Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 491: Bullets


by Joanne Anderton

read by A. J. Fitzwater

Previously published by In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep

Rated R for adult content.

It had once been a sheep, and it wasn’t dead yet. A mangle of smouldering wool, scorched skin, and cooked meat, breathing in puffs of hot ash. Outrun by flames, tangled in underbrush, or crushed beneath a falling tree, who could tell? Everything was charcoal now. I pull the mask from my nose and mouth and breathe the warm smoke in. Load the rifle, aim between what’s left of the poor thing’s ear and eye, and give it peace with the slow squeeze of the trigger. Try to ignore the shakes, the tears stinging my eyes. I’m soaked in sweat and covered in ash, but supposed to be grateful that I’m still alive. At this point, it’s hard to even give a shit that the house is still standing.

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Joanne Anderton PhotoJoanne Anderton writes speculative fiction for anyone who likes their worlds a little different. She sprinkles a pinch of science fiction to spice up her fantasy, and thinks horror adds flavour to everything. She has won the Aurealis, Ditmar and Australian Shadows awards.

A J Fitzwater PhotoA. J. Fitzwater is a dragon wearing a human meat suit, living between the cracks in Christchurch, New Zealand. She attended the Clarion workshop in 2014, and won the Sir Julius Vogel Award 2015 for Best New Talent. Stories have been published in venues such as Shimmer, Crossed Genres and various Crossed Genres anthologies, At The Edge, an anthology of New Zealand and Australian speculative fiction from Paper Road Press, The Future Fire, and more.

PodCastle 483: Thirteen Bullets


by Laurence Raphael Brothers
read by Austin Malone
A PodCastle Original!

Rated R for adult themes.

The stagecoach lurches to a halt in a clearing beside the road. Four wild-eyed black geldings rear up and whinny as the top-hatted stage driver cracks a whip over their heads.

“Nous sommes ici,” says the driver. “Cimetière. La fin de la ligne!” The coach door slams open and the No-Good Kid clambers out, bleary-eyed, cursing, unsteady on his feet. His blond hair is tousled and mussed. He had to leave Albuquerque without his hat but it’s obvious what color it was because all the rest of his gear is white. Or it used to be white. Now it’s dingy with the dust of the journey. Not the best choice for hard travelling, but then he didn’t have much time to pack. His luggage consists mainly of card decks and empty whiskey bottles.

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Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and technologist. He has published short fiction at such venues as Nature magazine, the New Haven Review, and the Sockdolager, and he is nearing completion of a new novel, Evolutionary Intelligence Enkidu, a near-future military-aviation, alien-invasion, AI romance. You can follow Laurence on Twitter at @lbrothers, and at his website.

Austin Malone is an author of short-fiction, an associate editor for PseudoPod, and the facilitator for the Crescent City Critters writer’s group. He resides in New Orleans with two other full-sized humans, a slightly smaller human-in-progress, and one tiny dog. If folks would like to learn more about him, they can check out his website at sippinghemlocktea.com

PodCastle 481: What the Fires Burn


by A. Merc Rustad

read by Brian Murphy

hosted by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

A PodCastle Original!

Rated R.

It’s near dusk when VanDrake Tage Rannheim trudges into the city to meet a friend. He sticks to the lee of buildings, smog and shadow wrapping his coat. Don’t like a lot of attention. Can’t help it, mostly, but he keeps his greatcoat pulled closed to conceal weapons. Ain’t wiped the mud off the back sigil, either.

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Author A. Merc RustadA. Merc Rustad is a queer non-binary writer who lives in the Minnesota. Their stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Apex, Uncanny, Shimmer, Cicada, and other fine venues. You can find Merc on Twitter @Merc_Rustad, Patreon or their website: http://amercrustad.com. Their debut short story collection, SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROBOT, is out now from Lethe Press.

Brian Murphy is a long time co-host of The Miskatonic University Podcast, www.mu-podcast.com. He works at home in the tech industry and has far more time on his hands than he will admit. He would also like to ask his neighbors to stop building things with power tools in the middle of the day.

PodCastle Miniature 99: Ghost of the Shoals


by Sandra M. Odell

read by Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali

Spirits Tincturek, June 2016

Rated R.

Pharah Dupree always wore her hair up tight.

***

“You ever hear of Muscle Shoals, Manny?” she said one afternoon. We sat on the back porch steps of Rock Bottom Studios, her with a cigarette, me with a longneck Bud, thinking about how good it’d feel if she smiled my way. “Some of the best music in the world came out of Muscle Shoals, all the big names. Aretha, Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan, Percy Sledge.”

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Sandra M. OdellSandra lives in Washington state with her husband, sons, and an Albanian miniature moose masquerading as a dog. Her work has appeared in such venues as PodCastle, Pseudopod, Daily Science Fiction, and Crossed Genres. She is currently hard at work avoiding her second novel.