Archive for Rated R

PodCastle 55: Bottom Feeding

Show Notes

Rated R. for fish-related hijinks.


Bottom Feeding

By Tim Pratt

The salmon of knowledge lived a long time ago, in the Well of Segais, where the waters ran deep and clear as rippling air. He swam there, thinking his deep thoughts, coming to the surface occasionally to eat the magical hazel-nuts that fell into the water from the trees on the bank. Every nut contained revelations, but the salmon was not a mere living compendium of knowledge — he was a wise fish, too, and so chose to live quietly, waiting for the inevitable day when he would be caught and devoured. The salmon dimly remembered past (and perhaps future) lives, experiences inside and outside of time, from the whole history of the land: being blinded by a hawk on a cold winter night, hiding in a cave after a flood, running from a woman who might have been a goddess, or who might have been a witch.

The salmon did not look forward to being caught, and cooked, and eaten, but knowing what the consequences would be for the one who caught him, he had to laugh, insofar as fish (even very wise ones) are able to laugh.

PodCastle Episode 54: The Dreaming Wind

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains some imagery that might disturb the unprepared. Also, some readers may wish to protect their children from prevailing surrealism.

Due to a mix-up at PodCastle, two narrations were acquired from this story from two of our favorite narrators — Paul Tevis and Rajan Khanna. Readers are invited to listen to either, or to listen to both and compare. Enjoy!


The Dreaming Wind

by Jeffrey Ford

Its name, The Dreaming Wind, was more indicative than you might at first believe. What is a dream, but a state founded enough upon the every day to be believable to the sleeping mind and yet also a place wherein anything at all might and often does happen. Tomes of wonders, testaments of melancholic horrors, wrought by the gale had been recorded, but I’ll merely recount some of the things I, myself, had been privy to in the years I’d witnessed the phenomenon.

The human body seemed its favorite play thing, and in reaction to its weird catalyst I’d seen flesh turn every color in the rainbow, melt and reform into different shapes so that a head swelled to the size of a pumpkin or legs stretched to lift their owner above the house tops. Tongues split or turned to knives and eyes shot flame, swirled like pin wheels, popped, or became mirrors to reflect the thing that I’d become – once a salamander man with Ibis head, once a bronze statue of the moon . In my wedding year, my wife Lyda’s long hair took on a mind and life of its own, tresses grabbing cups from a cupboard and smashing them upon the floor. Mayor Meersch ran down Gossin Street the year I was ten with his rear end upon his shoulders and muffled shouts issuing from the back of his trousers.

PC050: Komodo

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains sexy sorceresses (explicit).


Komodo

by Tim Pratt

I hadn’t cultivated a new lover in many months — the last one had fulfilled all my wishes and, as he’d requested, was now living happily at the bottom of a local river, slowly decaying into the bottom-mud and learning the languages of fish and pollution. In another hundred years or so, if the river didn’t dry up entirely, he might become a minor river god. Kasan had appeared just in time. I had certain things to accomplish over the course of the next month, and the energy that came with a new lover could serve well to fuel those endeavors.

“Want to come upstairs for a while, Kasan?” I asked. I’m beautiful. I’m desirable. I know how to sense when a potential partner is interested. I can say these things with no particular pride, because such powers require relatively small magics to achieve. People seldom say no to me. I never compel anyone to make love to me — such mental domination is possible, but it’s also essentially rape, and cannot be condoned. I entice my lovers with beauty, and bring them back again and again by giving them the best sex they’ve ever had. There’s no magic to that, just years of experience and sensitivity to the needs of my lovers. I am good at what I do. Sex is my vocation and my devotion.

PC047 Giant Episode: Bright Waters

Show Notes

Rated R. Contains some violence, some “adult situations,” and some fun battle scenes.


Bright Waters

by John Brown

He looked at their leg tattoos. Mohawk. One of the Iroquois tribes. Well, he couldn’t kill them then.

Not that he’d want to. They were, after all, just boys. Still, Indian boys weren’t like the lads back in Rotterdam. It had been small Abenaki lads, just like these, that tried to take his scalp the first year as a trapper. He’d killed them all with the blood flowing down the side of his face and a chunk of his scalp flapping about like a wig.

And so he’d need to be ready. Hunting knives hung from the belts at their waists. But none carried a war club. Only one held a bow.

Jan sneaked back the way he had come and then up and around in front of them so that the boys would walk right up the trail into him. The path bent around a hill where the river willow grew thick. He waited for them there.

He withdrew rope and a knife from his pack. He couldn’t kill them, but he could tie them up and scare them into good Christian men.