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Category: Fantasy Page 1 of 9

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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Drabblecast B-Sides 66 – Heart of Clay (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)

Drabblecast Cover by Bo Kaier for Heart of ClayThe Drabblecast brings you “Heart of Clay,” part of D.K. Thompson’s Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series.

D.K. Thompson was the host and co-editor of PodCastle, a fantasy fiction podcast, for five years, and has narrated audiobooks by Tim Pratt, Greg van Eekhout, and James Maxey, among others.

Story Excerpt:

Awareness terrified the golem, but the burning paper in his mouth and the word written on it gave him comfort. It filled him with wonder and fear, knowledge and life. Saint Darwin had fashioned the paper from a certain bush on an Egyptian mountainside that was impervious to fire. When the golem’s life dissipated, the flames would sputter out but the mystical paper would never be consumed.

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

Drabblecast 377 – Here There Be Monsters?

Cover for Here There Be Monsters? by Christiane EbrechtThe canary yellow shirt read “Camp Fit,” but it didn’t quite fit the bulbous, pre-adolescent boy cringing in the cabin’s corner. Rows of bunks lined both sides of the room.

Standing over the boy, Worgly raised his shaggy brown arms and roared with his terrible roar. “You’re going to eat me!” And the monster gnashed his terrible teeth, and rolled his terrible eyes, and showed his terrible claws.

The boy’s expression changed from terror to puzzlement. “You want me to eat you?”

“Yes!” shouted Worgly. “Wait… No.”

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Drabblecast 376 – A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters (A Saint Darwin’s Spiritual)

Drabblecast cover for A Last Kiss For Lazarus Winters by Bo KaierThis episode of the Drabblecast brings you “A Last Kiss for Lazarus Winters,” another story in D.K. Thompson’s Saint Darwin’s Spirituals series.

D.K. Thompson was the host and co-editor of PodCastle, a fantasy fiction podcast, for five years, and has narrated audiobooks by Tim Pratt, Greg van Eekhout, and James Maxey, among others.

Story Excerpt:

I was born again on New Year’s Eve, full of broken promises, and slick and sticky with two kinds of blood. One of them was a ghost’s. That didn’t surprise me, though. I’ve seen my share of ghost blood.

I’d spent most of my life working with spirits and principalities — tracking ghosts, and making demands of them. That’s what people hired me for. But I wasn’t one of Darwin’s spiritualists, though I’d read his Origin of the Spirits and wore the goggles he’d fashioned. No, the spiritualists aided the spirits, providing a bridge between the living and the dead to help care for them. Me? I took all of Charlie Darwin’s studies and tools, and crossed those bridges to make certain demands of ghosts. I was a spiritual extortionist.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 65 – The Country of the Blind

Cover for Drabblecast episode The Country of the Blind by Bo KaierThree hundred miles and more from Chimborazo, one hundred from the snows of Cotopaxi, in the wildest wastes of Ecuador’s Andes, there lies that mysterious mountain valley, cut off from all the world of men, the Country of the Blind…

Drabblecast 375 – Ghost in the Coffee Machine

Drabblecast Ghost in the Coffee Machine Kristine HermanWhen it comes to ghosts, my grandmother has one solution: brew a pot of coffee. Like today, in Sadie Lancaster’s kitchen.

Sadie clutches her hands beneath her chin and stares at our percolator, her eyes huge. The thing gurgles and hisses as if it
resents being pressed into service. My own reflection in its side is distorted. When I was younger, I thought this was how ghosts see our world.

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Drabblecast 370 – The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth

Cover for The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth by Carly LynThe Drabblecast presents: “The Little Mermaid of Innsmouth” by Caroline M. Yoachim.

This is a new take on the classic Hans Christian Andersen fish tale, replete with all the Lovecraftian lore you should expect from The Drabblecast!

 

Story Excerpt:

Tomiko knelt at the table, across from her father, carefully holding her back rigid and straight as they ate their breakfast. She hoped the formal posture would make him take her arguments seriously, but he barely looked at her as he ate mix of rice and nattō, fermented soybeans that gave off a pungent smell and overpowered even the constant fishy odor of her father’s skin.

Enjoy (full story is printed below the player):

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Drabbleclassics 22 – Go Beep (173)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 173, Go Beep, by LizI’m a fan of Nirvana.

I mean I’m a fan of the band rather than a fan of the concept. Although, hey, what’s not to like about the idea of being no longer subject to torture over the fires of greed, hatred and delusion? Free from all suffering – yes, that sounds pretty good. But if I really wanted to free of everything that makes us human then I probably wouldn’t dig bands like Nirvana any more, and that would be bad. Then I wouldn’t be me any more.

Drabblecast 364 – All of Our Past Places

Drabblecast cover for All of Our Past Places by Brian Delano

Aoife always told me that you could go anywhere, as long as you had the right map. So when it happened, my first thought, when I let myself into her apartment after not hearing from her for three days, was this weird feeling of pride.

She’d done it.

She was gone.

 

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