Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 351: Hoywverch

By Heather Rose Jones
Read by Sarah Goleman
Featuring Special Guest Host Amal El-Mohtar
A PodCastle Original! Welcome back to Artemis Rising, Week 3!

Elin verch Gwir Goch oed yn arglwydes ar Cantref Madruniawn wrth na bo i’w thad na meibion na brodyr. A threigylgweith dyvot yn y medwl vynet y hela. Ac wrth dilyt y cwn, hi a glywei llef gwylan. Ac edrych i fyny arni yn troi, a synnu wrthi. A’y theyrnas ymhell o’r mor. Ac yna y gelwi i gof ar y dywot y chwaervaeth Morvyth pan ymadael ar lan Caer Alarch: Os clywhych gwylan yn wylo, sef minnau yn wylo amdanat. A thrannoeth cyvodi a oruc ac ymadael a’y theulu a’y niver a’y chynghorwyr, a marchogaeth a oruc tra doeth i’r mor.

Elin, the daughter of Gwir Goch, ruled over the cantref of Madrunion, for her father had neither sons nor brothers. And one day it came into her mind to go hunting. As she was riding after the hounds, she heard the cry of a seagull and looked up to see a white bird circling overhead. She marveled at it, for her lands were far from the sea. And then she remembered what her foster-sister Morvyth had said when they parted on the shore by Caer Alarch: “When you hear a gull crying, that will be me—crying for you.” And the next morning she took leave of her household and her warriors and her counselors and rode west for the sea.
 
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The scent in the air was just as I had remembered it: sharp and rich at the same time. I’d seen and heard the gulls for hours before my path topped the hill and the wide expanse of the Irish Sea spread out before me. The land curved to embrace it, gathering an armful of harbor to hold close and safe against winter storms. And there, where the hills rose past the outlet of the laughing river, the timbered walls and halls of Caer Alarch stood. My eyes were not for the court, but for the cluster of ships pulled out on the narrow slip of sand—ships with the look and build of Ireland. I let my horse pick her own way down to the shore and across the shifting flats where the tide had run low. Then we climbed the hills again to the eastward side where the gates of Caer Alarch opened.
 
The men who watched the gate I knew of old, though the last time they’d seen me I had been a wild hoyden, racing my pony along the beach and daring Morvyth to explore the treacherous caves under the cliffs. Neither one knew me at first, until I called out, “Ha, Meurig! Am I so changed?”
 
Then their faces split into grins, and one answered, “Elin!” He corrected himself quickly. “Lady! You’ve come in time, just barely.”
 
With the foreboding already resting on my shoulders, his words would have chilled my heart if they’d not been spoken with such cheer. “In time?” I asked.
 
“For the wedding feast,” came the answer. Read the rest of this entry »

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PodCastle 346: The Pilgrim and the Angel

by E. Lily Yu

Read by Rajan Khanna

Originally published in McSweeney’s Quarterly 45.

Three days before Mr. Fareed Halawi was washed and turned to face the northeast, a beatific smile on his face, he had the unusual distinction of entertaining the angel Gabriel at the coffeeshop he operated in the unfashionable district of Moqattam in Cairo. Fareed was tipped back in his monobloc chair, watching the soccer game on television. The cigarette between his lips wobbled with disapproval at the referee’s calls. Above him on the wall hung the photograph of a young man, barely eighteen, bleached to pale blue. His rolled-up prayer mat rested below. It was a quiet hour before lunch, and the coffeeshop was empty. Right as the referee held up a yellow card, a scrub-bearded man strode in.

“Peace to you, Fareed,” the stranger boomed. “Arise!”

Fareed laughed and tapped out a grub of ash. “Peace to you. New to the neighborhood?”

“Not at all. I know you, Fareed,” the stranger said. “You pray with devotion and give generously to the poor.”

“So does my neighbor,” said Fareed, “though that hasn’t helped him find a husband for his big-nosed daughter. Can I get you a glass of tea?”

“The one thing you lack to perfect your faith is the hajj.”

“Well, with business as slow as it is, and one thing and another…” Fareed coughed. “Truth is, may God forgive me, I’m saving up to visit my son. He’s an electrician in Miami. Doesn’t call home. What would you like to drink?”

“I have come to take you on hajj.”

Rated PG.

Greg Campbell, author and Navy Veteran needs your help! Click here to find out how you can help him and his children after a fire.

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PodCastle 344: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Other Worlds Than These

“The Problem With Other Worlds,” by Nick Scorza
Read by Dave Thompson
A PodCastle Original!

At the bottom of an old boarded-up well is the world you really come from.  You were plucked from it as a child, and all the miseries of your life, all the ways the world you know does not fit you, are a consequence of this.

“Paperheart,” by Tina Connolly
Read by M.K. Hobson
Originally published in Bibliotheca Fantastica, ed Claude Lalumiere & Don Pizarro

After his wife died, the magician stayed in his library for three days with the door barred. Purple smoke poured from the chimney and something that might have been salt tears came in a trickle out of the windowsill, as the magician forbade water, even his own, anywhere near his books. When the three days passed, the magician came forth dry-eyed and forbade anyone to mention her name again.

“Portal Worlds and Your Child (A Parent’s Guide),” by Matt Mikalatos
Read by Peter Wood
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction. Read it here!

Warning Signs. One in every 250 children experiences inter-dimensional travel before the age of 18. Siblings and cousins are 40% more likely to enter another dimension than single children. If you discover your child hiding medieval items (crowns, trumpets, tapestries, chastity belts, swords, etc.), take action immediately. Likewise, if potential magical artifacts are found (uncommon rings, buttons, feathers, etc.), confiscate the item and talk to your child. Watch for imaginary friends, talking animals or strange behaviors (avoiding sidewalk cracks, fear of open closets, obsessively locking bedroom windows, etc.).

Rated PG!

For further explorations into different worlds and escapism, we highly recommend reading or listening to our own LaShawn M. Wanak’s 21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One). We think it’s pretty incredible.

Happy New Year!

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PodCastle 339: Help Summon the Most Holy Folded One!

by Harry Connolly

With a Special Full Cast Reading!

Wilson Fowlie as the Narrator
Dave Thompson as Chris “Exalted” Clark
Graeme Dunlop as Elder Devout
M.K. Hobson as Arlo Glick
Anna Schwind as Graciela Chan
LaShawn Wanak as Shontay Jackson
Amanda Fitzwater as True AmericanTina Connolly as Lanie Armstorng
and Ann Leckie as Justin Side

Originally published in Help Fund My Robot Army! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, edited by John Joseph Adams

You’ve Heard The Experts

How many styles of taco are there? Not just fish/pork/beef/chicken, but also puffed, breakfast, even Chocotacos (if you can stand the very thought). There are disagreements over whether they should be made with corn or flour tortillas, whether they should be hard or soft, and whether they should be steamed, grilled, or fried. You’ve seen the recipes that were handed down through the generations and recipes that were created on the fly by some of the greatest chefs in the world.

Well, that’s not good enough for us.

What is the ultimate taco? What is the most perfect guacamole recipe? Perhaps more important of all: flour or corn?

Now Learn From The Greatest “Master Chef” Of All

We have acquired a small plot of land in New Mexico and have planted a special crop of heritage maize: No GMO, no pesticides, no industrial fertilizer. The land is being farmed the way it was 200 years ago, when campesinos worked the land with donkeys and hand plows.

What’s more, the seeds have been planted in a special design found only in El Libro de los Muertos. When the crop matures this fall, I will conduct a secret, sacred ritual to summon the Most Holy of Holies: The Folded One.

The God of Tacos.

Rated PG!

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