Genres:

Cast of Wonders 323: Banned Books Week – “A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”


“A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies”

by Alix E. Harrow

GEORGE, JC—THE RUNAWAY PRINCE—J FIC GEO 1994

You’d think it would make us happy when a kid checks out the same book a zillion times in a row, but actually it just keeps us up at night.

The Runaway Prince is one of those low-budget young adult fantasies from the mid-nineties, before J.K. Rowling arrived to tell everyone that magic was cool, printed on brittle yellow paper. It’s about a lonely boy who runs away and discovers a Magical Portal into another world where he has Medieval Adventures, but honestly there are so many typos most people give up before he even finds the portal.

Not this kid, though. He pulled it off the shelf and sat cross-legged in the juvenile fiction section with his grimy red backpack clutched to his chest. He didn’t move for hours. Other patrons were forced to double-back in the aisle, shooting suspicious, you-don’t-belong-here looks behind them as if wondering what a skinny black teenager was really up to while pretending to read a fantasy book. He ignored them.

The books above him rustled and quivered; that kind of attention flatters them. (Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Cast of Wonders 322: Banned Books Week – Your Words There for the World to See


Your Words There for the World to See

by Aimee Ogden

The school library doesn’t have the book you want. No surprise there. There are a few dozen volumes on its shelves; plenty of other books are out there in the cloud, but the part of the cloud with your book is partitioned off too. It’s in the Premium Access tier and a Title X school in Ass-Nowhere, Wisconsin is not exactly Premium Access quality. The librarian apologizes for that, but apologies don’t put the words in your hands. (Continue Reading…)

Genres: ,

Cast of Wonders 321: The Penelope Qingdom


The Penelope Qingdom

by Aidan Moher

It was during the particularly frozen-solid Prince George winter of ’91, a few days after the new neighbours had arrived, that I first stumbled into the Penelope Qingdom. (Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Cast of Wonders 320: Presumed Dead (Part 7)

Show Notes

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Presumed Dead (Part 7)

by Rick Kennett

The Xenoid hadn’t tried to cover up evidence of its theft. (Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Cast of Wonders 319: Presumed Dead (Part 6)

Show Notes

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Presumed Dead (Part 6)

by Rick Kennett

For a moment she puzzled over why the plants up ahead had all turned white and were sparkling under the sun. (Continue Reading…)

On Inclusion and Artemis Rising: An Apology


It has come to our attention, through multiple channels, that the current incarnation of Artemis Rising 5 has caused harm to members of our community.

Thanks to Bogi Takács’s eloquent explanation of how to bring more voices to the table, we are examining the best way to repair the trust we’ve broken. We appreciate the conversations happening on various platforms and thank you for allowing us to participate in them.

Artemis Rising’s aims have always been to highlight the work of underrepresented genre authors and provide training and progression opportunities to junior members of the Escape Artist family who are members of traditionally marginalized groups. The underrepresented groups that we’ve chosen to focus on have changed over time and are likely to continue to change from year to year.

This year, we failed to consider the effect this change would have on people who were previously eligible to submit but were not eligible this year.

Artemis Rising’s submission portals will remain open and stories are being read while we consider how best to move forward, but we feel it is imperative to urgently acknowledge our mistake.

We apologize for the exclusion and hurt caused by this year’s call. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received; to everyone who voiced their objections, thank you for giving us a chance to correct our error. We hear you.

Escape Artists editors

Escape Pod: S.B. Divya & Mur Lafferty
PseudoPod: Shawn Garrett & Alex Hofelich
PodCastle: Jen R. Albert & Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali (and assistant editor Setsu Uzume)
Cast of Wonders: Marguerite Kenner

The 2018 Artemis Rising editors

Escape Pod: S. Kay Nash & Laura Pearlman
PseudoPod: Cecilia Dockins & Tonia Thompson
PodCastle: Krystal Claxton & Elora Gatts
Cast of Wonders: Amy Brennan & Karissa Sluss

Genres:

Cast of Wonders 318: Presumed Dead (Part 5)

Show Notes

Buy the full-length novel from Amazon!


