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Author: Bo Kaier Page 2 of 13

Drabblecast 397 – Fruit and Words

Cover for Fruit and Words Trifecta by Mary MatticeThis week The Drabblecast presents “Fruit and Words” by Aimee Bender; a story about words and their meanings.

Aimee Bender is an American novelist and short story writer, known for her surreal plots and characters. Bender’s works have been published in GQ, Harper’s, Opium Magazine, and several anthologies. She has also been heard on This American Life.

Story Excerpt:

So there we were, Steve and I, smack in the middle of the same fight we’d had a million times before, a fight I knew so well I could graph it. We were halfway down the second slope of resignation, the place where we usually went to different rooms and despaired quietly on our own, and right at the moment that I thought, for the first time in seven years, that maybe things were just not going to work out after all, that was the moment he suggested we drive to Vegas right then and tie the knot.

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Drabblecast 396 – Trifecta: Losses & Sacrifices

Cover for Losses and Sacrifices Trifecta by Cesar ValtierraThis week the Drabblecast brings you three stories about shipwrecks, murder, and Nazis. It’s a Losses and Sacrifices Trifecta!

“Seven Losses of Na Re”

by Rose Lemberg

This is a brooding look back on things taken, things lost, and things always remembered.

Rose Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their fiction and poetry have appeared in Lightspeed‘s Queer Destroy Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny, and many other venues. Rose’s work has been a finalist for the Nebula Crawford, and other awards. Their novella The Four Profound Weaves is forthcoming from Tachyon Press. You can find more of their work on their Patreon: patreon.com/roselemberg

Story Excerpt:

My life is described by the music of mute violins. When my
parents married, my great-grandfather, may the earth be as a
feather, ascended the special-guests podium, cradling the old
fiddle to his chest. “And now the zeide will play the wedding
melody,” they said. “A special blessing,” they said, a sgule, a
royal blessing. But the bow fell from his fingers.

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Drabblecast 395 – The Slaying of the Dragon

Cover for The Slaying of the Dragon by Bo KaierThis week on the Drabblecast we present “The Slaying of the Dragon” by Dino Buzzati.

Enjoy this rare piece of translated fiction by Italian novelist and short story writer Dino Buzzati, about what might happen today if we discovered a dragon.

Dino Buzzati was a painter, playwright, poet, novelist, short story writer, opera librettist, mountaineer, and science fiction writer. In writing his books, he drew on folk tales, but he believed that fantasy should be written with all the detail of a newspaper account. Buzzati’s most famous book for adults, The Tartar Steppe, shares with The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily a concern with the difficulty of keeping up one’s courage in a confusing and often threatening world.

Story Excerpt:

“I think it’s all over,” said Andronico.

It did indeed seem so.  The last breath of obstinate life was coming out of the dragon’ mouth.
No one had answered his call, no one in the whole world had responded.  The mountains were quiet still, even the diminutive landslides seems to have been reabsorbed, the sky was clear without the slightest cloud and the sun was setting.  No one, either from this world or the next, had come to avenge the massacre…

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Drabblecast 393 – Diamante and Strass

Drabblecast Cover by Melissa McClanahan for Diamante and StrassToday the Drabblecast brings you “Diamante and Strass” by Lucy A. Snyder.

Lucy A. Snyder is a five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author, appearing in publications such as Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, and Weird Tales. She lives in Columbus, Ohio and is faculty in Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. 

Our story today has got it all, a sort of Thelma and Louise post-apocalypse Sci-Fi western!

Story Excerpt:

“Are these the gunslingers?” The Queen looked down her long, thin nose through her kaleidoscope monocle at the dusty duo.

“She’s a gunslinger. I’m a bomber,” said Strass.

The Queen of Montana stood regal before her icy throne as her guards hauled in the notorious man-eater Giorgia Diamante and her accomplice, Elvira Strass.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 70 – Saint Darwin’s Spirituals

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 70 by Bo Kaier A Saint Darwin’s SpiritualThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode brings you “St. Darwin’s Spirituals,” a new tale from D.K. Thompsons’s Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series. You can check out our previous installments Heart of Clay, A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters, and Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Who Do Not Believe.

One women’s quest for the truth will take her down the darkest of alleys and the most sinister of delights.

Story Excerpt:

Despite my profession, I have never considered myself to be a holy man. Curious about all things supernatural, certainly—ever since I first lowered Darwin’s goggles over my wide-eyes and could see for myself the world I’d been blind to. When I saw the ghosts that day as a boy, I believed. But belief does not equate holiness. Even the demons believe.

