Archive for April, 2009

PC050: Komodo

by Tim Pratt.
Read by Cat Rambo.

I hadn’t cultivated a new lover in many months — the last one had fulfilled all my wishes and, as he’d requested, was now living happily at the bottom of a local river, slowly decaying into the bottom-mud and learning the languages of fish and pollution. In another hundred years or so, if the river didn’t dry up entirely, he might become a minor river god. Kasan had appeared just in time. I had certain things to accomplish over the course of the next month, and the energy that came with a new lover could serve well to fuel those endeavors.

“Want to come upstairs for a while, Kasan?” I asked. I’m beautiful. I’m desirable. I know how to sense when a potential partner is interested. I can say these things with no particular pride, because such powers require relatively small magics to achieve. People seldom say no to me. I never compel anyone to make love to me — such mental domination is possible, but it’s also essentially rape, and cannot be condoned. I entice my lovers with beauty, and bring them back again and again by giving them the best sex they’ve ever had. There’s no magic to that, just years of experience and sensitivity to the needs of my lovers. I am good at what I do. Sex is my vocation and my devotion.

Rated R. Contains sexy sorceresses (explicit).

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PC049: Return of the Warrior

By Laird Long.
Read by Alasdair Stuart (of Pseudopod).

In the Province of Sull, in the Kingdom of Ronn, all seemed right with the world – the potters potted, the sculptors sculpted, the painters painted, and the scriveners did whatever their name implies. For Sull was home to the kingdom’s artisans, a colorful colony of creative cranks who used well their artistic endowments, for satisfaction of the soul, and sale. And they toiled truly and profitably.

But beneath the placid, pleasant exterior of the province and the people, lay a seething resentment bubbled to near-surface boil by the erratic, practicality-impaired nature of the creative personality, and the indolence of a King who listened not to ill-formed complaints some two hundred leagues removed. A prickly current of unrest sparked and shocked the citizenry, for many held the opinion that the provincial governor, the Wizard Kadil, was in no uncertain terms fudging the books, collecting taxes beyond what the law allowed. And though the people of Sull claimed to be moved primarily by muse, so, too, were they moved by a love of the good, old, gold stuff.

Rated PG. Contains the inevitability that all we Americans had to deal with scant days ago.

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PodCastle Miniature 30: Rotations and Consequences

by Katherine Sparrow.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.

Dear people of the world,

Here is something that happened that you should really know about. That you need to know about. I know because I saw it. There was a woman who walked into her backyard. The grass beneath her bare feet was wet and cold, but she knelt and lay down upon it with her palms pressed into the ground and her legs spread wide. She touched as much of it as her finite body was able to. In her fenced- in yard, in the subdivision of her suburb, underneath the faint stars, she closed her eyes. I saw her.

Rated PG. Contains flight.

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PC048: “I’ll Gnaw Your Bones,” the Manticore Said

by Cat Rambo.
Read by Elizabeth Green Musselman.

There is a tacit understanding between a beast trainer and her charges, whether it be great cats, cunning dragons, or apes and other man-like creatures. They know, and the trainer knows, that as long as certain lines aren’t crossed, that if certain expectations are met, everything will be fine and no one will get hurt.

That’s not to say I didn’t keep an eye on Bupus, watching for a twitch to his tail, the way one bulbous eye would go askew when anger was brewing. A beast’s a beast, after all, and not responsible for what they do when circumstances push them too far. Beasts still, no matter how they speak or smile or woo.

At any rate, Bupus felt obliged to maintain his reputation whenever another wagon or traveler was in earshot.

“Gnaw your bones,” he rumbled, rolling a vast oversized eyeball back at me. The woman he was trying to impress shrieked and dropped her chickens, which vanished in a white flutter among the blackberry vines and ferns that began where the road’s ground stone gave way to forest. A blue-headed jay screamed in alarm from a pine.

Rated PG. Contains some violence, and a number of circus creatures.

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