Archive for E-pub

The Soundproof Escape Pod #9

Click here to download the ePub version.

This month we’re bringing you short story and novella nominees for the Hugo awards, one of the two big Science Fiction and Fantasy awards alongside the Nebula. The Nebulas are awarded by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and the Hugos by the attendees of Worldcon. The Nebula’s were awarded in May, and we’ll find out who wins the Hugos next month at Renovation in Reno, Nevada.

It’s always been more than a bit amusing to me to see the inevitable ‘That got nominated? The [insert award name] is losing it’ comments cropping up on our forums and elsewhere. As if the Nebulas and Hugos are awarded by some wise men up on the crags, parsing the year’s crop of stories against the award’s prior canon. The nominations and awards come from a large swath of fandom or one’s fellow writers, and there’s always going to be elements of friendship, politics, fervent loyalty, and emotion in these endeavors.

And yet, the nominating crowds for both pick stories that are good, and worth reading. You won’t like all of them, but you’ll like a lot of them, and that is really the best you can hope for. Fiction is not nearly so varied as fiction readers, and the point of these things is to make sure good stories get the biggest audience then can.

Which is also the point of Soundproof. People write into us about having friends that can’t stand hearing stories, or who have a deaf spouse, or they just prefer to read.

The point of Escape Pod is getting as many good stories out to as many ears and eyes (or fingers, if anyone’s feeding this into one of those Braille boxes) as possible, which is why we’ve worked hard to keep things free, taking advertising when we like the advertiser, and being ever thankful to those of you who donate. We couldn’t do it without you. (Which is why Dave Thompson and Wilson Fowlie have been working hard to bring those who donate the Alphabet Quartet as a thank you.)

Hopefully one of the Hugo nominees in this issue will get the shiny, shiny rocket ship next month. They’re all worthy of it, even if they are [insert ghastly sub-genre].


The Soundproof Escape Pod #8

ePub version here.

Hello Gentle Listeners—

May brought us the announcement of the Hugo Awards nominees, which means that June is Hugo Month! For years, Escape Pod has been buying the rights to most of the Hugo short story nominees, and this year is no different. We’ll be featuring three of the four nominees, and since June has five Thursdays, we will also be featuring two longer stories that got Nebula and/or Hugo nods!

We also have the ebook rights to the stories, which is an Escape Pod first, so next month’s Soundproof will be a collector’s item. (If a digital file could be collectible. Which it can’t. So never mind. But you know what I mean; it’ll be cool.) I’m very excited to see our site growing so much.

We want to send extra special congrats to the podcasts who managed to make it onto the Hugo Ballot this year! 2010 winner for Best Fanzine, Starship Sofa, has gotten another nomination, and Writing Excuses has received a nod for Best Related Work. SSS has wonderful stories from many masters of SF, and Writing Excuses has wonderful discussions on how to write genre fiction. We are thrilled that these quality podcasts are getting attention from fandom. I’ll be reporting from WorldCon in two and a half months, and liveblogging the Hugo Awards. More info soon!

A question we get a lot of is, “Why do you not have all the stories in your PDF?” The answer is simple- audio and ebook rights are purchased separately, and sometimes an author cannot or will not grant us both rights. Or there are stories we’ve purchased before we started purchasing ebook rights, so we have no right to give you text versions of the stories. We take our authors’ rights very seriously and will only release the format for which we have rights. Audio-only stories are fewer and fewer these days, but there still will be an occasional one in our future feed.

Speaking of the feed, some people have asked that the Soundproof Escape Pod have its own feed, or the audio have its own feed. Or the R stories to have their own feed. We get this question a lot and can’t really create custom feeds for each listener – but never fear, there is a solution. I’d like to point you to a page that gives you some RSS options, including some things you can do to custom make your own EP feed.

From How To Subscribe (

You can make your own special Escape Pod feed by subscribing to where you replace XXXX with the category you want to subscribe to. Categories are listed on the front page in a drop-down box on the right. Have at it!

Lastly, in order to get the submissions under control, we’re taking two months off and closing for submissions on June 6th.

We hope you enjoy this issue, chock full of awesome stories, reviews, and Nebula reporting. We hope you have a wonderful summer (or winter, if you’re on the other side of the world) and keep listening! We will have other announcements next month!


The Soundproof Escape Pod #7

ePub version here.

Hello All—

We have listeners all over, and some of them will be heading into the winter months, but where I am spring has finally shook off the claws of winter.

