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LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)
69 minutes | 11 days ago
An Owomoyela | The Equations of the Dead
The boyo working the transmitter doesn’t look like much, except his face is radiant. Radiant, like one of those pooka upworld adverts for neural templates. Dopamine-druggy, but lucid. Like he’s in love. Boyo also looks like he hasn’t spoken to a human in days, and like aside from the food allotments he doesn’t have a lick of capital. His clothes have that washed-while-wearing look, and they’re homespun; no fancy imported fabrics or styles. You’d walk away from this jondo in the market. | Copyright 2021 by An Owomoyela. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
20 minutes | 25 days ago
Sarah Grey | Brightly, Undiminished
Witchcraft is a gift. Imelda would wave her steel spoon at Mercer and insist on this as he measured ingredients for her, whether she was boiling potions or a pot of farfalle pasta. Watch the salt, a teaspoon only, never pour too much. Don’t overheat the sauce. Bottle the hawks’ gizzards separate from the basilisks’. Never half-ass a gift, Mercy. Her perpetual imperative. Mercer is alone now. His hands are unsteady---they’ve shaken like a drunkard’s since they held Imelda as she passed---and he is no witch. | Copyright 2021 by Sarah Grey. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
23 minutes | a month ago
Claire Wrenwood | Homecoming
Only when Marlo and her mother have followed the attendants through the faux-marble foyer and into the room filled with diffusers and soft jazz and laid down on the massage tables covered in crisp, clean-smelling sheets; only when someone has placed a cool gel pack over Marlo’s eyes and set something against her skin that starts kneading, a familiar, needling motion that ignites a distant spark of recognition within her; only then does Marlo understand where her mother has taken her. She pushes back her eye mask and sits up. | Copyright 2021 by Claire Wrenwood. Narrated by Judy Young.
34 minutes | 2 months ago
Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Beauty
It has become increasingly clear to your guidebook writers that the beauty of any destination should be measured not simply by the magnificence of its architecture or the lushness of its landscape, but by the splendor that its citizens collectively produce. In cities where mayors make sure flowers are planted every spring and the baker sends us off with a free roll, the streetlamps are bound to burn brightly with the warmth of welcome. In fact, the wonderful time we’ve had in any destination was due almost entirely to the kindness of those we encountered along the way. | Copyright 2021 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
27 minutes | 2 months ago
Phoebe Barton | The Mathematics of Fairyland
If you had a warp drive, it would be easy. The mathematics are strange the way ley lines are strange, invisible yet divinable. You’ve pulled your way up sterner mountains, fingertip by fingertip. You’ve already compensated for stellar motion, spacetime curvature, hyperspatial congruences. You’ve scratched out hundreds of equations in cold blue hyacinth ink and piled them away in the knitted stocking under your bed, where only Berenice would think to look. Equations that would tell you exactly where to slice a hole between worlds, if only you had the right knife. | Copyright 2021 by Phoebe Barton. Narrated by Judy Young.
48 minutes | 3 months ago
D. Thomas Minton | The Memory Plague
In the beginning, we are one, and we are ignorance. Our skin is chaffed tender from the womb-sac and the exit ring. Out, we writhe blindly in the grit that cuts our softness until the dryness of the air hardens us. Slowly, receptors awaken. Muted colors curve across the night, outlining the glistening ribs of the drop chamber arcing over us like planetary rings. Instinctually, we grope through the hard stillness. Our tac-pads draw against lines of unmoving flesh, cold like a memory of interstellar vacuum. A dome of skin radiates faint warmth. | 2021 by D. Thomas Minton. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
16 minutes | 3 months ago
Adam-Troy Castro | Answering the Questions You Might Have About the Kharbat
You have just been attacked by a Kharbat. It has sprung on you from hiding, in some place where you foolishly imagined yourself safe; and even as its many glittering fangs sink deep into the flesh and bone of your shoulder, you know that any attempt to save yourself is futile, that you were always fated to perish in this way, and this beast was always fated to usher you screaming into the world of the dead. What is a Kharbat? I don’t know. Why am I asking you? I am the world’s leading expert. | Copyright 2021 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
25 minutes | 4 months ago
P H Lee | Ann-of-Rags
I have heard it on the rumors that when the tale-spinner’s guild gathers in their secret places, a full half of them are sworn to never tell the truth, and the other half to never tell a lie, even if it mean their life. Being one of that trade myself, I can tell you that that’s more or less the shape of it, and I tell you so you’ll know that this tale I tell you is true, just as I heard it and just as it happened, for I am one of the ones sworn to the truth. The name I’m called is Dusty Boots, I come from the valley of Erwhile, and I am in love with a girl that I can never have. Copyright 2020 by P H Lee. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
46 minutes | 4 months ago
Andrew Dana Hudson | Your Mind is the Superfund Site
“Ever consider killing yourself?” the gecko said. “It’ll save you one hundred percent on your car insurance.” I was alone, but not. I tried to step on the creature, but my foot wasn’t there. I clenched my teeth, which felt like water. Alleyah’s Southie accent crackled a reminder of radio. “Tracey, are you paralucid yet? Need another poke of DMT?” I was back in high school---or somebody’s high school. The classrooms were vintage Sears catalogs and a spruce tree that grew sideways---not in a directional sense but just with a profound association with the concept of sideways. I climbed the tree and then fell. | Copyright 2020 by Andrew Dana Hudson and C. Y. Ballard. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
14 minutes | 5 months ago
Kat Howard | The Lachrymist
