For Your Consideration

In our first 2016 metacast, we present the Escape Artists (EA) stories that ran in 2015, which are eligible in the upcoming Hugo nomination season.

A quick plug. For us. All four EA shows – PodCastle, Pseudopod, Escape Pod and Cast of Wonders – are themselves eligible in the SEMIPROZINE Hugo category.

Not Fancast. Not Fanzine. SEMIPROZINE. Yes, the categories are confusing and often overlap. “Fancast” is traditionally dominated by commentary shows and sketch-based audio programs.

There’s an argument that we could split the shows and compete in multiple categories to increase our chances. We don’t think that benefits anyone. The division is artificial at best, and extremely difficult (at worst) to explain, given all four of our shows have harmonised pay rates and submissions policies. It would smack of gamesmanship, which doesn’t interest us.

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVED seeing PodCastle and Escape Pod on last year’s Hugo long lists, and we’d be honoured for any one of our shows to be a finalist.

But that’s a decision that rests solely in the hands of YOU, our fans and supporters.

(And just a note, Mothership Zeta doesn’t qualify this year because they’re too new.)

Below are links to some aggregation projects, where fans are building lists of those eligible in the various categories. They’re great tools, and we’d like to thank David Steffen for his efforts. We’ll also link to our Wikia page, containing links to all the eligible Escape Artists stories.

Please listen to this MetaCast for the Escape Artists entries!

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 400, Giant Episode: Night at the Opera

by Martha Wells

With a special full-cast reading!

  • Wilson Fowlie as the Narrator
  • Big Anklevich as Amadel
  • Rish Outfield as Reynard
  • Kevin Powe as Nicolas
  • M.K. Hobson as Lady Shankir-Clare
  • Tina Connolly as Belina Shankir-Clare
  • Dave Thompson as the Mystery Man
  • Graeme Dunlop as Idilane

Originally appeared in the author’s ebook story collection “Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories” which was done for the group author Kickstarter “Six by Six” (six story collections by six different authors).

This was odd.  The Shankir-Clares were a family of rather famous diplomats, wealthy and well-respected in both Parscia and Ile-Rien, where the different branches of the family had originated.  Reynard had never met any of them because they were the sort of people who were invited to the palace, not the sort who traveled in demi-monde circles.  No wonder Amadel hadn’t been familiar with the Cafe Baudy.  “How did you ever run across Binny?”

“Lady Shankir-Clare’s hairdresser knew him,” Amadel said.  “She said he was the best way to contact people who could help with…sensitive problems.”

“Is it blackmail?” Reynard asked.  If one of the Shankir-Clare ladies had trusted her affections to the wrong man, and it wasn’t someone associated with the infamous Count Montesq, Reynard could probably have it taken care of before dinner.  “I quite like dealing with blackmailers.  I have some experience at it.” 

Rated PG-13 for some violence.

Martha Wells has written well over a dozen fantasy novels, including the Books of the Raksura series (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, The Siren Depths, Stories of the Raksura Vol. I, Stories of the Raksura vol. II), The Wizard Hunters, Wheel of the Infinite, and the nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as YA fantasies, short stories, and non-fiction. She has had stories in Black Gate, Realms of Fantasy, Stargate Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and in the anthologies Elemental, Tales of the Emerald Serpent, and The Other Half of the Sky. She has also written the media-tie-ins, Stargate Atlantis: Reliquary, Stargate Atlantis: Entanglement, and Star Wars: Razor’s Edge. Her new book in the Raksura series, The Edge of Worlds, will be out in April 2016.

The story takes place in Martha’s Ile-Rien universe, in which she’s written five novels and several short stories. Find out more!

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 399: The Authenticator

by Greg van Eekhout

read by Gregory Austin

Originally appeared in Flytrap Issue #11, May 2014.

