Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 230, bears Discover Fire, by Matt WasielaWe stayed on the path.  The light seemed to drip down from the canopy of the woods like rain.  The going was easy, especially if we didn’t try to look at the path but let our feet find their own way.
Then through the trees I saw their fire…

This episode of the Drabblecast examines humanity through anthropomorphism. In the drabble, peacefully grazing sheep get unexpected visitors who reveal that the sheep are not exactly what they seem. In the feature, when bears discover fire, stop hibernating, and begin populating highway medians in the southern US, their changing behavior highlights how a family’s members react to changes in their own lives with varying degrees of acceptance and grace.

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Originally published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine v14 #8:144- (August 1990).
Episode Art:  Matt Wasiela
Music by:   Jonny Corndawg (Closing)

Twabble:  “As snakes devoured me, I understood: I never should have shopped at Bed, Bath and Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. ”  by  Chris Munroe

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Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 229, Singularity Knocks, by Forrest Warner“You don’t have to talk like that to us, mister,” I said. “We know town-speak just fine.”

The man with the hat put it back on his head and smiled with a hint of embarrassment. “Sorry, folks. Sometimes it helps, you know, smooth the way.”

That man with the computer was lurking by the corner of our porch, holding it up and aiming some kind of camera at the eaves. He steered a pair of laser beams from one end to the other. I figured I’d let him do what he was doing if I didn’t see any harm.

“Smooth the way for what?” I asked. I knew what was coming next, what was always coming: talk of imminent domain, of making way for progress.

“Something exciting,” he said, lifting up a foot onto the lowest step. “Opportunity of a lifetime…”

This episode of the Drabblecast explores science of the future. In the drabble, a lab rat learns to speak but still cannot talk the scientists studying him out of his eventual dissection despite their similarities. In the feature, government agents try to convince a family of aging farmers to join the rest of humanity by being uploaded into the singularity, a virtual world where everyone can lead any life they can dream up. No one can be left behind..

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A Drabblecast original story.
Episode Art:  Forrest Warner
Music by:   The Avett Brothers

Twabble:  “David wished people would stop staring. After 500 years, he still wouldn't forgive Michel for not chiseling him a robe. ”  by  DutchessAlyssa

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Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 228, A Fairy Tale of Oakland, by Bo KaierIn some parts of the world — Austria, Croatia, Hungary — they still remember. They understand. You can’t have something bright without having something dark to balance it. If you’ve got St. Nicholas, you also need the Krampus…

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with Norm’s reflections on the holidays, Santa Claus, and the origins of flying reindeer. In the drabble, the mayhem of a large family’s holiday dinner leads to a darkly humorous tragedy. In the feature, an unsavory petty criminal has a chance encounter with a dying old man who confides that years ago Santa bestowed upon him a miracle, a wish, to teach the true meaning of Christmas. Unfortunately, as they both learn, it comes with a catch..

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A Drabblecast original.
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier

Twabble:  “The sky grew dark and Quetzalcoatl beat leather wings against the sky. We were wrong about Y2K, but right about maYan2K. ”  by  Steven D. Lidster

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Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 227, The Star, by Adam S. DoyleIt is three thousand light years to the Vatican. Once, I believed that space could have no power over faith, just as I believed that the heavens declared the glory of God’s handiwork. Now I have seen that handiwork, and my faith is sorely troubled. I stare at the crucifix that hangs on the cabin wall above the Mark VI Computer, and for the first time in my life I wonder if it is no more than an empty symbol.

This episode of the Drabblecast concerns creation and destruction. In the drabble, creation after creation questions its creator’s role in its existence before wandering off into cyberspace. In the feature, a Jesuit priest, also an astrophysicist, aboard a space exploration vessel struggles with a crisis of faith. While investigating the remains of a planetary system destroyed when its sun went supernova, the crew unexpectedly discovers one planet that was distant enough to survive the explosion. There, they find an enormous vault containing the complete records of an advanced civilization that, realizing years ahead of time that their sun was going to explode, hoped to preserve their history and culture for someone to find so that their existence and destruction would not be in vain.

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Originally published in Infinity Science Fiction, 1955.
Episode Art:  Adam S. Doyle

Twabble:  “Joy to the World the Beast is come! It's time for reckoning. Let every heart prepare for doom and crime upon nature bring. ”  by  Algernon Sydney is Dead

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 226, The Heroics of Interior Design, by Skeet ScienskiI can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet. I can’t lift a car. I can’t climb slick surfaces with my bare hands or breath underwater or stop time. All I can do is change blue things to yellow. I didn’t bother to buy a cape or a spandex suit like the others. I just bought a blouse and some slacks and went into interior design…

This episode of the Drabblecast explores the idea of being happy with yourself as a unique individual. In the drabble, the titular imaginary runner is invented as part of a game to pass time in the car, but meets a tragic end. In the feature, a woman with a minor Gift (turning blue things yellow) in a world of high-powered superheroes struggles to find a niche.

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First published in The Colored Lens #1, Autumn 2011. Contest: Become a Tim Pratt Character!
Our new Submissions address: submissions@drabblecast.org
Episode Art:  Skeet Scienski
Read by:  Veronica Giguere

Twabble:  “My Angry Birds expertise proved me the best. The admirals all agreed I was Earth's last, best hope. My catapult awaited. ”  by  Dolohov

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Monday, December 5th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 225, Trifecta XIX, by Steve SantiagoOnce, at the beginning, you asked why you were brought here. This is what I told you: your parents made a deal. I would rid them of their plague of rats, and they would pay me. I cleared the town of pests, easily done, and returned for my payment. They laughed at me and tried to send me away with less than they promised. Money is not important. Deals are.

The theme of this episode of the Drabblecast is fairy tale child abduction. In David is Six, David cannot wait to be seven. In his desperation, he strikes a bargain with a fairy that appears to him as a talking toad and is taken to the fairy queen. The Best Boy, The Brightest Boy picks up where the Pied Piper of Hamlin left off, following the children and the Piper into his kingdom under the mountain where after a series of cruel games and tests, only one boy remains alive. He becomes the Piper’s apprentice. In Broken, a father stumbles upon a fairy in the act of exchanging his disabled child for her own enchanted brood. A heart-breaking decision follows.

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"David Is Six" was originally published in Triangulation: End of the Rainbow, 7/26/10. "The Best Boy, the Brightest Boy" was originally published in Space Squid, Issue #10. "Broken" was originally published in OnSpec #84, Spring 2011. Spec the Halls, EMP Collective
Episode Art:  Steve Santiago

Twabble:  “"Jesus Christ!" Mary yelled when she saw the muddy sandal prints across the living room, "What were you, born in a barn?" ”  by  Chris Munroe

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Friday, November 25th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast 224, Doubleheader X, by Mary MatticeJames Kennedy had stared at his sock drawer for a good ten minutes that first morning, dumbfounded. He’d never seen it so neat, and he didn’t remember doing it. But there they were: threadbare, but tidy and folded…

Another Drabblecast doubleheader special, featuring two stories from from author John P. Murphy.

Help support Norm’s New CD: The Esoteric Order of Sherman. Pre-order the Order.

Episode Sponsor: The Flash Pulp Podcast, thrice weekly pulp stories for the modern age.

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"Unintended Consequences" and "Expired" are Drabblecast original stories. Chuck Wendig's "Terrible Minds"
Episode Art:  Mary Mattice

Twabble:  “They rolled into the cities and encircled the places of government, chanting aloud their slogan: "We are the 3.1415% ”  by  Steven D. Lidster

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