My Subjective List of the Best EscapePod Episodes… Short List Part Two
Here are the 25 episodes I enjoyed most from listening to episode 80 through 180.
I don’t know what was going on in 2007/08, but it feels like society – or at least the science-fiction writing part of society – or at least the part writing and choosing stories for EscapePod – was going through a bit of a dark depressive episode, judging by the darker tone of many of these stories. Also, I think more of these stories had more obscenities then the first 100, for whatever reason, although I could be wrong.
Also, I know that if I continue to highlight 25 episodes from every 100 I listen to, what I’m essentially doing is creating a short-list of episodes and my short-list will likely end up 200 episodes long. That’s okay. I’ll just have to go through that 200-episode short list when I get there, and decide from there which are the most interesting episodes of all. At the moment I’m expecting I’ll make it there in about a year.
EscapePod does already provide a guide to new listeners where they highlight 10 episodes to start with – one of which I also mention in this blog post!
(I think I figured out how to link directly to EscapePod’s episode pages in time for this blog post, yay!)
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
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
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.
Thanks for reading! Thoughts and comments welcome. And now, I go on to episode 181 and beyond! Next month, I hope to have episode recommendations from X-Minus One.