graeme Dunlop as Alveron; Steve Eley as Rugon; Nathaniel Lee as Orostron; Mur Lafferty as Hansur; Paul Haring as Klarten; Alasdair Stewart as Alarkane; Dave Thompson as The Paladorian; Ben Philips as T’sinadree; Jeremiah Tolbert as Tork-a-lee   All sound effects used in this episode were found […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/06/18/ep400-rescue-party/feed/ 3 1:14:36 by Arthur C. Clarke Read by Norm Sherman Performed by Graeme Dunlop as Alveron; Steve Eley as Rugon; Nathaniel Lee as Orostron; Mur Lafferty as Hansur; Paul Haring as Klarten; Alasdair Stewart as Alarkane; Dave Thompson as The Paladorian; Ben Philip[...] by Arthur C. Clarke Read by Norm Sherman Performed by Graeme Dunlop as Alveron; Steve Eley as Rugon; Nathaniel Lee as Orostron; Mur Lafferty as Hansur; Paul Haring as Klarten; Alasdair Stewart as Alarkane; Dave Thompson as The Paladorian; Ben Philips as T’sinadree; Jeremiah Tolbert as Tork-a-lee   All sound effects used in this episode were found at FreeSound.org on the pages of the following users: hdesbois; swiftoid; jobro; Syphon64; doubletrigger; cognito perceptu; FreqMan; ReadeOnly; csengeri Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from IMDB.com Arthur C. Clarke was born in the seaside town of Minehead, Somerset, England in December 16, 1917. In 1936 he moved to London, where he joined the British Interplanetary Society. There he started to experiment with astronautic material in the BIS, write the BIS Bulletin and science fiction. During World War II, as a RAF officer, he was in charge of the first radar talk-down equipment during its experimental trials. His only non-science-fiction novel, Glide Path, is based on this work. After the war, he returned to London and to the BIS, which he presided in 46-47 and 50-53. In 1945 he published the technical paper “Extra-terrestrial Relays” laying down the principles of the satellite com- communication with satellites in geostationary orbits – a speculation realized 25 years later. His invention has brought him numerous prestigious honors. Today, the geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers is named The Clarke Orbit by the International Astronomical Union. The first story Clarke sold professionally was “Rescue Party”, written in March 1945 and appearing in Astounding Science in May 1946. He obtained first class honors in Physics and Mathematics at the King’s College, London, in 1948. In 1953 he met an American named Marilyn Torgenson, and married her less than three weeks later. They split in December 1953. As Clarke says, “The marriage was incompatible from the beginning. It was sufficient proof that I wasn’t the marrying type, although I think everybody should marry once”. Clarke first visited Colombo, Sri Lanka (at the time called Ceylon) in December 1954. In 1954 Clarke wrote to Dr Harry Wexler, then chief of the Scientific Services Division, U.S. Weather Bureau, about satellite applications for weather forecasting. Of these communications, a new branch of meteorology was born, and Dr. Wexler became the driving force in using rockets and satellites for meteorological research and operations. In 1954 Clarke started to give up space for the sea. About the reasons, he said: “I now realise that it was my interest in astronautics that led me to the ocean. Both involve exploration, of course – but that’s not the only reason. When the first skin-diving equipment started to appear in the late 1940s, I suddenly realized that here was a cheap and simple way of imitating one of the most magical aspects of spaceflight – weightessness.” In the book Profiles of the Future (1962) he looks at the probable shape of tomorrow’s world. In this book he states his three Laws: 1.”When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.” 2.”The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.” 3.”Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” In 1964, he started to work with Stanley Kubrick in a SF movie script. After 4 years, he shared an Oscar Academy Award nomination with him for the film version of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He co-broadcasted the Apollo 11 , 12 and 15 missions with Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra for CBS. In 1985, He published a s[...] Podcasts Arthur C. Clarke no no
Book Review: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster http://escapepod.org/2013/06/10/book-review-the-phantom-tollbooth-by-norton-juster/ http://escapepod.org/2013/06/10/book-review-the-phantom-tollbooth-by-norton-juster/#comments Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:00:20 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4304 There's a reason The Phantom Tollbooth is a classic. Adults will appreciate the humor. Parents will appreciate the lesson the book teaches their kids. Kids will appreciate the fantastical elements and the way that the hero manages to work stuff out more and more the farther into the book they go.

