Rated PG. Contains explicit existentialism and violence of the soul. (The intro contains minor profanity and frank discussions of current events, and is likely to be more offensive than the story.)
The Life and Times of Penguin
By Eugie Foster
Penguin listened raptly to the new voice. He knew this was his guardian angel, she who would guard and protect him forever. Sure enough, the Creator set him gently into his angel’s hand. Her hands, much smaller than the Creator’s–which was fitting since who among the angels had such power as the Creator?–were a bit sticky. He squealed as she held him aloft to
receive the glorious light.
“Look, Daddy! It’s a peng’n!”
“Yes it is, Angie. It’s a very nice penguin. Did you thank the nice man for the balloon?”
About the Author
In her own words:
I grew up in the Midwest, although I call home a mildly haunted, fey-infested house in metro Atlanta that I share with my husband, Matthew. After receiving my Master of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology, I retired from academia to pen flights of fancy. I also edit legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, which from time to time I suspect is another venture into flights of fancy.
I received the 2009 Nebula Award for Best Novelette [for for her novelette, “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast,” ], the 2011 and 2012 Drabblecast People’s Choice Award for Best Story, and was named the 2009 Author of the Year by Bards and Sages. The Dragon and the Stars anthology, edited by Derwin Mak and Eric Choi, with my story, “Mortal Clay, Stone Heart,” won the 2011 Aurora Award for Best English Related Work. My fiction has also received the 2002 Phobos Award; been translated into eight languages; and been a finalist for the Hugo, Washington Science Fiction Association, and British Science Fiction Association awards.
My short story collection, Returning My Sister’s Face and Other Far Eastern Tales of Whimsy and Malice, was published in 2009 and has been used as a textbook at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of California-Davis. Check out my fiction index for a list of all my published and forthcoming works.
I’m a voting member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the non-profit writers organization founded by Damon Knight in 1965 and presenter of the Nebula awards.
Eugie Foster died on September 27th, 2014 of respiratory failure related to Lymphoma at Emory University in Atlanta. Her story, “When It Ends, He Catches Her,” published the day before her death, was nominated for the 2015 Nebula Award.
In her memory, the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction (or Eugie Award) celebrates the best in innovative fiction. This annual award is presented at Dragon Con, the nation’s largest fan-run convention.
The Eugie Award honors stories that are irreplaceable, that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. We will be looking for stories that are beautiful, thoughtful, and passionate, and change us and the field. The recipient is a story that is unique and will become essential to speculative fiction readers.
About the Narrator
Mur Lafferty is the co-editor and sometime-host of Escape Pod.
She is an American podcaster and writer based in Durham, North Carolina. She is the host and creator of the podcasts I Should Be Writing and Ditch Diggers. Her books have been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, and Scribe Awards. In the past decade she has been the co-founder/co-editor of PseudoPod, founding editor of Mothership Zeta, and the editor or co-editor of Escape Pod (where she is currently).
She is fond of Escape Artists, in other words.
Mur won the 2013 Astounding Award for Best New Writer (formerly the John W. Campbell Award), and the 2018 Hugo Award for Best Fancast for Ditch Diggers. She’s been nominated for numerous other awards and is always doing new things, so check her website for the latest.