Flash Fiction Extravaganza!
Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Vintage PodCastle
“The Island Wakes” by D.K. Thompson
Read by Julie Hoverson
A PodCastle Original!
Here’s the thing about the island’s hotel: there’s no bill when you check out.
Mel Summers has been working behind the front desk for the past five months, and she’s still not exactly sure how it all works.
Some of upper management is human. And some of upper management has fish scales, or shark teeth, or a membrane that slicks over their eyes. Nice people, but when Mel asks them questions about how the hotel gets by, all she ever receives is some hand waving about pirate treasure, kraken fossils, and enchantment copyrights. (Separately, never all together.)
“Sheep Among Easter Werewolves” by Ann Leckie
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Originally published in the Kickstarter campaign for the And Welcome Back! anthology.
“I fear to inform your majesty,” said Brother Maximus, “that your people’s dating of Easter is heretical. The Council of Nicea ruled centuries ago that it should be celebrated on the Sunday.”
“Did they?” asked King Osric with a mild voice and an expression of perplexity. “I suppose I can see why it would be convenient for all of the Church to celebrate Easter at the same time. Why, when my mother married my father, they nearly always celebrated Easter on different days. My mother would still be fasting, sometimes for weeks after my royal father had feasted. It could be inconvenient, especially for the cooks. And the priests, of course. But you know, I don’t think she ever complained. I was always under the impression she preferred it that way, actually. Our Easter feasts can be a bit…uncouth.”
“Surprises, Not Secrets” by Anna Schwind
Read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
A PodCastle Original!
Three bubbles hung in the space between them, two small ones and one larger one. Bubbles were not the most remarkable thing Josie had ever seen, and she tried to school her expression to pleasant amusement, but Vellamine’s eyes met hers and Josie knew she’d failed. Vellamine growled again, and pinched the skin at the back of Josie’s knee.
“The Summation of EvilCorp Subsidies HR Meeting Agenda Minutes, Compiled by Olivia Washington” by LaShawn M. Wanak
Read by M.K. Hobson
A PodCastle Original!
Memo #1: The Meeting
Meeting opened with Olivia Washington (me) going over our Supreme Overleader’s plan to change the name of our organization from “EvilCorp Subsidies” to “Supervillain Hero-Inversion Technologies”, effective this Thursday. Ten minutes was spent bemoaning on how this is a bad idea. Not only will it mean ordering new letterhead with a new name for the third time this year, but also because, in the words of Colton Smoker (Risk Management), “People are going to take one look at the new name and laugh their heads off.”
“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky
Read by Tina Connolly
Originally appeared in Apex Magazine. Read it here!
If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.
About the Authors
Anna Schwind is a writer, editor, former librarian and Montessori educator living in Saint Louis, Missouri.
While Anna preferred to stay mostly behind the scenes, her writing and narration has appeared a few times over the years.
Dave Thompson aka the Easter Werewolf aka the California King is still uncomfortable with the notion of pumpkin beer, but don’t hold that against him. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three children. Together with co-editor Anna Schwind, he ran PodCastle for five years, stepping down to focus on his own writing in 2015. You can find two of his audiobook narrations on Amazon: Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout and Briarpatch by Tim Pratt. Dave is an Escape Artists’ Worldwalker and Storyteller, having been published in, and narrated for, all four EA podcasts.
Rachel Swirsky came onboard PodCastle as the founding editor in 2008 and was honored to run many beautiful stories by amazing authors. She would name them all, but would rather point you to the beginning of the PodCastle archive. It’s a Peter Beagle story.
Rachel graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and she’s been nominated for the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and several others. She’s won the Nebula Award twice, once for her novella “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” and once for her short story “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.” She’s been published a number of times in the first three Escape Artists podcasts: EscapePod, PodCastle, and PseudoPod, and narrated a bunch of episodes, too.
Find her website at rachelswirsky.com, visit her on Twitter, and help her write more stories on Patreon where you can get an original story or poem each month for as little as a dollar.
About the Narrators
Julie Hoverson is the writer and producer of such audio dramas as 19 Nocturne Boulevard and Fatal Girl (both available at 19 Nocturne Boulevard.com), has now turned her hand to audiobooks and can be found on audible.com narrating such diverse pieces as Jake Bible’s Dead Mech Apex Trilogy (third book coming soon) and several novellas that are part of Brian MacLellan’s Powder Mage series, most recently MURDER AT THE KINNEN HOTEL.
M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off all social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such as Podcastle and Cast of Wonders. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting.
Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series from Tor Teen. Her novels have been finalists for the Nebula and the Norton. Her very first Escape Pod appearance was in #209, when “On the Eyeball Floor” was narrated by Norm Sherman, and she’s been providing narration for PodCastle since our miniature episode 23, about 8 months prior to her first publication with Escape Pod. Her stories are collected in On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, from Fairwood Press. She is one of the current co-hosts of Escape Pod, and her narrations have appeared all over.
She is extremely delighted to have had both her stories and her narrations featured on all four Escape Artists podcasts. Find her intermittent, Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast at Toasted Cake, or find her at tinaconnolly.com.
He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star Trek, The Laundry Files, Primeval, Victoriana, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, N.E.W. and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name. His most recent game work is the forthcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.
Alasdair co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror show, PseudoPod. His most recent publication is The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, the second collection of expanded essays from the show.
His short stories can be found in the Fox Pockets anthology series from Fox Spirit, among other places.
He lives in the UK with the love of his life and their ever expanding herd of microphones. Follow him on Twitter as @AlasdairStuart, sign up for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid, or check out his reviews and blog, The Man of Words.