Listen to the Signal

Listen to the Signal

Hi, Rob Dircks here. Join me on my monthly quest to answer questions like “What would happen if a smartphone game was so addictive EVERYONE played it at once?” or “If we’re all in a simulation, who’s running it?” Every month (or so) I write an original science fiction short story and narrate it for your listening pleasure. ENJOY! (A little background: I’m the Audible bestselling author of Where the Hell is Tesla?, The Wrong Unite, Don’t Touch the Blue Stuff!, and more. You can get in touch with me and sign up for episode notifications at listentothesignal.com, robdircks.com, Twitter at @RobDircks, and Facebook at facebook.com/robdircksauthor.

Episodes

February 6, 2024 38 mins

Hey, Rob here. As you might know, some of these stories are better served if I talk about them after you’ve listened or read them, not before – and this is one of them. What I can tell you is that it’s been kicking around in my head for a couple of years, begging to get finished and out there. It’s the story of Ava, a dreamer. But not the kind of dreamer you might think.

The post “The Grove” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks fir...
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Hey, Rob here. I don’t have a lot of background for this story, but here’s how it started: I was talking to a friend, about how when I heard the carbon monoxide detector beep because it needed a new battery, I thought we were going to die, and she said, “hey, that would make a great beginning to a story.” So here it is…

The post “Carbon Monoxide Detector” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks first appeared on Listen To The Signal.
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Hello, Rob here. I hate to do this, but I really can’t say anything about this story up front without giving it away, except that it’s about someone who volunteers for a test, not knowing much about it...

The post “Hole In The Wall” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks first appeared on Listen To The Signal.
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ORIGINALLY WRITTEN/RECORDED 03/2020. Hey guys. I’ll tell you right up front, I struggled with the idea of even posting this story, because, yes, it’s a plague story. It’s a very common theme in sci-fi, the plague-that-wipes-out-humanity theme, but I’ve never written one, so it just kind of popped into my head a few weeks ago, before the poop really started to his the fan, as my subconscious had already started working overtime on t...

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Hey, Rob here. For a long time now, there’s been the awareness that what happened to the dinosaurs – an extinction-level event caused by an asteroid impact – could happen again. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be a matter of if, but of when. A hundred years? A thousand years? A hundred thousand years? In the movies Armageddon and Deep Impact (both strangely released in the same year, 1998), we triumph over the threat by nuking a huge a...

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Hey guys, Rob here. Happy Halloween! So a friend of mine texted me and he’s like, “Dude! Do a story about this creepy island I’m working on!” Usually I’m like okay, great, thanks, whatever, and then I do what I want. But this time he got me. See, his job is to map areas, and he told me about Hart Island. It’s a tiny island off the coast of the Bronx in New York City, in the Long Island Sound, and it’s basically a giant mass grave. ...

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Hey guys, Rob here. As you might know, I’m into the whole Mars rover thing, and I was psyched to find out they included an extra little package inside it this time — a helicopter. And even cooler, they fastened an actual swatch of fabric from the original Wright Brothers Flyer to the underside of its solar panel! So that got me thinking: I know they’re super careful about not letting bio material contaminate the moon or Mars, but w...

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Hey, Rob here. Have I got a treat for you! I’ve finally branched out and collaborated with some great folks on a story. Wendy Mass, NY Times bestselling author, reached out to me last year to co-author a short sci-fi story to submit to the talented Alex Shvartsman, who was publishing the latest in his anthology series Unidentified Funny Objects. So we came up with a story in correspondence, from an alien liaison to the U.S. Preside...

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Hey, Rob here. I’ve been sitting on this article for a couple of years, not knowing what to do with it. It’s the true story of the Chinese government’s spy infiltration of major companies and government agencies in the U.S. through the use of a tiny, undetectable chip placed on computer motherboards. I couldn’t even believe it when I read it. Anyway, I started thinking, “What if they could make that technology even smaller? Even mo...

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Hey, Rob here. So you know how it goes, I get myself down an Internet rabbit hole, and I wind up on this thought problem called The Ship of Theseus. I won’t tell you what it is, it’s in the story, but it reminded me of that factoid that every seven years all of our cells are replaced, the old ones dying and the new ones growing, and we’re essentially a new person. Now, we humans don’t notice it, and can’t do anything with the old b...

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Hey guys. Apparently scientists have been growing brain organoids for a while – taking human stem cells and cultivating little clusters of neurons, to help with brain disease research. At some point someone raised the ethical question, “what if we grow a brain that gains consciousness?” But everyone pooh-poohed that idea, I mean, come on, it’s just a cluster of cells, right?

The post “Robot Brains From Outer Space” • Written and Na...
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Hi guys, Rob here. This story's been bouncing around in my head for a loooong time. I hate to do this, but once again I can't tell you much about it up front, other than it's about a heist with two long-time professional thieves, and that their mission doesn't go as expected.

The post “FutureHeist” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks first appeared on Listen To The Signal.
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Hey, Rob here. This is another quickie, so I don’t want to say much other than it’s about that weird, cigar-shaped object that came hurtling past Earth about a year and a half ago, named Oumuamua. That much is true. The rest, well…?

The post “Oumuamua” • Written and Narrated by Rob Dircks first appeared on Listen To The Signal.
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Hi guys! Rob here, welcome back, I’ve got a little holiday treat for you… This story was inspired by a video I saw, yes, it was one of those days you don’t know how, but you wind up an hour later watching a YouTube video of someone driving around what looks like a ghost town, right near Area 51 in Nevada. It’s a real town, called Silver Peak, and the video gives you this creepy feeling, and so of course I thought, “What secret migh...

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