Archive for September, 2009

PodCastle 072: The Exit Sign

by Ursula Pflug.
Read by Christiana Ellis.

You and I were different. Making love on sprawling landings we learned that one way of life wasn’t better than another, and that we all shared the same ultimate misery, doomed to be born and die in this building. Who’d made this place? Had we built it ourselves generations ago when we still had legs to run from something fierce and predatory that circled our tower, waiting for travellers: the jumpers, the fliers, those with the twisted bed sheet ropes?

Rated R. for sex and dismemberment in enclosed places.

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PodCastle 71: I’ll Give In

by Meghan McCarron.
Read by Rachel Swirsky.

I turned around and found myself face to face with a minotaur.

He was shorter than I would have expected and a bit more — human-y? He had the head of a bull, sure, but he wore a black suit and a skinny black tie, like he had decided to live Pulp Fiction.

“I’m Phil,” he said.

“Phil?” I said.

“It’s easier to say than my real name.”

“Try me.”

Phil grunted something unintelligible. I tried to grunt it back and he started laughing.

“I think your dog would have done a better job,” Phil said. “And you are?”

Rated X. for S-E-X.

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PodCastle 070: The Dybbuk in the Bottle

by Russell William Asplund.
Read by Wilson Fowlie.

Avram had no more talent for wonder working than for farming. No matter how hard he prayed, he could not call even a sparrow down from a tree. His Sabbaths were spent at a small synagog in the town, and the rabbi there had no idea of the way to Paradise save the path of a good life. As for Avram’s attempt to animate a golem, the less said about it the better.

Still Avram did not give up. After all, without his books there was only the farm, and the more he worked the farm, the more he wanted to work wonders instead. There was very little glory in cleaning a chicken coop.

And that is how Avram came upon the dybbuk in the bottle.

Rated G. for child-safe dybbuk romping.

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PodCastle 069: The Olverung

by Stephen Woodworth.
Read by Paul S. Jenkins (of the Rev Up Review.

The Olverung is an ugly bird.  Its bulbous head juts from the spout of a scrawny neck, and warts dot the bridge of its fat beak.  When it struts upon the ground, its pot-bellied body waddles with the ludicrous gait of a town drunkard.  Its plumage has the black iridescence of a fly’s abdomen and is too coarse even for pillow stuffing.  Yet the fowl possesses one singular attribute that princes and popes have coveted for centuries, and it was for this sole virtue that Lord Atherton entreated me to steal the creature from the King.

Rated R for tugged heartstrings.

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PodCastle 068: A Heretic By Degrees

by Marie Brennan.
Read by Paul Tevis.

The suggestion was heretical, and treasonous to boot.  Two years before, the king had established by sacred decree that there was only one world, and that nothing lay beyond its bounds; anything seen there was a delusion, a final torment sent to test the faithful before their eventual salvation.  And for two years, his Councillors and subjects had respected his word.

Now they faced a choice.  Disobey the king — or lose him.  Commit treason, or let him die, and with him, the last remnant of the sacred royal line.

Rated PG. for actions taken at the end of the worlds.

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