Archive for Little Wonders

Episode 106: Little Wonders 4 – The Journey

Authors: Alexandra Grunberg, S. R. Algernon and Shane Halbach
Narrators: Elie Hirschman, Dave Thompson and Bob Eccles

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This is Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. This episode we bring you a trio of stories where enjoying the way you get somewhere is more important than your ultimate destination. Welcome to “The Journey”.

Our first story is Treasure Hunter by Alexandra Grunberg. Alexandra is a New York City-based author and actress, soon-to-be graduate from New York University”s Tisch School of the Arts. Her stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Plasma Frequency Magazine, and the Toasted Cake Podcast run by Cast of Wonders” good friend Tina Connolly. Alexandra won third place in Fiction Vortex”s August 2013 Monthly Contest. You can find links to her stories at

Your narrator is Elie Hirschman. Elie has been dabbling in voice acting for the past ten years, with several online production companies including Darker Projects, Dream Realm Enterprises and BrokenSea Productions. He has all his life failed to live by rule 3 of Mike Damone”s Five-Point plan – “Act like wherever you are – that”s the place to be.” He lives in the Eastern Hemisphere against his will and better judgment and occasionally turns bad drama scripts into intentionally bad comedy at Cool Fool Productions. You can find them on Facebook.

Elie is proud to have read for Podcastle, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, and is delighted to read his first piece for Cast of Wonders.

Our second story is The Eye of Reason by S. R. Algernon. You may remember him from Episode 66, “The Egg Game”. S. R. Algernon has been an avid reader of science fiction for many years and is a member of He studied fiction writing in North Carolina, U.S.A., and currently lives in Singapore.

Your narrator is the legendary Dave Thompson. By day, Dave battles through reams of red tape writing corporate documentation. But his real job is co-editing and hosting the fantasy podcast PodCastle where you”ll find fantasy stories of all stripes. He is a published author and a respected and frequent narrator for many venues. You can find two of his audio book narrations on Amazon: Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout and Briarpatch by Tim Pratt.

Our final story is Downsizing Pluto by Shane Halbach. Shane is a software engineer, happily married and living in Chicago with his wife, two kids, and one nuisance cat. He has been accused of being obsessed with pirates, bacon, zombies, and his kids (not necessarily in that order). He”s a knitter, guitar player, and budding accordionista, and his fiction has appeared in Escape Pod, Redstone SF, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. He can be found online at Shane”s work can most recently be found in “Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way”, an anthology of the tremendous potential of trivial superpowers. Details are available at

Robert C. (Bob) Eccles is a radio news reporter and anchor who has narrated stories for Pseudopod, PodCastle, Transmissions From Beyond, Cast Macabre and Every Day Fiction. He also enjoys writing short stories, mostly horror and sci-fi. He”s a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and The Fictioneers. Tiny Terrors, his collection of 67 mostly very short horror stories, is available in the Kindle store at Amazon.

Theme music is “Neversus” by Alexye Nov, available at

Read along

Treasure Hunter: Click here to read the text of the story

The Eye of Reason: Click here to read the text of the story

Downsizing Pluto: Click here to read the text of the story


Episode 99: Little Wonders 3 – Scary Stories

Authors: Beth Hull, Ian Rose, and J. A. Ironside
Narrators: Alasdair Stuart, Barry J. Northern, and Ian Stuart

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

You’re listening to Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. And since it’s Halloween, that means it’s time for scaaaaaary stories!

Our first story is Come To Me, by Beth Hull. Beth lives in Northern California with her artist/scientist husband, their two children, and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. Beth writes young adult novels and the occasional short story. To learn more about Beth, her work, and the things that annoy her (windy days, ticking clocks), and scare her (black widow spiders lurking in the mailbox), you can visit her website or find her on Twitter.

Come to Me is narrated for you by podcasting’s Dark Overlord, Alasdair Stuart. Alasdair is the host of Pseudopod, the weekly horror fiction podcast by Escape Artists. He also co-hosts Escape Pod, their weekly science fiction show. He blogs about lots of things for lots of people, including himself, his website. You can listen to him talk about cooking things, reading things, watching things or training in things like martial arts and baking on Twitter.

When most people thing of young adult fiction, they think of fantasy with a heavy sprinkling of science fiction. Horror doesn’t seem to be a popular genre, and I can understand why: thinking about younger people in frightening or dangerous situations isn’t very comforting. When you think of Harry Potter, you probably think of the fun times Harry, Ron and Herminoe have, and you glaze over the very real danger they were in.

