Archive for January, 2013

PodCastle 244: The Very Strange Weird of Endart Sscowth

Show Notes

Rated PG

The Very Strange Weird of Endart Sscowth

by Scott H. Andrews

“Please lend me your second copy of the Chronicles, O magnanimous lord of bound volumes,” cried the scholar standing in the street.

Endart Sscowth, the most prosperous bookseller in all Samech Tern, and by that token in the whole of Hyposudia, was startled from his reverie by the reedy voice.  His ruminations, as he walked homeward that evening, had been lavish with the parchment scent of antique books, the supple smoothness of age-worn buckram, and the vivid hues of many-lettered spines in piles, stacks, and teetering columns, all atop the bookshelves of Endart Sscowth.  Now this scholar had chased that vision from his mind.

“Your pardon, but I ceased lending my treasures long ago, after too many were returned with dents and creases.”

“Then I offer to buy it, O generous one.”

PodCastle 243: Tiger in the BSE

Show Notes

Rated G

Tiger in the BSE

by E. Lily Yu

There was once a tiger in Mumbai, a Kshatriya and a ruthless trader of stocks, who lived in a glossy high-rise the color of the sea. His suits of slick poplin and seersucker were confected by two tailors in Milan; his bath was cut from marble as rich as soap, and always drawn warm and fragrant for him at the end of each day; and his suppers, which threw the meat markets into an uproar, were prepared under the hands of some of the finest cooks from Mangalore and Chengdu. He had, in short, the kind of life that any well-bred tiger could hope to have. But he lacked one thing, and it made him pace between the red walls of his living room and bite the pads of his paws.

He went to the house of an old friend, where he and his trading tips were always welcome, and said, “Brother, I have no mother or father to help me in this matter, and no family except my friends. For the sake of the tricks we played in school, for the beatings I took for you, will you help me find a bride?”

PodCastle 242, Giant Episode: A Memory of Wind

A Memory of Wind

by Rachel Swirsky

I began turning into wind the moment that you promised me to Artemis.

Before I woke, I lost the flavor of rancid oil and the shade of green that flushes new leaves. They slipped from me, and became gentle breezes that would later weave themselves into the strength of my gale. Between the first and second beats of my lashes, I also lost the grunt of goats being led to slaughter, and the roughness of wool against calloused fingertips, and the scent of figs simmering in honey wine.

Around me, the other palace girls slept fitfully, tossing and grumbling through the dry summer heat. I stumbled to my feet and fled down the corridor, my footsteps falling smooth against the cool, painted clay. As I walked, the sensation of the floor blew away from me, too. It was as if I stood on nothing.

I forgot the way to my mother’s rooms. I decided to visit Orestes instead. I also forgot how to find him. I paced bright corridors, searching. A male servant saw me, and woke a male slave, who woke a female slave, who roused herself and approached me, bleary-eyed, mumbling. “What’s wrong, Lady Iphigenia? What do you require?”

I had no answers.

PodCastle 241: Everything You Were Looking For

Show Notes

Rated PG, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

Everything You Were Looking For

by Samantha Henderson

Never explore a cave alone like I just did. Here at the entrance, the roof domes high in the weak light, but at the back you’ll see it starts to narrow. I just went half a mile in.

I found a crack in the back, wide enough to squeeze through if I turn sideways and hold my breath. I stood at the maw and waited for a while, listening, waiting for my breathing to quiet. At last I turned the flashlight off.

And in the dark I heard it, faintly, far back there. The chanting. It fades in and out though the passages inside the mountain. Because they are on the move; they are always on the move.

I’ve found them. I’ve found her.