Archive for May, 2012

PodCastle 207, Giant Episode: Hope Chest

Show Notes

Rated R: Contains violence.

Hope Chest

by Garth Nix

One dusty, slow morning in the summer of 1922, a passenger was left crying on the platform when the milk train pulled out of Denilburg after its five minute stop. No one noticed at first, what with the whistle from the train and the billowing steam and smoke and the labouring of the steel wheels upon the rails. The milk carter was busy with the cans, the station master with the mail. No one else was about, not when the full dawn was still half a cup of coffee away.

When the train had rounded the corner, taking its noise with it, the crying could be clearly heard. Milk carter and station master both looked up from their work and saw the source of the noise.

A baby, tightly swaddled in a pink blanket, was precariously balanced on a large steamer trunk on the very edge of the platform. With every cry and wriggle, the baby was moving closer to the side of the trunk. If she fell, she’d fall not only from the trunk, but from the platform, down to the rails four feet below.

PodCastle 206: Another Word for Map is Faith

Show Notes

Rated PG

Another Word for Map is Faith

by Christopher Rowe

On the other side of the valley, across the creek, the real ridge line—the geology, her father would have said disdainfully—stabbed upstream. By her rough estimation it had rolled perhaps two degrees off the angle of its writ mapping. Lucas would determine the exact discrepancy later, when he extracted his instruments from their feather and wax paper wrappings.

“Third world bullshit,” Lucas said, walking up to her. “The transit services people from the university paid these little schemers before we ever climbed onto that deathtrap, and now they’re asking for the
fare.” Lucas had been raised near the border, right outside the last town the bus had stopped at, in fact, though he’d dismissed the notion of visiting any family. His patience with the locals ran inverse to his familiarity with them.

“Does this count as the third world?” she asked him. “Doesn’t there have to be a general for that? Rain forests and steel ruins?”

Lucas gave his half-grin—not quite a smirk—acknowledging her reduction. Cartographers were famous for their willful ignorance of social expressions like politics and history.