EP017: The Life and Times of Penguin


By Eugie Foster.
Read by Mur Lafferty (of Geek Fu Action Grip).


Penguin listened raptly to the new voice. He knew this was his guardian
angel, she who would guard and protect him forever. Sure enough, the
Creator set him gently into his angel’s hand. Her hands, much smaller than
the Creator’s–which was fitting since who among the angels had such power
as the Creator?–were a bit sticky. He squealed as she held him aloft to
receive the glorious light.

“Look, Daddy! It’s a peng’n!”

“Yes it is, Angie. It’s a very nice penguin. Did you thank the nice man
for the balloon?”

Rated PG. Contains explicit existentialism and violence of the soul. (The intro contains minor profanity and frank discussions of current events, and is likely to be more offensive than the story.)

Dragon*Con


I should have mentioned this before, but time’s been sneaking up on me:

I’m going to be a guest at Dragon*Con this weekend in Atlanta, along with Mur, Michael & Evo, Derek, and many other fun folks in the podcasting world.

We’re all going to putting up a panel on podcasting in the Electronic Frontiers track, at the utterly insane time of 11:30 PM Friday. Yeah, I know that’s the time most people are hunting for bodypainted elves on the hotel party floors, but if you’re around we promise our panel will be almost as much fun. I’m also running a panel for the Science track at 10 PM Sunday called “Burn, Hollywood, Burn!” and will be generally flitting around the rest of the time looking to socialize.

One thing I’d like to do is have at least one lunch or bar meet-up with podcast listeners. I don’t have concrete plans yet, unfortunately, since I haven’t scouted out the lay of the land. But if you’re going to be at D*C and you’re so inclined, drop me a line with your contact info (preferably cellphone, and let me know if your phone can do SMS) and I’ll give you mine, and if there’s at least one of you we’ll figure it out. If there are several responses I’ll actually organize a real event and post it here, so keep checking this space if you get a chance.

Thanks very much. Next year we’ll be a lot more organized about con presence: I’m already making plans to hit Worldcon and Dragon*Con in consecutive weeks on both coasts. Meanwhile, I hope I’ll get a chance to see some of you this weekend!

EP Flash: Pennywhistle


By Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Anna Eley.

“Piper,” I screamed, fumbling in my purse. Too late. He brought his pipe to his lips and blew a note that almost made my eyeglasses shatter. Over at the sandbox, Nathan rose to his feet. He started moving towards the man. All the children did.

Rated R. Contains graphic violence and disturbing images.

EP016: Seamstress


By Sarah Prineas.
Read by Deborah Green.

So, the Godmother. She takes ragged, smudged things and turns them
into beautiful Princesses. Why, I don’t know. A hobby? A calling?
An obsession? Is she righting the wrongs done to her when she was
young?

When I first started here, I had a fantasy. That the Godmother would
pluck me out of the row of humpbacked, squinting Seamstresses and make
me, too, a beautiful Princess. With a gown sewn by…well, by the
poor wenches too old or ugly to catch the Godmother’s eye.

Rated PG. Contains sexual situations and, unrelated, the loss of innocence.

On the Radio


If you live in the New York area, you’ll get not one, but two (count ’em!) chances to hear about Escape Pod on the radio Friday night.

At 11:30 PM, WUSB on Long Island will be airing Destinies: The Voice of Science Fiction. Chris DeFilippis will be featuring us in his “De Flip Side” segment.

Then, at 5 AM on WBAI, Escape Pod narrator Deborah Green will be on Hour of the Wolf with Jim Freund. She’ll be reading from her novel Soulbound, so if you love Deb’s voice this is your chance to hear more of it.

Both radio stations offer streaming from their Web sites (and WBAI has archived streaming of recent shows) so if you’re not in New York you’ll still be able to catch these. Enjoy!

EP015: Hell Notes


By M.K. Hobson
Read by Stephen Eley.

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, so I suppose it’s no wonder that the twice-cooked pork the beautiful chef placed in that depressing buffet line kicked me in the mouth like a South American soccer superstar with bad aim. There was never twice-cooked pork like the twice-cooked pork I tasted that snowy day at the Cheerful Panda.

Rated PG. Contains graphic food-based sensuality and soulless marketing.

EP014: Tis the Season


By K.D. Wentworth
Read by Jonathon Sullivan.

It was Christmas Eve and that nasty, strung-out feeling of
anticipation clotted the air like a cheap deodorizer. I hate
Christmas the most–all that insincere, pious yap about “peace on
earth, goodwill towards men.” I was cruising down the
expressway, on my way back from dismantling an illegal manger
scene someone had erected at the river park, keeping an eye out
for graffiti, you know–“Where will _you_ spend eternity?” or
“Buddha lives!”–that kind of crap, spray-painted on underpasses
right where impressionable schoolchildren could see it. The last
rays of the setting sun were painting the highway a faint rose
when I spotted a broken-down van with the metal outline of a
stylized fish just above the back bumper. The short hairs
crawled up the back of my neck. Them fish guys have been some of
my worst busts.

Rated R. Contains strong religious themes, graphic violence, and aggressive Zen.

Administrivia


This seems to be the week for annoying problems:

  1. One of our listeners has reported to us (thanks, Paul!) that EP013 isn’t showing up in the iTunes podcast directory right now. This baffles me, because it worked when I tested it last week. No idea what the problem is, but I’m trying to kick some things to see what works. In fact this post is one attempt at kicking, to try to refresh the feed. Hopefully this is a brief glitch; please bear with us, and if you see problems like this in the future, please drop us an e-mail and let us know. Thanks.
  2. If you’ve tried to visit the TSFPN Forums in the last few days, you’ve probably noticed they’re down. Those guys are apparently having hosting difficulties, and it’s taking them some time to straighten it out. Although we’re not involved in their problems, I’d like to apologize to all Escape Pod listeners who’ve tried to access our forum and couldn’t. If their downtime extends beyond a few days, I’ll set up discussion forums here instead, because people seemed to be Having Fun with them. Thanks for your patience.
  3. Oh, and while this isn’t exactly a technical problem, there won’t be any flash this week. My wife’s been ill, and there’s been other stuff going on. We’re still on track for an Escape Pod release on Thursday, which is our primary commitment. It’ll be a fun one!

EP013: The Once and Future Dentist


By D. Richard Pearce.
Read by Stephen Eley.

“‘He was the most skillful gambler, and the nerviest, fastest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever saw.’ Do you know who said that, Doctor?”

He coughed politely and sat in a nearby chair. “Begging your pardon, ma’am, I’d be more interested in who they were talking about.”

She laughed softly, and seemed to turn her attention to him fully for the first time. “Wyatt Earp said those words about you, Doctor. At your funeral, I suspect, though I don’t know for sure.”

Rated PG. Contains violence, alcohol, and gratuitous time travel.