Archive for Giants

PodCastle logo

PodCastle 457: Blade and Branch and Stone

Show Notes

read by Graeme Dunlop (as Lassan), Wilson Fowlie (as Dhar), Kay Steele (as Kahirun)


Blade and Branch and Stone

by Spencer Ellsworth

Lassan

The trees screamed. Mortars shattered white wood that bled golden sap. The Fei looked down from the ridge with cold blue eyes, raised their muskets and hailed lead onto the human lines. Blood blossomed on white shirts around Lassan, under black-coated Imperial jackets.

“Form a wedge!” Lassan yelled. “Prime and load! One more round before we rush the hill!” Around him men fell to one knee and musket plugs tamped down powder and ball. Lassan looked over his men, memorizing every face. They were good people, settlers and drilled regiment all. They would probably all die today and they would do it under his orders.

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle logo

PodCastle 400: Night at the Opera (Giant Episode)

Show Notes

Rated PG-13 for some violence.

With a special full-cast reading!

  • Wilson Fowlie as the Narrator
  • Big Anklevich as Amadel
  • Rish Outfield as Reynard
  • Kevin Powe as Nicolas
  • M.K. Hobson as Lady Shankir-Clare
  • Tina Connolly as Belina Shankir-Clare
  • Dave Thompson as the Mystery Man
  • Graeme Dunlop as Idilane

The story takes place in Martha’s Ile-Rien universe, in which she’s written five novels and several short stories. Find out more!


Night at the Opera

by Martha Wells

Reynard Morane was at his usual table in the Cafe Baudy, a somewhat risqué establishment built on a barge in the Deval Forest pleasure garden’s lake, when a beautiful man approached his table. This wasn’t an unusual occurrence, especially in this cafe, but this beautiful man was a stranger. He said, “Captain Morane?”

From his features and dark skin, the man was Parscian, a little younger than Reynard but not by much, tall and well-built, and dressed in an elegant but understated way which suggested some level of the upper class. The coat was too expensive for the man to be from a university. For some reason, Reynard attracted a high percentage of men of academic persuasions. “Yes.” Reynard smiled warmly. “Please join me.”

The man hesitated, then drew out the opposite chair. “A friend told me about you.”

(Continue Reading…)

PodCastle logo

PodCastle 396: Spirits of the Wind (Giant Episode)

Show Notes

RatedPG-13

Read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.


Spirits of the Wind

by Brendan Detzner

She was surprised how fast she’d caught herself missing the time that she lived here. She knew that she and Jessica and Rina had been driving each other crazy all cooped up together, and she remembered climbing up to the third floor and down again and how she thought she was going to slip and fall on the ice each winter when the landlord never laid down salt, and she missed it anyway, and could anticipate feel herself looking back and missing it more and more. A simple thing, gone now.

The truth, which she knew and thought everybody in the room had to know too,was that this had been a big year. They’d reached the top of a hill and were on their way down, and some of them were heading towards other hills and maybe some of them weren’t. People’s parents were dying. Guys were going bald, girls were covering up tattoos and using concealer. Mike, who was always a little crazy and fun to have around and who liked to drink, wasn’t around anymore, and still liked to drink and probably was drinking out there somewhere. Kat missed him, but she knew it was better that he was gone. She couldn’t afford to be around a guy like that anymore.

PodCastle logo

PodCastle 341, Giant Episode: Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs

Show Notes

Rated R: Contains violence and monsters in the Victorian fashion.

Originally published as a novella by Subterranean Press. Pick up your copy here!


Balfour and Meriwether in the Incident of the Harrowmoor Dogs

By Daniel Abraham

It was the twenty-eighth of April, 188- and a day of warmth, beauty, and commerce in the crowded streets of London, but Lord Carmichael’s features had a distinctly wintery aspect.  He stood by the front window of the King Street flat, scowling down at the cobbled streets.  The snifter of brandy in his left hand was all but forgotten.  Behind his back, Meriwether caught Balfour’s gaze and lifted his eyebrows.  Balfour stroked his broad mustache and cleared his throat.  The sound was very nearly an apology.  For a long moment, it seemed Lord Carmichael had not so much as heard it, but then he heaved a great sigh and turned back to the men.

The flat itself was in a state of utter disarray.  The remains of the breakfast sat beside the empty fire grate, and the body of a freshly slaughtered pig lay stretched out across the carpeted floor, its flesh marked out in squares by lines of lampblack and a variety of knives protruding from it, one in each square.  Meriwether’s silver flute perched upon the mantle in a nest of musical notation, and a half-translated treatise on the effects of certain new world plant extracts upon human memory sat abandoned on the desk.  Lord Carmichael’s eyes lifted to the two agents of the Queen as he stepped over the porcine corpse and took his seat.

“I’m afraid we have need of you, boys,” Lord Carmichael said.  “Daniel Winters is missing.”

“Surely not an uncommon occurrence,” Meriwether said, affecting a lightness of tone.  “My understanding was that our friend Winters has quite the reputation for losing himself in the fleshpots of the empire between missions.  I would have expected him to have some difficulty finding himself, most mornings.”

“He wasn’t between missions,” Lord Carmichael said.  “He was engaged in an enquiry.”

“Queen’s business?” Balfour said.

“Indirectly.  It was a blue rose affair.”

Balfour sat forward, thick fists under his chin and a flinty look in his eyes.  Among all the concerns and intrigues that Lord Carmichael had the managing of, the blue rose affairs were the least palatable not from any moral or ethical failure — Balfour and Meriwether understood the near-Jesuitical deformations of ethics and honor that the defense of the Empire could require — but rather because they were so often lacking in the rigor they both cultivated.  When a housewife in Bath woke screaming that a fairy had warned her of a threat against the Queen, it was a blue rose affair.  When a young artist lost his mind and slaughtered prostitutes, painting in their blood to open a demonic gate, it was a blue rose affair.  When a professor of economics was tortured to the edge of madness by dreams of an ancient and sleeping god turning foul and malefic eyes upon the human world, it was a blue rose affair.  And so almost without fail, they were wastes of time and effort, ending in conformations of hysteria that posed no threat and offered no benefit to anyone sane.  Meriwether took his seat, propping his heels on the dead pig.  As if in response, a bit of trapped gas escaped the hog like a sigh.