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Drabblecast 421 – The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Drabblecast episode cover The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Bo Kaier

Norm begins this episode with a metacast update on what’s been going on behind the scenes at the Drabblecast lately. He initiates a call to action for all Weird Nation to consider registering as organ donors and to find out more at www.organdonor.gov

Our story this week by short story legend Flannery O’Connor explores the question, “Am I the asshole?” Special thanks to our guest host and narrator, Random Hospital Cafeteria Worker.

The old woman and her daughter were sitting on their porch when Mr. Shiftlet came up their road for the first time. The old woman slid to the edge of her chair and leaned forward, shading her eyes from the piercing sunset with her hand…

Drabblecast 420 – Comfort and Joy

Drabblecast Cover by Bo Kaier Comfort and Joy

This year’s Drabblecast Christmas Special brings you another original commissioned holiday story from the master of Christmas weirdness himself: Tim Pratt.

Happy Holidays Weirdo’s!

I was in a grubby little bar down in Florida, sitting on a stool beside a plastic palm tree decorated with Christmas lights, when I heard a cough, and smelled cold ashes. I folded up my list and tucked it into my pocket. Without looking around, I said, “Ruprecht. Long time.” A very long time, actually, but I’ve always been good with names…

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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 419 – Trifecta: Halloween Special

Drabblecast Halloween Cover by Bo KaierSpecial Guest Host Cryptkeeper Norm hosts this year’s Drabblecast Halloween special.

The Drabblecast brings you a special 3 original stories from Editors past and present, all centered around the history of a lonesome Texas Graveyard.

We present to you,The Lich Gate Trifecta:

They Went Into the Graveyard, One by One by Matthew Bey
The Armadillo Man by Norm Sherman
Macadam by Samantha Henderson

Enjoy!

 

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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 416 – Necessary Cuts

Drabblecast Necessary Cuts art by Bo KaierClosing out this year’s H.P. Lovecraft month, we bring you another Drabblecast original, this time from author by Bryan Milller, about editing a manuscript as if the whole world depended on it…

The manuscripts I read are haunted. Commas vanish forever into the void. Subjects and verbs struggle in bloody disagreement. Infinitives are cleaved with a dull axe. Sentence fragments ablated at one ragged end lay strewn between the margins.

I take an exorcist’s solemn pride in banishing these warped creatures from the village, sending slapdash monstrosities back to the murky dark from whence they came. The pages come in and the pages go out; my reward is the warm tingle of equilibrium, having restored order to some tiny corner of the world…

Episode Trailer can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC-qJxNuA6s

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Drabblecast B-sides 78 – The Shadow Over My Dorm Room

Cover for Drabblecast Episode The Shadow Over My Dorm Room by Justin Eisenbeiss

Drabblecast Exclusive Premium Content for $10/month Subscribers

The sky is falling,” Chicken Little said, but of course I didn’t understand him right away. He forgets sometimes that he no longer has lips and teeth and all the other bits you need to produce intelligible speech. I gave him a moment to remember. He isn’t stupid—he’s better than me at math, and his Ancient Religions project won some kind of award—he just has a hard time facing reality, at least where his affliction is concerned…

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 415 – The Best Scarlet Ceremony Ever!

Cover by Ridza SartogaSweet Valley High and the Babysitters Club meet cult life and H.P. Lovecraft mythos, as we continue our special Lovecraft anthology month this week, bringing you an original story by Shaenon K. Garrity.

The Wakefields were the worst family in Oakes Isle. Even the grown-ups knew it. Whenever a chicken was stolen or the air was let out of a bike tire or a starving hex was chalked on a barn wall to sicken the sheep, there was a Wakefield behind it…

 

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Drabblecast B-Sides 77 – Looking for Jake

Drabblecast cover Looking for Jake by Bo KaierDrabblecast Premium Content. Sign up here to support the Drabblecast and listen!

I don’t know how I lost you. I remember there was that long time of searching for you, frantic and sick-making … I was almost ecstatic with anxiety. And then I found you, so that was alright. Only I lost you again. And I can’t make out how it happened.

I’m sitting out here on the flat roof you must remember, looking out over this dangerous city. There is, you remember, a dull view from my roof. There are no parks to break up the urban monotony, no towers worth a damn. Just an endless, featureless cross-hatching of brick and concrete, a drab chaos of interlacing backstreets stretching out interminably behind my house. I was disappointed when I first moved here, I didn’t see what I had in that view. Not until Bonfire Night.

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 413 – The Rats in the Walls

Cover for Drabblecast episode The Rats In The Walls by Bo KaierKicking off this year’s H.P. Lovecraft month with a classic from the man himself. It’s not your mind playing tricks it’s The Rats in the Walls!

On July 16, 1923, I moved into Exham Priory after the last workman had finished his labours.

The restoration had been a stupendous task, for little had remained of the deserted pile but a shell-like ruin; yet because it had been the home of several of my ancestors, I let no expense deter me.

The place had not been inhabited for a century since a tragedy of intensely hideous, (though largely unexplained) nature had struck down the master, five of his children, and several servants; finally driving forth under a cloud of suspicion and terror their illegitimate third son— my lineal progenitor, who had been taken in as their own. The final survivor of the cursed line…

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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 B-Sides 76 – Sad, Dark Thing

Drabblecast cover for Sad, Dark Thing by Bo Kaier

Drabblecast Exclusive Premium Content.

Aimless. A short, simple word. It means “without aim”, where “aim” derives from the notion of calculation with a view to action. Lacking purpose or direction, therefore, without a considered goal.

People mainly use the word in a blunt, softened fashion. They walk “aimlessly” down the street, unsure whether to have a coffee or check out the new magazines in the bookstore or maybe sit on that bench and watch the world go by…

Drabblecast 410 – Go Between

Cover for Drabblecast Episode Go Between by Bo KaierOn this week’s Drabblecast, Norm and NPR’s Chioke I’Anson bring you stories about the voices in your head, including “Go Between” by acclaimed writer China Mieville.

“Go Between” tells the tale of a man who, for several years, has been receiving strange instructions to deliver seemingly random items from location to location. Agonizing over effect his deliveries, he considers stopping, unsure whether the deliveries  support a malignant cause or aid a good one.

Story Excerpt:

“Something was in the bread. Morley was cutting, and on the fourth strike of the knife, the metal broke.

Behind him, his friends talked over their food. Morley pried the dough apart and touched something smooth. He had marked it with a scratch. Morley could see the thing’s colour, a drab charcoal. He frowned. It had been a long time since this had happened…”

China Tom Miéville is a British urban fantasy fiction author, essayist, comic book writer, socialist political activist and literary critic. He often describes his work as weird fiction and is allied to the loosely associated movement of writers called New Weird.

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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 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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