Drabblecast Covers Collage 2018 01

Drabblecast 409 – The Dandelion Man

 Drabblecast cover for The Dandelion Man by Gareth McGormanThe Drabblecast presents an original story:

“The Dandelion Man” by Jack Nicholls.

A tale of coming of age, a tale of survival; a fight to discover who is of the soil and who is of the air…

Story Excerpt:

Teo and Paulus stood at the shore of the pampas, where the grass grew twice as tall as a man. They were naked, and the pampero raised goosebumps on their skin. The stalks bent against the wind’s force, green and gold ripples drawing the eye to the distant horizon. It was a good wind, people had been telling Teo all morning. Lucky.

Enjoy the show!

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Drabblecast 408- Doubleheader: Robert Reed

Cover for Robert Reed Doubleheader by Bo KaierThis week the Drabblecast brings you two new, previously unpublished stories by SF genre luminary Robert Reed.

Reed published his first novel, The Leeshore in 1987. Since then he has received nominations for both the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award, as well as numerous other literary awards. In 2007, he won his first Hugo Award for the 2006 novella “A Billion Eves”.

This week we bring you two original stories by Robert Reed:

“And So On” (Story Excerpt):

You never sleep and you cannot be alone. Companions surround you,
extraordinary both in their numbers and the multitude of lost worlds represented. Subjected to minimizations of data and energy, each of you has been compressed into a body no larger than a bacterial spore. The principles of efficient packing mean that your neighbors share your temperament and general outlook. This is the means by which you can exist and feel so very real. Your nature is shared. Ten million like-minded souls make every calculation that much easier.

Primarily human. That is what you are.

“The Statistical Grandeurs” (Story Excerpt):

You begin by insisting that you are a happy person.

“A thin happiness built from predictive software,” your new mentor counters. “And let’s be honest here. The system’s limitations are growing more obvious with every rigorously planned day.”

Then he says nothing, staring at you.

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Drabblecast 407 – The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change

Cover for Drabblecast 407: The Evolution of Trickster Stories Pt. 1 by Joe BotschThis week we bring you “The Evolution of Trickster Stories Among the Dogs of North Park After the Change” by Kij Johnson.

This story depicts a world in the aftermath of “The Change,” a mysterious event whereby all domesticated mammals spontaneously gain near-human intelligence and the ability to speak.  It was shortlisted for the 2007 Nebula Award for Best Novelette and the 2008 World Fantasy Award—Short Fiction.

Our soundtrack is produced with a soundtrack of arrangements of various songs by The Pixies.

 

Story Excerpt:

North Park is a backwater tucked into a loop of the Kaw River: pale dirt and baked grass, aging playground equipment, silver-leafed cottonwoods, underbrush, mosquitoes and gnats that blacken the air at dusk. To the south is a busy street. Engine noise and the hissing of tires on pavement mean the park is no retreat. By late afternoon the air smells of hot tar and summertime river bottoms. There are two entrances to North Park: the formal one, of silvered railroad ties framing an arch of sorts, and an accidental little gap in the fence back where Second Street dead-ends into the park’s west side, just by the river.

Enjoy the show! (Full story printed after the jump)

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Drabblecast B-Sides 75 – The Five Hundred Days of Ms. Between

Cover for Drabblecast The 500 Days of Ms. Between by Thomas N. Perkins IVFor this bit of Drabblecast Member Premium Content, we bring you “The Five Hundred Days of Ms. Between” by Joshua Alan Doetsch.

Joshua Alan Doetsch is a “sentient word virus spreading across the collective unconscious through the vector of human language.” His writings include novels, short fiction, and video games (including Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey).

Click here to become a Drabblecast B-Sides Premium Content Member with access to extra stories like this each month!

Warning: story contains violence and references to suicide.

Story Excerpt:

Can’t feel my legs. So I slither along the ground, toward the audient window, humming that song. I hear the wet-velcro rip of the thousand hands rending flesh. I see her through the window. That mocking grin.

