Escape Pod 103: The Watching People
Rated PG. Contains mild language, some violence, and the Observer Effect gone very awry.
Dr. Howard V. Hendrix’s “Webscab” essay
Jo Walton’s “International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day” essay
International Pixel-Stained Technopeasants Community
Air Out My Shorts
The Watching People
By Paul M. Berger
One must show the proper respect for knowledge, and learn by watching and counting and copying. The Doctor does almost nothing but learn — although he watches the wrong things — and some of us think he might be a little sacred as well, which is one of the reasons he is still alive. It might be unlucky to eat a sacred person.
But the main reason he is still among us is someday we will learn something valuable from him, and then maybe the village will support the lives of a few more of the People. We watch him carefully.
About the Author
Paul M. Berger
Paul M. Berger is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines and anthologies including Fantasy Magazine, Strange Horizons, Interzone, Polyphony 6, Twenty Epics, All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Ideomancer and Escape Pod. The story of his battle against giant Japanese spiders was the first true-life memoir published in Weird Tales.
Paul has been a Japanese bureaucrat, a Harvard graduate student, an M.I.T. program administrator, an Internet entrepreneur, a butterfly wrangler and a Wall Street recruiter, which, in the aggregate, may have prepared him for nothing except the creation of speculative fiction.
He is a founding member of the well-regarded and increasingly impressive writing group Altered Fluid, and was an Associate Editor of the magazine Sybil’s Garage. He is also a 2008 alumnus of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, where he studied under Kelly Link, James Patrick Kelly, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Neil Gaiman, Nalo Hopkinson and Geoff Ryman.
Paul lives in New York City. He has no cats that he is aware of.
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.