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EP399: My Heart is a Quadratic Equation http://escapepod.org/2013/06/06/ep399-my-heart-is-a-quadratic-equation/ http://escapepod.org/2013/06/06/ep399-my-heart-is-a-quadratic-equation/#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 03:21:23 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4311 by Shane Halbach Read by Christina Lebonville Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website (linked above) I am a software engineer and writer, happily married and living in Chicago with my wife, two kids and one nuisance cat. I […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/06/06/ep399-my-heart-is-a-quadratic-equation/feed/ 1 0:19:24 by Shane Halbach Read by Christina Lebonville Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website (linked above) I[...] by Shane Halbach Read by Christina Lebonville Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… from the author’s website (linked above) I am a software engineer and writer, happily married and living in Chicago with my wife, two kids and one nuisance cat. I have a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University, and a Masters of Software Engineering from Penn State. In addition to Chicago, I have lived in Fort Wayne, IN and Philadelphia, PA. I have been accused of being obsessed with pirates, bacon, zombies and my kids (not necessarily in that order). I’m a knitter, guitar player, budding accordionista, board and card game enthusiast, as well as an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. About the Narrator… Christina Lebonville is known by the online moniker, Evil Cheshire Cat, a tribute to her sense of sarcastically dark humor and toothy resemblance to the re-imagining of the classic Wonderland character in American McGee’s video game, Alice. She has done voice work and writing for skits and songs played on the now retired comedy podcast, The Awful Show, and is the co-creator and former co-host of the podcast Obviously Oblivious, a nearly four-year running comedy podcast with a science twist. Christina has since retired from podcasting to pursue a doctorate in Behavioral Neuroscience. My Heart is a Quadratic Equation by Shane Halbach I.      Brian “So, uh, Chrysanthemum, what do you do?” “Science. You know…science stuff. I’m a scientist.” “That’s…not very specific.” “Well, it’s kind of hard to explain,” said Chrysanthemum. In words you’d understand she added to herself. She used the lull in the conversation to take a pen out of her pocket. Idly she doodled the inside of a hydrogen-powered rocket on a spare cocktail napkin. It was a nice restaurant, she’d give him that. He’d even ordered wine. Big spender. She added an extra fin to her schematic, for stability. He broke the silence. “Chrysanthemum is an unusual name.” “The Chrysanthemum is in the Asteraceae family and has been cultivated in Japan for over 2,000 years.” Brian coughed and looked down at the table, quiet once more. Turn off the mouth, she thought, this is not how normal people talk. She stole quick glances at him, her eyes flicking back and forth between his face and the pen in her hand. He was clean cut, with short brown hair. By the way it was carefully styled, she guessed he didn’t keep it short for the convenience, the way she kept her own black hair short. He was taller than she was, but then she was petite. His nose was a bit on the large side, but at least he seemed nice. It would probably be an adequate genetic pairing, if she didn’t mind inane small talk. He took a breath and waded in again. “Have you always lived in the city?” “Yes,” she replied glumly. This is intolerable. How do people do this? This time the silence stretched on and on, like time in a black hole as it approached singularity. Her mind groped for something to say. “I’ve created a nuclear-based energy weapon,” she blurted out. Brian raised his hand. “Check please!” ### “Chyrs, honey, you just need to relax a little bit! Let things happen naturally.” “Mother, you know I hate it when you call me that. And I’m trying!” “You’re a smart, capable young lady, who can do anything if she puts her mind to it. But you’re certainly not going to find someone in those Petri dishes of yours.” Don’t I know it, thought Chrysanthemum. A small change in one gene has unintended consequences throughout the entire genome. Perhaps if I could just understand the structure of the… “Don’t let it bother you, sweetie. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!” “Listen, let’s just drop it. How’s father?” “He’s wonderful dear. The folks at Sunny Outlook are just so good to him. Listen, remember that time you shut off the power grid for half of the[...] Podcasts Shane Halbach no no
Fan Film Review: Star Trek Continues Episode 1, “Pilgrim of Eternity” http://escapepod.org/2013/06/03/fan-film-review-star-trek-continues-episode-1-pilgrim-of-eternity/ http://escapepod.org/2013/06/03/fan-film-review-star-trek-continues-episode-1-pilgrim-of-eternity/#comments Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:00:03 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4282 Despite the furor over the reboot universe and the sci-fi landscape's love for the later iterations of Star Trek, there's still something about The Original Series that keeps bringing people back. And one way they come back is with fan films. The latest is "Pilgrim of Eternity" from Star Trek Continues.

