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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.

 

Voila (part two of this story is printed in full below):

Drabblecast 401 – We Who Stole The Dream Pt. 2

 

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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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Drabblecast 383 – SUN MOON CAT MAN

Drabblecast cover for Sun Moon Cat Man by The Littlest FinchThe 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.

Story Excerpt:

“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.

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Drabblecast 382 – Down the Well

Drabblecast Cover by Melissa McClanahan for Down the WellWomen and Aliens month continues with “Down the Well” by Alaya Dawn Johnson.

Alaya is the author of speculative and historical fiction and has written six novels. Her stories have been featured in Asimov’s, Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Welcome to Bordertown. She is also a recipient of the Cybils and Nebula awards.

Story Excerpt:

“I enjoy watching children,” she said. “It comforts me to remember that I too was a child once, and one day they too will be old.”

Her shiny olive skin was firm, but even the best youth-treatments couldn’t hide the purple veins that snaked around her arms like cables. She appeared to be in well-preserved middle-age; only I and a few other agents knew the truth. Her eight remaining fingers were casually laced over a knobby walking stick that she carried for show. A particularly knowledgeable observer might have noted that the cherry-red wood was at once lighter and stronger than any known on Earth. Dr. Constance Roya was a scientist in the ancient sense, when that term implied at least as much of a reckless love for adventure as an appreciation of form and method and the furtherance of human knowledge.

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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 380 – The Four Generations of Chang E

Drabblecast cover for The Four Generations of Change E, art by Caroline ParkinsonWe 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.

Story Excerpt:

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”.)

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Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen Beckett

Drabbleclassics 26 – Unreliable Witness (235)

Cover for Drabblecast episode 235, Unreliable Witness, by Kathleen BeckettI 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.

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