The Young Adult Fiction Podcast featuring tales of the fantastic!


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Narrated by Barry J. Northern

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This week’s installment in our annual horror story collection is Marrow by Mav Skye. Mav believes scarecrows have souls. They are rebels on poles, waiting their time to rise up as one and take over the world. In her spare time, Mav writes scary tales up in the attic of her hundred year old home. The stories are usually for adults, because adults like to be scared too! But this tale isn’t written for adults. This one is just for you, dear listener, and especially for Thor, Moses and Helena. Mav is the author of Supergirls, The Undistilled Sky, and a forthcoming horror novel, Wanted: Single Rose. You can find her online at her website, or on Twitter.

The story is read for you, at special request from Mav, by our very own artist and producer Barry J. Northern.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Authors: Beth Cato and Shawn Bailey
Narrators: Dave Thompson and Lizzie

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Show Notes

This week we bring you another pair of stories about endings, starting with Reading Time by Beth Cato. Beth is the author of The Clockwork Dagger, a steampunk fantasy novel just released from Harper Voyager. Her short fiction can be found in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, and EscapePod ran her excellent Red Dust and Dancing Horses last week. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Her website is BethCato.com, and from there you can find links to her presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

The story is read for you by one of the cornerstones of fiction podcasting, the Easter Werewolf himself Dave Thompson, the host and co-editor of PodCastle. He’s narrated stories there, as well as EscapePod, Drabblecast, and here at Cast of Wonders. He’s also narrated Tim Pratt’s novel Briarpatch and Greg van Eekhout’s Norse Code, on sale at Audible. His stories have been published at EscapePod, Pseudopod, Drabblecast, and other cool places. He lives in Southern California with his lovely wife and three children, one of which I’m secretly convinced is Dave’s experiment in cloning technology.


Our final story this episode is A House in the Forest by Shawn Bailey. He sent me a pair of biographies to work from, for as he says like Hannibal, he’s incapable of turning that gaze inward. Shawn longs to change the world, but doesn’t want to interact with it in any way. He is also the leading spokesman behind a campaign against advertising, which he cannot seem to get off the ground. Shawn keeps a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg underneath his pillow to ward off the evil entities known as the hunger spirits. He is nomadic for eight months out of the year, and lives in the attics of unsuspecting home owners. The other four months, he is feral. These days he writes as often as he can, preferring for some reason small, enclosed spaces like his closet. He usually has the feeling that something really, really big is about to happen right as he finished the piece. And as soon as he’s finished, he spins around with the feeling someone is about to slap him from behind. He’s not sure why. So he writes today as he wrote then: furiously, under pressure and time constraints, and with love all around. His Novella Sorry Charlie is available on Amazon, and he’s working on a trilogy, the first volume of which is called The Village. You can check in on him at his website.

The story is narrated for you by Lizzie. She works in data visualisation, and her work hours are consumed with thinking about data, how it fits together and how to visualise it in a simple manner for others. To escape this she is a keen gamer, writer and reader vanishing off into fantasy worlds for hours at a time. She currently lives with her husband and dreams of a time when they might have space to own a cat or a dog.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

Reading Time

A House in the Forest

Authors: Natalia Theodoridou and Austin H. Gilkeson
Narrators: Katherine Inskip and Christiana Ellis

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Show Notes

It’s October, everyone. That means it’s time for our annual Halloween special. This year we’ve gone for a theme, presenting a collection of horror stories about endings, both figurative and literal. The dead and the undying. Spirits sea monsters. Apocalypses writ both large and small. Welcome to The End of the World.


We’ll start things off on the lighter side with two flash offerings. How about a nice warm bowl of soup to fortify yourself for the days ahead, with Of Pumpkin Soup and Other Demons, by Natalia Theodoridou. Natalia is a media and cultural studies scholar currently based in Portsmouth, UK. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Crossed Genres, and elsewhere. She is a Rhysling award nominee. She’s also a first reader for Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi, and next month the Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women will include her story The Eleven Holy Numbers of the Mechanical Soul. You can find her online as well as Twitter.

Pumpkin Soup is narrated for you by Katherine Inskip, another of my new friends from LonCon. Katherine weighs galaxies for a living, and builds worlds in her spare time. She is addicted to chocolate and Japanese logic puzzles. She’s not entirely new to podcasting and narrating fiction, but doesn’t have any projects to share. Yet…


The Ghost of Grammy Goneril is written by Austin H. Gilkeson. Austin is a Japanese government bureaucrat by day and a writer by night (and sometimes by lunch). His stories have appeared in Underneath the Juniper Tree and Spellbound. This story was originally published in the Halloween 2013 edition of Underneath the Juniper Tree. It was inspired by the Japanese Obon festival, and his memories of eating disgusting candy given to him by his otherwise loving grandparents. He is currently revising a novel-in-stories about the story’s main character, the wicked witch Mab Ipswich, and hopes to submit it soon. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son. You can find him on his blog and on Twitter as @osutein.

