PodCastle 579: I Am Not I — Part 1

Show Notes

Rated R, for human parts sundered and sold.


I Am Not I

by G. V. Anderson

I found the emporium on old Tanners Row. A prime location, to be sure — within pissing distance from a Saps’ slum. Its proprietor, Madame Qlym, boasted better pickings in her own back garden than any other acristologist in the city. But despite this and every revered thing I’d heard about it, the emporium looked in poor shape: the gilt lettering on the lintel was in mid-peel. Even as I watched, a tiny flake of autumnal gold broke off and fluttered past me. I frowned, but quickly shook away my doubts. Acristologists like their theatrics, after all. With its steep grime banks and lingering stink, Tanners Row provided more than ample ambience for the prospective customer.

I glanced round; the Row was empty. I eased open the door to the emporium and slipped inside. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 578: The Bone Poet and God

Show Notes

Rated PG.


The Bone Poet and God

by Matt Dovey

Ursula lifted her snout to look at the mountain. The meadowed foothills she stood in were dotted with poppy and primrose and cranesbill and cowslip, an explosion of color and scent in the late spring sun, the long grass tickling her paws and her hind legs; above that the forested slopes, birch and rowan and willow and alder rising into needle-pines and gray firs; above that the snowline, ice and rock and brutal winds.

And above that, at the top, God; and with God, the answer Ursula had traveled so far for: what kind of bear am I meant to be?

She shouldered her bonesack and walked on. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 577: Temptation

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.

A special episode in celebration of Eid al-Fitr, guest edited by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali.


Temptation

By Karuna Riazi

“We must not look at goblin men,

We must not buy their fruits:

Who knows upon what soil they fed

Their hungry thirsty roots?” 

— Christina Rossetti, “Goblin Market”


When was the last time food glided over her tongue?

It was funny how Kayla couldn’t even remember what it was she ate.

Was it a quick jaunt to a local fast food joint a juicy burger or a chicken gyro that was left half-eaten and balled up in sauce-stained foil in the back of the refrigerator?

Had her mother tried to coax her into eating a meal one last time before she walked out the door, shouldering her bag, impatient, sure she was late?

(Late to what? To meet who?

Even that, she couldn’t be sure of, but that didn’t matter as much.) (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 576: When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven

Show Notes

Rated: PG-13, for cursing at heaven’s door.


When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven

By Vajra Chandrasekera

We stand at attention all day at the top of the green tower. L and I stand on either side of the door to the third nonsensual heaven. The rifle is heavy and I develop a lean as the day wears on, until L hisses at me from the far side of the door and I straighten up, my back creaking and popping. I’m a sloppy guard because I’m new, ink still fresh on the lottery ticket. When you’re always new at everything, you never get a chance to get good.

L hasn’t been a guard much longer than me, but she always says she doesn’t want to get good. She says you can’t pry the world open if you don’t have a kink in you. She says how come the lottery is supposed to be so fair but princes always win a king’s ticket when it’s time? She says a lot of things like that and if I say we haven’t been a monarchy in two hundred years or whatever, she’ll say I’m being obtuse. Then we arm-wrestle for it. She usually wins those, but only just. (Continue Reading…)