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AE Reads Skiffily
Science fiction stories with added sound effects
Category: Literature
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AE is a literature enthusiast with a heart of gold and a love of science fiction. He originally comes from Fresno, California, ...


by AE uSoes1
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June 05, 2018 06:50 AM PDT

Time travelers are the worst friends. This episode features "10^16 to 1" by James Patrick Kelly (jimkelly.net) originally published in the June 1999 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, ultimately winning the 2000 Hugo Award for Best Novelette. This story is about a young teen who befriends a time traveling robot from a terrifying future.

After reading the story, AE and girlfriend Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) discuss whether they would've gone through with Ray's mission.

Some of the music comes from Looperman (looperman.com), specifically users baroza, suicidecc5702, minor2go, josephfunk, chrisneal, danke, and kiestyleproeductions. Otherwise, the source of Music: http://www.purple-planet.com. Great thanks to them for providing that royalty free. Follow the show on Facebook (@Skiffilypodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow AE (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

"10^16 to 1" Copyright © 1999 James Patrick Kelly, reproduced with permission from the author.

April 24, 2018 06:40 AM PDT

Who needs kids, anyway? This episode features "The Children of Crèche" by James Alan Gardner (jamesalangardner.com). Originally an entry in the 1989 Writers of the Future Contest (where it won Grand Prize) and later anthologized in Gardner's 2005 book, Gravity Wells, this story is about an art critic who comes to an isolated colony of artists able to flourish artistically because they didn't have to take care of children. 

After reading (dramatizing?) the story, AE and girlfriend Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) discuss what happens to art when its creation comes from something terrible.

Some of the music comes from Looperman (looperman.com), specifically users Garuketo, sushilbawa, MINOR2GO, and CallMeKing. Otherwise, the source of Music: http://www.purple-planet.com. Great thanks to them for providing that royalty free. Follow the show on Facebook (@Skiffilypodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow AE (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

"The Children of Crèche" Copyright © 1989 James Alan Gardner, reproduced with permission from the author.

February 13, 2018 10:00 AM PST

Get ready to listen to the wettest science fiction story ever featured on AE Reads Skiffily. This episode's story, "The Long Rain” by Ray Bradbury (originally published in the September 1950 issue of Planet Stories and later anthologized in Bradbury’s 1951 collection The Illustrated Man), is about some soldiers who crash on a rainy planet Venus, all of them having forgotten to bring an umbrella. After reading the story, AE (IG: @SkiffilyPodcastFB: @SkiffilyPodcast, Tw: @SkiffilyPodcast) and girlfriend Mona (IG: @sewagainsthegrain) discuss the relevance of a story that has become scientifically accurate now that we know Venus is inhospitable.

Some of the music comes from Looperman (looperman.com), specifically users Fayz, 3rdnipplemusic, callmeking, therealnickwood, and acoustic678. Much love to them for providing that royalty free. 

November 20, 2017 11:00 AM PST

In this episode, AE and girlfriend Mona join with Mona's sister, Sara, to read "Stuffing" by Jerry Oltion (jerryoltion.com). First published in the 2006 Mammoth Book of Extreme Science Fiction , this story is about a group of photosynthetic humans who decide to rediscover eating just in time for the holidays.  
Get your ears ready, sit back, and relax (unless you are driving) and enjoy this Thanksgiving/Christmas episode

The science fiction works mentioned in the post-reading discussion include: 

  • "Hair" (2009) by Adam Roberts, a story about the development of photosynthesetic hair, which rebalances the class dynamic by easing the burden of poverty.
  • "Oral Argument" (2015) by Kim Stanley Robinson, which has the same premise but it's tattoos instead of hair.

Follow the show on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain), myself (@SkiffilyPodcast), and Mona's sister Sara (@sqafisheh). 

"Stuffing" Copyright © 2006 Jerry Oltion, reproduced with permission from the author.

October 20, 2017 09:00 AM PDT

When all our needs are met, the remaining problems become more frivolous. In this episode, AE and girlfriend Mona read "Utopia, Lol" by Jamie Wahls (jamiewahls.com). Originally published in the June 2017 issue of Strange Horizons, this story is about a cryogenically frozen man waking up to a digital utopian future and the guide who helps him.

