Posts Tagged ‘love’

Genres:

Escape Pod 363: Flowing Shapes

Show Notes

Rated 17 and up for sexual situations


Flowing Shapes

By Rajan Khanna

Part One: Contemplation

The human came to She Shalu on the Day of Flowering Awareness. Damo met him near the Still Garden, the fumes of the exiting shuttle mixing with the sharp spice of the tall, white twizak plant. Damo wore a humanoid shape so as to minimize the stranger’s discomfort.

Damo studied the human with the practiced eyes of a Synan. Dark hair covered his head and parts of his body, and he was sleight of build, despite the solidity of his form. About 1.7 meters tall. His features were mostly smooth, bones prominent, eyes with the barest hint of a slant. A mouth surrounded by full lips.

“How may I help you?” Damo said, trying to sound gracious.

“I came to study Wan She,” the human said.

Damo felt his features flow with his astonishment. Perhaps he had not heard correctly, or his translation module was malfunctioning. “I am sorry,” he said. “Wan She is the Path of Flowing Shapes. It is a Synan practice. Humans, being incapable of shifting, cannot practice it.”

The human smiled, revealing straight, white teeth. “I know. I’m writing a book,” he said. “But isn’t it true that the first stage is concerned solely with contemplation? Surely that is not beyond a human.”

Damo stifled his urge to shift in response to his unease. Uncontrolled shifting was against the teachings of Wan She. “That is true,” he said. “But Wan She is a path. Not a series of distinct teachings. To step on that path is to begin a journey.”

“All I ask is that you let me speak to your Tanshe. Let him decide.”

Damo was all too willing to accommodate the human in this. Let the Tanshe decide. It certainly saved Damo the trouble of having to assimilate this odd request.

“Please follow me,” he said.

(Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Escape Pod 322: Chicken Noodle Gravity


Chicken Noodle Gravity

By J. Daniel Sawyer

I hate to start out this way, but before we get to the reason I’m standing on this stool with a fez on my head, in the middle of the night, in front of a double-cal-king bed in a furniture store—which, yes, Officer, I swear I’ll confess I broke into illegally—before we get to any of that, there’s something I have to tell you. I know it’s awful, evil, and just plain wrong, but there’s no way around it, and you won’t understand anything else unless I say this right up front, so here goes:

Stephen was stoned.

And when I say “stoned” I mean he’d eaten enough brownies and smoked enough pot to put the economies of five or six minor countries into a severe, long-term deficit crisis.

It was okay. It helped him cope with the chemo. Mellowed him out. We didn’t have to fight over who got to hold the remote. He was better in bed too—not as neurotic.

Didn’t complain about my mustache when I kissed him. Suits me right for shacking up with a clean freak.

The weed was my revenge—well, the fact that the weed made it possible for him to eat. We had to grow our own—only way we could afford it, though I swear we probably spent as much on the electricity as we would have on the bud. Not a great climate for it, not in the winter.

So, the revenge part—that would be his appetite. When he smoked, it came back. It was the only time it came back. And there were only two things he could handle:

Brownies.

And chicken noodle soup. The really rancid stuff that came in a red and white can. (Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Escape Pod 290: Tom the Universe


Tom the Universe

By Larry Hodges

I permeate this universe, which I’ve named Tom, and guard against its destruction. If someone had done that for the universe I came from, then Mary, my sweet Mary, would still be alive, and I wouldn’t have killed her and everyone else when I accidentally destroyed that universe.

And now I’m on the verge of destroying much more.

My name is also Tom. I was an undergrad in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore that January in 2040 when I made the discovery that doomed us all. My field of study was cognitive science, the study of human consciousness. What makes us aware of ourselves? Is it just the biomechanical workings of the brain, or something else?

Sherlock Holmes said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” I spent countless hours in the lab eliminating the impossible, and there didn’t seem to be anything left, improbable or not. The interconnectivity required for human consciousness to exist was just too many levels beyond what was possible. By all rights, we should all be unconscious blobs of matter mechanically going about our business as directed by electronic impulses from the brain, with no more consciousness than a calculator. I suffered brain cramps in the lab trying to figure out what improbables were left.

(Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 272: Christmas Wedding

Show Notes

Show Notes:


Christmas Wedding

By: Vylar Kaftan

Today was a perfect day, with three flaws.  It was snowing here in Miami, one of her brides had trouble recognizing her, and her cummerbund wouldn’t stay up.  The cummerbund was the only problem Mel could fix.  She brushed ashes off the church office’s desk and rummaged around for safety pins. She found typed notes for an old sermon, some yellow pushpins, and three tampons.  Mel took the tampons and left the rest.  Not a single safety pin, which surprised her–for a place that looters hadn’t been through, there was little here.  Underneath the desk, Mel found a paperclip.  After a moment’s thought, she opened her pocketknife and cut two holes in the cummerbund’s back.  She unbent the paperclip, wired the cummerbund together, and attached it to the belt loop on her black jeans.

