EP040: Even Vadsø Thaws


By Bruce Holland Rogers.
Read by Stephen Eley.
Musical guest: Red Hunter.

The only person who might understand is Sponheim, the Corrections
Sociologist. He just arrived. It’s his job to understand me thoroughly
and to write a report that his successors will use to decide if it’s safe
to revive me. His report will help them decide if I am no longer a threat
to society because society has changed enough to deal with me, or has
learned to treat behaviors like mine.

“I am already remorseful!” I tell him at our first interview. “I
won’t do it again!” We are sitting at a table by the water. A light mist
falls. “I shouldn’t have done it, shouldn’t even have thought about
it. Once, I was one of the people fighting to preserve the last wild polar
bears! I wanted to protect the earth!” I get myself worked up. I am
close to tears.

Rated PG. Contains themes of ecoterrorism and global disaster. If you can explain that to your kids, it’s family-safe.

Referenced sites:
Short-Short Stories by Bruce Holland Rogers
SciFi Dimensions

EP Flash: The Team-Mate Reference Problem in Final-Stage Demon Confrontation


By Constance Cooper.
Read by Frank Key (of Hooting Yard On The Air).

Colleagues, ours is a uniquely demanding profession. In no other job do you endanger your coworker’s soul if you call out to him in the course of your duties. But since a demon has power over you once it knows your name, well-meant warnings such as “Buck! Behind you!” can have tragic consequences.

Rated G. Important safety tip. (Thanks, Egon.)

EP039: My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie


By Eugie Foster.
Read by the Word Whore (of Air Out My Shorts).

I don’t know how it happened. I’m the last person I’d go to if I were a
zombie; I’m not into the occult thing at all. But I was the only friend
Mandy had in this city, so she came to me with her sob story. Lucky me. So
there she was, kicked back in my bed, having herself a good, long cry and I
was stuck with her, wondering how long until she began stinking. That was
really unfair of me, I know, but there was a goddamn walking, talking corpse
snuggled up in my good sheets and I was a little concerned about it.

Rated X. Contains profanity, sexual situations, and the undead, in various combinations.

Referenced sites:
The Sci Phi Show
Tangent Short Fiction Review
The Town Drunk
Radio A.D.D.

EP038: L’Alchimista


By N.K. Jemisin.
Read by Paul Tevis (of Have Games, Will Travel).
Discuss on our forums.
Guest host: Salim Fadhley.
All stories by N.K. Jemisin.
All stories read by Paul Tevis.

She did not particularly care whether he paid; it wasn’t her inn. But
at his words she lifted an eyebrow. “What sort of challenge?”

“A very special one.” He slipped a hand into his coat like an
old-fashioned pistolero, but before Franca could worry he pulled out a
bulging sack made of what looked like deerhide. He set this on the table — carefully, Franca noted.

“You are willing to follow a recipe? So many chefs of your caliber
think themselves above the direction of others.”

She lifted her chin. “I was head chef for Parliament once — before
that bastard Berlusconi, anyhow. While I was there I had to make Florentine
dishes like a Florentine and Venetian dishes like a Venetian and the Madonna
help me if I did them wrong. If the recipe is sound, I can follow it.”

Rated G. Warning: Food descriptions may be intoxicating. Do not listen before grocery shopping.

Referenced sites:
Resonance FM
The Exciting Hellebore Shew

EP Flash: Hibernation


By Madge E. Miller.
Read by Stephen Eley.

Two Alaskan Kodiak bears joined a small circus where the pair
appeared nightly in a parade, pulling a covered wagon. The fact that they
had joined the circus was not so strange; the circus life was very popular
even for the better class of bear. The strange thing was that they were
both primitive mutes. This alone elevated or, in the opinion of some bears
still angry about the Great Russian Dancing Bear Revolt of ’06, lowered them
to the level of freak show attraction.

Rated G. Contains non-graphic ursine violence.

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