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The Screwfly Solution
by James Tiptree, Jr.
AP/Nassau: The excursion liner Carib Swallow reached port under tow today after striking an obstruction in the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras. The obstruction was identified as part of a commercial trawler’s seine floated by female corpses. This confirms reports from Florida and the Gulf of the use of such seines, some of them over a mile in length. Similar reports coming from the Pacific coast and as far away as Japan indicate a growing hazard to coastwise shipping.
About the Author
James Tiptree Jr. was the pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon (1915-1987). She was a photo-intelligence officer in WWII as well as a CIA agent, which formed the bulk of her career before academia. This experience was influential on her stories, including her in-depth understanding of national and international responses to crises. After her career with the CIA, she achieved a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967, and her doctoral dissertation was on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. You can see this reflected in her work, notably “The Screwfly Solution.” It was at this time that she started writing science fiction stories under a pseudonym to protect her new academic career, and chose a male name to fit in better at the magazines. In addition to James Tiptree, she published under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon. Tiptree also won two more Nebulas, two Hugos, and a World Fantasy Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. In 1991, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award was named in her honor, and recognizes speculative fiction that expands or explores our understanding of gender. “The Screwfly Solution” was later collected in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. If you only pick up one Tiptree collection, and you should, this is a great place to start.
About the Narrators
Jairus Durnett is a middle-man: middle aged, middle child, living in the middle of the United States. After living most of his life in such exotic locations as Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee, he relocated to Chicagoland where he spends time working in corporate America. Jairus is a lifelong skeptic who loves reading stories of fantasy and the paranormal – both silently and aloud.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and heliocentrist George Hrab has written and produced six independent CDs and a concert DVD; published two books; and has recorded hundreds of episodes of The Geologic Podcast. He’s traveled to four continents promoting critical thinking, science, and skepticism through story and song. George is considered one of the preeminent skeptic/science/atheist/geek-culture music icons currently living in his apartment.
The New York City premiere of George’s composition for string quartet and voice called “The Broad Street Score” will be on May 12th, 2016 at NECSS, the North East Conference for Science and Skepticism.
Rish Outfield is a writer, voice actor, and audiobook narrator. He got his start co-hosting The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine and That Gets My Goat podcasts, where he and Big Anklevich attempt to waste time entertainingly. He also features his own stories on the Rish Outcast podcast. He once got a job because of his Sean Connery impersonation . . . but has lost two due to his Samuel L. Jackson impression.
Mat Weller is the servant to a lovely family in eastern Pennsylvania. After his wife and kids go to sleep at night, he sometimes re-watches old episodes of X-Files on Netflix and other times retires to his basement booth where he records noises that get played on the Internet. Rumor has it he also makes delightful chocolate chip cookies.
Oh, and in October 2014, he beat Metroid II for the first time since 1991.
Mat had the honor of producing for Escape Pod from 2010 to 2016. He is also a graphic designer, an amateur voice actor, an amateur father, and he narrates a growing catalog of books for ACX