Airy Persiflage

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Archive for the 'Science Fiction' Category

Born of Man and Woman, by Richard Matheson, read by Walter O’Hara

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
spoken word, Science Fiction, Sardonic Words | Comments

Born of Man and Woman is not a pleasant story, as it depicts a child born a hideous monster in our eyes, kept chained in the cellar by his parents, where he is beaten and abused regularly.   It is, however, a memorable one, written by one of my favorite writers in the short story form, Richard Matheson, who is perhaps more famous for his television work on the Twilight Zone and other famous shows.  This is my second short-short SF piece in a row by Mr. Matheson, I'm on something of a Matheson kick recently, having just read STEEL AND OTHER STORIES, where I picked up Lemmings, the previous story. 

Born of Man and Woman is a story I read as a younger teenager-- probably 13 or so, and I recall it being in one of those Science Fiction Hall of Fame anthologies edited by Robert Silverberg.  It's one of those stories that sticks with you.. Matheson paints a vivid picture of the unnamed child's suffering by having him recount events in a broken journal form.  At the end of the story, you have to ask yourself who the real monsters are.
They’re Made Out Of Meat, by Terry Bisson

Friday, April 13th, 2012
spoken word, Humor, Science Fiction | Comments


The following amusing, short piece was written by Mr. Terry Bisson and first published in Omni Magazine in April of 1991.  This story was nominated for a Nebula Award

The full text is available on East of the Web, HERE.  Please give it a read.

The Best Christmas EVER by James Patrick Kelly

Monday, December 26th, 2011
Weird Fiction, Christmas, Science Fiction | Comments


The Best Christmas EVER was a Hugo Winning story from 2004, by James Patrick Kelly.

It tells the story of a pivotal Christmas for a man who happens to be the last man on earth.   I found it powerful, fitting for the season, and a little sad.

Enjoy, and Happy Holidays.

Professor Panini by Matthew Grigg

Monday, July 18th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, Humor, Science Fiction | Comments


In this humorous (and cautionary) tale, Matthew Grigg spins a story of a man, a duck, a cat and a toaster, and what this all has to do with Buttered Bagels.   Enjoy

One Second Away, by John L. French

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011
Weird Fiction, Science Fiction | Comments


In One Second Away, the protagonist wrestles with the ethical dimensions of time travel and redemption, and arrives at a surprising, paradoxical conclusion.  Written by John L. French, read by Walter O'Hara

"One Second Away" first appeared in Startling Stories Winter 2010, published by Wildcat Books. Their website is  John L. French is a crime scene supervisor with the Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory. As a writer of crime, pulp and horror fiction his stories have appeared in Hardboiled, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, THE DEAD WALK, FLESH AND IRON and other anthologies. He was the consulting editor for Chelsea House’s CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS series for young adults. His latest book is HERE THERE BE MONSTERS, A Bianca Jones Collection. He is the editor of BAD COP, NO DONUT, Tales of Police Behaving Badly. All of John's books are available on or direct from him (signed/inscribed copies) by emailing him at

illustration by Walter O'Hara

How the Old World Died, by Harry Harrison

Thursday, May 26th, 2011
spoken word, Weird Fiction, odd stuff, Science Fiction | Comments

How the Old World Died by Harry Harrison

A self-replicating machine is, as the name suggests, an artificial self-replicating system that relies on conventional large-scale technology and automation. Certain idiosyncratic terms are occasionally found in the literature. For example, the term "clanking replicator" was once used by Drexler[3] to distinguish macroscale replicating systems from the microscopic nanorobots or "assemblers" that nanotechnology may make possible, but the term is informal and is rarely used by others in popular or technical discussions. Replicators have also been called "von Neumann machines" after mathemetician John von Neumann, who first rigorously studied the idea.

In this short story, Harry Harrison depicts a future in a world transformed by Von Neumann machines.

Story: Harry Harrison published as This is how the world ended – and this is what will happen next! in the October 1964 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction.

Read by: Walter O'Hara

Illustration: Walter O'Hara

Ferdinand Feghoot a la Robinson, by Spider Robinson

Saturday, March 26th, 2011
Humor, Science Fiction, Feghoots | Comments

A story pun (also known as a poetic story joke or Feghoot) is a humorous short story or vignette ending in an atrocious pun (typically a play on a well-known phrase) where the story contains sufficient context to recognize the punning humor.   It can be considered a type of shaggy dog story.  The following is a Ferdinand Feghoot story written by Spider Robinson in homage of the creator, Reginald Brentnor.  It might be the only TRIPLE FEGHOOT in existence!

The Golem by Avram Davidson

Thursday, March 17th, 2011
spoken word, odd stuff, Humor, Science Fiction | Comments

In which we read a wonderful short short story by Mr. Avram Davidson, giving us a new twist on an old legend.

The original is a bit long to quote here, but you can read along at the Art-Anima site which has been kind enough to quote the text in its entirety.

Alternative, you can visit SLIDESHARE for the PDF.

I had a fun (and difficult) time conjuring up the voices for this one.  Enjoy!