PodCastle 505: There Are No Wrong Answers

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for mild language.


There Are No Wrong Answers

by LaShawn M. Wanak

Please select the answer below that feels most comfortable to you. There are no right or wrong answers. Your results will be tallied at the end.

Question one: If you were to arrive at your apartment to find your front door ajar and your chocolate Labrador missing, would you:

  1. Wander about the apartment complex, tapping a can of Alpo with an opener and calling (softly) “Here, Marti! Here Marti!” Grin sheepishly when the Filipina neighbor across the hall peeks from her apartment, then swear when she slams the door.
  2. Call the police and argue with the dispatcher. “Of course it’s an emergency, she’s a chocolate lab, dammit. You know how much money I paid for her? Hello? Hello?”
  3. Screw it. Go fix yourself a margarita because Marti is bound to get bored at some point and come back. Stupid dog.

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PodCastle 504: Words Never Lost

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


Words Never Lost

by DaVaun Sanders

Imala spat on the schoolhouse’s brittle timbers as she passed, slipping behind the Tyre Orphan School’s woeful outbuildings and through the fence. A lashing awaited anyone caught here, but she had broken her promise to meet Vachaspah one too many times.

The soft crack of fledgling bone pulled her eyes up. An owl had perched atop a nearby saguaro, its dead barrel bleached white. Pitiful screeches and wet, tearing sounds floated from a wicked nest made entirely of long thorns. The owl’s wet beak dipped down again and again, skewering its floundering owlets. Bloodstained tufts of soft down littered the ground.

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PodCastle 503: Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters

Show Notes

Rated R; contains language, violence, and disturbing imagery circa Hurricane Katrina.

This episode is a reissue of PodCastle 154.


Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters

by N.K. Jemisin

Tookie sat on the porch of his shotgun house, watching the rain fall sideways.  A lizard strolled by on the worn dirt-strip that passed for a sidewalk, easy as you please, as if there wasn’t an inch of water already collected around its paws.  It noticed him and stopped.

“Hey,” it said, inclining its head to him in a neighborly fashion.

“‘Sup,” Tookie replied, jerking his chin up in return.

“You gon’ stay put?” it asked.  “Storm comin’.”

“Yeah,” said Tookie.  “I got food from the grocery.”

“Ain’ gon’ need no food if you drown, man.”

Tookie shrugged.

The lizard sat down on the sidewalk, oblivious to the driving wind, and joined Tookie in watching the rain fall.  Tookie idly reflected that the lizard might be an alligator, in which case he should maybe go get his gun.  He decided against it, though, because the creature had wide batlike wings and he was fairly certain gators didn’t have those.  These wings were the color of rusty, jaundiced clouds, like those he’d seen approaching from the southeast just before the rain began.

PodCastle 502: Zilal and the Many-Folded Puzzle Ship — Live at Can-Con!


Zilal and the Many-Folded Puzzle Ship

By Charlotte Ashley

When Zilal Saleebaan Kamal was six years old, she built her first ship in a bottle. It was a fully-articulated craft of sandalwood and brass with eighteen oars that rowed in unison when the bottle was tipped to and fro. Her father presented it to the Suldaan on her behalf, and it sits in the winter palace still.

When she was nine, Zilal received her first commission from the Emir. The musical dhow she built as a gift for his young son played lullabies with the flow of the tides and could be heard singing low, fine raagas while at anchor, the drifting waters playing the ship’s reeds and pipes.

When she was eleven, Zilal redesigned the Suldaan’s xebec to carry a third mast and wider sails, making the Tidebreaker the strongest ship in the Ajuran fleet. She took formal apprenticeship with her father, the artificer Saleebaan, and moved into the Suldaan’s palace.

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