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LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton Reads
LeVar Burton and Stitcher

The best short fiction, handpicked by the best voice in podcasting. In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek)... more

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Episodes

"The King of Bread" by Luis Alberto Urrea

A boy discovers his father's hidden kingdom. This story appears in the anthology Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories,... more

29 Nov 2022 · 48 minutes
"Family Cooking" by Ana Maria Curtis

A tale of complicated family relationships and magical cooking. This story was first published in Uncanny Magazine.

22 Nov 2022 · 45 minutes
"Down in the Dim Kingdoms" by Tobias Buckell

An adventurer carried back spoils from a journey to the center of the earth. Now, his family joins him on... more

15 Nov 2022 · 44 minutes
"#ClimbingNation" by Kim Fu

When an Instagram-famous rock climber comes to an untimely death, his friends and admirers gather to memorialize him. This story appears... more

08 Nov 2022 · 49 minutes
"I Was a Teenage Space Jockey" by Stephen Graham Jones

While on a quest to beat the high score at his local arcade, a sixth grader has an unusual, life-altering... more

01 Nov 2022 · 43 minutes
We're Back for Season 11!

LeVar Burton Reads is back November 1st with stories from Stephen Graham Jones, Kim Fu, Tobias Buckell and more, in... more

25 Oct 2022 · 3 minutes
Immersive Remix: "Multo" by Samuel Marzioli

A man remembers a supernatural force from his childhood.

25 Oct 2022 · 39 minutes
Immersive Remix: "Fantaisie Impromptu No. 4 in C#min, Op. 66” by Carlos Hernandez

A reporter travels to Miami to investigate the fringes of science and faith. This story appears in THE ASSIMILATED CUBAN'S... more

18 Oct 2022 · 49 minutes
Immersive Remix: "Your Rover is Here" by LP Kindred

A rideshare driver must spring into action when his passenger casts a dangerous and deadly spell. Content advisory: explicit language,... more

11 Oct 2022 · 39 minutes
An Update! Plus Immersive Remix: "The Story We Used to Tell" by Shirley Jackson

LeVar Burton Reads is coming back! Plus, an immersive remix of Shirley Jackson's story about a recently widowed woman who... more

04 Oct 2022 · 34 minutes
Immersive Remix: "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu

A new immersive remix of a season one classic. An immigrant mother tries to bond with her American-born son by... more

12 Apr 2022 · 53 minutes
"Afterlife" by Stephen King

William Andrews, an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, dies on September 23, 2012, and finds himself confronted with his life... more

01 Mar 2022 · 47 minutes
"The Last Truth" by AnaMaria Curtis

This week: the first place winner of the LeVar Burton Reads writing contest, as co-presented by FIYAH Literary Magazine and... more

22 Feb 2022 · 57 minutes
"Troll Bridge" by Terry Pratchett

An aging barbarian sets out to battle a bridge troll, mano a mano, and thus prove his mettle. “Troll Bridge”... more

15 Feb 2022 · 38 minutes
"John Dillinger and the Blind Magician" by Allison M. Dickson

Public Enemy Number One, John Dillinger, looks to escape the feds with the help of a cunning wizard. Content advisory: Gunfire

08 Feb 2022 · 49 minutes
"Open House on Haunted Hill" by John Wiswell

A sentient house, haunted by its own loneliness, exercises its powers on a skeptic. This story was published by Diabolical... more

01 Feb 2022 · 32 minutes
"The Final Performance of the Amazing Ralphie" by Pat Cadigan

An AI-controlled avatar built to entertain patients in deep space performs innocuous magic tricks for patients... until one day, he... more

25 Jan 2022 · 48 minutes
Immersive Remix: "The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex" by Tobias S. Buckell

Get a sneak peek of our immersive sound! A cab driver spends an ordinary day ferrying passengers around Manhattan --... more

18 Jan 2022 · 42 minutes
"The Placement Agency" by Tobias Buckell

What's the weirdest temp job you can imagine? One outside time and space... This story appears in Tobias Buckell's collection SHOGGOTHS... more

11 Jan 2022 · 40 minutes
"To Jump is to Fall" by Stephen Graham Jones

A spy narrates his thoughts as he jumps from an airplane and freefalls toward his government target. If you enjoyed this... more

04 Jan 2022 · 32 minutes
"Drones to Ploughshares" by Sarah Gailey

A sentient government surveillance drone is ensnared, and must determine his captor's motives. For more from Sarah Gailey, visit www.sarahgailey.com.

