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PodCastle 690: The Gannet Girl

Show Notes

Rated PG


The Gannet Girl

by Frances Rowat

They said Castermay’s mother had held sea-glass in her mouth when she’d lain with the girl’s father, and that was why Castermay was standoffish and still, tongue weighted by salt and sand, and eyes the colour of the leeside lichen found on the chalk rocks in the saw-bladed grass. Castermay was not warmly welcome in the village longhouse where she lived with the other children who had no brothers or sisters, but her mother’s work was too valuable for her to be turned away.

Her mother lived down on the beach in a small hard house built on a flat rock between high tide and low, the roof of which was a favored perch for gannets. Four times a year, clear sky or storm, she walked into the waves and cut herself to bleed for the sea with a heavy bone knife, and so the sea within a day’s sailing was thick with life. The village sustained itself, and had more to cure with smoke or salt and trade uproad and inland, and losses to the sea were lighter than they might otherwise have been.

Castermay worked like any other child of an age to do so; she pulled in her own weight and more on the days she worked the nets, and her fingers were sure and her knots were firm, if ungainly. When she did not work, she walked the strip of rough beach between high tide and low with her mother, or spoke with the gannets that rested on the roof. (Continue Reading…)

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British Fantasy Award Nominations


The 2021 British Fantasy Award shortlist has been announced, and we’re honoured to have been nominated once again in the Best Audio category! Our tentacled sister, PseudoPod, has also been nominated again in this category, so we’re in the very best company.

As if that wasn’t enough lovely news, one of our stories has also been nominated for Best Short Fiction. We’re delighted that “8-Bit Free Will”, by John Wiswell (PodCastle 654), is up for the award, and we’ll be on tenterhooks for John as well as ourselves.

And yet more news! Escape Artists’ Head Honcho Alasdair Stuart is also up for Best Nonfiction for his weekly pop culture newsletter, The Full Lid. Cake and balloons for everyone!

Winners will be announced at FantasyCon, which takes place this year on September 24th – 26th in Birmingham, UK.

Please join us in congratulating PseudoPod, John, Alasdair, and all the other nominees. Huge thanks from us here at the Flying Castle to all our listeners, our narrators, and our wonderful authors, and to our superb editorial team for all their hard work.

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PodCastle 689: Gitl Schneiderman Learns to Live With Her In-Laws

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


Gitl Schneiderman Learns to Live With Her In-Laws

by Rebecca Fraimow

Shprintze, you nudnik,

Before you ask again, I’ve gotten all your letters scolding me for not writing—and Esther and Sarah’s too. Well, I’m sorry about it, but with one thing and another, my cousin’s kid crying all the time on the one side of me and Gitl crying all the time on the other, I haven’t had two wits to rub together, let alone two words to put onto a page for you. Anyway, what’s the point of going on a visit only to spend all your time talking to the same people you’d talk to at home? But everything’s calm to the point of boredom now, so I can spare a little time to catch you up, and then you can share this letter around and catch up everybody else. (Continue Reading…)

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PodCastle 688: Aeaea on the Seas

Show Notes

Rated PG-13


Aeaea on the Seas

by Hester J. Rook

“Oh, go to the crows,” I snarled under my breath as the knocker slammed home. The door was supposed to be a discouragement to visitors, large and heavy and dark, the handle made up of a curl of iron shaped like a beautiful maiden with fanged dogs at her thighs, eye tormented. Scylla, in the form I’d turned her into so many years ago: Remember my power. Do not come to me lightly.

But no, there it was again, a rapping that echoed through the old house.

“What’s wrong, flower?” Her voice was strangled down the phone.

“Don’t worry, darling. I just have a visitor.”

She chuckled, low and dry. “I really need to teach you my old trick for dealing with them.”

“You forget, my love. I have my own tricks.” (Continue Reading…)