•  Feature:  Unreliable Witness  by  Jo Walton
  •  Drabble:  Missing Things  by  Ben Kapitz
  •  Genre:  Drabbleclassics  Drama  Sci-Fi

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen BeckettI don’t know if this is the same tape as last time, because They keep moving things around and stealing them. I don’t know who does it. It may be the staff here, or my own family when they come to visit, or the aliens, but somebody’s always doing it — taking my glasses, my tapes, my TV remote, anything I put down for a second. I don’t think it’s the other residents. I used to think that, but I don’t think they’re that organized. Some of them are a bit senile, to tell you the truth…

In this episode of the Drabblecast, Catherine is an 89-year-old nursing home resident plagued by someone who keeps taking her things and a son and daughter-in-law who treat her like a child. When she gets a visit from an alien named Tom, they strike a bargain: He will tell her who the thief is if she tells him the secret to longevity. His race does not live to old age, they die after reaching breeding age and having children (the human equivalent of about 40 years old); he is trying to learn how to extend their lifespan. Despite her insistence that there is no secret he doesn’t believe her, but does tell her no one is taking her stuff – she just can’t keep track of it. Catherine thinks he is lying because he didn’t like that she didn’t have an answer for him and becomes convinced that the people who are taking her stuff are actually looking for alien, looking for clues about their existence among her possessions. She makes a tape recording of her experience, hoping that when they inevitably take the tape and listen to it they will realize they have no reason to continue stealing from her since she will freely tell them everything she knows. In the drabble, a young girl wakes up with a new set of stitches and doesn’t stop searching until she finds the quarter the kidney fairy has left her.

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Originally published in Strange Horizons, January 2001.
Episode Art:  Kathleen Beckett
Read by:  Delianne Forget

Twabble:  “Even they don't fully understand the butterfly effect, yet they seem to love flapping those delicate and deadly wings. ”  by  TroyStJames

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Monday, November 9th, 2015

Cover for Drabblecast episode 113, Charlie the Purple Giraffe, by Josh HugoA change came over Charlie then, like a cloud passing in front of the sun.  He placed his hands flat in his lap, straightened his neck, and took a deep breath.  “Us,” he said at last.  “They read us.”

A delightful Drabble evokes a sage summation of the style from Norm: the mark of a good drabble is the rolling of the eyes and sounds of chuckling. The feature is a unique tale set inside a televised cartoon world. Our main character, Charlie the purple giraffe, has a disturbing and profound view of his world, one not shared by his best friend Jerry the orange squirrel. Floating question marks, colored word balloons, it may not be as light, airy, and humorous as appears at first blush.

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Originally published in Realms of Fantasy, June 2004.
Episode Art:  Josh Hugo

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Sunday, August 23rd, 2015
Warning:  Graphic violence and gore

Cover for Drabblecast episode 92, Synesthesia, by Tom MorgantiThey called  it “Synesthesia.”  It’s when the senses got mixed up and you started to hear colors or taste sounds…

Norm begins this with a warning concerning graphic violence and gore. We return to one of the Drabblecast’s favorite topics, the Zombie Apocalypse. The theme receives a fresh airing, which is just as well, as it was starting to smell. Sal Lemerond, veteran of the horror webzine “Necrotic Tissue,” posits the connection between drug addicts and zombies, in a 100-word drabble. Norm chimes in with a tasty public service announcement about the nutritional value of your brain on drugs. In the feature story, J. Alan Pierce – whose work has appeared in Kaleidotrope, as well as twice on the Drabblecast (#18 “The One that Got Away” and #31 “Beekeepers”) – takes us through a zombie plague via the eyes of an early victim. The condition first manifests as Synthesesia, the scientific name for the ability to taste colors, smell sounds, and other bizarre sensory hallucinations.  The story culminates in a family dispute and a choice betrayal.