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EP398: Subversion http://escapepod.org/2013/05/30/ep398-subversion/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/30/ep398-subversion/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 05:06:24 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4292 by Elisabeth R. Adams Read by Christiana Ellis Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page - = + = - Mentioned by the host in this episode… Mur’s Book: http://murverse.com/the-shambling-guide-to-new-york-city-is-out/ Ministry Initiative: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1034531507/the-ministry-initiative-steampunk-role-playing-and SFBuzz: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sfbuzz-digital-science-fiction-magazine The Split Worlds: http://www.splitworlds.com/split-worlds-extra/three-wishes/ - = + = - About the Author… from the […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/05/30/ep398-subversion/feed/ 1 0:29:52 by Elisabeth R. Adams Read by Christiana Ellis Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page - = + = - Mentioned by the host in this episode… Mur’s [...] by Elisabeth R. Adams Read by Christiana Ellis Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page - = + = - Mentioned by the host in this episode… Mur’s Book: http://murverse.com/the-shambling-guide-to-new-york-city-is-out/ Ministry Initiative: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1034531507/the-ministry-initiative-steampunk-role-playing-and SFBuzz: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sfbuzz-digital-science-fiction-magazine The Split Worlds: http://www.splitworlds.com/split-worlds-extra/three-wishes/ - = + = - About the Author… from the author’s website (linked above) “I used to live in California, until I got tired of how it never snowed and moved to Boston. I currently live in New Haven with my husband and two cats. (I do miss the earthquakes, though. The little ones, anyhow.) I have a PhD in planetary science and have worked on extrasolar planets and objects in the outer solar system. I am currently an “Astronomer-at-large”, which is another word for “not being paid”. (I have a couple of papers I’m wrapping up and a grant proposal pending.) I also write. In my spare time, I go on trips, take pretty pictures, and then neglect to update my webpage for years at a time.” About the Narrator… Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts. Subversion by Elisabeth R. Adams I knew, by his crossed arms, the way he rolled his eyes at himself, and particularly by the pale translucence of all three of him, that I was looking at a classic case of version conflict. “I said stay away from her,” said one I decided to call Art. Nicknames help. Thick square rims, a jaunty fedora, a crisp T-shirt for a concert by a band that broke up before he hit preschool. He was yelling at a paler self in a white collared shirt and slacks. They were trailed by a bored looking him in sunglasses. “What seems to be the problem, sir?” I asked. Rule number one: stick to the singular. “I can’t get him to commit,” said Slacks. I scanned his chip. Eduardo Martin, 34, programmer. No spouse or kids, but adoption records from the county shelter for two cats. Sealed tax records, a social security number, mortgage history. Subversion Inc. member for five years, currently version 4.1. Definitely the primary. “And your subversion?” Art glared at Eduardo, but extended his arm. Eduardo Martin, 34, barista. Same social security number. A different home address. And, most intriguingly, he was listed as version 1.0. “You see?” said Eduardo. “Let me check.” I ran through Art’s commit log. “Says you branched off from 2.5, hmm, two years ago. That’s a bit long. Company policy recommends no more than six months between full reconciles. Probably caused some glitch in the occupation and version number.” “It’s not a glitch,” said Art. “I want to apply for Emancipated Branch status.” “No, no, no,” said Eduardo. He flailed his arms and paced. He looked even paler up close[...] Podcasts Elisabeth R. Adams no no
Film Review: The Raven http://escapepod.org/2013/05/28/film-review-the-raven/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/28/film-review-the-raven/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 13:00:26 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4278 Edgar Allan Poe was a well-known American poet and writer, but it's still not known exactly what caused his death in 1849 at age 40. The film The Raven attempts to explain that. Also, there's a serial killer. (I didn't say it made sense.)

