Archive for August, 2011

PodCastle 172: Doors

by Rajan Khanna

Read by David O. Engelstad

Originally published in GUD (Greatest Uncommon Denominator).

You will never find this world in a book. It is spelled out on the walls of bathrooms, in janitor’s closets and bomb shelters, in the scrawl on an alley wall. But only if you know where to look. There are maybe a hundred people across the world who do.

From the moment you find your first tag, you become a collector. Some people collect figurines or stamps or comic books, you collect locations. You’re a gambling addict in a million dollar game, a pothead with a giant brick of BC’s Finest, a sexaholic at a gang bang.

I used to be into sex. Like really kinky shit. You could tie me up and beat me with a riding crop and I’d be as happy as a pig in shit. Because in those moments, when someone was treating me like an object, I could switch off from bills and mortgages and loans and fucking laundry. Push it to one side and let the pain wash it away.

Fuck S&M, Traveling is better. Fuck meditation, Traveling is better. God help me, fuck sex.

Traveling is better.

Rated R: Contains explicit language.

Want the summer to keep rolling on? Check out Marshal Latham’s Journey Into…Podcast!

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PodCastle 171: The Island of Doctor Death and Other Stories

by Gene Wolfe

Read by Ben Phillips

Originally published in Orbit 7.

Winter comes to water as well as land, though there are no leaves to fall. The waves that were a bright, hard blue yesterday under a fading sky today are green, opaque, and cold. If you are a boy not wanted in the house you walk the beach for hours, feeling the winter that has come in the night; sand blowing across your shoes, spray wetting the legs of your corduroys. You turn your back to the sea, and with the sharp end of a stick found half-buried, write in the wet sand Tackman Babcock.

Then you go home, knowing that behind you the Atlantic is destroying your work.

Rated R: Contains Adult Themes

Check out a podcast a listener did for his High School Senior Project: https://public.me.com/chrisnkris (click on “RatCasts”).

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PodCastle 170: Five Ways Jane Austen Never Died

by Samantha Henderson

Read by Amal El-Mohtar

Originally published in Fortean Bureau

I buck out of the timestream, recover, and bend over, retching air. That’s why you don’t eat for 24 hours before you make a jump, and a purge or two’s not a bad idea, either. I learned that the hard way.

When I can straighten up, I back against the damp plaster wall (the walls at Chawton were always damp, though Edward never believed it) and wait, listening. In the late summer afternoon, heavy with heat, the ticking of the clock in the study sounds loud and portentous as a drumbeat. Scant golden light lies sluggishly against the drapes on the other end of the hallway.

Cassandra is away, visiting our brother and sister and their innumerable brood. My mother is nursing a migraine with her feet up on the best sofa in the parlor.

And Jane is coming up the stairs.

I draw my modified Glock and stand, waiting in the shadows.

Rated R: Contains Some Violence

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PodCastle 169: The Duke of Vertumn’s Fingerling

by Elizabeth Carroll

Read by Tina Connolly

Originally published in Strange Horizons. Read the story here!

After I opened my eyes they dressed me in silk. A bone-white gown slipped over my head and I raised my arms for it like a child. With my hair undone, I must have looked like a bride. I was nothing of the kind.

My gown hung on me like a sugar bag. I stood in scraps and patches of fabric. I bound ribbon around my waist, and crossed it over and over between breast and hip. I would be presentable if nothing else.

I was barely minutes old.

Rated R: Contains some violence.

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PodCastle 168: Zauberschrift

by David D. Levine

Read by Wilson Fowlie (of the Maple Leaf Singers)

Originally published in the Apprentice Fantastic anthology.

Ulrich had barely recognized Agnes when she had first appeared at his shop in Auerberg.  The ample, jolly woman he had called “foster mother” during the three years of his apprenticeship had become thin and stooped, her face lined and most of her teeth gone.  Behind her, the young man she had introduced as Nikolaus the pastor clutched his hat to his chest; he was as thin as she, and his shaven cheeks were sunken.  Ulrich was keenly aware of their worn and smelly clothes, and hoped they would leave before any of his more prosperous customers saw them.

“Why have you come all this way to ask _my_ help?  I am no wizard — I never even finished my apprenticeship.  I am just a dyer.”

“I know,” said Agnes, “but Johannes always said you showed great promise.”

Rated PG: Contains some violence.

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