Posts Tagged ‘Frank Key’

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Escape Pod 747: Flash from the Vault


Flash from the Vault

Host commentary by S. B. Divya

Hi there and welcome to the third and final term of Escape Pod’s Summer School, where we post some of our favorite flash fiction from the vault with a new perspective. I’m Divya, co-editor of the pod, and your instructor for this class. This episode also concludes our Summer Flashback series. We’ll be back next week with the best in original and reprint science fiction.

Today, I bring you three flash episodes from long, long ago. First up is “Standards,” by Richard K. Lyon, then we have “Paradox,” by Scott Janssens, and finally, “Stuck In An Elevator With Mandy Patinkin,” by Kitty Myers. (Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 205: Requiem in D-minor (for prions, whale and burning bush)


Requiem in D-minor (for prions, whale and burning bush)

By Ian McHugh

Kevin switched the audio over to the projector. The lecture hall was filled with outdoor noises. Wind hummed softly over the microphone, cattle lowed nearby, a truck accelerated in the distance.

A roan steer staggered around a concreted yard, its mute distress accompanied by clattering hooves and the fleshy slap of its thigh striking the ground when it fell. A new sound was introduced – incongruous, but familiar to Kevin’s audience.

Whale song.

Gradually, the cow’s shaking stilled, until it could stand securely. Its muscles continued to tremble, but not enough to upset its equilibrium while it listened.

Escape Pod Flash: Standards

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains proven impossibilities.

Statement from Rachel Swirsky:
Richard K. Lyon died on November 21. When I contacted him last month to ask if he still wanted this piece to run on our podcast, he said that the doctors didn’t give him long, but that he hoped this would give the world “one last laugh.”

Escape Artists dedicates this production to his memory. We wish the best to him, and to his family.


Standards

By Richard K. Lyon

After careful examination of your manuscript no 113785, Corbamite, An Insulator Against Gravity, the editors of Review of Physics have concluded that it is not suitable for publication in this journal. This decision is final and further correspondence on this subject will serve no useful purpose.

Since the above may seem somewhat harsh, let me say what I can to mitigate it. The editors do appreciate that you are working under difficult circumstances: when the senior author of a paper is deceased, it is always hard for the junior author to complete the work in an appropriate manner. Also let us assure you that we do believe you. You have told us that with his dying breath Professor Steinhardt handed you his notebook and said, “Have this published in Review of Physics.” Such an action would be completely in character for Steinhardt since he was a true scientist.

As for your claim that Professor Steinhardt made this statement as he was expiring from disintegrator rays wounds suffered during your escape from the City of Disembodied Brains on Altair IV, our believing that is a somewhat different matter but we need to go into that.

Escape Pod 176: How The World Became Quiet: A Post-Human Creation Myth

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains war, invasion, exodus, mass extinction, religious revival, and a lot of mud.

Referenced Sites:
Resonance FM
Reality Break Podcast


How The World Became Quiet: A Post-Human Creation Myth

By Rachel Swirsky

Humans laid the foundation for the sixth apocalypse in much the same way they’d triggered the previous ones. Having recovered their ambition after the Apocalypse of Serotonin and rebuilt their populations after the Apocalypse of Grease, they once again embarked on their species’ long term goal to wreak as much havoc as possible on the environment through carelessness and boredom. This time, the trees protested. They devoured buildings, whipped wind into hurricanes between their branches, tangled men into their roots and devoured them as mulch. In retaliation, men chopped down trees, fire-bombed jungles, and released genetically engineered insects to devour tender shoots.

The pitched battle decimated civilians on both sides, but eventually — though infested and rootless — the trees overwhelmed their opposition. Mankind was forced to send its battered representatives to a sacred grove in the middle of the world’s oldest forest and beg for a treaty.

Escape Pod 131: Hesperia and Glory


Hesperia and Glory

by Ann Leckie

Escape Pod 94: The Last Wave

Show Notes

Rated G. Contains aquatic monsters with a penchant for memorabilia. That’s about as scary as it gets.


The Last Wave

by Kay Kenyon

From what I gather, there are two competing theories about me. The ones who come with binoculars and cameras believe in the monster theory. I consider myself as siding with this group. The scientists, on the other hand, with their annoying echolocation devices, hold that I’m a prehistoric Earth creature, the last of my kind, cut off from my fellows. Sentimental drivel, of course. Drifting along under their hulls at night, I eavesdrop. They think I’m some kind of fish. But if they ever caught me, the DNA analysis would give them a bit of a jolt.

Genres:

Escape Pod 90: How Lonesome a Life Without Nerve Gas

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains battle scenes, Imperial propaganda, overenthusiastic chemistry, and bad poetry.

Referenced Sites:
Befuddled by Cormorants by Frank Key
EP Flash Fiction Contest


How Lonesome a Life Without Nerve Gas

by James Trimarco

After the first week of practice, I knew how to anticipate Mickey’s every move. I knew how to sense weariness in the jogging of his spine and would inject increased levels of oxygen into his airflow when I did. I knew that his heartbeat grew irregular when the platoon crossed a rope bridge high over the practice-room floor, and for that exercise I would work a calming agent into his stream. I liked to chant patriotic slogans in his ear as we practiced. “Oh the children of empire are marching,” I sang, “to crush the rebel threat.”

Although my programmers intended these songs to stimulate high levels of patriotism, Mickey didn’t like them. Perhaps that’s when the first droplets of doubt moistened the soil where the pendulous flowers of my confusion would one day bud. . . .

I’m sorry, your honor, if my poetry offends you. That’s when I first questioned his loyalty, I should have said.

EP Flash: The Team-Mate Reference Problem in Final-Stage Demon Confrontation

Show Notes

Rated G. Important safety tip. (Thanks, Egon.)


The Team-Mate Reference Problem in Final-Stage Demon Confrontation

By Constance Cooper

Colleagues, ours is a uniquely demanding profession. In no other job do you endanger your coworker’s soul if you call out to him in the course of your duties. But since a demon has power over you once it knows your name, well-meant warnings such as “Buck! Behind you!” can have tragic consequences.