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Author Topic: VT's Shortlist of Escape Pod Episodes  (Read 2083 times)

VTDorchester

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on: February 16, 2021, 02:39:27 AM
Hello everyone!

Here are the 75 EscapePod episodes that I consider the best of the first 750

Perhaps a new listener to EscapePod might find this list helpful in choosing older episodes to try out.

My choices are listed here chronologically rather than by preference.

Method: While I did re-listen to some episodes on my shortlist before creating this final list, for the most part, I elected to choose which stories to include based on if I remembered something from them by title or after taking a quick glance at their pages, or not. I figured if I could remember nothing, the story couldn’t have been particularly gripping.

There are a couple of stories listed here that I didn’t actually ‘like’ all that much, but I recognize the strength of their story telling.

There were a few more I would have liked to highlight again, but I ran out of “space.”

To the best of my knowledge, (46%) 33 of the 71 authors behind these stories identify as women. Neat how that happened to work out. (A couple of authors made my list more than once.)


Final List -

Episode 3 – Three-Wish Habit

Episode 6 – Jenny Nettles

Episode 20 – The Burning Bush

Episode 25 – The Great Old Pumpkin

Episode 36 – Connie, Maybe

Episode 55 – Down Memory Lane

Episode 75 – Nano Comes to Clifford Falls

Flash Episode – Paul Bunyan and the Photocopier

Episode 83 – Ulla

Episode 103 – The Watching People

Episode 105 – Impossible Dreams

Episode 108 – Kin

Episode 123 – Niels Bohr and the Sleeping Dane

Episode 138 – In The Late December

Episode 144 – Friction

Episode 169 – How I Mounted Goldie…

Episode 183 – Beans and Marbles

Episode 191 – This is How It Feels

Episode 208 – An Almanac for Alien Invaders

Episode 225 – Hard Rain At the Fortean Cafe

Episode 229 – Little Blossom Makes A Deal with the Devil

Episode 271 – God of the Lower Level

Flash Episode – Skyscrapers

Flash Episode – Mission to Dover

Episode 284 – The ’76 Goldwater Dime

Episode 305 – Midnight Blue

Episode 311 – The Faithful Soldier, Prompted

Episode 314 – Movement

Episode 316 – Site 14

Episode 331 – Devour

Episode 334 – The Eckener Alternative

Episode 339 – Run, Bakri Says

Episode 345 – Paper Menagerie

Episode 352 – Food for Thought

Episode 379 – Concussion

Episode 384 – The Tamarisk Hunter

Episode 396 – Dead Merchandise

Episode 399 – My Heart is a Quadratic Equation

Episode 433 – That Other Sea

Episode 439 – Cradle and Ume

Episode 458 – If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love

Episode 475 – Homegrown Tomatoes

Episode 485 – Supply Limited, Act Now

Episode 497 – A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide

Episode 512 – The Semaphore Society

Episode 519 – In Their Image

Episode 524 – Scrapmetal

Episode 525 – Among the Living

Episode 529 – Of Blessed Servitude

Episode 536 – Prophet to the Dogs

Episode 543 – Rock, Paper, Scissors, Love, Death

Episode 558 – Holding the Ghosts

Episode 560 – Run

Episode 563 – Two Steps Forward

Episode 565 – The Zombee Project 3.0

Episode 577 – The Ghosts of Europa Will Keep You Trapped in a Prison You Make for Yourself

Episode 585 – We All Scream

Episode 596 – The Wind You Touch When You Run

Episode 606 – Home Sick

Episode 611 – When We Fall

Episode 612 – The Sixes, the Wisdom, and the Wasp

Episode 613 – Cat Pictures, Please!

Episode 626 – Fire Rode the Cold Wind

Episode 629 – An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition

Episode 638 – The Endangered Camp

Episode 640 – Paradise Regained

Episode 641 – Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Episode 646 – Subtle Ways Each Time

Episode 648 – A Handful of Dal

Episode 676 – Ulissa

Episode 696 – The Homunculi’s Guide to Resurrecting Your Loved One From Their Electronic Ghosts

Episode 712 – When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis

Episode 722 – His Stainless Steel Heart

Episode 728 – The Cost of Wonder

« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 04:06:16 PM by VTDorchester »



Languorous Lass

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Reply #1 on: February 17, 2021, 02:17:53 PM
What a great service, VT!  Thanks for doing this! 



VTDorchester

  • Palmer
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Reply #2 on: April 20, 2021, 08:31:58 PM
I've posted my third 'shortlist' to my blog -  https://vtdorch.wordpress.com/2021/04/06/escapepod-shortlist-part-3/ covering episodes 180 to 280.

