Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 407: The Cellar Dweller

by Maria Dahvana Headley

read by Tina Connolly

First appeared in Nightmare Magazine.

Buildings were built, in the beginning, everyone knows, to hold the dead down. Every cellar floor was built over the ceiling of something else. Now cellars are used for all sorts of purposes. Roots. Paint cans. Pantries. Workshops. Other.

There’s a rhyme someone invented for children. It’s chanted in nurseries in the Banisher’s town. The nurseries are upholstered in chintz, and the walls are padded, as though they’re asylums and the babies inmates.

There is an awful thing that lives beneath the cellar floor, little darlings. There is an awful thing that comes up from beneath the cellar floor, up and through the cellar door.

The rhyme’s sometimes sung as a lullaby to pretty little ones, who curl in pretty little chairs, and play with pretty little rolling horses and pretty little rocking dogs. When they nod off to sleep, all’s well and right, but beneath their houses, things are fell and wrong. Things press their noses up through the dirt.

If you wake at night and hear a roar, perhaps you’ve heard the awful thing that roars behind the cellar door.

Rated PG

Maria Dahvana Headley is the New York Times-bestselling author and editor of Magonia, Queen of KingsThe Year of Yes, and with Kat Howard, The End of the Sentence. With Neil Gaiman, she is the editor of the anthology Unnatural Creatures. Aerie, the sequel to Magonia, is upcoming in September from HarperCollins, and in 2017 her Beowulf adaptation, The Mere Wife will be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Her Nebula and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated short fiction has been anthologized in many year’s bests. Her work has been supported by The MacDowell Colony, and Arte Studio Ginestrelle, among others.

Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Analog, and more, and her first collection is forthcoming from Fairwood Press in August. Her narrations have appeared all over, including Podcastle, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon, and her website is tinaconnolly.com.

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PodCastle 406: The Little Dog Ohori

by Anatoly Belilovsky

read by Tatiana Gomberg

Originally published in the Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk.

Cold.

Lying on the riverbank in a puddle of blood and melting snow, she listens for the sounds of gunfire, the roar of engines, the clatter of tank tracks, anything to say she is not alone. She no longer feels her hands, though she can see her right hand on the trigger of her Tokarev-40, the index finger frozen into a hook. She no longer feels pain where the shell splinter tore into her belly, only cold. Cold comfort, too, in the bodies scattered on the ice beyond the riverbank, eleven black specks against relentless white, eleven fewer Waffen SS, eleven plus two hundred and three already in the killbook makes two hundred and three fewer who could threaten —

Her mind’s eye projects a glimpse of Selim’s face against the night, then all is dark again.

She listens, and hears a friendly sound.

The little dog Ohori is barking.

Rated PG

Anatoly Belilovsky is a Russian-American author and translator of speculative fiction. He was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (see Wikipedia, Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a paediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. His original work appeared or will appear in the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology, Ideomancer, Nature Futures, Stupefying Stories, Immersion Book of Steampunk, Daily SF, Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, and Genius Loci anthology, and has been podcast by Cast of Wonders, Tales of Old, and Toasted Cake; his translations from Russian have sold to F&SF, Year’s Best SF #32 (edited by Gardner Dozois,) Grimdark, and Kasma. He blogs about writing at loldoc.net.

Tatiana Gomberg is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. Learn more about her at tatianagomberg.com.

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PodCastle 402, ARTEMIS RISING: Opals and Clay

by Nino Cipri

read by The Word Whore

Hosted by Aliette de Bodard

A PodCastle Original! Welcome to Artemis Rising II!

The D’Amara household was famous for its feats of engineering–they built the floating bridges between the towers of Harapiri’s university, and the aqueducts in the mountain mines. The aquaplex was Lady Adina’s life work; designed to study and excavate the submerged ruins of Tenitha, whose riches had outstripped Harapiri’s before its destruction, before the great sea serpent we were named for toppled us into the water.

From the cliffs above, I could barely see the shimmering white stones of Tenitha beneath the waves. Adina’s aquaplex was easily visible, a squat building of dark steel jutting out from the cliffs and descending into the water, like a monster emerging from the water to attack the land.

Rated PG.

Nino Cipri is a queer and genderqueer writer living in Chicago. Their writing has been published in Tor.com, Fireside Fiction, Crossed Genres, Daily Science Fiction, and other fine publications. A multidisciplinary artist, Nino has also written plays, essays, and radio features, and has performed as a dancer, actor, and puppeteer. They currently work as a bicycle mechanic, freelance writer, and occasional rabblerouser.

More of their writing can be found on my website: ninocipri.com. You can support them on my patreon page: www.patreon.com/ninocipri. You can also check for updates by following them on twitter (@ninocipri) or on Facebook.

The Word Whore runs Air Out My Shorts with Preston Buttons. This is an intermittent humor podcast which includes a not insignificant amount of booze and fiction of dubious quality. They are the patron saints of the Escape Artists Submissions Staff, the holiest of the slush pile. It is rumored that candles with religious imagery have been purchased at a gas stations and renegade modifications with AOMS fan art have been used to modify them. They are burned by submissions staff while conducting reviews.

 

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PodCastle 401, ARTEMIS RISING: The Color of Regret

by Carrie Patel

read by Setsu Uzume

Hosted by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

A PodCastle Original! Welcome back to Artemis Rising II!

Sefid’s aura was the same luminescent gray as storm clouds. ‘‘You will not regret this.’’ Yet he said it in that tone that people used when it was certain you would.

Nasrin cleared her throat. ‘‘What is there to regret? I am grateful for the matches.’’ She shifted on the concrete bench and slid the matchbox into the pocket of her faded corduroy coat. As a city bus rolled around the corner, commuters across the street pressed closer to one another, blending the colors of their own varied auras.

Sefid’s smile was merely a bristling at the center of his thick, black beard. It didn’t distract from the quick glance at his wristwatch. ‘‘You know as well as anyone how few of us there are in this province. Iran needs more people like your father. We trust that a daughter of Azad Rajavi won’t fail us.’’

Rated PG.

Carrie Patel is an author and a full-time narrative designer for Obsidian Entertainment, a video game developer. She’s written for the computer RPG PILLARS OF ETERNITY and its expansion, THE WHITE MARCH. She has published two novels: THE BURIED LIFE and CITIES AND THRONES. Her short fiction has also appeared in BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES. She’s originally from Houston, Texas, but she now lives in California with her husband and their dog. Her first novel, a gaslight-and-shadows mystery called THE BURIED LIFE, came out with Angry Robot in March 2015 and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. The sequel, CITIES AND THRONES, came out in July 2015.

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. You can find her on the web at katanapen.wordpress.com, and on Twitter @KatanaPen.

 

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