Archive for 17 and Up

Escape Pod 152: The Big Guy

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains strong language and testosterone.

Today’s Sponsor:
Infected by Scott Sigler

Referenced Events:
Penguicon: April 18-20, 2008
Sex 2.0: April 12, 2008


The Big Guy

By Mike Resnick

“Okay,” said Fishbait. He tossed a ball to the Big Guy.
“Let’s try a little one-on-one. Ralph, let’s see what you can do
against Jacko here.”

The Big Guy took a look at me, his face totally expressionless. I moved forward to lean on him a little, just enough to make contact and see which way he was going to move when he began his drive to the basket, but before I got close enough to touch him he’d already raced by me and stuffed the ball through the hoop.

“Again,” said Fishbait.

Escape Pod 151: Behind the Rules

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains strong language and relationship drama.

Today’s Sponsor:
Infected by Scott Sigler

Closing music: “I Feel Fantastic” by Jonathan Coulton.


Behind the Rules

By Stephanie Burgis

The first Jacqui wrote me out a list of instructions thirty pages long. It contained all her history with Robert, in detail. It gave me a list of all the things to say and do when he’s hurt, or angry, or depressed. I think she was the perfect wife. When I think about how hard it is to measure up to her, my stomach feels twitchy.

I’d been doing this job for three months. It was supposed to get easier with time, not harder.

Escape Pod 149: Union Dues: All That We Leave Behind

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains profanity and violence.

Today’s Sponsor:

Infected by Scott Sigler

Referenced Sites:

The Union Dues Series

Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud


Union Dues: All That We Leave Behind

by Jeffrey R. DeRego

If I just lay here they will get tired and leave. They can’t hurt me all that much; my body is too hard now, too strong. But I can’t let on that their kicks and punches don’t bother me or who knows what they’ll do next. So I’ll lay here, curled up in the grass like some lump of igneous rock cast from a far away volcano.

“You fat assed son of a bitch! Talk to Loreen again and I’ll kill you! You understand me? I’ll beat your fat lazy ass to death!”

I bet his foot is starting to ache. My stomach is big, but it’s not soft. Not anymore. Not since last month when the change happened. We don’t have a lot of money so my wardrobe is still designed for a three hundred pound teenager, the kind with an almost unnatural love for pizza and potato chips. I still sort of look the same. But I am different, I can feel it. The rolls of flab that once encircled my belly and back are nearly gone, replaced by rippling muscle. My arms and legs are like tree trunks. I could rip Scott’s arms and legs off and beat his torso like a kettledrum. Well, if I wasn’t terrified.

Escape Pod 139: Acephalous Dreams


Acephalous Dreams

By Neal Asher

“AI Geronamid has need of a subject for a scientific trial. This trial may kill you, in which case it would be considered completion of sentence. Should you survive, all charges against you will be dropped.”

“And the nature of this trial?”

“Cephalic implantation of Csorian node.”

“Okay, I agree, though I have no idea what Csorian node is.”

The Golem stood and as she did so the door slid open. Daes glanced up at the security eye in the corner of the cell and stood also. He thought, briefly, about escape, but knew he stood no chance. His companion might look like a teenage girl but he knew she was strong enough to rip him in half.

“You didn’t tell me. What’s a Csorian node?”

“If we knew that with any certainty we would not be carrying out this trial,” replied the Golem.

Escape Pod 136: Bright Red Star

Show Notes

Referenced Sites:
Reading is Fundamental
Starship Sofa


Bright Red Star

by Bud Sparhawk

Survivors isn’t exactly the word. What they found were sixteen bodies without arms, legs, and most organs. What remained were essentially heads hooked up to life support and fueled by oxygenated glucose pumps. There were a couple hundred strands of glass fibre running from the ship’s walls into each skull, into each brain, into each soul. Four of the sixteen were still functioning–alive is not a word to describe their condition.

There was no hesitation on the part of Command. They ordered everyone, except combat types like us, from the most likely targets. Humanity couldn’t allow any more people to become components for the Shardie offense.

