by Thomas Kearnes.
“Nurse” first appeared in the now-defunct print magazine Wicked Hollow and was featured in the horror anthology TRUE DARK.
Thomas Kearnes is a 37-year-old author living in Houston, where he’s studying to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor. He has been published mainly in literary magazines, but writes horror on occasion. He has two collections of literary fiction available – PRETEND I’M NOT HERE from Musa Publishing and PROMISCUOUS from JMS Books.
Your reader – Christiana Ellis – appeared on Pseudopod recently reading Prince Of Flowers.
“Helen has been in the bathroom for fifteen minutes. Her limit is ten. She knows this. I have the contract in my purse, next to her caddy of anti-depressants and stabilizers. I will show it to her once she returns and say, ‘What did we agree upon last month? I know you like this restaurant, but if I can’t trust you here, we can’t come anymore. Do you understand?’
I watch for other women to leave the restroom, to catch the clues not even an accomplished talent like Helen can hide. Older women, their faces pinched sour with disgust and the younger ones, especially in the summer, who bolt from the room with whispers and backward glances. Poor Helen. Like most unfortunates in her position, her hard, impenetrable blindness prevents her from knowing the effect she has on others. In some ways, I prefer our afternoons or mornings in public to the interminable days in which her paranoia keeps us trapped in her home. Aided by the indulgence of others, I can trace her movements and perform my duties more easily.
I check my watch. Twenty minutes. No doubt Helen would implore me in her singsong voice, pale blue eyes darting like goldfish, that time had escaped her. This is nonsense. Those afflicted with her condition, in addition to her myriad other difficulties, have few skills, but they do possess an inborn awareness of where they are in time. This knowledge they rarely apply to their own betterment, but it is a unique gift, a grain of sand’s awareness of where the tide will next fall.
Helen’s salad sits rearranged, uneaten. One of my coworkers once joked she couldn’t understand these women who regurgitated their meals yet never ate them. What were they vomiting? You can tell from this ignorance my coworker is a poor nurse. For unfortunates like Helen, eating, like most intimate activities, was something she only could do alone. Perhaps that is what was taking so long. I believe she was at the point in her illness where she took a perverse pride in the fact she could continue her behavior without anyone trying to stop her. After all, if one makes it her mission to destroy another, someone usually will step in, but if one decides to destroy herself, most will just step aside.”
by Elizabeth Hand.
“Prince of Flowers” was Hand’s first published story. It appeared in Twilight Zone Magazine in 1988, was subsequently reprinted in The Year’s Best Horror and has appeared in various anthologies since then, as well as in her story collection LAST SUMMER AT MARS HILL. “Much of the story is drawn from my own experiences working at theSmithsonian Institution in the 1970s-1980s. I was at the National Air & Space Museum, not the National History Museum, but spent as much time in the latter as I could. In those days, a Smithsonian ID badge allowed you to access all areas — not any more, alas.”
ELIZABETH HAND is the author of numerous award-winning novels and collections of short fiction, as well as a longtime reviewer and critic whose work has appeared in theWashington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and many other publications.
As mentioned by Al, please consider throwing a few bucks to the Bobby Lombardi Fundraiser.
This panel was about managing multiple podcast streams, and featured the following panelists!
- First published first in Asimov’s, July 1996, and reprinted in the author’s collection, Binding Energy (2008).
- Get stories from this author on Amazon.com
- Discuss on our forums.
- For a list of all Escape Pod stories, authors and narrators, visit our sortable Wikipedia page
about the author…
from the author’s website… Daniel Marcus has published stories in many literary and genre venues, including Witness,Asimov’s Science Fiction, Realms of Fantasy,ZYZZYVA, and Fantasy and Science Fiction.Some of these have been collected in Binding Energy. He is the author of the novels: Burn Rate and A Crack In Everything. Daniel was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He has taught in the creative writing program at U.C. Berkeley Extension and is currently a member of the online faculty at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. He is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers’ Workshop. After a spectacularly unsuccessful career attempt as a saxophonist, Daniel earned a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Berkeley, has worked as an applied mathematician at the Lawrence Livermore Lab, the Lawrence Berkeley Lab, and Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, and has authored numerous articles in the applied mathematics and computational physics literature. Daniel then turned his attention to the private sector, where for the last 15 years, he has built and managed systems and software in a variety of problem domains and organizational settings.
about the narrator…
Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor, Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.
