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Tag: escape artists inc.

Short story: “Some Things I Probably Should Have Mentioned Earlier”

“Some Things I Probably Should Have Mentioned Earlier,” by Laura Pearlman

First appeared in Mothership Zeta, May 2016; read live at Worldcon for Escape Pod 650, October 18th, 2018

1,767 words

Ha! Good piece. The live reading format didn’t hurt. I like hearing audience reactions.

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Short story: “Loyalty Test”

“Loyalty Test,” by Andrew Gudgel

Featured in Escape Pod 649, October 11th, 2018

2,561 words

An enjoyable yarn. I didn’t see the ending coming—I wonder if I should have? Either way, fun.

Novelette: “The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike”

“The Revolution, Brought to You by Nike,” by Andrea Phillips

First appeared in Fireside Magazine, February 2017 (February 2017!?); read for Escape Pod episodes 644 and 645

9,891 words

A gripping and bewildering story. The concept of a corporate savior driving a revolution is played straight all the way through, with no one apparently questioning it, no one evincing a sense of irony or ambivalence or guilt. Nor does anyone except the president question Nike’s moral authority (who does sew those shoes, anyway? Mine say they’re made in Indonesia).

The last line is incredible. Is this wish fulfillment or satire? Or wish fulfillment tempered by satire? Read the author’s essay in the same issue of Fireside for a possible answer.

Short story: “So Sorry You’re Going Extinct!”

“So Sorry You’re Going Extinct!”, by Paul R Hardy

One of the second-place winners of Escape Pod‘s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest, read in episode 641

477 words

A delightfully bleak story. If you read the initial letter alone, it would be funny, but as a whole it’s more like horror fiction.

Short story: “The Fainting Game”

“The Fainting Game,” by Nino Cipri

Featured in PseudoPod 603, August 3rd, 2018

4,912 words

I love the concept, the game, the viciousness of the sisters, the dickishness of the dad that points to a deep dysfunction in the family. I felt like I wanted more though. More about the other kids Maya disappears and her motivations for doing so. Anyway, really interesting story. PseudoPod is having a great run of stories lately.

Short story: “Beyond the Dead Reef”

“Beyond the Dead Reef,” by James Tiptree, Jr.

Appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1983; won a 1983 Locus Award for best short story; collected in Tales of the Quintana Roo (Arkham House, 1986), which won a 1987 World Fantasy Award for best collection); appeared in PseudoPod 603, July 13th, 2018 (though not reprinted as text—perhaps there was a problem getting the rights)

A few thousand words

Interesting, but the initial buildup strikes me as long and not closely related to the main story (even though I love the murder plot), the monster is silly, and the moral at least borders on heavy-handed. Perhaps I’m reading it from the wrong era.

The framing comments on how unreliable the narrator is ought to undermine the story, it seems to me, but don’t. Is that typically the case? Are we wired to enjoy a good story regardless of what we think about the storyteller?

Short story: “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

“Love Will Tear Us Apart,” by Alaya Dawn Johnson

First published in Zombies vs. Unicorns (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010); appeared in PseudoPod 581, February 9th, 2018, and replayed July 20th

7.075 words

(Heavy spoilers.) I was hooked from the first few lines. Talking mac and cheese, indeed.

I don’t quite believe Jack would invite Grayson to feed on his father’s body, at least not at the drop of a hat.

Short story: “The Plutonian Drug”

“The Plutonian Drug,” by Clark Ashton Smith

First published in Amazing Stories, September 1934; appeared in PseudoPod 591, April 20th, 2018, and replayed July 27th of the same year; also online here

4,072 words

Clever. The initial dialogue infodump is a bit clumsy, but maybe that was a common convention at the time. (Or does it count as infodump if it’s mainly for worldbuilding rather than having much effect on the plot?)

Short story: “On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy”

“On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy,” by Desmond Warzel

First appeared on SFReader April 15th, 2009, the winner of the SFReader 2008 Story Contest; featured in Escape Pod episode 284, March 17th, 2011, and later as a Flashback Friday piece in episode 634 June 28th, 2018; read for Drabblecast 340, October 5th, 2014

3,280 words

I can see why this would be considered a classic Escape Pod story. Escape Pod seems to define itself as fun more than anything else, even if it does embrace darker stuff sometimes.

Short story: “Lonely Robot on a Rocket Ship in Space”

“Lonely Robot on a Rocket Ship in Space,” by A. Merc Rustad

Appeared in Cicada Magazine in 2016; read by Christopher Cornell for Escape Pod 615 (see the text for visuals like emoticons and Byron’s typed-out messages)

4,299 words

A sweet story, if rather predictable. Judging from the Escape Pod forum discussion, transgender people really identify with it.