• FF-6 Snack Food by Jeff Carlson

    Read by Bruce McDonald

    Audio Engineering by Bruce McDonald

    Jeff Carlson is the author of the internationally acclaimed sci fi thrillers Plague Year, Plague War, and the upcoming Mind Plague. Foreign rights to the book have sold in Spain, Germany, and Romania.  Plague Year has also been released on CD from Recorded Books and as a digital download from Audible.com. Mr. Carlson’s other short fiction credits include sales to Writers of the Future XXIII, Asimov’s, and the recent Fast Forward 2 anthology, as well as several reprints in Hebrew, Turkish, Czech, and Romanian.  Audio versions of his stories have also appeared on Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Starship Sofa.  He welcomes correspondence at www.jverse.com, where readers can find free fiction, videos, blog, contests, and more.

    No one ever caught me eating hair before — and this dude wasn’t shy.  He shouted, “What are you doing!”

    I’d just begun styling a natural blonde, a wonderfully plump little thing whose body was all curves.  She looked around and I nearly hacked open her jugular.

    “Careful.”  I palmed my scissors and used both hands to size out her bangs, pretending I didn’t realize the dude meant me, hoping he’d go away.  But he was a Watch.  I’d already spotted the pin-point cameras tucked behind his ears, as if his puffy  wolfman curls, shaped to conceal, weren’t indication enough.

    The good news was that he probably wasn’t live on-line.

  • EP-21 Old Folk’s Home by John Kratman

    Read by Bruce McDonald

    Audio Engineering by Bruce McDonald

    Old Folk’s Homewas originally published in the Jim Baen’s Universe.  Mr Kratman’s fiction has also appeared in Aeon Speculative Fiction, Dark Recesses Press, and many other markets.

    Bobby Cullivan finished entering the staff schedules and leaned back in his chair, doing his best to ignore the arthritic twinge in his hip.  It was nice to be calling the shots again.

    His son, Joe, did a decent job managing the retirement station, but Bobby missed being in charge.  Joe went down to Earth once every three months for a few weeks of high gravity and Bobby looked forward to his son’s time away.

  • FF-5 In Memory of Maggie by Liz Mierzejewski

    read by Bruce McDonald

    audio engineering by Bruce McDonald

    Illustration by the author, Liz Mierzejewski

    Liz Mierzejewski is a middle school science teacher from Connecticut.  She is an avid (some would say obsessive) sf reader and uses it extensively in her science classes.  Her work has appeared in the online zine Toasted Cheese and in the magazine Motherverse. Liz is also a panelist on the popular Battlestar Galactica Roundtable podcast.  Look for it on Itunes!

    Looking at that empty box covered with photographs and flowers that morning, I still held out hope.

    “Is she dead?” they would ask me.  Some would pull me by my elbow, being discreet in the company of Maggie’s family, but it was always the same question.  “Do you think she’s dead?”

    With as much discretion, I would whisper.  I had to whisper, my voice shot to hell from screaming her name in the endless caverns.  “I don’t know.”  I want to believe she’s alive, but even using that word right now seems ludicrous, considering the circumstances.

  • 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.

  • EP 19 Inside Every Successful Man by Gareth D Jones

    read by Patty Kim

    audio engineering by Bruce McDonald

    Inside Every Successful Man was first published in the semi-pro webzine Hub last October.  Mr Jones has also been published in Murky Depths and Cosmos, among others, and recently had a story accepted by Nature magazine

    The sound of  galloping hooves getting closer intruded on the quiet, muggy air of the lounge.  Jav groaned and slouched further back into the cosy embrace of his favourite armchair.  He put the glass of whisky down guiltily, but there was no hiding it from the black-clad rider who reigned in his horse and dismounted with the ease of someone who has ridden all his young life.  Jav closed his eyes wishfully, but horse and rider were still there, superimposed in his middle vision by the nanites linked to his optical nerve.   

    “What ya’ drinkin’?”  The cowboy asked, knowingly


  • EP18 Asleep in the Forest of the Tall Cats by Ken Brady

    read by Leslie Ann Moore

    Asleep in the Forest of the Tall Cats was originally published in 2004 in the Writers of the Future anthology. Ken Brady’s publications include: Analog, Writers of the Future, Strange Horizons, Talebones, Ideomancer, Darker Matter, Fortean Bureau, Weird Tales, Frequency, Rosebud, The William and Mary Review, and a variety of anthologies and foreign markets.

