PodCastle 423: The Gold Silkworm

by Tony Pi

read by S. Qiouyi Lu

First published in Fantasy Magazine.

A city of canals and bridges amidst natural beauty, Pingjiang had almost been destroyed thirty years ago when the Jin armies invaded from the North. However, as the Emperor chose the nearby city of Lin’an to be the new capital, it did not take long for the rich to flock to the city with their money and rebuild.

It was the perfect place for a gu-sorcerer to seek riches.

Rated PG-13

Picture of Tony Pi

Tony Pi

Tony Pi is a writer based in Toronto, Canada, whose works have been published widely and some have been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best English Short Fiction. The heroine of this story also makes an appearance in “The Sweetest Skill” at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, available in audio as well for those who’d like to hear more about Yan Xue. Find him on the web at tonypi.com and on Twitter @wistling.

Picture of S. Qiouyi Lu

S. Qiouyi Lu

S. Qiouyi Lu is a writer, artist, and translator who has also narrated for GlitterShip and Acacia Moon Productions. You can visit their site at s.qiouyi.lu, follow them on Twitter as @sqiouyilu, or support their Patreon at patreon.com/sqiouyilu.

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PodCastle Submissions Reopening

We have pried open the jaws of our submissions portal once again and it’s hungry for more of your fantastic stories! If you’ve got a fantasy short story you’d like us to read, please take a look at our guidelines then visit our submissions portal to submit. We accept both original fiction and reprints under 6,000 words.

We’re looking forward to reading your work. Happy Submitting!

Best,

Graeme Dunlop and Jen R. Albert, PodCastle Co-Editors

and the editorial team

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PodCastle 422: Golden Chaos

by M.K. Hutchins

read by Heath Miller

First published in Intergalactic Medicine Show #40

Being near Ingrid was the only good thing about living in a God-neglected frozen wasteland. Her face was round as the moon — a soft, pleasant face that suggested her cooking encouraged second helpings. Her face didn’t lie: light rye breads, sweet poached fruit, elk and wild onion stew that made my beard grow. Well, the bit of a beard I had. Ingrid always laughed and teased when she caught me finger-combing the handful of hairs sticking from my face. Her laugh — that was pure silver. For too long, she’d slaved away under Arbiter Elof’s guardianship. The day I signed a contract with Elof and became Ingrid’s betrothed was the happiest day of my life.

The next day was the worst.

Rated PG

Picture of M.K. Hutchins, author of "Golden Chaos"

M.K. Hutchins, author of “Golden Chaos”

M.K. Hutchins regularly draws on her background in archaeology when writing fiction. Her YA fantasy novel Drift was both a Junior Library Guild Selection and a VOYA Top Shelf Honoree. Her short fiction appears in IGMS, Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. A long-time Idahoan, she now lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Find her at on the web at www.mkhutchins.com and on Twitter @mkhutchins.

 

Picture of Heath Miller

Heath Miller

Heath Miller is an actor from Perth, Western Australia. Sometimes found in theatres, recording studios, comedy clubs, television sets, convention centres and YouTube videos – Heath currently finds himself living on an island off the coast of Maine with two improbably large cats, one improbably large dog, and a brace of regular sized chickens. You can follow him on twitter at @zaboots.

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PodCastle 421: Hatyasin

by Rati Mehrotra

read by Mahvesh Murad

First published in Abyss & Apex, Issue 52: 4th Quarter 2014

Friday was the last good day. On Saturday the hunters came and by Tuesday Mira was gone, swallowed in the maw of the crowd fleeing Chandipur.

Mira my older sister, the normal one. I look up at the stars glittering in the sky and pray that she is safe.

Why did they come? Chandipur is as far as it gets from the heart of the New World. Perhaps the capital wants to stamp out the border communities, make sure that the taint of the old blood never spreads. The taint I’ve lived with all my life.

I used to think I had it bad before. But I swear if I could turn back time, I’d keep it Friday forever. We’d go to school, someone would trip me up in the hallway, and the others would laugh. I’d sit alone during class, as usual. Nobody would die.

Rated R for violence and hearts suddenly appearing where they shouldn’t be.

Picture of Rati Mehrotra, author of "Hatyasin"

Rati Mehrotra, author of “Hatyasin”

Rati Mehrotra is a Toronto-based speculative fiction writer whose short stories have appeared in AE – The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Apex Magazine, Urban Fantasy Magazine, and many more. Her debut novel “Markswoman” is about an order of magical-knife-wielding lady assassins in a post-apocalyptic, alternative version of Asia. It will be published in early 2018 by Harper Voyager. You can follow Rati on Twitter @Rati_Mehrotra, and at her website http://ratiwrites.com/.

Mahvesh Murad is a reviewer, editor, rogue voice for hire and recovering radio show host from Karachi, Pakistan. She has written for Dawn’s Books & Authors, Tor.com, Strange Horizons and Pornokitsch.com, and is the editor of the Apex Book of World SF 4 (2015), co-editor of upcoming Jinnthology (2017). She hosts the weekly interview podcast Midnight in Karachi, published weekly on Tor.com.

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