The Young Adult Fiction Podcast


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Narrated by Heather Amy Robinson

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Show Notes

This week we present The Phobos Monolith, by Preston Dennett.

Preston has worked as a carpet cleaner, fast-food worker, data entry clerk, bookkeeper, landscaper, singer, actor, writer, radio host, television consultant, teacher, UFO researcher, ghost hunter and more. But his true love has always been speculative fiction and he’s decided to see if he could make his dream of becoming an SF writer come true. The result has been a string of sales with stories appearing or forthcoming in lots of places, including Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Perihelion, Black Treacle and several other venues. He has also earned eight honorable mentions in the Writers of the Future Contest. He currently resides in Reseda, California where he spends his days looking for new ways to pay his bills and his nights exploring the farthest edges of the universe.

Preston has several stories about to be published in different magazines, and a pair of books about UFOs forthcoming from Schiffer Publishing. You can learn more about his work at his website.

Your narrator is Amy Robinson. Amy is a voiceover actress and character talent, who has recently read several excellent stories for EscapePod, including Black Swan Oracle, Immersion, and The Heart of the Machine. We’ve got her contact details for you, including Twitter and Facebook, as well.

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

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Narrated by Heather Welliver

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Show Notes

UPDATE: Due to a recording error the story has been temporarily removed. We’ll have the corrected version back up for you as soon as possible.

Our story this week is Into The Forever Place by Luke Thomas.

Luke is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. He writes for both young adult readers and old people. This story is from Luke’s series of YA stories and novels set in a universe closely based on William Blake’s epic poetry. This story first ran in the December 2012 issue of The Devilfish Review as Into the Forever Land. One of Luke’s novels, set in the same world as this story, is currently on submission to publishers, and we wish him all the best in finding it a home! Luke can be found on Twitter @LRRThomas, where he installed a second ‘R’ in his initials to enhance the quality of all his fantasy writing.

Your narrator is Heather Welliver. Heather is a singer, narrator and voice actor. She has dozens of recording credits to her name, including Cybrosis by P.C. Haring, and Chasing the Bard by Philippa Ballantine. You may also recognize her voice from the podcast universe. She’s appeared on Transmissions From Beyond as well as all three of the EA podcasts, EscapPod, Podcastle, and Pseudopod. You can find out more on her website, or follow her on Twitter.

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

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Narrated by Pete Milan

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Show Notes

This week we present Robots Don’t Cry by George Edwards.

George owns a smartphone repair shop in Tipton, Indiana and says he earns working capital by writing papers for college students. He’s an anarcho-capitalist in the tradition of economist Murray Rothbard, who’s known for playing a key role in developing the underpinnings of modern libertarianism. George’s influences include Orwell, Rand and Huxley. He’s also a former political blogger, but decided that illustrating tyranny through fiction is more his style. You can find George on Facebook.

Your narrator is Pete Milan, whom you may remember from Episode 108, The Cardinals of Ever-June, which ran last year.

Pete is a writer, narrator, audio drama producer and voice actor, among other things. He has appeared on both Pseudopod and Escape Pod, as wells as previously here at Cast of Wonders. He also appears regularly in several audio drama podcasts from Pendant Audio, as well as their new prestige production, Phantom Canyon, available from iTunes, Audible and Amazon. While you’re there, look for the audiobooks he’s narrated, including Hugh Monn: Private Detective and Sentinels: When Strikes The Warlord.

At the moment, he’s writing a novel with four other people, which he does not recommend doing. At all. For more information, visit him at his website.

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

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Narrated by MK Hobson

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Show Notes

Our episode this week is Learning the Game by Michael Haynes. Michael lives in Central Ohio where he helps keep IT systems running for a large corporation during the day and puts his characters through the wringer by night. An ardent short story reader and writer, Michael has had stories appear in venues such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Daily Science Fiction. He’s the Co-Editor at Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi and an Associate Editor for the Unidentified Funny Objects series of anthologies. We’ll put links to his webpage and Twitter handle in the show notes.

Your narrator this week is the always-fabulous MK Hobson. MK’s novel The Warlock’s Curse, the sequel to The Native Star, is now available on Audible, narrated by Pat Young. You can learn more on her website, Demimonde.

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

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It’s Allen’s turn to be on vacation – we’ll see you next week!

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Hello everyone! Marguerite is on vacation this week and next. Allen has a great book recommendation for you – check it out!

