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EP-20 Outside Chance by Matthew Johnson

Read by Leslie Ann Moore

Audio Engineering by Bruce McDonald

Matthew Johnson has published stories in markets such as Asimov’s Science Fiction and Strange Horizons as well as anthologies including Best New Fantasy 2 and Fantasy: The Best of the Year (2007 and 2008 editions.) ‘Outside Chance’ was first published in the Summer 2006 issue of On Spec.

       Jacob watched the future fade from view as he triggered the relay. He was not sad to see it go; it was a bad one, like a Beckett play come to life. It wasn’t hard to imagine Vladimir and Estragon bickering in this wasteland, or Hamm and Clov playing tug-of-war at the end of the world.

      Outlines were like that, often as not. It was his job to find out how they got that way, what chain of events had led to the particular doom each future embodied, and to bring back anything that might help ensure the survival of the present. He did not, as much as possible, talk to the people. They didn’t really exist, after all; that is to say, they wouldn’t.

5 Responses to EP-20 Outside Chance by Matthew Johnson

  1. Avatar Goldenrat
    Goldenrat says:

    I love the time travel genre and thought this story was excellent. I think I got it but will listen again to make sure I caught it all. The ending really forced you to use your brain. Excellent narration again by Leslie Ann Moore.

  2. i do not normally enjoy time travel stories, i have issues with the whole paradox problem, if it happened in the past going back to change it will not change it because it already happened and put you there/here. with that said (did i make sense?) i found this story entertaining and hopeful. it dealt with the paradox issue reasonably without getting into much detail.

  3. Gad Zooks! You kids hit on an important point again. Goverments control their people through fear. Fear of a horrific future is the classic HG Wells kind of fear. Well done!

    A cold war? War on drugs? War on terrorists? Global warming? And it’s all a bunch of overblown hoopla! It’s all propaganda to make us too fearful to question the goverment!

    Sure, there are things like Russian nukes, but did they really want ot wipe out the world. Turns out no. Can we really make recreational drugs go away? Nope. Prohibition only made things worse and spawned organized crime. Are there really bad people who want to kill Americans becasue they “hate our freedom”? Nope, they just hate us cause we back bad goverments overseas. Are we killing the planet? Naw, the ice caps have been melting…. for about 5,ooo years! Hooey, I tell ya! All Hooey!

    All right, all right. Grandpa is done ranting and raving. Sorry.

  4. Pingback:Libertas in Silico: free fiction online, to 20 Oct. « That, Which

  5. Avatar Finn McCool
    Finn McCool says:

    The most enjoyable story for me you have put out. Simply delicious. I loved the voice of Leslie Ann Moore and I am now going to look up more of Matthew Johnson.

    I do not like connecting a story’s meaning too closely to my world, although I love a good moral and well resolved ending. If I was thinking about our government inciting fear in us while listening I would not have enjoyed it. I spend enough time fretting in real life. I don’t want carry it over into fantasy.

    So your Grandpa is right, there are connections, but I am just as glad I didn’t read his comment first.

    Sorry Grandfather! How cool is it that you have your grandfather comment? Keep up the good work.