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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 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 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 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

Drabblecast 386 – Garen and The Hound

Drabblecast cover for Garen and The Hound by Susie OhThis week the Drabblecast presents an originally commissioned story: “Garen and the Hound” by Jeremiah Tolbert.

It is a story about the dream world and the relentless pursuit of something dark and sinister.

This story is part of our Lovecraft Month, a celebration of all things H.P. and Old Ones.

Story Excerpt:

The veils of madness parted, and Garen the Undreaming found himself once again lucid. His body ached from ears to toes. He jogged, the sun on his left shoulder, and a bitter wind blew at his back that his heavy coats of fur could not fully abate. Where was he? How did he get here? Questions he was not unfamiliar with asking himself.

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Drabblecast 384 – The Cats of Ulthar

Cover for Drabblecast The Cats of Ulthar by Bo KaierWe begin our month-long celebration of H.P. Lovecraft with a dramatic reading of “The Cats of Ulthar.”

Lovecraft Month is our yearly celebration of H.P. and his sprawling mythos. All this month you’ll enjoy some awesome original stories commissioned just for Drabblecast listeners. We’re excited to be featuring works by three of our favorite authors, Rachael K. Jones, Jeremiah Tolbert, and Frank Key.

The Cats of Ulthar is one of Lovecraft’s shorter pieces. It was originally written in 1920.

Story Excerpt:

It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroë and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.

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Drabblecast 381 – Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs

Cover for Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs by Bo KaierWomen and Aliens Month slithers forward with this week’s story: “Unathi Battles the Black Hairballs” by Lauren Beukes.

Lauren Beukes is an award-winning, best-selling novelist who also writes comics, screenplays, and TV shows. Her novels include The Shining GirlsBroken Monsters and Zoo City.

Story Excerpt:

Unathi was singing karaoke when the creature attacked Tokyo. Or rather, she was about to sing karaoke. Was, in fact, about to be the very first person in Shibuya’s Big Echo to break in the newly uploaded Britney hip-hop remix of the Spice Girls’ ‘Tell Me What You Want (What You Really Really Want)’.

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Drabblecast 379 – Water Spots

Drabblecast cover art for Water Spots, art by Lissa QuonThis episode of the Drabblecast presents “Water Spots,” by Rebecca Gomezrueda, a troubling tale of murk, darkness, and the complexity of the human experience. Is it something in the water?

Consider yourself warned.

Story Excerpt:

“They found your brother…”

Her mother leaves the sentence unfinished, and she wants to tell her not to go on. He can be anywhere, in the water, in the fire, and in the end there’s little difference between burnt bones and waterlogged bones.

“Did you hear me? I said they found your brother.”

“Mhm.” So she’d have his bones. What did she want with them?

“Water Spots” is printed in full below the player. Enjoy!

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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 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 371 – Old Dead Futures

Cover for Drabblecast episode Old Dead Futures by Oskar KunikThere are two things I love, and one is the tiny grey owl outside my window. He is not afraid of me. He hoots and hops to my windowsill so I can stroke his downy head and feed him worms I’ve saved in my pocket.

It is hard to get the worms from my pocket, the way my left arm jerks up behind me and my right hand shakes. Often fat mister owl gets a half a worm, but he doesn’t mind. Mother minds picking the half-worms from my pockets, but I see how she looks at me when I calm my tremoring hand long enough to pat mister owl; I see how she loves me then.

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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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Drabblecast 369 – In The Walls

Cover for Drabblecast, In The Walls, by Hannah HollowayThe deadliest things in war are not bullets and guns, but hunger and desperation.
I’m hungry.

Penny gets the bed tonight, I’m on watch, Erik is out looting for food and supplies. If he were white, he tells us seriously, the press would say he was scavenging. But for him, it’s looting.

Not that there’s a press anymore. The newspaper we stuffed inside our makeshift mattress were all from three weeks ago. Then the newspaper company was bombed. That was a week after the Internet service provider was bombed. And while we missed the Internet, no one missed Comcast.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 63 – Doorstepping

Cover for Drabblecast B-Sides episode Doorstepping by Bo KaierThere was a buzz at the door. Mike Jansen sighed. Just when you got yourself settled after a long day working on the cheese counter; just when you were looking forward to some quality TV; the door had to go. He’d been standing up all day. His feet were killing him. He nestled down into the settee, deciding to ignore the buzz. He turned up the TV a little.

Buzz. Buzz. Bleedin’ buzz.

The caller was a persistent fellow and no mistake.

Drabblecast 368 – Restless in R’lyeh

Drabblecast cover for Restless in R'lyeh by Greg CravensDear Doctor Saperstein,

I’m a 44-year-old librarian from Kansas and a loyal reader of askdoctorsaperstein.com. Last night, after a relaxing day spent gardening, binge-watching “America’s Got Talent,” and organizing my snowglobe collection, I had a nightmare. A hideous octopus-headed monster performed a ukulele solo on “America’s Got Talent,” then killed and ate Howard Stern. Afterwards, Heidi Klum chanted tunelessly in a harsh alien language (possibly German). When I woke up, I was filled with unspeakable dread and all the snow in my snowglobes was whirling around as if someone had shaken each one. What could it mean?

–Worried in Wichita

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