The first thing Ms. Between said to me was, “I’m a mad woman with a lab.” The second thing she said was that I could leave at any time with no obligation. The third thing was that there could be no questions—questions would cause her and her offer to evaporate. I believed absolutely in that, so she handed me the murder weapon.

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Drabbleclassics 30- Doubleheader featuring Mur Lafferty (150)

Mur Lafferty Double Header image for DrabbleclassicsIn this Drabbleclassics episode, fan and audio producer Fred Greenhalgh presents two classic Drabblecast stories by acclaimed author Mur Lafferty exploring the dichotomy of pie and cake.

In “The Blueberry Pie” successfully slaying the titular food item stands as the first rite of passage for a child wishing to officially join the tribe of the pie hunters.

In “The Last of the Pie Hunters,” a peaceful gardener gives care and compassion to a battered warrior in the war between the pie hunters and the eaters of cake…

Story Excerpt:

She’d been hunting full-grown pies for four years now.  The little hand-held fruit pies were for kids– the preservatives made them slow and stupid– but pies in the wild, they were the true treasure, they had formed the culture of her people…

Mur has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards and most recently published the novelization for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” She also hosts several podcasts including “I Should Be Writing,” and “Ditch Diggers” which just won the Hugo Award for Best Fancast.

Enjoy the show!

Drabbleclassics 30- Doubleheader featuring Mur Lafferty (150)

Drabblecast Director’s Cut – The Box Born Wraith

Drabblecast Director's Cut The Box Born Wraith by David Flett“Just Lookin’ for Chocolate.”

Norm and author Kevin Anderson discuss the horror genre, the origins of Cryptkeeper Norm, and of course, the hit story “The Box-Born Wraith” featured as Drabblecast episode 87 back in 2008 and published as our second official Halloween Special.

“We all die in the dark, Benny…”

Another Drabblecast Director’s Cut bringing more detail and author insights to a fan favorite episode.

Drabblecast 406 – Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse

Drabblecast cover for Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse by Leonardo d'AlmeidaToday The Drabblecast brings you an original story commissioned by Karen Heuler: “Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse.”

Karen Heuler wrote her first novel when she was eleven, and she’s been worshiping books at the altar ever since.

Story Excerpt:

In times such as these, with the world shaken to its core, it is all too easy to give up on routine cosmetic care. Yet a fresh look in a war zone can do so much to uplift those suffering and dying right in front of your eyes. Consider it a humanitarian obligation that you owe to those around you, no matter the particular effects of the zone of destruction you find yourself in…

Enjoy the show (the full story is printed below the player)!

Drabblecast 406 – Beauty Tips for the Apocalypse

 

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Drabblecast B-Sides 74 – In the End, You Get Clarity

Drabblecast cover for In the End, You Get Clarity by Unka OdyaThe first time Leopard-Print Girl killed someone, it was an accident.

She wasn’t Leopard-Print Girl then. She was Nicole Davis, an urban studies sophomore at the University of Chicago. When she got home for Christmas break, her mom told her things were getting worse at work…

Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Cover for Drabblecast episode Wet Fur by Saratoga RidzaThis week The Drabblecast presents “Wet Fur” by Jeremiah Tolbert.

From Jeremiah:

“This story came to me wholly formed in a dream one day. I wrote it in a white hot tear, desperate to capture all the details and emotions that had seemed so immediate in the dream. It’s about how our pets live such short lives compared to us. It’s about what happens when someone tries to do something about that…”

Story Excerpt:

You can tell the dog owners when they board the plane. They see the black cloud hovering in the first row and their eyes widen in shock, then narrow in fear. When they see so many occupied seats, they smile. It’s a relieved smile that seems to say: “Not for me. Not for mine.”

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Drabblecast 404 – Witches for Mars

Drabblecast cover for Witches for Mars by Shoshana Sumrall FrerkingClosing out Women and Aliens month, The Drabblecast brings you another originally commissioned story: “Witches for Mars” by Eden Royce.

It’s a surreal tale about considering greener pastures…

 

Story Excerpt:

No one expected the government to allow it. To acknowledge it even, but Maira was looking at the advertisement above a webpage she was using to compare prices of agate and selenite healing crystals.

