By now you have likely heard that Escape Artists, (Escape Pod, Pod Castle and Pseudo Pod) are in financial dire straights. If by some chance you are hiding under a rock or something and don’t know about it, go take a few minutes and listen to their plea.
I could likely talk until I was blue in the face about how wonderful Escape Artists is, and how great their stories are, but until you understand what it is they provide you can’t really grasp how important it is that you help them out.
Folks, they have done for the short story what no other market has been able to do ever! Something like 40,000 listeners! That means that if your story is published, it is likely going to get upwards of 20,000 sets of ears hearing it. I am sorry, but that is better than any money they could pay an author. That is more circulation than most short stories get ever, and it is just one market.
Alright, enough of my rambling. The title says my five favorites, so here they are. They are not in any order really and don’t include Pseudo Pod because I don’t typically do horror. These are my top 5 picks. Stories that stuck with me long after the closing song had faded out in my ear buds.
1. Conversations With and About my Electric Toothbrush Escape Pod
This is one of those silly light hearted stories that you listen to once and might even forget, if it weren’t for the fact that it was about a talking tooth brush, and the fact that on reflection it was really about so much more. This story is what sci/fi is really about, showing you a glimpse of the future while forcing you to look around and wonder about your own life without being preachy about it.
2. A Gun For Dinosaur Escape Pod
A time travel story. No wait, this is a good time travel story, where the technology makes sense and… heck what am I saying. This story is about hunting Dinosaur. Do you really need a reason to listen to it other than that? And it is ready by and incredible narrator Ayoub Khote. That is really a good enough reason to listen.
3. Goblin Lullaby Pod Castle
I love epic fantasy. I cut my teeth on C.S. Lewis and the Hobbit. Later I ready The Lord of the Rings and many others, but you have to admit there are some tropes in there that well they are good, can sometimes make you wonder. What if the tables were turned. This is one of those stories, and really gives you a view of what all the “normal” people are thinking while these high minded folks are running around on their quests to save the world. Sometimes you just need some quiet. Maybe I have just changed enough diapers to find this one so entertaining.
4. Rescue Party Escape Pod
This was episode 400 for Escape Pod, and the story is written by Arthur C. Clarke. That alone makes it special. But this is still a really great example of classic Sci/fi.
5. What Dragons Prefer Pod Castle
As I write this, I realized that the two stories I picked for Pod Castle were kind of trope busters. You should not assume by this that that is all that they do. far from it, but these are the ones that stuck out in my mind this morning as I was thinking of my favorite episodes.
So have you ever wondered why it was that Dragons were baited with virgins? Do they even really like virgins? What about those dragon hunters? Are they for real or what? This story is another one of the light hearted ones that in the end has some real depth to it.
So that is it. These are my top five stories from Escape Artists. Go out and take a listen, and then decide for yourself. But really, toss them a few bucks, even if all you do is listen to these 5 stories, you have already gotten your money’s worth.