I recently listened to one of the most memorable short story/audio podcasts on Escape Pod: Impossible Dreams.
The story is a fantasy genre love tale about two lonely souls meeting each other in a Video Store that shouldn't be there.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and came away from it feeling satisfied, as though everything in the story fit perfectly together, from beginning to end.
The Magnificent Ambersons. The main character is a movie buff. "He believed in movies the way some people believed in God" and this story portrayed his passion in such an earnest fashion. I did not know about Orson Welle's movie. When I finished listening to the story, I read about The Magnificent Ambersons just to see if it was real. The story behind The Magnificent Ambersons is tragic because it is infused with sense of so much potential lost. I cared so much about the protagonists in this story because I felt that their lives also seemed imbued with a sense of lost potential.
The protagonists are ordinary people in an urban 80's to 00's world. There is nothing special about them, they are lonely, they are struggling, they are trying to do the best they can. I empathised strongly with the characters because of this. The story wasn't sappy or romantic; it portrayed a burgeoning attraction that made my heart beat faster, hoping it would have the chance to grow into something more. The resolution of the story was satisfying: it painted the final details of the characters perfectly, their actions succinctly matching the images I had built up in my head for each of them.
It was simply beautiful: think of the most soulful love song you have ever heard, and you will be playing that song in your head as you think about this story later..
2007 Hugo Nominee!
"Impossible Dreams" by Tim Pratt.
Read by Matthew Wayne Selznick.
First appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, July 2006.