Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 501: The Christmas Abomination from Beyond the Back of the Stars


The Christmas Abomination from Beyond the Back of the Stars

By Heather Shaw and Tim Pratt

“Mele Kalikimaka!” Uncle Ray shouted as Trish rushed down the steps from the little plane, sucking in great gasps of island air. The plane smelled like the trapped farts of three boys (maybe four; she wasn’t sure if the pilot had farted or not). The air here was humid and smelled of salt, which was better, but weird. Trish squinted around: palm trees, blue skies, the distant engulfing ocean. It was the opposite of a winter wonderland.

“That’s how you say ‘Merry Christmas’ in Hawaiian,” Ray added helpfully.

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PodCastle Miniature 101: National Geographic on Assignment: The Unicorn Enclosure


National Geographic on Assignment: The Unicorn Enclosure

by Sarah Monette

In the unicorn enclosure, all five unicorns are clustered along the fence, batting their long eyelashes beguilingly at a troop of girl scouts. The girls ooh and aah and argue about which one is prettiest, and the unicorns trail them patiently down the perimeter line.

These unicorns are captive-born (two from San Diego, one from Brookyn, one from Mexico City, and the stud all the way from Manchester in an attempt to maintain genetic diversity in North America’s captive breeding program); they’ve never hunted anything but sides of beef. But they’re too smart not to recognize their natural prey, even through plexiglas. The zoologists call the behavior I’m witnessing “playing,” in the same way a domestic cat “plays” with a mouse. Seen from the mouse’s standpoint, it’s not much of a game.

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PodCastle 497: Six Jobs


Six Jobs

By Tim Pratt

 

1.   Exterminator’s Helper

I was eleven when a little man with watery eyes who blinked and sniffed all the time shuffled into my classroom, moving carefully, not brushing up against any desks or people. My teacher stood frozen with her hand pointed at a map of Africa, and the kids all around me were unnaturally still, too, stuck in whatever moment they’d been caught in when time stopped: note-passing, nose-picking, empty-space-gazing.

I held my breath at first, hoping this strange person in the gray suit looking at a scrap of paper in his hand wouldn’t realize I was still conscious, still capable of movement. I didn’t know what he was, or what was happening, but I’d read a lot of books and seen a lot of shows about fairies and monsters and magic, and being in the middle of a story like that was so scary I was afraid I’d wet myself.

He squinted around, peered in my direction, and bustled over. “You’re . . .” A glance at the paper. “Makayla?”

“Kayla,” I whispered.

A brisk nod. “Never saw the point of nicknames, but whatever makes you happy. I’m Sigmund. I need your help. Actually, all your friends and . . . so on . . . here at school need your help.” He rubbed at his nose and sniffled more. I wondered if he had a cold. “It’s not quite a save-the-world thing, but you can save this little part of your world. Won’t that be, um, fun?”

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PodCastle 480: All of the Cuddles With None of the Pain

Show Notes

Rated PG


All of the Cuddles With None of the Pain

By J. J. Roth

What is a Reborn?

A Reborn is an artist-enhanced baby doll that looks and feels lifelike. Artists create Reborns as one-of-a-kind collectibles, often from ordinary play dolls transformed into art suitable for hands-off display—or hands-on cuddling.

While reasonably durable, Reborns are not children’s toys. Rough play may damage them.

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