Those Are Pearls That Were His Eyes by Daniel Marcus
The only window in Suki’s bedroom opened onto an airshaft that ran through the center of the building like the path of a bullet. She would lie in bed in the hot summer nights with the salt smell of the drying seabed coming in through the open window, a sheen of sweat filming her forehead and plastering the sheets to her body like tissue, listening to her downstairs neighbors. When they made love, their cries echoing up through the airshaft made her loins ache, and she brought release to herself silently, visualizing men with slender, oiled limbs and faces hidden in shadow. Sometimes the neighbors sang, odd, sinuous music redolent with quarter tones. The melodies wove counterpoint like a tapestry of smoke and for some reason Suki thought of mountains. Jagged, fractal peaks thrusting out of an evergreen carpet. Summits brushed with snow. Tongues of cloud laying across the low passes. Sometimes they argued, and the first time she heard the man’s deep voice raised in anger she was sure he was a Beast, possibly an Ursa. She was less certain of the woman, but there was a sibilant, lilting quality to her voice that suggested something of the feline. They’d moved in three weeks before but their sleep cycles seemed out of sync with hers and she still hadn’t met them. Suki tried to imagine herself going downstairs to borrow something — sugar, yarn, a databead. His broad muzzle would poke out from behind the half-closed door; his liquid brown eyes would be half-closed in suspicion. They would chat for a bit, though, and perhaps he would invite her in. They would teach her their songs and their voices would rise together into the thick, warm air. Some nights there was no singing, no arguing, no love, and Suki listened to the city, a white-noise melange of machinery and people in constant flux, like the sound of the ocean captured in a shell held to the ear. Beneath that, emanating from the spaceport on the edge of the city, a low, intermittent hum, nearly subsonic, so faint it seemed to come from somewhere inside her own body. On those nights, she had trouble sleeping, and she would climb the rickety stairs to the roof. She couldn’t see the Web, of course, but she imagined she could feel it arching overhead, lines of force criss-crossing the sky. Ships rode the Web up to where they could safely ignite their fusion drives for in-system voyages, or clung to the invisible threads all the way to their convergence at the Wyrm. Newmoon hung in the sky, its progress just below the threshold of conscious perception, like the minute hands of a clock. She had visited there as a child, a creche trip, and she remembered the feel of the factories humming under her feet, the metal skin pocked with micrometeorite impacts stretching to the too-close horizon, the tingling caress of her environment field.
– See more at: http://escapepod.org/#sthash.eNVZB7sE.dpuf
In this episode of the HPR Audiobook Club Broam, Jonathan Nadeau, pokey and Christiana Ellis discuss the podiobooks.com presentation of Space Casey written and produced by Christiana Ellis. This episode contains spoilers in the second half, so please listen to the audiobook for yourself before listening to the podcast all the way through. This audiobook was liked by all of the panelists on this episode.
You can download this audiobook for free (or voluntary donation) from http://podiobooks.com/title/space-casey/
You can buy a hard copy of the script-book used by the actors in this audiobook athttp://www.lulu.com/shop/christiana-ellis/space-casey/paperback/product-15736459.html
You can buy the ebook version at http://www.lulu.com/shop/christiana-ellis/space-casey/ebook/product-17352326.html
During this show the hosts also discuss beverages.
- Broam had some driving to do after the show so he was was drinking nothing at all. More information about Broam’s beverage can be found here: file://127.0.0.1/dev/null
- Jonathan was drinking Starbucks iced coffee: www.starbucks.com/
- Christiana was drinking Reed’s Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer: http://reedsinc.com/product/flying-cauldron-butterscotch-beer/
- pokey was drinking Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Porter: http://harviestoun.com/our-beers/old-engine-oil
Our next audiobook will be Shaman Tales 1: South Coast by Nathan Lowell. It is available at podiobooks.com The direct link is: http://podiobooks.com/title/shaman-tales-1-south-coast/ This audiobook was suggested to us by Christiana Ellis, who liked it very much.
You can find more content (including podcasts) from Christiana Ellis at:
- http://christianaellis.com/?feed=podcast You can send feedback directly to Christiana via email christianaDOTellisATgmailDOTcom and as always your feedback is welcome in the comments section of every episode.
Jonathan Nadeau’s website is http://accessiblefreedom.org/
We all had a great time recording this show, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. Thank you very much for listening.
Sincerely, The HPR_AudioBookClub
P.S. Some people enjoy finding mistakes. For their enjoyment, we have included a few.
This week we’re back with a special episode collecting the winners of our recent flash fiction contest! A huge congratulations to our winners – we’re looking forward to hearing more stories from them!
“The Bear,” by Taven Moore
Read by Christiana Ellis
I narrated another story for Pseudopod, and now it’s live!
“The Murmurous Paleoscope” was originally published in THE THREE-LOBED BURNING EYE and can be read there. The story accurately reflects a few elements of 19th century fossil hunting culture: the importance of shales; the early women fossil hunters (including Mary Anning, for whom the Lens in the story is named); and the fossil “Bone Wars” of Othniel Marsh and Edward Cope, which really did get violent and excessively paranoid.
DIXON CHANCE is the “just for the joy of it” pseudonym of David Ellis Dickerson, a regular contributor to “This American Life” and other public radio shows, and the author of the memoir HOUSE OF CARDS (Riverhead 2009) about my career as a writer at Hallmark. My work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Gettysburg Review, and Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror.
This story was an enormous amount of fun. You should listen, and then donate to support the great work that Escape Artists do in Pseudopod, Escape Pod and Podcastle!
And I must say that I was utterly DELIGHTED by the way I am introduced as the narrator by Alasdair Stuart, the host:
“High Queen of Awesome and close friend of Nina Kimberly the Merciless. Evil space creatures cringe at her tread.”