PodCastle 348: Testimony of Samuel Frobisher Regarding Events on Her Majesty’s Ship CONFIDENCE, 14-22 June, 1818, With Diagrams

by Ian Tregillis

Read by Ian Stuart

Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July/August 2014.

I joined His Majesty’s Royal Navy in 1808, and a man more grateful for the press-gangs you’ll never meet. To answer your question, Sirs, I spent four years in the service of
Captain Nares ere I beheld the tentacled Bride.

A brave and virtuous soul was the captain, never given to rage nor drink during my years with him.  And upon my oath, never once did he take the lash to a sailor’s back without just cause before she arrived. But he changed the moment that accursed creature slithered upon the deck.

Begging your pardon, Sirs?  I lost much of my hearing on the
last voyage of the Confidence.

Aye.  I get ahead of myself.  I’ll start at the beginning.

Rated R. Contains Violence (without diagrams)

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PodCastle 347: Flash Fiction Extravaganza: Great Power, Greater Responsibilities

Look, Up in the Sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Containing:

“The Sea City Six (Where are They Now?),” by Jenn Reese
Read by Mur Lafferty
Originally published in Flytrap.

We find Florence Collins in the most unlikely of places: a dive bar called Tyko’s Haunt on the edge of Sea City’s factory district. Gone is her silver spandex, shimmering like frost, her white leather boots and gloves, the blue crystal necklace nestled in the hollow of her neck. She stands behind the bar slinging drinks, a dark flannel shirt hanging loosely over a stained black t-shirt, her jeans held up with a wide leather belt and a massive Sea City Stags belt buckle. We make sure to get some closeups. 

“The Colors,” by John M. Shade
Read by Sean D. Sorrentino
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction. Read it here!

In the main tent, around the sand and dirt floor of the arena, a wooden wall is erected eight-feet tall. The worn, angled seating rises from there. A makeshift gate sits on the side where the opponents emerge, and another across from it from where I emerge. Real boulders dot the floor for cover or weapons, or both. Everything is wood or stone, nothing metal.

“I’ve had plenty enough experience with magnetic controllers to know that a little fire ain’t so bad,” Mother Circus would say.

“So You’ve Decided to Adopt a Zeptonian Baby!” by David Steffen
Read by Rish Outfield (of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine)
A PodCastle Original!

Whether you are adopting by chance because you found the smoking crater on your property or whether you volunteered for the Zeptonian Childcare Service, congratulations and thank you!  There is no more rewarding choice you will make in your lifetime.  

Rated R. Contains violence.

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PodCastle 346: The Pilgrim and the Angel

by E. Lily Yu

Read by Rajan Khanna

Originally published in McSweeney’s Quarterly 45.

Three days before Mr. Fareed Halawi was washed and turned to face the northeast, a beatific smile on his face, he had the unusual distinction of entertaining the angel Gabriel at the coffeeshop he operated in the unfashionable district of Moqattam in Cairo. Fareed was tipped back in his monobloc chair, watching the soccer game on television. The cigarette between his lips wobbled with disapproval at the referee’s calls. Above him on the wall hung the photograph of a young man, barely eighteen, bleached to pale blue. His rolled-up prayer mat rested below. It was a quiet hour before lunch, and the coffeeshop was empty. Right as the referee held up a yellow card, a scrub-bearded man strode in.

“Peace to you, Fareed,” the stranger boomed. “Arise!”

Fareed laughed and tapped out a grub of ash. “Peace to you. New to the neighborhood?”

“Not at all. I know you, Fareed,” the stranger said. “You pray with devotion and give generously to the poor.”

“So does my neighbor,” said Fareed, “though that hasn’t helped him find a husband for his big-nosed daughter. Can I get you a glass of tea?”

“The one thing you lack to perfect your faith is the hajj.”

“Well, with business as slow as it is, and one thing and another…” Fareed coughed. “Truth is, may God forgive me, I’m saving up to visit my son. He’s an electrician in Miami. Doesn’t call home. What would you like to drink?”

“I have come to take you on hajj.”

Rated PG.

Greg Campbell, author and Navy Veteran needs your help! Click here to find out how you can help him and his children after a fire.

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Submission Announcement

Podcastle is open for submissions!

Podcastle is now open for submissions fitting the theme “Dirty Jobs,” for episodes airing April-June.

Every society has them: the hidden jobs that no one knows about, the hard jobs that no one glamorizes, the secret jobs that everyone pretends do not exist.

Every society has them. Every society needs them. Even a society inhabited by magic, myth, and monsters.

We are reading for the theme “Dirty Jobs” from January 15 – March 15, when we will close submissions until the next theme is announced.

For more information on submissions, go to our submission guidelines page.

Your editors,
Kitty NicIaian and Dawn Phynix

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