Today I'm working on my shortlist from episodes 380 through 499, although I am choosing to skip some of the particularly long stories that were produced.

I find that I'm accelerating as I go along and as I refine my preferences, giving me the (misplaced or not) confidence to pass on episodes faster than when I first began this project.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 05:08:06 PM by VTDorchester »



VTDorchester

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Reply #3 on: May 02, 2021, 05:04:55 PM
Fourth Short List now up on my blog - Those I enjoyed most between episodes 280 and 380 - https://vtdorch.wordpress.com/2021/05/02/escape-pod-shortlist-part-4-280-380/

Today i downloaded episodes in the 500-600 range, and discovered some familiar titles, suggesting that the first time I listened to EscapePod, it was 2016!

I guess I've been meaning to do all this catch up listening for... several... years now.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2021, 05:10:21 PM by VTDorchester »



VTDorchester

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Reply #4 on: June 22, 2021, 06:42:09 PM
Here is my shortlist for episodes 380 to 499
https://vtdorch.wordpress.com/2021/06/22/escape-pod-short-list-part-5-380-499/

I did a lot of listening in late spring and my short list for 500 to 600 should be ready pretty soon.





VTDorchester

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Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 04:56:52 PM
And here after a bit of a delay is my shortlist for escapepod episodes 600 to 750.

I intend to listen to episodes 750 through 800, but won't be reviewing them in a 'best of' list format. My final short shortlist "best of EscapePod Episodes 1-750" list will be out by the end of the year.

https://vtdorch.wordpress.com/2021/10/11/escapepod-shortlist-600-700/
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 04:59:17 PM by VTDorchester »



VTDorchester

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Reply #7 on: October 19, 2021, 03:59:21 PM
For various reasons, I'm removing my EscapePod reviews from my blog (along with lots of other reviews) So, I am now posting the actual short lists, with some of my comments on the episodes, here! I do apologize that my format changed a couple of times.


Episode 3 – Three-Wish Habit – This one, I just straight up enjoyed.

Episode 6 – Jenny Nettles – It’s a ghost story which mentions Scottish, and Canadian, history. And, it’s good! How could I not like this one?

Episode 7 – The Trouble with Death Traps

Episode 13 – The Once and Future Dentist – Okay, I’ll be honest, this one probably wouldn’t have made the list, if I weren’t a sucker for Doc Holliday stories.

Episode 15 – Hell Notes – For people who like to eat.

Episode 20 – The Burning Bush – This one is rated X, but it is also funny.

Episode 22 – Don Ysidro – A little disturbing, but…also…nice? Also – When I listened to this story, I had a feeling that a particular story element was familiar. Then not long after, I re-listened to a story as presented on Dimension X, in 1950, ‘The Potters of Firsk.‘ I don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to spoil either story, but I will say my spidey-senses were tingling accurately. There is a similarity.

Episode 25 – The Great Old Pumpkin

Episode 29 – Crystal Balls – a mystery…

Episode 30 – Aliens Love Oranges – humorous, and what a cool title!

Episode 36 – Connie, Maybe – Just generally all around great.

Episode 37 – Craphound

Episode 41 – Ambient Sleaze – Rated R, provides an explanation for terrible TV

Episode 54 – Tk’Tk’Tk

Episode 55 – Down Memory Lane – This one is good, but be forewarned it’s rather sad.

Episode 56 – The Clockwork Atom Bomb – This is an R-rated episode. It has a setting (future Congo) that I don’t encounter very much – actually I can’t remember ever coming across another science fiction story set in the Congo

Episode 72 – Joe Steele – Another R-rated episode. This is an alternative history story, which was a plus for me, and introduced me to a song I enjoyed, too.

Episode 75 – Yet another R-rated episode – Nano Comes to Clifford Falls

Episode 79 – Mountain, Man

Flash Episode – Oasis – Short, and it seems like it might not end well, but it’s hopeful at the same time

Flash Episode – Paul Bunyan and the Photocopier. Yes. It’s funny!

Flash Episode – Friday Night Gods – Also funny

Flash Episode – Mount Dragon – this one grew on me as it…unfolded

Flash Episode – The Team-Mate Reference Problem in Final-Stage Demon Confrontation




Episode 81 – Margin of Error written by Nancy Kress and narrated by Christiana Ellis – a story of sisterly rivalry and motherhood

Episode 83 – Ulla written by Daniel Schwabauer,  narrated by Jared Axelrod and J.R. Blackwell – I found this snuck up on me, at first I didn’t know what was going on, but then I realized that having knowledge of The War of The Worlds will help you appreciate this story.

