PodCastle 344: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Other Worlds Than These
For further explorations into different worlds and escapism, we highly recommend reading or listening to our own LaShawn M. Wanak’s 21 Steps to Enlightenment (Minus One). We think it’s pretty incredible.
Happy New Year!
“The Problem With Other Worlds,” by Nick Scorza
Read by Dave Thompson
A PodCastle Original!
At the bottom of an old boarded-up well is the world you really come from. You were plucked from it as a child, and all the miseries of your life, all the ways the world you know does not fit you, are a consequence of this.
“Paperheart,” by Tina Connolly
Read by M.K. Hobson
Originally published in Bibliotheca Fantastica, ed Claude Lalumiere & Don Pizarro
After his wife died, the magician stayed in his library for three days with the door barred. Purple smoke poured from the chimney and something that might have been salt tears came in a trickle out of the windowsill, as the magician forbade water, even his own, anywhere near his books. When the three days passed, the magician came forth dry-eyed and forbade anyone to mention her name again.
“Portal Worlds and Your Child (A Parent’s Guide),” by Matt Mikalatos
Read by Peter Wood
Originally published in Daily Science Fiction. Read it here!
Warning Signs. One in every 250 children experiences inter-dimensional travel before the age of 18. Siblings and cousins are 40% more likely to enter another dimension than single children. If you discover your child hiding medieval items (crowns, trumpets, tapestries, chastity belts, swords, etc.), take action immediately. Likewise, if potential magical artifacts are found (uncommon rings, buttons, feathers, etc.), confiscate the item and talk to your child. Watch for imaginary friends, talking animals or strange behaviors (avoiding sidewalk cracks, fear of open closets, obsessively locking bedroom windows, etc.).
About the Authors
Nick Scorza was born in Seattle, grew up in Washington, DC, lived for a while in the Czech Republic, and now resides in Astoria, Queens. He writes both spec-fic and what’s usually called ‘literary fiction.’ Stories of his can be found in Something Wicked, Hobart, Dogwood, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
Matt Mikalatos is the author of the Sky Lantern letter and book. He works at a non-profit dedicated to helping people live better, fuller lives, and speaks at conferences all over the world.
Tina Connolly’s books include the Ironskin and Seriously Wicked series, and the collection On the Eyeball Floor. She has been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Norton, and World Fantasy awards. She co-hosts Escape Pod, runs Toasted Cake, and is at tinaconnolly.com.
About the Narrators
M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off all social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such as Podcastle and Cast of Wonders. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting.
Dave Thompson aka the Easter Werewolf aka the California King is still uncomfortable with the notion of pumpkin beer, but don’t hold that against him. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three children. Together with co-editor Anna Schwind, he ran PodCastle for five years. Dave is an Escape Artists’ Worldwalker and Storyteller, having been published in, and narrated for, all four EA podcasts.
Pria Wood was the audio producer for PodCastle from 2009-2018 and remains immensely proud of her work there. Currently she is an Instructional Assistant Professor at the University of Mississippi where she teaches a number of theatre classes. She has also been releasing music as These Liminal Days (https://theseliminaldays.com)