Your narrator is the wonderful Christiana Ellis, our own Nurse Withers from Camp Myth. Christiana is a writer and podcaster living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her comedic science fiction audiodrama, Space Casey, recently completed its second season, and her novel Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print, ebook, and as a free podcast audiobook. You can follow her on Twitter and Google+, and find everything she does at her website.


Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

Of Pumpkin Soup and Other Demons

The Ghosts of Grammy Goneril

The house-moving gremlins have hidden my microphone, and this week’s episode will be posted just as soon as I can brave the Cardboard Fortress for its safe return.

Thanks everyone!

Authors: James Vachowski, Charity Tahmaseb and Terry L. Mirll
Narrators: John Cmar, Princess Scientist and Dave Robison

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Show Notes

You’re listening to Little Wonders, our thematic flash fiction collections. This episode we bring you A Little Laughter.


To start things off, we bring you Continue? by Cast of Wonders alumnus James Vachowski. You may remember James from The Great Game, a multi-part story we ran in 2012. He works as a quality assurance technician for an independent traveling circus, where he strives to ensure that your next ride on the Cyclone is in full compliance with most, if not all, applicable state safety regulations. When he’s not living his dream of seeing the world from the parking lots of local shopping malls and Moose lodges, he writes fiction. You can find James surfing all sorts of corners of the social media space, including Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon, as well as his website.

To narrate this story, we welcome back the dulcet tones of podcasting’s favorite infectious diseases doctor, John Cmar. John splits his time between treating horrors such as syphilis, and molding the next generation of doctors, while repeatedly washing his hands in between. When not herding his five cats or going fanboy over the space endeavors of his wife Moon Ranger Laura, John infectious various podcast and radio projects with his voice. He is the Chief Medical Officer and Bad Doctor in Residence at his personal blog, where he consults and ruminates over all manner of things.


Our next story is The Girl With The Piccolo by Charity Tahmaseb. Charity was a part of our last Little Wonders collection, Trope Twists, with her story Sleeping Beauty. She also has one of my favorite bios.

Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She’s worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer. You can find her on Twitter at @geekgirlX2, and at her Writing Wrongs blog.

Your narrator for this story is a new friend I made at LonCon this year, Princess Scientist. She has a new blog you can check out at Creeper Gazette. And I’m hoping she does her video advent calendar again this year, so check out her site around December. While you’re there, ask her about her Gordon Ramsey theory…


Finally this episode, we’ve saved what may be the best for last with Some Assembly Required by Terry L. Mirll. Award-winning author Terry L. Mirll has written three novels, a novelette, and numerous short stories as well as non-fiction articles. Most recently, his short story Astrafugia took first place in science fiction for Writer’s Digest magazine’s Ninth Annual Popular Fiction Awards. A native Texan, he currently lives in Oklahoma with his wife and three daughters. “Some Assembly Required” is his first publication with us, and we hope to read many more. You can find Tim on Facebook.

Why do I say we saved the best for last? Because we asked Dave Robison to narrate the story for you, and he did so very much more than that. I won’t ruin the surprise, but you’re in for a real treat. Dave hardly needs an introduction in the wide world of podcasting, or to Cast of Wonders fans. In fact, Dave was involved in our very first Little Wonders collection, with Influx Capacitor. When he’s not busy with Writer’s Roundtable, he’s forwarding his life’s goal of being an Agent of Awesomeness armed only with a theater degree. Since arriving on the scene of audio fiction, 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. Say hello to him on Twitter when you get a chance.


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

Read Along

Continue?: Click here to read the text of the story

The Girl With the Piccolo: Click here to read the text of the story

Some Assembly Required: Click here to read the text of the story

Narrated by Alex Shvartsman

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Show Notes

Welcome, everyone, to our Banned Book Week special. Banned Book Week is an annual event every September that aims to raise awareness about censorship and to celebrate the right to read. Many local libraries and bookshops hold events to highlight and discuss the social, political and legal issues around literature. You can find out a lot more at the Banned Book Week website, or at another of my personal favorite websites, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, where you’ll find lots of resources including free posters for holding your own event.

To celebrate, Cast of Wonders is proud to present Things We Leave Behind, written and narrated by one of our veteran authors, Alex Shvartsman. You’ve heard Alex’s work previously in The Field Trip; You Bet, and our short Christmas tale Nuclear Family. Excellent stories, each.

Alex is a writer, editor, and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 60 of his short stories have appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Galaxy’s Edge and other venues. He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series of humorous science fiction and fantasy, which just released its third volume. His short story collection Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is forthcoming in February 2015. This collection’s title story was recently nominated for the WSFA Small Press Award. You can find Alex on Twitter or online.


Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Narrated by A. P. Clarke

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Show Notes

Our story this week is The Filigreed Cage by Krystal Claxton. Krystal writes speculative fiction in the sliver of time between raising a four-year old with her unreasonably awesome husband and being a full-time computer technician. She enjoys attending DragonCon in costume, science magazines, and feverishly researching whichever random topic has just piqued her interest. Keep up with her at her website, or on Twitter. Krystal has a few upcoming releases. Her story The Newsboy’s Last Stand is coming out in Unidentified Funny Objects 3 on October 1st and another story, Bitter Remedy was released in Plasma Frequency Magazine #13 earlier this month.