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Drabbleclassics 29 – Primary Pollinator (191)

Drabbleclassics 29 cover by Bill Halliar

Drabbleclassics:

A fan-hosted Series that features fan-picked stories from the Drabblecast archives, remastered and brought to you by fans like our host this week, Bart Epstein.  Enjoy!

This week for Drabbleclassics Bart Epstein brings your Primary Pollinator, by Nicole Kimberling.

When Dr. Lopez came for me, I was plunging the geo lab toilet. She carried a red stickle suit in one hand and a spray can of anti-fungal lubricant in the other.

 

Drabblecast B-Sides 73 – That Only A Mother

Drabblecast cover for That Only A Mother by Bo KaierThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode features Judith Merril’s story “That Only A Mother”

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

 

Story Excerpt:

Margaret reached over to the other side of the bed where Hank should have been. Her hand patted the empty pillow, and then she came altogether awake, wondering that the old habit should remain after so many months. She tried to curl up, cat-style, to hoard her own warmth, found she couldn’t do it any more, and climbed out of bed with a pleased awareness of her increasingly clumsy bulkiness.

Drabblecast 403 – The Translator

Drabblecast cover for The Translator by Susie OhNext up in Women and Aliens month: a Drabblecast original commissioned from author Eboni J. Dunbar, “The Translator.”

Eboni Dunbar resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and specializes in queer and black speculative fiction. She is also a VONA Alum, an associate editor for PodCastle and a freelance reviewer.

Story Excerpt:

Corporal Robbie Elms stood at the airlock, waiting for the
arrival of their guests. The rank was as new and as shiny as the toe of her boots, a gift from her mother to congratulate her. The airlock chimed as it depressurized and she stood straighter, trying to make herself look a little taller. This was her first official assignment since the promotion, she wanted to do it right.

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Drabblecast 402 – The Moving Stars

Drabblecast The Moving Stars Cover by Samantha BarrettWe’re in the thick of Women and Aliens month, and we’re keeping it going with an original commissioned story— “The Moving Stars” by Premee Mohamed.

Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and specfic auhor based out of Canada. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog, Pseudopod, Mythic Delirium, Automata Review, and other venues.  Her debut novel is scheduled for a 2020 release from Solaris Books.  She can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus.

As a special treat, this episode is being hosted by one of our preeminent editors, Sandra Odell!

Story Excerpt:

They had to knock me out to get her out of me, which was for the best; I was asking be knocked out for quite a while by that point. All that sweating and grunting and gritted teeth (I cracked a molar, for heaven’s sake) and then darkness and then there she was, swimming up through the layers of gray light, a strange little pink fish that someone had placed into my arms.
What happened?

I asked. She got stuck, said one of the nurses, and patted my hand. Backwards and upside down, poor little mite. Sometimes happens with the first. But isn’t she perfect!

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Drabblecast Director’s Cut – Sing

Director's Cut Special Sing“A Musical on a Submarine”

Norm and author Kristine Kathryn Rusch discuss her story from way back in 2008 for Drabblecast #53. This is the “Director’s Cut – Sing.”

We also dive into a discussion about unsung women in Science Fiction, like Leigh Bracket and James Tipree Jr. Why use a pen name after all? And how might you use punctuation as sound?

Story Excerpt:

Child, you sing all the time- when you’re walking, when you’re eating, even when you’re laughing.  You people make the most beautiful music in the entire galaxy…

Drabblecast Director’s Cut Specials are special features where we bring back a story from the archives and play them uncut as Part 1. Then in Part 2 we replay the episode with bonus commentary from the author.

Enjoy!

Drabblecast Director’s Cut – Sing

Drabblecast 401 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 2

Drabblecast 401 cover by Tristan TollhurstWomen and Aliens Month continues with Part 2 of “We Who Stole The Dream” by James Tiptree Jr., aka Alice Bradley Sheldon.

If you have not heard part one, you can find that here.

Sadism, slavery, power and oppression… are we ever truly innocent? Or is there the potential of cruelty in all of us?

You be the judge.

