Posts Tagged ‘books’

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Escape Pod 583: The Librarian


The Librarian

by Andrew Kozma

People call Matt a librarian, but he doesn’t mind. He takes care of the books, so the name makes sense, even if most of that care involves cleaning up their shit and piss, and feeding them nutritious glop in those moments between hits. If he can convince them to eat. If they aren’t so taken over by ledge they don’t move for months at a time, muscles withering like grapes on the vine.

Matt feels more like a drug dealer, even though he is, at best, an enabler. The libraries spit out blue wedges of ledge for anyone to pick up. He’s tried to get rid of the the libraries before, herding them away from the centers of human population, but no matter how far he drove them, a few days later they’d return to where they’d been, their stubby little crab legs clicking on the concrete. And because the libraries follow demand, the streets outside Heyman’s are littered with the little fuckers. He’s just thankful they don’t come inside—some latent biological programming keeps them from entering buildings.

Matt stores the books in what used to be Heyman’s Department Store, a four-story monstrosity which probably took up an entire city-block on Earth, in whatever city it was taken from, but here it’s lost among randomly scattered skyscrapers, row houses, suburban nuclear-family homes, churches, clubs, and sports arenas. He thinks of it as a temple. Or a museum. He tries not to think of it as a tomb. Most of the time, he’s the only non-ledged human there.

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Escape Pod 328: Surviving the eBookalypse


Surviving the eBookalypse

By Randy Henderson

I entered the City Public Library wearing my plastic replica chainmail and sword, and my suede “book jacket” with a laminated author’s license clipped to the collar.

Before me stood a fully automated checkout kiosk for scheduling author recitals. The library floor beyond that was filled with neat rows of author cubicles, each with a desk and chair. Most were occupied. The air was filled with the soft tickity-ticking of keyboards, and the smells of coffee, “New Book” scented air fresheners, and Cup o’ Soup. Heads popped up over cubicle walls in response to the clacking of the door, then disappeared again when they saw I was no customer or potential patron.

I understood their disappointed expressions too well. This was not at all where I thought I would be two years after publishing my first e-book.

A woman’s smile caught my attention. It was like cherry-haloed sunshine, floating between her neon blue hair and her black lace dress. She emerged from a cube in the Romance section, walked up to me, leaned in close and sniffed at the air. Then she said with the hint of a Mexican accent, “I smell a transfer from Bainbridge library, no? An MFA boy, if I’m not mistaken?”

“That obvious?” I asked.

“Lucky guess.” She laughed, and flicked my author’s license. “Says so right here.”
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What we’re reading: White Tiger by Kylie Chan


White Tiger

Occasionally, the EP staff reads more than slush and short stories. I picked up White Tiger by Kylie Chan at the Voyager party at WorldCon last month and have been eager to check it out. I study Southern Shao Lin kung fu and love stories that incorporate martial arts. I’m starting it today and will report back. (Yeah, it’s fantasy, I can be well balanced. I read both kinds of fiction, science fiction AND fantasy.*)

Recently finished books include The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and The Alchemist and the Executioness, linked novellas by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell. And I do realize that blogging these books will indicate which books I’m sorely behind on reading, but hey, we can’t read everything the moment it comes out, right?

(*Paraphrase of this The Blues Brothers classic line.)