PATREON As a Force of Good in the World (or: Why You Should Support Escape Artists, Inc.)

News flash.  I love short fiction podcasts.  Shocking, right?

Years ago, through the wonders of the interwebz, I became acquainted with Escape Artists, Inc. (EA to its friends) and we've been best buddies ever since.  EA produces four of my favorite podcasts:  ESCAPE PODPSEUDOPODPODCASTLECAST OF WONDERS.  I fell in love with the short fiction format, the narrators, the hosts, everything.  Since then, I've had the privilege of hearing my own work produced on three of the four shows (*shakes fist at the heavens*  I'll get an acceptance yet, ESCAPE POD!).  You can read my interview with EA owner Alasdair Stuart here.

I recently supported EA's new Patreon campaign to do such things as pay CAST OF WONDERS narrators, offer new non-fiction content, and pay PSEUDOPOD narrators directly from the Patreon campaign itself.  I thought I would share a few reasons of my own why you should become an EA supporter.

The stories.

I mean it.  On the barest shoestring of a budget, the EA podcasts have churned out more than 1800 stories over the years.  Here are but a few, all excellent starting places for new listeners or those interested in $upporting:

ESCAPE POD #400, "Rescue Party" by Arthur C. Clarke:  Read by a varied cast.  A near perfect production of the work of a master of science fiction.  This story is a must listen for any ESCAPE POD listener.

ESCAPE POD #116, "Ej-Es" by Nancy Kress:  Read by Sheri Mann Stewart.  Grief, perception, and the heartbreak of good intentions.  Well worth your time.

ESCAPE POD #561 "The Android's Prehistoric Menagerie" by A. Merc Rustad:  Read by Setsu Uzume.  Turning back Earth's biological clock to save the ancestores...and one's self.  Unexpectedly poignant.

PSEUDOPOD #155, "The Worm That Gnaws" by Orrin Grey:  Read by Ian Stuart.  My favorite PSEUDOPOD episode.  Creepy, crawly monster horror at its best.

PSEUDOPOD #287 "Final Girl Theory" by A.C. Wise:  Read by John Meagher.  An exploration of fear, horror, and the grim fantasies that lurk beneath the surface.

PSEUDOPOD #492 "The Fisher Queen" by Alyssa Wong: Read by Mae Heaney.  Dark exploration of the societal, physical, and emotional violence against women.  Trust me on this one.

PSEUDOPOD #512 "Boys" by Damien Laughlin:  Read by Phil Lunt.  What does it mean to be tough?  Some horror is terrifyingly real.

PODCASTLE #107, "The Behold of the Eye" by Hal Duncan:  Read by Marbelle.  A powerful exploration of sexuality, grief, and growing up.  Highly recommended.

PODCASTLE #379 "The Truth About Owls" by Amal El-Mohtar:  Beautiful tale of identity, magic, and belonging.  Winner of the 2015 Locus Award for Best Short Story.

PODCASTLE #67 "Kissing Frogs" by Jaye Lawrence:  Read by Phoebe Harris.  When kissing a frog doesn't work the way it should.  Well done.

CAST OF WONDERS #170, "Princesses Do Not Breathe Fire", by Sarina Dorie:  Read by a varied cast.  A fun example of a great story for all ages.  I mean, who doesn't love fire breathing princesses?

CAST OF WONDERS #246: "Old Teacups and Kitchen Witches" by Kate Baker:  Read by Karen Bovenmyer.  A gentle exploration of grief and healing.  Really enjoyed this one.

CAST OF WONDERS #18 "Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy (Pt. 1) & #19 (Pt. 2) by Willow Fagan:  Read by Marguerite Kenner and Alasdair Stuart.  Teen angst and mythical creatures.  This one had me snorting and chuckling by turns.

Everyone likes to get things for free, but creating those things takes both money and time.  So, how about it?  Check out the EA Patreon page and pledge.  With your support, even $1.00 a month, less than a cup of coffee or a bottle of soda, EA can continue to create, pay, and entertain for many stories to come.

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