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Read by Michael J. DeLuca. Named a Top Pick of the month in the June 2013 episode of the Synthetic Voices podcast.

No. 17596 let the book fall out of his hands. It would tell him what? It would tell him that the world went on—that somewhere, out there, men and women were carrying on their affairs while he sat alone in his cell, sentenced to ruminate in silence and isolation.

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Read “The Penitent” by M. Bennardo, in Issue #122

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M. Bennardo's short stories appear in Asimov's, Lightspeed, and others, as well as six times in Beneath Ceaseless Skies. One of his stories was selected for Jonathan Strahan's Best Science-Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 8. He lives in Kent, Ohio, a few miles from the now defunct Ohio & Erie Canal. His website is located at www.mbennardo.com.

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