100 episodes

Each week, Escape Pod delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen today, and hear the new sound of science fiction!

Escape Pod Escape Artists, Inc

    • Science Fiction

Each week, Escape Pod delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen today, and hear the new sound of science fiction!

    Escape Pod 720: Child and Orb

    Escape Pod 720: Child and Orb

    Child and Orb

    by James Dunham



    The child spent most of her time watching the empty stars from the pod window. They were always nothing but distant, dead glitter--not a planet, cloud, or rock, not a fleck of wreckage from the explosion. With only one window, she often wondered whether, if there had been another vista at the rear of the two-room pod, she might still be able to see the spinning pieces of hull and conduit, see that glove someone hadn’t gotten a hand into in time.



    Even though the stars ahead never grew closer, she knew the pod kept moving. A display in a lean-to showed speed, fuel, and probably a destination, though none of the numbers meant much to her. The windowed orb that had carried her onto the pod told her what she needed to know--the pod was heading to meet another ship, still weeks distant. She appreciated that the orb hadn’t lied to her the way adults sometimes did, to make her feel better or to give her time to adjust. Instead it told only the truth.

    • 22 min
    Escape Pod 719: A Hench Helps Her Villain, No Matter What

    Escape Pod 719: A Hench Helps Her Villain, No Matter What

    A Hench Helps Her Villain, No Matter What

    By Izzy Wasserstein



    The Lair’s intercom buzzes. “Hench, report to the interrogation room at once. Bring the restraints,” Night Mistress demands. For a moment I allow myself to hope, but when I get down to the deepest level, she’s got Patriotess drugged at her feet, and I know I’m a fool.



    Hope isn’t the place of a henchperson. Hope will get you killed. Or, worse, out of a job.



    I help Night Mistress restrain Patriotess in the center of the lead-walled room. I secure the heroine’s arms above her head. She’s still out of it, her body limp and her head hanging low, completely in Night Mistress’s power. My knees feel unsteady just thinking about it.

    • 28 min
    Escape Pod 718: How the Emperor of All Space and Every World Awoke to the True Nature of Reality and Why it Didn’t Matter

    Escape Pod 718: How the Emperor of All Space and Every World Awoke to the True Nature of Reality and Why it Didn’t Matter

    How the Emperor of All Space and Every World Awoke to the True Nature of Reality and Why it Didn't Matter

    by P. H. Lee



    The Emperor was bored. This was a problem. His Imperial Majesty, King of every Spiral Arm, Prince-Protector of Coreward Republics, Thearch of Bohm and its dependencies, Grand Duke of the Exterior Habitats, Elector of Both Magellanic Clouds, Guardian of All One Hundred Holy Relics and Defender of the Faith, the Emperor of All Space and Every World could not be bored. When he was not administering his empire—a task that consumed more than half the day—he was supposed to be entertained by his court—replete with jesters (from Mullwyd, the Jester Planet), dancers from Akyll and Boas (the best among the seven Dancer Planets), and singers from the Ibelia Habitat (known of course for its singers)—or comforted by his harem—staffed entirely by beautiful concubines from Isa (the Pleasure Planet) and eromenos from R' (the other Pleasure Planet.) The Emperor, by convention and necessity and custom and law, could want for nothing.

    • 30 min
    Escape Pod 717: Listening

    Escape Pod 717: Listening

    Author : Bob DeRosa Narrator : Abra Staffin-Wiebe Host : S.B. Divya Audio Producer : Adam Pracht Discuss on Forums Escape Pod 717: Listening is an Escape Pod original. Listening By Bob DeRosa At exactly nine in the morning, Karen tapped the green box on her tablet screen and said, “Hello, my name is Karen. […]

    • 34 min
    Escape Pod 716: Physics by the Numbers

    Escape Pod 716: Physics by the Numbers

    Physics by the Numbers

    by Stephen Granade



    Peifan had come and gone before Nevaeh reached the lab office the next morning. Nevaeh had hoped to say goodbye, but she supposed that if an algorithm had guillotined her graduate school career like a French royalist's head, she'd have snuck away, too. Peifan had raked his class notes into a trash can that had overflowed and spilled his discarded plastic binders across the floor. He'd also left his poster of bar magnets on the wall, iron filings tracing arcs of magnetism that connected them.



    She tossed her phone in her desk drawer and dug around for a Phillips screwdriver. Peifan's computer had the best graphics card. She meant to claim it for her simulations before her labmate Mason arrived and joined in rifling through Peifan's discards.



    "Both of you are safe." Dr. Scott gestured at Nevaeh and Mason with his food truck taco, nearly spilling fish onto the sidewalk. "My revised funding still supports two graduate students."



    The US federal science agencies had updated their algorithm that decided how productive universities were. For the second year in a row, they'd cut funding to Nevaeh's school based on its results.



    "It'll slow down finishing our paper," Mason said around a mouth full of quesadilla. Cheese dribbled down his chin.



    "Peifan was the best at tuning the laser," Nevaeh added. She dug her own taco out of an overfull box. Dr. Scott had bought dinner, so she hadn't scrimped on her order.



    Dr. Scott nodded. "We'll make do. But we need results. Don't forget, we think the funding agencies rank us based on submissions, not just publications."



    As if Nevaeh could ever let herself forget.

    • 32 min
    Escape Pod 715: A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman

    Escape Pod 715: A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman

    A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman

    by E. Catherine Tobler



    The spaceman shows up on a hot summer afternoon, not in the dead of night when you're crouched in the garden peering through a telescope that shows you the endless glories and wonders of the night sky. There's no spaceship making a bright arc against a star-spangled sky. Just a man in a spacesuit, standing at the edge of your hammock. His presence reminds you school is over and relatives will be coming soon and you don't want to see them. They will ask you who can't see beyond the edge of your hammock about grades and ambitions and Plans For the Future. Aunt Fran is dead and there's just no fixing it, but funerals help us move on, Mom says so, and Mom Knows Best. You don't want to go, because going means it happened and going means something is over.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

Altered St. ,

5/5

Top notch SF that everyone can enjoy. Makes my Friday commute so much better. Thank you to everyone involved and keep up the good work!

Opal Castmin ,

So much fun!

Escape Pod tends to run fun and funny stories, though occasionally you'll hear darker and more serious fare. I've been enjoying this podcast for years, especially the Hugo nominees they've sometimes run. A favorite fun story from the archives is "How I Mounted Goldie" (actual title is longer). A dark and fascinating one is "Run, Bakri Says." Mur Lafferty and Alasdair Stuart are gems.

Otterkit ,

Gorgeous.

Gorgeous.
Simple as that. Every story is powerful, and every one will take you to new places.

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