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Category: Fantasy Page 1 of 10

Drabblecast 418 – Not Recommended for Guests of a Philosophically Uncertain Disposition

Lissa Quon cover for Drabblecast episode Not Recommended For Guests Of A Philosophically Uncertain Disposition

Episode Sponsor- I’m From Nowhere by Lindsay Lerman

Damita managed The Fracture’s visitor centre and gift shop, while Jem took the guided tours. There was also a cafe, which always had fresh coffee and an inventive selection of hot sandwiches, although Damita had never met anyone who worked in the kitchens.

‘They’re all very industrious, just highly introverted,’ Jem said.

‘You should go and get one of today’s specials — Cajun pheasant and fried pickles on a toasted sesame seed bagel. Marvellous…’

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Drabblecast 417 – Love in the Balance

Cover for Drabblecast episode Love in the Balance by Mary Mattice

Episode Sponsor- I’m From Nowhere, a novel by Lindsay Lerman.

This week’s Drabblecast explores unrequited love and how relationships, like anything in life, are susceptible to change. We bring you a full cast production of David D. Levine’s space opera story “Love in the Balance,” read to you by Mike Boris, Lauren Synger, Veronica Giguere, Adam Pracht, David Levine and Norm Sherman.

Theo opened his eyes and stared out the window.
Beyond the glass loomed the fog of endless night, and bulbous shapes drifting. Here and there a spotlight picked out the sigil of one or another House on a pennant or tail fin. The red bat of the Unknown Regalia… the silver spoon-and-circle of Theo’s own Guided Musings… and there, the gilded fish of the Pulp Revenants. Angrily, Theo twisted the brass and crystal handle beneath the worn sill, and wooden slats snapped shut over the view.

How dare Kyrie summon the zombies again— on this day of all days, and upon the Musings of all Houses? How dare she?

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Drabblecast 414 – Dance, Siege, Swoop

"Dance, Siege, Swoop" cover by Melissa McClanahanLovecraft Month continues as the Drabblecast brings you an original, commissioned piece of H.P. Lovecraft mythos fiction, “Dance, Siege, Swoop” by award-winning author Robert Reed.

Be sure to keep a night light on, this one will chill you to the core!

Story Excerpt:

“My foot did not discover the prize, nor was I the first of the object’s erstwhile owners.

According to every account, it was a young girl who innocently tripped over the mostly buried artifact while skipping across a whisper field. Since this was near the edge of the habitable world, onlookers assumed that the object was an artifact lost by one of the Great Cranes, and perceiving rarity, it was the girl’s uncle who excavated the prize…”

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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 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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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 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 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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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 B-Sides 71 – The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens

Bo Kaier cover for Drabblecast The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens

This Drabblecast B-Sides episode features “The Man Who Has Been Killing Kittens” by Douglas Warrick.

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:

So you want to know about the man who has been killing kittens.

There’s a little congress of dead men in bad suits at the bottom of the reservoir. Some are handcuffed to steering wheels and float upside-down from shattered windshields, and others have their ankles chained to old cinder blocks. Some, their murderers evidently keen on homage, even have their feet sealed in buckets full of cement. They bicker and gossip and lie to one another. Blank-eyed and bloated and secretive are the dead men in their underwater garden.

The Man Who Had Been Killing Kittens

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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Drabbleclassics 28 – Happy Old Year (308)

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 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 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

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 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 Presents: The Adventures of Connor Choadsworth

Three days left in the Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter! You’ve still got time to get in there and get some awesome Drabblecast rewards.

In this Relaunch Prelaunch episode, you’ll hear excerpts from Drabblecast resident Cryptozoologist Connor Choadsworth’s past adventures, and also about how you can help fund his next adventure by helping us reach our 45K Kickstarter stretch goal!

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 385 – The Innsmouth of the South

Drabblecast cover for The Innsmouth of the South by Ridza SaratogaThe Drabblecast continues Lovecraft Month with “The Innsmouth of the South,” an originally commissioned story by Rachael K. Jones.

Imitation and authenticity are as much a part of the H.P. Lovecraft mythos as any of the Old Ones in today’s open source fiction universe. If one theme pierces all of Lovecraft’s work it is that the laws of reality are anything but absolute.

Story Excerpt:

At R’lyeh Funland, you never entered the tower unless summoned. That’s because our boss, Mr. Whatley (no relation to those Whatleys–you know the ones), only called people up for one of three things: to chew you out, scapegoat you, or fire you. So when he called for La’vonne over the loudspeakers, I knew nothing good would come of it.

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