Posts Tagged ‘fairy tale’

Escape Pod 857: Salvaged


by Adriana Kantcheva

I have her body. If I’d also had her life, would I have lived it in the same way?

I make the mistake of voicing my thoughts to Seven, who promptly activates what I call his melancholy setting. I can tell from how the blue signal lights in his communication subunit start blinking in a slow, hypnotic rhythm.

“Why are you thinking about her again?” he says. “You’ll never encounter her circumstances.”

I walk over to my porthole. The Salvagers’ wing of the space station blocks part of the view, but I see enough of Earth—all brown and beige and rust. “I also won’t encounter any answers if I can’t get around the firewall in your memory.” I wave at the wires I have so carefully rearranged in his data storage subunit, which is splayed open on my cabin table. But I’ve stepped back from my work, my ribcage tight with unease.

Humanity killed Earth. The Salvagers revealed to me that bit of history, at least. How and why, my alien benefactors won’t tell. I’m allowed to delve into Terran science and technology, but they’ve put a digital gag on Seven about history, culture, politics, or society. For my protection, they say. For the sake of a clean slate.
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Escape Pod 580: Nozizwe and Almahdi

Nozizwe and Almahdi

By J. R. Dawson

She was a princess and he was a prince, and they had been genetically made for each other. The science had been precise down to their anatomical make-up, the blood and the speed in which that blood pulsed through their perfectly symmetrical hearts.

His name was Almahdi. He had been named this because of the way the consonants and vowels hit the shape of her ear. Her name was Nozizwe, because she would indeed be the mother of nations. They would meet at a grand ball on the space station, in the neutral zone between their two new colony kingdoms, in their eighteenth year. So that meant, while other children got to spend their first eighteen years enjoying their robo-dogs and trying to set their parents’ fireproof space suits aflame and going to camp on the moon, the prince and the princess did nothing fun. In fact, their daily activities were about as far from fun as daily activities could get.“You were made out of love,” Nozizwe’s father, the King, instructed her — age three — from his throne. “Therefore, you must love. Now, what does it mean to love, Nozizwe?”
Nozizwe, sitting in an uncomfortable chair, farted loudly.

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Escape Pod 460: The Ink Readers of Doi Saket

Show Notes

This story has been nominated for a Hugo Award.

Please, also remember our friend P.G. Holyfield and donate to his fund if at all possible.

The Ink Readers of Doi Saket

by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

[EDITOR: We don’t have the rights to post the text of this story.]

Escape Pod 09: Jack

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains cattle theft, kidnapping, and crimes against fashion.


By Justin Stanchfield

“That truly is a fine heifer, and any man would be proud to own her.”

“Well…” said Jack, hope rising. “I suppose she might be for sale, if that is your meaning.”

“It is.” The stranger dug inside the pocket of his slick and shiny coat, and brought out a small lead case. The lid clicked open and he turned in over in his hand, three shimmering beads rolling in his palm. He offered them to Jack.

“What are those?” Jack frowned, suspicious once more.

“What are they? They might be beans.” The stranger laughed. “Then again, they might be more precious than rubies, mightn’t they? Truth of the matter, I’m not certain what they are, only that they are beyond any worth you can imagine.”

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