Posts Tagged ‘Samantha Henderson’

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Escape Pod 616: My Generations Shall Praise


My Generations Shall Praise

By Samantha Henderson

The woman on the other side of the glass must be very rich and very sick. I study her face, looking for any kind of resemblance. If I’m a Jarndyce candidate, we must be related. It’s the only way she could ride my brain.

She’s a predator. I recognize my own kind.

Mrs. Helena McGraw is studying me too. The side of her mouth quirks up, twisting her face out of true. “Great-grandmother Toohey,” she says, a little too smug.

Never knew my great-grandmother, but I do a quick calculation. That makes us second cousins. Helena’s lucky, me ripe for picking on death row. Only this low-hanging peach has some say in what’s going to happen to her. Not much: a choice of deaths. But how I choose means everything to her. (Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 373: Chandra’s Game


Chandra’s Game

by Samantha Henderson

Joey Straphos, Papa Joe, told me once that Chandra’s Game is a bitch of a city, fickle but generous when the mood strikes her.  But Papa Joe was a romantic.

Chandra’s Game roots in the side of a barren asteroid moon like a tick.  Over the years we’ve burrowed deeper into rock and ice until poor Chandra is mostly Game.  We loop the twin wormholes, Gehenna and Tartarus, roundabout in a figure eight, ready to catch the freighters as they escape from hell’s dark maw.  We strip them of goods and drink their heat, load them up and send them into another hell.  It’s a profitable game, Chandra’s.

My mother smuggled me into Chandra’s Game without patronage and compounded her error by dying without permission; I was Terra-born unless she was lying, which was likely enough.  I joined the other unregistereds down in the Warrens: ferals that lived off the Mayor’s Dole and by odd-jobs when that wasn’t enough.  Papa Joe fed us, and sometimes the tunnels were glorious with the smell of meat, and if you were smart or hungry enough you didn’t ask from what.  Where there’s humanity there are rats, and Joey wasn’t a rich man, not then.  But food is food, and he’d bunk you if he could, and if all he asked in return for the latest Warren scuttlebutt or a few sticks of ephedrine off a freighter’s load, what of it?  Saints are few and far between in Chandra’s Game.

Papa Joe always liked me: I stayed a bit feral, tomboy—nothing like his daughters.  He had them late in life, when he got rich, and they were elegant, lux level creatures.  Not like Joey, not like Mrs. Joe.  She was quiet and kind, and if she knew a nano of Joey’s business she never let on.  When Gregor Straphos died I died a little.  But Mrs. Joe died all the way.

I’d been legit for years.  I still snooped, but in an upright way.  Helped the Company Men find bits of their loads that went astray between Gehenna and Tartarus, passed on Warren talk to the prefects when some smart kid got out of hand, pointed the way to speedwell labs that weren’t circumspect about what went into their product.  Nothing that would disturb the delicate balance between the business of the Family, the Companies and the Mayor.

(Continue Reading…)

Escape Pod 97: Cinderella Suicide

Show Notes

Rated PG. Contains violence, unsavory characters, and opaque slang.

Referenced Links:
Scott Sigler
Podiobooks.com

(Technical Note: There was an encoding error in the original that resulted in a few skipped seconds at 15:00. I’ve corrected it. If this bothered you, please download the file again. If you just want to know what you missed: Suicide asks “Split?” and Tintype replies “Each.” Sorry for the inconvenience, and thanks to Thaurismunths for pointing out the problem.)


Cinderella Suicide

by Samantha Henderson

List, then. 1788, New Holland becomes New South Wales, and dear England starts to send her slithies there, her dribs and drabs and pick-pocks and whores and cutthroats, to drain the cesspool Britannia’s become. And then we pin the gravitational constant, and solve Pringle’s Mysterious Logarithm, and then just when we’re ready for it there’s an explosion of a different sort (I’m a proud product of my state school, whoreboy though I became). From the skies over Van Diemen’s Land streaks a merry flaming angel arcing down to earth and boom! Kills most of the slithies, and their Bulls, and the Murri and the Nunga in their Dreamtime too, far as any know. Sky goes red from Yangtze to Orkney. A few Nunga are left, fishing the Outer Isles. And more slithies come soon, for England’s still all-of-cess, and we’d just as soon have them die.

But! Scattered all about, like Father Christmas tossing pennies, rare earth, yttrium and scandium in luscious ashy chunks. And soon there are Magnetic Clocks, and Automatons, and Air-Cars, and good Queen Vickie trulls about in a Magnetic Carriage like everybody else. But still there is cess, and ever will be, pretend as they might at home, so still the slithies are transported.

And a good thing for Merrie Olde too, because nowhere is there as much rare earth as Australia, being that’s where the Great Boom happened, and nothing so useful for gathering ore and jellies as a big jolly family of convicts. Work for the Squatters when you’re Docked; work for them after you serve your time and are pensioned, but on your own terms. Or whore-about. Or prentice to the tech gnomes. Or mine gold, which never goes out of style. Or wander the Nullarbor, looking for the Source, and die. Or fish with the Nunga, if they’d have you, which they won’t. Stick with your duet/triune mates, if you would live out the year.

Always something to do.

But don’t fly, not much, because the variable-mag will crash you deep, and don’t depend on Carriages to work all the time. Beware your metal, for it can betray you.