Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Escape Pod

If any of my readers, both of you, haven't discovered Escape Pod yet -- go check it out! Available through iTunes, or at

I have worked my way through the last year's worth of stories. There are some wonderful stories, some just good, and every one of them rises above mediocre. That's quite an achievement!

I can't review them all, but there are a few that really stand out in my mind as I skim through the list of sixty or so full-length episodes, plus a number of short reviews and "flash" stories.

1. Shadowboxer, by Paul Di Filippo. A wonderful, subtle, chilling first-person story about the limits of morality!

2. Tk'tk'tk, by David D. Levine. A terrific story about a human trying to do his job among an alien race and the more mundane form of culture shock. As in all the best science fiction, it is really about this planet, and the problems of truly understanding other cultures.

3. L'Alchemista, by N. K. Jamisin. This one tilts more towards the magical/fantasy genre, but don't let that discourage you even if you generally like your science fiction on the harder side. It's a beautiful story of cooking and temptation. The account of a a woman whose true love is crafting perfect dishes will have you drooling.

4. Craphound by Cory Doctorow. A low-key but engaging story about an alien whose great love is finding treasure amid trash. Particularly funny if you have a love of yard sales and flea markets or if you have ever climbed into a dumpster.

5. The Girlfriends of Dorian Gray by Gregory Frost. A funny and sadistic twist on the Oscar Wilde novel.

6. The Malcontent, by Stephen Eley. Eley is the host of the show and it took him until episode 50 to include one of his own stories. It's one of the more strange and surreal stories of all of them, which is saying a lot, but highly imaginative, and it invokes golden-age authors like Edgar Rice Burroughs.

7. The Clockwork Atomic Bomb, by Dominc Green. A dark but realistic story about the aftermath of high-tech weaponry. Manages to portray people in an impoverished and desperate population without seeming racist (at least, as far as I'm qualified to judge such a thing).

There are lots more great stories that Escape Pod has made available for free download. What a wonderful concept. Go listen to one!


Dan said...

i'll have to check out that dorian gray book, i just read oscar wilde's while in france.

i'm in north east now!

any progress on the "paul potts" cover?

Paul R. Potts said...

Hi Dan,

"The Girlfriend of Dorian Gray" is a short story available as a free podcast... check out

I have not worked on the cover, although we recently rented "Gigantic -- A Tale of Two Johns" from Netflix. That inspired me to pull out my guitar, which has been in the closet for the last couple of years. So, this weekend for my son's birthday party I wound up singing and playing "Particle Man," "C is for Conifer," and "Z-Y-X." My fingers are all chewed up -- I had no calluses left at all -- but it is a relief to find out I can still play, more or less, although I couldn't remember how to finger diminished and suspended sevenths and various other chords without looking them up.

Also, I have my Snowball microphone back, so the necessary pieces are falling into place to do some more home recording. I want to finish my "Boats of the Glen Carrig" podcast (see first before I get too distracted by something else. I don't get a lot of free time right now, but maybe I'll have a little in the fall, when I take some time off work for the birth of the new baby.

Take care!