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Category: Sci-Fi Page 1 of 11

Drabblecast 423 – The Martians Claim Canada

Emily Cannon's Drabblecast cover for The Martians Claim Canada by Margaret AtwoodThe Drabblecast begins it’s 9th Annual Women & Aliens Month”– a full month of original commissioned stories by women about (you guessed it) aliens. First though, the Drabblecast presents a story by author Margaret Atwood about musicals, fungus, aliens and… well, you’ll see!

The Martians descend to Earth in their spaceship. They intend to go to New York – they want to see something called ‘a musical’ – but they get the directions mixed up, as many before them have done, and end up in Canada instead, as many before them have also done. Specifically, they land on a chunk of rock in the boreal forest somewhere on the Laurentian Shield. There is no one around, or no one you might recognize as ‘one’…

Drabblecast B-Sides 81 – Sally

Drabblecast cover Sally by Jonathan SimsSally was coming down the lake road, so I waved to her and called her by name. I always liked to see Sally. I
liked all of them, you understand, but Sally’s the prettiest one of the lot. There just isn’t any question about it.

She moved a little faster when I waved to her. Nothing undignified. She was never that. She moved just enough faster to show that she was glad to see me, too…

Drabblecast B-Sides 80 – The Peoria Plague

Drabblecast Cover Peoria Plague Bo KaierFor Drabblecast Bsides Premium Subscribers this week, we bring you the classic 1972 Full Cast radio production of The Peoria Plague.  Don’t worry, it’s just a fictional audio drama!

…isn’t it?

Drabblecast B-Sides 79 – My Father’s Crab

My Father's Crab by Cagdas DemiralpI don’t know where it was—that miniature golf course in the sand—but it had to be the Gulf of Mexico somewhere. We were driving from one coast to the other, like always. “The Great Southern Route,” my dad called it. It had to be Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, or Texas—one of them. I was seven…

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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Drabbleclassics 31 – Boojum

In this Drabbleclassics episode, author and Drabblefan Weirdo Abbie Hilton breaks down the hit Drabblecast story Boojum, by Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette.

The ship had no name of her own, so her human crew called her the Lavinia Whateley. As far as anyone could tell, she didn’t mind. At least, her long grasping vanes curled—affectionately? — when the chief engineers patted her bulkheads and called her “Vinnie,” and she ceremoniously tracked the footsteps of each crew member with her internal bioluminescence, giving them light to walk and work and live by…

Drabblecast Trailer – 1977 by Carrie Vaughn

Official Video Trailer for Drabblecast 412– 1977 by Carrie Vaughn.

Read by Naomi Mercer, Norm Sherman, Mike Boris and Veronica Giguere.

Do The Hustle!

Drabblecast 412 – 1977

Drabblecast episode cover 1977 by Carly HeathThis week, the Drabblecast presents a full cast production of “1977” by Carrie Vaughn.

“Have another one,” the guy said, and Megan did because she was thirsty, though a martini was probably not what she should be drinking. She was too far gone to question.

She downed the drink in three swallows while the guy laughed. Craig. Conner. Whatever his name was. The music changed, and her eyes got wide. She shoved the glass at the bar, knocking something over, but was already turning to the dance floor.

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Drabblecast 411 – Wholesale Solution

Wholesale Solution (Single Cover)This week on the Drabblecast, something a little different! “Wholesale Solution” is a full cast radio play set in a dystopic science fiction universe where nothing is as it seems.

Written and produced by Fred Greenhalgh and Jack Bowman, buckle in for a ride to Europa!

Story Excerpt:

We are inside a holding cell containing CLAY ORTS, a tech programmer, a small cubicle-style structure. He’s with CAMPBELL DOYLE, a man with a salesman voice. There is a momentary piece of ambiance as both sit in silence. Campbell takes a deep breathe. It’s the calm before the storm.

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Drabblecast 408- Doubleheader: Robert Reed

Cover for Robert Reed Doubleheader by Bo KaierThis week the Drabblecast brings you two new, previously unpublished stories by SF genre luminary Robert Reed.

