PodCastle 454: Godfather

by Megan Arkenberg

read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

First published in Niteblade Magazine #27 in March of 2014

Rated PG-13.

Today is your fourteenth birthday, and your godfather is coming to visit. You know because your mother is wearing a dress, a frilly lime-colored affair that certain magazine editors would refer to as a “confection,” and attempting to bake a pie. The tiny counter overflows with paper sacks of flower and plastic sacks of sugar and plates stacked high with slices of golden delicious, all interspersed with photocopies of a neighbor’s cookbook. Your mother is not much of a baker, but then again, your godfather is not much of a diner—in fact, you have never seen him eat.

His pale gray car pulls into your driveway an hour after you wake up. In your ignorance of motor vehicles, you want to call it sleek, and it is, compared to the rusting scarlet pickup your mother relies on for her infrequent trips to town for groceries and postage. But in fact, your godfather’s car is almost absurdly ornamented, glimmering with silver around the wheels and the bluish windows. When your godfather parks in front of your low porch, he waits a moment for the clouds of pink dust to settle before he steps out, lean and trim as a cat in his long black coat, wielding, rather than leaning on, a long ivory cane.

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Picture of Author Megan ArkenbergMegan Arkenberg’s work has appeared in over fifty magazines and anthologies, including Lightspeed, Asimov’s, Shimmer, and Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year. She has edited the fantasy e-zine Mirror Dance since 2008 and was recently the nonfiction editor for Queers Destroy Horror!, a special issue of Nightmare Magazine. She currently lives in Northern California, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in English literature.

You can find Megan online at her website http://www.meganarkenberg.com/ and on Twitter @meganarkenberg.

 

 

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PodCastle Miniature 95: The Stories She Tells Herself

by Kelly Sandoval

read by Jen R. Albert

First published in Daily Science Fiction.

Rated R.

He stole her skin. Yes, that’s the one. He stole her skin, so he had her heart. Or her soul. The part of her that would have fought him otherwise.

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Kelly Sandoval‘s fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny, and Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy. Because she hates free time, she edits the online short fiction magazine Liminal Stories with Shannon Peavey. She lives in Seattle, where the weather is always happy to make staying in and writing seem like a good idea. Her family includes a patient husband, a demanding cat, and an anarchist tortoise. You can find her online at kellysandovalfiction.com.

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PodCastle 453: A Spirited Education

by Tony Pi

read by Curtis C. Chen

First published in Ricepaper 19.3 in 2014.

Rated PG.

Incense smoke drifted through the air in the apothecary like ribbons of kelp. The good doctor was brooding over an anatomy manual at his desk, reading by the light of his oil lamp. I summoned my courage, entered uninvited, and bowed deep.

“Teacher, I’ve come to resume my lessons.”

Doctor Zhao closed his book with a sigh. “Against your father’s wishes, Liren?”

“He didn’t forbid me from learning healing lore,” I corrected. As county magistrate, Father lauded the scholarly study of acupuncture and moxibustion. “He only disapproves of me practicing medicine.”

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Picture of Author Tony PiTony Pi has a Ph.D. in linguistics and writes fantasy and science fiction. He is a recent winner of an Aurora Award for Best English Poem/Song. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

You can find Tony online at his website www.tonypi.com and on Twitter @wistling.

Picture of Narrator Curtis C. Chen

 

Once a Silicon Valley software engineer, CURTIS C. CHEN now writes speculative fiction and runs puzzle games near Portland, Oregon. His debut novel WAYPOINT KANGAROO is a science fiction spy thriller about a super-powered secret agent facing his toughest mission yet: vacation. The sequel, KANGAROO TOO, will be out in June of 2017.

Curtis’ short stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, MISSION: TOMORROW, and the 2016 YOUNG EXPLORER’S ADVENTURE GUIDE. He is a graduate of the Clarion West and Viable Paradise writers’ workshops. You can find Curtis at Puzzled Pint Portland on the second Tuesday of most every month.

You can find Curtis online at curtiscchen.com and on Twitter @curtiscchen.

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EA Metacast, January 2017

In our first 2017 metacast, we present the Escape Artists (EA) stories that ran in 2016 that are eligible in the upcoming nomination season.

PodCastle’s Award Eligible stories from 2016 are all listed below. Give the metacast a listen and visit our sister podcasts Escape Pod, Pseudopod, Cast of Wonders, and our sister magazine Mothership Zeta to check out their award eligible fiction too!

 

Originals

The Wedding of Snow, Earth, and Salt” by Kate Heartfield

In the Woods Behind My House” by Nicolette Barischoff

The Color of Regret” by Carrie Patel

Opals and Clay” by Nino Cipri

Send in the Ninjas” by Michelle Ann King

Territory” by Julie Steinbacher

Beat Softly, My Wings of Steel” by Beth Cato

Tumbleweeds and Little Girls” by Jeff Bowles

Hands of Burnished Bronze” by Rebecca Schwarz

For Honor, For Waste” by Setsu Uzume

Responsibility Descending” by G. Scott Huggins

Communion” by Jei D. Marcade

Archibald Defeats the Churlish Shark-Gods” by Benjamin Blattberg

James and Peter, Fishing” by Anaea Lay

The Bee Tamer’s Final Performance” by Aidan Doyle

Mirabilis” by Shannon Peavey

Sweeter than Lead” Benjamin C. Kinney

Madame Félidé Elopes” by by K. A. Teryna translated by Anatoly Belilovsky

Wolfy Things” by Erin Roberts

The Beautiful Bird Sits No Longer Singing in the Nest” by Kate Lechler

How to Survive in Room 105” by T. Jane Berry

The Ghost Years” by Nghi Vo

Telling Stories” by Sandra M. Odell

Gaps of Joy, and a Knot for Love” by S. B. Divya

Green Girl” by Erica Ruppert

Dragon Fancy” by Leigh Wallace

The Seventh Year” by Alexandra Balasa

Chatter the Teeth” by Kurt Hunt

It’s a Wonderful Carol” by Heather Shaw and Tim Pratt

Shaina Rubin Keeps Her Head Under Circumstances Nobody Could Have Expected” by Rebecca Fraimow

 

Reprints

This Is Not a Wardrobe Door” by A. Merc Rustad, originally published at Fireside

The Men from Narrow Houses” by A. C. Wise, originally published at Liminal Stories

Braid of Days and Wake of Nights” by E. Lily Yu, originally published in Fantasy and Science Fiction

Thundergod in Therapy” by Effie Seiberg, originally published in Galaxy’s Edge

Lapis Lazuli” by Tania Fordwalker, originally in ASIM

Girl in Blue Dress (1881)” by Sunil Patel, originally published in Fantastic Stories of the Imagination

Squalor and Sympathy” by Matt Dovey, originally published in Writers of the Future Volume 32

Love Letters on the Nightmare Sea” by Rachael K. Jones, originally published in Flash Fiction Online

In Mixcoatl’s Net” by Charlie Allison

The Rock in the Water” by Thoriya Dyer, originally published in PoC Destroy Fantasy

Further Arguments in Support of Yudah Cohen’s Proposal to Bluma Zilberman” by Rebecca Fraimow, originally published in Diabolical Plots

 

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