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PodCastle 514, ARTEMIS RISING: My Heart the Bullet in the Chamber

Show Notes

Rated R, for shootin’, cussin’, and rollin’ in the hay.


My Heart the Bullet in the Chamber

by Stephanie Charette

They said I wouldn’t feel anything from the waist down but that was a lie from the first contraction. Yet when the good doctor took away the baby — healthy, crying — and offered that blood-christened Spencer Repeater in her place, I cradled its stock and barrel and felt the fires of justice in my hands.

I will never know my daughter. She will be but one more child in the communal creche, just as I was, to be raised by women who choose not to take a gun.

I earned my gun. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 503: Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters

Show Notes

Rated R; contains language, violence, and disturbing imagery circa Hurricane Katrina.

This episode is a reissue of PodCastle 154.


Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints, in the City Under the Still Waters

by N.K. Jemisin

Tookie sat on the porch of his shotgun house, watching the rain fall sideways.  A lizard strolled by on the worn dirt-strip that passed for a sidewalk, easy as you please, as if there wasn’t an inch of water already collected around its paws.  It noticed him and stopped.

“Hey,” it said, inclining its head to him in a neighborly fashion.

“‘Sup,” Tookie replied, jerking his chin up in return.

“You gon’ stay put?” it asked.  “Storm comin’.”

“Yeah,” said Tookie.  “I got food from the grocery.”

“Ain’ gon’ need no food if you drown, man.”

Tookie shrugged.

The lizard sat down on the sidewalk, oblivious to the driving wind, and joined Tookie in watching the rain fall.  Tookie idly reflected that the lizard might be an alligator, in which case he should maybe go get his gun.  He decided against it, though, because the creature had wide batlike wings and he was fairly certain gators didn’t have those.  These wings were the color of rusty, jaundiced clouds, like those he’d seen approaching from the southeast just before the rain began.

PodCastle 502: Zilal and the Many-Folded Puzzle Ship — Live at Can-Con!


Zilal and the Many-Folded Puzzle Ship

By Charlotte Ashley

When Zilal Saleebaan Kamal was six years old, she built her first ship in a bottle. It was a fully-articulated craft of sandalwood and brass with eighteen oars that rowed in unison when the bottle was tipped to and fro. Her father presented it to the Suldaan on her behalf, and it sits in the winter palace still.

When she was nine, Zilal received her first commission from the Emir. The musical dhow she built as a gift for his young son played lullabies with the flow of the tides and could be heard singing low, fine raagas while at anchor, the drifting waters playing the ship’s reeds and pipes.

When she was eleven, Zilal redesigned the Suldaan’s xebec to carry a third mast and wider sails, making the Tidebreaker the strongest ship in the Ajuran fleet. She took formal apprenticeship with her father, the artificer Saleebaan, and moved into the Suldaan’s palace.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle Miniature 100: Seven Things That Oughtn’t Cut Me


Seven Things That Oughtn’t Cut Me

By Jessi Cole Jackson

They say troll girls appear only in brilliant shades of armored green. Their skin is faceted, unpierceable, and gleams in the sunlight like emeralds. They say we cannot be drab or fragile. They say we cannot bleed.

If only.

(Continue Reading…)