But in the slice of science fiction fandom we all inhabit, spring is really notable for the return of Doctor Who to the airwaves, and thankfully for US fans, it is far closer to simultaneous transmission now that it has been the last few seasons. Physical distance matters less and less for communication, which in practice means that it is incredibly annoying to be in the US and looking at a twitter stream full of UK tweets about what the Doctor’s been on about that week. Spoilers suck (sweetie).

And speaking of the UK, we were very lucky and happy to run an interview with Lauren Beukes, who won this year’s Arthur C. Clarke award for her novel Zoo City. It’s available in an audio episode on our website, along with a (still audio) excerpt from the  book.

This month we were happy to bring you six stories, three of them flash. We ran three of the four honorable mentions from our flash contest fiction, which we should have done well before this. The forth and the three outright winners of the contest should be following in fairly close order.

We also brought you Abby Goldsmith’s A Taste Of Time, LaShawn Wanak’s Future Perfect, and Larry Hodges’ Tom the Universe. If you didn’t already listen to the on the ‘cast, I implore you to flick, scroll, click, or otherwise navigate several pages further in this to read them.

Until next month,


Bill Peters

Assistant Editor


Editor’s Note —3—

EP287: A Taste of Time By Abby Goldsmith —4—

Speculative Fiction And Engagement Marketing By Josh Roseman —13—

EP288: Future Perfect By LaShawn M. Wanak —15—

Book Review:God’s War By Sarah Frost —22—

EP290: Tom The Universe By Larry Hodges —24—

The Soundproof Escape Pod #6

The ePub version can be found here.

Welcome to April! —

March was a sad month worldwide, and I, frankly, am looking forward to leaving winter behind. (Yeah, I know March starts spring in the Northern Hemisphere, but the damp and dank weather we’ve been having the US South makes me feel more like winter than January did.)

First, the world was shocked by the disasters in Japan, earthquake, tsunami, and the continuing threat of radiation from their nuclear plant.

Then fantasy lost one of its masters with the death of Diana Wynne Jones. Any fan or writer of fantasy needs to read her Tough Guide to Fantasyland, and, well, any of her other books. Thirdly…

Well, hell, isn’t that enough?

Many people find themselves feeling lost and useless when it comes to disasters, especially if they’re happening far away. Luckily, some very quick and innovative SFF fans and professionals (including Pseudopod’s own Alasdair Stuart) got together to create Genre for Japan ( ), an auction featuring signed books from authors, collections of books from publishers (like Tor and Angry Robot), and editing or critique services from agents and editors. All proceeds go to the Japan Tsunami Appeal run by the British Red Cross. (They know what they’re doing.) Give generously and you can get some awesome prizes.

We hope you’re enjoying the monthly Soundproof PDFs.

We have had gotten a couple of questions asking why some of our audio stories don’t get printed on the site or in the Soundproof. The answer is simple: we don’t have the rights.

We buy the audio and ebook rights to all stories we are able to, but sometimes we are only able to get the audio rights, so those stories are in our audio feed. As we move forward we will do everything we can to get both ebook and audio rights.

Here’s to a better month.


Mur Lafferty


The Soundproof Escape Pod #5

Quick note: Sorry it’s late folks, minor illness-related delays.

The ePub version can be found here.

To our readers—

I’ve always been of two minds about that proverb (well, curse) that has been attributed to the ancient Chi- nese of “May you live in interesting times.”

Because let’s face it, boring times are getting further apart and fewer. The era of the noble farmer living a quiet life on the plains is long dead in much of the developed world, and while we always dream of re- turning home to a quiet Ithaca, I think a lot of us prefer the torrents of the seas and not knowing what the next isle will bring.

Which is bit of a long way of saying that it was a bit of a crazy month last month, wasn’t it?

Thousands of much better words than these have been etched in the cyber on the wave of popular revolu- tions in North Africa and the Middle East, so I’m going talk about the impending end of the Space Shuttle program.

Space shuttles were always a bit of science fiction that existed in the real world for those of us who grew up after the space race. They were the oddly shaped white space ships in the toy box with the X and Y- Wings and variants of the Enterprise.

They mixed the aspiration of escape from the bonds of gravity with the weight of tragedy that such aspira- tion can lead to. They were something between a pickup truck and the first real wave of space colonizers. Not that the two are mutually exclusive

The third to last shuttle mission is skimming the stratosphere as I write this, and the last one is due to launch in June. And then the US civilian space program will be reliant on private sector for space vehicles until at least 2015. Which, in a way, is progress.

