The Best of Lightspeed 2019

written by David Steffen

Lightspeed Magazine is the award-nominated science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, and their podcast is  produced by the excellent Skyboat Media.  They publish about half of the stories they publish in text.  They published about 48 stories in the podcast.

The stories eligible for the upcoming award season are marked with an asterisk (*), with novelettes eligible for the season marked with a double asterisk (**).

The List

1. “Hello, Hello” by Seanan McGuire, narrated by Justine Eyre
Great tech invention that revolves around a translation program that seamlessly translates a person’s language including body language into your native language so that you can’t even tell that they are not doing it (including, i.e., sign language)

2. “Her Appetite, His Heart” by Dominica Phetteplace, narrated by Paul Boehmer*
A man goes on a quest to find the woman he broke up with a year ago after having a revelation. But she is not as easy to find as he would hope.

3. “A Conch Shell’s Notes” by Shweta Adhyam, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki*
Everyone knows that everyone has a voice inside their head that lays out the great options of your life, but we never know what the voice is saying to other people.

4. “The Death of Fire Station 10” by Ray Nayler, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki*
Unlike most other buildings in the era of this story, Fire Station 10 was not born smart, it was only upgraded that way later. She has a special place in all of our hearts.

5. “Between the Dark and the Dark” by Deji Bryce Olukotun, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki**
We monitor our colonies out there for signs of degradation, including signs of cannibalistic tendencies, so that we can end a colony before it becomes a danger to them. Is it always as obvious a choice as it seems?

Honorable Mentions

“A Bad Day in Utopia” by Matthew Baker, narrated by Justine Eyre*

“A Hundred Thousand Arrows” by Ashok K. Banker, narrated by Stefan Rudnicki**

The Best of Escape Pod 2016

written by David Steffen

Escape Pod is the weekly science fiction podcast, edited by Norm Sherman, what is I think the longest running science fiction podcast out there.

In February Escape Pod once again participated in the Artemis Rising event across the EA podcasts.

Escape Pod published 43 stories in 2016.

Every story that is eligible for Hugo Award is marked with an asterisk (*).


The List

1. “Recollection” by Nancy Fulda
A treatment is available for Alzheimer’s, but it can only restore your ability to remember–the memories that have been lost are gone forever.  A man recovering from treatment struggles to fit in with the family that loves him.

2.  “In Their Image” by Abra Staffin-Wiebe*
What do religions make us do?  Examined by looking at alien religions.  Awesome philosophical SF.

3.  “Among the Living” by John Markley*
What if first responders were equipped with power armor?

4.  “Murder or a Duck” by Beth Goder*
Humorous parallel world traveling story.

5.  “Myspace: A Ghost Story” by Dominica Phetteplace*
What happens to all those dead accounts you leave behind on old sites?

Honorable Mentions

“Brain Worms and White Whales” by Jen Finelli*