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27: "The Last Cheng Beng Gift" by Jaymee Goh

34:50

Episode description

A family matriarch takes up residence in the Underworld. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of listening, go to stitcherpremium.com/levar and use promo code 'LEVAR'.



This episode is sponsored by Google Play (g.co/play/levar) and Hungryroot (www.hungryroot.com code: LEVAR).

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50: "Shoggoths in Traffic" by Tobias S. Buckell

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Two co-workers repossess a car to make some quick cash, and get mixed up in a surprising and much larger scheme. Content advisory tags: Blood, Road …

49: "The Simplest Equation" by Nicky Drayden

August 13th, 2019

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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. This story was first …

Season 5 Begins August 13th!

July 30th, 2019

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July 8th, 2019

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LeVar Burton Reads will be back soon with brand new episodes! But first, a preview of season 2 of Marvel’s award-winning podcast, Wolverine: The Lost …

48: "L'Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars)" by Dean Francis Alfar

June 18th, 2019

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A young woman sets out on a quest to find all of the impossible materials needed to build a kite that can carry her to the stars.



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47: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" Part 2 by Ted Chiang

June 11th, 2019

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Join us for the conclusion of this time travel tale set in medieval Baghdad. “The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate” is from EXHALATION by Ted Chiang, published by Penguin Random House Audio, an

imprint of Penguin …

46: "The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate" Part 1 by Ted Chiang

June 5th, 2019

53:25

A wandering merchant in medieval Baghdad is brought before the Caliph, and recounts tales of ingenious gates that allow time travel to the past and future. “The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate” is from EXHALATION by …

45: "Flying Carpets" by Steven Millhauser

May 28th, 2019

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

44: "Toward Happy Civilization" by Samanta Schweblin

May 21st, 2019

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A man finds something strange going on at a rural train station. “Toward Happy Civilization” is from MOUTHFUL OF BIRDS by Samanta Schweblin, published by Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a …

43: "The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex" by Tobias S. Buckell

May 14th, 2019

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A cab driver spends an ordinary day ferrying passengers around Manhattan -- until an incident involving a wealthy alien tourist imperils his …

42: "Republica and Grau" by Daniel Alarcón

May 7th, 2019

42:22

A ten year old boy is enlisted to help a blind man beg at a traffic intersection, and is exposed to a new side of humanity. “Republica and Grau” is …

41: "Mister Hadj's Sunset Ride" by Saladin Ahmed

April 30th, 2019

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

40: “The Best We Can” by Carrie Vaughn

April 23rd, 2019

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

39: "Kwoon" by Charles Johnson

April 16th, 2019

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



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38: "Free Jim's Mine" by Tananarive Due

April 9th, 2019

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In pursuit of freedom from slavery, a young couple must gather up their courage and spend a night underground. "Free Jim's Mine" appears in …

37: "Miracle" by Tope Folarin

April 2nd, 2019

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

LeVar Burton Reads Returns April 2nd!

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LIVE! in Boston: "Mono No Aware" by Ken Liu

February 12th, 2019

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A space traveler flashes back to memories of his childhood in Japan, before the world ended. Recorded live at the Wilbur Theatre with music provided by Katy Wherry and Jake Wherry. "Mono No Aware" appears in THE PAPER …

LIVE! in New Jersey: "Driftglass" by Samuel R. Delany

February 5th, 2019

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As a new frontier is explored on the ocean floor, an amphiman is haunted by a deep sea accident from his youth. Recorded live at the Scottish Rite Auditorium with musical accompaniment by Kendrah Butler. "Driftglass" is …

LIVE! in DC: "A Dark Night" by Edward P. Jones

January 29th, 2019

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A stormy evening leads to a dark night of the soul. Recorded live at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. with musical accompaniment by Élise …

LIVE! in Dallas: "In the City of Martyrs" by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

January 22nd, 2019

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A fantasy tale about a royal family, a flower seller, and a shocking discovery. Recorded live at the Majestic Theatre with musical accompaniment by Zhenya Rock. 


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LIVE! in Toronto: "Four Stations in His Circle" by Austin Clarke

January 15th, 2019

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Language Advisory: This story contains adult language. An immigrant from Barbados strives to shake off his past, buy his dream house, and climb the …

LIVE! in Atlanta: "The Vishakanya's Choice" by Roshani Chokshi

January 8th, 2019

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After spending years in isolation with her vishakanya sisters, a poison maiden is given her first deadly mission. © 2015 Roshani Chokshi, as first …

LIVE! in Austin: "Asymmetry" by Kendra Fortmeyer

December 18th, 2018

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While suffering through a breakup, a woman encounters a strange figure. Recorded live in Austin at the Paramount Theatre, with musical accompaniment by Peter Tran of Curved Light.

