Archive for Podcasts

PodCastle 413: This is Not a Wardrobe Door

by A. Merc Rustad

read by a full cast!

  • Dave Thompson as The Narrator
  • Jen R. Albert as Ellie/Ell
  • Rachael K. Jones as Zera
  • Alasdair Stuart as Misu
  • Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali as The Falcon Queen
  • Graeme Dunlop as The Forgotten Book
  • Marguerite Kenner as Lorraine

Originally published in Fireside Fiction Magazine. Support their Patreon campaign for more excellent stories!

Zera packs lightly for her journey: rose-petal rope and dewdrop boots, a jacket spun from bee song and buttoned with industrial-strength cricket clicks. She secures her belt (spun from the cloud memories, of course) and picks up her satchel. It has food for her and oil for Misu.

Her best friend is missing and she must find out why.

Rated G.

Merc Rustad is a queer transmasculine non-binary writer and filmmaker who lives in the Midwest United States. Favorite things include: robots, dinosaurs, monsters, and tea. Their stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, Mothership Zeta, and InterGalactic Medicine Show, as well as the anthology The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2015.

Merc has a new story about robots and gender in Cicada Magazine’s July/August, and reprints in Wilde Stories 2016 and Lightspeed.

Please stick around after the episode for an editorial announcement from Rachael K. Jones, or check out her blog post on her website!

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PodCastle 412: For Honor, For Waste

by Setsu Uzume

read by Nadia Niaz

A PodCastle original!

Rohnaq tried to rejoin her unit; but only shoved forward by inches, crushed by the crowd. They walked upward en masse, tier by tier, to the palace. One woman slipped a brown hand over her children’s shoulders to pull them out of Rohnaq’s way. Sweat-scent, sea salt, sour incense, and camphor dogged her all the way to the plaza. Wheat barons and merchant ship captains, cobblers, and beggars. All hoping to conclude old business and hear whether or not their prayers would be answered, and at what cost. Last cycle, Manaph ignored the new siege engine offered to her, and took the engineer’s life. Malajine’s army conquered three of their neighbors in exchange. Rohnaq had been proud of those campaigns, once. Now, they only reminded her of dear friends, lost in the name of service. Rohnaq didn’t dare to ask for a blessing.  

A city blessed, every cycle. One life destroyed, every cycle.

Rated PG-13.

Setsu Uzume spent her formative years in and out of dojos. She also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay. She is a member of Codex and SFWA. While she has dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck.

Nadia Niaz is a writer, academic, language nerd, creative writing teacher and third culture kid who now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She divides what little downtime she has between cooking, knitting, painting, dancing, powerlifting and, now, narrating stories for PodCastle.

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PodCastle 411: Hands of Burnished Bronze

by Rebecca Schwarz

read by Cheyenne Wright

A PodCastle Original!

“Tell me you have found a spell to lift this curse, old friend.”

What passes between us is many things, but even after all these years, I wouldn’t call it friendship. His haunted eyes search mine from under a brow etched with lines. His beard now streaked with gray. Years ago, when the King swept into my homeland and took me into his service it was with the understanding that I would not leave it alive. In those days, I thought myself a far better magician than I was. It was King Hroth that made me the powerful wizard that I am. Every town and castle he captured, he ordered his men to bring him the resident magician. Some were renowned, others little more than tricksters or court fools. He personally tortured all of them with me by his side to claim the secrets they divulged.

I have no good answer for him, so I remain silent.

“I made you,” he growls low in my ear. “Find a way out of this or I will end you.”

Rated PG-13.

By day, Rebecca Schwarz is a mild-mannered editorial assistant for a scientific journal, by night she writes science fiction and fantasy stories. Her work has appeared in Interzone, Bourbon Penn, and Daily Science Fiction. She is currently writing her first novel. You can read about her writing life at www.curiousworlds.blogspot.com.

Cheyenne Wright is the color artist on the Hugo Award winning graphic novel series Girl Genius. A freelance illustrator of many fine table-top projects; Like “Deadlands Noir”, and the “Professor Elemental” edition of the “Pairs” card-game. He is NOT the Lord of a subterranean colony of Mole-people bent on world subjugation. Such claims are libelous and unfounded. As is the ground beneath those who repeat them. [You have been warned sun-sucking dirt walkers]. More info about Cheyenne’s current plans for a better world [all of them… better worlds] can be found at www.ArcaneTimes.com.

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PodCastle 410: The Saint of the Sidewalks

by Kat Howard

read by Eve Upton

First appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine. Read it here!

Joan wrote her prayer with a half-used tube of Chanel Vamp that she had found discarded at the 34th St. subway stop. It glided across the cardboard—the flip side of a Stoli box, torn and bent—and left her words in a glossy slick the color of dried blood: “I need a miracle.”

You were supposed to be specific when asking the Saint of the Sidewalks for an intervention, but everything in her life was such a fucking disaster, Joan didn’t know where to start. So, she asked for a miracle, non-specific variety.

She set her cardboard on the sidewalk, prayer-side up. Then lit the required cigarette—stolen out of the pack of some guy who had been hitting on her at a bar—with the almost empty lighter she had fished out of the trash. You couldn’t use anything new, anything you had previously owned, in your prayer. That was the way the devotion worked: found objects. Discards. Detritus made holy by the power of the saint.

Rated R.

Kat Howard lives in New Hampshire. Her short fiction has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, anthologized in year’s best and best of collections, and performed on NPR. Her debut novel, Roses and Rot, will be out from Saga Press in May. You can find her on twitter at @KatWithSword.

Eve Upton is your narrator today. You may have heard her previously on Pseudopod where she’s narrated several stories to chilling effect.

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