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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12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    scatterbrain said,

    March 18, 2009 @ 6:52 pm

    Bleh! It was bad enough wasting quarter of an hour with this one rather than wait the full hour for it to end. It’s been a terrible “Elf month” so far: come on, there must be a good elfpunk story out there!

  2. 2

    potter said,

    March 18, 2009 @ 8:10 pm

    hi podcastle, thanks again for this free service,
    I didnt find this story that bad or any other elf story in the elf month, but when compared to each other has offered a good anthology of different representations of the fey folk.

    Thanks again podcastle !!

  3. 3

    Tomo said,

    March 18, 2009 @ 8:43 pm

    Thanks for a good story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I do wish there had been more follow through on what the deal was with the horse and the father, but I still thought it was good.


  4. 4

    Katy said,

    March 20, 2009 @ 6:44 pm

    I really really wanted to like this story (particularly after getting slapped down for a negative review last time). But, I’m sorry, I had to turn off after fifteen minutes as I was just bored. Partly due to the narrator- can someone narrating a ‘fairy’ tale possibly be “too fey”?
    I have really enjoyed this podcast for its airing of stories that are fantasy but also great stories in their own right; not trapped and defined by a rather narrow genre. I hope the recent tales are a temporary diversion and not a whole new direction.

  5. 5

    phignewton said,

    March 24, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

    i liked this one a lot, it was a good story, good i tell you! um yeh, except for the title… needed more horse innit.

  6. 6

    Seraph said,

    March 26, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

    I didn’t really get this story. The guy wanted a horse – he got a horse – the horse ran away. Really ? Is that it ? Sure, there’s the whole half-human thing simmering away – but that didn’t seem to go very far. Nice reading though !

  7. 7

    R. J. Walker Miller said,

    March 27, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

    This was an excellent story. I’m am an SF, horror, and fantasy writer, and this story was one of the best I have encountered in months. It was purely, wonderfully written, nicely subtle, and magically characterized. It reminded me of what High Fantasy was capable of and made me pull some of my own fantasy out of the desk drawer and begin polishing. Thanks for the entertainment and inspiration! (Oh, and the new website art is great!)

  8. 8

    carrie said,

    April 2, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

    I loved everything about this but the horses. Even with all the words dedicated to them, I still couldn’t see the appeal to the main character. The rest–half-bloodery, shape-shifting, undergrounders and abovegrounders, animal language–was intriguing, but ultimately didn’t go anywhere. Whenever the reader said “horses” I wanted to punch the character in the face, so I guess the voice work was really effective!

  9. 9

    Blaine Boy said,

    April 3, 2009 @ 1:33 am

    Ships borne endlessly on into the past (yes, I just read *The Great Gatsby* for the first time). The past is inescapable and unattainable. I was very interested in the caste system type society of the faeries and the secret lives of the half-humans. The ending was very satisfying to that end then and I liked the idea the kid had at the end. Actually kind of Once and Future King-ish with the different human and animal cultures (especially with Golden going Merlin on us telling the kid to look for strategies). Now that makes you think… is he going to create a revolution for the half-humans for equality, freedom (which he cherished in the horse) etc. etc. etc. I’m no English teacher (I hate writing essays even) and I’m no philosopher. Figure out yourself.

    Sincerely with special props to my English teacher Mr. Shakely,
    The Blaine Boy

  10. 10

    Lauretta said,

    June 28, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

    Lovely. I enjoyed it a lot.

  11. 11

    Narration: “Immersed in Matter” by Nina Kiriki Hoffman on Podcastle | Christopher Reynaga's Magical Reality said,

    January 9, 2013 @ 5:27 pm

    […] PodCastle 044: Immersed In Matter […]

  12. 12

    Short Story Podcast Reviews: October 2012 « Fyrefly's Book Blog said,

    January 27, 2013 @ 12:53 pm

    […] My reviews this time are all of fantasy short story podcasts from Podcastle. Immersed in Matter by Nina Kiriki Hoffman is the story of a half-human faery who wants a horse, but horses don’t like the way faeries smell. He can shapeshift, but if he shapeshifts into a human, there may be consequences from both the animals and his fellow faeries. This was a good story, perhaps because it reminded me of my own pre-teen horse-loving phase. I did think some of the story angles (i.e. the anti-halfbreed fairy prejudice, and the story with the protagonist’s father) could have been built up a little more with a longer time. Listen to it […]

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