Her bridesmaid poked his head in.  “How’re you doing in here?”

Paul had a fake poinsettia flower wedged behind his ear.  Mel laughed, a tense noise that hurt her throat.  “Paul, where did you get that flower?”

He grinned and walked into the office.  Paul had been a small-town Georgia fireman, in sunnier days.  He wore a plain gray shirt that exposed his well-muscled arms and new blue jeans that fit well.  Mel wondered where he’d found them.  Paul said, “I look like a hippie, don’t I?  Well, a hippie on steroids.  You look sort of James Dean meets Roy Orbison.  I like the bow tie.”

“I told you–you didn’t have to get girly.  You can be my best man.”

Escape Pod 268: Advection

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Feedback for Episode 260: The Speed of Dreams
  • Next week… The difficulty of watching a parent die.

 


Creative Commons License

Advection by Genevive Valentine is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at escapepod.org.


Advection

By Genevieve Valentine

The first day of fifth year a boy came in with the new eyeshields, a glossy expanse of black with no iris or pupil, and looking at him was like looking into an eclipse.

All the other girls said it made them uncomfortable; they teased him to take them out, to put on some normal sunglasses like everyone else. They said they’d never forgive him for hiding eyes in such a handsome face.

“Fortuni, it’s a little much,” said someone.

That was how I learned his name.

We were all Level Two intelligence, but before the first week was over the news was out that some had managed to find the money for a sixth year. Janik Duranti, who spent the history lectures drawing stick figures screwing on his computer screen, was getting a sixth year. I’d be cleaning his office someday. Answering his phones. Updating the registration on his blue ID cuff.

Carol Clarke opened the top button on her shirt as soon as the shades went down; obvious, but it was worth it to be married to a guy who had a sixth year.

(Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 243: I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Thanks to John Joseph Adams and Lightspeed Magazine for the opportunity to run this fantastic story at the same time as their launch. Go check out their magazine and subscribe!
  • Enter the Escape Pod Flash Contest! It runs June 1- July 4, stories must be under 500 words. More information at the link.

Next week… we begin our annual Hugo short stories rundown, with five weeks of award-nominated stories! I’m taking a 4-week break from hosting, but I’ll see you in July!


I’m Alive, I Love You, I’ll See You in Reno

By Vylar Kaftan

I knew you loved me, of course. It was written in your eyes when you looked at me, a physics problem with no clear answer. If an irresistible force meets an immovable object, what happens then?

They meet. That’s all we know. Relative to each other, they are in contact. From within the object or the force, there is no way to tell if you’re in motion.

Escape Pod 242: The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake

Show Notes

Show Notes:

  • Mur will be at Balticon this week, along with Drabblecast’s Norm Sherman! Come by and say hi!

FRIDAY

  • 5pm Reading

SATURDAY:

  • 3pm NaNoWriMo for Noobs
  • 8pm Autograph Session

SUNDAY

  • 4pm Girls’ Rule Live!
  • 5pm Story Improv
  • 8pm ISBW Live!
  • Enter the Escape Pod Flash Contest! It runs June 1- July 4, stories must be under 500 words. More information at the link.

Next week… the podcast comes on a special day: June 1. And it shows us that love is relative. And so is Reno.


The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake

By Robert T. Jeschonek

For her entire adolescent and adult life up until three weeks ago, Lynda had been the queen of junk food. Aside from the briefest blips of non-junk spending due to occasional failed diets, she had purchased only the most fattening, high-cholesterol, chemical-soaked foods available from grocery stores, restaurants, vending machines, and mail order websites.

In short, she was the perfect woman. Though she was on a diet that day, she had eaten non-nutritious foods in great quantities all her life. Though her last purchases had been salad greens and bottled water, her 250-pound body told the true story.

I knew she was just waiting for someone like me to come along.

Escape Pod 113: Ishmael in Love

Show Notes

Related Links:
Steve’s LiveJournal (cleaning updates)


Ishmael in Love

by Robert Silverberg

I am a lonely mammalian organism who has committed acts of heroism on behalf of your species and wishes only the reward of a more intimate relationship [“love”] with Miss Lisabeth Calkins. I beseech compassionate members of H. sapiens to speak favorably of me to her. I am loyal, trustworthy, reliable, devoted, and extremely intelligent. I would endeavor to give her stimulating companionship and emotional fulfillment [“happiness”] in all respects within my power.

Permit me to explain the pertinent circumstances.