Archive for For Kids

Genres:

Escape Pod 660: Hoping for Red


Hoping for Red

by Adam Knight

Vixen had just one question for the doctor:
“Can you do it?”

Doctor Fizzwinkle smiled and patted the fur on Vixen’s neck. Outside of the office, the winds whipped furiously, as they did most of the time north of the Arctic Circle. In the office, though, the glow of fluorescent light and the smell of rubbing alcohol made Vixen feel secure and cared for.

“I’m afraid not,” he said. “The procedure you heard about is simple in principle―I would take DNA samples of you and Mr. Vixen, then analyze the cells to see your genetic predispositions, and manipulate the chromosomes to produce the calf that you and your husband desire.”

“Then why not?” Vixen said, stamping her hooves in a little dance.

“Well, everything is simple in principle,” the Doctor said. “But I’ve never done it before.”

Vixen smiled and shook her antlers. She nuzzled against Doctor Fizzwinkle. All the reindeer, indeed all of the animals in the North Pole, loved the good doctor, the best veterinarian north of sixty-six degrees latitude.

“Have you and Mr. Vixen tried all of the techniques I presented? Did he take the pills I prescribed?”

“Yes, and yes,” Vixen replied.

“Give it time, and patience, and you can certainly have a healthy, normal calf.”

“But I don’t want a normal calf!” blurted out Vixen. The Doctor smiled sadly and shook his head.

(Continue Reading…)

EP348: Nemesis


Nemesis

By Nathaniel Lee

It was the middle of second-period Spanish when I felt my cell phone go off in my pocket. Three pulses, then two. That meant one of my alerts had hit paydirt. I’ve got newsfeeds filtered for keywords, pairing “emergency” and the names of every local school and business I could think of, plus I got Kenny from sixth period computer Science to cobble together a kind of hack on the actual first responders’ radio channels. If my phone had gone off, then there was trouble.

If there was trouble, then the city needed Atom Boy.

So where was he?

Well, if I was in Spanish, then he was in History. No, wait, he’d dropped the AP course. Did he have some kind of math now instead? Crud. I had no idea. I’d lost our hero.

“Miss Ramsey?”

“Ahem!”

“Uh, um, I mean, uh, Señora Ramsey?”

” Sí, Quentin?”

“Yo, uh, yo poder uso el baño?”

“Puedo. Y sí, se puede. Andale.”

I clapped a hand over my pocket to keep my phone-bulge hidden and ran out of the classroom, careful to turn to the right as if I were heading for the boy’s room. A couple of months ago, that wouldn’t have been a bad idea; I’d discovered Adam’s secret when I walked in on him trying to get out of his tights at the end of fourth period. Which he’d missed, by the way, and I’d had to cover for him and pretend like I’d gotten a text from his mom about an emergency dental appointment.

(Continue Reading…)

EP285: Jaiden’s Weaver

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Feedback for Episode 277
  • Next week… Coin collecting SF. I’m serious.

Jaiden’s Weaver

By Mary Robinette Kowal

I was never one of those girls who fell in love with horses. For one thing, on our part of New Oregon they were largely impractical animals. Most of the countryside consisted of forests attached to sheer hills and you wanted to ride something with a little more clinging ability. So from the time I was, well, from the time I can remember I wanted a teddy bear spider more than I wanted to breathe.

The problem is that teddy bear spiders were not cheap, especially not for a pioneer family trying to make a go of it.

Mom and Dad had moved us out of Landington in the first wave of expansion, to take advantage of the homesteading act. Our new place was way out on the eastern side of the Olson mountains where Dad had found this natural level patch about halfway up a forested ridge, so we got sunshine all year round, except for the weeks in spring and autumn when the shadow of our planet’s rings passed over us. Our simple extruded concrete house had nothing going for it except a view of the valley, which faced due south to where the rings were like a giant arch in the sky. Even as a twelve-year-old, angry at being taken away from our livewalls in town to this dead structure, I fell in love with the wild beauty of the trees clinging to the sheer faces of the valley walls.

The only thing that would have made it better was a teddy bear spider so I could go exploring on my own. I felt trapped by the walls of the house and the valley. I had this dream that, if I had a spider, that I’d be able to sell its weavings for enough to install livewalls in my room. That’s not as crazy as it sounds; teddy-bear spider weavings are collected all over the colonies and sell for insane amounts of money.

(Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 186: Chrysalis

Show Notes

Sponsored by CONTAGIOUS, by Scott Sigler.


Chrysalis

By Mary Robinette Kowal

People ask me if I ever get involved with the subjects of my documentaries. I have a difficult time imagining that they would ask my male colleagues the same question, but they seem to expect women to be more emotional. In response, I tend to grit my teeth and answer very patiently with another question. How could I do my job if I were part of the story? Only by maintaining a sacred distance could I have any hope of understanding someone’s life. A documentarian records, but does not participate.

Escape Pod 160: Kallakak’s Cousins

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains shady commerce and dim relations.

Audible.com Promotion!
Receive your free audiobook at: http://audible.com/escapepodsff

Referenced Sites:
Wiscon 2008
The Surgeon’s Tale and Other Stories by Cat Rambo & Jeff Vandermeer


Kallakak’s Cousins

By Cat Rambo

“Sometimes we don’t realize that what we want isn’t good for us,” the man said, speaking for the first time. He stared intently at Kallakak.

