Anyone who recognizes these immortal opening lines from the classic science fiction radio show X-1 will cherish the fond memories they evoke. Most of us first heard these stories on some oldies radio station or other, and many of us are reliving them on certain podcast feeds. But what if you are looking for a more modern day X-1?
Enter into our life Escape Pod. This weekly podcast has been around for years, but I have only discovered its existence some months ago. A friend informed me of this show, and I then quickly listened to dozens and dozens of episodes.
Escape Pod varies each tale in length, style, subject matter, and tone. After a brief introduction, a narrator reads the story to you, followed at the end by a quick portion where listener feedback is touched upon. One week a story is told in which a man plots to time travel and save his wife, or another week we hear of chicken soup and blackholes. You can glorify in every tale and the imagination presented. And each narrator performs each story in a different way, allowing the texture and cadence of every written piece to truly come alive.
Where, you may ask, do all these amazing stories come from? From us, the receptive eager audience. Escape Pod accepts submissions from the listeners, which makes the beauty of the show so wonderful. You can choose to let the show take you on a journey every week, expand your horizons and fill you up with ideas, or take another route and craft a tale all your own. If you do decide to flex your creative muscles and submit a written work, and if it is up to Escape Pod’s exacting standards, some time afterwards you will hear it dramatized for all the world. Then you get paid. Yes, that’s right, Escape Pod pays its authors. Through generous donations from its patrons and listeners, they are able to give back to the creators.
Science fiction legend Mur Lafferty is the Editor and frequent narrator for Escape Pod. Her dulcet tone always eases you into that weeks story, which quickly made her one of my favourite performers. I have yet to venture into the sister shows, Pseudopod which specializes in horror and PodCastle for fantasy, but I hope to soon.
What started with the pulp magazines, continued onto early radio, then moved to the medium of television, is now having a renaissance on the internet. Science fiction short stories are brought to our eager ears week in and week out by Escape Pod. Listen and prepare to… Countdown for Blast-off!
P.S. You can subscribe to Escape Pod through iTunes. Escape Pod logo is copyright 2012 to them.