Posts Tagged ‘Clarkesworld’

Support Clarkesworld!


If you’re a fan of Escape Pod, you’re probably a fan of Clarkesworld, even if you don’t know it. Many of our reprints first ran in CW, and they’ve always been very gracious about letting us run Kate Baker’s narrations for the stories nominated for the Hugo Award. It won the Hugo Award last year and has some of the best fiction and nonfiction writing in SF today.

They’re doing a subscription push right now because editor Neil Clarke has had a rather bad year (heart attack and job loss only two of the circumstances.) I wanted to spread the word not only to help Neil, but because Clarkesworld is a damn good magazine and deserves your attention. If you like EP, I’m fairly sure you’ll like CW. So subscribe already. We’ll be here when you’re done with a new story tomorrow!

EP298: The Things


By Peter Watts
Read by: Kate Baker (Thanks to Kate and Clarkesworld for the audio!)
Originally appearing in Clarkesworld
Discuss on our forums.
All stories by Peter Watts
All stories read by Kate Baker
Nominated for the Hugo Award for Short Story, 2011

Rated appropriate for older teens and up for language and disturbing imagery.

The Things
By Peter Watts

I am being Blair. I escape out the back as the world comes in through the front.

I am being Copper. I am rising from the dead.

I am being Childs. I am guarding the main entrance.

The names don’t matter. They are placeholders, nothing more; all biomass is interchangeable. What matters is that these are all that is left of me. The world has burned everything else.

I see myself through the window, loping through the storm, wearing Blair.  MacReady has told me to burn Blair if he comes back alone, but MacReady still thinks I am one of him. I am not: I am being Blair, and I am at the door. I am being Childs, and I let myself in. I take brief communion, tendrils writhing forth from my faces, intertwining: I am BlairChilds, exchanging news of the world.

The world has found me out. It has discovered my burrow beneath the tool shed, the half-finished lifeboat cannibalized from the viscera of dead helicopters. The world is busy destroying my means of escape. Then it will come back for me.

There is only one option left. I disintegrate. Being Blair, I go to share the plan with Copper and to feed on the rotting biomass once called Clarke ; so many changes in so short a time have dangerously depleted my reserves. Being Childs, I have already consumed what was left of Fuchs and am replenished for the next phase.  I sling the flamethrower onto my back and head outside, into the long Antarctic night.

I will go into the storm, and never come back.

(Continue Reading…)