Narrated by Mur Lafferty

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Show Notes

This week we present The Perfect Prom, by Kat Otis. Kat lives a peripatetic life with a pair of cats who enjoy riding in the car as long as there’s no country music involved. Her fiction has appeared in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress XXVI. Her story What Memories are Made Of will be out in Daily Science Fiction this month. She can be found online or on Twitter.

The story is narrated for you by the one, the only, the amazing Mur Lafferty. Mur is the 2013 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She’s been called one of the worst-kept secrets in science fiction and fantasy publishing and her latest book, The Shambling Guides 2: Ghost Train to New Orleans should be on your To Be Read Stack. When Mur isn’t writing urban fantasy, superhero satire, afterlife mythology, and Christmas stories she’s podcasting for the likes of Angry Robot and her own award-winning I Should Be Writing. And as if all that wasn’t enough, in January this year she graduated from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine with an MFA in popular fiction. Her website is Murverse, and you can follow her on Twitter as @MightyMur.

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

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Narrated by Elie Hirschman

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Show Notes

This week we present The Clasp, by Jarod K Anderson. Jarod used to teach English at Ohio University. Currently, he works at a foundation that raises money for a wide range of college scholarships. He writes about education by day and ghosts, monsters, and madmen by night. It’s a good arrangement. Jarod’s work has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, Electric Spec, The Colored Lens, Stupefying Stories, and elsewhere. Find him online here.

For aspiring writers, Jarod and his wife Leslie J. Anderson co-wrote the book Inklings: 300 Starts, Plots, and Challenges to inspire your Horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy Stories. Inklings is currently available at Amazon.com. Jarod and Leslie also have a forthcoming project from Sterling Publishing titled 100 Prompts for Science Fiction Writers which will be available in late 2014.

The Clasp is narrated for you by Elie Hirschman. Elie’s narrated for the triumvirate of Escape Artists podcasts: Podcastle, Escape Pod and Pseudopod. You may also remember him from Episode 106, our Little Wonders collection The Journey, where he narrated Treasure Hunter. Elie has been dabbling in voice acting for the past ten years, with several online production companies including Darker Projects, Dream Realm 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.

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

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Narrated by Melissa Bugaj

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Show Notes

This week we present Old People Rules, by Holly Schofield. Holly travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of a prairie farmhouse and her writing cabin on the Canadian west coast. Her work has been published in Perihelion and AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. She also has stories in three anthologies: Tesseracts 17, Oomph: A Little Super Goes A Long Way, and The Future Embodied. She is very pleased to have work forthcoming in Lightspeed’s Women Destroy Science Fiction issue which will be out in June and hopes that the stories there will speak to the unique experiences and abilities of teenage girls. You can find out more on Light Speed’s site under their Special Issues section. For more of Holly’s work, see her wesbite.

Your narrator is 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. Recently, she’s taken 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.

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

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Narrated by M K Hobson

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Show Notes

This week we present Taxidermy and Other Dangerous Professions by JR Johnson. JR grew up in the folded Appalachian hills, where she learned to love Fall, blueberries straight from the bush, and the stream beneath the willows near her house. The fact that Fall is inevitably followed by Winter, that picking berries means crossing paths with bears, and that the stream was laced with dioxins may also have had some impact on her outlook. For more on her latest projects visit her website.

Cast of Wonders is thrilled to welcome back your narrator this week, MK Hobson. You may remember her from my staff pick for 2013, The Giant Who Dreamed of Summer. M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off all social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such as this fine enterprise and Podcastle. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting. She assures anyone who might be interested that, when she does finally decide to re-engage with the public sphere, she will bring with her several new stories, perhaps a novel or two, and some heinously sick lats.

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

Read Along

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Narrated by Kate Baker

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Show Notes

A screenwriter, novelist, and the award-winning author of over one hundred short stories, Matt Wallace spent a decade traveling the western hemisphere as a professional wrestler and combat instructor before retiring to write full-time. He now resides in Los Angeles and bleeds exclusively on the blank page.

Matt has been extremely productive the last couple of years. His current project is Slingers, a five ebook series in progress now. Book two is now available on Amazon for Kindle for $2.99 or you can go to Matt-Wallace.com and get books one and two direct from the author for a buck a piece. And let’s just say if you do read them, you may recognize a character or two…

This story, Sundae, is also available on Amazon for Kindle for 99 cents.

