British Fantasy Award Shortlist!


The dragon is getting stuffed on celebratory cake this week! The British Fantasy Society shortlist has been announced and PodCastle and PseudoPod have both been nominated under the Best Audio category!

Also, Alasdair’s weekly pop culture newsletter, The Full Lid, has gotten a nonfiction nomination, so there’s even more cake.

Please join us in congratulating our hardworking editorial teams on this awesome recognition.

The British Fantasy Awards are presented each year at Fantasycon, which takes place in Glasgow, Scotland from October 18th – 20th, 2019.

PodCastle 584: TALES FROM THE VAULTS — In Metal, In Bone

Show Notes

Rated R, for reference to war and wartime atrocities.


In Metal, In Bone

by An Owomoyela

Colonel Gabriel met him in a circle of canvas-topped trucks, in an army jacket despite the heat of the sun.  he stood a head taller than Benine, with skin as dark as peat coal, with terrible scarring on one side of his jaw.  When his gloved hand shook Benine’s bare one, he closed his grip and said, “What do you see?”

Benine was startled, but the call to listen in on the memories of things was ever-present in the back of his mind.  It took very little to let his senses fuzz, obscured by the vision curling up from the gloves like smoke.

He saw a room in a cottage with a thatched roof, the breeze coming in with the smell of a cooking fire outside, roasted cassava, a woman singing, off-tune.  He had to smile.  There was too much joy in the song to mind the sharp notes.  This must have been before the war; it was hard to imagine that much joy in Mortova these days.

The singing had that rich, resonant pitch of a voice heard in the owner’s head, and his vision swung down, to delicate hands with a needle and thread, stitching together the fabric of the gloves.  Neat, even rows, and as the glove passed between the seamstress’s fingers, he could see the patterns of embroidery on the back.

Benine banished the vision and pulled his hand back.  “But these are women’s gloves!”

Colonel Gabriel gave him an appraising look.  “So you can do something,” he said.  “Not just superstition and witchcraft.”


Read the rest here!

PodCastle 583: The Resurrectionist

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for waking the dead and disturbing their dreams.


The Resurrectionist

by J.P. Sullivan

“Yes, I can bring your wife back from the dead,” I told the farmer, who had reasonable doubts about my abilities. “Just realize that it might not be what she wants.”

“She wants to see her children again,” he said. He’d told me his name, but I’d forgotten it.  Honestly, it’s better that way. He had a smith’s build, muscle on muscle, more beard than chin. I could tell at a glance he’d never had a crooked thought in his life. People like that are awfully hard to negotiate with. Thankfully, I have flat rates.

“She signed the consent form?” The local chapel smelled like soot and incense. They hadn’t cremated her. That triples the fee and gives me a dreadful headache besides.

“I know I’m asking for a miracle,” the farmer said. “You can really do it for ten crowns sovereign?”

It’s not a miracle, I might have said. It’s a clever utilization of certain natural laws, an inversion of a subtle current and a trick played on God. Miracles assume His blessing, this process having none of it. But you start throwing around a word like ‘resurrection,’ and people get all kinds of ideas. “Did you bring the form, or not?”

He produced it. And there it was, in hill-country chicken scratch, her name on the appropriate lines. There’s a correct way of doing everything. Why should reanimation be any different?

I said the words, laid the hooks and lines and rock salt circles. Not all of that’s important, but the ceremony is part of the service. Like a funeral, it’s for the living.

The church was empty of clergy. They couldn’t have run off too long ago; one of the fires was still lit. Every rider on the hill looked like a foreign raid, with the war on. For all I knew, they hid from me.

“I don’t like this,” said the farmer.

“Don’t worry,” I said, hands at the dead woman’s brow. “I don’t like it either.”

Then I was in the elsewhere. (Continue Reading…)

PodCastle 582: Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic

Show Notes

Rated: PG-13, for harsh memories not one’s own.


Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic

by José Pablo Iriarte

Cleaning up graffiti was an everyday job for Sergio, pero esto . . . Could you even call this graffiti? Graffiti normally was spray-painted. Wait — that wasn’t true. Indoor graffiti typically was done in permanent marker. Or gouged into wooden surfaces with pocket knives or keys, so the only way to remove some gang symbol or racist slur or throbbing penis was by sanding it down.

Come to think of it, if anybody was an expert, he was.

And he’d never heard of mosaic graffiti.

But there it was, on the side of the Westchester Building. Marbles, reading glasses, fichas de Monopolio, a key, all cemented onto the crumbling old plaster, maybe eight feet across. Only when he took a step back could he see it formed the shape of a woman and her two kids, carrying suitcases away from a house while a grim police officer stood by with his arms crossed. Probably not the image the tenant behind that wall — AAAfordable Lending, Inc. — would want to be associated with. (Continue Reading…)