Escape Pod 72: Joe Steele
Rated R. Contains profanity and strong political themes. Not happy politics, like we have today. 1930s politics.
(Inspired by the song “God & the FBI” by Janis Ian, published by Windham Hill. Song included with Janis Ian’s permission.)
Wikipedia: Alternate history
“If Lee Had Not Won the Civil War,” by Winston Churchill
Today in Alternate History (by Robbie Taylor)
Bring the Jubilee, by Ward Moore
(Update 9/24: Many of you will probably get a duplicate download. This time it’s deliberate. I had requested permission to play Janis Ian’s song, “God and the FBI,” but she was touring Europe and didn’t get my e-mail in time. She just responded and graciously gave me permission, so I’m revising the file and including it at the end. If you don’t want to hear the whole story again, just skip forward 41 minutes. Thank you, Janis!)
by Harry Turtledove
Two men left. Franklin D. Roosevelt. D for Delano, mind. Governor of New York. Cousin to Teddy Roosevelt. Already ran for Vice President once. Didn’t win. Cigarette holder. Jaunty angle. Wheelchair. Paralysis. Anguish. Courage. As near an aristocrat as America grows. Franklin D. Roosevelt. D for Delano.
And Joe Steele.
Joe Steele. Congressman from California. Not San Francisco. Not Nob Hill. Good Lord, no. Fresno. Farm country. That great valley, squeezed by mountains east and west. Not a big fellow, Joe Steele. Stands real straight, so you don’t notice too much. Mustache, a good-sized one. Thick head of hair just starting to go gray. Eyelids like shutters. When they go down and then come up again, you can’t see what was behind them.
About the Author
Harry Norman Turtledove is an American novelist, best known for alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy and science fiction.
About the Narrator
Serah Eley is the original producer, editor and host of Escape Pod. She mispronounced her name as Steve Eley at the time, but has since realized that life is much more fun as a woman, and came out as transgender in 2015. Serah lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two spouses (she prefers “spice”), Sadi and Cat.
So if there were ever any betting pools on what happened to Steve: the dark-horse winner is “changed sex and joined a committed lesbian love triangle.” She is, obviously, still Having Fun.