Many of these episodes take us to different settings or give us somewhat different characters. This might seem like a stupid thing to say, of course science fiction takes you to different places – but I feel like this stretch of 100 episodes was particular diverse in setting and characters. Here are the twenty-four I’ve shortlisted from this group.
This story, which is told by a radio talk show host, immediately brought to mind the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Then I looked up the respective dates, and it seems that this story came first!
I thought this story was quite a lot of alternative history/alternative timelines fun.
A story from a slightly dystopian future where the authorities regulate pretty much everything in order to keep the human population within Earth’s bio-capacity.
This episode includes three flash fiction stories, London Iron by William R. Halliar (narrator Andrew Richardson) Wheels of Blue Stilton by Nicholas J. Carter (narrator Christian Brady) and
Light and Lies by Gideon Fostick (narrator- Mur Lafferty)
[SPOILER ALERT] I have never really understood the drawing power of a certain infamous serial killer who lurked in Whitechapel in 1888, so the first in the collection, despite being really well presented, didn’t really entertain me. The second in this little collection though, was quite nice fun, and the third was also nice.
This is a nice “kid safe” story that’s not just enjoyable for kids!
Receiving strange messages, a veteran of a future war sets out on the road to Cairo, hoping to save his wife from a slow death.
In the future of an alternate world where Hernan Cortes and the Conquistadors were defeated and the citizens of the Aztec Empire explore the galaxy, a boy is dedicated as a future sacrifice to the Gods. When he falls in love as a young man, he begins to question the necessity that he in particular be sacrificed…
A girl with a neurodiversity that her parents can’t understand tries to communicate her desires as they contemplate an experimental ‘treatment.’ What’s especially good about this story is that there isn’t really a ‘bad guy,’ there’s just different people with different ideas.
What if, instead of a Space Race, there had been an Ocean Race? This is an old-fashioned-y adventure tale set in such a world, on an ocean-exploring station.
This is not a light listen, as you are warned in the intro, and it is perhaps just as easy to classify as “horror” instead of science-fiction, but it is one of those stories where I found myself recognizing it’s emotional power even if some of it I didn’t believe/agree with.
This one, on the other hand, is pretty fun. It’s got time travel and zeppelins.
When the mind-melting extra-terrestrials invade, only the neurodiverse shall be left to defeat them.
Although it’s not as dark as Devour, this is a gritty exploration of what happens when you’re placed in a loop of violence.
Warning, Warning, this story of magic, origami, culture-crossing and familial loss might make you cry.
This story dates back several decades. I thought it was nice of EscapePod to bring me a story that I didn’t know before from the past. I assume they obtained rights to it! This is a longer story than most EscapePod episodes, so you’ll have to settle in to it a bit. What is it about? Well, it’s set on a prison colony… in the distant past. Filled with (all male) political prisoners, who are losing their minds.
Ok, this story is about a sentient cow on a reality TV show. Yes, it’s silly, just goooo with it.
Who knew brain damage could be so entertaining?
This is the story of a guy and his brother living through a quarantine, which is really quite prescient. Written in 2012, and depicting a situation worse than the one we’ve got, but it has masks, prejudice against Asian Americans, economic problems for small businesses, over-crowded hospitals, violence in the streets, and the boredom of inactivity.
A ballerina-turned-super-commando attempts to retrieve information vital for the future of the planet.
As a fan of people being involved in films and art and work in general, this one is…kinda creepy. In a nice way. It’s a PG story (although young kids would probably be bored with it, it’s not a kid’s story.) But it’s still…kinda scary in a “Yeah, unfortunately, this seems to be the way we are being pushed” way.
The bicycle is ….alive?
A “what’s that mysterious thing in the ocean?” story, and also a story about a gal and her father.
A man who has survived a stroke is given a robotic live-in aide, and reluctantly must learn to make peace with it.
I also want to mention that Episode 325 – Bad Dogs Escape, written by James Patrick Kelly and narrated/performed by A. Kovacs, John Cmar and Pamela Quevillon, is an example of a radio script, being produced as a radio drama, instead of a narration. Unfortunately, the story is a bit squicky, and the production and performances, while perfectly fine, do pale when compared to the professionalism of, say, BBC productions or old time radio. I can’t really recommend this, but I do commend EscapePod for giving radio drama a try.
I am nearly half way through listening to all the EscapePod episodes now! And still enjoying this adventure, fortunately.