Robots and Year’s Best Fantasy


I just learned on Greg’s blog that “Robots and Falling Hearts,” by Greg van Eekhout and Tim Pratt, has been selected by David Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer for The Year’s Best Fantasy 6, to be published this summer.

Think there’s any possibility that they heard the story here?

Congratulations, guys! It’s a well-deserved honor, and we wish you both the very best.

EP037: Craphound


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

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

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

Referenced sites:
Mostly News
Escape Pod Submission Guidelines

EP036: Connie, Maybe


By Paul E. Martens.
Read by Wichita Rutherford (of 5 Minutes With Wichita).

Conrad McManus claimed he was kidnaped by aliens and replaced by an
exact duplicate of himself.

But, Connie, we said, that doesn’t make sense. If you were a duplicate
you wouldn’t say a thing like that.

Connie shook his head. “The aliens destroyed my body while they were
doing their tests and experiments and what not and they had to make a new
one so no one would know about them.”

So they destroyed everything, we asked, except your brain?

“No,” he said. “They destroyed my brain, too.”

Rated G. Contains alien abduction, brainwashing, and conspiracy. Unless it doesn’t.

Referenced sites:
Snakes on a Plane
Something From the Nightside by Simon Green

PodcasterCon2006 Wrap-Up


I’m back now from this weekend’s PodcasterCon, and even though it was intended as a one-day event I’m still decompressing just a little. Friday I had the incredible opportunity to have dinner with Senator John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth. (They have their own podcast and videoblog — and yes, I’m a subscriber.)

I was busy literally all day Saturday, from presenting a morning “How to Podcast” seminar with Rob Walch to a midnight podcast-and-beer in Paul Fischer’s hotel room. To everyone I met there, thanks for an incredible time and some of the best conversations I’ve had all year. (By which I mean “last 365 days,” not 2006.)

If you weren’t there and you want to see what you missed, the fine folks at Mac Pro Podcast have put together an excellent 12-minute video summarizing the con. They’ve got a number of great interviews in there — and if any of you wanted to know what I look like, here’s your chance. (They say the camera adds 20 pounds… Alas, I was in it twice, so it must have added 40 to me.)

The video is here. Check it out, and see how much fun you’ll have if you come next year!

EP035: Hero


By Scott Sigler.
Read by Stephen Eley.

There is no defense against a perfect weapon.

The perfect weapon is cunning, calculating and ruthless.

I am all of these things.

There is no defense against me.

The words would die with him, for he was the last. Five centuries of
tradition would fade from existence, probably as soon as he killed
Timmerman. But that didn’t matter, not as long as Timmerman died this day.
Poetic justice is all the more eloquent with your enemy’s brains cooked a
crispy-brown.

Rated R. Contains profanity, violence, and poor life priorities.

Referenced sites:
SciFiction
PodcasterCon
Escape Pod CD Offer

Vote for your favorite!


Here’s a minor new feature for the site. If you look at the sidebar on the right, you’ll see a poll asking you to vote for your favorite Escape Pod story from 2005. We’ve picked a couple of likely candidates, but if you don’t like any of those, feel free to click on “Add an Answer” and submit your own.

This is not an entirely academic exercise, by the way. We plan on using this information for a good cause in the next few weeks. (Hint: Hugo nominations are now open…) So let us know what you liked best!

EP034: Free Will, Baby


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

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

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

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

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

Referenced sites:
PodcasterCon
Escape Pod CD Offer

EP Flash: Night Off


By Jason Erik Lundberg.
Read by Stephen Eley.

The fat man coughed again and rolled over onto his side. He wheezed and his
lungs rattled. A few thousand years of being overweight had caused
innumerable cardiac and respiratory problems, but the job demanded it.

“Who can you think of to cover you?”

The fat man pondered for a moment, then said, “Lo ho ho?”

His wife frowned. “You know Loki would just cause a mess, and probably light
some children on fire. Who else?”

Rated R. Contains profanity and some disturbing imagery.

(Note: Mr. Lundberg has directed that his payment for this story be directed toward Heifer International, providing impoverished people with animals and other resources to become economically self-sustaining.)

EP033: Santa In My Pocket


By Mur Lafferty.
Read by Anna Eley.

When I was a kid, I believed it all, like that old wive’s tale that
animals would be granted the gift of speech for one hour on Christmas
Eve. I tested that out by keeping my cat locked up in my room with me
all night. She never spoke, but she did piss in the corner, since she
couldn’t get to her litter box. So she still told me a magical
Christmas message, loud and clear.

Rated R. Contains profanity, sexual situations, and criminal intent. Merry Christmas!

Agnostica
Geek Fu Action Grip
I Should Be Writing
Geek Acres