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.
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 ‚Äì 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.
I saw nothing when I looked through the eyepiece Franz handed me and told
“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.”
For all that, his manners were impeccable. It wasn’t that he sat slobbering and gnashing, drawing attention to himself as some deranged Neanderthal with a fork might have done. No, he ate demurely, quietly, chatting with her, truly interested in what she had to say (or at least feigning interest so well that she would never notice the difference). Dinner with him lasted the entire evening. The courses came and went ‚Äî soups, hors-d’oeuvres, first course, main course, cheese course, desserts and coffee, liqueurs. She would not have noticed right away that he had eaten an extra course, or more than one dessert, or consumed an entire bottle of wine on his own and helped her with half of another. Simply, he ate. And ate. And ate. And ate.
Rated R. Contains explicit sex, cruelty, and immoral dining.
The fact is, almost any new knife can cut through an aluminum can and then slice a tomato with equal ease. Don’t believe me, buy a new cheap knife and try it yourself. The pitch man hacks through a tree branch. He cuts a radiator hose. And this ho-hum humbug works. If he hammered a nail with his shoe people would buy nine pair, as long as they came with a free shoehorn and an extra pair of laces.
For all of you who can’t get enough Escape Pod from the Web site and want to talk about it some more, we now have our own dedicated bulletin board through our affiliation with The Sci-Fi Podcast Network. You can reach our forum here:
We’ve actually had this for a couple of weeks now, but a friendly e-mail reminded me that we hadn’t actually told anyone about it. Oops. We’ve also put this link in the lefthand sidebar of our page for future reference.
“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.
“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.
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.