Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 380: Spirit Forms of the Sea

by Bogi Takács

read by Setsu Uzume

First published in Sword and Mythos.

Réka steps forward from between two tents. She looks dazed and one of her braids is partly undone; the guard must’ve found her asleep.

She frowns at the stranger and her eyes narrow even further in the morning sunlight.

He smiles at her the way he would smile at one of his younger sisters, or even one of his own children. My stomach turns. Then he lets loose his spirit form and it ascends to the sky, a majestic white horse not matching his pedestrian self.

Rated R.

Bogi Takács is a neutrally gendered Hungarian Jewish person who’s recently moved to the US. Eir fiction and poetry have been published in venues like Clarkesworld, Apex and Strange Horizons, where e also won last year’s Readers’ Poll in Poetry category with an animated poem, You Are Here / Was: Blue Line to Memorial Park. Eir website is at www.prezzey.net and you can follow em on Twitter as @bogiperson, where e also tweets SFF short story and poem recommendations by diverse authors on a semi-regular basis.

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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PodCastle 376: Ink

by Sandra M. Odell

read by Sean D. Sorrentino

A PodCastle Original!

A woman stood at the tattoo parlor’s door. Small, damp from the storm, hair disheveled and slightly askew. Comfortable in her clothes, not her skin. The sight of her made Tiger’s chest itch, and his tattoos tingle. He turned down the stereo. “Can I help you with something?”

The woman looked at the shelves stuffed with pattern books, the posters of half­-naked men and women displaying their tattoos and piercings. “Is this Stars And Stripes Ink?”

Her voice had a touch of falsetto.

“That’s what the sign says in the window.”

She brushed aside her bangs, tugging her hair back into place in a way Tiger supposed he wasn’t meant to notice. “I would like a tattoo.”

Rated R.

Sandra M. Odell lives with her husband, sons, and cats in Washington state.  Her work has appeared in such venues as Jim Baen’s UNIVERSE, Crossed Genres, Daily Science Fiction, and Galaxy’s Edge.  A Clarion West 2010 graduate, she is currently hard at work on plotting her second novel.  Or world domination.  Whichever comes first.

THE TWELVE WAYS OF CHRISTMAS, her collection of speculative fiction holiday stories, is available from Hydra House Books.

Sean D. Sorrentino lives in the Raleigh North Carolina area with his wife and his dog.

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PodCastle 375: The Child Support of Cromdor the Condemned

by Spencer Ellsworth
read by Graeme Dunlop
A PodCastle Original!

Cromdor the Calderian, thrice-cursed, thrice-condemned, (I’ve forgotten the rest, but believe you me, there is thrice-more) had nearly finished his tale when the traveler slipped in. As he had for the last ten days and ten before that, Cromdor had a packed house. Course, “packed house” is relative—last winter a mudslide tore away half the common room, and Yargin had been rebuilding when he fell through the thatch and died on that floor. Damned if Greta, his daughter, didn’t ever try to stop his goats from getting in, or doing their business in the corners.

So’s only the old folks came. A fine summer night, and we’d have sunlight until midnight, and stories to go with it, but the young ones were mostly down at the church, praying for the holy warriors on their mission in Ursalim, worshipping the new Bleeding God. Don’t the weather matter? The crop? How’s one god gonna keep track of all that?

Point being, the traveler stuck out.

Want to read the full story? Just click here!

Rated R.

Spencer Ellsworth lives in Bellingham, WA, with his with and three children. He works as a teacher and administrator at Northwest Indian College, and his work has appeared in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many other places. He has been trying to get a story past Podcastle ever since Rachel Swirsky’s tenure as editor, and victory is sweet. You can read his blog, listen to his band and find links to his stories at spencerellsworth.com.

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PodCastle 369: The Chimney-Borer and the Tanner

by Thoraiya Dyer

read by Pamila Payne

A PodCastle Original!

Hoping I’d steal their souls instead of hers, my birth mother hid me in a chimney-borer’s home.

I never did harm any of that happy family. They are peacefully dead of old age, by now. That’s something, at least, to be proud of. Even if I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to skin a god.

It took a decade – far too long – for me to learn that Orfro wasn’t really my father. If golden jaguars could sometimes throw black cubs in a litter, I reasoned, why couldn’t yellow-haired people make black-haired babies? I hoped I’d get to look more like Orfroas I grew older. I was mesmerised by the white-blond curls, not just on his head, but across his shoulders and down his back. When he bent over to bore chimneys, the curls could be seen continuing on, disappearing between his buttocks into the loose, woven trousers he wore.

Rated R.

Thoraiya Dyer is an Aurealis and Ditmar Award-winning, Sydney-based science fiction and fantasy writer. Her short story collection, ‘Asymmetry’, and time-travel pirate novella ‘The Company Articles of Edward Teach’ are available from Twelfth Planet Press, while the first book in her ‘Titan’s Forest’ fantasy trilogy is forthcoming from Tor. Thoraiya is an archer and a lapsed veterinarian. Follow @ThoraiyaDyer or peruse thoraiyadyer.com.

Pamila Payne is a Los Angeles writer and voice actor. Her noir horror, vintage crime and drama can be found at vintagevice.com. Her most recent work was included in Exiles: An Outsider Anthology. She is available to hire for Audiobook narrating and all things spoken word.

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