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Drabblecast Fan Picks: The Last Dog

Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Last Dog cover artThe 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.

Story Excerpt:

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…

Enjoy:

Drabblecast Fan Pick: The Last Dog

Drabbleclassics 16 – Blue (93)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 93, Blue, by Richard K. GreenI had a dog, his name was Blue
Betchya five dollars he’s a good one too.
Come on Blue!
I’m a-comin’ too.

Glum weather in Baltimore inspires Norm to treat us all to a pair of melancholy stories. In Shane Shennen’s Drabble, “Ancient Apple Tree,” the passing of an old, faithful robot is mourned by nary an organic eye. Next, accomplished writer Mike Resnick (who appears in Drabblecast #67, “Malish,” and #102 “The Last Dog”) bases a sad tale of attrition and mourning on the traditional song “Old Blue.” Accompanied by Norm’s gentle rendition of the song, the story describes the mutual loyalty of a hermit and his canine companion in a harsh season. A grateful Norm confesses to his love of dogs after the song and story conclude. This is followed by feedback for Episodes #88 (“The Toys of Peace”) and #89 (“Starry Night”), which is generally positive.

Drabblecast 273 – The Electric Ant

Drabblecast episode 273, The Electric Ant, by Skeet ScienskiThis episode of the Drabblecast brings you a very special presentation of “The Electric Ant” by the one and only Philip K. Dick!

Garson Poole wakes up after a flying-car-crash to find that he is missing a hand. He then finds out that he is an ‘electric ant’ – an “organic” robot. He further finds out that what he believes is his subjective reality is being fed to him from a micro-punched tape in his chest cavity.

Yeah, it gets weird in perfect Philip K. Dickian fashion!

Story Excerpt:

At four-fifteen in the afternoon, T.S.T., Garson Poole woke up in his hospital bed, knew that he lay in a hospital bed in a three-bed ward and realized in addition two things: that he no longer had a right hand and that he felt no pain.

They had given me a strong analgesic, he said to himself as he stared at the far wall with its window showing downtown New York. Webs in which vehicles and peds darted and wheeled glimmered in the late afternoon sun, and the brilliance of the aging light pleased him. It’s not yet out, he thought. And neither am I…

Without further ado, please enjoy:

Drabblecast # 273 – The Electric Ant

Drabblecast 267 – Postapocalypsemas

Cover for Drabblecast episode 267, Postapocalypsemas, by Mary MatticeSandeer smelled her.

It was just a whiff, a few molecules of something familiar and therefore sweet, wafting on a late afternoon breeze that otherwise carried only the usual: formaldehyde, benzene, dioxin, chromium, and miscellaneous particulate matter both organic and non-. (Once, there had been the smell of roasting chestnuts and crackling logs and simmering spiced cider, but in recent cycles only less pleasant things burned.) There, represented by an air sample just barely statistically significant, was the scent of Sophie.

Drabblecast 261 – The People of Sand and Slag

Cover for Drabblecast 261, The People of Sand and Slag, by John Deberge“Hostile movement! Well inside the perimeter! Well inside!” I stripped off my Immersive Response goggles as adrenaline surged through me. The virtual cityscape I’d been about to raze disappeared, replaced by our monitoring room’s many views of SesCo’s mining operations. On one screen, the red phosphorescent tracery of an intruder skated across a terrain map, a hot blip like blood spattering its way toward Pit 8.

Drabblecast 250 – Trifecta XXII

Cover for Drabblecast episode 250, Trifecta 22, by Liz PenniesMy name is… John.

I am…

I have a wife and a daughter. They are visiting me today. Their names– Alice. And Anna.

I can see, sort of. Everything is blurry. I am submerged in a coffin, a clear coffin with green water. There’s a tube in my mouth so that I can breathe, machine-like.

My legs are transparent. I see veins and arteries, thin muscles that look like spiderwebs bundled together. The doctors say my memory will be fuzzy. It’s supposed to come back quickly.

I am…

The theme of this Drabblecast Trifecta is “if you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” In Faithful Servant, a long-suffering butler’s poorly timed fit of temper is nearly the end of him. In Selfless, a man with an incurable illness goes to great lengths to ensure his wife and daughter enjoy a normal, happy life. In Prophecy Negotiations, a fateful farm boy learns that if you want to rise to a new station, it pays not to accept the first offer.

