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.

EP Flash: Friday Night Gods


By Josh Rountree.
Read by Stephen Eley.

Brodie approached the line of scrimmage and both sides
of the field erupted. The red-robed fans in the
visitor’s stands surged like a crimson wave, swaying
in unison as they began the Rite of Interception.
They stamped their feet against the aluminum
bleachers, chanting as they drew gleaming blades
across the bellies of countless doomed rattlesnakes.
Their blood spilled, the snakes were then hurled onto
the field. The rain of reptiles sounded like bacon
burning in a skillet as the animals protested their
own sacrifice.

EP012: Clean Up Your Room!


By Laura Anne Gilman.
Read by Mur Lafferty.
All stories by Laura Anne Gilman
All stories read by Mur Lafferty

“Jessy, put that away and come eat breakfast. You won’t get anything useful done on an empty stomach.” The voice was the usual gender-neutral computer-generated drone, and yet it sounded different to her this morning. Obviously, the tone modifiers Gregory had suggested were working, too. That was going to be a selling point for everyone yelping about the dehumanization of home life. In a few generations, they’d be able to personalize the voice, maybe even to customer order.

Rated G. Contains intense maternal nagging and disturbing chorework. May not be suitable for some adults.

EP Flash: Virus


By Greg van Eekhout.
Read by Deborah Green.
All stories by Greg van Eekhout
All stories read by Deborah Green

Drawn by the sound of the propellers, the lunchtime crowd looked to the sky. An airship passed over the skyscrapers, plumes of black, virus-laden smoke spewing behind it. Traffic below stopped. People paused on the sidewalks and watched the cloud sink slowly towards them.

EP011: Herd Mentality


By Jay Caselberg.
Read by Stephen Eley.
All stories by Jay Caselberg
All stories read by Stephen Eley

Einstein was getting old now. All of them. Not so old that he was past it, but you had to wonder. When our troops liberated the Spemann Lab complex in 1945, the Einsteins had been just five years old. The Government had done the humanitarian thing and brought them back home. Eventually, someone had leaked the information and slowly, slowly, public pressure and outrage had grown. The big hush-hush operation our government had mounted was shut down and the Einsteins were released – or rather, they were integrated into society in a humanitarian manner. That was the wording the government press releases used. Two hundred and fifty is a lot of Einsteins.

Rated G. Suitable for world-dominating clone armies of all ages.

EP Flash: Paradox


By Scott Janssens.
Read by Paul S. Jenkins (of Rev Up Review).
All stories by Scott Janssens
All stories read by Paul S. Jenkins.

I saw nothing when I looked through the eyepiece Franz handed me and told
him so.

“Of course not,” said Franz. “Right now, the time sight is set to look into
the future. From this point in time, the future doesn’t exist yet, not in
any meaningful way, so it can’t be seen.”