Flash Fiction Extravaganza!
Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Vintage PodCastle
“The Island Wakes” by D.K. Thompson
Read by Julie Hoverson
A PodCastle Original!
Here’s the thing about the island’s hotel: there’s no bill when you check out.
Mel Summers has been working behind the front desk for the past five months, and she’s still not exactly sure how it all works.
Some of upper management is human. And some of upper management has fish scales, or shark teeth, or a membrane that slicks over their eyes. Nice people, but when Mel asks them questions about how the hotel gets by, all she ever receives is some hand waving about pirate treasure, kraken fossils, and enchantment copyrights. (Separately, never all together.)
“Sheep Among Easter Werewolves” by Ann Leckie
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Originally published in the Kickstarter campaign for the And Welcome Back! anthology.
“I fear to inform your majesty,” said Brother Maximus, “that your people’s dating of Easter is heretical. The Council of Nicea ruled centuries ago that it should be celebrated on the Sunday.”
“Did they?” asked King Osric with a mild voice and an expression of perplexity. “I suppose I can see why it would be convenient for all of the Church to celebrate Easter at the same time. Why, when my mother married my father, they nearly always celebrated Easter on different days. My mother would still be fasting, sometimes for weeks after my royal father had feasted. It could be inconvenient, especially for the cooks. And the priests, of course. But you know, I don’t think she ever complained. I was always under the impression she preferred it that way, actually. Our Easter feasts can be a bit…uncouth.”
“Surprises, Not Secrets” by Anna Schwind
Read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali
A PodCastle Original!
Three bubbles hung in the space between them, two small ones and one larger one. Bubbles were not the most remarkable thing Josie had ever seen, and she tried to school her expression to pleasant amusement, but Vellamine’s eyes met hers and Josie knew she’d failed. Vellamine growled again, and pinched the skin at the back of Josie’s knee.
“The Summation of EvilCorp Subsidies HR Meeting Agenda Minutes, Compiled by Olivia Washington” by LaShawn M. Wanak
Read by M.K. Hobson
A PodCastle Original!
Memo #1: The Meeting
Meeting opened with Olivia Washington (me) going over our Supreme Overleader’s plan to change the name of our organization from “EvilCorp Subsidies” to “Supervillain Hero-Inversion Technologies”, effective this Thursday. Ten minutes was spent bemoaning on how this is a bad idea. Not only will it mean ordering new letterhead with a new name for the third time this year, but also because, in the words of Colton Smoker (Risk Management), “People are going to take one look at the new name and laugh their heads off.”
“If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love” by Rachel Swirsky
Read by Tina Connolly
Originally appeared in Apex Magazine. Read it here!
If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.
About the Authors
Anna Schwind is a writer, editor, former librarian and Montessori educator living in Saint Louis, Missouri.
While Anna preferred to stay mostly behind the scenes, her writing and narration has appeared a few times over the years.
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.
Rachel Swirsky came onboard PodCastle as the founding editor in 2008 and was honored to run many beautiful stories by amazing authors. She would name them all, but would rather point you to the beginning of the PodCastle archive. It’s a Peter Beagle story.
Rachel graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop, and she’s been nominated for the Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and several others. She’s won the Nebula Award twice, once for her novella “The Lady Who Plucked Red Flowers Beneath the Queen’s Window” and once for her short story “If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love.” She’s been published a number of times in the first three Escape Artists podcasts: EscapePod, PodCastle, and PseudoPod, and narrated a bunch of episodes, too.
Find her website at rachelswirsky.com, visit her on Twitter, and help her write more stories on Patreon where you can get an original story or poem each month for as little as a dollar.
Ann Leckie is the author of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Award winning novel Ancillary Justice. She has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
About the Narrators
Julie Hoverson is a woman of mystery. And Horror. And occasionally sci-fi. She writes, produces and acts in the audio drama series 19 Nocturne Boulevard, as well as appearing in many other shows. She also is working hard to promote all scripted audio dramas through the twitter feed @A_D_Infinitum, and hopes one day to take over the world.
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.
Alasdair Stuart is a professional enthusiast, pop culture analyst, and writer. He is a Hugo Finalist in multiple categories including Best Fan Writer, and a British Fantasy Society Best Non-fiction finalist for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid.
His nonfiction can be found at numerous genre and pop culture venues, including regular columns at the Hugo Award-winning Ditch Diggers and Fox Spirit Books. His game writing includes ENie-nominated work on the Doctor Who RPG and After The War from Genesis of Legend.
He co-owns Escape Artists and hosts their horror podcast, PseudoPod, along with the Hugo Award nominated science fiction podcast, Escape Pod. He is a frequent guest and presenter on podcasts, with voice acting credits including winning the 2020 Audioverse Award for his work on the The Magnus Archives.
His second collection of expanded essays from PseudoPod, The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, is available from Fox Spirit Books.
Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and three children. By day she works as a breast oncology nurse. At all other times she juggles, none too successfully, writing, reading, gaming, and gardening. She has written one novel entitled An Unproductive Woman available on Amazon. She has also been published in or has stories upcoming in Escape Pod, Diabolical Plots, and FIYAH. Khaalidah also co-edits podcastle.org where she is on a mission to encourage more women to submit fantasy stories. Of her alter ego, K from the planet Vega, it is rumored that she owns a time machine and knows the secret to long youth. She can be found online at http://khaalidah.com and on Twitter at @khaalidah.