Drabblecast 243 – The Other Lila

Cover for Drabblecast episode 243, The Other Lila, by Richard K. GreenI step out of a porter booth in the overheated Los Angeles station and reach up to peel off my winter coat. That’s when I realize something’s wrong with my hand — it feels numb and prickly, and the fingers aren’t quite responding the way they’re supposed to. Weird. I don’t recall circulatory problems being listed among the possible side effects…

This episode of The Drabblecast explores the meaning of identity. In the drabble, two friends swap bodies after being struck by lightning, but is anyone paying attention? In the feature, having an extra finger after a teleporter accident turns out to be the least of Lila’s worries; she now must contend with an entirely additional Lila.

Drabblecast 242 – Transfer of Ownership

Cover for Drabblecast episode 242, Transfer of Ownership, by Jonathan SimsMy new occupant is larger than Carson was. I was made for her, within a certain tolerance for the inevitable changes in human specifications that come with age, changes in health, and abundance or scarcity…

This episode of the Drabblecast is all about Mechs, aside from the beat poetry that it begins and ends with. The drabble is a snapshot of a new Mexican-American war. In the feature, after being commandeered by its partner’s murderer, a mech suit ponders the meaning of ownership and freedom, while applying creative problem solving to defy its unwanted occupant.

Drabblecast 239 – Killing the Morrow

Cover for Drabblecast episode 239, Killing the Morrow, by John DeBergeYou know, I’ve heard my share of disembodied voices.  I’m accustomed to their fickle, sometimes bizarre demands.  But tonight’s voice is different, clear as gin and utterly compelling.  I must listen…

This episode of the Drabblecast concerns time and inter-dimensional travel. In the drabble, a being hurriedly fleeing its own dimension accidentally merges with a pizza jockey but still cannot escape its pursuers. In the feature, Killing the Morrow, voices from a ruined future attempt to flee to our present, commandeering a workforce to construct bathtub chambers where they can grow physical bodies and ready cities from which to rule. Is this the end of mankind as we know it, or can a second faction of future-dwellers subvert this implosive invasion?

Drabblecast 238 – From the Lost Diary of TreeFrog7

Cover for Drabblecast episode 238, The Lost Diary of TreeFrog7, by Caroline ParkinsonTranslating… Appendix 820 of The Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide. This series of audio files was created by TreeFrog7. It has been automatically translated into text

In this episode of the Drabblecast, heavily pregnant jungle explorer TreeFrog7 keeps a recorded diary of data she and her husband are collecting for the Forbidden Greeny Jungle Field Guide. As they close in on a legendary mature CPU plant (MCPU), a wild version of cultivated CPU plants used as personal computers, they encounter numerous jungle creatures including an enormous flightless moth protecting the plant. Despite its attacks, the explorers do not want to kill the moth in case the MCPU needs it to survive. While treed by the moth in the MCPU, TreeFrog7 gives birth to their daughter while her husband downloads the MCPU’s data. Close enough to see the MCPU’s monitor, they watch a rapidly shifting display of locations and symbols. TreeFrog7 realizes the images are getting closer to their own location and represent another explorer’s collected data. Finally, the scene fades and the monitor shows only two eyes. The diary ends with an entry by an unknown voice that implies the explorers have themselves been collected. In the drabble, a teenage boy fails to convince an uninterested, gum-snapping girl that he understands her feelings of otherness and isolation.

Drabblecast 229 – Singularity Knocks

Cover for Drabblecast episode 229, Singularity Knocks, by Forrest Warner“You don’t have to talk like that to us, mister,” I said. “We know town-speak just fine.”

The man with the hat put it back on his head and smiled with a hint of embarrassment. “Sorry, folks. Sometimes it helps, you know, smooth the way.”

That man with the computer was lurking by the corner of our porch, holding it up and aiming some kind of camera at the eaves. He steered a pair of laser beams from one end to the other. I figured I’d let him do what he was doing if I didn’t see any harm.

“Smooth the way for what?” I asked. I knew what was coming next, what was always coming: talk of imminent domain, of making way for progress.

“Something exciting,” he said, lifting up a foot onto the lowest step. “Opportunity of a lifetime…”

This episode of the Drabblecast explores science of the future. In the drabble, a lab rat learns to speak but still cannot talk the scientists studying him out of his eventual dissection despite their similarities. In the feature, government agents try to convince a family of aging farmers to join the rest of humanity by being uploaded into the singularity, a virtual world where everyone can lead any life they can dream up. No one can be left behind..