28 Dec 2021 · 43 minutes
"The Usual Santas" by Mick Herron

A group of mall Santas celebrating Christmas Eve discover that there is a stranger in their midst. "The Usual Santas" appears... more

21 Dec 2021 · 38 minutes
"Different People" by Timothy Mudie

A man begins a relationship with a woman who has fled from a disintegrating parallel universe. For more from the... more

14 Dec 2021 · 49 minutes
"The Wishing Pool" by Tananarive Due

When Joy revisits her family's old cabin, she's reminded of childhood memories of a pond in the woods and its... more

07 Dec 2021 · 43 minutes
Season 10 Announcement and a Q&A!

LeVar Burton Reads is back December 7th, featuring work from Tananarive Due, Stephen Graham Jones and Sarah Gailey, a winter holiday... more

30 Nov 2021 · 9 minutes
Revisited (Halloween Edition!): "Singing on a Star" by Ellen Klages

A kindergartner travels through a portal to a fantastic and eerie new world. This story appears in Ellen's collection WICKED... more

26 Oct 2021 · 49 minutes
Revisited: "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience TM" by Rebecca Roanhorse

A tour guide leads virtual reality “experiences” for tourists who want to know what it’s like to be Native American.... more

19 Oct 2021 · 56 minutes
Revisited: "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu

An immigrant mother tries to bond with her American-born son by creating a magical paper menagerie. This story appears in... more

12 Oct 2021 · 49 minutes
"On the Lonely Shore" by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

A young woman is hired to look after an ailing man who's been ostracized by his family and sent to... more

07 Sep 2021 · 39 minutes
"Tía Abuela's Face, Ten Ways" by Lisa M. Bradley

An anthropologist copes with the passing of her beloved tía abuela, experimenting with her own method of honoring her. This... more

31 Aug 2021 · 34 minutes
"Shock of Birth" by Cadwell Turnbull

A man questions his current existence -- and the life he remembers from before. Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction,... more

24 Aug 2021 · 39 minutes
"Words We Say Instead" by Brit E. B. Hvide

A veteran pilot revisits memories, and searches for remnants of her old experimental smartship.   Content advisory: War Submissions are now open for... more

17 Aug 2021 · 49 minutes
"The Years of My Birth" by Louise Erdrich

A woman recounts the story of her birth as a surprise twin and adoption by a Native American couple, and... more

10 Aug 2021 · 46 minutes
"You Perfect, Broken Thing" by C.L. Clark

An athlete trains to win a prize that would ensure her survival. Content advisory: Discussion of degenerative illness, death Submissions are now... more

03 Aug 2021 · 40 minutes
"The War of the Wall" by Toni Cade Bambara

A young boy feuds with a muralist who has taken over a beloved hangout in his neighborhood.   Don't forget! The LeVar Burton... more

27 Jul 2021 · 32 minutes
"The Angel of Khan El-Khalili" by P. Djèlí Clark

A girl visits a bazaar in Cairo, seeking a favor from a mysterious angelic being. This story first appeared in the... more

20 Jul 2021 · 52 minutes
"Milagroso" by Isabel Yap

Marty brings his family to his hometown of Lucban for the annual festival to witness a miracle: lab-grown, synthetic food... more

13 Jul 2021 · 46 minutes
"Dark Spaces on the Map" by Anjali Sachdeva

A woman has her memories catalogued for the historical record, and must decide whether or not to divulge a painful... more

06 Jul 2021 · 48 minutes
"Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot" by Robert Olen Butler

A man dies and finds himself reincarnated as a parrot.   This story appears in Robert Olen Butler's collection TABLOID DREAMS. His... more

29 Jun 2021 · 35 minutes
"The Bank of Burkina Faso" by Ekaterina Sedia

What if those spammy emails from princes about overseas banks were... real? An exiled prince teams up with the widow... more

22 Jun 2021 · 41 minutes
Season 9 is Almost Here!

LeVar Burton Reads is back June 22nd, featuring stories from P Djeli Clark, Anjali Sachdeva, Ekaterina Sedia, Isabel Yap and more.... more

15 Jun 2021 · 4 minutes
"St. Valentine, St. Abigail, St. Brigid" by C.L. Polk

Theresa Anne has spent years watching her mother tell fortunes and work magical spells. But when she asks to protect... more

20 Apr 2021 · 53 minutes
"Vaccine Season" by Hannu Rajaniemi

In a post-pandemic future where scientists have made great strides in eliminating disease, a young boy faces his fears and... more

13 Apr 2021 · 54 minutes
"Getaway" by Nicole Kornher-Stace

A getaway driver and her crew are hired to steal a mysterious artifact, and inadvertently get locked into a time... more

