Recorded live at LonCon3.
Women of Our Occupation
by Kameron Hurley
[EDITOR: We don’t have the rights to post the text of this story.]
Recorded live at LonCon3.
[EDITOR: We don’t have the rights to post the text of this story.]
If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.
If you were a T-Rex, then I would become a zookeeper so that I could spend all my time with you. I’d bring you raw chickens and live goats. I’d watch the gore shining on your teeth. I’d make my bed on the floor of your cage, in the moist dirt, cushioned by leaves. When you couldn’t sleep, I’d sing you lullabies.
If I sang you lullabies, I’d soon notice how quickly you picked up music. You’d harmonize with me, your rough, vibrating voice a strange counterpoint to mine. When you thought I was asleep, you’d cry unrequited love songs into the night.
If you sang unrequited love songs, I’d take you on tour. We’d go to Broadway. You’d stand onstage, talons digging into the floorboards. Audiences would weep at the melancholic beauty of your singing. (Continue Reading…)
“The jump-pilot,” said Alejandro, “is sleeping with Leo.”
“You just noticed?” Glory said, tugging off her pants. “And now these are getting too tight. That’s it, I’m upping G in engineering. It’ll skew the efficiency but my ass won’t fit through the access panels soon if I don’t burn some of this off.”
Alejandro ignored his wife’s attempted diversion. “How long has this been going on?”
Glory shrugged. “The kids? They’ve been flirting since Evy came aboard. I’m not exactly sure when they actually started sleeping together. Probably during the flight here to Valhalla.” She dropped her clothes and stepped into the head. “Why’s it matter?”
Alejandro sat on the bunk and pulled off his slippers. “You’re okay with this?”
Glory leaned out the door, toothbrush in hand. “They’re consenting adults, and it’s impossible to stop ship romances. As long as it doesn’t effect their work, it’s not our business.”
“I don’t like it,” muttered Alejandro, staring at the stars that filled the wall screen. “Leo’s a dreamer. He should be with someone grounded. Evy’s nice, but she’s not right for him. Damn good jumper, but an air-head.”
“Cheez nah…” Glory spat and tried again. “She’s not an airhead, she’s just young andâ€¦ cheerful.”
“She drinks too much.”
“She has wine with dinner. Her parents owned a vineyard on Laramie.” Glory walked back into the cabin and sat next to her husband. “Alejandro, she’s a nice girl and she’s here on the ship. You have to know that Leo’s been thinking of leaving.”
Alejandro frowned. “Why? He has a good life here with us, learning the trade, and when we finally retire the Evanston will be his.”
“Yes, but that won’t be for a long time. He needs to build his own life. Hell, why do you think I pressed you so hard to hire that newly graduated jump-pilot anyway?”
“You said she had great ratings and a low pay-scale.”
“Yes, but the real reason is that our son was lusting after her the minute he saw her. Thank the gods that it’s working out and we’re not dealing with a harassment suit. Now brush your teeth. Launch tomorrow, and we’re going to be busy.” (Continue Reading…)
1. Escape Artists has a major cash problem. This has been caused by a massive increase in the amount of listeners which has not been accompanied by an increase in donations. In fact those have started to decrease. This situation is unsustainable and we will close at the end of 2013 without a major increase in subscriptions.
3. We need money. There are two ways to do this either by donating or subscribing. One off donations are lovely and we’re incredibly grateful. Subscriptions cost you much less and raise our base level of funds on a monthly basis. Those are going to help much more in the mid term.
Late one April evening, Linda Jackson pulled a revolver from her purse and shot her husband through a large mustard stain in the center of his T-shirt. The official after incident survey concluded that almost all of Merry Valley approved of the shooting. Sixty-four percent of the townspeople even rated her target selection as “excellent.” A few, however, criticized her, pointing out that shooting your husband is “a little too obvious” and “not very creative.”
Dick Andrews, who had farmed the fertile soil around Merry Valley for over thirty years, believed that Larry Jackson more than anyone else in town, needed to be killed. “I never liked him much,” he wrote in the additional comments section of the incident survey. “He never seemed to have a good word to say about anybody.”
“Excellent use of a bullet,” scrawled Jimmy Blanchard. Born and raised in Merry Valley, he had known Larry for years and had even graduated from high school with him. “Most overbearing person I’ve ever met. He deserved what he got. I’m just not sure why it took so long.”
Of course, a few people made waves. Jenny Collins seemed appalled. “I can hardly believe it,” she wrote. “We used to be much more discerning about who we killed, and we certainly didn’t go around flaunting it the way Linda does.” Jenny was the old-fashioned kind.
Linda would never have called her actions “flaunting it.” Of course she knew what to do after shooting Larry. She had read The Enforcement Handbook from cover to cover six times, poring over it to see if she had missed anything, scrutinizing every nuance. She had even committed some of the more important passages to memory: Call the police immediately after executing an enforcement–Always keep your red card in a safe, dry place–Never reveal to anyone that you have a red card–Be proud; you’re performing an important civic duty.
