Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 115, Clown Eggs, by Bo Kaier

Author Jay Lake knew about the devil and he knew about the clowns. When his story, Clown Eggs, first appeared on the Drabblecast, listeners said things like “This might be, hands-down, the weirdest story I’ve ever heard on [The Drabblecast].  I think I’m going to have nightmares forever. Can I send my therapy bills to you guys?” (Thanks, Talia)

In other words, people loved it.

Since then, the Drabblecast has produced three other outpourings from Jay’s singular vision of the world (or a world – or some worlds, but hopefully not our own).   In fact, Jay’s last professional sale was “The Goat Cutter,” Drabblecast 321, the story from last April about the Devil in Texas.    You remember that story- you can’t forget it, even though you’ve tried.

Jay lost his battle with cancer on Sunday, June 1, 2014. In tribute to Jay, we’re kicking off Drabbleclassics with several weeks of Jay Lake’s stories.

And now: Episode 115, Clown Eggs, first published May 25th, 2009.


The spring tide rolled across Momus Beach, tossing the flaccid corpses of clowns like so many torn balloons. Weathered to a dispirited pallor, they twisted in the foamy surf with the eternally surprised expressions of the dead..

The Drabble describes either an apocalyptic event, or a simple machine. The feature introduces us to old “bull” clown Uncle Swarmy. It’s not just another day at the beach. Learn more about the clown life cycle than you’re comfortable with!

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Originally published in Abyss & Apex, 2004.
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier

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Friday, October 11th, 2013

Cover for Drabblecast episode 299, The Revelation of Morgan Stern, by Jerel DyeIt is July 31, your birthday, and I can’t reach you. I’ve been trying all day, but the cell networks are down, the internet is down. I even tried a pay phone–there are two left in town that I know of, and I collected all of my change and walked to the 76 in the village. It was on fire. I watched it for a while from a distance as it painted a brown, toxic streak across the sky. It was a long walk back to the house, or what’s left of it. My feet hurt, and it was too quiet.

 

 

Read full story…

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First appeared in Shimmer #16, January 2013.
Episode Art:  Jerel Dye

Twabble:  “The tortured screams of the people dying in agony are muffled by thumping Swedish disco music, here in my ABBA-ttoir... ”  by  Chris Munroe

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Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Cover for Drabblecast episode 269, Bright Lights, by Bo KaierThe water fountains are low. The lockers are empty. The summer air is warm but there are people in the classrooms. People are talking, are moving. A female emerges from the nearest classroom. She is fully grown. She has dyed hair and competing odors and all of her teeth. Showing her teeth, she asks, “Are you the teacher?”

“YES. YES, I AM.”

She wants to believe those words. What she sees isn’t what she expects, but this woman believes in authority. She wants to get along with others. Showing her teeth, she says, “My son is thrilled to get into your class. He loves the outdoors and doing outdoor things . . . fishing and all that. . . .”

“GOOD.”

“You’ll do the field trip Thursday, right? To the woods?” She waits a moment and then says, “I can take some of the kids, if you need an extra car.”

“I DON’T NEED A CAR.”

“But I’d like to come along. I mean, I’ve heard such good things about you. My friend Rita . . .” She stops talking, trying to find a reason for her nervousness.

“I MUST GO AND TEACH YOUR SON.”

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Originally appeared in Strange Horizons, 7 May 2012. Episode Sponsor: The Cleansed, The Dribblecast
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier

Twabble:  “I woke up this morning wrapped in my true love's arms. It would have been better if they'd still been attached to his body. ”  by  Emily

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Monday, December 24th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 267, Postapocalypsemas, by Mary MatticeSandeer smelled her.

It was just a whiff, a few molecules of something familiar and therefore sweet, wafting on a late afternoon breeze that otherwise carried only the usual: formaldehyde, benzene, dioxin, chromium, and miscellaneous particulate matter both organic and non-. (Once, there had been the smell of roasting chestnuts and crackling logs and simmering spiced cider, but in recent cycles only less pleasant things burned.) There, represented by an air sample just barely statistically significant, was the scent of Sophie.

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A Drabblecast original.
Episode Art:  Mary Mattice

Twabble:  “Wait. He has control of the weather, healing powers, boulder-moving strength AND can walk on water? Best. X-Man. Ever. ”  by  Etaan

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Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 259, The Last of the O-Forms, by Jacob Wayne BrynerAt the sack’s bottom, beneath an empty donut box, he found the beef jerky. It tasted mostly of pepper, but underneath it had a tingly, metallic flavor he tried not to think about. Who knew what it might have been made from? He doubted there were any original-form cows, the o-cows, left to slaughter…

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Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, September 2002.
Episode Art:  Jacob Wayne Bryner
Read by:  Ken Jordan

Twabble:  “I could feel her eyes on the back of my neck. Then I turned around and her green eyestalks adjusted, pushing into my chest. ”  by  loyaleagle

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 257, Judgement Passed, by Jerel DyeWe stared up at the sunlit peaks, each thinking our own thoughts.  I thought about Dessica.  We’d waited two months after landing to name it, but the decision was unanimous.  Hot, dry, with dust storms that could blow for weeks at a time– if ever there was a Hell, that place had to be it.  But eight of us had stayed there for two years, exploring and collecting data; the first interstellar expedition at work.  And then we had packed up and come back– at an empty Earth.  Not a soul left anywhere….

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Originally published in Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse, (Jan 2008, ed. John Joseph Adams, publ. Night Shade Books). Jerel's Etsy store
Episode Art:  Jerel Dye

Twabble:  “I reburied the zombies, packed away the ray gun and handed out pink slips to my minions. I hate the end of summer vacation. ”  by  Bugjackbarron

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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 250, Trifecta 22, by Liz PenniesMy name is… John.

I am…

I have a wife and a daughter. They are visiting me today. Their names– Alice. And Anna.

I can see, sort of. Everything is blurry. I am submerged in a coffin, a clear coffin with green water. There’s a tube in my mouth so that I can breathe, machine-like.

My legs are transparent. I see veins and arteries, thin muscles that look like spiderwebs bundled together. The doctors say my memory will be fuzzy. It’s supposed to come back quickly.

I am…

The theme of this Drabblecast Trifecta is “if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” In Faithful Servant, a long-suffering butler’s poorly timed fit of temper is nearly the end of him. In Selfless, a man with an incurable illness goes to great lengths to ensure his wife and daughter enjoy a normal, happy life. In Prophecy Negotiations, a fateful farm boy learns that if you want to rise to a new station, it pays not to accept the first offer.

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"Selfless" by Kenneth Kao was originally published in Daily Science Fiction, April 2011. "Prophecy Negotiations" by Rich Matrunick was originally published at Space Squid, Summer 2011. "The Faithful Servant" by Joel Shulkin is a Drabblecast original.
Episode Art:  Liz Pennies
Read by:  John Cmar and Alasdair Stuart

Twabble:  “The pancakes attained sentience. Bill shook his fist at the charred landscape. “You blew it up, you damn dirty Crêpes!” ”  by  Astroguyz

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