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 21 
 on: May 21, 2018, 03:42:38 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by eytanz
Escape Pod 628: The Endangered Camp

AUTHOR : Ann Leckie
NARRATOR : Ibba Armancas
HOST: Divya Breed

---

After the terrible push to be free of the Earth was past, we could stand again. In a while, the engineers had said, everything would float, but for now we were still accelerating. We were eight in the small, round room, though there were others on the sky-boat–engineers, and nest-guardians examining the eggs we had brought to see how many had been lost in the crushing, upward flight. But we eight stood watching the world recede.

The floor and walls of the room were of smooth, gold metal. Around the low ceiling was a pattern of cycad fronds and under this scenes from the histories. There was the first mother, ancestor of us all, who broke the shell of the original egg. The picture showed the egg, a single claw of the mother piercing that boundary between Inside and Outside. With her was the tiny figure of her mate. If you are from the mountains, you know that he ventured forth and fed on the carcass of the world-beast, slain by the mother, and in due time found the mother and mated with her. If you are a lowlander, he waited in the shell until she brought the liver to him, giving him the strength to come out into the open. Neither was pictured–the building of the sky-boat had taken the resources of both mountains and lowlands.

On another panel was Strong Claw, her sharp-toothed snout open in a triumphant call. She stood tall on powerful legs, each foot with its arced killing claw, sharp and deadly. Her arms stretched out before her, claws spread, and her long, stiff tail stretched behind. The artists had worked with such skill that every feather could be distinguished. Behind her was the great tree that had carried her across the sea, and in the water were pictured its inhabitants: coiled ammonites, hungry sharks, and a giant mososaur, huge-mouthed enough to swallow a person down at a gulp. Before Strong Claw was forested land, full of food for the hunting, new territory for her and her daughters yet unhatched.

A third panel showed the first sky-boat departing for the moon that had turned out to be farther away than our ancestors ever imagined. That voyage had been a triumph–the sky-boat (designed, all were ceaselessly told, by lowlander engineers) had achieved a seemingly impossible goal. But it had also been a disaster–as the mountain engineers had predicted, and the lowlanders refused to believe until the last, irrefutable moment, there had been no air on the moon. But as we had now set our sights on Mars, the artist had left off the end of the tale, to avoid ill-omen.

The engineers had used mirrors to cast an image of the Earth on the last, blank panel of the curved wall. It was this that held our attention.

As we watched, disaster struck. A sudden, brilliant flash whited out the image for an instant, and after that an expanding ring began to spread across the face of the world, as though a pebble had been dropped into a pond. Almost instantly a ball of fire rose up from the center of the ripple and expanded outward, obscuring it. I blinked, slowly, deliberately, sure that my vision was at fault. Still the fire grew until finally it dissipated, leaving a slowly-expanding veil of smoke.

There was silence in the sky-boat for some time.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

 22 
 on: May 21, 2018, 02:50:08 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by eytanz
Escape Pod 627: Humans Die, Stars Fade

AUTHOR : Charles Payseur
NARRATOR : Veronica Giguere
HOST: Mur Lafferty

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They come to study. Not me. Not really. No, they come for Aerik—what he’s become. What I suppose we both will become when the slow swell of time and gravity finally draw us together wholly. After everything, all the years with only the brush of winds, then this slow draining death, it’s almost something to look forward to. Even if he’s not there anymore.

But the aliens. The humans.
The UEF Intrepid. They’re here to study, ship space-worn and eager, scanning like a bird poking at a pool of water with its bill, unaware of what might lurk beneath. They don’t know the gravitational anomalies of the area, the way that Aerik sometimes surges as if reaching for me, as if he can jump back from the annihilation that claimed our planets, his life, and our love. There is little I can do for them. For anyone.


Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!

 23 
 on: May 21, 2018, 01:59:23 PM 
Started by danooli - Last post by Fenrix
Excellent fun!

 24 
 on: May 21, 2018, 01:58:09 PM 
Started by danooli - Last post by Fenrix
Really loved all the extra layers in this story, and was very impressed with this being a first sale. Looking forward to more of Makenzie's work.

 25 
 on: May 21, 2018, 12:33:02 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by RB
Hello everybody!  Smiley

 26 
 on: May 21, 2018, 11:36:38 AM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by Ichneumon
Humans have a difficult time understanding and empathizing with other humans going through mental health problems, and I think it would be even more difficult to get appropriate/effective feedback from a robot. Astor's fears, like many fears, were not logical: they have to check the door despite knowing they locked it, they are afraid of going to the grocery store even though they know statistically that nothing bad will happen, etc. It seems like it would be difficult for a robot, which I assume using logic, to process and respond with anything but generalized and repeated solutions.

 27 
 on: May 21, 2018, 09:39:35 AM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by Josika
I want to be part of the game!

 28 
 on: May 21, 2018, 09:11:44 AM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by Moritz
The presenters compare the story to del Torro's work - was I the only one who thought this story would have been an interesting take on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them ? Cheesy

Excellent story and setting.

 29 
 on: May 21, 2018, 09:09:54 AM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by dpasquantonio
Posting for the first time!

 30 
 on: May 21, 2018, 06:29:04 AM 
Started by danooli - Last post by danooli
Cast of Wonders 302: Restoring The Magic

• Author: Ian Creasey
• Narrator: Brian Lieberman
• Host: Marguerite Kenner
• Audio Producer: Jeremy Carter
Cast of Wonders 302: Restoring the Magic was originally published in Neverland’s Library: Fantasy Anthology, edited by Roger Bellini (Ragnarok Publications, April 2014).
Click here to listen to Episode 302

Ian Creasey lives in Yorkshire, England. He began writing when rock & roll stardom failed to return his calls. So far he has sold seventy-odd short stories to various magazines and anthologies. His debut collection, Maps of the Edge, was published in 2011; a second collection, Escape Routes from Earth, came out in 2015. His interests include hiking and gardening — anything to get him outdoors and away from the computer screen.

Brian Lieberman is a froody marketer by day and unapologetic nerd by … also day. And night. And most of lunchtime as well. As the PseudoPod community manager, he mostly tends to the horrors of PseudoPod towers but occasionally ventures outward to visit the other Escape Artists podcasts. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, a roommate, a cat, and a school of fish.

When I had climbed high enough that my breath came in great panting gasps, and the sheep in the valleys looked like tiny flecks of fallen cloud, I heaved off my backpack and looked for the best spot to plant the final sapling. Birch and goat-willow dotted the exposed slopes, hardy species that withstood the storms and chills of the High Tatras. My oak required a more sheltered home. I saw a south-facing escarpment, and scrambled across to investigate. The grey rock felt warm under my hand, retaining the heat of the autumn sun. Behind an outcrop, in a small gully, the wind dropped to a light breeze. I pulled up tussocks of grass to inspect the soil, and found it damp but not sodden, thin but not barren. An earthworm crawled away into the moss and leaf-litter. Instinctively, I felt that a dryad would thrive here.

Tags: Brian Lieberman, Cast of Wonders, conservation, dragons, dryad, Fantasy, Ian Creasey, investigation, Jeremy Carter, magic, Marguerite Kenner, Modern Fantasy, secrets, Young Adult fiction


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