EP035: Hero

Show Notes

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

Referenced sites:
SciFiction
PodcasterCon
Escape Pod CD Offer


Hero

By Scott Sigler

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.

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

Show Notes

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

Referenced sites:
PodcasterCon
Escape Pod CD Offer


Free Will, Baby

By Janni Lee Simner

“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.”

EP Flash: Night Off

Show Notes

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.)


Night Off

By Jason Erik Lundberg

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?”

EP033: Santa In My Pocket

Show Notes

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

Referenced sites:
Agnostica
Geek Fu Action Grip
I Should Be Writing
Geek Acres


Santa In My Pocket

By Mur Lafferty

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.

EP032: Alien Animal Encounters

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains profanity, explicit imagery, and hot alien action.

Referenced sites:
Whatever
Reading is Fundamental
Lies and Little Deaths
Child’s Play
Today in Alternate History


Alien Animal Encounters

By John Scalzi

Ted McPeak, Community College Student, Jersey City:

Some friends and me heard that if you smoked the skin of an aret, you could get monumentally wasted. So we bought one at a pet store and waited a couple of weeks until it shed its skin. Then we crumbled up the dry skin, put it in with some pot, and lit up. We all got these insane mouth blisters that didn’t go away for weeks. We all had to eat soup for a month. Though maybe it wasn’t the skin; the pot could have been bad or something.

Listener Survey


As I just mentioned in today’s podcast, we’re conducting a brief listener survey:

Why should you fill it out? Because it’ll help us understand how we’re doing, what you like and what you don’t, who listens to us, and it might help us in the future with grants or funding.

And also because I’m giving $1 to Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play for each completed survey. Click some boxes, help a kid. How good a deal is that?

UPDATE: Janice’s comment (thanks!) made me understand that I probably ought to be a lot clearer about my intent with this. Yes, the survey was composed by a marketing company. Their intent with it, I think, was to help podcasters prepare a pitch to advertisers. That is not my intent with it. We seriously are doing better with donations right now than I think we’d be likely to do running ads, and I know as well as anyone that if we started running commercials the donations would probably drop to nothing overnight. I don’t want to do that. You all have been incredible in your support, and I want to redeem that trust.

The reason we’re using this survey (despite some annoying questions) is because it was free and ready-made, and that saves us a lot of time. Also, we do want to prepare a pitch — but not to advertisers. I’m hoping that some of this information will be useful in our application to the IRS for 501(c)(3) status, and later on if we decide to go looking for public arts grants or ad-free sponsorships. And some of this stuff we’d simply like to know. I’m far more interested in the questions like “What do you think of the Web design/show length/frequency?” than “How much would you trust this host to recommend real estate products?”

If you find those questions obnoxious, just skip them. I can’t really can’t blame you. Heck, I’m not sure I would trust me to recommend real estate products. If you would, you haven’t seen my lawn.

EP031: Robots and Falling Hearts

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains slight profanity, long flirtations, and excessive Zen. Watch for falling metaphors.

Referenced sites:
Child’s Play
Hooting Yard


Robots and Falling Hearts

By Tim Pratt and Greg van Eekhout

I paused to tie a loose shoelace and a squat robot, like a dirty white trashcan on tank-treads, trundled out of an alley toward me. A red light on top of its domelike top blinked erratically. It said, in a high-pitched voice, “Klaatu barada nikto.” A small panel slid open in its front, and a pole with a cup on the end telescoped out. There were a few coins in the cup, mostly pennies and nickels, and the robot jingled the cup significantly.

“Take me to your leader,” I said, wishing it could be that simple, knowing that these things are never that simple. The robot beeped at me and jingled its cup harder, the coins rattling.

“It won’t go away unless you give it some change,” said a woman standing on the corner. “It followed me all the way to work one day, and hung around outside the door like a dog for hours.”

EP030: Aliens Love Oranges

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains mild provinicialism, non-explicit discussion of sexual preferene, and screwdrivers. (The kind with vodka.)

Referenced sites:
Spaceship Radio Script Factory
Rev Up Review
2B Pictures Filmmaking Podcast


Aliens Love Oranges

By Sue Burke

“They do talk wrong,” she whispered. “They say ‘aboot’ instead of ‘about’ and ‘proh-gress’ instead of ‘prah-gress.’ It’s like they can’t almost speak English right.”

“That’s how you tell,” Lois said. “Aliens can’t figure out how to say the letter O. Have y’all ever heard a body talk like that?”