No, I am not a holy man. But I have always prided myself on being a practical spiritualist.

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

So enjoy:

Drabblecast B-Sides 70 – Saint Darwin’s Spirituals

Drabblecast Director’s Cut: Jelly Park

Cover for Drabblecast Director's Cut of Aliya Whitely's Jelly Park by Rodolfo Arredondo

“It’s about getting on the bus…” Norm and author Aliya Whiteley talk double decker busses, double decker tacos, embracing weirdness for what it is and reinventing yourself. They also get into the in’s and out’s of the first ever Drabblecast People’s Choice Award Winner for “Best Story” back in 2007, for this “Director’s Cut: Jelly Park.”

We go over little ditty’s like this:

Keep your sponge cake, fling your flan
Stick your donuts, cream and jam
Leave your custard in its can
Give us all some jelly

In a trifle, from a mold
Rabbit shaped or ice cream coned
Nothing better, so I’m told
Then a lovely Jelly…

But we digress.

Story Excerpt:

“I’m not sure I belong here.”
“Then where do you belong?”
The others stopped chewing and looked at me expectantly.
What am I?…

Co-narrator, Dermot Glennon, also contributed to Episode #29, “Code Brown.”

Enjoy!

Drabblecast Director’s Cut: Jelly Park

Drabblecast 392 – Single Parent

Drabblecast cover for Single Parent by Kirsty GreenwoodThe Drabblecast brings you “Single Parent” by Sarah Gailey.

Sarah Gailey is a Hugo Award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction, and a regular contributor for Tor.com and Barnes & Noble.

Single Parent follows one father’s journey to face the monsters in his son’s closet and some demons of his own. It was originally produced for Cast of Wonders in 2017.

Story Excerpt:

The monster in my son’s closet is so fucking scary.

Here’s how it happened: Jack screamed in the middle of the night and I came running because I’m his dad and that’s what dads are for. He’s been doing that for a month – screaming like someone’s in his room murdering him with a screwdriver. And even though there’s never, not even once been anyone murdering him, I couldn’t just let him scream his little head off all night. If I didn’t come running, his mom would have risen from the grave just to come and slap me upside the head.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 69 – Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Do Not Believe (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode 69 by Bo Kaier Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Do Not Believe (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)This Drabblecast B-Sides episode features another from D.K. Thompson Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series, which includes Heart of Clay and A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters. This one is called “Blessed Are Those Who Have Seen and Do Not Believe.”

This fantastical story follows two sinister individuals and their brush with the divine.

Story Excerpt:

Despite my profession, I have never considered myself to be a holy man. Curious about all things supernatural, certainly—ever since I first lowered Darwin’s goggles over my wide-eyes and could see for myself the world I’d been blind to. When I saw the ghosts that day as a boy, I believed. But belief does not equate holiness. Even the demons believe.

No, I am not a holy man. But I have always prided myself on being a practical spiritualist.

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

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Drabblecast 391 – Day of The Dog

Drabblecast cover for Day of the Dog by ToekenToday, The Drabblecast brings you “Day of the Dog” by Aliya Whiteley.

We’ve still got a few bones to pick with our dog-eat-dog micro theme. So if you enjoy last week’s tail, here’s another one to sniff you nose at (and, yes, a few more incollarable puns).

Aliya Whiteley is a writer of dark tales in science fiction and fantasy, and was the winner of the Drabblecast People’s Choice award for Jelly Park! She has also been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson, BSFA, and British Fantasy Society Awards.

Story Excerpt:

The afternoon the mayor plugged in the world’s largest air-freshener I was in a bar with Petie, drinking orbitals. An orbital is a wheat beer with a dash of blackcurrant. It’s a slow drink. It gives the world a sepia tint, like everything that’s happening actually happened long ago, back in the good old days before everything got so complicated.

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Drabblecast 389 – Night of the Living POTUS

Cover for Drabblecast episode Night of the Living POTUS by Tristan TolhurstThe Drabblecast presents “Night of the Living POTUS” by Adam-Troy Castro.

Every President Elect has “the briefing.” You know the one. The President opens a binder and learns the awful truths of the world. They all have to learn the same lesson.

This is the story of one President who learns the horrifying truth and must fight to save humanity. And Democracy itself.

