Archive for Hugo Awards

Genres:

Escape Pod 108: Kin


Kin

by Bruce McAllister

The alien and the boy, who was twelve, sat in the windowless room high above the city that afternoon. The boy talked and the alien listened.

The boy was ordinary — the genes of three continents in his features, his clothes cut in the style of all boys in the vast housing project called LAX. The alien was something else, awful to behold; and though the boy knew it was rude, he did not look up as he talked.

He wanted the alien to kill a man, he said. It was that simple.

Escape Pod 107: Eight Episodes

Show Notes

2007 Hugo Nominee!

Referenced Sites:
World Science Fiction Society
Steve’s LiveJournal


Eight Episodes

by Robert Reed

Eighteen months later, the fledging Web network declared bankruptcy, and a small consortium acquired its assets, including Invasion of a Small World. Eager to recoup their investment, the new owners offered all eight episodes as a quick-and-dirty DVD package. When sales proved somewhat better than predicted, a new version was cobbled together, helped along by a genuine ad budget. The strongest initial sales came from the tiny pool of determined fans–young and well educated, with little preference for nationality or gender. But the scientists in several fields, astronomy and paleontology included, were the ones who created a genuine buzz that eventually put Invasion into the public eye.

Escape Pod 106: The House Beyond Your Sky


The House Beyond Your Sky

by Benjamin Rosenbaum

The simulations, while good, are not impenetrable even to their own inhabitants. Scientists teaching baboons to sort blocks may notice that all other baboons become instantly better at block-sorting, revealing a high-level caching mechanism. Or engineers building their own virtual worlds may find they cannot use certain tricks of optimization and compression‚Äîfor Matthias has already used them. Only when the jig is up does Matthias reveal himself, asking each simulated soul: what now? Most accept Matthias’s offer to graduate beyond the confines of their simulation, and join the general society of Matthias’s house.

You may regard them as bright parakeets, living in wicker cages with open doors. The cages are hung from the ceiling of the priest’s clay hut. The parakeets flutter about the ceiling, visit each other, steal bread from the table, and comment on Matthias’s doings.

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 101: The 43 Antarean Dynasties

Show Notes

1998 Hugo Winner!

Rated PG. Contains mild documentary references to violence and sexual acts. It’s also not very upbeat.

Referenced Sites:
Joe Murphy Tribute Podcast
Joe Murphy Memorial Fund
Beatnik Turtle


The 43 Antarean Dynasties

By Mike Resnick

A man, a woman, and a child emerge from the Temple of the Honored Sun. The woman holds a camera to her eye, capturing the same image from a dozen unimaginative angles. The child, his lip sparsely covered with hair that is supposed to imply maturity, never sees beyond the game he is playing on his pocket computer. The man looks around to make sure no one is watching him, grinds out a smokeless cigar beneath his heel, and then increases his pace until he joins them.

They approach me, and I will myself to become one with my surroundings, to insinuate myself into the marble walls and stone walkways before they can speak to me.

I am invisible. You cannot see me. You will pass me by.

“Hey, fella — we’re looking for a guide,” says the man. “You interested?”

Escape Pod 56: The Clockwork Atom Bomb

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains profanity and some violence.

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
The Balticon Podcast
Michael & Evo’s Slice of SciFi
Rock & Roll Monster Bash


The Clockwork Atom Bomb

by Dominic Green

The wind in here was deafening. The girl had to shout. “THERE IS MORE THAN ONE IN HERE. THEY LIVE IN THE MACHINES. THE GOVERNMENT MADE THE MACHINES, BUT NOT WITH TECHNICIANS AND ELECTRICIANS. WITH SORCERY.”

The machines did not look made by sorcery. They were entirely silent, looking like rows of gigantic, rusted steel chess pawns twice the height of a man, with no pipes or wires entering or leaving them, apparently sitting here unused for any purpose. Mativi felt an urgent, entirely rational need to be in an another line of employment.

Escape Pod 55: Down Memory Lane


Down Memory Lane

by Mike Resnick

I don’t know where I was when Kennedy was shot. I don’t know what I was doing when the World Trade Center collapsed under the onslaught of two jetliners. But I remember every single detail, every minute, every second, of the day we got the bad news.

“It may not be Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Castleman. “Alzheimer’s is becoming a catchword for a variety of senile dementias. Eventually we’ll find out exactly which dementia it is, but there’s no question that Gwendolyn is suffering from one of them.”

Escape Pod 54: Tk’tk’tk

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains scatology and crimes against pronunciation.

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
Shelley the Republican
CAP Alert System
Bento Fanzine
National PTA
Rescuing Recess


Tk’tk’tk

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.

Escape Pod 53: Seventy-Five Years

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains politics and reference to moral issues. (Your kids may not get it, but it shouldn’t offend.)

Referenced sites:
2006 Hugo Nominees
Wikipedia on the Hugo Award
Hugo History at a Glance
Novel Nominees – Electronic Editions
Rock ‘N’ Roll Monster Bash 2006


Seventy-Five Years

by Michael A. Burstein

Isabel turned the handheld on and read to herself briefly. “According to this, your bill would push the date of release of the individual Census forms from seventy-two to seventy- five years.”

“It makes sense, Isabel.”

“It does?”

He pointed to her handheld. “You say you have my argument in there.”

“I do. And I find it specious.”