Posts Tagged ‘Eugie Foster’

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Escape Pod 463: Rockwork

Show Notes

Also mentioned in this episode, treasured author Eugie Foster passed away.


Rockwork

by R. M. Graves

Dog sat at her kit, in the cavernous dark at the back of the stage, with Meg’s kiss chilling on her lips. That hadn’t fixed her nerves at all. Now Dog’s chest shook worse than her hands, jacked up on the worry of letting her girlfriend down, again.

The crowd didn’t see or care. As Meg took her spot out front, they thrummed the darkness with their chanting, “Rock… Work! Rock… Work!”

Dog’s sticks were already slick in her palms as she snapped rubber bands around them. She shuffled in her seat, checked contacts, toggled switches and sensed Meg’s impatience, standing in the dark between the drums and hungry fans. Dog brushed trembling fingers over the kit and it twitched around her, jittery. It hated gigs.

“Come on, Rocky,” she whispered and cogs whirred back at her. She shook her head. “Purring? Seriously?”

The kit’s blind trust made Dog gulp an urge to up and run. No. This time. This time Meg would be proud of her. Proud of them. No screw-ups. No zoning out.

She took a deep breath and kicked a volley of hard thumps into the black. The audience hushed. Cannon-shot beats echoed, overlapped, and swelled like an approaching army. A machine-gun of rimshots and the lights, and the crowd, exploded.

Dog scowled into the glare of spotlights as the ‘Rockwork’ burst into life around her; a kit stretched beyond drums to form an entire robotic band. Butchered musical instruments twitched and writhed in a hellish chromed engine of noise. Cogs spun plectrums at wire. Hammers rapped on the broken teeth of piano keys. Thumbscrews wrenched raw electric scales out of strangled frets.

Dog set her features into maniacal control, sweat already trickling over her bald head, pooling in her eyebrows; her arms gleaming pistons at the snare and toms.

Meg swayed her hips to Dog’s driving cacophony; her playful nonchalance creating a tantalizing silhouette to the audience, but taunting Dog behind. Hinting at what she had to lose. The music press were in tonight, but there was more than the band at stake.

The Rockwork was autonomous to a point, but it relied on Dog to keep it in line. Left unchecked it would spin off on its own groove without regard to Meg. Or the audience. Dog pressed her lips, rolled an extravagant fill across the toms, thrashed out her anxiety in the splash and crash. Meg’s cue.

The fans bounced along with the opening bars. Meg tossed Dog a warning frown, the gobo’s lit her up, and her voice rang out. The crowd, already jumping, flung its hands in the air like antennae for more and howled in pleasure. (Continue Reading…)

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Escape Pod 388: Trixie and the Pandas of Dread


Trixie and the Pandas of Dread

by Eugie Foster

Trixie got out of her cherry-red godmobile and waved away the flitting cherubim waiting to bear her to her sedan chair. She wasn’t in the mood for a reverent chorus of hosannas, and the sedan chair desperately needed re-springing. She felt every jostle and jounce from those damned pandas. A day didn’t pass that she didn’t regret adopting giant pandas as her sacred vahanas. Sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time. They were so cute with their roly-poly bellies and black-masked faces, but they were wholly unsuited to be beasts of conveyance. The excessive undulation of their waddling gaits was enough to make Captain Ahab seasick, and their exclusive diet of bamboo made them perpetually flatulent. The novelty of being hauled along by farting ursines in a stomach-roiling sedan chair had gotten very old very fast. But there wasn’t a lot she could do about it now. It was all about the brand. Pandas were part of her theology. If she adopted new vahanas, she’d likely end up with a splitter faction, possibly even a reformation. Such a pain in the ass.

So she’d started walking more—well, floating really, since gods weren’t supposed to tread the earth. Appearances and all.

Drifting a hairsbreadth above the pavement, Trixie pulled out her holy tablet and launched the Karmic Retribution app. The first thumbnail belonged to a Mr. Tom Ehler, the owner of the walkway and the two-story colonial house it led to. She unpinched two fingers across the screen to zoom up Mr. Ehler’s details.

(Continue Reading…)

EP261: Only Springtime When She’s Gone

Show Notes

Show Notes:

Next week… A computer has an identity crisis.