But progress that doesn’t quite sit right. You want commercial haulers out there making space civilized, useful, and cheap enough that you might be able to hop out there for less than a decade’s salary. But there’s a need for ships of the line, and those come from the public masses.

Last month, Escape Pod brought you four stories, two of which will be republished here. Unfortunately we bought EP279: Conditional Love just before we started asking for ePub rights, as it was just nominated for the Nebula. Escape Pod knows all, but not always at the right time.

But we are bringing you the excellent David D. Levine’s Written On The Wind and the quite interesting Alex Dally MacFarlane’s The Notebook of My Favorite Skin-Trees. One’s about a bunch of aliens living together, mostly in peace, and the other’s about advertising in the near future.

We also did something a little special with the Written On The Wind episode, and you can read about it in the back of this month’s Soundproof.

The Soundproof Escape Pod #4

To our lovely readers—

It’s awards season, and yes, we will be talking about it on the blog, and in future podcasts. Even as SF authors all over are posting on their blogs about their 2010 award-eligible work, others are discussing whether this is blatantly trolling for votes.

I can see how a constant barrage of VOTE FOR ME OMG could be irritating and tacky. I certainly find it so when it’s podcast award season, and one award allows listeners to vote daily, so the constant vote requests tend to be cacophonous. However, I’m spreading out the awards information for one main reason: don’t forget the podcasts.

Until recently, people didn’t even think about nominating a podcast (or any web content) for a Hugo. Heck, it was ground-breaking when webzines started to win. But last year, Catherine Valente self-published a book on her site, and it went on to win the Andre Norton award for best YA novel. Clarkesworld, an online magazine, won the Hugo for best semi-pro zine. And as we’ve mentioned several times (because it’s still SO FREAKING COOL) Starship Sofa won the Hugo for best fanzine.

I had an uncomfortable panel discussion at last year’s NASFiC (North American Science Fiction Convention). We had a panel on podcasting and a very bitter fanzine author showed up (I’d politely say they shall remain nameless, but honestly I never did catch their name), This person expressed anger that these new methods of reaching fans were getting all their friends to vote for them, as if new fans, or listeners to SF instead of readers, were less worthy to vote for the Hugos.

What gets me is that the new is considered unworthy, not paying its dues, and the fans are similarly unworthy, and their votes just don’t mean as much. I find that incredibly offensive, as our fans are worldwide, and many have been dedicated to us since we launched five years ago. Others are new to the genre, just trying it out, and loving it, and I sure as hell don’t want to take a new fan of the genre and tell them they aren’t worthy.

You, the readers and listeners, don’t give a crap about this infighting in SF. You want a good story. We try to deliver it to you. As does LightSpeed and Clarkesworld and Starship Sofa and Pseudopod and Podcastle and Drabblecast and Asimov’s and Analog and F&SF and Weird Tales… and so on. You want SF content. We give it to you. And that’s the end of story. (Until next week, anyway.)

I had not planned on going on such an impassioned rant. I just want to say that a new fan is worth just as much as an old fan, and a new way to experience shot stories is not a reason to discount it. And whether the Internet-wary veterans like it or not, if you’re eligible to vote for these awards (WorldCon member for Hugos, SFWA member for Nebulas, and HWA member for Stokers) then your vote counts just as much as theirs does.

I wanted to use this letter to remind you that many, many podcasts are now eligible for the major awards. Starship Sofa broke it open last year, and now we just need to let the listeners know. When you make your Hugo or Nebula or World Fantasy or Stoker ballots, consider Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Podcastle. Don’t forget Starship Sofa and Drabblecast. Remember also your favorite podcast novels, novellas, and short stories that were released last year. I’m not telling you who to vote for, in any of the categories, just wanting to remind you that we — the online content providers — are here are here, delivering weekly content, and if you enjoy it, consider us when you make your nominations.



The ePub version can be found here.

The Soundproof Escape Pod #3

Mur kindly introduced me in the last issue of Soundproof, but for anyone who missed that, hi. I’m Escape Pod’s Assistant Editor, and I’m most publicly known for doing the feedback segments in the podcast. I also oversee our teem of slush readers and end up sending out a lot of our rejections, and of course I lay out Soundproof. And other things, as necessary.

So in this beginning of a new year, I’m instead going to take you back a few days to the death of the last machine on earth that could turn a roll of Kodachrome from an opaque deep red film stock into color etched rectangles of plastic. Most of us have moved onto digital, which, let’s be fair, is significantly more user friendly and easier to control. Cheaper, too.

