Saturday, May 10, 2014

Something I Heard: A Trio of Science Fiction Podcasts for Mother’s Day

Here are three Mother’s Day-themed science fiction stories from Lightspeed Magazine and Escape Pod.
“Conditional Love” by Felicity Shoulders was podcast February 11, 2011, at Escape Pod and read by Mur Lafferty (runtime 43:16). It takes place in a care facility for illegally genetically engineered children (or, more aptly, mis-engineered children) where a doctor meets a young boy who wakes up every morning and imprints on the first adult he sees. “Conditional Love” was a 2010 Nebula Award nominee.
“The Thing about Shapes to Come” by Adam-Troy Castro was podcast by Lightspeed Magazine January 2014 and read by Gabrielle de Cuir (runtime 47:00). This is a weird but touching story about a woman who gives birth to and raises a cube. Adam-Troy Castro also wrote “My Wife Hates Time Travel,” which I recommended as a Valentine’s Day story.
Finally, there’s “Raising Jenny” by Janni Lee Simner podcast at Escape Pod September 16, 2010, and read by Mur Lafferty (runtime 50:43). In it, a young woman accedes to her dying mother’s wish to give birth to her clone. She means to give little Jenny the support and freedom she felt she never got from her mother, but not turning into one’s own mother is a tricky thing, particularly in this case.

Now if you want a Mother’s Day-themed science fiction movie, you can’t go wrong with James Cameron’s 1986 classic Aliens with its climactic battle between Sigourney Weaver trying to protect a little girl and the alien queen trying to protect hundreds of its eggs.

Meanwhile, the only “Mother” in the original Alien is the Nostromo’s AI, which has been programmed to bring back a live alien even if it kills the entire crew. In 1979, Alien was the first R-rated movie I’d ever been to. My mom took me.

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