LIVE! in Brooklyn: "Playing Nice with God's Bowling Ball" by N.K. Jemisin

December 11th, 2018

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In this fantastical police procedural, detectives are perplexed when a young boy confesses to a murder. "Playing Nice with God's Bowling Ball" was …

36: "Morning Child" by Gardner Dozois

October 9th, 2018

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Two people reconnect in a post-apocalyptic world. © 1984 by Gardner Dozois. Originally published in OMNI. Used by permission of the author’s Estate and the Estate’s agents, the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc.



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35: "Yiwu" by Lavie Tidhar

October 2nd, 2018

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For a humble shopkeeper in Yiwu, it’s a living, selling lottery tickets. Until a winning ticket opens up mysteries he’d never imagined.


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34: "Singing on a Star" by Ellen Klages

September 25th, 2018

48:41

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


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33: "The Cell Phones" by Karen E. Bender

September 18th, 2018

30:33

A Rosh Hashanah service is interrupted by voices clamoring for attention. This story appears in the forthcoming collection THE NEW ORDER.


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32: "Jackalope Wives" by Ursula Vernon

September 11th, 2018

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A brooding young man is captivated by a magical creature who dances in the firelight. This story appears in JACKALOPE WIVES AND OTHER STORIES by T. Kingfisher.



This episode is sponsored by Sierra Club (

31: "Fyrewall" by Stefani Cox

September 4th, 2018

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In a future version of Los Angeles, a woman and her ragtag crew must repair a critical piece of technology or let the city burn to the ground.


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30: "Fantaisie Impromptu No. 4 in C#min, Op. 66” by Carlos Hernandez

August 28th, 2018

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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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29: "Multo" by Samuel Marzioli

August 21st, 2018

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A man remembers a supernatural force from his childhood. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of listening, go to stitcherpremium.com/levar

28: "Fires" by Rick Bass

August 14th, 2018

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In this meditative tale, a runner spends a summer training in a remote mountain town. This story appears in the collection FOR A LITTLE WHILE by Rick …

26: "Sea Girls" by Daniel Wallace

July 31st, 2018

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Two teenagers deal with family issues... and a stranded sea creature.

Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus episodes, only on Stitcher Premium. For a free month of listening, go to

25: "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience TM" by Rebecca Roanhorse

July 24th, 2018

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A tour guide leads virtual reality “experiences” for tourists who want to know what it’s like to be Native American. Think Black Mirror meets Westworld. Listen to ad-free episodes one week early, plus exclusive bonus …

LIVE! in Portland: "The Fliers of Gy" by Ursula K. Le Guin

June 19th, 2018

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An interplanetary tale about those who take flight, and those who do not. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. This story appears in Le …

LIVE! in Seattle: "Black Betty" by Nisi Shawl

June 5th, 2018

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The story of Betty, and her struggle to be fully understood by her new family. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by …

LIVE! in Los Angeles: "Money Tree" by Nalo Hopkinson

May 22nd, 2018

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A young man sets out to uncover sunken treasure and make his fortune, and his sister must pick up the pieces. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by vibraphonist Justin Thomas, and …

LIVE! in San Francisco: "As Good as New" by Charlie Jane Anders

May 8th, 2018

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 A young woman unexpectedly finds herself with the fate of the world in her hands. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by Astronauts, etc. keyboardist Anthony Ferraro, and featuring a …

LIVE! in Chicago: "The Winds of Harmattan" by Nnedi Okorafor

April 24th, 2018

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A young woman discovers her destiny as a Windseeker. Recorded on the LeVar Burton Reads LIVE! tour. With accompaniment by the legendary instrumentalist and kalimba player Kahil El'Zabar, and featuring a conversation …

24: "Childfinder" by Octavia Butler

April 3rd, 2018

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A telepath uses her skills to mentor children with psionic ability. "Childfinder" is available in e-book format in the collection UNEXPECTED STORIES, …

23: "A Fable with Slips of White Paper Spilling from the Pockets" by Kevin Brockmeier

March 27th, 2018

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An ordinary man finds himself unexpectedly in possession of an extraordinary power. This story appears in Kevin Brockmeier's collection THE VIEW FROM …

22: "The 5:22" by George Harrar

March 20th, 2018

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When a fellow passenger on his usual train goes missing, a man begins to wonder if everything is as it seems. Find more from the author at www.georgeharrarbooks.com. This episode is brought to you by Audible (

21: "My Dear You" by Rachel Khong

March 13th, 2018

41:42

As she filters through memories and relationships, a young woman navigates a new plane of existence. Find more from the author at www.rachelkhong.com. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and …

20: "The Great Wide World Over There" by Ray Bradbury

March 6th, 2018

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A visitor's arrival delivers both wonder and heartache to a rural community. This story appears in Ray Bradbury's collection THE GOLDEN APPLES OF THE …

