Norm closes out the year and existence as we know it, due to the phenomena known as “The Continuation,” with the Drabblecast annual holiday Tim Pratt story, an original commission called “How Lovely Are Your Branches.” Enjoy!
Somebody was murdering people, but the killer’s name wasn’t showing up on my naughty list. That got me curious, so I poked around. There was nothing left at the crime scenes but dollops of sap and scattered pine needles, which felt less like sloppiness and more like a signature. I was in New York trying to track down the killer, but first, I needed a drink.
The Drabblecast kicks off H.P. Lovecraft Month with the grandfather of Weird Fiction’s cautionary dark fantasy, “The Doom That Came to Sarnath.”
There is in the land of Mnar a vast still lake that is fed by no stream and out of which no stream flows. Ten thousand years ago there stood by its shore the mighty city of Sarnath, but Sarnath stands there no more.
It is told that in the immemorial years when the world was young, before ever the men of Sarnath came to the land of Mnar, another city stood beside the lake; the grey stone city of Ib, which was old as the lake itself, and peopled with beings not pleasing to behold…
The Drabblecast brings you three original stories this week (Modern Fairytales, if you will) from authors Alice Gauntley, Matthew Sanborn Smith, and Kevin D. Anderson.
Our birthday was the first of March, and for two weeks beforehand it was all Caleb could talk about—cake, presents, and, most importantly, whom to invite. He would chatter about it as we did his homework, as we played his video games, as he went to sleep and I watched over him. Mom had him try different kinds of cakes, and even let me eat some and asked which one I liked best. I liked the carrot cake, but Caleb liked chocolate, so that’s the one she scheduled the kitchen to make fresh for the morning of the party…
We’re getting back to nature this week on the Drabblecast, with Michael Piel’s original story, “Watch Anya Blume.” Enjoy!
Anya Blume showered, slept, and showered again. Yes, she thought, she was beginning to feel human. Exhausted, sure, but human. She popped five Advil and closed the medicine cabinet. There, at the bottom of the mirror in sharpie, were the words: I will be my best self…
Weird things are afoot in the west this week on the Drabblecast! Enjoy an original, previously unpublished story about snails of the plains gone awry by Joshua Bush called “The Witchita Drive.” Yeehaw!
They were down in a gully watering the cattle when Billy came thundering down the ridgeline on his sorrel mare, waving his hat and hollering like he just seen the whole Comanche nation bearing down on them.
“Mr. Lee!” he cried. “Mr. Lee!”
Harry Lee — the top hand on the drive — trotted up to meet him, keeping his palomino well in hand so as not to disturb the herd any further. The younger cowboy was good in the saddle, but he was greener than spring horse pucky, and had half as much sense…
Sea creatures and sorority sisters on this week’s Drabblecast! We bring you an original tale by Stephanie Gray called, “The Secret of Theta Pi.” Enjoy!
We travel back to Tandy’s Cove in a caravan of three, Cindy Q’s Miata leading, followed by the rented van, dirty white with the windows rolled up, and Beneeta G’s little blue hatchback bringing up the rear. Twelve hours on the road would be stressful in the best of times, yet in these days of turmoil there is an easy peace between us…
Norm brings in the New Year with an original Drabblecast story by author Tim Pratt! This story is a sequel to last year’s Holiday Special story, “Comfort and Joy,” check that one out here!
She was a blonde — the kind of blonde to make a bishop bite through his altar cloth. I used to be a bishop, but that was about seventeen-hundred years ago, so I swiveled away on my stool, took a handful of peanuts from the bowl on the bar, and went back to checking my list…
This week’s Drabblecast features a poignant story about patience, perspective, parenthood and the paranormal. We bring you “A Promise,” by Jennifer Hudak. Enjoy!
I reach out nonexistent fingers to catch your arm, the hem of your shirt. You, there. Sitting on the edge of the bed, head bowed, dripping with sorrow. Your hair is thinning, shiny scalp peeking through the gray-streaked brown at the top of your head, and I wonder if you even know. You flick your fingers near your temples, a self-soothing behavior that, by now, you’ve mostly learned to control…
Another fantastic strange story sure to blow your mind from Drabblecast author Matthew Sanborn Smith.
The local Partyville starts to peel apart around us: the booth, the ball pit, a video game and the netting between them, the pizza on the table, and the table too. Shards of pressboard and plastic fly toward me while molding themselves into the form of a man. A couple of the other moms scream, and their kids run to them. I didn’t expect this, but I know what it is.
Alternate history on this week’s show– an original story by Edward J. Knight about the American Civil War that we perhaps only narrowly missed!
7 August 1865
My darling Emily,
I do not know if this letter will reach you, but if it does, I hope it finds you well. General Lee has sent word to President Johnson requesting the evacuation of Washington, and I fear that Baltimore will be next. Remember that I have an uncle outside of Boston and he should be happy to take you in, should the worst come to pass. Just tell him that we are engaged to be married and I am sure he will provide for you.
On this week’s Drabblecast, Norm and author Matthew Sanborn Smith bring you a dose of perspective during these crazy times where weirdness seems to be the norm. Remember those invisible things around us that support and hold us no matter what our struggles our, and remember to cherish each moment of every day.
I wonder what will happen when I’m not up for it, when the weight finally overcomes my rigidity and I snap. Will I be a bloody mess when I turn back? Will I be too afraid to turn back and just take my chances with the landfill?
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…’
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?
Be sure to keep a night light on, this one will chill you to the core!
“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…”
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…
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.
This 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.
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)
In 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…
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.