LeVar Burton Reads

LeVar Burton Reads

The best short fiction, handpicked by the best voice in podcasting. In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends with gorgeous soundscapes to bring stories by Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Octavia Butler, Ray Bradbury and more to life. So, if you’re ready, let’s take a deep breath...


January 31, 2023 50 min

A hapless salesman flees the librarian hell-bent on retrieving her lost library book. This story appears in Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction, published by Tordotcom in hardcover and e-book, and by Recorded Books in audiobook format. For more from the author, visit tobiogundiran.com.

Content advisory: Explicit language, gore

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A story of a stolen wok, magic, and manipulation. This story was originally published in Strange Horizons. You can find more of the author's work at guanun.com.

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

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

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A struggling college student gains new perspective on her studies from her classmate, who's come to study from another planet. Find more of the author's work at www.nickydrayden.com.

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A young girl explores her own power, and finds kinship with a bird of prey.

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A family matriarch takes up residence in the Underworld.

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A group of mall Santas celebrating Christmas Eve discover that there is a stranger in their midst.


"The Usual Santas" appears in Mick Herron's collection DOLPHIN JUNCTION, published by Soho Press (US) and John Murray (UK), 2021.

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A mystical phenomenon brightens the dreary days of winter — until one year, when it suddenly stops.

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November 29, 2022 48 min

A boy discovers his father's hidden kingdom.

This story appears in the anthology Small Odysseys: Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories, published by Algonquin Books. Find more from Luis Alberto Urrea at luisurrea.com.

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November 22, 2022 45 min

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

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An adventurer carried back spoils from a journey to the center of the earth. Now, his family joins him on a return trip, hoping to ensure their access to his fortune.


This story appears in the anthology LOST WORLDS AND MYTHOLOGICAL KINGDOMS, available now in hardback, e-book and audio.


Tobias Buckell's collection SHOGGOTHS IN TRAFFIC AND OTHER STORIES is available in paperback, e-book and audio.


Content advisory: Violence, dea...

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November 8, 2022 49 min

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


This story appears in Kim Fu's collection LESSER KNOWN MONSTERS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, published by Tin House.


Content advisory: Description of death 

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

For more from Stephen Graham Jones, visit www.demontheory.net.


Content advisory: Descriptions of violence, death 

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October 25, 2022 3 min

LeVar Burton Reads is back November 1st with stories from Stephen Graham Jones, Kim Fu, Tobias Buckell and more, in our new immersive format!

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A man remembers a supernatural force from his childhood.

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

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A rideshare driver must spring into action when his passenger casts a dangerous and deadly spell.



Content advisory: explicit language, violence, terrorism

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

Content advisory: violence, death

“The Story We Used to Tell” is from DARK TALES by Shirley Jackson, published by Penguin Classics, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

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A new immersive remix of a season one classic. An immigrant mother tries to bond with her American-born son by creating a magical paper menagerie. This story appears in Ken Liu's collection THE PAPER MENAGERIE AND OTHER STORIES, available now from Saga Press.

Content advisory: Hospitals, death of a parent

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