19: "Different Kinds of Darkness" by David Langford

February 27th, 2018

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A group of children form a secret society around a mysterious and powerful artifact. This story appears in David Langford's collection DIFFERENT …

18: "Furry Night" by Joan Aiken

February 20th, 2018

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 An elderly lycanthropist retires to his estate in the English countryside, but his rest is disturbed by a rowdy village tradition. "Furry Night" is copyright © 1976 by Joan Aiken. Available in THE PEOPLE IN THE CASTLE …

17: "The Baboon War" by Nnedi Okorafor

February 13th, 2018

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A group of schoolgirls have a disturbing and life-altering encounter with the animal kingdom. "The Baboon War" appears in Nnedi Okorafor's collection …

16: "Mrs. Perez" by Oscar Casares

February 6th, 2018

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When a burglary deprives her of her most prized possession, a woman discovers just how resilient and assertive she can be. "Mrs. Perez" appears in …

15: "Unassigned Territory" by Stephanie Powell Watts

January 30th, 2018

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A young Jehovah's Witness spends a blistering hot afternoon preaching door-to-door to hostile homeowners, and questioning her future. Copyright © 2011 by Stephanie Powell Watts, used by permission of Ecco, an imprint of …

14: "The Truth About Owls" by Amal El-Mohtar

January 23rd, 2018

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A young girl explores her own power, and finds kinship with a bird of prey. Find more from the author at amalelmohtar.com. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free audiobook at 

13: "Repairing the World" by John Chu

January 16th, 2018

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Description: Two friends are tasked with protecting a world that is literally ripping at the seams. Find more from John Chu at johnchu.net. Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your free trial and get a free …

Bonus Episode: "Goat" by James McBride

October 24th, 2017

1:08:20

A well-meaning teacher discovers a student's talent, and in the process of helping out his family, bites off more than she can chew. Recorded live at the Now Hear This festival. This story appears in James McBride's …

12: "No Man's Guns" by Elmore Leonard

September 5th, 2017

46:26

In a classic Western tale, a newly-discharged soldier runs into trouble on his journey home, and must fight for his innocence and his identity. "No …

11: "The Paper Menagerie" by Ken Liu

August 29th, 2017

49:45

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 …

10: "Navigators" by Mike Meginnis

August 22nd, 2017

42:58

A father and son become immersed in a video game with a unusual philosophical goal -- one that's unlike any game they've played before. "Navigators" appears in THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2012. Thanks to our …

9: "1000-Year-Old Ghosts" by Laura Chow Reeve

August 15th, 2017

31:55

 A grandmother teaches her family to deal with difficult memories in a unique way -- by pickling them in jars. "1000-Year-Old Ghosts" appears in the …

Bonus Episode: A Conversation with Lesley Nneka Arimah

August 8th, 2017

27:28

Today, a special bonus episode featuring a wide-ranging conversation between LeVar and Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky". 

Thanks to our presenting sponsor Audible. Start your …

8: "The Second Bakery Attack" by Haruki Murakami

August 1st, 2017

41:33

Cursed with an unbearable hunger, a newlywed couple goes to drastic measures to break its spell. "The Second Bakery Attack" appears in Haruki …

7: "Chivalry" by Neil Gaiman

July 25th, 2017

40:29

An elderly widow purchases the Holy Grail at a second-hand store, and becomes wrapped up in an epic quest. "Chivalry" appears in Neil Gaiman's …

6: "Graham Greene" by Percival Everett

July 18th, 2017

49:36

A man is contacted by a 102-year-old woman with an unusual and seemingly impossible request. "Graham Greene" appears in Percival Everett's collection …

5: "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky" by Lesley Nneka Arimah

July 11th, 2017

45:06

A mathematician has discovered a formula that explains the universe and makes it possible to manipulate human bodies and emotions. "What It Means …

4: "Empty Places" Part Two by Richard Parks

July 4th, 2017

33:14

In the conclusion to our story, Jayn risks death when he infiltrates the queen’s chambers, and discovers the real reason for his mission. "Empty …

3: "Empty Places" Part One by Richard Parks

June 27th, 2017

45:07

An accomplished thief is approached by a wizard who wants to send him on an unusual mission. The two embark on a journey together, matching wits …

2: "The Lighthouse Keeper" by Daisy Johnson

June 20th, 2017

30:44

The story of a solitary life by the sea, and a woman’s courage. "The Lighthouse Keeper" is part of FEN: STORIES, available from Graywolf Press. …

1: "Kin" by Bruce McAllister

June 13th, 2017

33:14

A young boy contacts an alien assassin in the hopes of saving his sister’s life. "Kin" is part of Bruce McAllister's collection THE GIRL WHO LOVED …

Introducing… LeVar Burton Reads

June 2nd, 2017

2:43

A sneak peek of “LeVar Burton Reads,” coming June 13th!

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