Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 544: Waters of Versailles — Part 3

Show Notes

You can buy Kelly Robson’s book, Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach, now. It’s also available in audio.

Below are a few links from Kelly’s recommendations and comments during the interview:

The Sun King by Nancy Mitford.

A Study in Oils” by Kelly Robson, published by Clarkesworld.

The Uncommon Reader, a novella by Allan Bennett.

Mysteries by Sarah Caudwell.

The Tremontaine serial, seasons 1 to 4 by Ellen Kushner.

Kelly Robson’s Tremontaine tie-in story “The Eye of the Swan.”

Waters of Versailles

by Kelly Robson

[Note: This is Part 3 of a three-part novella. Visit our previous posts to read Part 1 and Part 2.]


Sylvain stood on the roof of the north wing, the gardens spread out before him. The fountains jetted high and strong, fifteen hundred nozzles ticking over reliably as clockwork, the water spouts throwing flickering shadows in the low evening light.

The gardens were deserted as any wilderness. Inside, everyone was preparing for the evening’s long menu of events. Outside, the statues posed and the fountains played for the moon and stars alone.

Sylvain was taking advantage of this quiet and solitary hour to do one final check of the velvet pipes. He had already felt every inch of the new connection, examined the seams all the way to the point where the fabric sleeve dove off the roof to disappear through a gap above a garret window. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 543: Waters of Versailles — Part 2

Show Notes

Rated R for adult themes.

Waters of Versailles

by Kelly Robson

[Note: This is Part 2 of a three-part novella. Please visit last week’s post to read Part 1. Click here for part 3.]


Sylvain paced the Grand Gallery, eyeing the cracked ceiling above the statue of Hermes. There had been no further accidents with the pipes. He had spent the entire night checking every joint and join accompanied by a yawning Bull. At dawn, he’d taken Bear up to the rooftops to check the reservoirs.

Checking the Grand Gallery was his last task. He was shaved and primped, even though at this early hour, it would be abandoned by anyone who mattered, just a few rustics and gawkers.

He didn’t expect to see Annette d’Arlain walking among them. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 539: Godfall

Show Notes

Rated R.

Tully brought the skiff in from the south. The blue mountains of Maya’s feet rose against the sky, each toe adorned with a massive gold ring inlaid with cobras crowned with lotus blossoms. By the looks of the gold and white flags, the feet had already been claimed by the Vatican. It must have galled Pope Innocent XVI to accept the UN award for the feet of a Hindu god.

The god’s legs rested to one side, knees slightly bent, thick thighs leading to the fleshy invitation of her belly. Tully couldn’t see the upper arms, but her lower right arm lay across her midriff, while the lower left arm lay flung to the side, a cosmic afterthought. Immense gold bracelets at the wrists framed the wealth of rings on both hands. Beyond her breasts would be the treasures of her shoulders and head. This looked to be a good haul. Plenty of gold and industrial grade diamonds in the rings; uranium and other heavy metals could be extracted from the bones. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 536: The Threadbare Magician — Part 2

Show Notes

Note that this is one part of a two-part episode. You can read and listen to the first part here.

Rated R, for cursing wizards and magical desires.

See below for links to Cat’s projects:

Cat’s Patreon.

The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, which offers live and on-demand classes aimed at fantasy and science fiction writers. Fun fact: co-editors Khaalidah and Jen met at one of Cat’s workshops. They are highly recommended!

Some books and collections for sale: Hearts of TabatNeither Here Nor ThereMoving from Idea to Finished Draft.

The Threadbare Magician — Part 2

by Cat Rambo

[Continued from Part 1, available here]

I hadn’t consulted an oracle in years. Never in this area.

I went to a closet and took down the usual sorts of accumulated boxes before finding a box of cedarwood, holding a small red velvet pouch. I took out the contents and cast the runes.

And frowned at them. Had I been overly casual, insulted them?

I took the time to center myself and cast again.

The same result. Which couldn’t be right.

An Oracle here in Friendly Village itself? Pleasant, unmagical Friendly Village?

Only a few trailers away? (Continue Reading…)