Episode 84 – Smooth Talking written by Tobias S. Buckell and narrated by Steve Anderson -Rated R (for profanity) – It’s set in Canada! And it’s got loggers and trees and real estate salesmen. (And it’s got a fairly upbeat ending!)

Episode 88 – Blood of Virgins written by David Barr Kirtley and narrated by Serah Eley -Rated R

Episode 95 – Blink. Don’t Blink. written by Ramona Louise Wheeler and narrated by Salim Fadhley – It’s sort of a bit about sort of Transformer-like creations? And…criminal rehabilitation.

Episode 97 – Cinderella Suicide written by Samantha Henderson and narrated by MarBelle – An adventure story set in (sort of) Australia. I was a bit worried about the title, but it’s okay, it’s not super depressing. It does have some strange slang though.

Episode 99 – Start the Clock written by Benjamin Rosenbaum and narrated by Chris Fisher -Rated R. It’s about a future in which children have stopped growing up. Or have they?

Episode 101 –  The 43 Antarean Dynasties written by Mike Resnick and narrated by Gregg Taylor and Steven Burley -This lower-key story of space-tourism won a Hugo Award in 1998

Episode 103 – The Watching People written by Paul M. Berger and narrated by Serah Eley

Episode 105 – Impossible Dreams written by Tim Pratt and narrated by Matthew Wayne Selznick – A love story for movie geeks, and a 2007 Hugo nominee.

Episode 108 – Kin by Bruce McAllister narrated by Serah Eley – Another Hugo Nominee from 2007, I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to describe it without giving the plot away – but it’s a good story!

Episode 111 – Mayfly written by  Heather Lindsley and narrated by The Word Whore - Rated R.

Episode 114 – Cloud Dragon Skies written by N.K. Jemisin and narrated by Máia Whitaker

Episode 116 – Ej-Es written by Nancy Kress and narrated by Sheri Mann Stewart – I skipped over this episode a few times before finally deciding to settle into it, for whatever reason the start just didn’t grab me right away, but I ended up quite enjoying it when I did listen through.

Episode 121 – The Snow Woman’s Daughter written by  Eugie Foster and narrated by Cunning Minx – a fairy-tale like story

Episode 123 – Niels Bohr and The Sleeping Dane written by Jonathan Sullivan and narrated by Serah Eley -Also incorporating some fairy or folk-tale elements, this story takes us to a Nazi-occupied Denmark for some alternate/fantastical history fun.

Episode 131 – Hesperia and Glory written by Ann Leckie and narrated by Frank Key – There’s something about this story episode that seems very old-fashioned-y to me, reminding me in a way of classic radio drama, which for me was a good thing. Maybe it was in part the narrator?

Episode 132 – Sparks In A Cold War written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch and narrated by Serah Eley - It’s Kristine Kathryn Rusch! I remember reading some of her books as a kid! This story is sort of about big game hunting, and sort of not.

Episode 140 –  Astromonkeys! Written by Tony Frazier and narrated by Norm Sherman

Episode 144 – Friction written by Will McIntosh and narrated by Serah Eley - One of my favourites out of this ‘batch’ of listens.

Episode 148 – Homecoming at the Borderlands Café written by Carole McDonnell and narrated by Serah Eley - This story set in an alternative-history United States might be a bit ham-fisted at times, but I applaud the courage of the writer to write it and EscapePod to present it, given the controversy it could have stirred up.

Episode 167 – Love and Death in the Time of Monsters written by Frank Wu and narrated by Serah Eley

Episode 169 – How I Mounted Goldie, Saved My Partner Lori, and Sniffed Out The People’s Justice written by Jonathan Sullivan and narrated by Jennifer Bowie and Serah Eley – A future police dog story. Rated R. There is a lot of swearing in this one.

Episode 173 – Robots Don’t Cry – written by  Mike Resnick and narrated by Serah Eley – Rated R.

Episode 178 – Unlikely written by Will McIntosh and narrated by Serah Eley – a story of a romance that is fated to be.




We are Ted Tuscadero for President – written by Chris Dahlen and narrated by Cheyenne Wright – in case you hadn’t had enough of American politics to last you a lifetime already, this episode is about political clones!

Harry the Crow – written by John Kratman and narrated by Norm Sherman – Rated R – oooh look, this one sounds like a western! You know, a western with a robot or something like it, and in the future, or maybe it’s an alternative now? I don’t really know. But it’s lots of funny, too.