Matt is also contributing a world to Storium, the on-line storytelling game, which is Kickstarting now.

Kate Baker’s amazing voice should come as a welcome return treat to our regular listeners. She narrated the excellent A Song for the Season last year in Episode 70. Kate is the Podcast Director and Nonfiction Editor for Hugo award-winning Clarkesworld Magazine. You can find a list of her narrations at her website.

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

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Authors: Jessica Holscher, Charity Tahmaseb, Michael Strickland and Alexandra Grunberg
Narrators: John Cmar, Chloe Yates, Big Anklevich, and Rish Outfield

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Show Notes

This is Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. This episode we bring you the conclusion of our flash fiction month: Trope Twists!


Our first twisted trope — and the story which inspired this Little Wonders collection — is The Hero by Jessica Holscher. Jessica is a freelance writer in Oregon who loves to write fun fantasy stories. She has two novels published by ASJ Publishing: Legend of the Phoenix and Kenneth Randall: Grower. She’s on Twitter as @jessholscher, and you can find out more about her on her Facebook page.

The Hero is narrated by the extremely talented John Cmar. John is an infectious diseases physician in Baltimore who 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 at Saint Nickanuck.


Next we have The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty by Charity Tahmaseb. Charity 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. Her novel, The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading (written with co-author Darcy Vance), was a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback pick. Her short speculative fiction has appeared in the Unidentified Funny Objects and Coffee anthologies, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere.
Next month, her YA novelette Just a Matter of Time will appear in Volume 3 of Sucker Literary Magazine. She’s on Twitter as @geekgirlx2, and her blog is Writing Wrongs.

Your narrator is Chloë Yates. Chloë has written several pieces for the excellent Fox Spirit Books, and her latest story, ‘Well Our Feeble Frame He Knows’, closes out Guardians in their Fox Pocket series. More of her work will be included in several upcoming anthologies, including ‘Tits Up in Wonderland’, which will round off the Missing Monarchs Fox Pocket and can also be heard in Episode 16 of Dark Fiction Magazine.

As well as ‘All Things Fall’ in the upcoming anthology Girl At The End of the World, Vol 1.
She writes humorous, if somewhat macabre, poetry. You can contact her through her website, while she wanders through Twitter under the sobriquet @shloobee.

She’s currently working on a collection of short stories for Fox Spirit and on her first novel. English born, she lives in the middle of Switzerland with her bearded paramour, Mr Y, and their disapproving dog, Miss Maudie.


Michael Strickland’s Bigfeet is next. Michael has published a handful of other short stories in small indie outlets. In addition to Bigfeet, his story Pale Green Pants — inspired by What Was I Scared Of? in Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches and Other Stories — recently appeared in the anthology Green Eggs and Horror. By day, Michael wrangles words as a professional copywriter, and you can find him online here.

Michael says this story was created when a friend challenged him to reduce a screenplay idea into a flash story under 300 words.

Regular listeners of Cast of Wonders will recognize our next two narrators, the podcasting duo of Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield from the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. Dunesteef features genre stories brought to you as fullcast audio productions created by some of the most talented producers in the podisphere. After each story, Big and Rish treat you to scintillating, thought provoking, and often mind-numbing conversation…oh, sorry, I meant mind-opening…opening?…mind-expanding maybe…conversation related to the day’s story and other geek-centric topics. Check it out!


To bring our twisted tropes to a close we present Alexandra Grunberg’s Jack and the Griffin Eggs.

Alexandra is a New York City based author and actress. Her work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Perihelion Science Fiction, and here at Cast of Wonders in episode 106, our Little Wonders collection “The Journey” with Treasure Hunter.

Her story Any Ending won third place in Fiction Vortex’s August Monthly Contest and her story Finale in Blue won third place in their October Horror Contest. She is currently writing a web series, HOUSED, in which she will also be appearing as a lead character. You can find links to her stories at her website.

Rish Outfield’s prior narrations for Cast of Wonders include episode 91, “Open 28 Hours” and the chilling “Cosmetic Procedures” from episode 69. We’re thrilled to have him back.


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

Read Along

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

The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty: Click here to read the text of the story

Bigfeet: Click here to read the text of the story

Jack and the Griffin Eggs: Click here to read the text of the story

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