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PodCastle 611: Yo, Rapunzel!

Show Notes

Rated R, for ridiculous, with sprinklings of boardgames, box wine, and profanity.

Yo, Rapunzel!

By Kyle Kirrin

And lo, the Princess said: “Motherfucker, I am content.”

“But Princess!” said the Knight, from the base of the Princess’ tower. His armor-clad ass was parked atop a huge black stallion, which the Princess found not only pompous, but entirely predictable. “You misunderstand; I’m here to save you from — ”

“Hold up,” said the Princess. “Exactly what part of girl-lives-in-her-own-goddamned-tower implies a need for rescue?”

“Well, I — ”

“Do you have any idea how many women would kill for a tower off in the wilderness? I am fucking blessed.”

“Princess,” said the Knight, “that’s all well and good, but this isn’t your place. You belong — ”

“Perpetually pregnant in a castle that smells like chlamydia? Pass.”

“M’lady, please. I only want what’s best for you.” (Continue Reading…)

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For Your Consideration: PodCastle Award Eligibility 2019

In 2019, PodCastle produced 15 original stories and 33 reprints. For your consideration, we present the Escape Artists stories which are eligible for nomination in the upcoming award season.

PodCastle itself is eligible for the Best Semiprozine Hugo Award. Staff in 2019 included Co-Editors Jen R. Albert, Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, and Cherae Clark, Assistant Editor Setsu Uzume, Audio Producer Peter Behravesh, and Artemis Rising editors Krystal Claxton, and Elora Gatts.

Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali, Jen R. Albert, and Cherae Clark are also eligible for the Best Editor (Short Form) Hugo Award. (Please nominate all on the same ballot.)

A full list of current PodCastle staff is available here. We are so thankful for their work and proud of what we’ve achieved together. Thank you also to our authors, narrators, and listeners. Your enthusiasm and support makes the castle fly. Wishing you all the best in 2020!

— Jen R. Albert & Cherae Clark


Original Short Stories

I Am Fire; I Am Tears by Wendy Nikel

The Weaver Retires by Kai Hudson

Mister Dog by Alex Jennings

Elegy for a Slaughtered Swine by Rafaela Ferraz

Temptation by Karuna Riazi

Getaway by Jennifer Hudak

The Horrible Deaths of Helga Hrafnsdóttir by Christine Tyler

His Giant Heartbeat by Natalia Theodoridou

The Cost of the Revolution in Three Marvelous Confections by R. K. Duncan (flash)

By Jingly Bell, by Velvet Mouse by KT Bryski (flash)

A Thousand Points, the Sky by Michelle Muenzler (flash)

Tohoku by Nathan Susnik (flash)

Franken-Puppy by Derek Künsken

No Mercy to the Rest by Bennett North

River’s Giving by Heather Shaw, River Shaw, and Tim Pratt

Reprint Short Stories (first published in 2019 or earlier)

Candied Sweets, Cornbread, and Black-Eyed Peas by Malon Edwards

Shadow Boy by Lora Gray

The Griffin and the Minor Canon by Frank Stockton (d.)

A Place to Grow by A. T. Greenblatt

Dying Lessons by Troy Wiggins

Suddenwall by Sara Saab

Baby Teeth by Lina Rather

Cooking Creole by A. M. Dellamonica

El Cantar de la Reina Bruja by Victoria Sandbrook

One More Song by Eliza Chan 

Starr Striker Should Remain Capitol City’s Resident Superhero, by Keisha Cole, 10th Grade Student; All The Fishes, Singing by Amanda Helms; Hester J Rook

The Pull of the Herd by Suzan Palumbo

The Guitar Hero by Maria Haskins

Into the Wind by Marie Brennan

The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker

A Toy Princess by Mary de Morgan (d.)

When Leopard’s-Bane Came to the Door of Third Heaven by Vajra Chandrasekera

The Bone Poet and God by Matt Dovey

I Am Not I by G. V. Anderson

Fathoms Deep and Fathoms Cold by A. Merc Rustad

Life in Stone, Glass, and Plastic by José Pablo Iriarte

The Resurrectionist by John Sullivan

The Masochist’s Assistant by Auston Habershaw

Strange Waters by Samantha Mills

Willing by Premee Mohamed

Labyrinth, Sanctuary by A.E. Prevost

Balloon Man by Shiv Ramdas

The Deliverers of Their Country by E. Nesbit (d.)

The Feast by K.C. Mead-Brewer

The Satyr of Brandenburg by Charlotte Ashley

The Sound of His Voice Like the Colour of SaltL Chan by L Chan

The Two-Choice Foxtrot of Chapham County by Tina Connolly

A Thousand Tongues of Silver by Kate Heartfield

Copy Cat by K. A. Teryna and Alex Shvartsman

Blood, Bone, Seed, Spark by Aimee Ogden

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PodCastle 610: Charlemagne and Florent

Show Notes

Rated PG.

Charlemagne and Florent

By Ranylt Richildis

This is what happened to les deux bretons before I met them, back in the 70s when they were boys in Vannes. One was abandoned at nineteen months (no one knows why, or by whom), the other orphaned by a car wreck at age three. I should say he was orphaned in a car wreck, strapped to a safety seat in the car in question. The fact of the child safety seat indicates the degree of his late parents’ love for him; baby seats were indulgences in 1971. He was brought to the same agency as the foundling, where someone had the kindness to put them together in the same bassinet. Or — it might just as easily be said — someone made the mistake of placing them together.

The fair boy was registered under the unlikely name of Charlemagne Kermorgant, the dark one attached to the much less remarkable Florent Edig. Florent remembers the occasion of their meeting, just as he remembers the car wreck that erased his alternate life. He sees, when he tries, a characterless room, a lurking nurse, a dreary olive drape, and a toddler with matted white hair crawling up to peer at his eyes. A scent, one part applesauce, one part diaper. Children’s squeaks and squalls. A pain in his left leg and another on the right side of his head. A rather stunning absence, quickly filled.

Charlemagne was so named by at least one of his derelict parents. The name was inscribed on a note taped to his wrist. There was no family name, of course, so Kermorgant became his surname, as it became the surname of all the ciphers left on the steps of the eponymous hospice. An interim label, it stuck to him through to the age of majority and sticks to him still. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 609: The Epic of Sakina — Part 2

Show Notes

Rated PG-13.

The Epic of Sakina

By Shari Paul

[Note: This is part 2 of a two-part novelette. Visit our previous post to read Part 1.]

The ride back to her father’s house had never felt so long, doubly so under Naima’s interrogation. Sometime during the wait for Sakina’s return at the barracks, Naima had spoken to a few of the guards and decided that Leif was a djinn. It was a welcome distraction, as she teased her friend and gave her only the vaguest answers. This was not something she could share, and once Naima realised this, she changed tack anyway, instead telling Sakina about the business at her store.

Sakina went straight to the library when she was back at the house, ancestors whispering in her ear. It was time she started a record of this. As she sank into her chair though, someone knocked at the door.

She looked up and a shiver coursed her spine like lightning. It was the alim. (Continue Reading…)