Rated PG. Contains scatology and crimes against pronunciation.
by David D. Levine
Shkthh pth kstphst, the shopkeeper said, and Walker’s hypno-implanted vocabulary provided a translation: “What a delightful object.” Chitinous fingers picked up the recorder, scrabbling against the aluminum case with a sound that Walker found deeply disturbing. “What does it do?”
It took him a moment to formulate a reply. Even with hypno, Thfshpfth was a formidably complex language. “It listens and repeats,” he said. “You talk all day, it remembers all. Earth technology. Nothing like it for light-years.” The word for “light-year” was hkshkhthskht, difficult to pronounce. He hoped he’d gotten it right.
About the Author
David D. Levine is a science fiction and fantasy writer who’s published over fifty stories in markets including Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, and Realms of Fantasy. He won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story, Endeavour Award, Writers of the Future Contest, James White Award, People’s Choice Award for Best Drabblecast Story of the Year, and Phobos Fiction Contest, and has been nominated or shortlisted for the Nebula Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, Aeon Award, Jim Baen Memorial Writing Contest, an earlier Hugo Award, and the John W. Campbell Award (twice).
His stories have appeared in four Year’s Best volumes and have been translated into French, Czech, Hebrew, Swedish, Romanian, Finnish, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese. He has been an instructor at the Alpha Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop for Young Writers; the Cascade Writers Workshop; Rainforest Writers Village; and numerous science fiction convention writers’ workshops. He is a member of the Wild Cards consortium, Book View Café, and the Science Fiction Writers of America, for whom he coordinated the SFWA Northwest Reading Series.
David lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Kate Yule, with whom he co-edits the fanzine Bento.
About the Narrator
Paul Tevis is an Ennie-award winning podcaster whose shows Have Games, Will Travel and The Voice of the Revolution discuss games, game design, and gamer subculture. He is an active participant in this subculture, and is a recognizable figure at many of its conventions. He has released his own game, A Penny for My Thoughts, in the summer of 2009 through Evil Hat Productions.