But civilians never listen. Farmers were the worse, hanging onto their little plots and crops until somebody dragged them away, kicking and screaming at the injustice of it all. That’s why we were here. Forty settlers had stupidly refused to be evacuated from New Mars. Forty we didn’t know about until we got that one brief burst.

My mission was to make certain that they didn’t become forty armless, legless, gutless, screamless weapon components.

Escape Pod 134: Me and My Shadow


Me and My Shadow

by Mike Resnick

Of course, even if we had met before, they couldn’t recognize me now. I know. I’ve spent almost three years trying to find out who I was before I got Erased — but along with what they did to my brain, they gave me a new face and wiped my fingerprints clean. I’m a brand new man: two years, eleven months, and seventeen days old. I am (fanfare and trumpets, please!) William Jordan. Not a real catchy name, I’ll admit, but it’s the only one I’ve got these days.

I had another name once. They told me not to worry about it, that all my memories had been expunged and that I couldn’t dredge up a single fact no matter how hard I tried, not even if I took a little Sodium-P from a hypnotist, and after a few weeks I had to agree with them–which didn’t mean that I stopped trying.

Erasures never stop trying.

Escape Pod 129: Immortal Sin

Show Notes

Referenced Sites:
Broad Universe
The DrabbleCast


Immortal Sin

by Jennifer Pelland

Alex stumbled from the confessional, through the church, all the way to the curb. He had to get out of there. He couldn’t sit in the house of God anymore. God didn’t want him there. That was abundantly clear. Forty-one years of perfect mass attendance. Six years as an altar boy. A childhood spent praying for his grandmother’s soul to hasten her time in Purgatory. A spotless record of weekly confessions for the past twelve years. He’d even stopped having sex with Alison two years ago after she’d gotten a tubal ligation so he wouldn’t be committing fornication. He’d followed the rules when he could, and asked for forgiveness when he couldn’t. But none of it mattered. He would die unshriven.

Unless he didn’t die.

Escape Pod 125: End Game


End Game

by Nancy Kress

“What exactly happened in the seventh grade?” I found myself intensely curious, which I covered by staring at the board and making a move.

He told me, still unembarrassed, in exhaustive detail. Then he added, “It should be possible to adjust brain chemicals to eliminate the static. To unclutter the mind. It should!”

“Well,” I said, dropping from insight to my more usual sarcasm, “maybe you’ll do it at Harvard, if you don’t get sidetracked by some weird shit like ballet or model railroads.”

“Checkmate,” Allen said.

Escape Pod 122: Transcendence Express


Transcendence Express

by Jetse de Vries

Unable to keep my distance, I walk up to three classmates interacting with one such a BIKO. The pictures are fuzzy, the colours ill-defined and the reaction time tediously slow. However, the letters appearing are large and easily readable, and after all three kids have been asked to introduce themselves the program equally divides its attention to each of them, making them take turns while the other two can effortlessly follow what’s going on. But man, is it slow. The display makes your eyes water and would have any western whizz kid tuning the screen properties like crazy.

Still, the real wonder is that those pell-mell constructions are doing anything at all. Furthermore, those African kids have nothing to compare them with, so are uncritically happy with what they’ve got. As dinner time closes in Liona has to wrestle most kids away from their new toys and promises that first thing tomorrow they will — after school hours — start making new BIKOs, so that eventually every classmate will have one. The whole class cheers and Liona’s smile doesn’t leave her face for the rest of the evening.

Escape Pod 120: The Sundial Brigade

Show Notes

Referenced Sites:
UK Terrorism Act 2006
Graydancer.com
Stranger Things

Closing song: “Think For Yourself” by George Hrab


The Sundial Brigade

by James Trimarco

Not long after that, Antonio had an appointment with his curator, Yoshi, at the Department of Human Heritage. Antonio explained his situation in the Tyrranean language.

“So you’re unsatisfied with your role as a beggar,” Yoshi said. “That’s hardly surprising. The unemployed of the early twenty-first century were also unhappy. Your emotions are true to period, that’s all.”

“But it’s all wrong,” Antonio insisted. “I did well in school. I studied to be an engineer. If this was the real Italy, someone like me wouldn’t end up like this.

Yoshi’s mouth curved into the sterile non-smile of a bureaucrat with no time for sympathy.