Author Topic: EP697: The Last Stellar Death Metal Opera  (Read 2264 times)


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on: September 27, 2019, 07:02:20 PM
Escape Pod 697: The Last Stellar Death Metal Opera

Author : Elly Bangs
Narrator : Alethea Kontis
Host : Mur Lafferty
Audio Producer : Adam Pracht

This is an Escape Pod original.


Raya eases power into the singularity engine and all her senses sharpen with the glorious, brutal reality of the moment: dead ahead there’s the blacklight-purple disk of Wolf-Rayet 104, twenty-eight subjective minutes before it goes core-collapse supernova. In her rear view there’s the brown dwarf she’s dragging on a graviton leash. She aims to hurl it down that deep purple star’s gravity well fast and hard enough to nudge it a degree off its axis just before it blows, in turn tilting the jet of its impending gamma ray burst away from an ocean planet and sparing a half-billion bronze-age octopodes from a gruesome flash-boiled apocalypse.

After aeons of waiting and searching, finally everything is in order, all her conditions met: she’s the only one who can do it, this is the only way it can be done, and there’s no scenario that doesn’t end with her being blasted so effectively to smithereens that no tech in the universe can put her back together again.

She cranks up the music (some ancient pre-Unimind death metal) and cracks her neck. She verifies the integrity of her mohawk, the wicked glint of her spiked bracelets in the cockpit lights, the wings of her void-black eyeliner: She’s going to be the first human being to die in a very, very long time, and she’s damn well going to do in style. She plants a kiss on her fingers and transfers it to the photo of the late, eternal Jex Epsilon-James stuck to the cockpit ceiling.

“This is it, Jex. It’s going down.”

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!


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Reply #1 on: December 04, 2019, 12:24:40 AM
I was generally just enjoying this one, but that closing made me throw the horns. \m/ Fun stuff!

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #2 on: December 06, 2019, 03:49:16 PM
I liked this, a lot!


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Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 09:43:06 PM
So, I actually did enjoy this story, except for the whole metal aspect, because I don't think it was well done. The metal references seem to be thrown in as a gimmick and are completely unnecessary for the story. So, the last line came off as completely clunky for me.

Also, a minor point, but really rubbed me the wrong way - Raya is dressed as a punk, not a metal head. That made no sense to me.