AD 020 – Goodnight Ari   May 1st, 2010

Tonight’s story covers the moral implications and drawbacks to possible advances in genetic engineering and where that could lead. It’s a very human story, with leonine characters, but that’s what we like about anthropomorphism.

Story “Goodnight Ari” by Steven Crane

Read by Chris Hvidsten of the Outcast Novel Podcast

Music cues by Infinity Squared

Additional music from the Podsafe Music Network

Download or listen to the episode here.

Pseudopod – Oded the Merciless   April 14th, 2010

Artificial and cybernetic constructs make for interesting characters because they offer the ability to glimpse into a non-human intelligence. Oded the Merciless by Tina Starr is a good albeit dark example of that.

While it doesn’t have any animal characters in it, the story makes good use of anthropomorphism. The computer AI is an intriguing and disturbing character which allows atrocities to be carried out first by passive limitations of  its programming and then actively with dark experimentation on the nature of the human condition.

Warning: Pseudopod is a horror podcast and the story has strong horror elements of the visceral and psychological, and is for fans of the genre and not for the faint of heart.

The Drabblecast, the strange-fiction podcast, had a wonderful theme for March. They celebrated Women’s History month with stories by women authors and featuring female characters, plus they threw in aliens,  because aliens are cool.

It’s not a simple gimic though. It’s a wonderful collection of fiction covering both our world and those so very different. There are alien worlds ans cultures awash in issues of politics and families and battles big and small fought as worlds collide. House cats fight off tiny invaders and a woman struggles to read the Tarot for a reptilian overlord in order to save her life. Those and other stories are linked below.

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Escape Pod, the science-fiction podcast magazine has two new episodes with anthropomorphic characters in them.

His Master’s Voice is an interesting look at genetic engineering and uplifted animals.

And Littleblossom Makes a Deal With the Devil is a war drama, complete with AI battle tanks and intelligent missiles.

Different Worlds, Different Skins   December 20th, 2009

different_skins_cover_webDifferent Worlds, Different Skins
Humanity’s Encounters with Other Races

Print Book, $17.95, available from Amazon and Lulu.

Download a sample of the book here.

What if humanity shared Earth with other sentient species? What would first contact with an alien race be like? What wonders or horrors could be wrought by our experiments to create new life-forms, both biologic and mechanical?

This anthology is rated general interest. There are a few stories which cover concepts of romantic love and sex, violence and death, however nothing explicit is shown “on screen.” The ratings of the stories range from G to PG-13.

This anthology examines these ideas, showing humanity’s interaction with the Other, in the form of anthropomorphic animals. The stories cover diverse genres, from science fiction and fantasy, to historical fiction and contemporary fables, exploring themes of race and culture and the endless possibilities of the human condition.

Featuring Stories by Michael Bard, Austen Crowder, Bernard Doove, Seth Drake, William Eakins, Lanny Fields, Phil Geusz, Jason Gillespie, Chris Goodwin, Searska Grey Raven, Renee Carter Hall, Stefan Kaiser, James R. Lane, Alan Loewen, Paul Lucas, Eric Luhman, Brian Miller, Ken Pick, J. Scott Rogers, Will A. Sanborn, Kris Schnee, Sean Silva, Tim Susman and Wookie.

Cover artwork by Sara “Caribou” Palmer.