But it says something about Kodachrome — the first successful color film — that it took 75 years to be phased out of production. Sure, it had dwindled in years past, and films meant for paper prints rather than to be projected got rapidly popular, and it was a finicky, and slow, film to shoot.

Getting it developed in the last decade or so meant sending it to one place in Kansas and always worrying that the machine would break or Kodak would stop making the developing chemistry. While it’s trivial to develop black and white film at home, and not too horrible to do most modern color films, Kodachrome’s process would confound most any man.

But it was pretty. Someone wrote a bit too saccharine song about it. And it picked up the light in a bit different way than everything after it.

So this month we’re bringing you three stories in this pixelated form: Élan Vital by K. Tempest Bradford, Dead’s End to Middleton by Natania Barron, and God of the Lower Level by Charles M. Saplak.

They’re quite good.

You can download the ePub version here.

In This Issue:

—Escape Pod 269: Élan Vital By K. Tempest Bradford

—Book Review: For The Win Review by Josh Roseman

—Escape Pod 271: God Of The Lower Level By Charles M. Saplak

—Sauropod Dinosaurs had weird feet By Sarah Frost

—Escape Pod 273: Dead’s End to Middleton By Natania Barron

—Superhero Fiction: The Next Big Thing? by Adam Christopher

The Soundproof Escape Pod #2

We at Escape Pod have been thrilled and gratified at the response for the first Soundproof Escape Pod. We got kudos for everything from the fact that it existed, to the awesome layout job by our own Bill Peters.

Speaking of Bill, this month I want to announce our staff changes. Escape Pod is hitting its stride now, thanks mostly to our new assistant editor. We promoted Bill Peters from the inside joke of Assistant to the Regional Manager, or the Right A.R.M., to Assistant Editor. He wrangles the slush and makes sure I am on top of things, and I don’t know where I’d be without him. We’re also delighted to welcome Mat Weller on as our audio producer. If you listen to Escape Pod, you’ll notice that Norm Sherman of the Drabblecast (a fine, award-winning podcast you should totally listen to) is still a part-time host, who, incidentally, makes me work harder on my intros.

Speaking of slush, in order to get a hold of the reins of this mighty team of slush ponies, we’re closing to submissions over December. We’ll be back on the job in January, once the hangovers fade.


  • Escape Pod 265: We are Ted Tuscadero for President, By Chris Dahlen
  • Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Marie Robinette Kowal, Review by Sarah Frost
  • Escape Pod 266: Kachikachi Yama, By Michael R. Underwood
  • Dark Fiction Magazine Q&A, By Adam Christopher
  • Escape Pod 267: Planetfall by Michael C. Lea
  • Review: A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Review by Josh Roseman
  • Escape Pod 268: Advection by Genevieve Valentine
  • Review: Zero History by William Gibson, Review by Sarah Frost

The ePub version can be downloaded here.

Edit: The ePub version we previously put out was apparently broken for several types of ePub reading software. It has been hopefully repaired and replaced.

The Soundproof Escape Pod

This is the first of our monthly magazines that will bring you the previous month’s Escape Pod stories and the best of the blog. We have been pushing to expand what Escape Pod does, adding an SF blog and distributing our stories via magazine format. We’re also becoming a pro market, and hope to keep paying our authors pro rates well into 2011 if the donations make it possible.

The rights are the same as in the audio — you are free to print, distribute, etc, these stories, as long as you don’t a) sell them, b) change them, or c) put your name on them. Otherwise, the more people that check out our stories, the better.

This month we bring to you two stories (as we’re on the cusp of stories that we own the epub rights to, and a handful of ones we do not): “Fuel” by Matthew S. Rotundo and “St. Darwin’s Spirituals” by D.K. Thompson.

We hope you enjoy this issue. We know that there are people out there who love to read but yet don’t like audio, and there are people out there who are hearing impaired. So Escape Pod is now in a Soundproof version, catering to more SF fans than ever. And please remember that we are completely donation driven, and if we want to keep paying authors the pro rates they deserve, we need your support. Please give, if you can.

Show Notes:

  • Escape Pod 263: Fuel, By Matthew S. Rotundo
  • Comic Review: Superior, Written by Mark Millar By Alasdair Stuart
  • Escape Pod 264: St. Darwin’s Spirituals, By D.K. Thompson
  • Book Review: I Shall Wear Midnight, By Terry Pratchett By Josh Roseman

The ePub version can be downloaded here.

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