Hello everyone, and welcome to our last episode of 2015. To round out the holidays and the year, we have one more steampunk winter tale for you. Make yourself a lovely beverage, curl up in front of the fire or under a cozy blanket, and enjoy the Dickensian prose of ‘Marley and Cratchit’ by David Steffen.
David is a software engineer and writer living in Minnesota. He is the editor of Diabolical Plots, a zine on the topic of speculative fiction which publishes, among other things, original fiction as of this year and Best Of fiction podcast lists. Check out the 2014 list he created for us.
David is the administrator of the Submission Grinder, a web tool for writers to track their submissions and find markets for their work. His fiction has been published in Escapepod, Daily Science Fiction, and previously here on Cast of Wonders, among others.
David is also the editor of the Long List Anthology, a collection 21 stories collected from this year’s Hugo Awards lengthier nomination list. You don’t need to be familiar with the controversy surrounding this year’s awards to enjoy this excellent collection of tales from all corners of the world.
And what would a steampunk Christmas tale be without the Radio 4 stylings of Ian Stuart? Ian is a writer and performer from Northern England, and a regular and enthusiastic narrator for Pseudopod. He’s done voice-over work ranging from corporate videos to audio museum guides. You can find him at Voices, on Twitter or at his blog.
Thanks for listening, and from all of us we wish you the merriest of holidays and a happy new year!
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
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 MusicAlley.com.