Kerouac in space: Geoff Landis's "Still on the Road" podcast

This week on the excellent Escape Pod science fiction podcast, a perfect little short-short story by Geoff Landis (a no-foolin' NASA engineer who worked on the Mars rovers) that brings Kerouac to space travel and vice versa. Enchanting stuff-o-roonie.
Turns out, you know, that old dharma bum never made it off the wheel of karma. He had too many attachments, to the road, to words; and if you love the things of the world of Mara too much you fall back into the world, like gravity pulling back a rocket that doesn't reach escape velocity. Two, three thousand years later, he's still on the road. Really, nothing's changed. And Neal, that old prankster, Neal never really did want to transcend, he loved to see it all streaming past the window, a constant moving circus disappearing in the rear-view mirror, loved to talk, loved it all.
EP236: Still On the Road

MP3 link

Podcast feed

(Image: kerouac On the Road scroll, a Creative Commons Attribution photo from emdot's photostream)


  1. Kerouac’s reputation as some kind of God of the Road Trip is exaggerated. He wasn’t even going to call his first Beat book “On the Road,” that was his publisher’s idea. And it’s not really about being a vagabond. Kerouac was generally going places he’d been before and visiting people he already knew. People seize on the IDEA of “On the Road” because of what they expect from it.

    The sci-fi take on “On the Road” is already well-known, to the point of overexposure: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Which, in book form (except for the last one) more than lives up to the hype.

    For real-life chronicles that are more like what people EXPECT from Kerouac, I’d suggest checking out the works of Aaron Cometbus.

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