But growing up can be scary, with or without the presence of the supernatural. And unlike a book, you can’t put your life down and come back to it later. Learning how to deal with an ugly reality is an important skill.

Which brings us to our second story, Piper by Ian Rose. Ian is a web developer and former field biologist living in Portland, Oregon. He loves oceans and mountains and rain, and is very pleased to have found a place that offers him all of these, though he does have to visit his native east coast every year to fill up on bagels, pizza, and other bread products that Oregon just can’t seem to get quite right. He blogs here and can be found on Twitter. Ian also has a story about to be published by New Myths.

Your narrator is our very own Barry J. Northern. Barry is a game developer based in Bournemouth, England making freemium games for clients such LEGO and the BBC. His latest game is breaking all records on iOS, not surprising with a title like “LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles”. It’s for younger kids, but if you fancy blasting alien brains check out LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack. All this game developing has meant Barry hasn’t been as active in the podcasting and fiction world as he used to be, but he still works behind the scenes at Cast of Wonders. He also guest narrates on occasion at The Drabblecast and StarShip Sofa.

Ian told us the inspiration for Piper was, that in of all the fables and fairy tales I was read as a child, the pied piper was the only one that ever really scared him. Not only the power that the Piper, over both the rats and the children, but the willingness to use it was terrifying. He was a sort of avatar for all the threats and dangers in the world that Ian didn’t yet understand but still knew to be afraid of.

And speaking of things you should be afraid of, how about cowled figures rowing tiny boats on dark rivers late at night? Should you ever find yourself in need of such, maybe you shouldn’t pick the one with the skeletal face…

For our final scary short, we bring you The Boatman by JA Ironside. Jules Anne Ironside started writing as a child. She grew up in Dorset in a house full of books, fed on a diet of myths, legends and spooky tales. She particularly likes to take well known myths and turn them on their heads. Jules is a keen martial artist having taught karate for fifteen years now. In her free time she likes to read and add to her collection of dead or little use languages. She has had several other short stories published in the anthologies Reading is Magic and Stories for Homes both available from Amazon. Her next published story will appear in the A Chimerical world; Unseelie anthology. You can follow her on Twitter.

To complete our trio of narrators, The Boatman is read for you by the very talented Ian Stuart. Ian Stuart is a writer, poet and performer living and working in York. In the past he has worked for BBC local radio in Manchester and the Isle of Man, where he taught English. As well as providing voice tracks for hotels, businesses and foreign language courses, he is a tourist guide for The Ghost Trail of York. (I’ve been on his tour, you don’t want to miss it!) And Ian has been a resident voice artist for Pseudopod for some years. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana, or follow him on Twitter.

The Little Wonders theme, “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at

Read Along

Come With Me: Click here to read the text of the story

Piper: Click here to read the text of the story

The Boatman: Click here to read the text of the story

Episode 93: Little Wonders 2

Authors: Laura DeHaan, Jack Murphy and Brian Griggs
Narrators: Melissa Bugaj, Adam Black and Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This episode we bring you a trio of fantasy offerings – one flash story and two poems – about things that aren’t quite what they appear to be…

Our first story is Golly, by Laura DeHaan. Laura is a healthcare practitioner in her hometown of Toronto, Ontario. She pays her bills by helping people relax and feel better, but when she writes she likes making people feel just a little awful. She has a couple stories coming out in autumn, one in Postscripts to Darkness 4 about a new kind of danger posed by an invasive species, and one in Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine involving a zombie cowboy and a talking snake. Something for everyone! Find her on Twitter and follow the bizarre travelogues of the much put-upon tourist Topher Topher.

Golly is narrated for you by Melissa Bugaj. Melissa is a proud mom of an eight-year-old boy and five-year-old girl. She is a special educator in her fourteenth year of teaching. Melissa has taught all grade levels from preschool to grade five in both general and special education. This year, however, she is taking a leap in her teaching as she enters the high school level as a Conceptual Physics teacher . She co-writes and co-produces an original children’s story podcast with her husband, Chris, called Night Light Stories. She also writes a personal blog called According to Mags, about her children’s silly antics that keep her and her readers entertained. Melissa enjoys presenting with her husband at different state conferences on the subjects of audio stories and podcasting.

