Archive for Rated PG

PodCastle 388: The One They Took Before

by Kelly Sandoval

read by Eleiece Kraweic

First appeared in Shimmer Magazine, and recently featured in Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. Read it here!

Rift opened in my backyard. About six feet tall and one foot wide. Appears to open onto a world of endless twilight and impossible beauty. Makes a ringing noise like a thousand tiny bells. Call (206) 555-9780 to identify.

Kayla reads the listing twice, knowing the eager beating of her heart is ridiculous. One page back, someone claims they found a time machine. Someone else has apparently lost their kidneys.

The Internet isn’t real. That’s what she likes about it. And if the post is real, the best thing she can do is pretend she never saw it.

After all, she’s doing better. She sees a therapist, now. She’s had a couple of job interviews.

She calls the number.

Rated PG.

Kelly Sandoval’s fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, Flash Fiction Online, Shimmer, and other venues. She lives in Seattle, where the weather is always happy to make staying in and writing seem like a good idea. Her family includes a patient husband, a demanding cat, and an extremely grumpy tortoise. Find out more on her website,

Eleiece Krawiec has been involved in voice-acting and narration since 2007. Since her initial foray into audio drama, beginning with Star Trek: Excelsior, she has voiced roles for a variety of audio dramas: Misfits Audio (Strange Stories, 5 Minute Classics, Good Sam), 19 Nocturne Boulevard, Darker Projects and, several Star Trek audio dramas, including Star Trek: Outpost, in which she plays the (ongoing) role of Dr. Rachel Winston. She has also done narration for Well Told Tales, Drabble Cast, The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, and Escape Pod. Eleiece lives in the New Orleans, Louisiana metropolitan area and is, in her day job, a legal secretary.

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PodCastle 382: Of Blood And Brine

by Megan E. O’Keefe
read by Jacquie Duckworth

First published in Shimmer magazine in Jan 2015.

Child walked the edge of the cold shore, bare feet sinking in rough sand. The red glare of the sun cast the pale beige granules in eerie, pink light, as if blood had been spilled across them and then diluted by the waves. Beak-pecked carcasses of sea creatures lay along her path, their poisonous flesh bulbous with tumors even after those few birds who could stomach them had picked them over. Why anyone would desire to smell like those wretched waters, Child could not guess.

The beach was empty, as it always was, save for a small group of mourning. They bundled their dead—two or three, she could not tell—onto a floating bier, set light the wooden slats, and shoved it out to sea. Child caught her breath, anger tightening her fists as flames licked up around the bier, revealing the wraps the dead had been sent to their rest within. Such a waste. But then, they had earned them. It was their right.

Rated PG

Megan E. O’Keefe writes speculative fiction and makes soap for a living — it’s only a little like Fight Club. Her debut novel, STEAL THE SKY, which centers around an airship heist, is due out from Angry Robot Books in Jan. 2016. Visit her website at or communicate with her via cat pictures on twitter @MeganofBlushie.

Jacquie Duckworth is a Bay Area actress, Teaching Artist, and Director of just about anything from Shakespeare to sketch comedy. She has one child in college and another starting next year and looks forward to embracing poverty with a plucky resourcefulness.


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PodCastle 379: The Truth About Owls

by Amal El-Mohtar

read by Amal El-Mohtar

First published in Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (Twelfth Planet Press, 2014), edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein. Winner of the 2015 Locus Award for Best Short Story.  Reprinted in Strange Horizons (January 2015) and Jonathan Strahan’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year vol. 9 (May 2015). Read it here!

Owls have eyes that match the skies they hunt through. Amber-eyed owls hunt at dawn or dusk; golden-eyed owls hunt during the day; black-eyed owls hunt at night.

No one knows why this is.

Anisa’s eyes are black, and she no longer hates them. She used to wish for eyes the color of her father’s, the beautiful pale green-blue that people were always startled to see in a brown face. But she likes, now, having eyes and hair of a color those same people find frightening.

Rated PG.

Amal El-Mohtar is the Nebula-nominated author of The Honey Month, a collection of very short fiction and poetry written to the taste of 28 different kinds of honey. Her work has recently appeared in Uncanny magazine and in Lightspeed magazine’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction special issue. She’s 1/4 of DOWN AND SAFE, a new podcast discussing iconic British science fiction program Blake’s 7, along with Scott Lynch, Liz Myles, and Michael D. Thomas. She also reviews books for NPR,, and Lightspeed, edits Goblin Fruit, and presently divides her time and heart between Ottawa and Glasgow. Find out more at, or follow her antics on Twitter @tithenai.

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PodCastle 378: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Strange Destinies

“Yaga Dreams of Growing Up,” by Eileen Wiedbrauk
Read by Elizabeth Tennant
Originally published in Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. No. 29

When Yaga grows up, she wants to have a house on chicken legs so it can walk away from solicitors, would-be-thieves, nosy strangers, village raiders, tax collectors, Anya the cartwright’s daughter, and all of Anya’s friends.

“Mrs. Stiltskin,” by Bonnie Joe Stufflebeam
Read by Alasdair Stuart and Marguerite Kenner!
Originally published in Lakeside Circus, March 2014.

Q: You say you knew nothing of the stolen babies?
A: I knew nothing.
Q: And you didn’t suspect anything?
A: Not one little thing. Officer, my husband’s always been an eccentric little man. He’s always been peculiar. I knew nothing, you see.

“Marking Time,” by Stephanie Burgis
Read by Kim Mintz
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction in February 2015.

The next bead marks graduation. Your parents were there, in the background, at least, smiling tightly and watching you with big, worried eyes, while you held yourself rigid: waiting, just waiting to leap to Tom’s defense the moment that they made a single wrong move. They never understood how special he was, and he was right, he really was–they always tried to ruin everything.

Rated PG!


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