Evil Robot Monkey – written by Mary Robinette Kowal and narrated by Serah Eley

N-words – written by Ted Kosmatka and narrated by Kim the Comic Book Goddess – no, of course, not that n-word, although the analogies in the story are pretty strong.

Mr. Penumbra’s Twenty-Four-Hour Book Store – written by Robin Sloan and narrated by Serah Eley

Come All Ye Faithful – written by Robert J. Sawyer and narrated by Mike Boris

The Hastillan Weed – written by Ian Creasey and narrated by MarBelle – one for gardeners.

Beans and Marbles – written by Floris M. Kleijne and narrated by Serah Eley – coffee and madness out in space.

29 Union Leaders Can’t Be Wrong – written by Genevieve Valentine and narrated by Chris Lester – Rated R

This is How It Feels – written by Ian Creasey and narrated by FNH – the second Ian Creasey story on this short list, this one is much more serious than the Hastillian Weed, but I found it quite poignant.

Skinhorse Goes to Mars – written by Jay Lake and narrated by Mike Boris – Rated R – I am somewhat confused about what actually happens in this violent and sort-of-western-ish story.

An Almanac for Alien Invaders – written by Merrie Haskell and narrated by Sara Tolbert – a lower-key alien invasion story.

Sleepy Joe – written by Marc Laidlaw and narrated by Ben Phillips – Rated R – at first I wasn’t sure about this episode, but it grew on me. Deals with, among other things, the place for war veterans in civilian society.

The Ghost in the Death Trap – written by Marjorie James and narrated by Serah Eley – this is actually a sequel to a much earlier episode, episode 7, in fact, but it also stands alone. A light, fairly fun pick.

The Bride of Frankenstein – written by Mike Resnik and narrated by Julie Davis – this story is sort of silly, but you can’t say it’s not science-fiction, since, you know, many people consider the Frankenstein story one of the first science-fiction stories. (I always think of it more as a horror or fantasy story, though.)

Hard Rain At the Fortean Cafe – written by Lavie Tidhar and narrated by Sara Tolbert – Rated R – There are famous dead people in this one. Sign me up. I like me some famous dead people.

Little Blossom Makes A Deal with the Devil – written by S. Hutson Blount and narrated by Eugie Foster – set in what was once probably China. And in winter.

A Talent for Vanessa – written by David W. Goldman and narrated by Dave Thompson

The Mermaids Singing Each to Each – written by Cat Rambo and narrated by Christiana Ellis – Rated R –

God of the Lower Level – written by Charles M. Saplak and narrated by Steve Anderson. An entertaining tale about a man and his non-human-intelligence work companion.

Five Flash Fiction Episodes:

Betting the Family Farm – written by Wenonah Lyon and narrated by Elie Hirschman – a new golfer comes to town one day.

It Was Death by a Bullet, But I Was Killed by a Woman – written by Michael Bekemeyer Rated R, but mostly a comedy?

Skyscrapers – written by Rachel Swirsky and narrated by Ann Leckie – very short. It seems there was a contest for very short stories, and this one took second place. It’s an interesting take on mythological creatures and their place in the modern world.

Silence – also written by Rachel Swirsky and narrated by Ann Leckie, also very short.

Mission to Dover – written by Gideon Fostick and narrated by Lyle Merithew – This episode won first place in the very short flash fiction contest EscapePod was holding at the time. Although I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it, it took me a minute after the ending to figure the trick out. Ah, history!

On A Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy – Written by Desmond Warzel, narrated by Joshua McNichols - This story, which is told by a radio talk show host, immediately brought to mind the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Then I looked up the respective dates, and it seems that this story came first!

The ’76 Goldwater Dime written by John Medaille and narrated by Norm Sherman - I thought this story was quite a lot of alternative history/alternative timelines fun.

Amaryllis written by Carrie Vaughn and narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir - A story from a slightly dystopian future where the authorities regulate pretty much everything in order to keep the human population within Earth’s bio-capacity.

Episode 302 Flash Extravaganza - This episode includes three flash fiction stories, London Iron by William R. Halliar (narrator Andrew Richardson) Wheels of Blue Stilton by Nicholas J. Carter (narrator Christian Brady) and
Light and Lies by Gideon Fostick (narrator- Mur Lafferty)

Midnight Blue – Written by Will McIntosh and narrated by Paul Haring - This is a nice “kid safe” story that’s not just enjoyable for kids!

The Faithful Soldier, Prompted – written by Saladin Ahmed and narrated by Rajan Khanna - Receiving strange messages, a veteran of a future war sets out on the road to Cairo, hoping to save his wife from a slow death.

