EP009: Jack


By Justin Stanchfield.
Read by Deborah Green.
All stories by Justin Stanchfield
All stories read by Deborah Green.

“That truly is a fine heifer, and any man would be proud to own her.”

“Well…” said Jack, hope rising. “I suppose she might be for sale, if that is your meaning.”

“It is.” The stranger dug inside the pocket of his slick and shiny coat, and brought out a small lead case. The lid clicked open and he turned in over in his hand, three shimmering beads rolling in his palm. He offered them to Jack.

“What are those?” Jack frowned, suspicious once more.

“What are they? They might be beans.” The stranger laughed. “Then again, they might be more precious than rubies, mightn’t they? Truth of the matter, I’m not certain what they are, only that they are beyond any worth you can imagine.”

Rated G. Contains cattle theft, kidnapping, and crimes against fashion.

EP008: Lachrymose and the Golden Egg


By Tim Pratt
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Tim Pratt.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

“Foul temptress?” I said, stepping back, clanking in my armor. A suit of plate mail often appears when I’m startled. I wished the armor away and replaced it with soft green leggings and a deerskin shirt. “Wily seductress?”

“Damsel in distress.” She leaned against a tree, hands clasped before her.

I clutched my stick and looked around. “Immediate distress, or general distress?” I worried about ogres, or killbots. They often menace damsels, and when the wind’s wrong, you can’t smell them coming, neither rotten meat nor engine oil. It’s hard to hurt an ogre or a killbot with a staff, but I’m useless with a sword. I used a blade on my first few outings, but after chopping off my feet six times, I switched to a stick.

Rated PG. Contains slight profanity, drug use, and violence against were-ape ninjas.


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EP Flash: Ubiquitous


By Douglas Triggs.
Read by Stephen Eley.

The clicks and squeals in his head subsided. No one else could understand them except him. No one else could even hear them. But they’d always been there, ever since he could remember. They hadn’t meant anything at first, not until he was older, well into his teenage years. They said terrible things — disturbing things — but still he could ignore them, even if he didn’t dare tell anyone about them.

Rated R. Contains violent themes and images.

EP007: The Trouble With Death Traps


By Marjorie James.
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Marjorie James.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

A razor-sharp blade shot out of the wall and whipped in front of the teen’s face. Xnab hauled him back and spun him around.

“First thing you have to learn in this business: never kick anything. Got that?”

“Yes sir. Sorry sir.”

“Good.”

“Sir?”

“Yes?”

“What’s the second thing?”

Rated PG. Contains no sexual content or strong language. Does contain whirling blades of death.

And the winner is…


First, thanks to all who entered our Serenity preview ticket contest. We generated a lot more interest than correct entries, but that’s all right. It was fun for us, and hopefully fun for those of you who took the time.

The winners of the contest are Eugie and Matt Foster of Alpharetta, Georgia. We’ll be meeting on Thursday for the film. By coincidence, I’ve discovered that Eugie reviews fiction and Matt reviews film, so perhaps with proper hypnotic gestures I’ll be to entice some future material from them for Escape Pod.

Thanks again to everyone. The next time we run one of these contests, we’ll make sure it’s one that everyone in the world can enter, and that no one will be required to type the word “aspic.” Have Fun!

Update: In response to an excellent suggestion in the comments, here are the answers to the trivia questions (the page itself is still up, but will be deleted in a few days):

Question Answer
1. From what food dish does the Voice of God emanate? Tomato aspic
2a. What did the door do when Chief Knowledgist Grimble entered? Dilate
2b. Which science fiction writer first coined that phrase? Robert A. Heinlein
3. Who are the traditional enemies of the Conservancy? Development, or Pigs
4. Adelle became two different celebrities. Name both. Michelle Kwan & Bonnie Raitt
5. What book were the girl and the chef reading together? A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Leguin
6. Who is suspected of murdering the anthology market in the 1970s? Roger Elwood
7. What kabuki-mask-wearing psychosurf monster rock band has “special reverb skill combo for full impact?” Daikaiju

The other questions were survey-type questions. “Snow Day” was the unanimous favorite story of all who entered. The rest of the comments were varied, but overall people are digging what we’re doing. This makes our editors very happy. Cookies for everyone!

EP006: Jenny Nettles


By Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald.
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald.
All stories read by Stephen Eley.

On the morning after his death, a clear fluid began to leak from the Jenny‘s mainmast: slow, glistening droplets that curled out and ran downward from where the knives were stuck in the wood. “It’s water,” said the ship’s cook. “But not fresh. Salt. Like blood.”

“Not like blood,” said Big Tom, who had also tasted it. His cheeks were sunken, and his eyes were hollow and dark. “Not like blood — like tears.”

Rated PG. Contains violence, supernatural themes, and sailors who do not swear.