Posts Tagged ‘Dave Thompson’

EP490: Flowers for Algernon


Flowers for Algernon

by Daniel Keyes

[EDITOR: We don’t have the rights to post the text of this story, but it’s widely available online by searching.]

EP472: The Mercy of Theseus


The Mercy of Theseus

by Rachael K. Jones

Greta and Jamal have three arms, two legs, and one working kidney between the two of them. The kidney belongs to Greta. Its twin went to her little sister three years back, and now she has a laparoscopic keyhole scar over her belly button to remember it by. She can feel it pull tight when she rolls her creeper beneath the chassis of the next project in the shop. Thanks to the war, Jamal has lost the arm, the legs, and the other two kidneys.

All his parts have since been replaced.


When Greta picked up Jamal in Washington, D.C. three days back, the first thing she did was insult him.

“You look like shit,” she said. His left hand–the good one–flew up to his right cheek where the surgical scars stood out like red cords. His bionics were top notch–the Army had to put you together again before they could legally discharge you–but you could still see where the silicone skin ended and his real face began.

Greta snorted. “Not your face, you moron. Your sweatshirt. You look like a psycho killer.”

Jamal wore an oversize gray Army sweatshirt with the hoodie cinched tight beneath his chin. He dropped his hand and sidestepped when she tried to hug him. “Where did you park? Let’s get out of here.”

She ignored the slight and led the way to the parking lot. She felt secretly gratified when Jamal’s jaw dropped at the sight of the ancient Mercedes. “Jesus fucking Christ, Greta! You found Mercy!”

Greta sidled up behind him and eased the duffel bag from his hand–the bionic one. It looked like a real hand up close. Just not like Jamal’s hand. “Get in. We’re going on a road trip.” She slung the duffel bag on a stack of Heinleins in the back and took the driver’s seat.

“I don’t remember it smelling like French fries in here,” said Jamal. (Continue Reading…)

EP418: The Dala Horse


The Dala Horse

by Michael Swanwick

Something terrible had happened. Linnea did not know what it was. But her father had looked pale and worried, and her mother had told her, very fiercely, “Be brave!” and now she had to leave, and it was all the result of that terrible thing.

The three of them lived in a red wooden house with steep black roofs by the edge of the forest. From the window of her attic room, Linnea could see a small lake silver with ice very far away. The design of the house was unchanged from all the way back in the days of the Coffin People, who buried their kind in beautiful polished boxes with metal fittings like nothing anyone made anymore. Uncle Olaf made a living hunting down their coffin-sites and salvaging the metal from them. He wore a necklace of gold rings he had found, tied together with silver wire.

“Don’t go near any roads,” her father had said. “Especially the old ones.” He’d given her a map. “This will help you find your grandmother’s house.”

“Mor-Mor?”

“No, Far-Mor. My mother. In Godastor.”

Godastor was a small settlement on the other side of the mountain. Linnea had no idea how to get there. But the map would tell her.

Her mother gave her a little knapsack stuffed with food, and a quick hug. She shoved something deep in the pocket of Linnea’s coat and said, “Now go! Before it comes!”

“Good-bye, Mor and Far,” Linnea had said formally, and bowed.

Then she’d left.
(Continue Reading…)

Escape Artists Metacast


An urgent update on the status of Escape Artists, its three podcasts, our plans for the future and why we desperately need your help getting there.

Escape Artists Metacast

 

Escape Artists, Inc.
P.O. Box 83
Woodstock, GA 30188
Additional music provided by D-Form – http://www.reverbnation.com/dform
Sound effects provided by users kasa90 (http://freesound.org/people/kasa90/) and TasmanianPower (http://freesound.org/people/TasmanianPower/) of FreeSound.org

EP362: Contamination


Contamination

By Jay Werkheiser

Ari allowed his skimmer to brush the outer edge of Nouvelle Terre’s atmosphere. He tried to imagine air jostling the light nanofiber support frame, whistling through the skimmer’s magsails. Excitement pulsed through his veins at the thought of being so close to the blue-and-white surface, perhaps closer than any human had ever dared. Nothing but his skinsuit and a few hundred kilometers of atmosphere separated him from the living, breathing landscape below. He spread his arms and legs, trying to feel the miniscule tug of atmospheric drag.

Is that what wind feels like?

His faceplate HUD showed a ripple in the magsail’s yaw loop. The threat of a coil collapse brought his mind back into focus, and he hiked up the field strength to gain some altitude. He savored every precious minute the skimmer took to climb away from the atmosphere. Nouvelle Terre’s secondary sun climbed over the horizon, visible only because the primary sun hadn’t yet risen. He scanned the starry sky, taking advantage of the view before primary sunrise darkened his faceplate. Earth’s distant sun was almost directly overhead, a pinpoint at the tail of a zig-zag of stars. The drive flare that cut across the constellation chilled his good mood. After a generation of silence, what could the Earth people possibly want?

Bah. Figuring that out was the job of bureaucrats. Ari preferred jockeying around with a skimmer, launching and retrieving microprobes, and taking time to enjoy the freedom of flight. Before long, the Gardien rose above the limb of the planet. He’d be home within a half hour, pining for his next chance to fly free.

“That you, Ari?” If his solitude had to be interrupted by a human voice, he could do worse than Maura’s.

“Who else would it be?”

He knew damn well who she was afraid it might be. He tilted his head upward toward the spear of light that dominated the sky. A new ship from Earth arriving unannounced after all these years was reason enough to be on edge.

(Continue Reading…)

EP348: Nemesis


Nemesis

By Nathaniel Lee

It was the middle of second-period Spanish when I felt my cell phone go off in my pocket. Three pulses, then two. That meant one of my alerts had hit paydirt. I’ve got newsfeeds filtered for keywords, pairing “emergency” and the names of every local school and business I could think of, plus I got Kenny from sixth period computer Science to cobble together a kind of hack on the actual first responders’ radio channels. If my phone had gone off, then there was trouble.

