Tag: "rachel swirsky"

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EP250: Eros, Philia, Agape

By Rachel Swirsky
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Originally published in: Tor.com
All stories by Rachel Swirsky
All stories read by Mur Lafferty

The objects belonged to them both, but Adriana waved her hand bitterly when Lucian began packing. “Take whatever you want,” she said, snapping her book shut. She waited by the door, watching Lucian with sad and angry eyes.

Their daughter, Rose, followed Lucian around the house. “Are you going to take that, Daddy? Do you want that?” Wordlessly, Lucian held her hand. He guided her up the stairs and across the uneven floorboards where she sometimes tripped. Rose stopped by the picture window in the master bedroom, staring past the palm fronds and swimming pools, out to the vivid cerulean swath of the ocean. Lucian relished the hot, tender feel of Rose’s hand. I love you, he would have whispered, but he’d surrendered the ability to speak.

Rated PG for marital strife and implied child abuse.

Show Notes:

  • This is a long one, we’re bringing occasional novelettes to Escape Pod now, and what better to launch the effort than a Hugo nominee?

Next week… Escape Pod looks at an alternate history with alternate aliens.

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EP221: Little Ambushes

By Joanne Merriam.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.
All stories by Joanne Merriam
All stories read by Rachel Swirsky

Practically the first thing she did when she took in the alien was to give him a new name. He looked at her outstretched hand long enough to annoy her, and then grasped it with his four opposable fingers and hung on limply until she wrenched her hand out of his moist and over-jointed grip.

She said, “I’m Sarah,” and he said his name, or what she assumed was his name, in return, rolling the syllables around in his mouth like so many rough pebbles. His name was too long, something like Shperidth with extra grunting noises in the middle, like a car backfiring very far away. She tried to repeat it and couldn’t, while he stood on her doorstep sweating and folding his fingers around each other. She frowned at him.

“I can’t say that,” she said.

Rated PG-13 for some adult situations and coarse language.

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EP213: A Monkey Will Never Get Rid of Its Black Hands

By Rachel Swirsky.
Read by Alasdair Stuart.
All stories by Rachel Swirsky
All stories read by Alasdair Stuart

Papa and Uncle Fomba told me if I didn’t join the army, they’d kill me. They didn’t. They cut off my hands.

This was after U.S. forces marched on Syria, but before we invaded Lebanon. On every city block, posters of Uncle Sam entreated every Tom, Duc, and Haroun to get blown up in the name of freedom. Papa and Fomba gave me two weeks to enlist. I ran for Canada instead. They caught me.

Rated R for amputation fads.

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Escape Pod Flash: Semi-Autonomous or ‘For Whom The Warranty Tolls

By Jim Kling.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.
All stories by Jim Kling.
All stories read by Rachel Swirsky.


Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. Leave a message and I will have him return your call.

Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. He will be hosting his birthday party on Saturday night. If you plan to attend, press ‘one’ and then speak your name. I will add you to the guest list. Otherwise, leave a message and I will make sure he receives it.

Hello, you have reached Jim’s semi-autonomous answering machine. My records indicate that you have previously RSVP’d for the Saturday night party. Please indicate your alcohol preference. For beer, press ‘one.’ For wine, press ‘two.’ For mixed drinks, press ‘three.’ If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, press ‘four.’ This information will be used for ordering purposes only, transmitted through my wireless connection to Jim’s refrigerator, which in turn is linked to an online grocery. For more information about AutonomInc’s SmartAppliance line, please view our web site at www.autonominc.com. “AutonomInc: We give a whole new meaning to housework!” If you have a message for Jim, please leave it now.

Rated PG and now available in a wide variety of colours!

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Escape Pod Flash Fiction Contest, Honorable Mention: Hello, I Love You

By Katherine Sparrow.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.
All stories by Katherine Sparrow
All stories read by Rachel Swirsky

“Junk DNA? I’ll junk your DNA!” Sofia glared at Zorg.

“Apologies. It is only, don’t you find it interesting? Most of it is unused–”

“Junk? You supercilious aliens come to Earth to rein snottiness on us lowly humans? How sublime. I suppose your DNA is full of Porsches?”

Rated PG.