Archive for May, 2009

PodCastle Miniature 32: Chu-bu and Sheemish

By Lord Dunsany.
Read by Steve Anderson.

And all the people rejoiced and cried out, “There is none but Chu-bu.” And honey was offered to Chu-bu, and maize and fat. Thus was he magnified.

Chu-bu was an idol of some antiquity, as may be seen from the colour of the wood. He had been carved out of mahogany, and after he was carved he had been polished. Then they had set him up on the diorite pedestal with the brazier in front of it for burning spices and the flat gold plates for fat. Thus they worshipped Chu-bu.

He must have been there for over a hundred years when one day the priests came in with another idol into the temple of Chu-bu and set it up on a pedestal near Chu-bu’s and sang, “There is also Sheemish.”

Rated PG. Contains religious iconography, as described by the 18th Lord of Dunsany.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle Episode 54: The Dreaming Wind

by Jeffrey Ford.
Read by Rajan Khanna and Paul Tevis (of Have Games, Will Travel).

Its name, The Dreaming Wind, was more indicative than you might at first believe. What is a dream, but a state founded enough upon the every day to be believable to the sleeping mind and yet also a place wherein anything at all might and often does happen. Tomes of wonders, testaments of melancholic horrors, wrought by the gale had been recorded, but I’ll merely recount some of the things I, myself, had been privy to in the years I’d witnessed the phenomenon.

The human body seemed its favorite play thing, and in reaction to its weird catalyst I’d seen flesh turn every color in the rainbow, melt and reform into different shapes so that a head swelled to the size of a pumpkin or legs stretched to lift their owner above the house tops. Tongues split or turned to knives and eyes shot flame, swirled like pin wheels, popped, or became mirrors to reflect the thing that I’d become – once a salamander man with Ibis head, once a bronze statue of the moon . In my wedding year, my wife Lyda’s long hair took on a mind and life of its own, tresses grabbing cups from a cupboard and smashing them upon the floor. Mayor Meersch ran down Gossin Street the year I was ten with his rear end upon his shoulders and muffled shouts issuing from the back of his trousers.

Rated R. Contains some imagery that might disturb the unprepared. Also, some readers may wish to protect their children from prevailing surrealism.

Due to a mix-up at PodCastle, two narrations were acquired from this story from two of our favorite narrators — Paul Tevis and Rajan Khanna. Readers are invited to listen to either, or to listen to both and compare. Enjoy!

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 053: Change of Life

by K. Tempest Bradford.
Read by MA in PA.

It all started because I wanted a pet. All of us younger kids did. But Mom always said that there wasn’t room for any pets cuz there were so many kids. She had a point, I guess. There were nine of us. But then David, my oldest brother, left home when he was only seventeen and a half to join the Peace Corps. Mom cried for three days straight. Dad said it was only because she was going through the Change of Life.

The day after she stopped crying there was a bunny in the living room. No cage, just a bunny. I guess Dad bought him hoping it would cheer Mom up–and it did. She sat on the couch holding the bunny for hours and told us all that we had a new family member: David the bunny. Katherine, my oldest sister, said that Mom named it David out of a sense of displacement or some other big word she liked to use just because she wanted to be a psychologist or a psychiatrist or some kind of person who messes with your head.

I wasn’t impressed. I wanted a dog.

Rated G. Contains a menagerie.

Posted a day early in honor of Fen of Color United.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 052: The Nalendar

by Ann Leckie.
Read by M. K. Hobson.

“Down here!” the voice said, and she looked down at her feet, and then crouched, her dull green dress puddling behind and beside her on the gray stone. On the top of her foot was a tiny, black lizard, hardly as big as her thumb, and that only including its long, bright blue tail.

“Excuse me,” she said. “I didn’t see you at first. I’m sorry, but I’m not looking for protection, or a guide.”

“You are from the Silver Isles, I can tell by your accent.”

“I am. And I need to be on my way, good day to you.” She gently lifted the lizard onto her finger, and moved her hand aside to let it step into the road.

It stood firm. “Why are you going upstream? Your home is in the south.”

Umri searched her memory for advice on being rid of a persistent god. She found none. “I like to travel.”

“I suppose otherwise you’d never have come so far from home,” piped the tiny lizard. “Take me with you! The captain won’t charge for me.”

“I’m sorry, god whose name I don’t know, but I don’t make long-term deals.”

Rated PG. Contains a journey down a river (note: is not Huck Finn).

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle Miniature 31 – Down in the Flood

by Nisi Shawl.
Read by Elizabeth Green Musselman.

The gods were at it again: giggling, babbling and running back and forth through the Abode of Heaven. Echoes rattled my drums and flutes against the walls where they were hung. A cymbal crashed to the floor.

“Quiet, kids!” I shouted out. “Settle down, or you’ll have to go play in the Void!”

Rated PG. Contains children with the powers of gods, or Gods with the temperaments of children.

Please note that The Missing Link podcast (formerly produced by Elizabeth Green Musselman) is, unfortunately, no longer running. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Discuss on the forums.

PC051: The Cambist and Lord Iron

by Daniel Abraham.
Read by Wilson Fowlie.

Born Edmund Scarasso, Lord Iron had taken his father’s title and lands and ridden them first to war, then to power, and finally to a notorious fame. His family estate outside the city was reputed to rival the king’s, but Lord Iron spent little time there. He had a house in the city with two hundred rooms arranged around a central courtyard garden in which trees bore fruits unfamiliar to the city and flowers bloomed with exotic and troubling scents. His servants were numberless as ants; his personal fortune greater than some smaller nations. And never, it was said, had such wealth, power, and influence been squandered on such a debased soul.

No night passed without some new tale of Lord Iron. Ten thousand larks had been killed, their tongues harvested, and their bodies thrown aside in order that Lord Iron might have a novel hors d’oeuvre. Lord Biethan had been forced to repay his family’s debt by sending his three daughters to perform as Lord Iron’s creatures for a week; they had returned to their father with disturbing, languorous smiles and a rosewood cask filled with silver as “recompense for his Lordship’s overuse.” A fruit seller had the bad fortune not to recognize Lord Iron one dim, fog-bound morning, and a flippant comment earned him a whipping that left him near dead.

There was no way for anyone besides Lord Iron himself to know which of the thousand stories and accusations that accreted around him were true. There was no doubt that Lord Iron was never seen wearing anything but the richest of velvets and silk. He was habitually in the company of beautiful women of negotiable virtue. He smoked the finest tobacco and other, more exotic weeds. Violence and sensuality and excess were the tissue of which his life was made. If his wealth and web of blackmail and extortion had not protected him, he would no doubt have been invited to the gallows dance years before. If he had been a hero in the war, so much the worse.

And so it was, perhaps, no surprise that when his lackey and drinking companion, Lord Caton, mentioned in passing an inconvenient curiosity of the code of exchange, Lord Iron’s mind seized upon it. Among his many vices was a fondness for cruel pranks. And so it came to pass that Lord Iron and the handful of gaudy revelers who followed in his wake descended late one Tuesday morning upon the Magdalen Gate postal authority.

Rated PG. Contains economic trickery that is fantastic, if not fantastical.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle is powered by WordPress with theme Greenery / XHTML · CSS

Site design by JustinBrooke Design