06 Apr 2021 · 49 minutes
"Salt" by Rosemary Melchior

A teenage girl is exiled to a penal colony on an icy, inhospitable island.  But the island contains secrets, and so... more

30 Mar 2021 · 34 minutes
"An Equal Share of the Bone" by Karen Osborne

Hoping to make their fortune (or at least climb out of debt), a trio of space traders travel on a... more

23 Mar 2021 · 38 minutes
"Killer of Kings" by Anjali Sachdeva

Guided by an angel, a writer pens his greatest -- and perhaps most dangerous -- work.   "Killer of Kings" appears in Anjali... more

16 Mar 2021 · 45 minutes
"Flyboys" by Tobias Wolff

Adolescent boys are faced with the reality of friendships, old and new, as they work on plans to build their... more

09 Mar 2021 · 56 minutes
"The Regression Test" by Wole Talabi

A woman helps to test the artificial intelligence based on the mind of her mother, a brilliant thinker. "The Regression... more

02 Mar 2021 · 41 minutes
"Alluvial Deposits" by Percival Everett

A government contractor deals with everyday frustrations in a small town. "Alluvial Deposits" appears in Percival Everett's collection DAMNED IF... more

23 Feb 2021 · 50 minutes
"Daddy" by Damion Wilson

A woman struggles to understand why her elderly father has begun to spontaneously teleport.    Content advisory: drug addiction, illness, death

16 Feb 2021 · 37 minutes
"The Takeback Tango" by Rebecca Roanhorse

A teenage thief embarks on a mission to reclaim her people's sacred treasures. First published in A UNIVERSE OF WISHES in 2020 in the United States... more

09 Feb 2021 · 41 minutes
"Silver Door Diner" by Bishop Garrison

A waitress is jolted from her morning routine when she's visited by a mysterious child.

02 Feb 2021 · 49 minutes
Season 8... Coming Soon!

The wait is nearly over! Join us for Season 8 of LeVar Burton Reads, beginning next week and featuring stories... more

26 Jan 2021 · 2 minutes
Nnedi Okorafor, Author of "Mother of Invention", Part 3

LeVar talks to Africanfuturist Nnedi Okorafor about the visceral nature of her writing, writing a beautiful and green future for... more

01 Dec 2020 · 51 minutes
"Mother of Invention" by Nnedi Okorafor, Part 2

Join us for the conclusion of this smart house story set in a future Nigeria. Will Anwuli and her child... more

24 Nov 2020 · 35 minutes
"Mother of Invention" by Nnedi Okorafor, Part 1

A young woman in a future Nigeria finds herself in a deadly pollen storm, alone but for her smart home.

17 Nov 2020 · 41 minutes
Miniseries Coming November 17

LeVar announces a special three-part series featuring one of his favorite authors!

10 Nov 2020 · 1 minute
"Little Man" by Michael Cunningham

A 200-year-old gnome desperately wants to become a father.   "Little Man" is from A WILD SWAN AND OTHER TALES by Michael... more

27 Oct 2020 · 51 minutes
"The Story We Used to Tell" by Shirley Jackson

A recently widowed woman vanishes overnight. Content advisory: violence, death “The Story We Used to Tell” is from DARK TALES by Shirley... more

20 Oct 2020 · 33 minutes
"A Good Friday" by Barbara Jenkins

A chance encounter in a bar leads to an eventful Good Friday for a devout woman and a playboy.

13 Oct 2020 · 44 minutes
"Low Energy Economy" by Adrian Tchaikovsky

An asteroid miner on a solo space mission finds his sense of purpose.   This story appears in the anthology CONSOLATION SONGS.

06 Oct 2020 · 37 minutes
"Wherein Abigail Fields Recalls Her First Death and, Subsequently, Her Best Life" by Rebecca Roanhorse

A young Black girl in 1880s New Mexico territory seeks vengeance, risking life and love in the process.   Content Advisory: violence,... more

29 Sep 2020 · 45 minutes
"Dune Song" by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

A young girl must negotiate her own path out of a strict community in a post-disaster desertland. Visit www.suyidavies.com for... more

22 Sep 2020 · 49 minutes
"Madre Nuestra, Que Estás en Maracaibo" by Ana Hurtado

A woman discovers her grandmother is being haunted by unearthly spirits. Find more of Ana Hurtado's work at www.anahurtadowrites.com. Content Advisory:... more

15 Sep 2020 · 41 minutes
"Cricket" by Kenneth Yu

A family is both delighted and troubled by the visitation of a peculiar insect. "Cricket" was published in Lauriat: A... more

