Archive for OK for Kids

Escape Pod 243: I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Thanks to John Joseph Adams and Lightspeed Magazine for the opportunity to run this fantastic story at the same time as their launch. Go check out their magazine and subscribe!
  • Enter the Escape Pod Flash Contest! It runs June 1- July 4, stories must be under 500 words. More information at the link.

Next week… we begin our annual Hugo short stories rundown, with five weeks of award-nominated stories! I’m taking a 4-week break from hosting, but I’ll see you in July!


I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno

By Vylar Kaftan

I knew you loved me, of course. It was written in your eyes when you looked at me, a physics problem with no clear answer. If an irresistible force meets an immovable object, what happens then?

They meet. That’s all we know. Relative to each other, they are in contact. From within the object or the force, there is no way to tell if you’re in motion.

Escape Pod 242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Mur will be at Balticon this week, along with Drabblecast’s Norm Sherman! Come by and say hi!

FRIDAY

  • 5pm Reading

SATURDAY:

  • 3pm NaNoWriMo for Noobs
  • 8pm Autograph Session

SUNDAY

  • 4pm Girls’ Rule Live!
  • 5pm Story Improv
  • 8pm ISBW Live!
  • Enter the Escape Pod Flash Contest! It runs June 1- July 4, stories must be under 500 words. More information at the link.

Next week… the podcast comes on a special day: June 1. And it shows us that love is relative. And so is Reno.


The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake

By Robert T. Jeschonek

For her entire adolescent and adult life up until three weeks ago, Lynda had been the queen of junk food. Aside from the briefest blips of non-junk spending due to occasional failed diets, she had purchased only the most fattening, high-cholesterol, chemical-soaked foods available from grocery stores, restaurants, vending machines, and mail order websites.

In short, she was the perfect woman. Though she was on a diet that day, she had eaten non-nutritious foods in great quantities all her life. Though her last purchases had been salad greens and bottled water, her 250-pound body told the true story.

I knew she was just waiting for someone like me to come along.

Genres: ,

Escape Pod 241: Thargus and Brian

Show Notes

Show Notes:

Next week… we discover that food is, in fact, love.


Thargus and Brian

By Stephen Gaskell

Thargus thought the time right. He set the lights to full strength and flailed and gnashed and roared as he’d been practising. He felt rather silly, but the performance seemed to be working. The human, one hand steadying its spin, looked on intensely. It moved the white stick up to its mouth, breathed in, and then stabbed the stick out against the sac wall.

“Don’t be afraid,” Thargus said, meaning the opposite. He’d seen the trick on old films stored in the moss-brain when humans always said one thing and meant another like “We’re safer if we split up.”

The human exhaled a long stream of smoke. “I’m not,” it said.

That didn’t sound right. Thargus considered his response while staring at the human. It sure was ugly. A patchwork of dirty synthetics over the majority of its body, and on top of its pudgy, pink head, strand upon strand of greasy hair. Ugh! Thargus felt sick.

“Be afraid, then,” he said.

“Why, are you going to eat me?”

Thargus didn’t feel comfortable telling an outright lie, but that didn’t mean he needed to be too honest. “I might.”

Escape Pod 240: The Last McDougal’s


The Last McDougal’s

By David D. Levine

As the old man came in, letting the door close gently behind him, an expression came over his face that Garth had seen many times before: a compound of misty nostalgia and appalled astonishment. His gaze swept across the yellow and orange fiberglass chairs, their cracks and dings lovingly but visibly repaired; the plastic-topped tables with the white half-moons rubbed by millions of elbows; the light softly shining from the satiny steel of the napkin and catsup dispensers. Finally the old man’s eyes stopped dead on the smiling face of the six-foot-tall fiberglass cow that stood at the end of the counter, wearing an apron and a chef’s hat. “My God,” he said, “it’s Moogle McDougal.”

“It certainly is,” said Garth. “Welcome to McDougal’s. May I take your order?”

“Give me a minute,” he replied as he perused the menu. He had a comfortable old boot of a voice, rough but mellow. “It’s been… jeez, thirty years? …since I’ve been in one of these places. Um, I’ll have a double cheeseburger, a small order of fries, and….” He grinned. “…and a shake. Chocolate.”

Genres:

Escape Pod 238: Wind From a Dying Star


Wind From a Dying Star

By David D. Levine

After a time she found a small patch of zeren. She spread across it, taking a little solace from its sparkling sweetness. “Zero-point energy” was what Old John called it, but to Gunai and the rest of her tribe it was zeren, delicious and rare. Gunai recalled a time when zeren was something you could almost ignore — a constant crackling thrum beneath the surface of perception — but now there were just a few thin patches here and there.