Nightbird Soaring – written by T.L. Morganfield and narrated by Mat Weller - In the future of an alternate world where Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadors were defeated and the citizens of the Aztec Empire explore the galaxy, a boy is dedicated as a future sacrifice to the Gods. When he falls in love as a young man, he begins to question the necessity that he in particular be sacrificed…

Movement – written by Nancy Fulda and narrated by Marguerite Kenner - A girl with a neurodiversity that her parents can’t understand tries to communicate her desires as they contemplate an experimental ‘treatment.’ What’s especially good about this story is that there isn’t really a ‘bad guy,’ there’s just different people with different ideas.

Site 14 – written by Laura Anne Gilman and narrated by Mat Weller - What if, instead of a Space Race, there had been an Ocean Race? This is an old-fashioned-y adventure tale set in such a world, on an ocean-exploring station.

The Ghost of a Girl who Never Lived – written by Kelly Kehrli and narrated by Mur Lafferty

Devour – written by Ferrett Steinmetz and narrated by Dave Thompson - This is not a light listen, as you are warned in the intro, and it is perhaps just as easy to classify as “horror” instead of science-fiction, but it is one of those stories where I found myself recognizing it’s emotional power even if some of it I didn’t believe/agree with.

The Eckener Alternative – written by James L. Cambias and narrated by Mur Lafferty - This one, on the other hand, is pretty fun. It’s got time travel and zeppelins.

Counting Cracks – written by George R. Galuschak and narrated by Mat Weller - When the mind-melting extra-terrestrials invade, only the neurodiverse shall be left to defeat them.

Run, Bakri Says – another written by Ferrett Steinmetz and narrated by Mur Lafferty - Although it’s not as dark as Devour, this is a gritty exploration of what happens when you’re placed in a loop of violence.

Paper Menagerie – written by Ken Liu and narrated by Rajan Khanna - Warning, Warning, this story of magic, origami, culture-crossing and familial loss might make you cry.

Hawksbill Station – written by Robert Silverberg and narrated by Paul Tevis - This story dates back several decades. I thought it was nice of EscapePod to bring me a story that I didn’t know before from the past. I assume they obtained rights to it! This is a longer story than most EscapePod episodes, so you’ll have to settle in to it a bit. What is it about? Well, it’s set on a prison colony… in the distant past. Filled with (all male) political prisoners, who are losing their minds.

Food for Thought – written by Laura Lee McArdle and narrated by Christiana Ellis - Ok, this story is about a sentient cow on a reality TV show. Yes, it’s silly, just goooo with it.

Concussion – written by David Glen Larson and narrated by Mat Weller - Who knew brain damage could be so entertaining?

Lion Dance – written by Vylar Kaften and narrated by John Chu - This is the story of a guy and his brother living through a quarantine, which is really quite prescient. Written in 2012, and depicting a situation worse than the one we’ve got, but it has masks, prejudice against Asian Americans, economic problems for small businesses, over-crowded hospitals, violence in the streets, and the boredom of inactivity.

Shutdown – written by Corry L Lee and narrated by M.K. Hobson - A ballerina-turned-super-commando attempts to retrieve information vital for the future of the planet.

Real Artists – written by Ken Liu and narrated by Ann Leckie - As a fan of people being involved in films and art and work in general, this one is…kinda creepy. In a nice way. It’s a PG story (although young kids would probably be bored with it, it’s not a kid’s story.) But it’s still…kinda scary in a “Yeah, unfortunately, this seems to be the way we are being pushed” way.

Like a Hawk in its Gyre – written by Philip Brewer and narrated by Tim Crist - The bicycle is ….alive?

113 Feet – written by Josh Roseman and narrated by Mur Lafferty - A “what’s that mysterious thing in the ocean?” story, and also a story about a gal and her father.

The Caretaker – written by Ken Liu (again!) and narrated by Tom Rockwell - A man who has survived a stroke is given a robotic live-in aide, and reluctantly must learn to make peace with it.

I also want to mention that Episode 325 – Bad Dogs Escape, written by James Patrick Kelly and narrated/performed by A. Kovacs, John Cmar and Pamela Quevillon, is an example of a radio script, being produced as a radio drama, instead of a narration. Unfortunately, the story is a bit squicky, and the production and performances, while perfectly fine, do pale when compared to the professionalism of, say, BBC productions or old time radio. I can’t really recommend this, but I do commend EscapePod for giving radio drama a try.



