Archive for December, 2011

PodCastle 189: Limits

by Donna Glee Williams.
Read by Tisch Parmelee (of the Watch your Language Podcast).
Originally appeared in Strange Horizons. Read the text here.

When did Len first see how far the path would take her son? No Far Walker had been born in Home Village for many years. But everyone knew Shreve Far Walker, from Third Village Down, who often passed through as she carried loads between High and Low. When nightfall caught her near Home Village, she would stay over, taking dinner and giving back news. She wasn’t by nature a talkative person, but she understood the duties of a guest. Len would crowd with the others to hear Shreve’s account of the Far Villages.

So Len had some notion of the life of a Far Walker, though her own range was a modest seven villages. When Cam began to show unusual aptitude for climbing high and descending very low, she wondered. Like all parents, Len had observed Cam closely from his earliest tottering steps as he followed her to First Village Up. She had shared discreet smiles with the other parents as their young ones tried on the new costume of adulthood to see how it would fit them, daring each other to range ever farther from Home Village on spurious errands

There would be a jaunt proposed, a clamor of assent, and a rush like a group of startled goats when Cam and his friends hurried off. No packing or planning was needed as they carried no real loads and it was understood that they would stay in whatever village they were closest to when night fell. Families who housed a youth from another village tonight knew that their own children would find food and a pallet where they needed it tomorrow, and the balance would be kept.

Rated PG.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 188: The Ghost of Christmas Possible

by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw.
Read by Ian Stuart.
A PodCastle Original!


I was asleep: to begin with.

The hour was just before midnight on Christmas Eve when a ferocious knocking woke me from my slumber. My first muddled thought, or rather hope, was that some specter or spirit stirred beneath the cramped rafters of my newly rented accommodations. Such a prospect aroused in me no little excitement — for though I am well versed with the actions and habits of apparitions, ghosts, and hauntings of all sorts, I have always had to seek out such extraordinary creatures in situ, as it were, and their attentions had never been initially directed toward me. I thought immediately of the incident of the Knocking Well, when I helped lay to rest the unquiet spirit of a lost child in Somerset, and so I leapt to my feet and pulled on my dressing gown to begin my investigation. I followed the sound of knocking, now ever more ferocious, through the corridor and down the narrow stairs.

Alas, it soon became clear the knocking was of an entirely ordinary sort, attributable to some visitor pounding upon my front door — though the lateness of the hour did suggest some manner of emergency or alarm. When I opened the door, a wild-eyed creature, with a ghostly white aura about his head and loose robes that flapped wildly in the wintry winds, forced his way inside, and I reconsidered my assumption that he was a mortal man. I had certainly never encountered an apparition polite enough to knock — however vigorously — before entering, and when he spoke, I was crushed by the mundane quality of his voice, which possessed none of the eerie harmonics I associated with those few spectral beings who deigned to speak.

“Mr. Hodgson, I presume? I have immediate need of your services, man!”

He was a frightened old man, and I was acquainted with such; I had met the terrified, the dread-filled, and the desperate over and over during my researches into the occult.

Rated PG.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle Spotlight: Briarpatch

Dave and Anna (um, Anna? ANNA?!?! Where’d you go?) talk about Tim Pratt’s new book Briarpatch! If you’re looking to get that special someone (or yourself) something for the holidays, look no further!

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 187: Ties of Silver

by James L. Sutter.
Read by V.O.  Bloodfrost (Follow him on Twitter: @Vbloodfrost).
Originally appeared in Beast Within 2: Predator & Prey

Harris always found me when I was at my worst. Not that it was particularly difficult — the way I figured it, I’d been at my worst for going on three years, and if there was reason to expect a change, nobody had clued me in.

In this case, I was sleeping off an evening of hard drinking and harder words, the latter contributing to the egg-sized knot on the back of my head. Turned out folks in the skin bars didn’t take kindly to a fur running his mouth, blueskin or otherwise. There was no way to tell how much of my headache had come from the bruise, and how much had been the brew.

Still, I was at my desk when Harris arrived. I may have been half-drunk, worked over, and counting each heartbeat as it lanced through the back of my skull, but I was no deadbeat.

“Jesus, Terry,” he said. “You look like hell.”

“At least I have an excuse,” I replied. “What’s yours? And don’t call me that.”

Harris sighed and seated himself in the only other chair. He was middle-aged and balding, with the soft cheeks of a man who’d never lost his baby fat, just converted it. His uniform was drab brown save for the full moon insignia on the shoulder, and his gut hung over his gun belt as if trying to hide it.

“Jackson, then,” he said. “But the observation stands. I heard you got thrown out of O’Meara’s last night.”

“It’s still a free city. I can get thrown out of any bar I want.”

И не забудьте: горнолыжные туры

Rated R for some strong language and violence.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 186, Giant Episode: Beyond the Sea Gate of the Scholar Pirates of Sarskoe

by Garth Nix.
Read by Paul Tevis.
Originally appeared in Fast Ships, Black Sails.

“Remind me why the pirates won’t sink us with cannon fire at long range,” said Sir Hereward as he lazed back against the bow of the skiff, his scarlet-sleeved arms trailing far enough over the side to get his twice folded-back cuffs and hands completely drenched, with occasional splashes going down his neck and back as well. He enjoyed the sensation, for the water in these eastern seas was warm, the swell gentle, and the boat was making a good four or five knots, reaching on a twelve knot breeze.
“For the first part, this skiff formerly belonged to Annim Tel, the pirate’s agent in Kerebad,” said Mister Fitz. Despite being only three feet six and a half inches tall and currently lacking even the extra height afforded by his favourite hat, the puppet was easily handling both tiller and main sheet of their small craft. “For the second part, we are both clad in red, the colour favoured by the pirates of this archipelagic trail, so they will account us as brethren until proven otherwise. For the third part, any decent perspective glass will bring close to their view the chest that lies lashed on the thwart there, and they will want to examine it, rather than blow it to smithereens.”
“Unless they’re drunk, which is highly probable,” said Hereward cheerfully.

Find more about online jewelry store.

Rated R for violence, sex.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle is powered by WordPress with theme Greenery / XHTML · CSS

Site design by JustinBrooke Design