The Best of Journey Into… 2013

written by David Steffen

Marshal Latham continues on with his podcast, which runs both new stories newly produced and recordings of old radio shows from the heyday of radio. He also had a special Edgar Allen Poe month at the beginning of 2013 wherein he asked for submissions of Poe-esque stories which also are inspired by and share names with Poe story titles. In November he posted a podcast every single day in an event he dubbed the Superhero Marathon Spectacular. Good stuff!

In 2013 he published about 38 stories, by my reckoning.


The List

1. Sorry, Wrong Number by Lucille Fletcher
A disabled woman accidentally ends up getting a crossed line when trying to dial her husband, and overhears plans for a murder. She then tries desparately to get the police to act on her evidence. This story is particularly interesting because it’s so rooted in a state of technology that was only the norm for a short time window–before that, phones weren’t prevalent. After that, phones didn’t need operators for routine connections. Without that specific window of technology, there’s no story here.

2. Emily 501 by Tamara Hladik
Researcher discovers and studies alien artifacts. Can she come to understand these strange creatures by what they left behind?

3. Kellerman’s Eye Piece by Mary Elizabeth Counselman
A man receives an apparently defective eyepiece for his telescope which makes him see strange things when he looks at the moon. He comes to the conclusion that the lens is not actually defective, but somehow allows him to see things which would ordinarily be invisible.

4. The Masque of the Red Death by Lee Lackey
No, this isn’t a plagiarism of Edgar Allen Poe. This is one of the winners of the Edgar Allen Poe contest. Though it shares the title of the story, it otherwise is not connected to it. It uses the title to good use.

5. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Some might think it wrong for me to put such a famous and revered work at #5. It’s not that I don’t like the story. I do. But I also read it for the first time a decade and a half ago, and much of my interest in fiction is for novelty. If this were my first read, it may have been higher. Still, it made the list despite my longtime familiarity with it, so that says something for its lasting appeal.


Honorable Mentions

The Martian Crown Jewels by Poul Anderson
With over-the-top but fun voice-acting by Bronson Pinchot.