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Congratulations to the winners of the Podcastle flash fiction contest!

Author Topic: EP693: The Great Scientist Rivalry on Planet Sourdough  (Read 2609 times)


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Escape Pod 693: The Great Scientist Rivalry on Planet Sourdough

Author : Beth Goder
Narrators : Divya Breed, Mur Lafferty, Adam Pracht, Alasdair Stuart and Tina Connolly
Host : Tina Connolly
Audio Producer : Summer Brooks

This story originally appeared in the charity anthology Reading 5×5 in March 2018.


Audio Journal of Yazhu A. Borla
Sourdough Planet, Year 1, Day 1

I am definitely a genius, because I’ve discovered a way to create nanobot-integrated sourdough that will change how humanity eats bread.

Here’s the plan:
Step 1: Find a planet that no one cares about, so when I place eight fermentation silos on the surface, no one will bother me about regulations or whatever.
Step 2: Time dilation! To bypass the long window needed for sourdough starter fermentation and nanobot algorithm iterations, use a super-fast spaceship to zip around the galaxy. As a result, while two weeks pass for me on the ship, thirty years pass on the planet.
Step 3: Check on the silos, tweaking each creation until…
Step 4: I’ve created the most delicious, amazing, beneficial sourdough that humankind has ever eaten.

When I’m done, people who eat my bread will be able to do amazing things–breathe underwater, boost their immune systems, get rid of wrinkles. At least, if the experiment goes well. I’m still playing around with the algorithms.

I’ll be famous. They’ll name cities after me. Countries. Maybe even whole planets.

But, of course, the most important thing is that my creations will benefit humanity.

The plan’s only flaw is that I won’t get to see Ayla’s face when I create the most epic nanofood in the universe. What’s the point of having a nemesis if you can’t even gloat?

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!


  • Palmer
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Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 03:57:24 AM
I found this story a hilarious and poignant account of every reason I didn't go into academia.


  • Extern
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Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 09:39:42 AM
This story was so much fun! But it also had some serious meat, which is a combination that works really well for me.

The narration was such a blast, too. Well done to you all!


  • Extern
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Reply #3 on: September 14, 2019, 09:51:11 PM
This was a stellar story made even better by a particularly inspired narration. More ensemble cast narrations every once in awhile (if the story fits) would be grand! :)


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Reply #4 on: September 19, 2019, 04:10:20 AM
I agree, Adaz. I also know from experience, though just how much more time consuming these are with logistics.... They're a great treat, but probably a pretty rare one...


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Reply #5 on: September 27, 2019, 06:47:31 PM
Yay! We had great fun doing it, and it's rare to find a story that is such a perfect fit for a multi-cast narration. I'm glad this one is working for all of you!


  • Hipparch
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Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 05:12:49 PM
So, I really enjoyed this story. But it had one flaw that really bugged me. The author has obviously never made sour dough starter, because it decidedly does NOT take 30 years!! Sorry. That part just kept intruding into the story for me. And it could have been so easily fixed by making it the MC who was clueless about sourdough starter times. I would have even fit the character's somewhat careless attitude about details....