If there was trouble, then the city needed Atom Boy.

So where was he?

Well, if I was in Spanish, then he was in History. No, wait, he’d dropped the AP course. Did he have some kind of math now instead? Crud. I had no idea. I’d lost our hero.

“Miss Ramsey?”

“Ahem!”

“Uh, um, I mean, uh, Señora Ramsey?”

” Sí, Quentin?”

“Yo, uh, yo poder uso el baño?”

“Puedo. Y sí, se puede. Andale.”

I clapped a hand over my pocket to keep my phone-bulge hidden and ran out of the classroom, careful to turn to the right as if I were heading for the boy’s room. A couple of months ago, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea; I’d discovered Adam’s secret when I walked in on him trying to get out of his tights at the end of fourth period. Which he’d missed, by the way, and I’d had to cover for him and pretend like I’d gotten a text from his mom about an emergency dental appointment.

(Continue Reading…)

EP331: Devour


Devour

By Ferrett Steinmetz

“I want some water,” Sergio says.  The bicycle chains clank as he strains to
put his feet on the floor.

Sergio designed his own restraints.  He had at least fifteen plumbers on his
payroll who could have installed the chains – but Sergio’s never trusted
anything he didn’t build with his own hands.  So he deep-drilled gear mounts
into our guest room’s floral wallpaper, leaving me to string greased roller
chains through the cast-iron curlicues of the canopy bed.

“You’re doing well, Bruce,” he lied, trying to smile – but his lips were
already desiccated, pulled too tight at the edges.  Not his lips at all.

I slowed him down; I had soft lawyer’s hands, more used to keyboards than
Allen wrenches.  Yet we both knew it would be the last time we could touch
each other.  So I asked for help I didn’t need, and he took my hands in his
to guide the chains through what he referred to as “the marionette mounts.”

(Continue Reading…)

EP307: Soulmates


Soulmates

By Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn

Have you ever killed someone you love – I mean, really love?

I did.

I did it as surely as if I’d fired a bullet into her brain, and the fact that it was perfectly legal, that everyone at the hospital told me I’d done a humane thing by giving them permission to pull the plug, didn’t make me feel any better. I’d lived with Kathy for twenty-six years, been married to her for all but the first ten months. We’d been through a lot together: two miscarriages, a bankruptcy, a trial separation twelve years ago – and then the car crash. They said she’d be a vegetable, that she’d never think or walk or even move again. I let her hang on for almost two months, until the insurance started running out, and then I killed her.

(Continue Reading…)

EP263: Fuel

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Feedback for Episode 255: Variations on a Theme.
  • It’s our first full-text story! Read OR listen to it! We’ll have the epub version ready for download in the next few days.
  • Next week… Halloween episode!

Creative Commons License
Fuel by Matthew S. Rotundo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at escapepod.org.


Fuel

By Matthew S. Rotundo

The third quarter report cards came out Thursday, and for Jamie, the timing couldn’t have been worse. The Nike man was coming over that night to sell his brother some new blood.

He took his time walking home from Gilder Middle School, weaving past cracks in the sidewalk and mud puddles left behind by the spring thaw. His pace slowed further as he turned onto Willow Avenue and saw his house, second on the left, a red brick ranch with spidery ivy growing up the east side. Old leaves, fallen tree branches, and other detritus left over from the winter littered the front yard. As he neared, he noted with dismay his father’s car already in the driveway.

“Damn.” Jamie trudged across the yard and let himself in the front door with his keycard.

Dad was at the hall closet, hanging up his overcoat. He stood just under two meters tall; a navy blue business suit wrapped his muscled frame. He beamed when he saw Jamie. “Hey there, kiddo. How was school today?”

“You’re home early,” Jamie said.

“Need to get ready for the presentation tonight. And I’d like you to clean up the front yard. Make sure you use the dirt rake to get up that thatch. Will you do that for me?”

Jamie opened his mouth to protest, but thought the better of it. “Sure,” he said. He unslung his backpack and headed for the stairs.

“Oh. By the way.” Dad fished in a suit pocket and produced a folded piece of paper. “I got this in my email today.” He opened the paper.

Jaime recognized the school’s letterhead on the printout. He slumped, leaning against the wall.

Dad tapped the paper. “What’s this C-plus in Basic Fitness about, kiddo?” (Continue Reading…)

EP254: A Talent For Vanessa


By David W. Goldman
Read by: Dave Thompson of PodCastle
First appeared in Analog Science Fiction and Fact
Discuss on our forums.
All stories by David W. Goldman
All stories read by Dave Thompson

The young woman, a Ms. Vanessa Kortright-Kingston, untwisted. “No, I mean that he just knows the date like that! As if he could look into the future.”

Marv snorted. “Calendar calculating. They all do that. Not worth a paper dollar, not even in a carnival sideshow.”

“I’ve heard of it, but — ” Her blue eyes were wide as a con man’s smile. “They can all do it?”

“Sure.” Marv tilted back, his big wooden chair squeaking. “All the Counters, anyway. It’s like the Artists — they all draw horses. Or dogs. Which is funny, because back when they got their talents you’d never see a horse here in the city. Dogs, okay, no big deal. But you ask any Artist to sketch you a horse, and blam — if the damn thing galloped off the paper you wouldn’t be surprised.”

Her gaze went a bit distant. “That’s what I’d like,” she said. “To become an artist. Or a musician.”

Rated PG for dreams realized.

Show Notes:

  • Feedback for Episode 246, The Bride of Frankenstein

Next week… Teaching is quite tough, admittedly.