Archive for October, 2012

PodCastle 232: Skulls in the Stars

Show Notes

Rated R for violence and MONSTERS.


Skulls in the Stars

by Robert E. Howard

There are two roads to Torkertown. One, the shorter and more direct route, leads across a barren upland moor, and the other, which is much longer, winds its tortuous way in and out among the hummocks and quagmires of the swamps, skirting the low hills to the east. It was a dangerous and tedious trail; so Solomon Kane halted in amazement when a breathless youth from the village he had just left, overtook him and implored him for God’s sake to take the swamp road.

“The swamp road!” Kane stared at the boy. He was a tall, gaunt man, was Solomon Kane, his darkly pallid face and deep brooding eyes, made more sombre by the drab Puritanical garb he affected.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 231: Unpossible

Show Notes

Rated PG


Unpossible

by Daryl Gregory

Two in the morning and he’s stumbling around in the attic, lost in horizontal archaeology: the further he goes, the older the artifacts become. The stuttering flashlight guides him past boxes of Christmas decorations and half-dead appliances, past garbage bags of old blankets and outgrown clothing stacked and bulging like black snowmen, over and around the twenty-year-old rubble of his son’s treasures: Tonka trucks and science fair projects, soccer trophies and summer camp pottery.

His shoulder brushes against the upright rail of a disassembled crib, sends it sliding, and somewhere in the dark a mirror or storm window smashes. The noise doesn’t matter. There’s no one in the house below him to disturb.

Twenty feet from the far wall his way is blocked by a heap of wicker lawn furniture. He pulls apart the barricade piece by piece to make a narrow passage and scrapes through, straws tugging at his shirt. On the other side he crawls up and onto the back of a tilting oak desk immovable as a ship run aground.

The territory ahead is littered with the remains of his youth, the evidence of his life before he brought his wife and son to this house. Stacks of hardcover books, boxes of dusty-framed elementary school pictures—and toys. So many toys. Once upon a time he was the boy who didn’t like to go outside, the boy who never wanted to leave his room. The Boy Who Always Said No.

 

PodCastle Miniature 72: The Best Worst Monster

Show Notes

Rated PG


The Best Worst Monster

by Peter S. Beagle

From the tips of his twisted, spiky horns all the way down to his jagged claws, the monster was without any doubt the biggest, ugliest, most horrible creature ever made. Since his master had put him together out of spare parts lying around the house, some bits of him were power tools and old television sets, while other bits were made of plastic and wood and stone. His fiery eyes were streaked red and yellow, like the autumn moon, and even his ears and his hair had claws.

“There!” his master said proudly. “Aren’t you a fine fellow?”

“Am I?” the monster asked. He had just seen himself in a mirror, and wasn’t sure.

PodCastle 230: Little Better Than a Beast

Show Notes

Rated R: Contains Language, and Monster


Little Better Than a Beast

By T.A. Pratt

Marla picked up a letter opener shaped like the grim reaper’s scythe. “So I was supposed to get this a week or ten days ago?”

“Thereabouts,” Granger said, head bobbing, happy they were in agreement.

If I could fire him, or have him committed… But Granger was a powerful magician, in his way, and even if he wasn’t much use to the city’s secret shadow government of sorcerers, he mostly stayed out of the way in the park, and his elementals had been formidable warriors in last winter’s battle against the nightmare-things. She considered reprimanding him for not bringing the letter on time, but it would be like hitting a puppy fifteen minutes after it pissed on the carpet — the poor thing wouldn’t even understand what it was being disciplined foor.

Marla used the letter opener to pry up the wax blobs and unfolded the envelope, which wasn’t an envelope at all, but just a sheet of paper folded in on itself. The message wasn’t very long, but it said everything it needed to.

She came around the desk, shouting “Rondeau! I need you!” and clutching her dagger of office. This was going to be a bloody afternoon.