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Dick, Philip K.

Roog, Philip K. Dick

I got kicked in the inspiration after that bit of Nabokov (he has that effect), and was determined to give you new stories at least weekly. I’d cleared my schedule to dedicate more time to only these more self-satisfying projects, and then, disaster struck, in the name of green-biled phlegm and rancor of bronchitis.

So, I’ve spent the past few weeks dorking off, quietly (<-- likely to the great relief of those who have to tolerate me daily). As with so many things, my voice eventually came roaring back, and so at long last, here's some PKDick, in the hopes that another hard kick comes with it. (This is a metaphor. I will kick you back.)

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Leiber, Fritz

Space-Time for Springers

Can I tell you something about my speculative fiction habits? Of course I can– this my barroom restroom wall and the red marker’s in my slimy mitt.

Here’s the thing: I just love stories about sentient animals. I can’t get enough of talking dogs or super-intelligent rats or telekinetic polar bears– this is the stuff of unconditional love. And I know the analogies presented in this trope can only go so far, sure. But I don’t care– I could start a website called Miette’s Podcasted Stories of Intelligent Animals, and be perfectly happy doing so.

As it is, looking through the archives, there’s not much represented here yet — there’s the Saki, which is hilarious, and now Leiber, which is one of those that will hopefully make you check yourself in the mirror and pucker your nose in search of a stray whisker. I have several others in mind, but meanwhile, do feel free to fill it with your suggestions as well.

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Dorman, Sonya

When I Was Miss Dow

This story was brought to my attention a few months ago, making its way inbox-ward on the anniversorry of my trip down Amniotic Lane, timing not unintentional. Now, I would share with you my thoughts on why this was selected as a Birthday Story, but that would involve psychographic profiling of the sender’s right eyebrow and a frame-by-frame comparison of my genuflection style to that of the author. And that’s just for starters.

In other words, not nearly as fun as speculation, and besides, I’m not about to give you all the information you’d need to know to perform such a task. But I will ask you this: have a listen (and keep your jaw taped up off the floor — this is a good one) and a think about it, and see what comes up. It could be worse, after all. We could be discussing politics.

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Disch, Thomas

Fun With Your New Head

A couplefew nights ago, catatonic with fatigue after a couple days of travel, I found just the right pace of entertainment watching my cat chase a furry little squeaker all around the place. My conscience wouldn’t let me object– it was nature’s way and the mouse deserved whatever was coming to it, after all… but my sense of rectitude couldn’t allow me to stay for even the chance of a bloody climax, so when the mouse was good and hidden, I went up to bed, with no idea who’d win.

The next morning, having forgotten about the whole scene thanks to a night of Thomas Disch dreams, I made the coffee and fed the cat, whose breakfast made its way back up several minutes later. And right in the middle of the mess was the cutest slick brown fur, with tail still mostly undigested.

Despite the fact that I had to clean it up, I was so proud.

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Wells, H. G.

The Red Room

So listen, about today’s story, well, as you’ll know when you listen to the first minute, I’m running low on resources at the moment, tapped, so to speak, at least, until things are nice and orderlied again. And so those willing to share might send their finds and recommendations via the Electronic Scenicroadway to miette (at) hereabouts (domain-wise). And to repay you in advance, why not check here for one of the better audio finds I’ve made in these parts. But I think for best effect, tackle tonight’s story first, OK?

Oh, and well, at the recommendation (read: incessant prodding to the point of NUISANCE, and you know who you are) of more than you than I’m able to count, fine, I’ve made a page on that web site everybody’s talking about where you can be my, well, “Friend,” if you can find me. Though I still can’t imagine why anyone would want to be on any other web site but this?

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Bradbury, Ray

I See You Never

Last night, I was thinking of what to write to you today while starting to doze off just prior to handing over the wheel. I woke up with one of those Holy Mother I’m Dozing Off kind of starts, and, as I was now more alert than usual during this leg of the trip, I made the sad discovery that what I’d read as the Bikini Avenue Exit was actually something far more G-Rated, and significantly less scandalous. Which was a drag for me, because I’ve spent months thinking, as I sleepily drove past the Bikini Avenue Exit, “well, no matter, if we break down here, I can live in a place like Bikini Avenue.” And now that I know better, you see, I’m a little nervous… what would happen were I to get stuck there, in a place NOT Bikini Avenue?

There’s a moral here somewhere, involving holding on to tired hallucinations, and applauding half-conscious on-road activity. You would probably be best to ignore it. Have a story instead!

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Goldstone, Herbert

Virtuoso

Herbert Goldstone, what are you going to tell me about him? Writes crazy sci-fi about thinking machines more human than man. This story in dozens of brilliant anthologia. Very little else to be found. The wiki draws a blank. This story is not a drop shy of Wondrous. And so, Internet, how about a little game of Be My Research Assistant?

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Lem, Stanislaw

How the World Was Saved

A delivery truck pulled out in front of me the other day, freshly deflowered by a graffiti artist who chose to express him- or herself by relaying the following, in big blue caps:

I LOVE SARAH, KINDA?

Which is nice, but only kinda. And some advice to other budding young taggers in need of epic gestures of romance: maybe you might consider keeping the paint safe in the can until you’re a little more sure of things, right?

And if that specific Sarah is reading, I’m sure he or she was just having a moment. I’m sure you’re loved, totally!

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Sheckley, Robert

On an Experience in a Cornfield

What else is a podcastress to do when a great writer dies? Sheckley wrote hundreds of exceptional stories, hundreds, and though I wouldn’t rate this one his best (I See a Man Sitting in a Chair, and the Chair is Biting His Leg rates high on my list, and very few of life’s experiences top a first glance at Can You Feel Anything When I Do This? (and I’m only just barely exaggerating)). But this one, somehow, is appropriate.

And let it be known that Miette’s Bedtime Story Podcast has a strict policy against eulogising, lecturing, or otherwise making demands of its listeners, but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll exercise regularly, live and love harmoniously, stop smoking, eat plenty of fresh fruit, listen to Brahms in the morning and Mahler before bed, and otherwise keep your ears clean and your mind sharp. Or, if you need a shortcut, read Sheckley.

New York Times Obit:
Robert Sheckley, Writer of Satirical Science Fiction, Is Dead

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