I want to make special mention for episode 400, Rescue Party due to it’s multi-cast production values. And I also made a length exception for episode 490, the EscapePod presentation of Flowers for Algernon, because I recognized the title as a “very famous story I’m not sure I’ve read or heard before.” I appreciated the opportunity to hear it. (Even if it was longer than the average episode.)

I did not listen to Episode 397, a presentation of A Gun for Dinosaur, so I can’t say if I recommend it or not. I didn’t listen to it because I am well acquainted with the X-Minus One dramatic presentation of this story and didn’t feel compelled to listen to a narration at this time. But if you listen to it, let me know what you think of this EscapePod reading.

Here are the 28 other episodes that I’m shortlisting in this update:

Episode 384 – The Tamarisk Hunter written by Paolo Bacigalupi and Narrated by Caith Donovan - I was excited when I learned I was going to get to listen to a Bacigalupi short story, as I really enjoyed his world building in the dystopian-future novel The Water Knife a few years ago. This short story is set in a similar future of (greater) water scarcity in the western states.

Episode 386 – Finished – written by Robert Reed and narrated by Joel Nisbet

Episode 392 – Aftermaths – written by Lois McMaster Bujold and narrated by Mat Weller

Episode 393 – Red Card written by S.L. Gilbow and narrated by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson

Episode 396 – Dead Merchandise written by Ferrett Steinmetz and narrated by Kathy Sherwood

Episode 399 – My Heart is a Quadratic Equation by Shane Halbach and narrated by Christina Lebonville - This one is short fun. You don’t need to understand math to understand the story.

Episode 403 – Saving Alan Idle written by Katharine Mankiller and narrated by Kyle Akers

Episode 407 – Mono No Aware – written by Ken Liu and narrated by John Chu

Episode 411 – Loss with Diagrams written by E. Lily Yu and narrated by Eleiece Kraweic

Episode 409 – Mantis Wives written by Kij Johnson and narrated by Heather Bowman-Tomlinson

Episode 418 – The Dala Horse written by Michael Swanwick and narrated by Michael Liebmann - A Red Riding Hood story, in a future Sweden, with a troll as well as a Dala Horse.

Episode 425 – The Boy in Zaquitos – written by Bruce McAllister and narrated by John Chu - This one, a story, in part, about plague, felt somewhat timely despite being first released upon the world in 2006.

Episode 433 – That Other Sea written by William Ledbetter and narrated by Shaelyn Grey - According to the commentary on the EscapePod forum, I may have wildly misinterpreted this story’s setting, (I thought it was about cephalopods exploring the surface of our ‘Earth’s’ ocean, it might really be about aliens on a distant moon) but it’s still a quite great story!

Enjoy the Moment – Episode 438 – written by Jack McDevitt and narrated by Sara Tolbert

Episode 439 – Cradle and Ume written by Geoffrey W. Cole and narrated by Jeff Ronner

Episode 450 – Valedictorian – written by N.K. Jemisin and narrated by Stephanie Malia Morris

Episode 453 – The Grotto of the Dancing Deer – written by Clifford D. Simak and narrated by Norm Sherman - This one was both longer and older, but it made it to my short list anyway

Episode 456 – To Waste – written by Luke Pebler and narrated by Joshua Price

Episode 458 – If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love – written by Rachel Swirsky and narrated by Christina Lebonville - A short powerful one

Episode 461 – Selkie Stories are for Losers – written by Sofia Samatar and narrated by Amanda Ching - Absolutely not a selkie story.

Episode 464 – Red Dust and Dancing Horses – written by Beth Cato and narrated by Marguerite Kenner - A tale about a girl on Mars who dream of horses, so she builds one, incorporating the remains of a certain horse called Trigger. It appears that someone actually does have the taxidermy remains of Trigger. Maybe he will make it to Mars some day.

Episode 465 – The Sky is Blue, and Bright, and Filled with Stars – written by Edward Ashton and narrated by Andrea Richardson

Episode 470 – The Transdimensional Horsemaster Rabbis of Mpumalanga Province – written by Sarah Pinsker and narrated by Amy Robinson - You know those lost tribes of Israel? A photographer is invited to meet one of them.

Episode 473 – Soft Currency – written by Seth Gordon and narrated by Melissa Bugai

Episode 475 – Homegrown Tomatoes – written by Lara Elena Donnelly and narrated by David D Levine

Episode 485 – Supply Limited, Act Now – written by Helen Marshall and narrated by Graeme Dunlop

Episode 487 – New Folks Home – written by Clifford D. Simak and narrated by Norm Sherman - Another older tale, this one about an oldie. I think I may have read this a long time ago.