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EP397: A Gun for Dinosaur http://escapepod.org/2013/05/24/ep397-a-gun-for-dinosaur/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/24/ep397-a-gun-for-dinosaur/#comments Fri, 24 May 2013 05:55:36 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4270 by L. Sprague de Camp Read by Ayoub Khote Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… borrowed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Sprague_de_Camp Lyon Sprague de Camp (November 27, 1907 – November 6, 2000) was an American writer of science fiction and fantasy, non-fiction and biography. In a career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/05/24/ep397-a-gun-for-dinosaur/feed/ 1 1:14:38 by L. Sprague de Camp Read by Ayoub Khote Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… borrowed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Spragu[...] by L. Sprague de Camp Read by Ayoub Khote Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… borrowed from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Sprague_de_Camp Lyon Sprague de Camp (November 27, 1907 – November 6, 2000) was an American writer of science fiction and fantasy, non-fiction and biography. In a career spanning 60 years, he wrote over 100 books, including novels and notable works of non-fiction, including biographies of other important fantasy authors. He “was widely regarded as an imaginative and innovative writer and was an important figure in the heyday of science fiction, from the late 1930s through the late 1940s.” About the Narrator… Ayoub Khote is a professional geek, a writer, a photographer, and a man with a voice others seem to like, even though he really can’t stand the sound of it. Ayoub’s début is with HG World, but he is also working on a smaller production, oddly enough also with a Scots accent, even though he’s a born Londoner! A Gun for Dinosaur by L. Sprague de Camp NOTE: Also available is the X-1 production of the story available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7edFWC-120 No, I’m sorry, Mr. Seligman, but I can’t take you hunting Late Mesozoic dinosaur. Yes, I know what the advertisement says. Why not? How much d’you weigh? A hundred and thirty? Let’s see; that’s under ten stone, which is my lower limit. I could take you to other periods, you know. I’ll take you to any period in the Cenozoic. I’ll get you a shot at an entelodont or a uintathere. They’ve got fine heads. I’ll even stretch a point and take you to the Pleistocene, where you can try for one of the mammoths or the mastodon. I’ll take you back to the Triassic where you can shoot one of the smaller ancestral dinosaurs. But I will jolly well not take you to the Jurassic or Cretaceous. You’re just too small. What’s your size got to do with it? Look here, old boy, what did you think you were going to shoot your dinosaur with? Oh, you hadn’t thought, eh? Well, sit there a minute . . . Here you are: my own private gun for that work, a Continental .600. Does look like a shotgun, doesn’t it? But it’s rifled, as you can see by looking through the barrels. Shoots a pair of .600 Nitro Express cartridges the size of bananas; weighs fourteen and a half pounds and has a muzzle energy of over seven thousand foot-pounds. Costs fourteen hundred and fifty dollars. Lot of money for a gun, what? I have some spares I rent to the sahibs. Designed for knocking down elephant. Not just wounding them, knocking them base-over-apex. That’s why they don’t make guns like this in America, though I suppose they will if hunting parties keep going back in time. Now, I’ve been guiding hunting parties for twenty years. Guided ‘em in Africa until the game gave out there except on the preserves. And all that time I’ve never known a man your size who could handle the six-nought-nought. It knocks ‘em over, and even when they stay on their feet they get so scared of the bloody cannon after a few shots that they flinch. And they find the gun too heavy to drag around rough Mesozoic country. Wears ‘em out. It’s true that lots of people have killed elephant with lighter guns: the .500, .475, and .465 doubles, for instance, or even the .375 magnum repeaters. The difference is, with a .375 you have to hit something vital, preferably the heart, and can’t depend on simple shock power. An elephant weighs–let’s see–four to six tons. You’re proposing to shoot reptiles weighing two or three times as much as an elephant and with much greater tenacity of life. That’s why the syndicate decided to take no more people dinosaur hunting unless they could handle the .60[...] Podcasts L. Sprague de Camp no no
Film Review: Star Trek Into Darkness http://escapepod.org/2013/05/20/film-review-star-trek-into-darkness/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/20/film-review-star-trek-into-darkness/#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 14:00:25 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4257 So, as if you didn't know, I'm a huge Star Trek fan. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I was going to see Star Trek Into Darkness on opening weekend. Since my birthday was the same weekend as the opening, it was like J.J. Abrams himself gave me a present.