08 Sep 2020 · 39 minutes
"Room for Rent" by Richie Narvaez

A family in dire straits must share their new home with a different species. This story was published in Latinx... more

01 Sep 2020 · 35 minutes
"The Nine Curves River" by R. F. Kuang

A girl escorts her younger sister on an important and life-altering journey, while thinking back on their relationship and the... more

25 Aug 2020 · 54 minutes
"Your Rover is Here" by LP Kindred

A rideshare driver must spring into action when his passenger casts a dangerous and deadly spell.     Content advisory: explicit language, violence,... more

18 Aug 2020 · 38 minutes
"Pockets" by Amal El-Mohtar

What could it mean to reach into your pocket and pull out... something that wasn't there before? Find more from... more

11 Aug 2020 · 42 minutes
A Conversation with James McBride (and News About Season 7!)

You heard that correctly -- we're coming back for a new season starting August 11! So make sure to hit... more

04 Aug 2020 · 28 minutes
"The Foster Portfolio" by Kurt Vonnegut

A financial advisor meets his new client: a hardworking, unassuming man with a curious and potentially life-changing secret. "The Foster Portfolio"... more

14 Apr 2020 · 46 minutes
"Recitatif" by Toni Morrison, Part 2

Join us for the conclusion to Toni Morrison's tale. Twyla and Roberta's longstanding and complicated friendship becomes more challenging as... more

07 Apr 2020 · 44 minutes
"Recitatif" by Toni Morrison, Part 1

Two young girls, abandoned by the world, are drawn together.   Content advisory: archaic/derogatory language

31 Mar 2020 · 38 minutes
"Let Those Who Would" by Genevieve Valentine

A dystopian society tackles fake news.   Content advisory: violence

24 Mar 2020 · 42 minutes
"A Kiss with Teeth" by Max Gladstone

In order to live an urban lifestyle as a father and husband, a domesticated vampire must suppress his darker urges.... more

17 Mar 2020 · 55 minutes
"Staying Behind" by Ken Liu

As humanity tiptoes toward the Singularity, what happens to those who are left behind? This story appears in Ken Liu's... more

10 Mar 2020 · 51 minutes
"Skinwalker, Fast-Talker" by Darcie Little Badger

A tabloid reporter sets out to investigate a fast-talking con man who may or may not be the trickster Coyote.

03 Mar 2020 · 42 minutes
"End Game" by Nancy Kress

A man becomes obsessed with quieting the thoughts and static in his brain. You can find this story in FOUNTAIN... more

25 Feb 2020 · 44 minutes
"SPAM" by Savannah Burney

A misanthropic B&B owner is unsettled by an encounter with one of his guests. Follow Savannah Burney on Twitter @savannahburney.

18 Feb 2020 · 44 minutes
"As Worlds Collide" by Stephen Michell

A young couple tries to make sense of an influx of mythic creatures. This story was first published in THOSE... more

11 Feb 2020 · 47 minutes
"Valedictorian" by N.K. Jemisin

A smart, stubborn high school student sets her own rules in a near-future dystopia. This story appears in N.K. Jemisin's... more

04 Feb 2020 · 54 minutes
"Tideline" by Elizabeth Bear

A sentient robot searches for her purpose in a post-war world. This story was originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction magazine... more

28 Jan 2020 · 45 minutes
BONUS: Behind the Scenes and a Sneak Peek at Season 6!

Get ready for Season 6! Get a peek behind the curtain as LeVar talks about story selection, vocal exercises, and... more

21 Jan 2020 · 13 minutes
The Paris Review Podcast Returns

Embark on audio adventures through The Paris Review's fiction, poetry, interviews, archival recordings, and sonic imaginings with the likes of... more

06 Nov 2019 · 12 minutes
"The Hofzinser Club" by Michael Chabon

A boy studies magic and escape artistry in 1930s Prague, hoping to become a member of an illustrious magicians' club.... more

29 Oct 2019 · 53 minutes
"The Specialist's Hat" by Kelly Link

Twin girls are left with a babysitter in a haunted house. “The Specialist’s Hat” © 1998 by Kelly Link. Originally... more

22 Oct 2019 · 50 minutes
"Jump" by Cadwell Turnbull

An ordinary couple experiences an extraordinary event during a walk in the park. "Jump" was first published in LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE.... more

15 Oct 2019 · 31 minutes
BONUS: Stories with Friends - Amanda Seales

In Stories with Friends, LeVar invites one of his friends to sit down for a conversation inspired by a short... more

