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Tag: Women and Aliens month Page 1 of 2

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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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 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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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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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.

Drabblecast 355 – Kiriki Grocery

Cover for Drabblecast episode Kiriki Grocery, by Tory Hoke

Cover for Drabblecast episode Kiriki Grocery, by Tory Hoke

The last day of orientation at New Plymouth University, Work Placement called students up in pairs. Rhonda Morillo took the chair next to a big-boned blond girl–Deirdre, pretty sure–as their peer advisor announced their “exciting cultural opportunity”: stocking shelves at Kiriki Grocery.

 

 

 

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Drabblecast B-Sides 59 – The Sound of Useless Wings

Drabblecast cover for The Sound of Useless Wings by Lori Anne BaumgartnerI try to ignore my brothers and sisters as I do my work under the hot twin suns. They call me names. They call me dreamer. They call me innocent. They call me ridiculous.

All the while, I herd the rodents into the pen. I collect animal droppings and scatter them in the garden. I chew what long grass I can find and spit it out into the buckets so my mother can make the doughy bread that is a staple of the Hort diet.

Drabblecast 354 – DoubleHeader XVIII: Sylvia Spruck Wrigley

Drabblecast Alienated / The Front Line by Mary MatticeAlone — but not lonely.

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.

 

 

 

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Drabblecast 353 – Primrose or Return to Il’maril

Cover for Drabblecast episode 352, Primrose or Return to Il’maril, by E.C. Ibes“I will not leave this cavern,” the voice said as soon as I stepped into the cave mouth. A baritone decaying into vibrato, an old man’s voice, full of dignity and pride.

I tried to pinpoint its source, but the air was thick with fog. The haze seemed to originate from inside the chamber, where a mysterious current of cold wind blew from underground. All around me, where the vapour met the pink light, it glowed, the colour of the primrose buds in my terrarium back home. The thought of missing them in full bloom this year, pricked at me. Focus, Virginia, I told myself. Don’t be so bloody addled. There are lives on the line.

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Drabblecast 352 – Snow Day

Drabblecast Cover for Snow Day by Caroline ParkinsonThe shovel bit through the foamy snow on the top stair of my front porch, then stopped with a clang. I scraped away the snow to see what was beneath. Ice. Serve me right for not shoveling after the snow had fallen last night. It had thawed, then the temperature had dropped into the deep freeze, and now the steps and the sidewalk were frozen solid.

 

 

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Drabblecast 318 – How They Tried to Talk Indian Tony Down

Cover for Drabblecast 318, How They Tried to Talk Indian Tony Down, by Kathleen BeckettThis happened about ten years ago, out at Tobin Farm.

Back in the sixties, somebody bought Tobin Farm for the purposes of holding a renaissance fair there during the summers. Off seasons it became a kind of commune for the people involved in putting on the fair. They lived modestly in sheds and trailers scattered on a hundred acres of oak wilderness back of the farm, collecting unemployment between fairs.

 

 

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Drabblecast 317 – Doubleheader XIV

Cover for Drabblecast episode 317, Doubleheader XIV, by Christine DennettYou do not know me yet, my love, but I can hear you in my future. You are there from the beginning–at first just a few stray notes, but your presence quickly grows into a beautiful refrain. I wish you could hear time as I do, my love, but this song was never meant to be heard. The future should be chronobviated, gathered up in feathery pink fronds with delicate threads that waver in and out of alternate timelines. The past should be memographed, absorbed into a sturdy gray tail that stretches back to the beginning of the universe. We humans have neither fronds nor tails, but when the Eternals wanted to talk to us, they found a way to work around that.

 

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Drabblecast 316 – A Memory of Seafood

Cover for Drabblecast episode 316, A Memory of Seafood, by Kelly MaCavaneyThis week’s column is not about a restaurant, exactly, but about a memory. A distinct and painful memory, like a softened tooth you can’t help but poke at with your tongue to see if it still hurts.

A memory of seafood. (That sounds like one of those divine collections, doesn’t it, like a flight of starlings or a murder of crows? I remember when I was a mere seventeen, a slight but fully breasted slip of a girl, my best girl chums and I used to entertain the governor as he waited for his tea at the old tea house on Front Street—you Oolong afficionados, you remember it—and he affectionately called us “a flirtation of jailbaits”—but that’s neither here nor there.)

 

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Drabblecast 315 – Heaven is a Place on Planet X

Cover for Drabblecast episode 315, Heaven is a Place on Planet X, by Mary MatticeIt was 8:34 p.m. on a Tuesday, and it was almost the end of the world.

Actually, the world was expected to end on Friday, at precisely 5 p.m., eastern daylight time. This was not a forecast, or a projection: it was more like an appointment.

On Friday at 5 p.m. eastern, a thousand high-powered laser cannons would fire simultaneously from their hidden positions in outer space, instantly reducing Planet Earth to vapor and ash. At the exact same moment, the consciousness of every living human being would manifest itself on Planet Xyrxiconia. This planet was located a trillion light years away in a far-flung region of the universe Earth’s scientists had not yet glimpsed. There, on Planet X, humanity would find themselves in fresh bodies—remade vessels. These reincarnations would live eternally in a world of infinite luxury.

At least . . . that’s what the aliens claimed.

Drabblecast 277 – The Universe of Things

Cover for Drabblecast episode 277, Things, by Liz PenniesThe alien parked its car across the street from the shop and came and sat down in the waiting room. The mechanic must have seen this happen, peripherally. But he was busy settling the bill with a smartly dressed middle-aged woman, to whom he’d taken an irrational dislike. Those who deal with Joe Punter, day in and day out, especially Joe car-owning Punter, are prone to such allergies. He saw her start of concealed surprise, looked up, and there was the alien.

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