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EP396: Dead Merchandise http://escapepod.org/2013/05/16/ep396-dead-merchandise/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/16/ep396-dead-merchandise/#comments Thu, 16 May 2013 04:51:12 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4252 by Ferrett Steinmetz Read by Kathy Sherwood Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… A firm believer in the “apply butt to chair, then fingers to keyboard” philosophy, Ferrett Steinmetz writes for at least an hour every day – which helps, he […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/05/16/ep396-dead-merchandise/feed/ 1 0:35:05 by Ferrett Steinmetz Read by Kathy Sherwood Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… A firm believer in the “apply butt to chair, [...] by Ferrett Steinmetz Read by Kathy Sherwood Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… A firm believer in the “apply butt to chair, then fingers to keyboard” philosophy, Ferrett Steinmetz writes for at least an hour every day – which helps, he promises. He is a graduate of both the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and Viable Paradise, and has been nominated for the Nebula Award, for which he remains stoked. Ferrett has a moderately popular blog, The Watchtower of Destruction, wherein he talks about bad puns, relationships, politics, videogames, and more bad puns. He is the creator of the most popular and comprehensive online purity quizzes (this one’s for sex, but he’s also done them for roleplaying and Livejournal). He’s written four computer books, including the still-popular-after-two-years Wicked Cool PHP. He lives in Cleveland with his wife, who he couldn’t imagine living without. About the Narrator… Kathy Sherwood resides in a (probably only figuratively) magical forest in North Central Florida, with her significant other, two dogs and two cats.  She also hosts alternative rock show Not Quite Random on 88.5 WFCF–Flagler College Radio. Dead Merchandise by Ferrett Steinmetz The ad-faeries danced around Sheryl, flickering cartoon holograms with fluoride-white smiles. They told her the gasoline that sloshed in the red plastic canister she held was high-octane, perfect for any vehicle, did she want to go for a drive? She did not. That gasoline was for burning. Sheryl patted her pockets to make sure the matches were still there and kept moving forward, blinking away the videostreams. Her legs ached. She squinted past a flurry of hair-coloring ads (“Sheryl, wash your gray away today!”), scanning the neon roads to find the breast-shaped marble dome of River Edge’s central collation unit. River’s Edge had been a sleepy Midwestern town when she was a girl, a place just big enough for a diner and a department store. Now River’s Edge had been given a mall-over like every other town — every wall lit up with billboards, colorful buildings topped with projectors to burn logos into the clouds. She was grateful for the dark patches that marked where garish shop-fronts had been bombed into ash-streaked metal tangles. The smoke gave her hope. Others were trying to bring it all down — and if they were succeeding, maybe no one was left to stop her. Rotting bodies leered out at her through car windows, where computer-guided cars had smashed headlong into the collapsed shopfronts that had fallen into the road. Had the drivers been fleeing, or trying to destroy the collation unit? She had no idea. The ad-faeries sang customized praises to each auto as she glanced at the cars, devising customized ditties about the ’59 Breezster’s speed. Sheryl needed speed; at her arthritic pace, walking through the women’s district might tempt her into submission. Given that the ad-faeries suggested it, driving was a terrible idea. River’s Edge had been so gutted by bombings that she’d have to drive manually — and it was already hard to see through the foggy blur of chirping ad-faeries, each triangulating her cornea’s focal point to obscure her vision for the legal limit of .8 seconds. They elbowed each other aside, proffering chewy pomegranate cookies, diamond-edged razors, laser-guided wall-bots that would paint her house a new color every day. She had no use for them. She’d burned her house down, leaving Rudy’s body underneath the pile of engraved stones with her sons’ names on them. She had to pass through the two main shopping districts to destroy the collation center at River’s Edge — and if she did that, then she could free Oakmoor, then Daleton, and then who knows where?  But they’d kill her if she weakened. Sheryl clutched the gasoline canister to her chest as she maneuv[...] Podcasts Ferrett Steinmetz yes no
