Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jump into the Escape Pod for great audio SF!

There are so many great places to read and listen to short stories online, especially science fiction but most of these are not well known. I've decided to periodically take a look at one, to shine a light on some hidden gems.

In my forays into the world of SF short stories, I came across Escape Pod (http://www.escapepod.org). It is a science fiction short story podcast with a new episode each week. Each episode features one new short story, sometimes a new one, sometimes a reprint (can you call it a reprint if it's an audio story?). I've listened to quite a few, and while I've not liked all of them, there's been some really gems and the rest are not bad at all. I'm not usually a big audio fiction fan, preferring to read, but I've found that short stories really do work for me in audio format as I can often listen to them in one sitting. Escape Pod also have some really excellent narrators that add an extra touch to the story.

As well as the story, each episode features a short preamble, a bit of a summary or reflection afterwards, and some listener feedback from a previous episode (incidentally, this is taken from the active forums on the website where listeners discuss each episode afterwards). It adds just a little bit to the overall package, but add something it does.

One of the really good things about Escape Pod is that if features old stories as well as new. There's some classic stories that have been given the Escape Pod treatment, including the following:

Episode 400 - Escape Party by Arthur C Clarke

Episode 100 - Nightfall by Isaac Asimov

Episode 453 - The Grotto of the Dancing Bear by Clifford D Simak

Episode 392 - Aftermaths by Lois McMaster Bujold (not sure if this is a classic or new story, but I love her books, so thought I'd include.

Episode 490 - Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

There's also stories by David Brin, Robert Silverberg, Ted Chiang and loads more. For a list of episodes, you are best checking out this wikipedia page.