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!

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

Twabble:  “The unfortunate explosion of the rabbit was gory, but mostly ironic given John’s last comment: “And for my next trick…” ”  by  LajesticVantrashellofLob

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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?

Play
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:  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.

Play
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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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 234, Jagannath, by Bill HalliarAnother child was born in the great Mother, excreted from the tube protruding from the Nursery ceiling. It landed with a wet thud on the organic bedding underneath. Papa shuffled over to the birthing tube and picked the baby up in his wizened hands. He stuck two fingers in the baby’s mouth to clear the cavity of oil and mucus, and then slapped its bottom. The baby gave a faint cry.

“Ah,” said Papa. “She lives…”

This episode of the Drabblecast is about awakenings and transformations. In the drabble, not all its memories of a man’s life make sense to an undersea creature. In the feature, generations ago the survivors of a ruined world struck a deal with their Mother, an enormous creature merging flesh and technology. They live symbiotically within her, helping her do everything from navigating to digesting food while in return she provides them safety and sustenance. When Mother is injured beyond repair, starved for both food and fresh genetic material, she passes on a dying gift.

Play
Originally published in Weird Tales #358, summer 2011.
Episode Art:  Bill Halliar
Read by:  Hananel Mavity

Twabble:  “Even deep within his bunker, Paul felt each bomb add to the city's devastation. He smiled and tore up 15 parking tickets. ”  by  loyaleagle

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Monday, June 27th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 209, Babyhead, by Johan LindroosCynthia couldn’t explain what she’d just seen in the vegetable patch.

She didn’t want to look again. She considered going back into the house, crawling back into bed with Mikey, and putting it down as a beer-inspired dream.

But that pinkish dome with the fuzzy down had felt soft under her fingers, and there had been the smell of manufactured newness, like a dusting of talcum powder wafting up to her nostrils, as she had pulled the coarse outer leaves of the cabbage apart…

Tales of parental love gone awry in this week’s unsettling Drabblecast.

Play
A Drabblecast original story. In Search of the Mongolian Deathworm
Episode Art:  Johan Lindroos
Read by:  Voices by Veronica

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Monday, May 25th, 2009

Cover for Drabblecast episode 115, Clown Eggs, by Bo KaierThe 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!

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

Twabble:  “The unfortunate explosion of the rabbit was gory, but mostly ironic given John’s last comment: “And for my next trick…” ”  by  LajesticVantrashellofLob

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