“Dominance rituals do not work well on me,” Kallakak said, roughening his voice to rudeness. “I will see you in five days in the court.” He decided not to burn his bridges too far. “I will tally up the cost of my goods by then and will have a definite figure.” Let them think him acquiescent while he tried to find another way to save his shop. He stepped into the lift, but they did not follow him, simply watched as the doors slid closed and he was carried away.

Making his way back to his quarters, he saw three figures standing before it. He paused, wondering if the Jellidoos had decided to lean on him further. The trio turned in unison to face him, and he recognized them with a sinking heart. The cousins.

Escape Pod 133: Other People’s Money


Other People’s Money

by Cory Doctorow

Which is why she was hoping that the venture capitalist would just leave her alone. He wasn’t a paying customer, he wasn’t a fellow artist — he wanted to *buy* her, and he was thirty years too late.

“You know, I pitched you guys in 1999. On Sand Hill Road. One of the founding partners. Kleiner, I think. The guy ate a salad all through my slide-deck. When I was done, he wiped his mouth, looked over my shoulder, and told me he didn’t think I’d scale. That was it. He didn’t even pick up my business card. When I looked back as I was going out the door, I saw his sweep it into the trash with the wrapper from his sandwich.”

The VC — young, with the waxy, sweaty look of someone who ate a lot of GM yogurt to try to patch his biochemistry — shook his head. “That wasn’t us. We’re a franchise — based here in LA. I just opened up the Inglewood branch. But I can see how that would have soured you on us. Did you ever get your VC?”

Escape Pod 121: The Snow Woman’s Daughter

Show Notes

Referenced Sites:
Daily Dragon Podcast
Dragon*Con 2007


The Snow Woman’s Daughter

by Eugie Foster

When I was a little girl, I thought my mother’s name was Yuki, which means snow. That was part of her name, but I didn’t learn the rest of it until the night my father died.

My mother left us on a slate-gray evening when I was five, with her namesake falling from the sky and piled high around the windows and doors. Awakened by raised voices, I watched through a tear in the curtain that shielded my sleeping mat as my mother wrapped her limbs in a shining, white kimono. As far back as I could remember, she had always worn the dark wool shifts that all mountain people wear, spun from the hair of the half-mad goats that give us milk and cheese. In her kimono she looked like a princess, or a queen. Her skin was paler than mine, and I am thought quite fair. Roku, the boy who lived on the northern crest, used to tease me when we were little, calling me “ghost girl” and “milk face.”

Escape Pod 109: Squonk the Apprentice


Squonk the Apprentice

by P. M. Butler

“What’s a ‘prentice?”

Without thinking, Wendel answered. “An apprentice is young person who wants to be a wizard, so they find an older wizard to teach them.”

The moment the words left his mouth, Wendel’s heart stopped and his eyes went wide. If he’d known a spell that could grab those words and stuff them back down his throat, he would have cast it.

Instead, those words scampered all the way across his bedroom, as words are inclined to do, and rushed into the ears of the dragon in the window. Wendel watched in horror as the words sunk into Squonk’s brain. Squonk’s eyes grew wide, his mouth dropped open, and before Wendel could think of anything to say–

“You can learn to be a wizard?! That’s awesome! I wanna be a wizard! Lemme be your ‘prentice!”

Genres:

Escape Pod 105: Impossible Dreams

Show Notes

2007 Hugo Nominee!

Referenced Sites:
Balticon 2007


Impossible Dreams

by Tim Pratt

He went to the Sci-Fi shelf–and had another shock. “I, Robot” was there, but not the forgettable action movie with Will Smith–this was older, and the credits said “written by Harlan Ellison.” But Ellison’s adaptation of the Isaac Asimov book had never been produced, though it had been published in book form. “Must be some bootleg student production,” he muttered, and he didn’t recognize the name of the production company. But… but… it said “winner of the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.” That had to be a student director’s little joke, straight-facedly absurd box copy, as if this were a film from some alternate reality. Worth watching, certainly, though again, he couldn’t imagine how he’d never heard of this. Maybe it had been done by someone local. He took it to the counter and offered his credit card.

She looked at the card dubiously. “Visa? Sorry, we only take Weber and FosterCard.”

Escape Pod 100: Nightfall

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains some violence and apocalyptic themes.


Nightfall

By Isaac Asimov

“Of the six suns, only Beta is left in the sky. Do you see it?”

The question was rather unnecessary. Beta was almost at zenith, its ruddy light flooding the landscape to an unusual orange as the brilliant rays of setting Gamma died. Beta was at aphelion. It was small; smaller than Theremon had ever seen it before, and for the moment it was undisputed ruler of Lagash’s sky.

Lagash’s own sun, Alpha, the one about which it revolved, was at the antipodes, as were the two distant companion pairs. The red dwarf Beta — Alpha’s immediate companion — was alone, grimly alone.

Aton’s upturned face flushed redly in the sunlight. “In just under four hours,” he said, “civilization, as we know it, comes to an end. It will do so because, as you see, Beta is the only sun in the sky.” He smiled grimly. “Print that! There’ll be no one to read it.”