PodCastle 399: The Authenticator

by Greg van Eekhout

read by Gregory Austin

Originally appeared in Flytrap Issue #11, May 2014.

Now it’s my turn to be surprised. The homes of thrift shop queens no longer phase me. I’ve met collectors and pack rats and hoarders, and I’ve seen walls so covered by commemorative dishes and tobacco-stained oil paintings that you couldn’t find so much as an inch of plaster between them. But Edelle Bradford’s trailer is something else. It’s a cave of bone. The walls are a mosaic of leg bones and knuckles and teeth and knobby bits. More of the same in curio cabinets, mixed in with the pots and pans in the kitchen, everywhere my eye falls. The bones are stained dark, coffee brown, the color of bones from the La Brea Tar Pits, the richest source of magic bones in Los Angeles. I have to duck under a chandelier of ribs to enter the room, and I am not a tall man. Her coffee table is an arrangement of tusks with a plywood slab on top.

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Rated PG-13.

Greg van Eekhout is the author of stories and novels for adults and middle-grade audiences. His work has been nominated for the Nebula, Andre Norton, and Locus Awards.

His most recent work is the Daniel Blackland trilogy from Tor Books — California Bones, Pacific Fire, and Dragon Coast — about wizards who get their powers from eating the bones of extinct magical creatures. “The Authenticator” and “The Osteomancer’s Son” (previously featured on PodCastle) take place in the Daniel Blackland universe.

Gregory Austin balances time between writing and voice acting in Buffalo, NY. As a writer, he’s contributed to various comedic websites including Collegehumor.com; he’s a writer, treasurer and performer for Aural Stage Studios, a Buffalo based audio drama company, and is also a blogger for hire.

As a voice artist he has narrated half a dozen audiobooks and shared his talents on podcasts, where he’s done anything from narrating stories to relating personal musings. Previously, he was head writer and featured performer for a fun-loving improvisational group called The Human Touch, which wowed slightly inebriated audiences across smoky club scenes in the “second city” he called home: Chicago, Illinois.

Gregory also enjoys sandwiches, comics and genuine people. Find him on his website, on Twitter @BuffaloGregNY, or on his Facebook pages for voice acting and freelance writing.