    People descended in gleaming metal, fire burning bright across the cloud-streaked sky.  They touched down and they stayed.  They built, they charted, they named names, they changed the composition of the air.  They explored with sensors and unmanned aircraft.  When they found the planet safe, they bred.  The first child, Pietor, was a test.

  • Jeffery R DeRego’s Surgery and Finacial Assistance

    Jeffery R DeRego recently underwent open heart surgery to clear 5 blocked artieries.  Thankfully, the surgery went well and he will be home next week.  Steve Eley of escapepod, where so many of Mr DeRego’s stories have been aired, has set up a paypal account to donate money to Mr DeRego and his family during this very trying time for them.  You can paypal donations to derego@escapepod.org and send cards to Jeffery DeRego C/O Escape Artists INC, PO Box 1538, Stone Mountain, GA 30086.  We feel that it is best not to duplicate Steve Eley’s efforts.  To find out more about what Steve Eley is doing for Mr DeRego please follow this link.

    We are fortunate to have another Union Dues story upcoming.  We will release as soon as we can do it justice and again ask our listeners to help out an author who has given so much enjoyment.

  • EP17: Manny The Mailmobile by Eugie Foster

    Read and audio engineering by Bruce McDonald

    Manny the Mailmobile was first published in the Jan/Feb 2002 issue of Cicada and was reprinted in Greek in issue 2 of Ennea in Feb 2005.

    Eugie Foster has many credits to her name such as stories in the Realms of Fantasy, The Third Alternative, Cricket, Orson Scott Card’s InterGalctic Medicine Show, and anthologies Best New Fantasy (Wildside Press), Heroes in Training (Daw Books), and Magic in the Mirrorstone (Wizards of the Coast/Mirrorstone Books).  Her work has been translated into Greek, Hungarian, Polish and French.

    I am a Mark VII Mail Assistant Navigation Instrument, although everyone calls me Manny for short.  My life at Amlgig Inc. was comfortable, if a little humdrum.  My route was programmed in so I wouldn’t get lost or tumble down the stairs by mistake — don’t laugh, it happened to one of the prototypes.  The only thing I had to watch out for were the stray peds lurking around corners.  That wasn’t even a real problem; once I scanned them with my sensors, a few good beeps usually scattered them from my path.

  • EP16: Union Dues: The Saga of Tam Suji by Jeffery DeRego

    Read by Zach Friedman

    Audio Engineering by Chris Moody

    Parental Guidance Suggested

    Most of our listeners are familiar with Heffery DeRego’s Union Dues series both on escapepod and now his new series of the Team Shikaragaki on our podcast.  If you haven’t yet been infected with the Union Dues bug, you will have the joy of getting to go back into our archives and escapepod’s Union Dues archives to catch up with the stories.

    The smell of greasy hamburgers and the sound of calliope music sneaks into the small dark dressing room off the main stage of the Missouri State Fair.

    Kitty and TK are already in costume, Johnny Toruko is in the back getting dressed, and Miss Jennifer is alternating between looking at her watch and glaring at us for not being quicker.

    “Five minutes,” she says.

    “Almost ready Miss Jennifer,” we answer in sing-song voice.

    I’ve barely got my last white glove on before the Team Shikaragaki Go! theme music starts.

    Kitty is out first. She handsprings across the center stage then leaps up and crouches on the light rig.

    TK walks out next, waving and smiling. Her yellow tights catch the early Saturday afternoon sunlight and almost glow.

    Some kids are waving drawings of us on homemade signs.

    Johnny goes out next. He stops and makes a “bang-bang” motion with his hands until bolts of flickering blue/white lightning snake up his arms. He flashes each hand down and blasts the lightning into a grounded steel plate in the stage floor.

    The fans, especially the young girls, scream so loud it vibrates the dressing room.

    I was supposed to wait until our theme music hits the second bridge before taking the stage but all I can hear is the carousel, all I can smell is the food, and I come out early.

  • EP15: Forget Me Not by Mary E. Lowd

    Read by Leslie Ann Moore

    Music by Robert Farmer

    Forget Me Not is Mary E Lowd’s first publication and we are very excited to be presenting it.  It has already appeared in Northwest Passages: A Cascadian Anthology and in a Greek magazine, Ennea, which translates to “9”.

    His confidence drew him to her.  The gleam in his eye said, “I can take on the world,” and she believed it.  She was fascinated, and her fascination endeared him to her.

    Michael introduced them, but neither Joan nor Leeland bestowed a second glance at Leeland all night.  Their eyes and conversation were reserved for each other.