PodCastle 364: Her Windowed Eyes, Her Chambered Heart

by Cat Rambo
read by Dave Robison
Originally featured as part of Cat’s Patreon Campaign.

Phlogiston, the most precious material in the world, capable of fueling marvelous machines like himself. Artemus carried a scraping of it, small as a fingernail clipping, deep in his midsection. Once a year, it was replaced, but it was valuable enough that he’d had people try to kill him for it before.

So far none had succeeded. And if it seemed that someone was about to, he held, secret in another internal pocket a sliver of terra fluida, a substance that, when combined with phlogiston, would explode. He would do that rather than be taken.

Rated PG-13.

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com, four collections (one forthcoming) and her debut novel, Beasts of Tabat, to be followed by Hearts of Tabat this fall.  A World Fantasy, Endeavour, and Nebula nominee, she is the current Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). For more about her, as well as links to her fiction and her online classes, see http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog.

Dave Robison’s voice work has appeared on audio fiction podcasts across the internet, including the Drabblecast, Starshipsofa, Tales to Terrify, and all the Escape Artist Podcasts. He’s been contracted – through his production company, Wonderthing Studios – to do the audiobook narration for Tim Ward’s novel “Scavenger: Evolution” and Terry Irving’s “The Day of the Dragon King”. In addition to hosting the fabulous “Roundtable Podcast”, Dave just launched a new venture… Vex Mosaic, an e-zine featuring essays on culture and society through the lens of pop-culture media. You can check that out at www.vexmoasic.com.

 

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PodCastle 363: L’Etoile Flamboyante

by Samantha Henderson
read by C. S. E. Cooney
Originally featured in the Word Webber Press anthology of 2013, Allegories of the Tarot.

Last night I dreamed about the Painted Children: the Dragon Leviathan, the Boy made of Horses, and the girl, L’Etoile Flamboyante. In the dream, I was sitting at the edge of the cliff beside the ruins, not far from where I lie now, but I was straight and whole again, the tiger reclining beside me like an outsized housecat. The water at the foot of the cliff glistened in the starlight, and the Children were in a boat, little wider than a rowboat, looking up at me. The girl stretched out her arms, and I shifted as if to rise. The tiger gave me a lazy nudge. Not yet, it said, silently. We are still at the business of dying.

Rated R.

Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon.  Her short fiction and  poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk, as well as being podcast in Podcastle, Escape Pod, and The Drabblecast.   She’s the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Heaven’s Bones and Dawnbringer, and is currently working on a novel based on her short story “Cinderella Suicide.

C.S.E. Cooney is a Rhode Island writer, actor, poet, and singer-songwriter. She is the author of the Dark Breakers series: The Breaker Queen and The Two Paupers. “Witch, Beast, Saint” the first erotic fairy tale in her Witch’s Garden Series, can be found at Strange Horizons, while the second, The Witch in the Almond Tree is available for purchase on Amazon.

Cooney’s first short fiction collection Bone Swans is forthcoming with Mythic Delirium in July of 2015.

She recently started working as an audiobook narrator for Tantor Media, with Carol J Perry’s “Caught Dead Handed,” a Witch City mystery— Cooney’s first book-length narration—now available for purchase.

Thanks to a successful Indiegogo campaign, Cooney’s alternate personality, the imaginary rockstar Brimstone Rhine, is just about to hit the studio to record her first EP, “Alecto! Alecto!” Eight songs of Myth and Legend—Witches, Queens, Nymphs, Fiends—as you’ve never heard them sung before.

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PodCastle 362: Amma’s Wishes

by M. E. Garber

read by Marguerite Kenner

First published in MZB’s Sword & Sorceress 29.

The door to the Dragon’s Beard Tavern slammed open and wintry winds gusted within, twisting Amma’s skirts about her legs like the arms of a drunken hero. Amma stumbled, sloshing ale from the tankards on her tray onto her skirts. She glared towards the door, where three men dressed in crimson-edged blacks let the door bang shut behind them.

Damn these fighters. Couldn’t they just once enter like human beings? They swaggered to the far table, ignoring everyone in the crowded tavern. “Stew!” one yelled over his shoulder.

“Wench! Hurry with that ale. We’re thirsty men!” a helmed man at the table before her demanded. Those around him roared their agreement.

Rated PG.

M. E. Garber grew up reading about hobbits, space-travel, and dragons, so it’s no wonder that she now enjoys writing speculative fiction, and dreams of traveling the world(s). She used to live near the home of Duck Tape, then near the home of Nylabone. Now she lives near the home of Gatorade. You can find her blog at: http://megarber.wordpress.com.

Marguerite Kenner is a native Californian who has forsaken sunny paradise to be with her true love and live in Merrye Olde England. She frequently wears so many hats that she needs two heads. When she’s not grappling with legal conundrums as a trainee solicitor or editing Cast of Wonders, she can be found narrating audio fiction, studying popular culture (i.e. going to movies and playing video games) with her partner Alasdair Stuart, or curling up with a really good book. You can follow her at her personal blog, Project Valkyrie, or on Twitter via @LegalValkyrie.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 361: Traveller, Take Me

by Kate Heartfield

read by Wilson Fowlie

First published in On Spec.

The Canadian National Railway wants to know what to call the copper town tucked into the dogleg on the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The radio operator says they’re threatening to call it Flin Flon – if they don’t hear any different from us.

We all laugh ourselves giddy at that, all of us in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. Go ahead, we say, call it Flin Flon. Bad luck to call it anything else. It’s the only name the place has had for its 15 years now, and if that’s not the judgment of history in these uncertain times I don’t know what is.

All of us in the mine company know the story of how Tom Creighton named the place for a character in a dime novel, back in 1914. Tom himself tells it to anyone who’ll half listen.

But he never tells the story of how he found the novel in the first place, and what that book did, once he started to read it. He never says where the book is now. I hope it’s fallen apart, battered into mush by the rain and snow. Unreadable.

Rated PG.

Kate Heartfield is a journalist and fiction writer from Manitoba who now lives in Ottawa, Canada. Her stories have appeared recently in places such as Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Crossed Genres and Lackington’s. She is on Twitter as @kateheartfield and her website is heartfieldfiction.com.

Wilson Fowlie has been reading stories out loud since the age of 4, and credits any talent he has in this area to his parents, who are both excellent at reading aloud.

He has been narrating stories for more people than his own family since late 2008, when he answered a call for readers on the PodCastle forum from PodCastle’s then-editor, Rachel Swirsky.

The first story he recorded for PodCastle was episode 51, “The Cambist and Lord Iron” by Daniel Abraham, which is still one of his favourite narrations. Oddly, due to circumstances that he’s still not entirely clear about, his first *published* narration was episode 41, “Dragon Hunt” by Sarah Prineas.

Since then, he has gone on to become PodCastle’s most prolific narrator, reading or appearing in nearly 30 episodes. He’s also narrated for many other podcasts, including, of course, PodCastle’s sister ‘casts, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, as well as StarShip Sofa, Protecting Project Pulp, Crime City Central, Tales To Terrify, Beam Me Up, Cast Macabre, Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine and the Journey Into… podcast.

He fits in all this narrating between his day job as a web developer for a tech company in the Greater Vancouver area in Canada, and being the director of a community show chorus called The Maple Leaf Singers.

He’s still hoping to find a paying gig narrating stories, or maybe, since he doesn’t really have the time to go looking for it, that one will find *him*.

Discuss on the forums.

 

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