3 Favorite Tales: 2 New & 1 Old


My iPod touch is never very far from me.  I’m always listening either to a great story or to a podcast that will give me tips on how to craft one.

I wanted to share three podcasts that I’ve added to my list of favorites.  The next time you’re in a listening mood, you can check them out.

1. Clarkesworld: The Womb Factory by Peter M. Ferenczi (April 2012) 

“The Womb Factory” was an awesome tale that managed to be timely and touching all at once.  It speaks to our current political and social climate regarding trade relations with China as well as issues of infringement and piracy.  Then there is Mei, the main character, a young girl, who due to unfortunate circumstances is forced to give up so much of herself in order to earn her right to live.  And yet, what she has can hardly be considered a life.  Mei’s sentiments and emotions carry this heavy tale so well you can feel them just as keenly.  Politics aside, this story is also about issues even closer to home such as how we value each other, right down to the most basic human level. What is a life worth?  Does money, status, race, or gender play any part in determining one’s value?  Should it?  “The Womb Factory” is a masterpiece and I plan on listening to it again.

2. Escape Pod 339: “Run,” Bakri Says by Ferrett Steinmetz (April 5, 2011) 

Breathless.  This story left me breathless.  The pacing is ingenious, frenzied, painful.  The main character, Irena has a job to do, over and over and over again.  In this awesome tale, Irena has the opportunity or the curse of having to repeat a task until she reaches her goal.  Like video games, she has a save point, but unlike video games, her task is hardly fun or rewarding.  Fortunately the repetition gives Irena the time and experience to reach some rather painful and gruesome realizations, as well as improve her game.  Unfortunately, these realizations force her hand.  Intrigued yet?  You should be.

3. Clarkesworld: Frozen Voice by An Owomoyela (July 2011) 

I wanted more.  I wanted to know how we came to this.  When the story was over, I wanted to know what would happen to these children.  I ached for these children.  An Owomoyela managed to create such a full and wondrous world in this story that it was difficult to accept its end.  Additionally, Rhianna and her younger brother are such strong, solitary, yet fragile children it was impossible for me not to fret about their condition and their future.  This story has just about everything that I love all wrapped up in one: aliens, a future dystopian society, a blending of cultures and understandings, and description so keen you can almost smell it.

* I wanted to share that this site was mentioned on Clarkesworld’s podcast of 03/15/12 in the intro to Bells of Subsidence by Michael John Grist. What a wonderful surprise!