Now it’s my turn to be surprised. The homes of thrift shop queens no longer phase me. I’ve met collectors and pack rats and hoarders, and I’ve seen walls so covered by commemorative dishes and tobacco-stained oil paintings that you couldn’t find so much as an inch of plaster between them. But Edelle Bradford’s trailer is something else. It’s a cave of bone. The walls are a mosaic of leg bones and knuckles and teeth and knobby bits. More of the same in curio cabinets, mixed in with the pots and pans in the kitchen, everywhere my eye falls. The bones are stained dark, coffee brown, the color of bones from the La Brea Tar Pits, the richest source of magic bones in Los Angeles. I have to duck under a chandelier of ribs to enter the room, and I am not a tall man. Her coffee table is an arrangement of tusks with a plywood slab on top.

Rated PG-13.

Greg van Eekhout is the author of stories and novels for adults and middle-grade audiences. His work has been nominated for the Nebula, Andre Norton, and Locus Awards.

His most recent work is the Daniel Blackland trilogy from Tor Books — California Bones, Pacific Fire, and Dragon Coast — about wizards who get their powers from eating the bones of extinct magical creatures. “The Authenticator” and “The Osteomancer’s Son” (previously featured on PodCastle) take place in the Daniel Blackland universe.

Gregory Austin balances time between writing and voice acting in Buffalo, NY. As a writer, he’s contributed to various comedic websites including; he’s a writer, treasurer and performer for Aural Stage Studios, a Buffalo based audio drama company, and is also a blogger for hire.

As a voice artist he has narrated half a dozen audiobooks and shared his talents on podcasts, where he’s done anything from narrating stories to relating personal musings. Previously, he was head writer and featured performer for a fun-loving improvisational group called The Human Touch, which wowed slightly inebriated audiences across smoky club scenes in the “second city” he called home: Chicago, Illinois.

Gregory also enjoys sandwiches, comics and genuine people. Find him on his website, on Twitter @BuffaloGregNY, or on his Facebook pages for voice acting and freelance writing.

Discuss on the forums.

PodCastle 398: Flower of Flowers, Bird of Birds

by Alicia Cole

read by Rajan Khanna

Originally appeared in Demeter’s Spicebox #3, on Delinquent’s Spice, edited by Nin Harris.

Where the ylang-ylang trees twist scented like slumber, in the village of my grandmothers, strange birds nest.  With long grey necks sinuous as river serpents, they rattle their beaks at women washing in the estuary.  To steal such a bird’s eggs, it is said,will curry the favor of Mulangu.  This lure, and the sweetness of the fowl when roasted, has led to a gradual decline of the race. Though once proud, surrounded by sharp-beaked sentinels, the king bird has grown sorrowful and lazy with his people’s deterioration andno longer snatches at thieves’ eyes.  In my grandmother’s day, only a strong ghali-ghuchi woman would harvest the eggs without fear.  After many seasons of loss, even my mother could succeed at such a task.

Rated PG.

Alicia Cole is a working artist in Atlanta, GA.  She works for Studio No. 7 and WonderRoot, and performs with the Atlanta Radio Theater Company.  She’s a writer, editor, and interviewer, with work forthcoming in Torn Pages Anthology and Asimov’s, among other publications.  She’s an active member of HWA and SFPA.
Alicia also runs Priestess & Hierophant Press. Their current publication is Darkly Told: An Audio Chapbook, a collection of dark/horror poetry by Alicia, with audio recordings by C.S.E. Cooney, and an original score by Memory Splice.  “Rat Catcher”, a track from the audio chapbook, has been remixed by Memory Splice, Changes, and Stephane Badey, on Spain’s TFB Records, and is available here.
Rajan Khanna is an author, blogger, reviewer and narrator. His first novel, Falling Sky, a post-apocalyptic adventure with airships, was released in October 2014 followed by a sequel, Rising Tide, in October 2015. His short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and several anthologies. His articles and reviews have appeared at and and his podcast narrations can be heard at Podcastle, Escape Pod, PseudoPod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Lightspeed Magazine. Rajan lives in New York where he’s a member of the Altered Fluid writing group. His personal website is and he tweets, @rajanyk.

Discuss on the forums.


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