Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 360: 21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One)

by LaShawn M. Wanak
read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

First published by Strange Horizons. Read it here!

When a spiral staircase appears in front of you, don’t panic. Just know that if you place your feet on that first step, it shows commitment. You can’t go back. You can only go up and up and up until you reach the very top.

Watch your step. That’s the main thing to remember. Some people think they can race to the top, or take the steps two at a time. All it takes is one stumble, one slip, and soon you’re tumbling, arms pinwheeling, shins banging, down, down, down.

You don’t want to be rejected by a spiral staircase. It’s painful.

Rated PG

LaShawn M. Wanak was formerly Associate Editor at Podcastle. She stepped down to focus more on her writing. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter, as well as her blog, The Cafe in the Woods. “21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One)” is her second story in the Escape Artists family. Her story “Future Perfect” can be found at Escape Pod.

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali lives in Houston, Texas with her husband of twenty-five years and three children. By day she works as a breast oncology nurse. At all other times she juggles, none too successfully, writing, reading, gaming and gardening. She has self-published one novel entitled An Unproductive Woman, has published a story at Escape Pod and has a story upcoming in the An Alphabet of Embers anthology. Khaalidah also reads slush at Escape Pod where she is on a mission to encourage more women to submit science fiction stories.

Of her alter ego, K from the planet Vega, it is rumored that she owns a time machine and knows the secret to long youth.

You can catch her posts at her website, www.khaalidah.com, and you can follow her on twitter, @khaalidah.

 

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PodCastle 359: The Litigatrix

by Ken Liu

Read by Anaea Lay

First published in GigaNotoSaurus. Read it here!

The fifteenth day of the first month in the seventh year of the Huayin Era:

The old man, Hae-wook Lee, had been bedridden for months. He lay on the sleeping mat, wrapped in a blanket. The drugs helped him sleep, and forget about the harsh words of his son.

It was an unseasonably warm winter day, here in this corner of Northeast Asia. Though the fire in the kitchen hearth next door had been extinguished, thegudeul smoke passages below the floor would continue to radiate residual heat for several hours. The room was so warm that the maid, Kyoon, had left the windows open to give the old man some fresh air, dry and invigorating after the new snow of the day before.

He dreamt that he was having a dinner of gogi gui. That pretty girl from years ago served him. He felt a pang of regret.

Rated PG.

Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy Awards, he has been published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science FictionAsimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Ken’s debut novel, The Grace of Kings, the first in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, was published by Saga Press, Simon & Schuster’s new genre fiction imprint, on April 7, 2015. Saga will also publish a collection of his short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, in November 2015.

Anaea Lay lives in Seattle, Washington where she sells Real Estate under a different name, writes, cooks, plays board games, takes gratuitous walks, runs the Strange Horizons podcast, and plots to take over the world.  You can hear her audio work in other places including John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey’s The End is Nigh and The End is Now anthologies.  You can find her writing in places such as Lightspeed, Apex, Daily Science Fiction and Escape Pod.  You can stalk her blog or follow her on twitter @anaealay.

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Dave’s story “Saint Darwin’s Spirituals” at Variant Frequencies.

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PodCastle 358: Gabriel-Ernest

by Saki (the pen name of H. H. Munro)

Read by Graeme Dunlop

First published in The Westminster Gazette, May 1909

What Van Cheele saw on this particular afternoon was, however, something far removed from his ordinary range of experience. On a shelf of smooth stone overhanging a deep pool in the hollow of an oak coppice a boy of about sixteen lay asprawl, drying his wet brown limbs luxuriously in the sun. His wet hair, parted by a recent dive, lay close to his head, and his light-brown eyes, so light that there was an almost tigerish gleam in them, were turned towards Van Cheele with a certain lazy watchfulness. It was an unexpected apparition, and Van Cheele found himself engaged in the novel process of thinking before he spoke. Where on earth could this wild-looking boy hail from? The miller’s wife had lost a child some two months ago, supposed to have been swept away by the mill-race, but that had been a mere baby, not a half-grown lad.

Rated PG.

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PodCastle 356: Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day

by Tina Connolly
Narrated by a full cast!
C.S.E. Cooney as Stef
Amal El-Mohtar as Zoë
M.K. Hobson as Alicia
Tina Connolly as Tiffy
LaShawn Wanak as Deiondre
Dave Thompson as Joseph
Marguerite Kenner as Lindsay
Anna Schwind as Felicia
Hosted by Dave Thompson
Originally published in Unidentified Funny Objects 3, edited by Alex Shvartsman!

From: Stef Jones-Tanaka <bilingualbiologist@supermail.com>
To: <superbabymoms@superdupergroups.com>
Subject: Intros

Hey Super Moms! Here’s the email group I mentioned to a couple of you at preschool today. Teacher Stacie said there are four of us families in the system right now at Little Darlings Preschool and shared your emails with me–hope that’s ok! I think we can learn from each other!

Please go ahead and introduce yourself and your kids, and feel free to share a problem you’re having right now. Chances are you’re not alone.

As for me, I have twin four-year-olds Isabel Ko and Beatrix Ai. Isabel has super strength and Beatrix has X-ray vision. Isabel is going through a hitting phase. Our front door has been obliterated twice. Beatrix knows all about sex from looking through the neighbors’ walls (apparently the neighbors have way more fun than we do.) I’m tempted to put both girls in a cement dome covered in foil until they’re twenty.

Hope to hear from you all!

hugs, Stef

Live each day like the planet might explode tomorrow. Who knows, right?

Rated PG.

Editors’ Note: This is the last story Dave will be hosting at PodCastle as your editor. And he has a present for you — he wrote a story for you all which you can listen to on his new site!

Special thanks to Peter Wood for all the hard work in putting this episode together, and to LaShawn Wanak, for being a wonderful part of our staff.

 

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