Archive for March, 2009

PodCastle Miniature 28: Elf Aware

by K. Tempest Bradford.
read by Marguerite Croft.

“I am an elf,” you say to yourself. “I am an elf, I am an elf, I am an elf…”

You keep saying it, first in your mind, then aloud. Over and over. A mantra. “I am an elf.”

You are not an elf. You know this. You do not have pointed ears, you cannot do any sort of magic, you aren’t even the right hue. You’ve never heard of a black elf. Everything is against you. But you think that if you keep saying this to yourself, maybe it will come true. Maybe.

Rated G. The last story of elf month.

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PodCastle 045: The Annals of Eelin-Ok

by Jeffrey Ford.
Read by Rajan Khanna.

…there is only one way to truly understand the nature of the Twilmish, and that is to meet one of them. So here, I will relate for you the biography of an individual of their kind. All of what follows will have taken place on the evening of a perfect summer day after you had left the beach, and will occupy the time between tides–from when you had sat down to dinner and five hours later when you laid your head upon the pillow to sleep. There seemed to you to be barely enough time to eat your chicken and potatoes, sneak your carrots to the dog beneath the table, clean up, watch your favorite tv show, draw a picture of a pirate with an eye patch and a parrot upon her shoulder, brush your teeth and kiss your parents goodnight. To understand the Twilmish, though, is to understand that in a mere moment, all can be saved or lost, an ingenious idea can be born, a kingdom can fall, love can grow, and life can discover its meaning.

Rated PG. Contains fae and sandcastles.

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PodCastle Miniature 27: Faery Cats: The Cutest Killers

by Lucy A. Snyder
read by Rachel Swirsky

San Francisco, CA—From country homes to urban server farms, faery cats are taking America by storm as the hottest trend in pets.

16-year-old Melissa Eager’s bedroom is decorated entirely with paintings and statuettes of winged cats, which she has acquired at science fiction conventions around the country.

“I love love love faery cats,” says Eager. “And I had no idea they were for real until I saw one at a shop in Mill Valley. It was all black, and it had long, shiny wings like a raven. So pretty! I was all like, ‘Mom, I will totally die if you don’t get me that!’”

Rated G. Contains… well, faery cats. Which are killers, but you know. Cute.

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PodCastle 044: Immersed in Matter

by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
Read by Chris Reynaga

One frosty evening at the leading edge of winter, when Golden had sent me out to study the night habits of deer, I crouched under a bush with one of the inn yard cats. She was pregnant and hungry. I had brought her a fresh-killed rat. I wanted to buy conversation with her.

“How can I get close enough to speak with horses?” I whispered.

“You won’t be able to, not while you stink of faery,” the cat said.

“What’s wrong with how I smell?”

“We know your kind means us no good.”

Rated PG. Contains magic, and horses, and transformation.

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PodCastle Miniature 26: Up the Chimney

By Cat Rambo.
Read by Cian MacMahon.

I should have known better. There we were dozing by the fireside, old Tom and me, and there’s a stranger telling some story of funerals and cats. Old Tom, he leaps up, whiskers abristle. Shouting “Then I’m the King of Cats” and disappearing up the chimney!

Rated G. Contains cats and fairy land.

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PC043: Sweet, Savage Sorcerer

By Esther Friesner.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.

Arrows whizzed past her as Narielle drummed slender heels into the heaving sides of her faithful unicorn, Thunderwind. Her bosom rose and fell in perfect cadence with the noble steed’s movements as the Black Tower of Burning Doom thrust its massive structure into view. Behind her, the sun was setting in a fiery ball, quenching its flames slowly, achingly, in the moist depths of the Lesser Sea of Northern Alraziah-le-Fethynauri’in-ebu-Korfiamminettash.

Bitterly, Narielle reflected that if her father’s men had not stopped to ask directions to the sea, they would never have been caught with their lances down by Lord Eyargh’s mercenaries.

Rated R. Contains sexual innuendos, and a word classified as swear.

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PC042: De La Tierra

By Emma Bull.
Read by Bill Ruhsam (of Talking Traffic)

She was out on the patio by the pool, stretched in a lounge chair. From there a person could see a corner of the Marmont bungalow where Belushi had overdosed. He was pretty sure she knew that; they liked things like celebrity death spots.

Some of them almost anyone could recognize–if almost anyone knew to look for them. They’re always perfect, of their kind. That’s why so many of them like L.A., where everybody gets extra credit for looking perfect. Try going unnoticed in Ames, Iowa, looking like that.

She had wavy golden hair to her shoulders, and each strand sparkled when the breeze shifted it. She wore a blue silk halter top, and little white shorts that showed how long and tan her legs were. She could’ve been one of those teen-star actresses pretending to be a Forties pin-up, except that she was too convincing. She sipped at a mojito without getting any lipstick on the glass.

For fun, he jabbed his molar with his tongue to see if Biblio could tell him anything about her–name, age, rank. Nada, y nada mas. None of them were ever in the database. Didn’t hurt to try, though.

“Your disposal record is remarkable,” she said, with no preface.

“I do my job.”

Rated R. An LA thriller. With elves.

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