Listen to the Signal – and find #1 Audible Bestselling Author Rob Dircks on his quest for answers to questions like "What would happen if a smartphone game was so addictive EVERYONE played it at once?" or "When we discovered Pluto's new moon Nix in 2005, did we catch someone discovering us?" Every month (or so), he writes an original science fiction short story and narrates it for your listening pleasure. ENJOY! You can find Rob and connect at listentothesignal.com, robdircks.com, on Twitter at @RobDircks, and Facebook at facebook.com/robdircksauthor.
“Hole In The Wall” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks
Hello, Rob here. I hate to do this, but I really can’t say anything about this story up front without giving it away, except that it’s about someone who volunteers for a test, not knowing much about it...
“Father Tim” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN/RECORDED 03/2020. Hey guys. I’ll tell you right up front, I struggled with the idea of even posting this story, because, yes, it’s a plague story. It’s a very common theme in sci-fi, the plague-that-wipes-out-humanity theme, but I’ve never written one, so it just kind of popped into my head a few weeks ago, before the poop really started to his the fan, as my subconscious had already started working overtime on this whole Coronavirus thing...
“This Is Only A Test” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks
Hey, Rob here. For a long time now, there’s been the awareness that what happened to the dinosaurs – an extinction-level event caused by an asteroid impact – could happen again. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of if, but of when. A hundred years? A thousand years? A hundred thousand years? In the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact (both strangely released in the same year, 1998), we triumph over the threat by nuking a huge asteroid into pieces. In reality, a nuclear explosion as a planetary defense is potentially unpredictable. What if the asteroid doesn’t break into the pieces we’d like it to? So… fast forward to yesterday, November 23, 2021, and NASA launched a different kind of test: slamming a spacecraft into an asteroid to deflect its path, just a fraction of a percent, but enough to make a difference. The asteroid they’ve chosen is, unsurprisingly, not on a collision-course with Earth, so it poses no threat. I repeat: it poses no threat.
“Hart Island” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks
Hey guys, Rob here. Happy Halloween! So a friend of mine texted me and he’s like, “Dude! Do a story about this creepy island I’m working on!” Usually I’m like okay, great, thanks, whatever, and then I do what I want. But this time he got me. See, his job is to map areas, and he told me about Hart Island. It’s a tiny island off the coast of the Bronx in New York City, in the Long Island Sound, and it’s basically a giant mass grave. It’s where all the people who become the responsibility of the city are buried: the homeless, stillborn children, people who can’t afford any kind of burial, and bodies that are unclaimed. There are a million people buried there, with more every year, making it the largest potter’s field in the world. And on top of that, it’s got an abandoned psychiatric hospital, and even old cold war missile silos. Wow. Seems like the perfect creepy Halloween setting, maybe for a zombie story, or nuclear zombies, even better! But then this story spilled out of my head, the story of a woman named Ruth.
“Swatch” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks
Hey guys, Rob here. As you might know, I’m into the whole Mars rover thing, and I was psyched to find out they included an extra little package inside it this time — a helicopter. And even cooler, they fastened an actual swatch of fabric from the original Wright Brothers Flyer to the underside of its solar panel! So that got me thinking: I know they’re super careful about not letting bio material contaminate the moon or Mars, but what if, for this tiny swatch, they sort of forgot to check? What might happen?
“The Other Ted” by Wendy Mass and Rob Dircks
Hey, Rob here. Have I got a treat for you! I’ve finally branched out and collaborated with some great folks on a story. Wendy Mass, NY Times bestselling author, reached out to me last year to co-author a short sci-fi story to submit to the talented Alex Shvartsman, who was publishing the latest in his anthology series Unidentified Funny Objects. So we came up with a story in correspondence, from an alien liaison to the U.S. President, about the impending colonization of Earth and how wonderful it would be. We were just having fun, but it turned out pretty damned good, so Alex accepted and published it. And now, with myself and the narration of Audie-award-winning Khristine Hvam, I present… "The Other Ted."
Great creative stories!
I first learned about Rob through his books on Audible, and I really enjoyed his Tesla series. From there I learned about his short stories, and I’ve really loved listening to these as well! Rob writes creative, original, and often humorous sci-fi, and I look forward to new material!
Rob is a double threat, writer and narrator.
It's hard to choose a favorite story. I subscribed right away!
I've always been fascinated with science fiction, or perhaps now -- speculative fiction. Whatever it's called, I love these stories.
Rob is incredibly imaginative, and in such a short period of time he brings to life amazing, lovable characters. I've been a fan of his stories and narration for a while; starting with his book, 'Where the Hell is Tesla?.'
I'm looking forward to the next podcast.