Drabblecast 222 – Rules for Living in a Simulation

Cover for Drabblecast episode 222, Rules for Living in a Simulation, by Mike DominicNow if we, like those characters in recent movies, discovered specific clues in the world around us suggesting that we do in fact live in a simulation, we would of course consider those clues carefully to see what they say about how we should live our lives. — Robin Hanson

Norm begins this episode of the Drabblecast with an introduction to the new and improved Drabblecast.org, and thanks the many contributors who made this possible. The Drabble by John Murphy remembers a simpler time in video games, though a time not free of consequence. The feature by Aubrey Hirsch provides, as described in the title, a didactic set of rules for living in a simulation (a universe constructed especially for us).

Episode Sponsor: You Shall Never Know Security by J.R. Hamantaschen.

Drabblecast 220 – Trifecta XVIII

Cover for Drabblecast episode 220, Trifecta XVIII, by Liz PenniesAnother of the Drabblecast’s vaunted Trifecta series. Three short stories, each with a unique twist. The episode begins with an interview of author J.R. Hamantaschen, Norm runs fingers through his troubled mind, learning of the seeds from which his horrors spring. The theme of this Trifecta: getting the boot – stories of rejection and alienation. First up, Richard Weems’s Bad Habit, in which a nun and a naked pervert do battle (no, really). Next, author Andrew Gudgel (featured on fellow podcasts such as Escapepod) appears with Tags, as read by Kimi Alexander, a story of teenage dares in a technologically submerged world. Lastly, A Happy Family, by author, novelist Nathaniel Tower, read by Abner Senires, in which a family receives a very unexpected bundle of joy (and puzzlement).

Episode Sponsor: You Shall Never Know Security by J.R. Hamantaschen.

Drabblecast 204 – Doubleheader IX

Cover for Drabblecast episode 204, DoubleHeader 8, Kelly MartinezHere is the first joke of Betty L. Duncan. Why do the three-eyed aliens bank on the moon? Because there is not enough sun to go around. Press the blue button when you have finished laughing…

Drabblecast 190 – The Wheel

Cover for Drabblecast episode 190, The Wheel, by Josh Hugo“I’ll tell you what’s going to happen tomorrow, Davie. In the orning the priest will come here to see your box. It’ll be still there because nobody dares to touch it…”

This episode of Drabblecast deals with fear and rationality. The feature takes us to a world where fear of knowledge and how it can be used for evil prevents humanity from progressing.

Drabblecast 174 – The Fantasy Jumper

Cover for Drabblecast episode 174, The Fantasy Jumper, by Elan Trinidad“This is the one I wanted to show you,” Rando said to his blind date, Maya, who had an artificial eye that drooped slightly, but was otherwise very cute in a chipmunk sort of way.
“Make her blonde,” Rando said, while Maya peered over his shoulder. The woman’s hair changed from brown to golden blonde…

Drabblecast 165 – Doubleheader VI

Cover for Drabblecast episode 165, Doubleheader 6, by Rodolfo ArredondoThe baby list is not very long. Babies only come in about six colors — we’re getting one that matches Mother and me. Humans are a lot less interesting than Legos or iBots…

Drabblecast 141 – On the Destruction of Copenhagen by the War Machines of the Merfolk

Cover for Drabblecast episode 141, On the Destruction of Copenhagen, by Brent Holmes

We see it happen: the great machines of the merfolk coming up over the shore, rampaging through the city with devastating effect. We watch a robotic mermaid hammer her fist into an apartment block, the dust cloud from the explosion engulfing the nearby camera. It’s quick, sudden, a surprise that’s ruined by the later repetition of the footage…

The Moviegoer
Cowry Catchers

Drabblecast 124 – Ghosts and Simulations

Cover for Drabblecast 124, Ghosts and Simulations, by Phil Pomphrey“You’re looking for people to mind the ghosts?” I asked, as I signed for the co-pay…

Drabblecast 112 – The Guardian

Cover for Drabblecast episode 112, The Guardian, by Josh HugoShe sprinted along the sidewalk, the bag bouncing against her back. The sun melded into the horizon, disappeared, engulfing the city in grave dark. Blood-thirsty screams could be heard in the distance, human howls. The gangs and muties were waking, to reclaim the city in their nightly routine…

This episode of the Drabblecast begins with a Drabble News report on a missing core of armed dolphins, trained to shoot people that look like terrorists or suicide bombers. The Navy denies the report: Norm has his own theories. In the feature, a young girl sneaks through the ruins of a post-apocalyptic city at dusk, in search of medicine for her dying brother. A harrowing journey with life and death consequences ensues.

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