PodCastle 448: Shaina Rubin Keeps Her Head Under Circumstances Nobody Could Have Expected

by Rebecca Fraimow

read by Barbara Krasnoff

A PodCastle original!

Rated PG.

People in our neighborhood are always saying what a pity it is that two such fine-looking people as my cousin Bluma and her husband have no children yet. I don’t see that they’re so fine-looking as all that. Still, I’ve often thought that if Bluma had a little bit more business of her own to worry about, she might have less time to waste getting into mine.

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This story is the sequel to “Further Arguments in Support of Yudah Cohen’s Proposal to Bluma Zilberman,” which originally ran at Diabolical Plots and also ran on PodCastle.

Rebecca Fraimow is an author and archivist living in Boston.

Barbara Krasnoff has had stories appear in over 30 print and online publications. The most recent include Clockwork Phoenix 5, Space and Time, Abyss & Apex, Triptych Tales and Mythic Delirium. When not writing short stories, she works as Sr. Reviews Editor for Computerworld magazine; for fun, she publishes a captioned photo every weekday (in Twitter and Facebook) under the title Backstories.

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PodCastle Miniature 94: Further Arguments in Support of Yudah Cohen’s Proposal to Bluma Zilberman

by Rebecca Fraimow

read by Richard Dansky

First published in Diabolical Plots. Read it here.

Rated PG.

Dear Bluma,

I heard that Hershel Schmulewitz, that blockhead, has also presumed to ask for your hand in marriage, which gives you two proposals to consider. Now, you needn’t worry that this will be a sentimental or a wheedling sort of letter. You already know how I feel, and I suppose Hershel’s not so much of a blockhead that he doesn’t feel the same way. I’m simply writing to lay out the reasons, plainly and concisely, why it would certainly be more to your benefit to marry me.

Rebecca Fraimow is an author and archivist living in Boston. Her marketable skills include identifying old videotape formats, typing extremely fast, and stealing ideas from Sholom Aleichem.

Richard Dansky is the author of several novels and a video game designer who works for Ubisoft.

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PodCastle 447: It’s a Wonderful Carol

by Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt

read by Dagny Paul

A PodCastle original!

Rated PG.

“Who the hell are you?”
The man is standing in my walk-in closet. Except he’s not. He’s also standing at the foot of my bed. And he’s sitting in my window, languid like a pampered cat. Everywhere my eyes go, there he is. He’s so beautiful my teeth ache when I look at him, like I just bit into a piece of cake that is too sweet to taste good. Then he speaks, and my ears shiver in a glorious golden aural bliss.
“I’m your muse, Colleen.”

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Heather Shaw is a writer, editor, bookkeeper, and lindy hopper living in Berkeley, CA with her husband Tim and son River. She’s the fiction editor at the pro SF zine, Persistent Visions and has had short fiction published in Strange Horizons, The Year’s Best Fantasy, Escape Pod, PodCastle, and other nice places. She’s been a featured author at the SF in SF Reading series in San Francisco and read her poetry in front of disgruntled grunge concert-goers at Lollapalooza back when it was a thing.

Tim Pratt lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Heather and their son River. His fiction and poetry have appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Strange Horizons, Realms of Fantasy, Asimov’s, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Subterranean, and Tor.com, among many other places. By day he works as senior editor at Locus magazine, where, among other things, he write the obituaries.

He won a Hugo Award (for “Impossible Dreams” in 2007), and has been nominated for a Nebula Award, Stoker Award, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, a couple of Gaylactic Spectrum Awards, a Seiun Award, a Scribe Award, and two Ignotus Awards, among others. In 2004 he was a finalist for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Find him online at timpratt.org or on Twitter @timpratt.

Your narrator is Dagny Paul. Dagny is a teacher, writer, failed artist, comic book geek, and associate editor/occasional host of our sister podcast, Pseudopod (the sound of horror). (And I gotta tell you, folks, her host spots are always excellent.) She lives in the middle of nowhere, Louisiana with her husband, son, and cat. Pseudopod ran a story of hers as Episode 505: There Is No Road Through The Woods.

You can find Dagny on Twitter @dagnypaul.

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PodCastle 446: The Rock in the Water

by Thoriya Dyer

read by Nathalie Cerin and Loulou Szal

First published in Lightspeed Magazine’s People of Color Destroy Fantasy.

Throw them in the water where nobody will see, the head cook told Yveline right before sunrise, but there’re already so many people washing their clothes in the river that Yveline holds the string bag of stinking, empty shells behind a banana tree and cries in dismay without making a sound.

She’s seven years old. Too big to be crying like a baby. Yveline scrubs at the tears with the back of her lambi-smelling hand and strains to see a place without people. Too many fishing boats with tyres hung over the sides. Too many men pulling their nets up onto the silver silt. Too many trucks in the pebbly shallows, filling containers with dirty river water while children who still have parents swim and laugh.

Yveline wants to shriek at them not to drink the water. Not to swim in it. Don’t they know anything? Her parents drank the dirty water and died. Now Yveline belongs to Msye Maurice. She works in his big house, sleeps on the floor, and answers to a new name. The head cook is supposed to send her to school but instead sends her to hide the lambi shells.

Msye Maurice ships things to Miami. Bad powder to make people crazy. Trays labelled frozen fish that are really frozen lambi. He swaps them for things from Miami that nobody else in Port-de-Paix can get. Radios and bicycles. Parts for cars. They’re stolen, but Msye Maurice says he’s like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich.

They don’t even notice what’s missing, he laughs. The rock in the water doesn’t know the pain of the rock in the sun.

Rated PG-13.

Thoraiya Dyer is an Aurealis and Ditmar Award-winning, Sydney-based science fiction writer and lapsed veterinarian. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex, Cosmos, Analog and various US and Australian anthologies. Four of her original stories are collected in “Asymmetry,” available from Twelfth Planet Press. Her first novel, “Crossroads of Canopy,” a big fat fantasy set in a magical rainforest, is forthcoming from Tor in January 2017. You can listen to a short story set in the same world, “The Chimney-Borer and the Tanner,” at PodCastle and/or follow her @ThoraiyaDyer on Twitter. Her website is thoraiyadyer.com.

Nathalie Cerin is a Philadelphia based singer-songwriter, teaching artist and blogger originally from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She likes to think of herself as the class clown all grown up. Nathalie has a deep passion for Haiti and the arts, especially wherever these two topics converge. She is the editor for Woy Magazine (woymagazine.com).

Loulou Szal is a school teacher specializing in English and medieval History, but is also a lifelong fan of fantasy, romance and historical fiction. She is also fluent in both English and Arabic. Besides trying to pen her own stories, she is delighted to have multiple narration credits at StarShipSofa and now Podcastle. When she was eighteen she managed to track down and interview Mark Hamill for her school magazine. She lives with her husband and two children (one of whom is a writer and editor of science-fiction) in sunburnt Sydney, Australia where she’s always on the hunt for antique books to add to her ever growing collection.

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