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Author Topic: EP722: His Stainless-Steel Heart  (Read 742 times)


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on: March 07, 2020, 07:47:30 PM
Escape Pod 722: His Stainless-Steel Heart

Author: Jeff Reynolds
Narrator: Dominick Rabrun
Host: S.B. Divya
Audio Producer: Summer Brooks

Escape Pod 722: His Stainless-Steel Heart is an Escape Pod original.


It was at the rest stop in Tali that Viktor ran into trouble. His fault, really. He’d been driving along all swoon, meditating in an isolationist haze that provided him a good feeling, kept his thoughts clear. Didn’t even have to get high, it was a natural vibe for a motoring king. The ancient Buick purred like an avalanche of love, eating the miles. Better outcome than a warmonger could hope for. The rest were all perished. Peacetime no peace for warriors.

Into the stop he pulled, needing a stretch and a piss, maybe a hit of Somnup or a sip of caffeine. There were only a couple of vehicles there, so he thought sweet, no one to bust in on my mood. Two drone trucks; a couple three sedans, all electric and shiny new; a lone RV — first one he’d seen in about six years to be fair, so that made it coolness, and it clearly guzzled rich diez. Getting so he didn’t see gassers any more, which was opaque for the lungs, but always a bit low on the sadness scale. Made that RV something special, sitting there all proud on its rubber soles.

He walked through the swinging glass doors, into the cool of interior dusk, with the hum of an old AC unit buzzing like a hive through the ducts overhead. And there she came, out of the facilities, a Valkyrie with bleached blonde mohawk and electric green irises from the finest graft shop, her right arm one big circuit board, bio-gened and soldered with immaculate chromium threads. Perfect teeth when she smiled. Preggers as all heck, like she carried twinsies. She had that thing preggers get. He remembered that glow they had.

Green eyes.

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Wouter Bjerg

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Reply #1 on: March 31, 2020, 07:36:38 PM
I loved this story!
Narrator's voice (Dominick Rabrun)  fit very well with the main character.
The story (and presentation) were nice and gritty, in the way that perfectly fits a bio/diesel-punk fiction. The bits and bobs of invented slang make the world feel alive and lived in, and the wash of proper nouns are all descriptive enough in their own sense or context that they add to the immersion, rather than distance the reader from the world as can be the case with less well-written works.

I listened to the audio version myself, and am going to give it a read-over as well to catch some of the spelling wordplay, like this one I just caught in the abstract, but did not notice as much while listening: "and it clearly guzzled rich diez".

I would love to see more of this!

- Bjerg

AM Fish

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Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 09:17:01 PM
The opening of this story, for obvious reasons, reminded me of my first experience with Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange."  I read it without being aware of the film, Burgess, or even the genre.  I had found the book lying around the house--I was, I don't know, maybe 12?--and it was the first edition with the line drawing of Alex and his guys looking for trouble.  (I just looked online and found a copy of that book going for $500;  I'll bet the one I read is at my brother's house.)  The book had a glossary of Alex's language.

One of the best things about this story is that nostalgia it evokes.  I'm sure not just for me and not just about Burgess.  I also thought the reader was excellent.   The story was  a little strange for me because I wasn't prepared to read "A Clockwork Orange" when I did and being reminded of the shock I felt then seemed out of place for this story as it moved on as a fun action story.  ("You be the rabbit.")

Good story...I might give my brother a call.


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Reply #3 on: June 17, 2020, 03:33:48 AM
I liked the story for the grit, slang, and pacing. I am not sure, however, how I feel about the sledgehammer foreshadowing of the MC ending up going with the Valkyrie, without the husband in the picture.