Only Springtime When She’s Gone

By Eugie Foster

“A takeover of your company with the state your market shares are in is not unreasonable.” Although Soaces was right, there’d be precious little profit, even after he’d liquidated all of Renewal’s assets and released the employees. But that wasn’t why he wanted it.

“You’re going to destroy us, aren’t you? Tear us apart and sell us to the highest bidder.”

“That’s the plan.”

“There’s more to the company than the money. You’ll eliminate so many people’s livelihoods. Good people. Without Renewal, some of them won’t have any other alternatives.”

“Alternative to what? Luddite jobs? Machine labor?” He chose his next words, enunciating each syllable with relish. “It’s all they’re good for, isn’t it? Can’t have the un-teched getting above their station.”

Portia dropped her gaze. “I never said that.”

“But you didn’t deny it.”

Escape Pod 229: Littleblossom Makes a Deal With the Devil

Show Notes

Sponsored by SleepPhones – Pajamas For Your Ears


Littleblossom Makes a Deal With the Devil

By S. Hutson Blount

From beneath the camouflage of kindling on her back came Grandma Thinkbox’s quiet voice. “You should have something hot to drink, child. Do not make yourself sick.”

“Yes, nainai. As soon as I check on Pig.”

After Comrade Liu had been evacuated with the last of the support troops, Xiaoying had rearranged the personality of her assistant battlefield AI into something that suited her better. If she were going to spend months carrying it around, she wasn’t going to listen to it drone on like a party chief. The way it talked now reminded her of her grandmother. The missiles had overlays for their small brains, too, and she’d decorated them with personalities as well. Boredom was a more immediate enemy than Japan.

Escape Pod 214: Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast


Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast

By Eugie Foster

Each morning is a decision. Should I put on the brown mask or the blue? Should I be a tradesman or an assassin today?

Whatever the queen demands, of course, I am. But so often she ignores me, and I am left to figure out for myself who to be.

Dozens upon dozens of faces to choose from.

1. Marigold is for murder.

Escape Pod 121: The Snow Woman’s Daughter

Show Notes

Referenced Sites:
Daily Dragon Podcast
Dragon*Con 2007


The Snow Woman’s Daughter

by Eugie Foster

When I was a little girl, I thought my mother’s name was Yuki, which means snow. That was part of her name, but I didn’t learn the rest of it until the night my father died.

My mother left us on a slate-gray evening when I was five, with her namesake falling from the sky and piled high around the windows and doors. Awakened by raised voices, I watched through a tear in the curtain that shielded my sleeping mat as my mother wrapped her limbs in a shining, white kimono. As far back as I could remember, she had always worn the dark wool shifts that all mountain people wear, spun from the hair of the half-mad goats that give us milk and cheese. In her kimono she looked like a princess, or a queen. Her skin was paler than mine, and I am thought quite fair. Roku, the boy who lived on the northern crest, used to tease me when we were little, calling me “ghost girl” and “milk face.”

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Escape Pod 39: My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie

Show Notes

Rated X. Contains profanity, sexual situations, and the undead, in various combinations.

Referenced sites:
The Sci Phi Show
Tangent Short Fiction Review
The Town Drunk
Radio A.D.D.


My Friend is a Lesbian Zombie

By Eugie Foster

I don’t know how it happened. I’m the last person I’d go to if I were a zombie; I’m not into the occult thing at all. But I was the only friend Mandy had in this city, so she came to me with her sob story. Lucky me. So there she was, kicked back in my bed, having herself a good, long cry and I was stuck with her, wondering how long until she began stinking. That was really unfair of me, I know, but there was a goddamn walking, talking corpse snuggled up in my good sheets and I was a little concerned about it.

Escape Pod 17: The Life and Times of Penguin

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains explicit existentialism and violence of the soul. (The intro contains minor profanity and frank discussions of current events, and is likely to be more offensive than the story.)


The Life and Times of Penguin

By Eugie Foster

Penguin listened raptly to the new voice. He knew this was his guardian angel, she who would guard and protect him forever. Sure enough, the Creator set him gently into his angel’s hand. Her hands, much smaller than the Creator’s–which was fitting since who among the angels had such power as the Creator?–were a bit sticky. He squealed as she held him aloft to
receive the glorious light.

“Look, Daddy! It’s a peng’n!”

“Yes it is, Angie. It’s a very nice penguin. Did you thank the nice man for the balloon?”