Archive for June, 2010

PodCastle 111: And Their Lips Rang With The Sun

by Amal El-Mohtar

Read by N.K. Jemisin

Originally Published in Strange Horizons.

There was once a Sun-woman, glorious as any of them, named Lam. She was nimble, lithe; she was all of eighteen, quite in her prime, while her bright-eyed acolyte had only just learned the sacred alphabet off by heart. She was a sensible teacher, and differed from her sisters in only one respect.

It was her custom, once the dawn-dance was done, to look out to the very farthest reaches of the horizon and imagine how far the fingers of the Rising Sun could reach, what they touched where her gaze failed. And when the evening was shaken out like a sheet between the arms of her sisters, then, too, rather than look to the closing of her palms, she would chase the last ray of the Sun as it vanished over the desert and the mountains, and wonder where She went, where She slept, and in whose bed.

These were unnecessary thoughts for a Sun-woman to have, to be sure, but perhaps none had loved the Sun quite so completely as she.

It happened one afternoon that Lam looked out, as was her wont, towards the west, and wondered. But while she thought her puzzle-thoughts, she became aware of eyes on her, and looked down to the great square before the temple of the Sun.

Rated PG: Contains Stories for Travelers Who May or May not be Passing Through

Read the text here.

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PodCastle Miniature 51: Jaguar Woman

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Read by Anna Schwind

Originally Published in Shimmer

The bearded Spaniard says little to her. He prefers to kiss her and mount her and have her pour his drink for him.

But the priests speak often, furiously. They show her drawings, they explain. The priests have images of martyrs drenched in blood, holding their own heads on a platter, their bodies pierced by arrows.

The priests make her kneel before their blessed Virgin and pray. She has prayed to others before and it is not so difficult to pray to new gods. It is more difficult to have lost her name. Even more difficult to have lost the jaguar shape.

But she does not remember much about those times either. It must have been years ago. She’s been the Spaniard’s mistress for an eternity. It has been like this forever, eating at his table, sleeping in his bed. Although it must not have been forever; she remembers there was a time when she could barely understand him and now his words are clearer although his meaning is the same.

Rated R for Violence, Including Gore

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PodCastle 110: The Alchemist’s Feather

by Erin Cashier

Read by Dave Thompson

Originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies

I have always done as I have been told, and most of my actions have not been kind ones. I know because the Alchemist did not always tell me to forget and so, trapped inside my jar, I was cursed to remember.

I dreamt the dreams of dolls, and those were the times I could see the past most clearly. I remembered the time I crept inside a true man’s workplace to hide false evidence. And when I delivered a botched love potion into a poor serving girl’s tea and hid behind a jug of milk to watch as she retched black blood and green bile across the floor.

Tonight as I dreamt, I became aware that these were horrible things. They did not bother me at the time, and they do not bother me now, but I am aware of them in a way that I have never been before. And in the morning I realize one of my fingers is gone.

Rated R for Violence

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PodCastle 109, Bonus Episode: Watermark

by Michael Greenhut

read by Amy Elk, Voice Actress for Hire

Originally published in Fantasy Magazine

Dear Father:

If you are reading this, Dariael murdered me.

Though I am not your favorite daughter, you also know I’m not the type of sixteen-year-old to feign suicide for sympathy. For the moment, I ask only that you believe in my abilities as a threadkeeper. If my sorcery works, you can save me in your universe. If you’re too busy to follow my instructions, you’ll never see me again.

In my timeline, I wrote this letter with your (presumably) grieving hands after you channeled me through a favorite memory. Naturally, Dariael was in the memory too. We had surprised you with that golden fleece jacket for your thirty-fifth birthday. You hugged Dariael, and I hugged you both.

Rated PG for Father’s Day Issues – we hope yours turns out better than this!

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