Marv and the Ghost Shark

Humanity at last discovers an inhabited exoplanet and learns its first lesson about first contact.

On this page, you’ll find the podcast episode trailer and the full episode.
And of course, a link to the source, the short story.

[Video description: 51 seconds. Scanned watercolor painting. At center, tilted forty-five degrees from horizontal, a submersible zooms in front of a huge undersea creature, whose open mouth, filled with a row of sharp teeth, is large enough to swallow the submersible whole. The creature appears to be half-fish and half-plant. Tendrils flow out from its body. Wing-like fins extend from its mid-flank region. Its tail fin is just visible in the depths of the water. Bits of scales appear to be coming off under the creature’s right wing-fin. Watermark of the word “storyfeather” lays over the image. Title card over the image displays “Podcast Episode” and “Genre: Science Fiction” The words fade away, replaced by the story’s title. The title fades. Subtitles appear in time with music and narration at the bottom: “The technology to send people to exoplanets would become cheaper in time. In the meantime, it should suffice humanity to gather data from the observations and experiments performed by mechanical eyes and hands.That all changed when life was discovered under the sprawling seas of planet E-49186587 (under the naming convention that was common at the time). Once life was discovered—complex life, no less— there was great global public interest in exploring the exoplanet now known simply as Marv.” Text box appears over image displaying the words, “Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, and so on. Or listen on my Podcast page at” Website URL appears at bottom right throughout and fades as the text box appears.]

Marv and the Ghost Shark Storyfeather

This is what we wanted. This is what we feared.

Encountering new life. Endangering our lives.

These were some of the last words I heard from my mother on the last transmission from Marv.

It was difficult to watch from afar. Not even to watch. To wait. To wonder. It helped me to write the reports. To smooth out all the roughness, pare down all the inessential, and restrain all the rawness from the contents of the data packets that the crew sent before that last transmission. When I saw my mother as a member of a crew on a daring first mission, performing her duties, exhibiting solidarity with her crewmates, I am able to let go of that lurching dread that wakes me almost every morning.

Story: “Marv and the Ghost Shark” Copyright © 2017 by Nila L. Patel
Episode Art: “Plokamisaur Encounter” Copyright © 2017 by Sanjay Patel
Narration and Editing:  Nila L. Patel

Trip-Hop Lounge Abstract Background” by Digital Emotions (Intro/Outro)

Music by Andrea Baroni (Cyberleaf)*
“NightTime (No Percussion)”
“Fugue for One Synthetic Heart (No Percussion)”
“Ground Control”
“The Longest Year”

Music by Jonathan Shaw (*
“A Dream of First Flight”
“A Tale of Water”
“A Tale of Peace”

*These tracks were part of a music and sound effects bundles I purchased from Humble Bundle and sourced from GameDev Market.

Music by Andrea Baroni, and Jonathan Shaw is licensed from GameDev Market
Sound effects from AudioJungle and GameDevMarket

Find more music by Digital_Emotions at
Find more music by Andrea Baroni at
Find more music by Jonathan Shaw at and
Find more stories by Nila at


Portal Button. Elongated rectangle with rings of colored light emanating from the center. Text appears over the rings, reading "Storyfeather Year 4" and below it in larger font, "Creatures."

Genre: Science Fiction

Podcast hosting by Libsyn
For more podcast episodes, visit the Storyfeather Podcast page.

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