PC 473: The Wizard of 63rd Street

by Shane Halbach

read by Dominick Rabrun

A PodCastle Original!

Rated PG-13.

2016

Russell walked past the Check-‘n-Go and the cell phone shops on either side of it. It was cold, and the bare branches of the leafless trees reached up to snatch plastic bags from the sky.

He paused at a bit of graffiti low down on the brick of the abandoned corner building. Someone had written, “CA$H MONEY”. Most folks tuned that stuff out, and even if they didn’t, they wouldn’t see any significance in this particular tag. But Russell did; he recognized it for what it was. It was a pretty good one too: even folks who knew what to look for might have missed this one.

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Shane Halbach lives in Chicago with his wife and three kids, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. This is Shane’s first appearance on PodCastle and officially completes his Escape Artists “connect four”, with stories on each of the 4 Escape Artists podcasts. Additionally, his fiction has appeared in Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction, and elsewhere. He blogs regularly at shanehalbach.com, or can be found on Twitter @shanehalbach.

Dominick Rabrun is an artist living in the United States. He is the creator of Dom’s Sketch Cast, a show that runs on YouTube. DSC features interviews with creative individuals, animations, and other experimental art videos: youtube.com/generaldom. And you can follow him on Twitter @CountBlackula.

Show notes and additional links:

Escape Artists Forum: forum.escapeartists.net

Flash Fiction Contest Submissions Portal

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Submissions Open for the Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest

Throughout the month of June, PodCastle will be accepting entries for this year’s Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest! Every author may submit one original fantasy piece of 500 words or less for consideration, so get your story ready to submit!

The three winning stories will be purchased and run as an episode of PodCastle. Stories will be published on a members-only section of the forums, so first publication rights will not be expended by participating in the contest.

Head on over to our Flash Fiction Contest submittable portal to check out the contest entry rules and to submit your entries. All eligible stories will be posted on the forums in July, when voting will commence.

Best of luck!

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PC 472: The Chaos Village — Part 2

by M.K. Hutchins

read by Heath Miller

A PodCastle original!

The ground under Rob’s feet shifted from sand to jagged shale and back again. The mountains folded into valleys, then spiked into cliffs. The green clouds turned into triangles and tried to stab him in the back, but crumpled and fell off.

Rob turned another page in his notebook, skimming his research notes. Thanks to the natural Order present in all humans, his own body and the things he held didn’t randomly transform in the Chaos. But despite pages and pages of lovely charts and neatly-labeled columns, he couldn’t say much more about Chaos than that.

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This is the second part of a two part story. Don’t miss part one! Click here to find The Chaos Village—Part 1.

MK Hutchins AuthorM.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 Podcastle, IGMS, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. A long-time Idahoan, she now lives in Utah with her husband and four children. Find her at www.mkhutchins.com.

Heath Miller NarratorOriginally from Perth, Western Australia, Heath Miller can be 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 his partner, two improbably large cats, two dogs of wildly varying ages and temperaments, and a brace of chickens named after various saints from history. You can follow him on twitter at @zaboots.

 

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PodCastle Miniature 98: Traveling Mercies

by Rachael K Jones

read by Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali

First published in Strange Horizons.

Rated PG.

In the old stories, strangers at the door could be disguised gods, so you had to invite them in. It was a sin to turn away a guest.

Atithi devo bhava. Sanskrit: the guest is God.

I am not God, though I am old.

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Rachael K. Jones is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Athens, Georgia. Her work has appeared in dozens of venues, including Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Shimmer. She is a SFWA member, an editor, and a secret android. Follow her on Twitter @RachaelKJones.

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