LeVar Burton Reads

LeVar Burton Reads

The best short fiction, handpicked by the best voice in podcasting and presented in 3D immersive audio. 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 Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Nnedi Okorafor, Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Liu and more to life. So, if you’re ready, let’s take a deep breath... Our immersive audio is best with headphones! If you'd prefer to listen without immersive audio, visit levarburtonpodcast.com/mono.


May 7, 2024 43 mins

The world's only time traveler finally reveals his secrets. "The Toynbee Convector" © 1983 by Ray Bradbury


Content advisory: suicide

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A reality TV show producer tries to make love happen, on- and off-screen. “The November Story” is from MUSIC FOR WARTIME by Rebecca Makkai, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Find LeVar on Instagram Live on Monday, May 6th from 6:30-8pm Pacific, celebrating 13 seasons of LeVar Burton Reads! Join us for a Q&A and surprise guests. Follow @levar.burton on IG and sign up ...

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Robotics, quick machines, fugitives -- none are exactly what they seem on the surface. Find more from the author at https://lyndsiekay.wordpress.com. And find LeVar on Instagram Live on Monday, May 6th from 6:30-8pm Pacific, celebrating 13 seasons of LeVar Burton Reads! Join us for a Q&A and surprise guests. Follow @levar.burton on IG and mark your calendar!

Content advisory: warfare, death

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A young boy puzzles over the behavior of his mysterious elderly neighbor, his parents, and his older brother, a budding civil rights activist.

This story appears in the collection entitled NEIGHBORS AND OTHER STORIES by Diane Oliver, published by Grove Press.

Content advisory: racial slur, racism

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April 9, 2024 49 mins

On a long mission to search for a new home planet, an outfitter tries to protect the crewmembers' lives. But can she protect herself from the inevitable loss and heartbreak? This story first appeared in Uncanny Magazine. For more from the author, check out anamariacurtis.com


Content advisory: pandemic, death

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A young Black musician is heckled by a group of white fraternity brothers, asking him to play "Dixie." His response surprises everyone, including himself. This story appears in the collection DAMNED IF I DO, published by Graywolf Press.

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A young woman must decide her future: planting seeds and forging civilization on Mars, or caretaking for future generations on Earth. This story originally appeared in Cast of Wonders. Find more from the author at annazumbro.com.

Content advisory: climate change and ecological collapse

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The self-proclaimed Graffiti King of Mexico brandishes his magical paintbrush, providing commentary on small-town sins. This story appears in the collection THE WATER MUSEUM. Find more from the author at luisurrea.com.


Content advisory: sexism, sexual harassment

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An exploration of the depth of a father's love, and his attempts to keep his son happy, healthy and safe in a world rife with racism and violence. This story appears in Justin C. Key's collection THE WORLD WASN'T READY FOR YOU.


Content advisory: death, police brutality

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A human street performer breaks out his boombox for an unauthorized and unwelcome performance on Planet Drx. For more from the author, visit https://culagovski.net.

Content advisory: references to ecocide

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A trickster storyteller brings camaraderie and hope to the land of the dead. Find more from the author at ktbryski.com.


Content advisory: Death and dying; references to the death of a child

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February 20, 2024 53 mins

A scientist explores (and transcends) the limitations of the human body, using her daughter as a test subject. This story was first published by Tor.com. Find more from the author at www.taraisabellaburton.com.


Content advisory: Death

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February 13, 2024 3 mins

LeVar Burton Reads is back with all-new episodes starting February 20th, but if you don't want to wait, you can get a taste right here! Look out for stories from Rebecca Makkai, Luis Alberto Urrea, Justin C. Key and more. We think 13 might be our lucky number...

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We champion the work of librarians at LeVar Burton Reads, not least because they preserve books and maintain archives of important information for generations to come. Today, we’re sharing a story from our friends over at Atlas Obscura. They'll introduce you to an altogether different species of librarians: The Mafra Palace Library Bats, who make sure the palace's rare book collection is well kept!


Atlas Obscura is an audio guide t...

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December 19, 2023 49 mins

If you’ve been listening to LeVar's new podcast Sound Detectives, you know there's something irresistible about a missing sound. That’s why we teamed up with our friends at 99% Invisible to tell the story of the first music streaming service, a 200-ton instrument called the Telharmonium whose sound has been lost to history.

99% Invisible is a podcast about the unnoticed design that shapes the world we live in. This is their latest e...

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December 12, 2023 45 mins

Adrift in a mysterious time and place, and with the ground roiling and churning beneath their feet, a brother and sister try to return home to 1970s London. Find more from the author at atgreenblatt.com.

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December 5, 2023 44 mins

A mysterious pub draws in lost souls on Christmas Eve. This story appears in the author's collection ADD CYANIDE TO TASTE: A COLLECTION OF DARK TALES WITH CULINARY TWISTS. 

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November 28, 2023 41 mins

An angel surprises a humble coffee shop owner in Cairo. This story appears in E. Lily Yu's collection JEWEL BOX, published by Erewhon Books.

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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 by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC, New York. Find more from Rebecca at www.rebeccaroanhorse.com.

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November 20, 2023 32 mins

Enjoy more LeVar, more Detective Hunch, and more Audie with Episode #2 of LeVar's new podcast, SOUND DETECTIVES!

SOUND DETECTIVES is a funny, engaging, and thought-provoking podcast that invites elementary school-aged kids to explore the magic and mystery of sound.

In this episode, the Sound Swindler is still at large, and LeVar is anxious for help! Audie is a-buzz about the mystery sound, but Hunch insists that she needs some detect...

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