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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Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Cover for Drabblecast episode 279, The Country Doctor, by Roo VandegriftGardner was drowning, and strangers were laying hands on the bones of my forebears. I felt obligated to see that liberties weren’t taken with my grandmother, my great-grandmother, and other good, God-fearing ladies, so I put the business on auto pilot and made the drive as if on auto pilot myself.

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Originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, October 1993. Ghost Seas by Steven Utley
Episode Art:  Roo Vandegrift
Poem:  Taunting the Sea  by  Steven Utley

Twabble:  “We stood outside the news station in protest against miscommunication. I still don't think our message got through... ”  by  Scarecrow

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Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Cover for Drabblecast episode 266, Little Grace of the House of Death, by Caroline ParkinsonThe niece of King Death had not yet chosen a name.  She was the only daughter and youngest child of Death’s sister, Merciful Grace, and everyone still called her by her baby name, Little Grace…

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A Drabblecast original. Episode Sponsor: Frank Key's New Anthology "Brute Beauty And Valour And Act, Oh, Air, Pride, Plume, Here Buckle!"
Episode Art:  Caroline Parkinson
Read by:  Bryan Lincoln Starla Huchton Veronica Giguere and Pat Krane
Music by:   KraftiM and Alexander Scriabin

Twabble:  “Zombies will always leave you alone if they think you're one of them. And that's why I've been eating people, Your Honor. ”  by  PhineasQP

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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, 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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Friday, October 7th, 2011

Cover for Drabblecast episode 218, Orange, by Rodolfo Arredondo

I take time-lapse photographs of an orange. The result is always the same.
First I remove the previous orange from the spike in front of the black
velvet backdrop and replace it with a new orange. I set an incandescent
spotlight out of frame as a light source…

Episode Sponsor: You Shall Never Know Security by J.R. Hamantaschen

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Originally published by AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review.
Episode Art:  Rodolfo Arredondo
Read by:  R.E. Chambliss

Twabble:  “I simply forgot, there's no sunshine when she's gone, Which is why it's hard to grow grass over this freshly turned soil. ”  by  J-M

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Monday, September 26th, 2011
Warning:  Adult Humor

Cover for Drabblecast episode 217, Followed, by John DebergeShe came wandering down the sidewalk like any other corpse, her herky-jerky walk unmistakable among the fluid strides of the living.  She was six or seven, Southeast Asian, maybe Indian, her ragged clothes caked in dried mud. Pedestrians cut a wide berth around her without noticing her at all…

On this episode of the Drabblecast, Norm ponders the nature of the undead. He concludes the In Search of the Brain-Eating Nandi Bear serial. Following that is feature story Followed by Will McIntosh, author of Soft Apocalypse and the upcoming Hitchers.

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Originally published in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, June, 2006. The Living Dead
Nathan Lee's Mirrorshards
Episode Art:  John Deberge

Twabble:  “I opened up the bag of skin and set the screams free. Screams are the key ingredient; remove them and these creatures die. ”  by  Algernon Sydney is Dead

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