Archive for Rated PG-13

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PodCastle 411: Hands of Burnished Bronze

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


Hands of Burnished Bronze

by Rebecca Schwarz

Night after night, I lie awake staring into the darkness, listening for the sound of scrabbling fingers on the flagstones outside my door. Sleep, like a young lover who sees how old and frightened I have become, has left me—I fear for good. I hear only the boy’s regular breaths. A new slave brought back from a recent campaign, he sleeps curled at the foot of my bed. Watery pre-dawn light outlines my narrow window, too weak to enter my chamber; soon dawn will drain the black hours pooled in this room.

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PodCastle 405, ARTEMIS RISING: Beat Softly, My Wings of Steel

Show Notes

Welcome back to Artemis Rising 2!


Beat Softly, My Wings of Steel

by Beth Cato

By the light of the full moon, I crept onto a battlefield mounded with decaying soldiers and horses. Mud squished beneath my boots as I searched for a horse’s soul. This close to the Jen picket lines, they had likely already scavenged for souls of both flesh horses and those that had already been reborn as pegasi, but I was desperate.

Not far away, the campfires of the Jen army flickered, their encampment a living wall across the peninsula. At my back, my own city Sharva repulsed me like the rotten flesh on this battlefield. Holes dotted the magicked dome over the spires like a moth-gnawed veil unable to hide an ugly bride. I would rejoice over Sharva’s imminent fall but not for what that meant for me and Grandmother.

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PodCastle 403, ARTEMIS RISING: Send in the Ninjas

Show Notes

Rated PG-13

Welcome back to Artemis Rising II!


Send in the Ninjas

by Michelle Ann King

The streets are more full of snow than people tonight, lending everything an enjoyably deserted, apocalyptic air. Isabel smiles as she walks home, humming happily to herself. Getting stood up never fails to put her in a good mood.

She always goes on the dates her mother sets up, but she much prefers it when the other person doesn’t show. That way, Isabel still gets credit for trying, while also getting to skip straight to the part where she doesn’t have to go on a second date.

Sexual relationships are a minefield Isabel would rather not have to navigate. She works as a copy-editor for a publisher that specialises in erotic science fiction, and real life never stands up to the sex in the books. She also worries about her left breast being a slightly different shape from the right—her last boyfriend was an artist, and his preoccupation with proportion gave her a bit of a complex. All things considered, it simply doesn’t seem worth it.

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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.”

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PodCastle 399: The Authenticator

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.


The Authenticator

by Greg van Eekhout

My face surprises her when she opens the door to her trailer, but I’m not surprised by hers. I know what I look like. I’ve got the best nose money can buy, but rubber’s no match for bone and flesh. I used to wear glasses so the frames would cover the seam where the nose meets the little bit of bridge I have left, but glasses are a pain in the butt since I lost my ears, so I don’t bother with them anymore.

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PodCastle 397: In the Woods Behind My House

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


In the Woods Behind My House

by Nicolette Barischoff

They were just some seventh grade kids who hung around the handball court and pretended to be playing all the time so no one else could use it. Nate had no idea why he’d told them about his griffin.

He just said it, out of nowhere, like it was something he had just remembered. “So, in the woods, behind my house? There’s a griffin.”

That was how these guys talked, Eric and Dash, and Jackson and all of them. They just started right in with anything that happened to them like it was something they’d just now found in their pocket: “I smoked the fattest fucking blunt yesterday… you guys should see the lazer tag arena I built in back of my dad’s house… you know I already got my pilot’s license? I don’t even need to learn to drive.” And then they’d smash a cigarette under the toe of their shoe, waiting to be challenged.

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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.

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PodCastle 395: Winter Jinni

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


Winter Jinni

by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw

The day I emancipated Izzy, in the lull of winter break when the students were mostly gone visiting their families, the boss had left a jumbled box of his latest decorative scroungings, and my job as manager included finding a place to put them. After we closed and cleaned up and I shooed out my best barista Jade, I opened up the box.

There was a red Fiesta tea pot that would have been pretty if not for the inexpert glue job someone had used to repair it, but maybe I could turn it so the crack wasn’t visible. There was a French press, pretty standard, except the glass was cobalt blue, which I’d never seen before. The last thing was the best, though: a brass dallah, the traditional Arabic coffee pot. I’d often listened to boss go on about the origins of coffee brewing, and he’d talked about the perfection of the dallah, a design unchanged for centuries. Basically it resembles a fancy pitcher, with a bulbous hourglass shape to the body, a curved handle, and a crescent-shaped spout that looks kind of like a bird’s beak. This particular dallah was old, the brass darkened by age and patina, but its entire surface was intricately filigreed with images of flowers, clouds, curves that might have been water, and spikier curves that might have been fire. The thing was a work of art in a coat of dust.

 

 

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PodCastle 385: Where Monsters Dance

Show Notes

Rated R


Where Monsters Dance

by Merc Rustad

It hurts your eyes to stare at the hole. You look away, shaking, and as soon as you do, the memory blurs, fuzzily distorting until you aren’t sure what you were just looking at.

One thing’s always clear, though: Ashley.

You wipe your sweaty palms on your jeans and step into the woods. There, not a yard inside the dark tree shadow, you see a glimmer of color. A red thread–it matches Ashley’s favorite wool sweater. It’s caught on a branch and unravels deeper into the woods.

 

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PodCastle 384: Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Vintage PodCastle

Show Notes

Flash Fiction Extravaganza!


Flash Fiction Extravaganza! Vintage PodCastle

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