Presumed Dead (Part 5)

by Rick Kennett

The map in her hand now showed only the blue-green of the sea. Apparently there was nothing but ocean ahead for the foreseeable future.

“Plain sailing form now on, Lazarus,” she said, turning to look for the spider, but could see it nowhere. (Continue Reading…)

The Cast of Wonders Flash Fiction Contest is here!


With a whisper of magic, the portal begins to open. Travel through, fellow wanderers, and tell us of the stories you find.

Submissions for Cast of Wonders’ Flash Fiction Contest will run from September 1-30, 2018, via Submittable.

To be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:

  • The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.
  • The story must adhere to the general Cast of Wonders Submission Guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to evoke a sense of wonder and be appropriate for a YA audience. We aim for a 12-17 age range: that means sophisticated, non-condescending stories with wide appeal, and without explicit sex, violence or pervasive obscene language.
  • The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the Escape Artists forum, so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.
  • The person submitting the story must be the story’s author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previously published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) may be fine, assuming doing so isn’t in violation of copyright, obviously. This is a grey area – a retelling of a classic tale, or popular culture references, are likely to be fine, but other forms of fanfiction would probably not be appropriate. If in doubt, please send an email to katherine@escapeartists.net with the subject line “QUERY” and ask before submitting.
  • If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please send an email to katherine@escapeartists.net with the subject line “QUERY” and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest, or that are under submission elsewhere.
  • The story must be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.
  • Each author may submit only ONE story.
  • Included in the body of the submission must be the title and the text. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes. Please also be sure to include an email address!
  • Authors under 18 are very welcome and encouraged to submit their work. By submitting, any author under 18 asserts they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian with whom Escape Artists, Inc. can enter into a contract on behalf of the author.
  • Winners will be paid $30, making this a pro sale of at least six cents a word.
  • Please blog, share on Facebook, tweet, email, send owls, telephone, text, light smoke signals, and otherwise get the word out.

    Genres:

    Cast of Wonders 317: Presumed Dead (Part 4)

    Show Notes

    Buy the full-length novel from Amazon!


    Presumed Dead (Part 4)

    by Rick Kennett

    Cy looked into her palm and said, “Mountains?” (Continue Reading…)

    Genres:

    Cast of Wonders 316: Presumed Dead (Part 3)

    Show Notes

    Buy the full-length novel from Amazon!


    Presumed Dead (Part 3)

    by Rick Kennett

    Night came quickly in these latitudes, dropping out of the late afternoon sky like a black weight. Though she thought it silly she didn’t much like the idea of coming across spiders in the dark. Not that she imagined there was a posse after her or that she might be ambushed. But the notion was hard to shake. The spiders were an unknown quantity. (Continue Reading…)

    Genres:

    Cast of Wonders 315: Presumed Dead (Part 2)

    Show Notes

    Buy the full-length novel from Amazon!


    Presumed Dead (Part 2)

    by Rick Kennett

    Half stumbling, almost tumbling, she made her way down the slope to the plain. The need for shelter and overwhelming curiosity had replaced the urgings of caution. (Continue Reading…)

    Genres:

    Cast of Wonders 314: Presumed Dead (Part 1)

    Show Notes

    Buy the full-length novel from Amazon!


    Presumed Dead (Part 1)

    by Rick Kennett

    Days later, while sheltering from rain that had lost its novelty, she decided the end had begun when George McClusky said, “So what do you suppose that is?”

    That had been the moment. Everything leading up to it may have had a bearing, may have been a primer, but hadn’t been the trigger. Not the utter mental void of floating in space with only the whisper of her rebreather for company. Not when the McMurdo Sound disintegrated around her. Not even the battle itself. (Continue Reading…)