Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Warning:  Explicit language, sexual references

Cover for Drabblecast 241, The Dead, by John DebergeThree boy zombies in matching red jackets bussed our table, bringing water, lighting candles, brushing away the crumbs between courses.  Their eyes were dark, attentive, lifeless…

This episode of The Drabblecast is all about zombies. In the drabble, a post-outbreak actor is almost too talented for his own good. In the feature, a job interview leads Donald to contemplate the horrors of an economic zombie apocalypse: What happens to the living when the dead become a more valuable, more efficient substitute for both industrial and private uses?

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Originally published in Starlight 1, (1996, ed. Patrick Nielsen Hayden, publ. Tor).
Episode Art:  John Deberge
Music by:   Nina Nastasia [Song: Ugly Face], 19 Action News [Song: All You Zombies]

Twabble:  “I am an artist. Brown, Yellow, Black and Red spread thick and uneven around my workplace. A true artist and a bad surgeon. ”  by  DrFromHell

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Friday, April 20th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 240, Trifecta XXI, by Gino MorettoWe bought our first yarn baby at a garage sale. The ends of its arms were frayed and its eye buttons dangled loose on bare threads.

This theme of this episode of the Drabblecast is family unties: Nontraditional homes and family situations. In the drabble, the enterprising resident of a haunted house fools its ghosts into performing everyday domestic tasks. In Divorce in the House of Flies, a young boy has to deal with his parents’ divorce at the same time he has to deal with their transformation into human-shaped masses of tiny insects. In Wendigo Bake Sale, residents of a small town overcome their initial terror of a pair of wendigo participating in the school bake sale, only to be frightened anew when the wendigo reveal they are supporting the school because their child attends. In Knit, after losing their first yarn baby during her rebellious teen years in a tragic unraveling accident, a couple tries vainly to reconstruct her from the scraps of yarn, stuffing, and buttons left behind.

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"Divorce in the House of Flies" by Dustin Reade is a Drabblecast original story. "Wendigo Bake Sale" by Leslianne Wilder is a Drabblecast original story. "Knit" by Brenda Stokes Barron is a Drabblecast original story.
Episode Art:  Gino Moretto
Read by:  Josh Roseman and Ray Sizemore

Twabble:  “The crowd at the gallows looked up, then down. Up. Down. “That bungee noose is makin’ my neck sore,” one man finally said. ”  by  Travelin' Corpse Feet

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Friday, April 13th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 239, Killing the Morrow, by John DeBergeYou know, I’ve heard my share of disembodied voices.  I’m accustomed to their fickle, sometimes bizarre demands.  But tonight’s voice is different, clear as gin and utterly compelling.  I must listen…

This episode of the Drabblecast concerns time and inter-dimensional travel. In the drabble, a being hurriedly fleeing its own dimension accidentally merges with a pizza jockey but still cannot escape its pursuers. In the feature, Killing the Morrow, voices from a ruined future attempt to flee to our present, commandeering a workforce to construct bathtub chambers where they can grow physical bodies and ready cities from which to rule. Is this the end of mankind as we know it, or can a second faction of future-dwellers subvert this implosive invasion?

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Originally published in: Starlight Anthology #1, 1996.
Episode Art:  John Deberge

Twabble:  “"Heard you got pulled over by the thought police the other night." "Yeah I was thinking a mile a minute - in a school zone!" ”  by  loyaleagle

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  •  Feature:  From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7  by  Nnedi Okorafor
  •  Drabble:  Moving the Goalposts  by  Nathan Lee
  •  Genre:  Sci-Fi

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 238, The Lost Diary of TreeFrog7, by Caroline ParkinsonTranslating… Appendix 820 of The Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide. This series of audio files was created by TreeFrog7. It has been automatically translated into text

In this episode of the Drabblecast, heavily pregnant jungle explorer TreeFrog7 keeps a recorded diary of data she and her husband are collecting for the Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide. As they close in on a legendary mature CPU plant (MCPU), a wild version of cultivated CPU plants used as personal computers, they encounter numerous jungle creatures including an enormous flightless moth protecting the plant. Despite its attacks, the explorers do not want to kill the moth in case the MCPU needs it to survive. While treed by the moth in the MCPU, TreeFrog7 gives birth to their daughter while her husband downloads the MCPU’s data. Close enough to see the MCPU’s monitor, they watch a rapidly shifting display of locations and symbols. TreeFrog7 realizes the images are getting closer to their own location and represent another explorer’s collected data. Finally, the scene fades and the monitor shows only two eyes. The diary ends with an entry by an unknown voice that implies the explorers have themselves been collected. In the drabble, a teenage boy fails to convince an uninterested, gum-snapping girl that he understands her feelings of otherness and isolation.