But flaunting it? No, Linda blended in better than anyone in town, rarely talked and never called attention to herself. She spent most of her days at the Merry Valley Public Library, tucked between rows of antique shelves, alone, organizing a modest collection of old books. In the evening she fixed dinner. After Larry had eaten, cleaned up and left the house for “some time alone,” Linda would lie in bed reading Jane Austen. No, Linda never flaunted anything–never had much to flaunt.
You can download the ePub version here.
This is the October issue, so I guess I should be sounding all spooky in the editor’s note, but That Holiday Which Must Be Feared is a month away, so instead why don’t we talk about reinvention.
I’m not that great at waiting out long serialized stories, and honestly with longer book series where the author is know for long stretches between novels (Cough-George-RR-Martin-Cough) I usually stop one before the last one out so I can at least control when I’ll restart the story. So comics have never been an ideal form for me, except for when the storyline’s collected into a volume. Or, in the case of The Sandman, 10 volumes.
But we’re a bit into DC’s reboot, and their reinvention means a bit more critical eye is being cast over their crop than would be if they hadn’t resorted to remaking themselves in the great American tradition. And while there are highs in the new crop, the lows have been getting most of the attention, because, well, while any reboot is going to lose you fans, it shouldn’t do this to young female fans: http://io9.com/5844355/
On a happier note, this is one-year anniversary of Escape Pod reinventing a bit of itself into a text product in addition to the audio coming into your ear canals every week. I think it’s been a success, but this is as good a point as any to stop and ask for feedback, so hit up firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions for what we can do different/better in Soundproof.
This Soundproof is bringing you Lavie Tidhar’s The Insurance Agent, Saladin Ahmed’s The Faithful Soldier, Prompted, and T. L. Morganfield’s Night Bird Soaring. So it’s a strong issue.
Hope you enjoy it,
P.S. SF Signal put together an awesome, awesome flowchart of NPR’s top 100 SF/F books. Go get lost in it here: http://www.box.net/shared/static/a6omcl2la0ivlxsn3o8m.jpg
Download the ePub version here.
Short editor’s note this month to make sure this goes out reasonably on time to all you faithful listeners. Er, readers.
Last month saw a bit of mopping-up action on the various nominees with Stone Wall Truth, which got nominated in the novella category for the Nebula, and the space-piratical Leech Run.
But most importantly, we hit Episode 300 of the podcast that Steve built with Tim Pratt’s We Go Back. Who Escape Pod goes pretty far back with. His stories are episodes 8, 31 (with Greg van Eekhout), 67, 105, 142, 190, 239, 251 and 276. He’s probably far and away the Escape Pod fan favorite, and Impossible Dreams is still the story I usually recommend as the entry point for new Escape Pod listeners.
It’s been a little over a year since Mur took over and I snuck in through an open side Escape Pod airlock (for closed values of open). We’re still adrift in space, same as it ever was, floating along scanning for the next story, and eventually a planet to set down on. Like many fiction journeys, the path laid out at the beginning is not the path you end up going down, because that would be boring.
Until the next,
Hi SF fans!
I wanted to talk about some changes that are happening here at Escape Pod.
First: DON’T PANIC. What you love about Escape Pod – free stories every Thursday – is not changing. At all. We’re not removing things as a change, we’re adding things.
Second: For a while, this site has been little more than a delivery device for the podcast. But now we’re going to add commentary, reviews, and news. We need help, though. If you’re interested in volunteering material for the blog, simply email me and let me know what you’d like to contribute.
Third: Escape Pod is raising its rates. That’s right folks, we’re shooting for the stars and going for an SFWA pro rate format. We’ll be paying $.05 a word for new stories (maximum $300), $.03 a word for reprints (minimum $100). We’re doing this for a couple of reasons- authors deserve to be paid, of course. We’re hoping we can attract a greater caliber of authors, which will therefore grow our audience. Along with the rate increase, we’ll be asking for ebook rights to the stories so we can print them on our site, which will bring in a bigger audience. The rate increase will start with stories I accept after October 1, 2010.
A side note- we’ll only be able to pay pro rates if the donations help us do so. we’re doing a six month trial; if our donations stay strong, it’ll be a permanent change for 2011, if they don’t, then in April we will drop back down to $100 a story. This depends on your support of the site.
Alternately, if you’re a media publisher of any kind — television, movies, video games, a book seller, or just an indie author who wants to sponsor Escape Pod, that will help us out while also promoting you to tens of thousands of listeners. You can email amanda at escapeartists.net for current rates and details.
Astronauts are people who ride rockets into space. They must train for a very long time before they go. Astronauts must be brave and smart.
Will you be an astronaut?
The biggest rocket ever was the Saturn V. On the launch pad it was taller than a 30-story building. Today’s rockets are smaller and lighter. Today’s rockets can be launched more than once. They have wings and can come back to earth and land like airplanes.
When a rocket launches, it’s like an earthquake. The ground is shaking! There is flame and smoke. It’s like an explosion!
Antonio is strapped into his seat. He is about to ride to a space station. Because there is no air in space, Antonio must wear a space suit. In the suit, Antonio can breathe and talk over radio. He wears a helmet with a special faceplate that protects him from the sun. The fingers of his gloves have tiny claws that help him work with small objects.
What’s all that noise? It must be a rocket! Astronauts are traveling to space!
5-4-3-2-1! Lift off!