I have a lot of fun having podcasted stories. Both Escape Pod and Pseudopod have run stories from me in the past, and I love that they reach so many people, and that they have very active message boards where people discuss the stories.
When Revolution Time was published on Escape Pod, the message board thread ran to six pages, with off-shoot threads. My latest story on Pseudopod, meanwhile – that would be Set Down This, which first appeared in Sean Wallace and Paul Tremblay’s anthology, Phantom - has generated a four page discussion. They’re both fun to follow, diverging quite quickly from the story itself into discussions on politics and art. It’s fun to write stories that do that!
My latest audio story is “Set Down This”, read by Elan Ressel on Pseudopod. Check it out (did I say political?)
On my brother’s computer, a video file shows an American fighter plane pinpointing a group of men in Iraq.
‘Do it?’ the pilot says.
‘Ten seconds to impact.’
Where the men have been there is a huge explosion, and black smoke covers the grainy grey streets. ‘Dude,’ the pilot says.
I have no faces and no names to put to the men. The black smoke must have contained the atoms of their flesh, their bones (though bones are hardy), vaporized sweat, burnt eyebrows and pubic hair and nose hair (unless they used a trimmer, as I do), in short, the atoms of their being. Later, I think, one could find, lying in the street, a tooth or two, the end of a finger that had somehow survived, fragments of bone, a legless shoe. These men are nothing to me. They are pixels on a screen, a peer-shared digital file uploaded from sources unknown, provenance suspect, whose only note of authenticity is that young pilot’s voice when the smoke rises and he says, quietly – ‘Dude.’