And I enjoyed episode 497 – A Stretch of Highway Two Lanes Wide – written by Sarah Pinsker and narrated by David White. - This is set in the province of Saskatchewan, where I have spent some time. I did note, without knowing anything about the narrator, that his pronunciation didn’t sound quite right for Saskatchewan, and then I found that he graduated from a university in Tennessee, which doesn’t eliminate the possibility that he’s Canadian, but it suggests that he’s… maybe not. He does a good job anyway, really. Also, the author does not seem to be Canadian either. Canada – you don’t have to be from here to make stories set here. Go ahead. We’ll love it at the same time as we’ll mock your pronunciation.



Episode 501 – Imma Gonna Finish You Off – written by Marina J. Lostetter and narrated by Alasdair Stuart – A somewhat goofy story about a detective trying to solve a murder case. PG – maybe a bit gruesome for some (but it’s not very.)

Episode 509 – Broken – written by Jason Kimble and narrated by Mat Weller – PG14 (some sexuality)

Episode 511 – The Lone and Level Sands – written by Marco Panessa and narrated by Norm Sherman – PG but likely too nihilistic for children and some grown ups to enjoy.

Episode 512 – The Semaphore Society – written by Kate Heartfield and narrated by Christiana Ellis – because of thematic elements, this one would probably be PG13. A teenager who can only communicate through eye movement develops friendships online and then must decipher and pass on a call for help. Narration adds a lot to this one.

 Episode 519 – In Their Image – written by Abra Staffin-Wiebe and narrated by Diane Severson Mori – a preacher with a colourful past travels to an alien world (inhabited by teddy-bear-like creatures) to establish a congregation – and has some difficulties. There is one somewhat gruesome violent scene, but otherwise this is more a ‘thoughtful’ than a ‘bang bang yikes wow’ story. PG14 (due to that one scene.)

 Episode 524 – Scrapmetal – written by Nan Craig and narrated by Cat Rambo – PG13 – some obscenities, a reference or two to sex.

Episode 525 – Among the Living – written by John Markley and narrated by Carl Allery – PG13 for intense peril – this is a story of a future fireman on a very very bad day for the world.

 Episode 527 – Plural – written by Lia Swope Mitchell and narrated by Amanda Ching – PG13 (some obscenities and also grimness)

 Episode 529 – Of Blessed Servitude – written by Merc Fenn Wolfmoor and narrated by Trendane Sparks – This gave me dark post-apocalyptic weird west vibes, which of course I dug. It is violent, has obscene language and some sexuality. Definitely not for everyone.

 Episode 536 – Prophet to the Dogs – written by Bethany Edwards and narrated by George Hrab – This one is sort of fun, although also somewhat violent and uses some obscenities. I remembered this episode from when it was “new” on EscapePod and I had just discovered the podcast.

 Episode 543 – Rock, Paper, Scissors, Love, Death – written by Caroline M. Yoachim and narrated by Nicola Seaton- Clark – a time-traveller story

 Episode 556 – In a Manner of Speaking – written by Charity Tahmaseb and narrated by Amy H Sturgis

 Episode 558 – Holding the Ghosts – written by Gwendolyn Clare and narrated by Dionne Obeso – I believe there is one or two obscenities in here but it’s mostly a PG, although not a kid’s story.

 Episode 560 – Run – written by C.R. Hodges and narrated by Eden Royce – I also remember this episode, very well. In some ways it feels very retro, which may be why it appeals so strongly to me – in a kind of alternative history, there are two young friends, one on Earth, one of the moon, separated not only by geography but also by their government’s Cold War-like mentality which threatens humanity. They have developed a way to communicate using morse code. The first time I heard this story several years ago now, it inspired me to write a short story of my own. This second time I listened to it, I cried. Safe to say, I find it intense, (and the narration great,) but if I had to rate this like a movie, I would concede it’s technically “PG.”

 Episode 563 – Two Steps Forward – written by Holly Schofield and narrated by Adam Pracht – also one I remembered – and set in an alternative history 1920’s Canadian prairies! This is a nice story, and a much lighter PG then Run!

 Episode 565 – The Zombee Project 3.0 – written by Allison Mulder and narrated by Ibba Armancas

Episode 569 – Safe Harbour – written by Kristene Perron and narrated by S.B. Divya – another set-in-Canada story, this one about whales and nanotechnology and motherhood. PG13 (there is death)

Episode 572 – Nothing to See Here – written by Arthur Doweyko – narrated by Patrick Bazil

  Episode 574 – Yosemite – written by D.S. McNab and narrated by Eric Luke – Discover the secret behind the creation of one of the USA’s most famous national parks… a fun story but PG14 for some language, a fairly mild sexual reference, and drug use.

