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…
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It’s a surreal tale about considering greener pastures…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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?
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.
Drabblecast Director’s Cut – Sing
Women 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.
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.
The 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.
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.
A special throwback episode. With One week left in the Drabblecast Reborn Kickstarter, Norm presents one of his favorite surreal stories from deep in the archive by Hootingyard writer and Resonance FM radio personality Frank Key, and gives us a teaser about Frank’s commissioned story for Drabblecast Kickstarter Supporters
The bullet-riddled corpses of our dead crew-mates, all sixteen of them, are coffined up, and the coffins stacked as a makeshift ping pong table…
The leadup to our Relaunch Kickstarter campaign continues with this Fan Pick: The Last Dog.
This was a favorite of one of our newest team members, Jen Fisher, d(r)abbler of all things and master of none. We’ll be doing more of these with opportunities for fans to record their own introductions to their favorite stories in the future. Hit us up on Facebook and Twitter or give us a shout out in our forums to tell us your favorite stores.
In “The Last Dog,” the titular ultimate canine and his master, the last man on Earth, form a strong bond helping one another to survive on a war-ravaged planet. When they encounter an alien assassin, they are forced to make hard choices.
He was panting now, his breath coming in a never-ending series of short spurts and gasps. His sides ached, his eyes watered, and every now and then he would trip over the rubble of the decayed and ruined buildings that lined the torturously fragmented street…
Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Last Dog
We came to your planet because we knew that you, the peoples of Kill Bill and Saw and Vietnam and Columbine Massacre would understand us. You could not call us monster, as our subjects had done, and you would not call us morally reprehensible, arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct. We had watched your entertainments, our satellites catching your transmissions from so many fog years away, through so much space we marveled at the quality of transmission. The other planets never sent out such good entertainments. Yours we liked to watch most, the four of us, as our subjects screamed from the metal chambers which we had locked them in and which we never strayed from so we could hear them as they cried.
The Drabblecast concludes Women and Aliens month with “SUN MOON CAT MAN” by Julia Reynolds.
This is a story about #Language#.
#Language# is a key.
#Language# can open doors of emotion, of empathy, and of connection. It unites us, it bonds us.
#Language# can also lock those doors and keep us together alone.
“What have we got, Sergeant Kelley?” I ask, tired and bored from a long day of doing very little. I was just about to go home to my empty flat. These days it’s not so different from the police station.
On my speaker-phone Kelley’s voice says, “Patrol has a perp for you to interview. He’s in Interrogation Room 1, ma’am.”
Of course he’s in Room 1, I think as I walk down the hallway. We don’t even use the other rooms anymore except for storage. One benefit of our new Masters, crime is practically nonexistent.
We kick off Women And Aliens Month with “The Four Generations of Chang E,” by Zen Cho.
It’s a dystopian space story steeping in Eastern mythology and tradition. And rabbits. Moon rabbits.
In the final days of Earth as we knew it, Chang E won the moon lottery.
For Earthlings who were neither rich nor well-connected, the lottery was the only way to get on the Lunar Habitation Programme. (This was the Earthlings’ name for it. The moon people said: “those fucking immigrants”.)
I don’t know if this is the same tape as last time, because They keep moving things around and stealing them. I don’t know who does it. It may be the staff here, or my own family when they come to visit, or the aliens, but somebody’s always doing it — taking my glasses, my tapes, my TV remote, anything I put down for a second. I don’t think it’s the other residents. I used to think that, but I don’t think they’re that organized. Some of them are a bit senile, to tell you the truth…
In this episode of the Drabblecast, Catherine is an 89-year-old nursing home resident plagued by someone who keeps taking her things and a son and daughter-in-law who treat her like a child. When she gets a visit from an alien named Tom, they strike a bargain: He will tell her who the thief is if she tells him the secret to longevity. His race does not live to old age, they die after reaching breeding age and having children (the human equivalent of about 40 years old); he is trying to learn how to extend their lifespan. Despite her insistence that there is no secret he doesn’t believe her, but does tell her no one is taking her stuff – she just can’t keep track of it. Catherine thinks he is lying because he didn’t like that she didn’t have an answer for him and becomes convinced that the people who are taking her stuff are actually looking for alien, looking for clues about their existence among her possessions. She makes a tape recording of her experience, hoping that when they inevitably take the tape and listen to it they will realize they have no reason to continue stealing from her since she will freely tell them everything she knows. In the drabble, a young girl wakes up with a new set of stitches and doesn’t stop searching until she finds the quarter the kidney fairy has left her.
You couldn’t describe a rath. You couldn’t even look at one for more than a few seconds before you started getting a migraine aura. Rovers were just blots of shadow. The breeder was massive, armored, and had no recognizable features, save for its hideous, drooling, ragged edged maw. Irizarry didn’t know if it had eyes, or even needed them…
Izrael Irizarry stepped through a bright-scarred airlock onto Kadath Station, lurching a little as he adjusted to station gravity. On his shoulder, Mongoose extended her neck, her barbels flaring, flicked her tongue out to taste the air, and colored a question. Another few steps, and he smelled what Mongoose smelled, the sharp stink of toves, ammoniac and bitter…
Three days, we’ve been on this planet. Over a year, Earth-time. But we don’t talk about Earth-time anymore. It weakens morale, says Sir Overgeneral Halfish.
My morale went out the window when I found out that I was sentenced to be transported off planet.
My boss, Danny, liked to brag that El Corazon was the best Tex-Mex restaurant just off the Vegas Strip. “Because of you, Bescha,” he’d say to me. “You keep the customers happy. You keep me out of trouble.”
I won’t say which part of my job was harder. I kept an eye on the help-wanted ads, in case something better came along.
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