Play
A Drabblecast original story.
Episode Art:  Tom Morganti

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Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 188, The Store of the Worlds, by LizTompkins sighed. “What happens is this: You pay me
my fee. I give you an injection which knocks you out. Then, with the aid of certain gadgets which I have in the back of the store, I liberate your mind…”

This episode of Drabblecast starts with Norm recommending and playing an excerpt from Frank Key’s story anthology. In the feature we learn about Mr. Wayne, a man who visits the store of the world in order to discover his deepest desire. Is it simply an escape from a post-apocalyptic world, or is it something more?

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Originally published in Playboy, 1959. Audio rights were obtained through the author's estate.
Episode Sponsor: Frank Key's Story Anthology, "Impugned by a Peasant"
Forever Angels
Episode Art:  Lizanne Herd
Music by:   19 Action News, special closing music: Pick up the Phone.

Twabble:  “I had heard that love is blind. Just before my son's viola recital, I prayed that it was deaf as well. ”  by  Ben Hathaway

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Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Cover for Drabblecast episode 268, I Only Am Escaped Alone to Tell Thee, by Steve Santiago Whatever you do, don’t call me Ishmael.

Don’t call me anything at all. Give me my pint of piss-poor ale and leave me be in this yellowed corner where men relieve themselves when they are too lazy to make three extra stumbling steps to the streets of Nantucket. I am done. Finished. Come to this hole to die—and if you insist on speaking to me, I’ll find a deeper hole than this dying excuse of a whaling town can offer…

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Originally appeared in The Book of Cthulhu II, (Oct 2012). Escapepod, The Dribblecast, Guild of the Cowry Catchers, Norm's CD
Episode Art:  Steve Santiago
Read by:  Graeme Dunlop

Twabble:  “The cabin attendant said that Infant Buoyancy Devices Were Available. In the water, four babies kept me nicely afloat. ”  by  HR Duff and Stuff

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  •  Feature:  The Belonging Kind  by  John Shirley and William Gibson
  •  Drabble:  Belonging  by  Jeff Johnston
  •  Genre:  Drabblecast  Mystery  Romance  Sci-Fi

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast Episode 264, The Belonging Kind, by Kathleen BeckettIt might have been in Club Justine, or Jimbo’s, or Sad Jack’s, or the Rafters; Coretti could never be sure where he’d first seen her. At any time, she might have been in any one of those bars. She swam through the submarine half-life of bottles and glassware and the slow swirl of cigarette smoke… she moved through her natural element, one bar after another.

Now, Coretti remembered their first meeting as if he saw it through the wrong end of a powerful telescope, small and clear and very far away.

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Originally published in Shadows 4, (Oct 1981, ed. Charles L. Grant, publ. Doubleday).
Episode Art:  Kathleen Beckett

Twabble:  “Thursday was a dream come true for Arthur. Unfortunately for him it was that one where you find yourself naked in school. ”  by  PhineasQP

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Friday, July 6th, 2012
Warning:  Some instances of Explicit Language

Cover for Drabblecast episode 248, Cockroach Hat, by Greg Cravens“What I don’t like about it,” said Cliffe, “is that is it’s just a metaphor instead of something real.”

“What if it was real?” I (Sam) asked. “What if it was me and I actually turned into a cockroach someday?”

This episode of the Drabblecast is all about crazy relationships. In the drabble, it’s apparent that finding Mr. Right is difficult no matter who (or what) you are. In the feature, Sam wakes up one day to discover he has been transformed into a giant cockroach. He spends the rest of his day on a surreal quest, not only to return to his normal self, but also to save his girlfriend from threats both mundane and extraordinary, with the hope a new start together.

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Originally published at Tor.com, May 2010. Word Whore Raffles a Painting! More Greg Cravens: gocomics.com/thebuckets, moreontvcomics.com, gocomics.com/hubris, cravenscartoon.com
Episode Art:  Greg Cravens
Read by:  Preston Buttons and the Word Whore of Air out My Shorts

Twabble:  “Four of the subjects died only a few days after being exposed to the virus. The last was immune, so I had to kill him myself. ”  by  TroyStJames

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