Archive for Podcasts

PodCastle 529: Chesirah

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for violent captivity and violent rebirth.


By L. D. Lewis

“It is almost time.” Chesirah smiled despite her screaming fingers. They were a blur, working feverishly to finish lacing together the last of her dark braids before Nazar the dollmaker made it home. She wove one braid into a dozen others and then a dozen more until she wore a high crown of them pinned in place by the dollmaker’s thick needles. She needed them to make her escape.

Fenox, as a rule, were kept creatures, usually by those of means, influence, and the odd eccentric streak. They needed a safe place to burn and someone to keep their ashes. Their keepers needed a conversation piece: something subservient and entertaining. By and large, it was a shit life, and Chesirah had a tendency to run, so she spent thirty of her adolescent years in the city of Kirjan, caged. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 528: Properties of Obligate Pearls

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for hard choices and the treasures they produce.

Properties of Obligate Pearls

By L. S. Johnson

You have to know what to look for. Younger, definitely — stones from the elderly are heavy and black, decades of layers dulling the luster. No one wants the weight of a grandmother’s worries around their neck.

Take the young woman sitting across from me. I saw her in the supermarket, late on Friday night. She should have been out partying, or on a date; instead, she was pushing a cart that was equal parts cat food, stew meat, and adult diapers. Everything about her spoke of exhaustion and embarrassment.

Even under her jacket, I could glimpse the fullness of her torso, that hint of bloating directly beneath her sternum. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 527: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! In the Beginning…

Show Notes

Rated G, for godlike.

Note that the text for “Intelligent Design” is a story sample; the whole story is only available in audio format.”Intelligent Design” is a re-run of PodCastle Mini 24.

Latte-colored afterglow: the average color of the entire universe is a pale beige officially dubbed “Cosmic latte”. (See

Raspberry: Sagittarius B, a massive cloud hanging out in the Milky Way, contains ethyl formate, one of the key chemicals giving raspberries their flavor.

Raisins in raisin bread: The raisin bread analogy is the standard mechanism for explaining Hubble expansion, aka the expansion of the whole universe. (See

Recipe: 1 Universe

by Effie Seiberg

Recipe: 1 Universe

Serves: everybody

1) Start with nothing. If you don’t have nothing, discard everything. Discard your house and your bed, your friends and your family and the dog who barks hello to you every time you pass it on your way to work. Discard your work. Discard your hopes and your dreams, your love of peanut butter, and the little crinkle you get at the side of your smile when you smell the seashore. Discard yourself.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 526: When Shadow Confronts Sun

Show Notes

Rated: PG-13.

When Shadow Confronts Sun

By Farah Naz Rishi

[Allah] will say, “Enter among nations which had passed on before you of jinn and mankind into the Fire.” Every time a nation enters, it will curse its sister until, when they have all overtaken one another therein, the last of them will say about the first of them, “Our Lord, these had misled us, so give them a double punishment of the Fire.” He will say, “For each is double, but you do not know.” (7:38)

The paan seller’s cart has a very particular smell: burnt roses, sugar syrup, cumin. Spicy and sweet, like Nani’s sticks of sage, the ones she burns every Sunday after fajr to ward off jealous eyes and jealous spirits. But I am hungry and I breathe it in, letting the newfound familiarity of the fragrance settle into my bones. (Continue Reading…)