Archive for 17 and Up

Escape Pod 170: Pervert

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains explicit sexual activity. Promotion!
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By Charles Coleman Finlay

When the bus reaches the corner, they climb onboard, taking seats on their side and evening out the ride so it doesn’t feel so much like we’ll tip over. We rattle along past road construction, the men working behind screens that are consecrated by the priests each morning as part of the men’s quarter, and resanctified to the women at quitting time. The sun already pelts down mercilessly and they will have to leave off working soon.

We enter the government quarter and arrive at the Children’s Center, a long concrete brick of a building with windows shielded from the sun by an open grid of deep squares made of the same material. The morning light turns it into a chessboard of glaring white and dark shadow. I don’t work with the children, who are on the lower floors and the sheltered playground of the courtyard, but toil away with records on the upper floors. Unlike Jamin or Zel, I am permitted by the job to work alongside women, but only because I completed my theological studies and am a candidate for the priesthood. My superiors do not know of the taint on my soul. Do not know yet, I should say, and when they discover it I will never be ordained or promoted.

Escape Pod 169: How I Mounted Goldie, Saved My Partner Lori, and Sniffed Out The People’s Justice

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains profanity, violence, and canine sexuality.

Referenced Sites:
CrimeWAV Crime Fiction Podcast

How I Mounted Goldie, Saved My Partner Lori, and Sniffed Out The People’s Justice

By Jonathon Sullivan

Q: What happened when you arrived at the address in question?

A: My Partner Lori opened my door and I jumped out. I arrested a suspect!

Q: Yes, Officer Bull. But I would like you to tell me exactly what happened, in detail, from the time you got out of the car.

A: Okay. My skulltop showed me which house, and I ran toward it. A man and three dogs ran out the door. One of them was a bitch with pretty haunches. She was in heat, and I really really really liked the way she smelled. I wanted to run after her, but I knew I should go after the man. So I did. Even though I liked the way she smelled!

Escape Pod 166: The Something-Dreaming Game

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains children engaging in extremely dangerous practices. Parental guidance STRONGLY recommended.

Referenced Sites:
Brave Men Run: A Novel of the Sovereign Era

The Something-Dreaming Game

By Elizabeth Bear

First, there’s the pressure.

A special kind of pressure, high under Tara’s chin, that makes her feel heavy and light all at once. She kneels by the chair and leans across the edge, because if she faints, the chair will roll away and she won’t choke. She’s always careful.

After the pressure she gets dizzy, and her vision gets kind of… narrow, dark around the edges. It’s hard to breathe, and it feels like there’s something stuck in her throat. Prickles run up and down her back, down her arms where the pain used to be, and a warm fluid kind of feeling sloshes around inside her. She slides down, as things get dark, and then she starts to dream.

But not like night time dreams. These are special.

Escape Pod 164: The Right Kind of Town

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains sex, violence, profanity, the quick, and the dead.

Referenced Sites:
The Nautilus Engine
Geek Dad T-shirt
Geek Mom T-shirt

The Right Kind of Town

By Christian Klaver

In the civilized places closer to Hegemony space, you don’t see many bodies in the street in the first place. When you do, they’re always swarmed with sheriffs, marshals, constables, morticians and the like. Then the body gets moved fast, so as to not ruffle the civilized folk. The rest happens behind closed doors.

Some towns don’t ever get bodies in the street. The only deaths are from sickness or accidents or old age. But I don’t tend to get to those towns so much, since they frown on my whoring profession. The towns I work in, everyone carries a gun. Being a pretty woman in
my line of work, I carry two.

Escape Pod 163: Revolution Time

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains some profanity, some violence, and communist propaganda. May be illegal in Louisiana.

Referenced Sites:

Special closing music: “Think For Yourself” by George Hrab.

Revolution Time

By Lavie Tidhar

“I don’t see why you necessarily think it leads to the Chrono area,” Monty said, playing devil’s advocate. It was a month earlier, at the usual place: The Trotsky, a damp, dark watering hole in a run-down part of town which, rumour had it, was once visited by the man himself, in his own dark, yet colourful, past.

“Where else would it lead, man?” Morgan sparked up a joint and stared at him across the table. The smoke framed her face like the shape of a heart. “I wouldn’t be here –” she waved her finger at him, “and you wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t something both of our respective organisations thought was worth pursuing.”

I smiled, admiring her strength and her energy. Monty scowled. “Take that puppy-dog-in-love look off your face. It’s embarrassing. And you,” he said, addressing Morgan, “should know better than to get your hopes up. After all, as the saying goes, they only ever bring back Shakespeare.”