And don’t forget the Drabblecast Reborn Preorder Store, as mentioned by Norm, is up and selling some cool Drabblecast merch.

Story Excerpt:

All Presidents have the same lesson to learn, and they all learn it early on the first full morning of their respective Administrations.

At that point they have already taken their Oaths, already declared their principles to the nation, already enjoyed the first round of celebrations, already settled in to what they imagine will be an Administration marked by great words and historic deeds.

End.

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Drabblecast 388 – Skullpocket: Part 2

Drabblecast cover Skullpocket Part 2 by Bo Kaier and Ellis DuneganThe Drabblecast completes its triumphant return with the conclusion of this two-part Halloween special: “Skullpocket: Part 2” by Nathan Ballingrud!

In this riveting finale we learn the origins of the Orchid Girl, the mystery behind Skull Pocket Fair, and the horrible truth behind the Extinction Event. A freak show awaits you indeed!

Story Excerpt:

But everything changed when Wormcake and his friends entered the room. The Orchid Girl sat a bit straighter, as if she had heard or felt something peculiar. She stood on her feet and looked out at the crowd. Almost immediately her gaze fell upon the ghoul children, as though she could sense them through some preternatural ability, and then, children, the most amazing thing happened. The thing that changed the ghouls’ lives, her own life, and the lives of everyone in Hob’s Landing forever afterward.

Her face opened along the red lines and bloomed in bright, glorious petals of white and purple and green. Her body was only a disguise, you see. She was a gorgeous flower masquerading as a human being.

Nathan Ballingrund is a Shirley Jackson Award winning author of horror and dark fiction. Part One of his tale was published last week so give that a listen if you haven’t.

We’re also happy to announce that the Drabblecast Reborn Preorder Store is now up and running. We’ve got a whole bunch of cool schwag up there to check out. So if you wanted to get your hands on some of our exclusive Kickstarter items and you weren’t able to back us, or you wanna beef up your support, this is the place.

And now the chilling conclusion (the full story is printed below the player or after the jump):

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Drabblecast 387 – Skullpocket: Part 1

Drabblecast cover Skullpocket Part 1 by Bo Kaier and Ellis DuneganThe Drabblecast is finally reborn with this special two-part Halloween story: “Skullpocket” by Nathan Ballingrud!

It’s been a long year and a half(ish), folks. Death just isn’t what it used to be. Frankly it’s boring. Everyone screaming and crying at each other, the incessant heat, obsessive social media addicts—it gets old, ya know? Can’t we just stop wallowing and enjoy a good story? So we rang the bell of our ratty old safety coffin (cause those are still a thing, right?) and you actually dug us up!

Now this old corpse has some new stories just for you. First up is Nathan Ballingrud’s “Skullpocket” told in two parts. Nathan Ballingrund is a Shirley Jackson Award winning author of horror and dark fiction. It’s a sinister tale about Mr. Wormcake and one terrible game…

Story Excerpt:

Jonathan Wormcake, the Eminent Corpse of Hob’s Landing, greets me at the door himself. Normally one of his several servants would perform this minor duty, and I can only assume it’s my role as a priest in the Church of the Maggot that affords me this special attention. I certainly don’t believe it has anything to do with our first encounter, fifty years ago this very day. I’d be surprised if he remembers that at all.

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Drabblecast Presents: In Search of the Mongolian Deathworm

Drabblecast Presents: In Search of the Mongolian DeathwormThe Drabblecast presents “In Search of the Mongolian Deathworm,” a riveting adventure into the desert sands of Mongolia.

Join cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth as he treks across the Gobi desert in search of a mythical acid-spitting, lightning sh*tting annelid.

This original series was created by Norm Sherman for the Drabblecast. Keep your eyes and ears open as Connor Choadsworth will be returning for an all new adventure very soon!

For now, the Mongolian Deathworm—the deadliest worm in all of Mongolia.

Story Excerpt:

It is subject to a number of extraordinary claims by Mongolian locals. Such as the ability of the worm to spew forth sulfuric acid that upon contact will turn anything it touches yellow. It kills humans. And it’s purported ability to kill at a distance by means of electric discharge… through its anus…

This series was originally serialized across five Drabblecast Episodes:

Now you can enjoy the complete nature documentary series right here!

In Search of the Mongolian Deathworm

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Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Belonging Kind

The Drabblecast Fan Picks - The Belonging Kind As the Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter campaign continues, we bring you another Fan Pick: The Belonging Kind.  Drabblecast fan Kyle Sellers introduces this eerie story about how hard fitting in can be sometimes…

It 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.