It is not the dust that brings her tears. The Lachrymist’s house is dusty, fragments of time and memory fallen everywhere, a living blanket that drapes itself over tables and chairs and things even stranger. But time and memory are to be expected anywhere the dead gather, and even in this abundance, they do not drive her to weeping. Neither is her weeping caused by the voices, calling to each other from shadowy ceiling corners, memories still embodied, repeating phrases into the cold air. | Copyright 2020 by Kat Howard. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
42 minutes | 5 months ago
Gene Doucette | Schrödinger’s Catastrophe [Part 2]
It took twice as long to get to the third deck from the first as it did to get to the first deck from the fifth. Alice was quite certain there was no mechanism in existence capable of adding fractional decks to the ship, and so was chalking this up to another aspect of the ongoing computer malfunction. She supposed a way to validate this was to ask that the elevator stop at, say, deck two-and-five-sixteenths, but she also didn’t want to encourage the computer’s departures from reality any more than necessary. | Copyright 2020 by Gene Doucette. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
Gene Doucette | Schrödinger’s Catastrophe [Part 1]
Things began to go badly for the crew of the USFS Erwin around the time Dr. Marchere’s coffee mug spontaneously reassembled itself. Dr. Louis Marchere was not, at that moment, conducting some manner of experiment. Well, he was, only not on entropy and the nature of time. He was running several other tests, of the kind that make perfect sense on a scientific vessel such as the Erwin. About half of them were biological in nature, concerning how small samples of cellular material react to certain deep-space factors. | Copyright 2020 by Gene Doucette. Narrated by Justine Eyre, Stefan Rudnicki.
24 minutes | 6 months ago
Naomi Kanakia | Everquest
Gopal knew before he booted up the game---a Christmas present from his dad---that his character would be some form of elf or human, because the other races were all ugly, and he didn’t play games to be ugly. And he knew too, although he didn’t say it, that his character would be a girl. He always played girls online, although he’d be ashamed if anyone knew it, precisely because it played into the online belief that most girls in most games were “really” men. | Copyright 2020 by Naomi Kanakia. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
20 minutes | 6 months ago
Jenny Rae Rappaport | Everything and Nothing
Start with a romance: a man and a woman who are wildly and irrevocably in love with each other. Or two men. Or two women. Or two people, because life is beautiful and complex. Just know that these Lovers are important. The fate of the galaxy rests on their shoulders---because, of course, the fate of an entire portion of known space can be determined by two people in love. The laws of physics are remarkably vulnerable to the laws of love. | Copyright 2020 by Jenny Rae Rappaport. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
47 minutes | 6 months ago
Caroline M. Yoachim | The Shadow Prisoner’s Dilemma
Vivian sat at a café opposite Cass. Everything around her had a gritty, dingy quality. Even Cass looked run down, their face deeply tanned and distressingly wrinkled. They were old now, many decades past being the child that Vivian remembered. She looked down at her hands, so different than the black shadows that she’d grown accustomed to seeing during all her years as a Shade---the skin was covered in age spots and hung loose on the bones. | 2020 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Originally published in OR ELSE THE LIGHT, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
22 minutes | 6 months ago
Stephanie Malia Morris | Forty Acres and a Mule
My parents’ farm has shrunk, as old things tend to do. The shed, the workshop, the paddock with its doubled wire fences and chicken coop---all squat and rain-blackened, coming into focus as I step from the car as if I have put on glasses or wiped rain from a window. The house itself stands straight-spined beyond the pear tree, gray in the drizzle, more withdrawn than the last time I visited. The tree has not changed. | Copyright 2017 by Stephanie Malia Morris. Previously published in FIYAH. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
23 minutes | 7 months ago
Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam | Entanglement
Narrated by Judy Young.
30 minutes | 7 months ago
Karen Joy Fowler | Persephone of the Crows
Isabelle Winters once saw a fairy. For real. It was little, like a hummingbird, with a hummingbird’s frantic wings, and it was moving through the garden, shaking the rosebuds open for the bees. She’s just told this to Polly, though not exactly in those words. The sarcastic for real, for instance, is all Polly. If there was ever a girl primed to see fairies, Isabelle Winters is that girl. | Copyright 2017 by Karen Joy Fowler. Originally published in ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Judy Young.
47 minutes | 7 months ago
Caroline M. Yoachim | Shadow Prisons of the Mind
With the right overlays, the city was charming---apartment buildings done up like giant row houses, seamlessly blending Victorian and modern sensibilities, boutiques and cafés on tree-lined streets, parks bathed in sunshine. Vivian Watanabe had lived on this block, once, in a high-rise apartment painted cornflower blue with trim in teal and white. She couldn’t see it now, not the way she used to. | Copyright 2020 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Previously published in BURN THE ASHES, edited by John Joseph Adams, Christie Yant, and Hugh Howey. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
46 minutes | 8 months ago
Adam-Troy Castro | The Author’s Wife vs. the Giant Robot
The year I turned five, my father got taken out by a giant robot. I was present and I took it very personally. You honestly don’t expect that kind of thing when you’re a kid, not even if you’ve seen the giant robot from a distance every day of your life and have been taught what random carnage the giant robot got up to. I had grown to that tender age knowing that the giant robot killed people at the rate of one a day. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
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