The Best of Escape Pod 2010-

written by David Steffen

And, on to my next list. Again, I’ll be picking up where I left off from my previous Best of Escape Pod list, and running to the end of 2010. This’ll be a short one because I posted that list in May. For this list I considered episodes 240-273, and here’s my 5 favorites. Enjoy!

There have been big changes at Escape Pod since the last list, especially two things:
1. The founder of Escape Pod and the other Escape Artists podcasts, Steve Eley, has stepped down from his former role after the birth of his second child. I hope everything’s going great for him, and I wish him the best of fortune. I’ll always have a soft spot for the guy, because my very first story check came with his signature on it (for my Pseudopod sale). I’d be happy to buy him a beer if I ever cross his path.
2. They’re a pro paying market now! As far as I know, this is the only pro paying podcast, great news.

And, if you like this, check out my other Best Of lists.

1. Bridesicle by Will McIntosh
read by Amy H. Sturgis

I’m clearly not alone in my like of this story, since it won the Hugo for short story. But hey, it’s really good. In the future, medical technology has advanced to the point that almost no condition is fatal, and the body can be kept alive for a very long time. The technology is available, but very expensive. It’s funded by treating it like a dating meat market. Wealthy customers visit, have a chat with the momentarily awakened people, and if they hit it off they can pay to have them permanently cured and revived. This is the story of a woman in one of these holds, as she’s woken up for suitor after suitor.

2. Cruciger by Erin Cashier
read by Kij Johnson

I read this first in Writers of the Future. To quote Flight of the Conchords, “The humans are dead.” Well, most of them are, and the rest are preserved, in the hands of a superpowerful superintelligent robot (named Duxa) created by the last vestiges of humanity to find a planet suitable for terraforming and tear it apart to make a human-inhabitable world. But while she’s there, she makes first contact with an intelligent race of swimming tentacled beings.

3. We are Ted Tuscadero for President by Chris Dahlen
read by Cheyenne Wright

You think political advertisements are ever-present now? Imagine if Presidential candidates could make dozens of “proxies” of themselves, with their full set of memories, allowing them to be everywhere they want to be all at once. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s about a politician. I generally hate politician stories, but this one was really good, perhaps because this proxy was split off from his main self

4. The Love Quest of Smidgen the Snack Cake by Robert T. Jeschonek
read by John Cmar

Wow, Cmar has an amazing voice, unbelievably well-suited for this story. Smidgen is a snack cake, part of an intelligent sales system, meant to tempt buyers into spending money. He has no greater goal in the world other thanbeing eaten. And Cmar’s salesman voice is very convincing in the role.

5. Ò‰lan Vital by K. Tempest Bradford
read by Mur Lafferty

Have you ever wished you could’ve extended the life of a loved one who died before their time?. Â But what price would you pay?

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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