PodCastle Giant 4: Captain Fantasy and the Secret Masters

by Tim Pratt.
Read by Matthew Wayne Selznick.

The door slid open, revealing another corridor. Floor, walls, and ceiling were all the color of used motor oil, and cameras bristled every couple of feet. “Welcome to the Black Wing, Li.”

I didn’t step inside. “I heard you’ve got Bludgeon Man locked up in here. And Junior Atwater’s brain, in a jar.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard those, too,” Brady said. “People believe any damn thing, don’t they? Now come on. If this door stays open too long, alarms go crazy, and we’ll be neck-deep in very tense guards.”

I stepped over the threshold. The black wing was like the inside of a tumor. No wonder mental institutions favor soothing colors to pacify the patients. These walls had the opposite effect; they could drive a sane person mad. The Black Wing surely held a few mental patients, the ones with extraordinary powers. The ones who could enforce their delusions on the world, if they got free.

Rated R. contains violence committed in spandex.

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15 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    SerTyrion said,

    July 15, 2009 @ 9:45 pm

    My favorite PodCastle EVER.

    I usually dislike the longer) episodes. Even something 45 minutes long is usually boring to me. However, I loved this one. It held my rapt attention throughout. I totally lost track of time and was completely sucked in. Great story and great narration. Loved it.

  2. 2

    Jacob said,

    July 16, 2009 @ 4:03 pm

    Another great story by Tim Pratt, who is fast becoming my favorite author. If you haven’t, listen to his other stories on Escape Pod.

  3. 3

    Jennifer said,

    July 16, 2009 @ 6:50 pm

    I second SerTyrion. Also my favorite ever, lost track of time, couldn’t get up during my work break to cut away. Awesome.

  4. 4

    L33tminion said,

    July 16, 2009 @ 9:28 pm

    Homoerotic supertext!

    I was also amused at the protagonist’s “nobody must have known” comment. Clearly the guy never read any Captain Fantasy fanfiction.

    But more seriously, great story.

  5. 5

    Tangaroa said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

    I’m usually not a fan of superhero stories but this one was very moving.

  6. 6

    Tangaroa said,

    July 17, 2009 @ 2:36 pm

    Of particular note was the way Captain Fantasy described his homosexuality with the line “I loved Space Boy in a special way.”

  7. 7

    Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) said,

    July 19, 2009 @ 11:20 am

    Yay! This has long been one of my favorites from RoF… I’m so happy to see it appear here! Haven’t listened yet, hope it sounds good! ^_^

  8. 8

    scatterbrain said,

    July 19, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

    Pratt’s writings *define* good speculative fiction, and this was no exception.

  9. 9

    phignewton said,

    July 21, 2009 @ 8:13 pm

    Bludgeon Maaaaaaaan!!

  10. 10

    Natasha said,

    July 23, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

    What a fantastic, surprising, captivating story! One of my favourite Podcastle episodes.

  11. 11

    BingoRage said,

    July 27, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

    What a great story; but, what a wrenching ending.


  12. 12

    Dave (aka Nev the Deranged) said,

    July 27, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

    Listened! It was just as excellent to hear as it was to read. Couldn’t have picked a better narrator than Mr. Selznick, whose reading of his own Brave Men Run was similarly well performed. Anybody who enjoyed this should check that out, too.

  13. 13

    GeekAba said,

    July 29, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

    Great story, great reading! I also am usually unable to get into the giant episodes but this one had me from the beginning. More Superheroes!

  14. 14

    G said,

    August 11, 2009 @ 11:36 pm

    I love superheroes … more of this genre **please**

  15. 15

    Mari Mitchell said,

    August 19, 2009 @ 12:15 pm

    This was very good. I loved that there were things that harkened back to the golden age and yet made it so modern.

    This one will have a place in my heart for a long time.

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