Archive for September, 2010

PodCastle 124: Squonk and the Horde of Apprentices

by P.M. Butler

Read by Wilson Fowlie

A PodCastle Original!

Most dragons learn to love fire as soon as they come out of their eggs, when their parents celebrate their birth by spitting great gouts of flame into the sky; dragons often use fire to express joy.  Or anger. Or surprise.  Or boredom.  Or the fact that they’re still breathing. Dragons _really_ like fire.

But Squonk didn’t even know he _could_ breathe fire.  That’s because his adoptive mother, a little blue bird named Mrs. Tweedle-Chirp, didn’t know he could breathe fire, either–and even if she did, she certainly would have forbid him from ever doing it.  Like most forest creatures, Mrs. Tweedle-Chirp didn’t like fire one little bit.

But her not-so-little boy was, indeed, a dragon.  And while there are some things you _can_ teach out of a dragon….

Rated G: Contains Dragons, Wizards, School, and Fire (which is Awesome)

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PodCastle 123: Black Feather

by K. Tempest Bradford

Read by Amal El-Mohtar

Originally published in Interfictions

Exactly one year before she saw the raven, Brenna began to dream of
flying.  Sometimes she was in a plane, sometimes she was in a bird,
sometimes she was just herself–surrounded by sky, clouds, and
too-thin-to-breathe air.  In the dark, in the light, over cities and
oceans and fields, she flew.  Every night for a year.

Then, on the twelfth day of the twelfth month, the dreams changed.
They ended with a crash and fire and the feeling of falling.  Most
nights she almost didn’t wake up in time.

Exactly one year from the night the dreams began, Brenna struggled out
of sleep, the phantom smell of burning metal still in her nose.  She
reached out for Scott–he was not there.  He was never there.  He had
never been there.  She fell back onto her pillows and groaned.
Another dream of flying, another reaching out for Scott; she wished
she could stop doing both.

Rated PG: Contains Death, Life, and Ravens.

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PodCastle 122: Kingspeaker

by Marie Brennan

Read by Diane Severson

Originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies (Text available here)

The king had come to Anahata.

I met him for the first time in the sacred garden of the Temple.  Passing through an archway of fire, I found myself on a path of flower petals, which bruised delicately beneath my bare feet.  Two attendants clothed me in a robe of more petals, fragile silk holding blossoms of the flowers for which the days are named.  Still barefoot, I proceeded, marking along the path the measured steps of my dance.

For that moment, they say, I was the Goddess Triumphant, but I felt no difference.  Only nervousness, that I might misstep in some way.

They had removed the wax at dawn, and even the tiny, faint sounds I had heard since then were a balm for my mind and soul.  Soon, I would hear more.  A new voice awaited me.

Rated PG: Contains a Kingly Voice.

This episode of PodCastle is proudly sponsored by M.K. Hobson’s debut novel The Native Star.

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

Read the Prologue and Chapter 1 online and listen to Chapter 2 now. Enjoy!

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PodCastle Preview: The Native Star

An excerpt from Chapter 2: The Corpse Switch

written and read by M.K. Hobson

(You can also read the Prologue and Chapter 1 online now!)

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

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PodCastle 121, Giant Episode: The Warlock and the Man of the Word

by M.K. Hobson

Read by Bob Eccles

Originally published in Postscripts 19

Mrs. Jorgensen ran the whores out of a big square building that had once been butter-yellow but had weathered to the color of chicken fat left out on a plate. The place was built sturdy, of white pine and fir, and had fine scrollwork supporting the eaves. The windows were covered with stretched oilpaper, ripped in places. At night, behind the oilpaper, shadows moved in the light of kerosene lamps. Some of the shadows had horns, some did not.

The building had three floors. The saloon was on the ground level, and above it there were two floors of small rooms where the girls worked. It was in the room on the east corner of the top floor that the demon prince Methe Pyrtrogo was shot dead.

It was past midnight on a Saturday, a hot night after a day when the thermometer outside Jowett’s General Supply had risen to a hundred and three. The hot thick dark air was split by a sound like branches being snapped. Two cracks. No one downstairs heard the sounds. Miners from the Baby Boy and the Independence and the May Queen had gotten their monthly envelopes that day. There was every kind of miner in the dance hall that night–alive and undead, Indian and white, human and demon. The noise they made was deafening.

Then Minnie, a young whore with yellow hair, came stumbling down the stairs. She was splattered with black blood, a great deal of it, all over her face and the front of her dress.

Rated R: Contains Violence (Including Gore), and Language

This episode of PodCastle is proudly sponsored by:

The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

You can read the Prologue and Chapter 1 online now! Check back on Friday for an exclusive audio chapter read by M.K. Hobson!

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PodCastle 120: Some Zombie Contingency Plans (fixed)

by Kelly Link

Read by Norm Sherman (of The Drabblecast)

Special Closing Music: “Just Mizunderstood” by Norm Sherman

Originally published in Magic for Beginners. Read the text here. (Reprinted from The Living Dead)

This is a story about being lost in the woods.

This guy Soap is at a party out in the suburbs. The thing you need to know about Soap is that he keeps a small framed oil painting in the trunk of his car. The painting is about the size of a paperback novel. Wherever Soap goes, this oil painting goes with him. But he leaves the painting in the trunk of his car, because you don’t walk around a party carrying a painting. People will think you’re weird.

Rated R: Contains Language, Thematic Elements

EDITORS’ NOTE: For some reason yet to be determined, we experienced some kind of issue with iTunes and other programs, resulting in an incomplete download (only Norm’s song). The entire download should be 62 minutes in length. We apologize and are trying to remedy it. Thanks for your patience!

UPDATE: Thanks to Ben, things seem to be back to normal now. Thanks again for your patience, and enjoy the story!

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