Reed published his first novel, The Leeshore in 1987. Since then he has received nominations for both the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award, as well as numerous other literary awards. In 2007, he won his first Hugo Award for the 2006 novella “A Billion Eves”.

This week we bring you two original stories by Robert Reed:

“And So On” (Story Excerpt):

You never sleep and you cannot be alone. Companions surround you,
extraordinary both in their numbers and the multitude of lost worlds represented. Subjected to minimizations of data and energy, each of you has been compressed into a body no larger than a bacterial spore. The principles of efficient packing mean that your neighbors share your temperament and general outlook. This is the means by which you can exist and feel so very real. Your nature is shared. Ten million like-minded souls make every calculation that much easier.

Primarily human. That is what you are.

“The Statistical Grandeurs” (Story Excerpt):

You begin by insisting that you are a happy person.

“A thin happiness built from predictive software,” your new mentor counters. “And let’s be honest here. The system’s limitations are growing more obvious with every rigorously planned day.”

Then he says nothing, staring at you.

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Drabblecast B-Sides 75 – The Five Hundred Days of Ms. Between

Cover for Drabblecast The 500 Days of Ms. Between by Thomas N. Perkins IVFor this bit of Drabblecast Member Premium Content, we bring you “The Five Hundred Days of Ms. Between” by Joshua Alan Doetsch.

Joshua Alan Doetsch is a “sentient word virus spreading across the collective unconscious through the vector of human language.” His writings include novels, short fiction, and video games (including Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey).

Click here to become a Drabblecast B-Sides Premium Content Member with access to extra stories like this each month!

Warning: story contains violence and references to suicide.

Story Excerpt:

Can’t feel my legs. So I slither along the ground, toward the audient window, humming that song. I hear the wet-velcro rip of the thousand hands rending flesh. I see her through the window. That mocking grin.

The first thing Ms. Between said to me was, “I’m a mad woman with a lab.” The second thing she said was that I could leave at any time with no obligation. The third thing was that there could be no questions—questions would cause her and her offer to evaporate. I believed absolutely in that, so she handed me the murder weapon.

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Drabblecast 405 – Wet Fur

Cover for Drabblecast episode Wet Fur by Saratoga RidzaThis week The Drabblecast presents “Wet Fur” by Jeremiah Tolbert.

From Jeremiah:

“This story came to me wholly formed in a dream one day. I wrote it in a white hot tear, desperate to capture all the details and emotions that had seemed so immediate in the dream. It’s about how our pets live such short lives compared to us. It’s about what happens when someone tries to do something about that…”

Story Excerpt:

You can tell the dog owners when they board the plane. They see the black cloud hovering in the first row and their eyes widen in shock, then narrow in fear. When they see so many occupied seats, they smile. It’s a relieved smile that seems to say: “Not for me. Not for mine.”

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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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Drabbleclassics 29 – Primary Pollinator (191)

Drabbleclassics 29 cover by Bill Halliar

Drabbleclassics:

A fan-hosted Series that features fan-picked stories from the Drabblecast archives, remastered and brought to you by fans like our host this week, Bart Epstein.  Enjoy!

This week for Drabbleclassics Bart Epstein brings your Primary Pollinator, by Nicole Kimberling.

When Dr. Lopez came for me, I was plunging the geo lab toilet. She carried a red stickle suit in one hand and a spray can of anti-fungal lubricant in the other.

 

Drabblecast B-Sides 73 – That Only A Mother

Drabblecast cover for That Only A Mother by Bo KaierThis Drabblecast B-Sides episode features Judith Merril’s story “That Only A Mother”

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:

Margaret reached over to the other side of the bed where Hank should have been. Her hand patted the empty pillow, and then she came altogether awake, wondering that the old habit should remain after so many months. She tried to curl up, cat-style, to hoard her own warmth, found she couldn’t do it any more, and climbed out of bed with a pleased awareness of her increasingly clumsy bulkiness.

Drabblecast 403 – The Translator

Drabblecast cover for The Translator by Susie OhNext up in Women and Aliens month: a Drabblecast original commissioned from author Eboni J. Dunbar, “The Translator.”

Eboni Dunbar resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and specializes in queer and black speculative fiction. She is also a VONA Alum, an associate editor for PodCastle and a freelance reviewer.