Escape Pod 162: God Juice

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains strong language and sexual tomfoolery.

God Juice

By M. K. Hobson

“I wish to give you the opportunity to purchase a very valuable artifact from the great age of Ja’ardi civilization,” he said. “We stole it from a rival tribe, who revered it as possessing divine powers. I am prepared to offer it to you at a very reasonable price.”

I rolled my eyes. If I had a nickel for every time someone tried to sell me an artifact with divine powers … Zhee must have seen the eyeroll, for he hastened to add:

“It is reputed to bestow upon its owner the ability to create flowing rivers of God Juice.”

I tilted my head slightly to see if some sense might roll downhill from his words. “Correct me if I’m wrong,” I said, sucking on the wedge of flesh-colored fruit, “But isn’t God Juice the stuff that caused your civilization to collapse?”

Zhee shifted, scratching the back of his head. “Well … yes.”

Escape Pod 159: Elites

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains violence, profanity, and strong themes of war and psychological trauma.

Referenced Sites:
“Recovering Apollo 8” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
7th Son: OBSIDIAN, ed. J.C. Hutchins


By Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I could’ve followed the sounds. The closer I get, the louder voices grow—yelling obscenities, cheering, clapping in approval.

These women love fights.

I used to let them do it too, without interference, until the repair bills got too much. Then the House shrink told me about the added toll of repeated trauma—the fights would often replicate something that happened Out There—and I realized that no matter how much steam got blown off, the fights weren’t worth the expense.

Still, I wished for those old days sometimes.

Escape Pod 158: Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?

Show Notes

2008 Hugo Nominee!

Rated R. Contains profanity, nudity, and in flagrante delicto. Promotion!
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Referenced Sites:
2008 Hugo Awards
Free Novels for Worldcon Members

Who’s Afraid of Wolf 359?

By Ken MacLeod

When you’re as old as I am, you’ll find your memory’s not what it was. It’s not that you lose memories. That hasn’t happened to me or anyone else since the Paleocosmic Era, the Old Space Age, when people lived in caves on the Moon. My trouble is that I’ve gained memories, and I don’t know which of them are real. I was very casual about memory storage back then, I seem to recall. This could happen to you too, if you’re not careful. So be warned. Do as I say, not as I did.

Some of the tales about me contradict each other, or couldn’t possibly have happened, because that’s how I told them in the first place. Others I blame on the writers and tellers. They make things up. I’ve never done that. If I’ve told stories that couldn’t be true, it’s because that’s how I remember them.

Here’s one.

Escape Pod 154: Union Dues: Freedom With a Small f

Show Notes

Closing Music: “Juzt Mizunderztood” by Norm Sherman.

Rated R. Contains sordid occupations, drug use, and violence. Welcome to the city.

Referenced Sites:

The Union Dues Series

Tales of the Zombie War

SciFiDig interview with Jeffrey DeRego

The DrabbleCast

Union Dues – Freedom With a Small f

By Jeffrey R. DeRego

My head throbs. I think about the mess in the fridge, the heaps of crap in the flat while I force the clumps of wet clothes into the dryers.

As far as I know I am the only Union member who works outside the system, the only one tasked specifically with fighting crime, secretly, of course. Darksider put the program together with one of the Luminaries as a way to explore expanding our role in the maintenance of Normal society. He chose me specifically because I am the only super-agile who is also an orphan. Therefore, I won’t be tempted to throw my costume in a dumpster and make a break for mom and dad.

Communication with the Union ended seven months ago. Darksider was supposed to make sure that a stipend was deposited into a bank account under my phony name every month. But that stopped too. I don’t know why. I tried everything to make contact short of walking up to the Boston Pyramid and knocking. Not that it would have done any good since none of the regular Union knows I even exist.

Escape Pod 153: Schwartz Between the Galaxies

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains some sex, some drug use. It’s a Silverberg story. Promotion!
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Referenced Sites:

Schwartz Between the Galaxies

by Robert Silverberg

This much is reality: Schwartz sits comfortably cocooned — passive, suspended — in a first-class passenger rack aboard a Japan Air Lines rocket, nine kilometers above the Coral Sea. And this much is fantasy: the same Schwartz has passage on a shining starship gliding silkily through the interstellar depths, en route at nine times the velocity of light from Betelgeuse IX to Rigel XXI, or maybe from Andromeda to the Lesser Magellanic.