Genres:

Escape Pod 492: The Silent Ones


The Silent Ones

by Erica L. Satifka

The year travel opens up between alternate Earths is the first year you fall in love, with a strapping farm boy from one of the rural worlds named Paul. He takes you to a barn dance thrown by his people, where you learn to smoke a corncob pipe. His sister, a tiny girl with saucer eyes and dirty hair, steals your purse. You’re too hammered to mind.

You get drunk on apple wine and fuck Paul behind a haystack while a band of his cousins screeches on their fiddles and moans in that unintelligible alternate-world dialect of theirs. At the pale green Formica kitchen table, Paul gives you a stick-and-poke tattoo of his initials inside a heart.

But when your six days are up, it’s back through the travel gate with you, and no more Paul. You mope for weeks, watching but not performing the calisthenics exercises on television, alternating handfuls of candy and amphetamines. Finally, your two best girl friends drag you from your home – “Don’t be such a drag!” – and bring you to the club.

And that’s when you see your first silent one. With the robes and everything. Shit. He’s sipping a martini, looking totally out of place, bopping his head to a spastic electroclash beat. Club soda rises up your nose, coming close to spilling out.

(Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Escape Pod 248: Spar

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • This particular story and narration were originally recorded by Kate Baker for Clarkesworld Magazine, and is used here with their expressed permission. Thanks very much to Baker and Clarkesworld.
  • The Escape Pod Flash Contest is over! now check out the judging!
  • Editor’s note: Thanks so much to Dave Thompson and Peter Wood for taking on this project of securing all five Hugo stories during the hiatus of Escape Pod. Most of the work was done before I joined, and this wouldn’t have happened without them stepping up.

Next week… We’re back to our regularly scheduled programming with a story from Heather Shaw!


Spar

By Kij Johnson

The alien is not humanoid. It is not bipedal. It has cilia. It has no bones, or perhaps it does and she cannot feel them. Its muscles, or what might be muscles, are rings and not strands. Its skin is the color of dusk and covered with a clear thin slime that tastes of snot. It makes no sounds. She thinks it smells like wet leaves in winter, but after a time she cannot remember that smell, or leaves, or winter.

Its Ins and Outs change. There are dark slashes and permanent knobs that sometimes distend, but it is always growing new Outs, hollowing new Ins. It cleaves easily in both senses.

It penetrates her a thousand ways. She penetrates it, as well.

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.”

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.

Genres:

Escape Pod 165: Those Eyes

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains some sexual situations and scattered profanity in both English and Spanish.


Those Eyes

By David Brin

“…So you want to talk about flying saucers? I was afraid of that.

“This happens every damn time I’m blackmailed into babysitting you insomniacs, while Talkback Larry escapes to Bimini for a badly needed rest. I’m supposed to field call-in questions about astronomy and outer space for two weeks. You know, black holes and comets? But it seems we always have to spend the first night wrangling over puta UFOs.

“…Now, don’t get excited, sir…. Yeah, I’m just a typical ivory tower scientist, out to repress any trace of unconventional thought. Whatever you say, buddy.”

Genres:

Escape Pod 161: Alien Promises

Show Notes

Rated G. This is a young adult SF story.

Referenced Sites:
Secret of the Three Treasures by Janni Lee Simner
Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner
Tale Chasing – Urban Fantasy podcast


Alien Promises

By Janni Lee Simner

Jenny was silent for a while. “Promise me something?” she finally asked. “If they ever come for you, promise you’ll let me know?”

“Why?” I had trouble believing Jenny really wanted to leave. Maybe this was all some sort of joke.

“Just promise,” Jenny said.

“No.” Even if she was serious, Jenny was the last person I wanted following me into space.

Jenny took a deep breath. “I’ll tell you, too. If they ever come for me.”

Genres:

Escape Pod 119: Aliens Want Our Women

Show Notes

Blog of the Week:
The Evil Eyebrow
(receives The John W. Campbell Letters, Vol. 1)

Referenced Sites:
Polyamory Weekly
The DrabbleCast


Aliens Want Our Women

by Ramona Louise Wheeler

He was a widower, weary of too many years of loneliness. He had decided to travel to someplace distant and exotic, in hopes of finding as a companion someone completely different from his lost love. He had chosen Earth for its very remoteness.

“I want to marry the most wonderful woman on Earth,” he said.

Every female on the planet had just acquired a brand new agenda in life.

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.

Genres:

Escape Pod 89: Bean There

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains sexual imagery and themes, and lots of caffeine.

Today’s Sponsor:


Bean There

By Jack Skillingstead

“You call it crazy,” Aimee said. “I call it Evolution.”

With a capital E. The famous newsclip seen around the world. The aliens arrived neither as an invading force nor as beneficent galactic pals. By their own description they were ‘Harbingers.’

Famous network interviewer: “Harbingers of what?”

Alien: “Evolution.”

Genres:

Escape Pod 60: Creature For Hire

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains minor innuendo, minor swearing, and some grotesque imagery. No livestock were harmed in the making of this podcast.


Creature For Hire

By Paul E. Martens

“But, Morty, I’m an alien. Christ, I’m The Alien, the only one on the whole damned planet. There’s got to be something.” It occurred to me that my apartment was too big. It seemed to be
getting bigger every day. And when I considered the rent vis a vis my bank account balance, the place was huge.

“The novelty’s worn off, kiddo. I’m surprised it lasted for four movies. And that last one didn’t really count, just a walk-on in a dream sequence. The point is, people aren’t going to keep paying to see something they’ve already seen, even if he is an alien. I mean, it’s not like you do anything. You’re just there, you know?”