Drabblecast Covers Collage 2018 01

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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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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 Director’s Cut: The Worm Within

Cover Art for Director's Cut Special: The Worm Within

“…And Then What?” Norm and author Vincent Eaton revisit a parasite-oriented listener favorite with this “Director’s Cut Special: The Worm Within.” This classic episode originally aired way back in 2007.

Norm and Vincent talk about effective storytelling, disturbing body horror, and then they delve into variations on the “Meet the Parents” movie theme. Yeah, things get a little weird.

Story Excerpt:

After so many years, there are few surprises left for me sitting on a toilet.  Yet it was there where I first discovered an uninvited entity that wanted to call me home…

Warning: Some gross potty humor.  C’mon, get over it.

Enjoy the show!

Director’s Cut Special: The Worm Within

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.

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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 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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Drabbleclassics 27 – Go Beep (173)

Drabbleclassics is a fan-hosted monthly series that features fan-picked stories from the Drabblecast archives.

Our Drabbleclassics host this time around is Jen Fisher, who presents author Aliya Whiteley’s take on mindless marketing, the grunge rock anti-establishment, and the struggles of a young couple trying to fight a bizarre takeover, in her story “Go Beep.”

Oh, and an alternative rock recipe for crème brûlée.  Enjoy!

Warning: Excessively catchy jingles.

First appeared on Drabblecast 173.

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 390 – I Will Remain

Drabblecast cover for I Will Remain by Aaron SiddallToday the Drabblecast brings you “I Will Remain” by David Steffen. It’s a show for all our weird listeners out there that are dog people…maybe literally.

Yes, it’s a ruff day in paradise. (Oh yeah, we’re barking up the dog pun tree.) We think you’ll thank us when you hear what we’ve unleashed.

The author of today’s feature lives in Minnesota with his two dogs. He owns and maintains Diabolical Plots, which has been publishing nonfiction and fiction for a decade. Their Submission Grinder is a free-to-use web tool that helps writers find new markets for their work, find per-market submission response data, and track their submissions.

Story Excerpt:

I am not insane. I wondered, at first, whether I was simply a dog dreaming he was a man, but if that were true I wouldn’t understand English or recall the sights of London. These things are too real to be mere fancies. I know many things a dog shouldn’t. Fragmented memories of life as a man mingle with recollections of my canine existence.

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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 Reborn Metacast

Relaunch Prelaunch imageThe Drabblecast Reborn! Yeah, it’s happening! There’s just 48 hours left to be a part of it, folks. That’s right, our Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter Campaign comes to a close this Wednesday, October 17th @ 7 pm EST/4 pm PST.

In our recap, Norm wraps up the final Drabblecast Relaunch Prelaunch episode with gratitude, news, and an assortment of limited 48 hour opportunities!

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Drabblecast Presents: In Search of The Burmese Floridian Python

Dabblecast Presents: In Search of the Burmese Floridian PythonCryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth  deep into the Florida Everglades in search of the elusive and decidedly misplaced “Burmese Floridian Python…”

Pallid, oddly-accented Choadsworth and his slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging camera man Jeff embark on an exhaustive trek deep into f&$%ing Florida!

Seriously, what kind of creatures actually live in f&$%ing Florida?

Meet the Burmese Floridian Python:

Burmese Floridian Python imageA snake which can grow up to fifteen feet long, weight over two hundred pounds, and eat an adult sheep hole… which sounds kinda gay, doesn’t it? Not that there’s anything wrong with that… Well, it is a sheep, so that’s not really cool.

This was originally an exclusive video podcast available only to Drabblecast $10/month subscribers. Now it has been made available to everyone! To get access to more exclusive content, you can subscribe and support your favorite podcast!

Enjoy the search!

Drabblecast Presents – In Search of The Burmese Floridian Python with Connor Choadsworth

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Drabblecast Fan Picks: To Whatever

Drabblecast Fan Picks: To Whatever

Drabblecast Fan Zimmerman goes over his first Drabblecast love, remembering his trip through the Wrangell Mountains of Alaska, in this Drabblecast Relaunch Prelaunch fan pick. The smallness we feel in big places; the conversations we have with ourselves.

The real lesson of life is to laugh. “Because life, no matter how dark, when read as a comedy, is filled with impossible laughter.”

 

Drabblecast Presents: Far Far Away

Drabblecast Presents: Far Far AwayA special throwback episode.  With One week left in the  Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter, Norm presents one of his favorite surreal stories from deep in the archive by Hootingyard writer and Resonance FM radio personality Frank Key, and gives us a teaser about Frank’s commissioned story for Drabblecast Kickstarter Supporters

The bullet-riddled corpses of our dead crew-mates, all sixteen of them, are coffined up, and the coffins stacked as a makeshift ping pong table…

Drabblecast Fan Pick: Followed

Drabblecast Fan Picks Followed cover artThe Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter campaign continues! Today, Fan Picks: Followed, by Will McIntosh as chosen and introduced by Drabblecast fan Boo Yeah. Hear her thoughts on an unsettling story about living with the consequences of our actions…

This story originally aired in 2011.

Story Excerpt:

She 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…

So enjoy this Fan Pick:

Drabblecast Fan Picks: Followed

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