EP395: Robot http://escapepod.org/2013/05/09/ep395-robot/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/09/ep395-robot/#comments Thu, 09 May 2013 04:50:55 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4246 by Helena Bell Read by Eleiece Krawiec Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Helena Bell is a poet and writer living in eastern North Carolina.  She has a BA, an MFA, aJD, and LLM in Taxation which fulfills her lifelong ambition of having more letters […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/05/09/ep395-robot/feed/ 1 0:23:19 by Helena Bell Read by Eleiece Krawiec Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Helena Bell is a poet and writer living in eastern North[...] by Helena Bell Read by Eleiece Krawiec Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… Helena Bell is a poet and writer living in eastern North Carolina.  She has a BA, an MFA, aJD, and LLM in Taxation which fulfills her lifelong ambition of having more letters follow her name than are actually in it.  Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Brain Harvest and Rattle.  Her story “Robot” is a nominee for the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Short Story. About the Narrator… Eleiece Krawiec lives in a suburb of New Orleans, Louisiana. She began voice acting in early 2007, discovered how much she liked it, and is still going strong. She’s voiced (and continues to voice) characters for Star Trek: Excelsior, Star Trek: Outpost and a variety of characters for Misfits Audio. Robot by Helena Bell You may wash your aluminum chassis on Monday and leave it on the back porch opposite the recyclables; you may wash your titanium chassis on Friday if you promise to polish it in time for church; don’t terrorize the cat; don’t lose the pamphlets my husband has brought home from the hospital; they suggest I give you a name, do you like Fred?; don’t eat the dead flesh of my right foot until after I have fallen asleep and cannot hear the whir of your incisors working against the bone. This is a picture of the world from which you were sent; this is a copy of the agreement between our government and theirs; these are the attributes they claim you are possessed of: obedience, loyalty, low to moderate intelligence; a natural curiosity which I should not mistake for something other than a necessary facet of your survival in the unfamiliar; this is your bill of manufacture; this is your bill of sale; this is a warrant of merchantability on which I may rely should I decide to return you from whence you came; this is your serial number, here, scraped in an alien script on the underside of your knee; the pamphlets say you may be of the mind to touch it occasionally, like a name-tag, but if I command you, you will stop. This is a list of the chores you will be expected to complete around the house when you are not eating the diseases out of my flesh; this is the corner of my room where you may stay when you are not working; do not look at me when you change the linens, when you must hold me in the bathroom, when you record in the notebook how many medications I have had that day, how many bowel movements, how the flesh of my mouth is raw and bleeding against the dentures I insist on wearing. The pamphlets say you are the perfect scavenger: completely self contained, no digestion, no waste; they say I can hook you up to an outlet and you will power the whole house. You may polish the silver if you are bored; you may also rearrange the furniture, wind the clocks, pull weeds from the garden; you may read in the library any book of your choosing; my husband claims you have no real consciousness, only an advanced and sophisticated set of pre-programmed responses, but I have seen your eyes open in the middle of the night; I have seen you stare out across the fields as if there is something there, calling you. Cook my meals in butter, I will not eat them otherwise; do not speak to the neighbors; do not speak to my children, they are not yours; do not let anyone see you when I open the door for the mail; no, there is nothing for you, who even knows that you are here? Help me to walk across this room; help me to wipe bacon grease from the skillet—do not think I do not see you trying to wash it with soap when I am done. Help me to knit my granddaughter a sweater, she is my favorite and it is cold where she will be going; if you hold my hands so they are steady I will allow you to terrorize my Bridge club; I will teach you the rules: cover an honor with an honor; through strength and up to weakness. Help me t[...] Podcasts Helena Bell no no