Sit back and get ready for a Halloween episode that is tangentially related to Halloween. You can read along to the story here: http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/utopia-lol. You can also listen to Anaea Lay's reading of the story here: http://strangehorizons.com/podcasts/podcast-utopia-lol

Some of the music comes from Looperman (looperman.com), specifically users alayan10, cheesydjanonymouse, auver, and romanul12341 (all used in the LOTR U sequence). Otherwise, the source of Music: http://www.purple-planet.com. Great thanks to them for providing that royalty free. Follow the show on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) and myself (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

September 12, 2017 12:00 PM PDT

Addiction comes in many forms, including strange monstrous beings. In this episode, AE and girlfriend Mona read the "A Greater Power" by Benjamin Crowell (lightandmatter.com). Originally published in the Spring 2008 issue of Electric Spec, this story is about a guy who becomes addicted to a tentacle monster.  After reading the story, Mona and AE also weigh in some of the issues brought up in the story, particularly addiction and the 1980s setting.  
Sit back and get ready for a Halloween Eve Month episode. You can read along to the story here: http://www.electricspec.com/Volume3/Issue1/Crowell.html

Show Notes:  

The science fiction works mentioned in the post-reading discussion include: 

  • "The Game" (1991) from Star Trek: The Next Generation (season five, episode six), where everyone gets addicted to a VR game.
  • Dune (1965) by Frank Herbert, which features Melange, an addictive narcotic that makes people  smarter and long-lived.
  • Blood Music (1985) by Greg Bear, where a bacterial infection makes a scientist smarter and stronger.
  • "Parasites Lost" (2001) from Futurama (season three, episode 2), where a colony of parasitic worms make Fry smarter and stronger.
  • Phenomenon (1996), where John Travolta has a brain tumor that makes him smarter and telekinetic.

Some of the music comes from Looperman (looperman.com), specifically user ajayluded7, so mad props to them for providing that royalty free. Also featured briefly is "Hot Stuff" (1979) by Donna Summer. Follow the show on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) and myself (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

"A Greater Power" Copyright © 2008 Benjamin Crowell, reproduced with permission from the author. This work is created under the terms of a self-service license given at lightandmatter.com. Benjamin Crowell, the original creator from whom this work is derived, has not reviewed or approved it, though he is compensated for its sale.

August 15, 2017 08:40 AM PDT

Viruses are way worse with virtual reality hardware. In this episode, AE, Mona, as well as newcomer Robert Valenzuela, read the topical story "Pay Phobetor" by Shale Nelson (shalenelson.com). Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Lightspeed Magazine, this story is about a ransomware virus infecting someone's brain implant. 

You can read along here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/pay-phobetor/

After reading the story, Mona and AE also weigh in some of the issues brought up in the story, particularly the threat of too much dependence on technology. 

Now, get ready for what is probably the best episode yet. In the words of the story, "Find a safe place to sit, away from moving objects and other hazards. Remember, think-apping while walking or driving is dangerous and unlawful."

Show Notes: 

Some of the music comes from Purple Planet (http://www.purple-planet.com), so mad props to them for providing that license-free.

Follow the show on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) and myself (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

Robert has a photography portfolio that you can check out at robertvalenzuela15.wixsite.com/valenzuelaphoto

July 12, 2017 09:05 PM PDT

It's like Lost in Translation, but on an alien planet. In this episode, AE and Mona Read David D. Levine's Hugo award winning "Tk'tk'tk" originally published in the March 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. The story is about a man failing to succeed as a salesman on an alien planet. As was the case with the previous episode, Mona and AE also weigh in some of the issues brought up in the story, particularly culture shock. So get in your car, sit back, and enjoy. But also drive. Don't be reckless.

Follow the show on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) and myself (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

June 04, 2017 12:02 PM PDT

In war, soldiers get eaten up and spat out. In this episode's story, "Her Husband's Hands" by Adam-Troy Castro, a woman's soldier husband is killed in combat, but brought back via digital backup to operate what is left of his body, the eponymous hands.

Episode 7 features another first for AE Reads Skiffily; after reading the scifi story, Mona and AE discuss some of its content and weigh in on issues the brought up in the story, such as whether a copy of you can really be youand how people respond to grief. You can see the show notes in my blog post if you would like to follow up on the pieces mentioned in this discussion (http://aeusoes1.blogspot.com/2017/06/ae-reads-skiffily-episode-7-her.html#show_notes) You can also read along to the story here: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/fiction/her-husbands-hands/

Follow this science fiction podcast on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) and myself (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

"Her Husband's Hands" Copyright © 2011 Adam-Troy Castro, reproduced with permission from the author.

April 07, 2017 12:48 PM PDT

Does the difference between natural and artificial matter when they are indistinguishable? In Episode 5, AE and Mona read "Beneath Impossible Circumstances" by Andrea Kneeland, first published in the April 2012 issue of Strange Horizons. In this story, a lesbian cyborg tries to deal with her wife's desires for a "natural" baby. You can read along here http://strangehorizons.com/fiction/beneath-impossible-circumstances/

Follow this science fiction podcast on Facebook (@SkiffilyPodcast) and Twitter (@SkiffilyPodcast). If you have Instagram, feel free to follow Mona (@sewagainsthegrain) and myself (@SkiffilyPodcast). 

"Beneath Impossible Circumstances" Copyright © 2012 Andrea Kneeland, reproduced with permission from the author

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