Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Cover for Drabblecast 176, Cinderlands, by Chelsea RaganDexter crouched beneath the toxic fruit trees in his grassless back yard, turning over black earth with the spade he’d taken from the old man, and every shovelful revealed worse things:
clumps of cinders and the dust of ashes; rusting nails, practically dripping tetanus; wickedly-curved shards of brown glass; bullets of various sizes, crusted with dirt; and a foot or so down, fragments of black-stone statuary…

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A Drabblecast original story. Just Icing
Episode Art:  Chelsea Ragan

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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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Tuesday, October 30th, 2012
Warning:  Violent imagery, some explicit language, sexual encounters.

Cover for Drabblecast 261, The People of Sand and Slag, by John Deberge“Hostile movement! Well inside the perimeter! Well inside!” I stripped off my Immersive Response goggles as adrenaline surged through me. The virtual cityscape I’d been about to raze disappeared, replaced by our monitoring room’s many views of SesCo’s mining operations. On one screen, the red phosphorescent tracery of an intruder skated across a terrain map, a hot blip like blood spattering its way toward Pit 8.

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Originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, February 2004.
Episode Art:  John Deberge
Read by:  David Robison, Naomi Mercer, and Mike Boris

Twabble:  “I gave my cat a tinfoil hat and could no longer hear his voice. But, all nearby people collapsed like stringless puppets. ”  by  Algernon Sydney is Dead

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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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  •  Feature:  From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7  by  Nnedi Okorafor
  •  Drabble:  Moving the Goalposts  by  Nathan Lee
  •  Genre:  Drabblecast  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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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 231, Trifec ta XX, by Brent HolmesThe six of them meet for the first time in front of the sagging clapboard house where Everett Montrose was born. All are tired, with hollows under their eyes from driving or riding buses for days. Even so, they greet each other with shy, relieved smiles. Few words are said; most seem unsure of how to speak to each other. There are some handshakes, even a quick hug or two, but these interactions are awkward and all soon turn their attention to their reason for coming here. They all carry with them small pieces of Everett Montrose, and all instinctively touch the fragments as they look to the house.

This episode of the Drabblecast opens with an announcement that the Kickstarter goal for Norm’s new CD has been reached. The theme of the trifecta is Southern justice. In Whit Carlson’s Trespasser, chronic bellyacher Whit Carlson makes a complaint to the sheriff about a clown fishing on his property. In The Six Pieces of Everett Montrose, six strangers meet in front of the house where Everett Montrose was born and where his brother still lives. Each has been compelled to return the bone fragment he or she has found. In Boll Weevil, a man drives home through a plague of boll weevils to face the end of the world. Whether they are a bioweapon, a biblical plague, or aliens, the boll weevils have survived the winter and started breeding wildly, injecting their babies into people with each bite. After containment and quarantine have failed to stop them, a scorched earth policy is about to be enacted. The episode concludes with a bit by Hearty White reading a poetry submission rejection letter.

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Hearty White's Miracle Nutrition Hour "The Six Pieces of Everett Montrose", "Whit Carlson's Trespasser", and "Boll Weevil" are all Drabblecast original stories.
Episode Art:  Brent Holmes

Twabble:  “Professorplex8 continued, "Even if humans did exist that hardly supports the theory of intelligent design, does it?" ”  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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