Drabblecast Covers Collage 2018 01

Author: Zimmerman Bledsoe

Drabblecast 398 – The Day After The Day The Martians Came

Drabblecast martians cover by Justin EisenbeissThis week The Drabblecast presents “The Day After the Day the Martians Came” by Frederik Pohl.

Jokes can teach you a lot about the underlying anxieties of a culture. The old line “take me to your leader” was actually a jab at President Eisenhower’s leadership during the Cold War. This story is about jokes and anxiety. Part of what makes it so brilliant is discerning between the two.

Though Frederik Pohl passed away in 2013, his impact on the world of science fiction (and particularly on this podcast) will carry well into the future. His 1977 novel “Gateway” won the Hugo, Locus, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel. Among many other accolades Pohl became only the 12th recipient of the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award in 1993 and was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. Pohl may not be a household name, but he deserves to be.

Story Excerpt:

On the television screen a hastily edited tape was now showing the return of the Algonquin Nine space probe to Mars, but no one was watching it. It was the third time that particular tape had been repeated since midnight and everybody had seen it at least once; but when it changed to another shot of one of the Martians, looking like a sad dachshund with elongated seal flippers for limbs, one of the poker players stirred and cried: “I got a Martian joke! What’s worse than a martian tryin to fly a spaceship?

“It’s your bet,” said the dealer.

“A martian tryin’ to park one” said the reporter, folding his cards. No one laughed, not even Mr. Mandala, although some of the jokes had been pretty good. Everybody was beginning to get tired of them though, or perhaps just tired.

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Drabbleclassics 28- Happy Old Year

cover for Drabblecast 308, Happy Old YearDrabbleclassics is a fan-hosted monthly series that features fan-picked stories from the Drabblecast archives.

Our fan-host this month is listener Zimmerman Bledsoe, who presents author Tim Pratt‘s take on New Year’s resolutions with his original Drabblecast Commissioned story, “Happy Old Year,” featured as Drabblecast episode 308 and read by Matt Hayes.

This story features “Elsie,” the same mischievous character featured in Tim Pratt’s featured Holiday Special this past year, “Dirty Santa,” in episode 394.

Story Excerpt:

“Still, New Year’s — a time for new beginnings. Suppose someone came along, one of those bad fairies or wise angels, and offered you a deal. Like, say, you could give up your future, and instead of ringing in this crappy New Year, you could return to an old year. Any old year of your choice.”

“What? Like go back in time?”

“Sort of. Return to any New Year’s Day you’ve ever experienced, back in the body you had then, in the place you were then, but knowing what you know now — with your full mind and memories, able to make new choices, and do things differently. See disaster coming and avert it. See opportunities coming and seize them.”

Yes. Those were the days, weren’t they? Enjoy.

Drabbleclassics #28 – Happy Old Year

Drabblecast 394 – Dirty Santa

Cover for Tim Pratt's Dirty Santa by Emily CannonMerry Christmas strangers! The Drabblecast has something rather wicked fixed up for you this holiday season! We present to you a festive tale from fan-favorite Tim Pratt! It’s called “Dirty Santa.”

It’s a story that takes us on a journey with one awkward, balding, twenty-something to a Christmas party where he meets a mysterious stranger carrying a mystical and dangerous gift. This is a white elephant he’ll probably never forget.

‘Tis the season of giving, right folks? Yes, the season of learning how to genuinely thank people for upping your supply of socks and underwear. It’s a season of family and friends and maybe learning the difference between the two. Whether you’re opening up presents or opening up old wounds (thanks Kate) we’re reminded this is the time of year to be mindful of what you wish for. You just might get it.

Story Excerpt:

 

Kieran wallflowered. The apartment was a bustle of twenty other people more extroverted and festive than himself, all dressed in the requisite hideous holiday sweaters, drinking bourbon punch and rum punch and some sort of strange vegan eggnog, flirting and joking and ranting and, in one case, openly making out against a wall underneath a dangling branch of mistletoe.

And hey! Once the story’s over, go on over to Podcastle to hear another holiday special from Tim Pratt. That’s right, we’re offering a two Tim Pratts for the price of one and that price is, well, free. All you have to do is check out our friends on the other side of the internet, so why not spread the Drabble cheer?

And while we’re feeling celebratory, why not also take some of that Christmas check from Grandma and put a little towards Tim Pratt’s Patreon? As little as a dollar a month gets you new, previously unpublished stories that you can read and download. Yeah a dollar. You can’t even make a long distance phone call for that anymore. Do people even make long distance phone calls now? Does anyone remember that?

Ah… another year gone.

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