 Story Excerpt:

An alarm shrieked and cut off, all colors vanished, the very structure of space throbbed wildly—as, by a million-to-one chance, the three most massive nearby moons occulted one another in line with the tiny extra energies of the cruiser and its detonating missile, in such a way that for one micromicrominim the Dream stood at a seminull point with the planetary mass. In that fleeting instant she flung out her tau-field, folded the normal dimensions around her, and shot like a squeezed pip into the discontinuity of being which was tau.

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Drabblecast 400 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 1

Drabblecast 400 cover by Tristan TollhurstThe Drabblecast launches its 8th Annual Women and Aliens Month with Part 1 of “We Who Stole the Dream” by James Tiptree Jr.

This is a dark, dystopian tale about sadism and slavery, and the potential for cruelty in all of us. Published postmortem in the 1990 compilation “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever,” this story was originally written in 1978. True to the times, Tiptree was wrestling with sexism and feminism in much the same vein as Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood. These issues are all still relevant, and still topical forty years later.

Story Excerpt:

The children could survive only twelve minims in the sealed containers.

Jilshat pushed the heavy cargo loader as fast as she dared through the darkness, praying that she would not attract the attention of the Terran guard under the floodlights ahead. The last time she passed he had roused and looked at her with his frightening pale alien eyes. Then, her truck had carried only fermenting-containers full of amlat fruit.

Now, curled in one of the containers, lay hidden her only-born, her son Jemnal.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 72 – Looking for a Key

Drabblecast B-Sides Looking for a Key by Bo KaierThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode features S. L. Bickley’s story “Looking for a Key”

This story is available to our $10/month B-Sides subscribers! Not a member yet? Here’s how you can support the show!

 

Story Excerpt:

My lover is a used bookstore, and when I have money we play a game. He closes me inside him and won’t let me out till I find a certain book. And I do not know what it is or where it is, and so I have to touch every part of his insides to find it. And I wander him all over and touch his spines with my dry fingertips – slide the books from his worn-smooth wooden shelves and riffle his pages. I like the deckled edges best. Sometimes I will find an uncut page and when that happens I will turn my back so his clerk doesn’t see me and slit it with my pocketknife that I keep for only that purpose. That excites him, I think, more than most things I do, and often it means I have found my key.

Drabblecast Director’s Cut – Trifecta: Things We Made

Things We Made Trifecta Cover

“My Kids Think I’m Nuts”

Norm and Drabblecast Audio Producer Adam Pracht talk about the Maker’s Movement, everything wrong with Gloucester, the finer points of audio production and of course the three stories in this classic Trifecta Special themed around “Things We Made.”

Drabblecast Director’s Cut Specials are regular monthly features where we bring back a story, or in this case, stories, from the archives and play them uncut as Part 1. Then in Part 2 we replay the episode with bonus commentary on top from the author… or in this case, the story’s producer– Adam Pracht.

We talk about all the inside baseball that goes into producing a Drabblecast story from start to finish.

Hope you enjoy!

Sato lay on the cement floor of the workshop in a pool of his own blood and tried desperately to get Kuro-4’s legs working again. The robot, in turn, tried to deal with the gaping wounds in Sato’s smashed leg and pelvis.

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Drabblecast 399 – Trifecta: We Don’t Talk Any More

Bo Kaier cover for Drabblecast Trifecta We Don't Talk AnymoreThis week the Drabblecast presents a Trifecta Special: “We Don’t Talk Any More.”

“One in Four Adults”

by Catherine Schaff-Stump

Cath Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and adults, from humor to horror. She is the author of the Klaereon Scroll series, the most recent of which is The Pawn of Isis, coming in March, 2019. She lives and works in Iowa, teaching English to non-native speakers.

Story Excerpt:

She placed the pan on the burner. “Lycanthropy?”
 
He wasn’t joking. “You know there are genetic indicators.”
 
“First of all, just because Peter Stumpf is the most famous werewolf in the werewolf books, and you’re related, I don’t think that means you’re going to become a werewolf.  He had an enchanted belt, right? That’s not a genetic indicator.”

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