These days the tribe subsisted mostly on a thin diet of starlight, and even that was growing cold. Soon they would be forced to move on again. Yeoshi had told her the foraging was better in the direction of the galactic core, but it was so far…

Escape Pod 236: Still On the Road


Still On the Road

By Geoffrey A. Landis

Turns out, you know, that old dharma bum never made it off the wheel of karma. He had too many attachments, to the road, to words; and if you love the things of the world of Mara too much you fall back into the world, like gravity pulling back a rocket that doesn’t reach escape velocity. Two, three thousand years later, he’s still on the road. Really, nothing’s changed. And Neal, that old prankster, Neal never really did want to transcend, he loved to see it all streaming past the window, a constant moving circus disappearing in the rear-view mirror, loved to talk, loved it all.

Escape Pod 233: Union Dues: The Threnody of Johnny Toruko


Union Dues: The Threnody of Johnny Toruko

By Jeffrey R. DeRego

I duck through the door behind her. The place is jammed with customers. “You have any money? I didn’t think to ask Miss Jennifer for any.”

TK answers, “don’t worry, just tell me what you want.”

“Large with extra sugar and cream.”

TK grins and focuses her attention on the line of people stretching from the entrance down to the counter. They all sidestep and she walks unimpeded front of the pack. “One large black, and one large with extra sugar and cream.”

The barrista, a girl of about 18, repeats the order in a flat monotone.

“And these are on the house. Everyone gets free coffee for the next two hours.”

“Free for everyone,” the clerk answers then puts our order together.

TK snickers and hands the coffee over.

Genres:

Escape Pod 208: An Almanac for the Alien Invaders


An Almanac for the Alien Invaders

By Merrie Haskell

In January, there will be an annular solar eclipse, with the path of annularity moving through the Indian Ocean and into Sumatra and Borneo. Two days later, aliens will invade Earth.

No spaceships will loom large in blue skies, nor hover over our cities. At night, though, when we see blinking dots of light near the horizon, as small and pale as any star, we’ll think they’re planes or satellites of human origin. They won’t be. These are alien ships, come for conquest.

That is all we can see. What we hear is just as faint and difficult to resolve: we hear rumors. Or rather, one persistent rumor: “the aliens want volunteers.”

Naturally, I and my junior faculty friends need to drink quantities of beer to discuss this in detail. I expound that it’s a hoax.

Escape Pod 206: Rogue Farm

Show Notes

Recorded at Balticon 43, May 23, 2009

Read by:

Joe – Jared Axelrod (of The Voice of Free Planet X),

Maddie – J.R. Blackwell (of Voices of Tomorrow)

The Farm – Evo Terra and Sheila Dee (of Evo at 11, et al.)

Brenda the Barkeep – Dee Reed (of Nobilis Erotica),

Wendy the Rat – Laura Burns,

Art the Boy Toy – John Cmar,

Bob the Dog – Earl Newton (of Stranger Things),

Narrator – Stephen Eley

Special Thanks To:
Paul Fischer (of The Balticon Podcast) for instigating and organizing
Nobilis Reed (of Nobilis Erotica) for engineering


Rogue Farm

By Charles Stross

“Buggerit, I don’t have time for this,” Joe muttered. The stable waiting for the small herd of cloned spidercows cluttering up the north paddock was still knee-deep in manure, and the tractor seat wasn’t getting any warmer while he shivered out here waiting for Maddie to come and sort this thing out. It wasn’t a big herd, but it was as big as his land and his labour could manage – the big biofabricator in the shed could assemble mammalian livestock faster than he could feed them up and sell them with an honest HAND-RAISED NOT VAT-GROWN label.

“What do you want with us?” he yelled up at the gently buzzing farm.

“Brains, fresh brains for baby Jesus,” crooned the farm in a warm contralto, startling Joe half out of his skin. “Buy my brains!” Half a dozen disturbing cauliflower shapes poked suggestively out of the farms’ back then retracted again, coyly.

“Don’t want no brains around here,” Joe said stubbornly, his fingers whitening on the stock of the shotgun. “Don’t want your kind round here, neither. Go away.”

Escape Pod 205: Requiem in D-minor (for prions, whale and burning bush)


Requiem in D-minor (for prions, whale and burning bush)

By Ian McHugh

Kevin switched the audio over to the projector. The lecture hall was filled with outdoor noises. Wind hummed softly over the microphone, cattle lowed nearby, a truck accelerated in the distance.

A roan steer staggered around a concreted yard, its mute distress accompanied by clattering hooves and the fleshy slap of its thigh striking the ground when it fell. A new sound was introduced – incongruous, but familiar to Kevin’s audience.

Whale song.

Gradually, the cow’s shaking stilled, until it could stand securely. Its muscles continued to tremble, but not enough to upset its equilibrium while it listened.