Speaking of elements, our next entry is the poem An Alchemist’s Limit, by Brian Griggs. You may remember Brian and his alchemist from Episode 22, Rust. This poem was written as a result of your positive feedback to the story. Brian says he loves how the character is trying to simultaneously make sense of electron shells and organized crime.

Brian has been an educator for twelve years and has been encouraged to write fiction and poetry by his students and co-workers. He hopes his stories inspire curiosity and wonder in students of all ages. You can learn more about the Alchemist’s Guild at his website. And he’s also avid on Twitter. He’d love to hear your thoughts on the poem.

Your narrator for this poem is our very own, very hard working and very talented Graeme Dunlop. Graeme’s been busy on the narration front lately, with his latest appearance reading Tim Maughan’s Limited Edition for Starship Sofa.

This episode marks the second time Cast of Wonders has aired poetry. Our first was the excellent Eggs Under Moon from Episode 29, where three different narrators brought you their interpretation of the one poem.

This time, we decided to try something a little different. I asked the narrators of the poems to read the poem for you three different times in different interpretive styles. I agree with Barry that understanding and appreciation of poetry improves with repetition, and I’m curious to hear what you think about our new approach. Let us know on our forum!

Finally this week, Cast of Wonders is pleased to present Empires of the Red Dawn by Jack Murphy. Jack just turned 18, and this piece is his first professional sale. Congratulations, Jack! We hope to see more submissions from him in the future.

Jack says he’s not very good at biographies, so instead he gave us three individual words: “Transient, Pantheon, Objuration”. Ooo, good choices – I love it when I have to look up a new word!

Your narrator for Empires is my good friend Adam Black. Adam is a recovering neuroscience student, although he’s working hard to relapse again. He enjoys reading, bicycling, and shouting into microphones, the last of which he sometimes records. He doesn’t have a public web presence yet, which makes him sad, so he will probably change that soon.

The Little Wonders theme, “Neversus”, is by Alexye Nov, available at

Read Along

Golly: Click here to read the text of the story

Empires of the Red Dawn: Click here to read the text of the story

An Alchemists Limit: Click here to read the text of the story

Episode 87: Little Wonders 1

Authors: Kara Hartz and Eric Juneau
Narrators: Marguerite Kenner and Dave Robison

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Hello everyone! Surprise! Today, July 21st, is the two year anniversary of Cast of Wonders. We couldn’t be prouder, and to celebrate we’re debuting a new type of episode. You’re listening to the very first Little Wonders, a collection of flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme or genre. We’re going to start things off nice and easy with a pair of science fiction shorts.

Up first, we have Immersion by Kara Hartz. Kara writes and lives in my old stomping grounds, Northern California, with the support of her husband and children and despite the attentions of her cats. She loves Science Fiction and Fantasy because she is drawn to incredible ideas. You can find her blogging sporadically here.

Our second story this week is Influx Capacitor by Eric Juneau. Eric is a 31-year-old software engineer living in Minnesota with his wife and two daughters. His hobbies include writing, video games, reading, and eating as much barbecue as he can find. Huh, we have a lot in common! He blogs about his quest to become a ‘capital-A’ Author here. Recently, Eric has started a new fiction project chronicling a healing mage’s experience in World of Warcraft, available here.

For your narrator, we bring you the audio stylings of podcaster extraordinaire Dave Robinson, from Roundtable Podcast. Dave embarked on his life mission to be an Agent of Awesomeness armed only with a theater degree. He had learned at an early age that – if you ACTED like you knew what you were doing – people tended to believe you.

This principal has resulted in most of his employment, from graphic designer, to software instructor, from event coordinator to web applications developer. Throughout it all, however, theater remained a constant, and he would trod the boards with any performing troupe that would have him.
When podcasting became all the rage, he discovered a new venue to ply his not inconsiderable talents… audio fiction. Since arriving on the scene, he’s had the privilege of lending his voice to numerous dramatic readings for such notables as StarshipSofa, The Drabblecast, Tales to Terrify, and the trifecta of Escapepod, Pseudopod, and Podcastle. He’s thrilled to add Cast of Wonders to his performance credits.

Our lovely new Little Wonders theme, “Neversus”, is from Alexye Nov, available at

Read Along

Immersion: Click here to read the text of the story

Influx Capacitor: Click here to read the text of the story