11 Oct 2019 · 47 minutes
"The Water Museum" by Nisi Shawl

The owner of an unusual private museum picks up a hitchhiker sent to assassinate her. This story appears in Nisi... more

08 Oct 2019 · 49 minutes
"The House on the Moon" by William Alexander

A castle's mysteries begin to slowly unravel. Content advisory: mentions of death, eugenics This episode is sponsored by Mythical Monsters podcast... more

01 Oct 2019 · 50 minutes
"Tiger Baby" by JY Yang

A woman is haunted by her dreams of being a tiger.  This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp (www.betterhelp.com/levar code: LEVAR) and... more

24 Sep 2019 · 34 minutes
“Blur" by Carmen Maria Machado

A woman in a troubled relationship loses her glasses at a rest stop along the highway, and the world shifts... more

17 Sep 2019 · 41 minutes
“Face Value” by Sean Williams

A team of peace-keepers investigate an inventor with an astonishing claim. This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp (www.betterhelp.com/levar code: LEVAR)... more

10 Sep 2019 · 44 minutes
"Small Medicine" by Genevieve Valentine

A girl scrutinizes the line between humans and robots when her grandmother is replaced with a replica. Content advisory: Death or... more

03 Sep 2019 · 46 minutes
"Cuisine des Mémoires" by N.K. Jemisin

A themed restaurant presents a very unique opportunity to its patrons. This story appears in N.K. Jemisin's collection HOW LONG... more

27 Aug 2019 · 48 minutes
"Shoggoths in Traffic" by Tobias S. Buckell

Two co-workers repossess a car to make some quick cash, and get mixed up in a surprising and much larger... more

20 Aug 2019 · 39 minutes
"The Simplest Equation" by Nicky Drayden

A struggling college student gains new perspective on her studies from her classmate, who's come to study from another planet.... more

13 Aug 2019 · 35 minutes
"L'Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars)" by Dean Francis Alfar

A young woman sets out on a quest to find all of the impossible materials needed to build a kite... more

18 Jun 2019 · 40 minutes
"The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" Part 2 by Ted Chiang

Join us for the conclusion of this time travel tale set in medieval Baghdad. “The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate”... more

11 Jun 2019 · 48 minutes
"The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" Part 1 by Ted Chiang

A wandering merchant in medieval Baghdad is brought before the Caliph, and recounts tales of ingenious gates that allow time... more

05 Jun 2019 · 53 minutes
"Flying Carpets" by Steven Millhauser

A man remembers a summer from his youth, filled with rides on a flying carpet. “Flying Carpets” is from Steven Millhauser’s collection THE... more

28 May 2019 · 34 minutes
"Toward Happy Civilization" by Samanta Schweblin

A man finds something strange going on at a rural train station. “Toward Happy Civilization” is from MOUTHFUL OF BIRDS... more

21 May 2019 · 44 minutes
"The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex" by Tobias S. Buckell

A cab driver spends an ordinary day ferrying passengers around Manhattan -- until an incident involving a wealthy alien tourist... more

14 May 2019 · 40 minutes
"Republica and Grau" by Daniel Alarcón

A ten year old boy is enlisted to help a blind man beg at a traffic intersection, and is exposed... more

07 May 2019 · 42 minutes
"Mister Hadj's Sunset Ride" by Saladin Ahmed

A bounty hunter reminisces about his escapades with an old mentor and friend in this weird western. This story appears... more

30 Apr 2019 · 33 minutes
“The Best We Can” by Carrie Vaughn

A scientist fights for the investigation of an unidentified object in space. "The Best We Can" appears in Carrie Vaughn's... more

23 Apr 2019 · 46 minutes
"Kwoon" by Charles Johnson

A martial arts instructor meets his match. "Kwoon" appears in Charles Johnson's collection DR. KING'S REFRIGERATOR AND OTHER BEDTIME STORIES. This... more

16 Apr 2019 · 45 minutes
"Free Jim's Mine" by Tananarive Due

In pursuit of freedom from slavery, a young couple must gather up their courage and spend a night underground. "Free... more

09 Apr 2019 · 55 minutes
"Miracle" by Tope Folarin

A congregation eagerly anticipates the healing powers of a blind prophet. "Miracle" © 2019 by Tope Folarin. From Harvard's Transition magazine, Issue... more

02 Apr 2019 · 43 minutes
LeVar Burton Reads
“The Best We Can” by Carrie Vaughn
LeVar Burton Reads
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Description

A scientist fights for the investigation of an unidentified object in space. "The Best We Can" appears in Carrie Vaughn's collection AMARYLLIS... more