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.

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

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Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Cover for Drabblecast episode 43, Jelly Park, by Rodolfo Arredondo“I’m not sure I belong here.”
“Then where do you belong?”
The others stopped chewing and looked at me expectantly.
What am I?…

As Norm detailed his Christmas plans, the common theme of this episode became apparent:  that “Home” is not a place, but rather a choice. Before getting there, though, the Drabble News tracked through a pile of extremely rare rhinoceros dung…  or rather, four piles, collected by conservationists and auctioned on E-bay to raise money for preservation of the species. Norm speculates on the market timing of such a gift. Next, Norm reflects on the meaning of the holidays, from the point of view of various people, animals, and legendary monsters. The week’s Drabble, “Choosing Home” by noteworthy community member Josh Hugo, offers a story of love conquering danger. The feature story, “Jelly Park,” (consistently voted among listener favorites), is a deliciously absurd tale of a down-on-her-luck, unemployed secretary who discovers a strange welcome from the easily overlooked community of double-decker bus drivers. The episode’s author, published twice by McMillan Press, helped sing the charminly twisted story’s celebrations. Co-narrator, Dermot Glennon, also contributed Episode #29, “Code Brown.” Feedback for Episode #37, “Luna Springs,” is bittersweet and poignant. Norm and the staff close with a rousing rendition of the Jelly Park Celebration Song, showing off multiple voices and characters, ranging from scat-singing to lunatic opera.

Play
Originally published in Riot Angel #4, July 2005.
Episode Art:  Rodolfo Arredondo
Music by:   Norm Sherman

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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Warning:  Several Instances of the F-Bomb

Cover for Drabblecast episode 91, Gifting Bliss, by Kelly MacAvaney“When I first met Jason he was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the studio, surrounded by burning candles. The air smelled like flowers and a sort of a fog hung in the room and I’m thinking- this dude is a little off…”

This podcast begins with a content warning, beware the “f-bomb.” Norm takes the occasion of Thanksgiving to politely thank civilization and his listeners. The feature is a faux documentary from Josh Roundtree, a contributor to “Realms of Fantasy.” Its subject is a record called “Gifting Bliss” from fantasy musician Jason Avery, whose band “Broken” has a magical healing power to listeners. The reading includes fake commercial breaks and Norm’s hysterical imitations of several sub-standard bands and clueless musicians. Lastly, Norm reads the feedback for the recent Halloween story, “The Box Born Wraith.”

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Originally published in Can't Buy Me Faded Love (Wheatland Press), May 2008.
Episode Art:  Kelly MacAvaney

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Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

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.

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

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  •  Feature:  Out of His League  by  Bruce Golden
  •  Drabble:  Sammy Has a Good Day  by  Josh Hugo
  •  Genre:  Comedy  Drabblecast  Sci-Fi

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

Cover for Drabblecast episode 103, Out of His Leagie, by Rodolfo ArredondoAn influx of uniformed combatants filed into the room, some mumbling, others grumbling– the sure sign of another loss.  In moments the place smelled of dirty socks and planetary jocks…

This episode opens with a reminder to vote for the Drabblecast People’s Choice Award on the Drabblecast discussion forums, which neatly segues into a Drabble News segment about a New Jersey couple who claim that their child’s Tickle me Elmo toy telephone asks “who wants to have sex?” In the Drabble, defeating gravity is a very different experience for a professor and a small boy. The feature story, Out of His League, puts a humorous spin on Pluto’s reclassification from planet to dwarf, envisioning it as a player on a celestial baseball team who has just been sent down to the minors.

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Originally published in OG's Speculative Fiction, March 2008.
Episode Art:  Rodolfo Arredondo

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  •  Feature:  Gifting Bliss: Fifteen Years Later, Jason Avery’s Magic is Still Saving the World  by  Josh Rountree
  •  Genre:  Drabblecast  Strange

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
Warning:  Several Instances of the F-Bomb

Cover for Drabblecast episode 91, Gifting Bliss, by Kelly MacAvaney“When I first met Jason he was sitting cross-legged in the middle of the studio, surrounded by burning candles. The air smelled like flowers and a sort of a fog hung in the room and I’m thinking- this dude is a little off…”

This podcast begins with a content warning, beware the “f-bomb.” Norm takes the occasion of Thanksgiving to politely thank civilization and his listeners. The feature is a faux documentary from Josh Roundtree, a contributor to “Realms of Fantasy.” Its subject is a record called “Gifting Bliss” from fantasy musician Jason Avery, whose band “Broken” has a magical healing power to listeners. The reading includes fake commercial breaks and Norm’s hysterical imitations of several sub-standard bands and clueless musicians. Lastly, Norm reads the feedback for the recent Halloween story, “The Box Born Wraith.”

Play
Originally published in Can't Buy Me Faded Love (Wheatland Press), May 2008.
Episode Art:  Kelly MacAvaney

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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Cover for Drabblecast episode 86, Half Sneeze Johnny, by Bo KaierIf he ain’t comfortable, he can’t sneeze proper to save his life…

During the Drabble News, Norm introduces us to the cutest little tongue-biting-then-tongue-impersonating parasite that one could ever hope to meet.  The Drabblecast then ticks off another row on its scorecard for “Bodily Functions Bingo” by delivering fiction about the act of sneezing.  In the Drabble segment, Peter Wood tells the story of an unfortunate sufferer who finds that even death is no surcease from the problem of allergies. During the feature story, “Half-sneeze Johnny” which originally appeared in “Kaleidotrope” print magazine, the gentle sound of a half-sneeze, which sounds like chickadees being crushed to death, serves as an unlikely truth detector for a pair of mobsters.  The author also contributed the story for Drabblecast #54, “Unholy Fruit.” Feedback from Episode #81, “Snuffles,” and #82, “Overgrown Clump of Narcissists,” rounds out the episode.

Play
Originally published in Kaleidotrope, April 2008.
Episode Art:  Bo Kaier

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