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)

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.

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!