by Cat Rambo
read by Dave Robison
Originally featured as part of Cat’s Patreon Campaign.
Phlogiston, the most precious material in the world, capable of fueling marvelous machines like himself. Artemus carried a scraping of it, small as a fingernail clipping, deep in his midsection. Once a year, it was replaced, but it was valuable enough that he’d had people try to kill him for it before.
So far none had succeeded. And if it seemed that someone was about to, he held, secret in another internal pocket a sliver of terra fluida, a substance that, when combined with phlogiston, would explode. He would do that rather than be taken.
Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com, four collections (one forthcoming) and her debut novel, Beasts of Tabat, to be followed by Hearts of Tabat this fall. A World Fantasy, Endeavour, and Nebula nominee, she is the current Vice President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). For more about her, as well as links to her fiction and her online classes, see http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog.
Dave Robison’s voice work has appeared on audio fiction podcasts across the internet, including the Drabblecast, Starshipsofa, Tales to Terrify, and all the Escape Artist Podcasts. He’s been contracted – through his production company, Wonderthing Studios – to do the audiobook narration for Tim Ward’s novel “Scavenger: Evolution” and Terry Irving’s “The Day of the Dragon King”. In addition to hosting the fabulous “Roundtable Podcast”, Dave just launched a new venture… Vex Mosaic, an e-zine featuring essays on culture and society through the lens of pop-culture media. You can check that out at www.vexmoasic.com.