Drabblecast Presents: Globes

Globes by Norm Sherman art by Bo KaierA very special throwback story from our editor/founder/host and general bon vivant Norm Sherman.

Listen to 11 year old Norm take us to the edge of the unknown with a story he wrote for 7th grade English class back in the day.

And speaking of mishearing those words as  “Backing Today,” check out the Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter and help us hit our next stretch goal, to bring Drabblecast Classics back each month!

The moon-lit tide was without peace on this particularly awkward Wednesday night. It wasn’t the ocean’s unmerciful beating of the soft sand underneath it that made it an awkward Wednesday night…

Drabblecast Presents: Editor Lagerklatsch

Drabblecast Presents Editor LagerklatschAn Editor Lagerklatsch!

Just what the hell is a Lagerklatsch?

Well if you’ve been to a convention or two you might be familiar with the phrase “coffee klatsch.”

You can probably do the linguistics from there, replacing coffee with something…hoppier.

Made up German words are fun! In fact, that’s a special charm of the German language, it encourages these creations. Ever notice that Germans are able to encapsulating a nuanced but recognizable concept into a single word? Compound words. It’s a thing.

Or in German: Mammutwörter (“mammoth words”)

Anyways…drinks and shop talk with short fiction editors John Joseph Adams (Lightspeed Magazine), Neil Clarke (Clarkesworld), Scott K. Andrews (Beneath Ceaseless Skies) and Norm Sherman (The Drabblecast, formerly Escape Artists)!

Enjoy!

The Drabblecast Presents: Editor Lagerklatsch

Drabblecast Fan Picks: The Last Dog

Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Last Dog cover artThe leadup to our Relaunch Kickstarter campaign continues with this Fan Pick: The Last Dog.

This was a favorite of one of our newest team members, Jen Fisher, d(r)abbler of all things and master of none. We’ll be doing more of these with opportunities for fans to record their own introductions to their favorite stories in the future. Hit us up on Facebook and Twitter or give us a shout out in our forums to tell us your favorite stores.

In “The Last Dog,” the titular ultimate canine and his master, the last man on Earth, form a strong bond helping one another to survive on a war-ravaged planet. When they encounter an alien assassin, they are forced to make hard choices.

Story Excerpt:

He was panting now, his breath coming in a never-ending series of short spurts and gasps.  His sides ached, his eyes watered, and every now and then he would trip over the rubble of the decayed and ruined buildings that lined the torturously fragmented street…

Enjoy:

Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Last Dog

Drabblecast Compilation: Drabble News

Drabble News cover artThis week, The Drabblecast brings you a compilation of our “Drabble News” segments, including songs and skits from the past 10 years.

We’ve mined through the years to dig up some our favorite subjects, including fan favorites expressed to us through social media.

Subjects might include:

Monster Jellyfish
Utah Fast Food Rap
Zombie Ants
RPS: The RPG
Prehistoric Monster Croc
Ducks Are Bastards Part I & II
Pimp My Satellite
Little Shop of Stem Cells

Wanna tell us your favorites? Find us on Facebook or Twitter.

So how about it, folks? Do you really wanna know what’s going on in the world? We suspect you do. So check out the show below:

Drabblecast Compilation: Drabble News

Drabblecast Presents: The Top 10 Post Apocalypse Short Films

Top 10 Post Apocalypse Short FilmsRelaunching and Prelaunching continues: Norm shares and reviews his top 10 best (and free online!) post apocalypse short films in this special video podcast.

#10– “Sepsis” written and directed by Artur Llobell

#9– “Senior” directed by Noel Paul & Stefan Moore, music by Royskopp

#8– “Cargo” written and directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke

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Drabblecast Director’s Cut: Teddy Bears and Tea Parties

Director's Cut: Teddy Bears and Tea PartiesAs a part of the Relaunch Prelaunch we revisit a listener favorite for the “Director’s Cut: Teddy Bears and Tea Parties.”

This story was written by S. Boyd Taylor and was originally aired in 2010. It’s a heart-breaking horror story about little girls, stuffed animals, and hunger.

Excerpt:

Shadows move on the mantelpiece and the end tables. She freezes. The family pictures are moving. Brass frames buckling into bow-shaped mouths. They want to eat her.

Don’t be scared, she says. Of course they’re hungry. Everything must eat. And there isn’t much food…

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