Theme and Variations
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A podcast anthology of speculative fiction with music as a theme. Science fiction, fantasy, and slipstream tales include stories of a future world where music has been lost, office workers whose embedded soundtracks direct their lives, the Martian superstar who doesn't want to play anymore, singers who can compel men to kill with the sound of their voices, and more. The eight episodes present short stories by Keyan Bowes, Ernest Hogan, Elaine Isaak, Lejon A. Johnson, Jack Mangan, Rick Novy, Lon Prater, Caroline Rhodes, and Michelle M. Welch, and some of the episodes feature performances or original music by the authors.
||CleanEpisode 1: Prelude to a Theme by Dougie Franz, by Lon Prater||Dougie Franz loves his lifetrack, the motivational implant that rewards him with scents and sounds for a job well done. When he moves up to management, though, he finds he can't go without it. Thi||4 11 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 2: Black Orchid, by Rick Novy||When depression takes a physical form, flautist Maricel must defeat the monster before it can defeat her. Featuring original music by the author.||4 11 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 3: Post-Apocalyptic Guitar in G Minor, by Caroline Rhodes||A young boy's love of music brings hope to a post-apocalyptic world. Featuring original music by the author, arranged and performed by Jack Mangan.||4 11 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 4: Song for the Sea, by Elaine Isaak||In a fortress built of shipwrecks, a young singer searches for the courage to defy a wizard's voice. A prequel to Isaak's novels The Singer's Crown, The Eunuch's Heir, and The Bastard Queen. A vers||4 11 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 5: Twelve Bar Blues, by Jack Mangan||A hot inner city night. Betrayals, lovers, and dark plans. The music reveals all secrets when brothers and friends take the stage at the Twelve Bar. Featuring original music by the author. [Explicit language]||4 11 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 6: Flash fiction double-feature||"She Shall Have Music" by Keyan Bowes: Little Tina is emitting music, bewildering her worried parents. What can it possibly be? This story appears in the forthcoming print anthology Cheer Up, Universe. // "Knell" by Lejon A. Johnson: A church bell rings i||18 11 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 7: Serenade, by Michelle M. Welch||A musician loses her ability to hear music in an accident. When an experimental technology promises to restore it, what else will she lose? Featuring music performed by the auth||2 12 2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanEpisode 8: The Rise and Fall of Paco Cohen and the Mariachis of Mars, by Ernest Hogan||The Nuzoom corporation chooses talented custodian Paco Cohen to create popular music to improve the morale of the transplanted workers of Mars, but Paco has other ideas. Featuring original music by Jack Mangan. This story originally appeared in the Apri||15 12 2009||Free||View In iTunes|