Your narrator for the story is Andrew Clarke. A. P. Clarke is a London-based artist who writes songs, tells stories about his cat, and runs the Nine Worlds Film Festival. He worries he does not have enough time to do all the important things in life, like drinking.


Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

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Narrated by Jeff Hite

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Show Notes

Our story this week is Flotsam by Rebecca Schwarz. Rebecca comes to us from Austin Texas where she’s and active member of the Slugtribe Writers’ Group and the Codex Online Writers’ Group. She has attended writers workshops with Paolo Bacigalupi, Cat Rambo and Alex Shvartsman. Her Work has appeared in Interzone, Bourbon Penn, and Daily Science Fiction and Flagship Magazine. You can find out more about Rebecca at her website, and you can follow her on Twitter.

Your narrator this week is Jeffrey Hite. Jeff is the head Slush Pile Wrangler here at Cast Of Wonders. He is also a writer from Western New York, and if you have heard his voice before it is probably from another great fiction magazine, Flagship Magazine, where you might have also heard this story. You can learn more about him at his website and you can follow him on Twitter.


Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

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Narrated by Paul Cram

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Show Notes

This week we bring you the conclusion of Jamie Mason’s Flowers For the Dead, narrated by Paul Cram. You can find the author’s and narrator’s biographies in the show notes of Episode 134.

We dedicate these episodes to the memories of Kimberly Proctor and Tyeshia Jones.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

Click here to read the text of the story

Narrated by Paul Cram

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This week we bring you part one of Flowers For The Dead by Jamie Mason.

Jamie is a Canadian sci-fi/fantasy writer whose short fiction has appeared in On Spec, Abyss & Apex, the Canadian Science Fiction Review and been anthologized in DEAD NORTH and FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN POST APOCALYPSE (Exile Editions, August 2014). His novel ECHO was published in 2011 and he has a forthcoming post-apocalyptic novel, THE BOOK OF ASHES from Permuted Press.

You may remember Jamie from Episode 48, The Malthus Alternative, which was Barry’s Staff Pick for 2013. Jamie lives on the beautiful Vancouver Island, and you can find out more about him at his website, Jamie Scribbles, or on Twitter.

The story is narrated for you by a new voice to Cast of Wonders, Paul Cram. Paul is an actor by trade. He’s been in dozens of articles, reviews and interviews in places like Chicago’s Screen Magazine, Fangoria.com, and the Horror Movie Podcast. When not acting Paul can either be glimpsed with his head in a book between the rows at the library, or running to look for loose railway spikes at an old train station. You can find him on Twitter and online.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

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Narrated by Adam Black

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Show Notes

This week we present A Well-Lit Dungeon by Mark Mills. A Cincinnati resident, Mark teaches composition and literature at Northern Kentucky University. He has published work at Tor.com and in Necrotic Tissue, Brain Harvest, Short Story America, Pill Hill Press, RuneWright, Aurora Wolf Press, and Bards and Sages Quarterly.

He’s also worked on and appeared in several local movies, including Evil Ambitions, Live Nude Shakespeare, Chickboxin’ Underground, Zombie Cult Massacre, No Second Chances, and April’s Fool. He currently is occupied with a large number of children, animals, and unpublished stories. His blog is here.

For your narrator this week we welcome back my good friend Adam Black. Adam has narrated two pieces for us before, the poem Empires of the Red Dawn in Episode 93, our second Little Wonders collection. As well as Episode 88, Dragon Art. Adam is also the voice of the golem Loam in our Parsec-award nominated serialized novella Camp Myth: Phoenix Watching by Chris Lewis Carter.

Adam is a recovering neuroscience student, although he’s working hard to relapse. He enjoys reading, bicycling, and shouting into microphones, the last of which he sometimes records. He still doesn’t have a public web presence, which makes me sad.


Starburst Magazine’s Bookworm Podcast.

Can We Watch It Again podcast.

Emma Thompson’s Donor’s Choose project.


Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

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Narrated by Alasdair Stuart

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Show Notes

This week we present The Collector by Jameyanne Fuller. Jameyanne writes fantasy and historical fiction and is usually buried under at least ten story ideas. She graduated from Kenyon College in May 2014, and in October she will be moving to Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she will teach English to high school students. Her story The Year of Salted Skies was the third runner-up for the 2014 Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. This is her first publication. She is particularly interested in depictions of family relationships and memory in fiction, and when she isn’t studying or writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, and playing with her Seeing Eye dog, Mopsy.

Your narrator this week is Alasdair Stuart. Alasdair is well known in podcasting circles: he’s the host of Pseudopod and co-hosts EscapePod, two of the three Escape Artists productions. He’s a prolific blogger, reviewer and genre journalist who’s work has appeared nearly everywhere: The Guardian, SFX, Film Divider, Bleeding Cool and many other geek sites. When he’s not doing all that, he’s writing DoctorWho roleplaying games for Cubicle Seven, or fiction with the likes of Dave Robison and Fox Spirit Books.

Alasdair can be found on Twitter and, almost as often, cooking, reading, watching or training in things.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

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