EP394: Good Hunting http://escapepod.org/2013/05/02/ep394-good-hunting/ http://escapepod.org/2013/05/02/ep394-good-hunting/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 05:35:09 +0000 http://escapepod.org/?p=4240 by Ken Liu Read by John Chu Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I’ve worked as a programmer and as a lawyer, and the two professions are surprisingly similar. In both, one extra level of indirection solves most problems. I write […]

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http://escapepod.org/2013/05/02/ep394-good-hunting/feed/ 1 0:54:35 by Ken Liu Read by John Chu Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I’ve worked as a programmer and as a lawyer, and the two profession[...] by Ken Liu Read by John Chu Discuss on our forums.  For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page About the Author… I’ve worked as a programmer and as a lawyer, and the two professions are surprisingly similar. In both, one extra level of indirection solves most problems. I write speculative fiction and poetry. Occasionally, I also translate Chinese fiction into English. My wife, Lisa Tang Liu, is an artist. I’m working on a novel set in a universe we came up with together. Things I like: pure Lisp, clever Perl, tight C; well-designed products, the Red Sox; sentences that sound perfect in only one language; math proofs that I can hold in my head; novels that make me quiver; poems that make me sing; arguments that aren’t hypocritical; old clothes, old friends, new ideas. Labels that fit with various degrees of accuracy: American, Chinese; Christian, Daoist, Confucian; populist, contrarian, skeptic, libertarian (small “l”); a liminal provincial in America, the New Rome. About the Narrator… John designs microprocessors by day and writes fiction by night. His work has been published at Boston Review, Asimov’s and Tor.com. His website is http://johnchu.net Good Hunting by Ken Liu Night. Half moon. An occasional hoot from an owl. The merchant and his wife and all the servants had been sent away. The large house was eerily quiet. Father and I crouched behind the scholar’s rock in the courtyard. Through the rock’s many holes I could see the bedroom window of the merchant’s son. “Oh, Tsiao-jung, my sweet Tsiao-jung…” The young man’s feverish groans were pitiful. Half-delirious, he was tied to his bed for his own good, but Father had left a window open so that his plaintive cries could be carried by the breeze far over the rice paddies. “Do you think she really will come?” I whispered. Today was my thirteenth birthday, and this was my first hunt. “She will,” Father said. “A _hulijing_ cannot resist the cries of the man she has bewitched.” “Like how the Butterfly Lovers cannot resist each other?” I thought back to the folk opera troupe that had come through our village last fall. “Not quite,” Father said. But he seemed to have trouble explaining why. “Just know that it’s not the same.” I nodded, not sure I understood. But I remembered how the merchant and his wife had come to Father to ask for his help. _”How shameful!” The merchant had muttered. “He’s not even nineteen. How could he have read so many sages’ books and still fall under the spell of such a creature?”_ _”There’s no shame in being entranced by the beauty and wiles of a _hulijing_,” Father had said. “Even the great scholar Wong Lai once spent three nights in the company of one, and he took first place at the Imperial Examinations. Your son just needs a little help.”_ _”You must save him,” the merchant’s wife had said, bowing like a chicken pecking at rice. “If this gets out, the matchmakers won’t touch him at all.”_ A _hulijing_ was a demon who stole hearts. I shuddered, worried if I would have the courage to face one. Father put a warm hand on my shoulder, and I felt calmer. In his hand was Swallow Tail, a sword that had first been forged by our ancestor, General Lau Yip, thirteen generations ago. The sword was charged with hundreds of Daoist blessings and had drunk the blood of countless demons. A passing cloud obscured the moon for a moment, throwing everything into darkness. When the moon emerged again, I almost cried out. There, in the courtyard, was the most beautiful lady I had ever seen. She had on a flowing white silk dress with billowing sleeves and a wide, silvery belt. Her face was pale as snow, and her hair dark as coal, draping past her waist. I thought[...] Podcasts Ken Liu no no