Story Excerpt:

Corporal Robbie Elms stood at the airlock, waiting for the
arrival of their guests. The rank was as new and as shiny as the toe of her boots, a gift from her mother to congratulate her. The airlock chimed as it depressurized and she stood straighter, trying to make herself look a little taller. This was her first official assignment since the promotion, she wanted to do it right.

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Drabblecast 402 – The Moving Stars

Drabblecast The Moving Stars Cover by Samantha BarrettWe’re in the thick of Women and Aliens month, and we’re keeping it going with an original commissioned story— “The Moving Stars” by Premee Mohamed.

Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and specfic auhor based out of Canada. Her short fiction has appeared in Analog, Pseudopod, Mythic Delirium, Automata Review, and other venues.  Her debut novel is scheduled for a 2020 release from Solaris Books.  She can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus.

As a special treat, this episode is being hosted by one of our preeminent editors, Sandra Odell!

Story Excerpt:

They had to knock me out to get her out of me, which was for the best; I was asking be knocked out for quite a while by that point. All that sweating and grunting and gritted teeth (I cracked a molar, for heaven’s sake) and then darkness and then there she was, swimming up through the layers of gray light, a strange little pink fish that someone had placed into my arms.
What happened?

I asked. She got stuck, said one of the nurses, and patted my hand. Backwards and upside down, poor little mite. Sometimes happens with the first. But isn’t she perfect!

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Drabblecast Director’s Cut – Sing

Director's Cut Special Sing“A Musical on a Submarine”

Norm and author Kristine Kathryn Rusch discuss her story from way back in 2008 for Drabblecast #53. This is the “Director’s Cut – Sing.”

We also dive into a discussion about unsung women in Science Fiction, like Leigh Bracket and James Tipree Jr. Why use a pen name after all? And how might you use punctuation as sound?

Story Excerpt:

Child, you sing all the time- when you’re walking, when you’re eating, even when you’re laughing.  You people make the most beautiful music in the entire galaxy…

Drabblecast Director’s Cut Specials are special features where we bring back a story from the archives and play them uncut as Part 1. Then in Part 2 we replay the episode with bonus commentary from the author.

Enjoy!

Drabblecast Director’s Cut – Sing

Drabblecast 401 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 2

Drabblecast 401 cover by Tristan TollhurstWomen and Aliens Month continues with Part 2 of “We Who Stole The Dream” by James Tiptree Jr., aka Alice Bradley Sheldon.

If you have not heard part one, you can find that here.

Sadism, slavery, power and oppression… are we ever truly innocent? Or is there the potential of cruelty in all of us?

You be the judge.

 Story Excerpt:

An alarm shrieked and cut off, all colors vanished, the very structure of space throbbed wildly—as, by a million-to-one chance, the three most massive nearby moons occulted one another in line with the tiny extra energies of the cruiser and its detonating missile, in such a way that for one micromicrominim the Dream stood at a seminull point with the planetary mass. In that fleeting instant she flung out her tau-field, folded the normal dimensions around her, and shot like a squeezed pip into the discontinuity of being which was tau.

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Drabblecast 400 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 1

Drabblecast 400 cover by Tristan TollhurstThe Drabblecast launches its 8th Annual Women and Aliens Month with Part 1 of “We Who Stole the Dream” by James Tiptree Jr.

This is a dark, dystopian tale about sadism and slavery, and the potential for cruelty in all of us. Published postmortem in the 1990 compilation “Her Smoke Rose Up Forever,” this story was originally written in 1978. True to the times, Tiptree was wrestling with sexism and feminism in much the same vein as Ursula Le Guin and Margaret Atwood. These issues are all still relevant, and still topical forty years later.

Story Excerpt:

The children could survive only twelve minims in the sealed containers.

Jilshat pushed the heavy cargo loader as fast as she dared through the darkness, praying that she would not attract the attention of the Terran guard under the floodlights ahead. The last time she passed he had roused and looked at her with his frightening pale alien eyes. Then, her truck had carried only fermenting-containers full of amlat fruit.

Now, curled in one of the containers, lay hidden her only-born, her son Jemnal.

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