Episode 577 – The Ghosts of Europa Will Keep You Trapped in a Prison You Make for Yourself – written by Matt Dovey and narrated by Tina Connolly

 Episode 585 – We All Scream – written by Marie Vibbert and narrated by Julie Davis – a fun one, which might induce ice cream cravings. There is a small smattering of obscenities.

Episode 586 – The 1st Annual Lunar Biathlon – written by Rachael K Jones and narrated by Khaalida Muhammed-Ali

 Episode 595 – Islands in the Dark – written by Sarah Goldman and narrated by Karen Bovenmyer – a few obscenities.

 Episode 596 – The Wind You Touch When You Run – written by James Beamon and narrated by Dominick Rabrun – history lessons and allusions to ancient mythology and a hero who reminded me a bit of a western antihero – because heroes are heroes no matter where or when they are. This is not a happy story, there is violence and grimness, but it’s a good story.

 Episode 598 – On the Fringes of the Fractal – written by Greg van Eekhout and narrated by Tina Connolly

 Episode 600 – At the Rialto – written by Connie Willis and narrated by Mur Lafferty – a somewhat older story, also, longer, but it’s comedic and it’s set in Hollywood and I found it fun. This story won a Nebula Award in 1990.



Wet Fur (Ep. 601) – written by Jeremiah Tolbert and narrated by Adam Pracht

Trash Talk (Ep.602) – written by Holly Schofield and narrated by Robert Gonyo

Home Sick (Ep. 606) – written by M. Darusha Wehm and narrated by Megan Leigh

When We Fall (Ep. 611) – written by Kameron Hurley and narrated by Ibba Aramancas

The Sixes, the Wisdom, and the Wasp (Ep. 612) – written by E J Delaney and narrated by Nadia Niaz

Cat Pictures, Please! (Ep. 613) – written by Naomi Kritzer and narrated by Miriam Krause

Sparg (Ep. 614) – written by Brian Trent and narrated by Alasdair Stuart

Surveillance Fatigue (Ep. 623) – written by Jennifer R. Donohue and narrated by Diane Severson Mori

Fandom for Robots (Ep. 624) – written by Vina Jie-Min Prasad and narrated by Trendane Sparks

Fire Rode the Cold Wind (Ep. 626) – written by Aimee Ogden and narrated by Peter Behravesh

An Advanced Reader’s Picture Book of Comparative Cognition (Ep. 629) – written by Ken Liu and narrated by Adam Pracht

The Endangered Camp (Ep. 638) – written by Ann Leckie and narrated by Ibba Aramancas

Paradise Regained (Ep. 640) – written by Edward M. Lerner and narrated by Roderick Aust

Flash Fiction Contest Winners (Ep. 641) written by Kurt Pankau, Karen Osborne, Maria Haskins and Paul R Hardy, narrated by Adam Pracht, S.B. Divya, Tina Connolly and Mur Lafferty

Subtle Ways Each Time (Ep. 646) written by Y.M. Pang and narrated by Peter Behravesh

A Handful of Dal (Ep. 648) – written by Naru Sundar and narrated by S.B. Divya

Loyalty Test (Ep. 649) – written by Andrew Gudgel and narrated by Matt Dovey

Some Remarks on the Reproductive Strategy of the Common Octopus (Ep. 663) – written by Bogi Takacs and narrated by Amy H Sturgis

Octonet (Ep. 671) – written by Keyan Bowes and narrated by S.B. Divya

Ulissa (Ep. 676) – written by Craig DeLancey and narrated by Nadia Niaz

The Homunculi’s Guide to Resurrecting Your Loved One From Their Electronic Ghosts (Ep. 696) – written by Kara Lee and narrated by Katherine Inskip

The Last Stellar Death Metal Opera (Ep. 697) – written by Elly Bangs and narrated by Alethea Kontis

Inheritance (Ep. 702) – written by Elise Stephens and narrated by S. Kay Nash

When Robot and Crow Saved East St. Louis (Ep. 712) written by Annalee Newitz narrated by Louis Evans

His Stainless Steel Heart (Ep. 722) written by Jeffrey Reynolds and narrated by Dominick Rabrun

The Cost of Wonder (Ep. 728) written by Leah Cypess and narrated by Tina Connolly

For Whatever we Lose (Ep. 731) written by Jennifer R. Donahue narrated by Amy H. Sturgis