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Originally published in Clarkesworld Magazine.
Episode Art:  Caroline Parkinson
Read by:  Veronica Giguere

Twabble:  “Her whiskers tickled my cheek as she purred and explored my face. Who would have thought grandma was this affectionate? ”  by  TroyStJames

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Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 16, Winning Streak, by Mary MatticeSeven security gargoyles stare at me from atop the elaborate sandstone columns lining the casino’s walls. Their sharp eyes and oversized talons flex ever so slightly in anticipation of snatching up cheaters like unsuspecting prey… The pit boss watches me too, now, and for good reason. I’m an Ittari after all, a shapeshifter, just as they’d identified me with the DNA scan when I’d entered this fine establishment…

Originally appeared in Daily Science Fiction, November 2010.
Episode Art:  Mary Mattice

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  •  Feature:  Test Drive  by  Nina Kiriki Hoffman
  •  Genre:  Sci-Fi

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 237, Test Drive, by Mary MatticeIt was my turn to wear the mask, but my egg-sister Linney wouldn’t give it up. She’d been wearing the mask all morning, set on Smile, and it was a test day, too. Everyone thought she was so pleased and relaxed and Earthy…

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with the announcement of the 2011 People’s Choice Awards winners: Best Episode Art (Jerel Dye, Hokkaido Green, episode 208), Best Drabble (Lab Rats by Nicholas J Carter, episode 229), and Best Story (The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk by Eugie Foster, episode 214). In the feature, alien egg-sisters Linney and Mirana are competing for an assignment on Earth. On test day, they are evaluated on their abilities to blend into human society. Despite a disappointing start, Mirana pulls ahead of Linney during a trip to the mall where they meet, and she charms, a human teenage boy.

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Originally published in Daily Science Fiction
Episode Art:  Mary Mattice

Twabble:  “Why am I in here? Because she gave me her heart, and no one believes that when they found us I was just trying to give it back. ”  by  ursus_arctos

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  •  Feature:  When You Visit the Magoebaskloof Hotel Be Certain Not to Miss the Samango Monkeys  by  Elizabeth Bear
  •  Drabble:  Cloud and Sky  by  Chris Schryer
  •  Genre:  Sci-Fi

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 236, When You Visit the Magoebaskloof Hotel Be Certain Not to Miss the Samango Monkeys., by Kelly MacAvaneyIn the place where I was born, stones had been used to mark boundaries for four hundred years. We harrowed stones up in fields, turned them up in roadcuts. We built the foundations of houses from stones, dug around and between them. We made stone walls, and our greatest poet wrote poems about those walls and their lichen-speckled granite. The gift of glaciers, and the wry joke of farmers. “She’ll grow a ton and a half an acre, between the stones.” The people who lived there before mine made tools of them, made weights and currency.

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with a Drabblenews story about the resurrection of an ancient human vaginal yeast once used to make a fermented drink fittingly dubbed “vag yeast moonshine” by Norm. In the drabble, while Shouting Cloud has correctly read the signs predicting the return of the Sky Father, there isn’t only one – and they are armed and dangerous. The feature explores the need to adapt to new environments. Humans have fled a ruined Earth to find themselves on a planet where they can’t digest the plants or communicate with the oddly amiable natives, and their preserved supplies are dwindling. While reflecting on memories from a visit to Africa on Earth and desperate to discover some clue about how to survive, a xenobiologist risks exhuming the corpse of a juvenile native for dissection even though one of her colleagues was brutally slaughtered for doing so. When she is discovered by a group of natives, she is sure she will be murdered as well, only to find herself forced into nursing from one of them. As she drinks its milk, she realizes that the intelligent natives, after dissecting rather than slaughtering her colleague to learn about human biology and digestion, have likely theorized that the microscopic flora in their milk may allow humans to finally be able to digest the alien crops on their planet.

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Originally published in Interzone, #195 November-December 2004.
Episode Art:  Kelly MacAvaney

Twabble:  “"Grampy, have you heard of the Grandfather time travel paradox?" she whispers. I can only nod, because of the duct tape. ”  by  Zedaysi

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