Archive for November, 2008

PodCastle Flash 23: Bury the Dead

By Ann Leckie
Read by Tina Connolly

It’s the first Thanksgiving since Grandpa died.

Rated PG. Contains turkey, cranberry, and a side of zombies.

This week’s PodCastle flash is coming before the PodCastle feature. This week’s feature was unfortunately delayed, and will be coming later this week. In the meantime, please enjoy this savory spoonful celebrating American Thanksgiving.

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PodCastle Miniature 22: The Kissing of Frogs

By Bruce Boston.
Read by Mur Lafferty.

The thought of kissing a frog disgusted her. Yet she knew she would never kiss a prince unless she set about the kissing of frogs. So with sovereign ambition she steeled herself to the daily horrors of amphibian osculation. She kissed wood frogs and leopard frogs. Pickerels and tree toads and bull frogs. Ancient croakers and adolescent squeakers that were nothing more than tadpoles at heart.

Rated G. Contains the pressing of lips against frogskin.

Please visit the thread on this episode in our forums.

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PC034: Clad In Gossamer

By Nancy Kress
Read by Paul S. Jenkins (of the Rev Up Review and The Fix Online)

“Tell me again,” I said.

The shorter, older one said smoothly, “Garments in subtle colors like shaded sky, Your Highness. As finely spun and light to wear as spiderwebs. Yet warm, impervious to water, and impenetrable by stinging insects.”

I nodded eagerly, as if I believed this nonsense. “And the magic…”

“Ah, the magic. Tell him again, Sorrel.”

Rated R. for nudity. Contains fashion, or lack thereof.

Please visit the thread on this story in our forums.

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PodCastle Miniature 21: The Princess and the…

By Marie Brennan
Read by Ann Leckie

Sixty years on, I’m amazed at what they’ve done to the truth.

Rated R. for innuendo.

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PC033: The Girl With the Sun In Her Head

By Jeremiah Tolbert
Read by Ann Leckie.
Introduction by Mary Robinette Kowal.
First appeared in Polyphony 4, 2004.

“Emelia’s home is in a city where only children are allowed to draw graffiti on the crumbling walls. The old bricks and stones are covered in crude pictographs and stick figures, smoking chimney houses and bicycles with four wheels and two seats. Chalk is a penny a piece, any color to be had. A little old lady with gnarled fingers and crooked eyes sells the sticks out of cigar boxes on street corners, even in the rain.”

Rated PG for child endangerment. Contains chalk graffiti drawn under the sun’s blazing eye.

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Miniature 20: Okra, Sorghum, Yam

By Bruce Holland Rogers
Read by An Owomoyela

In his vegetable garden, Old Kwaku planted collard and okra and cowpeas. He showed the second princess how to cut the weeds down with a sharpened stick.

“I don’t think I’m learning any wisdom,” she said. “And look at my hands! Imagine what they’ll look like at the end of the summer!”

“Here is part of wisdom,” Old Kwaku said, and he began to rearrange some okra pods while they were still on their mother plants. He pulled one and nudged another and coaxed a third. He moved this one and that one together and tied the pods together in the shape of a little green person.

“That doesn’t look like wisdom to me,” the princess said. “Oh, I’m going to go home and die in my father’s house, an old maid!”

Rated G. Contains three princesses.

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PC032: Senator Bilbo

By Andy Duncan.
Read by Frank Key (of Hooting Yard)

Dear Americans,

Happy Election Day. As we all go to the polls and wait with mixed anticipation and anxiety for the poll results, PodCastle is happy to bring you into the electoral politics of another world — Tolkein’s — dealing with a trope all sides of the political spectrum can agree on, corrupt senators.

The rest of the world, I hope you’ll forgive our electoral America-centrism, and I hope you enjoy the story.

The Senator jotted down Appledore’s name without pause. He could get a lot of work done while making speeches – even a filibuster nine hours long (and counting).

“There are forces at work today, my friends, without and within our homeland, that are attempting to destroy all boundaries between our proud, noble race and all the mule-gnawing, cave-squatting, light- shunning, pit-spawned scum of the East.”

The Senator’s voice cracked on “East,” so he turned aside for a quaff from his (purely medicinal) pocket flask. His allies did not miss their cue. “Hear, hear,” they rumbled, thumping the desktops with their calloused heels. “Hear, hear.”

“This latest proposal,” the Senator continued, “this so-called immigration bill – which, as I have said, would force even our innocent daughters to suffer the reeking lusts of all the ditch-bred legions of darkness – why, this baldfooted attempt originated where, my friends?”

“Buckland!” came the dutiful cry.

“Why, with the delegation from Buckland. . . long known to us all as a hotbed of book-mongers, one-Earthers, elvish sympathizers, and other off-brands of the halfling race.”

Rated PG. For bigotry and orcs.

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