Escape Pod

Escape Pod

The Science Fiction Podcast Magazine. Each week Escape Pod delivers science fiction short stories from today's best authors. Listen today, and hear the new sound of science fiction!

Episodes

Artemis Rising returns to Escape Pod for its third year! This month-long event highlights science fiction by women and non-binary authors. We have five original stories this year that range in topics from biotech to far-flung A.I, virtual reality, and nanotech. AUTHOR: Megan Chaudhuri NARRATOR: Laurice White HOST: Caron J. ARTIST: Ashley Mackenzie Dr. Mbalu and the Butcher's Daughter is an Escape Pod original for Artemis Rising 3. Discuss on our forums. For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia Thank you for visiting us on Facebook and Twitter about the author... A toxicologist by training and a writer by inclination, Megan lives outside of Seattle with one husband and two cats. Her fiction has appeared in Analog, Crossed Genres, and Futuristica, among other places. about the narrator... Laurice is a theater graduate and long time theater student. She's read stories for Podcastle, Pseudopod and for John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey on The End is Nigh and The End is Now - the first two volumes of The Apocalypse Triptych. about the artist... Ashley Mackenzie is an artist and illustrator based in Edmonton, Alberta. She was born in Victoria, BC and grew up between Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB. After studying online for a year through AAU in San Francisco, Calif., she moved to Toronto to pursue a degree in Illustration at OCADU. Though she loves the challenge of creating complex conceptual illustrations and finding new ways to navigate ideas, visually she also enjoys making concept art and decorative illustration. When not drawing, she can be found reading, playing video games or thinking about her next project. Dr. Mbalu and the Butcher's Daughter By Megan Chaudhuri With a raspy pop, the cell sprayer in Rebecca's hand sputtered one last drop of fur progenitor cells. Ignoring her stiff back, she leaned over the culture vat and daubed the cells onto the pink, gel-sculpted contours of a cheetah's back muscles. The gel rippled; Rebecca held her breath as the reflexive shiver splashed the surrounding nutrient broth. "Go in," Rebecca whispered, her eyes hot and dry behind her goggles. Please, she prayed, conscious of the crucifix's weight at her neck. Another reflex rippled the gel, as if the nerve matrix suddenly sensed the truth: It grew inside an old Gates Foundation lab trailer on the cheapest hook-up in Little Nairobi, rather than in the hide of an adult cheetah. But the droplet disappeared slowly, the cells sinking into the gelatinous stew of serum and growth factors that--God willing--would ripen them into a furred skin. "It's ready for the fresh growth medium and antibacterials, Ming!" Rebecca called out. She palmed the vat's control pad; the motor vibrated against her legs as she carefully lowered the cheetah's contours beneath the broth. The pink fluid bubbled as it swallowed their unceasing work of the past months. Past years. Past one-point-three decades, actually, since the Tuesday when her mother's partner had brought home an empty Kenya Wildlife Service uniform and a tiny, worn crucifix. The blood had been washed off its bone surface, but no one could repair the chip left by the poacher's bullet. Rebecca shook herself before her mind could follow its favorite bitter path--a path that lead from one dead poacher to, of all places on God's green Earth, the lot next door. Her lot. Rebecca turned towards the tiny walk-in fridge. "Ming?" The walk-in's insulated door was ajar. Chilled fog pooled on the vinyl floor. "Ming? What's--" The fog parted as Ming staggered out, eyes bulging. Her gloved hands clutched a single plastic bottle of nutrient medium. "Rebecca, look!" Ming thrust out the bottle. Behind the condensation, the fluid looked orange instead of blood red. Rebecca took it, the cold, heavy weight strangely distended in her gloved hands. Automatically, she turned it over to check the label: DMEM/F-12 Mammalian Tissue Medium (5% Bovine Serum Albumin, by Vol[...]