Posts Tagged ‘Banned Books Week’

Text Against Tyranny: Banned Books Week 2017


There have always been times when facts are questioned and truths threatened. When reality is malleable, and people’s opinions are not. When freedom becomes an excuse for persecution, and we’re told to fear the faces of our friends.

September 24 to September 30 is Banned Books Week, an annual international event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information. To celebrate, Cast of Wonders is continuing its tradition of holding a specific submission call for new YA fiction to air that week.

2017’s theme is Text Against Tyranny: the stories some would silence, and the power of literature, in all its forms, to enlighten humanity’s darkest hours.

What We’re Looking For

It’s said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start believing it – stories are no exception.

In times of seismic change, the stories that matter are the ones that enrich, inspire and support us… or simply give us the strength to carry on.  We’re looking for stories of survival in difficult times, when being true to yourself can be the most dangerous choice you make.  Stories of protest – subtle or overt. We want stories that have the courage and will to change the lives and worlds of their characters… and our own.  Send us unheard voices in unexpected places — tales that transform, and truths that define.

The stories we’re looking for might not have happy endings. Sometimes it’s the journey that matters, or the path forged for others to follow. Unknowable splattery horror and slapstick comedic romps will be hard sells. Stories that focus on silencing, marginalizing or suppressing the rights of others will be summarily rejected. Religious themes are welcome but must not present as dogmatic. Political themes are strongly encouraged – soapboxes are not.

You can find detailed submission guidelines, timeline, and previous year’s stories on our Banned Books Week page.

Episode 227: Staff Pick 2016 – Problematic by Brian Hurrel


• Narrated by Tatiana Grey
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• A Cast of Wonders original!
• Discuss this story on our forum
• For a list of all our stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia page
• Come visit us on Facebook and Twitter

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge, plan the year ahead and highlight some of our favourite episodes. Each week in January a different member of the Cast of Wonders crew will present their favorite story of 2016.

We hope you enjoy assistant editor Dani Daly’s favorite story from 2016, Problematic by Brian Hurrel, narrated by Tatiana Grey. The story originally aired September 27, 2016 as Episode 215.


brian-hurrelBrian Lawrence Hurrel is a lifelong science fiction fan, and is especially fond of Golden Age stories from the forties and fifties. His fiction has appeared in the science journal Nature and magazines such as Daily Science Fiction and Bete Noir. A former high school English and History teacher, he now makes a living as a technical writer and communications consultant. His previous occupations over the years include machine assembler, carpet installer, cab driver, and US Marine. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

 

tatiana-greyTatiana Grey is a critically acclaimed actress of stage, screen, and the audio booth. She has been nominated for dozens of fancy awards but hasn’t won a single damned thing. She went to NYU and lives in Brooklyn, New York. YOu can follow her online or on Twitter.

 

 


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

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Episode 216: Banned Books Week – This Story Begins With You by Rachael K. Jones


• Narrated by Jen R. Albert
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• A Cast of Wonders original!
• Discuss this story on our forum
• For a list of all our stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia page
• Come visit us on Facebook and Twitter

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Rachael K. JonesRachael K. Jones grew up in various cities across Europe and North America, picked up (and mostly forgot) six languages, an addiction to running, and a couple of degrees. Now she writes speculative fiction in Athens, Georgia, where she lives with her husband. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in many venues including Shimmer, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, EscapePod, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and The Drabblecast. She is a SFWA member and a secret android. Follow her on online or on Twitter.

 

 

jen-r-albertJen R. Albert is an entomologist, writer of science fiction and fantasy, gamer, and (in her own words) all around geek. She is co-editor at PodCastle and submissions editor at Uncanny. Her first story appeared in Mad Scientist Journal in June 2015. You can follow her online or on Twitter.

 

 

 


The Comic Book Legal Defence Fund is a non-profit dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium and is an annual sponsor of Banned Books Week. Founded in 1986, the CBLDF has managed and paid for the legal defense of artists, worked with libraries to resist challenged to comics and graphic novels, and undertaken advocacy work against unconstitutional proposed legitlation at the state and Federal level.


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

Read along with the text of the story.

Episode 215: Banned Books Week – Problematic by Brian Lawrence Hurrel


• Narrated by Tatiana Grey
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Banned Books Weeks 2016 photograph courtesy of Jeremy Carter
• A Cast of Wonders original!
• Discuss this story on our forum
• For a list of all our stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia page
• Come visit us on Facebook and Twitter

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

brian-hurrelBrian Lawrence Hurrel is a lifelong science fiction fan, and is especially fond of Golden Age stories from the forties and fifties. His fiction has appeared in the science journal Nature and magazines such as Daily Science Fiction and Bete Noir. A former high school English and History teacher, he now makes a living as a technical writer and communications consultant. His previous occupations over the years include machine assembler, carpet installer, cab driver, and US Marine. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and son. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

 

tatiana-greyTatiana Grey is a critically acclaimed actress of stage, screen, and the audio booth. She has been nominated for dozens of fancy awards but hasn’t won a single damned thing. She went to NYU and lives in Brooklyn, New York. YOu can follow her online or on Twitter.

 

 

 


Learn more about The Freedom to Read Foundation, an advocacy group that deals with a wide range of issues affecting our freedom of speech and our right to access information. A growing part of their mission is to educate librarians, library patrons, and the general public about issues related to the freedom to read and our right to access information.


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

Read along with the text of the story.

Episode 214: Banned Books Week – The Price of Stories by Shannon Connor Winward


• Narrated by Katherine Inskip
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Banned Books Weeks 2016 photograph courtesy of Jeremy Carter
• A Cast of Wonders original!
• Discuss this story on our forum
• For a list of all our stories, authors and narrators, visit our Wikia page
• Come visit us on Facebook and Twitter


Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

shannon-connon-winwardShannon Connor Winward is the author of Undoing Winter from Finishing Line Press. Her poems and stories appear in Analog, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, Star*Line, Flash Fiction Online, The Pedestal Magazine, Gargoyle and PANK, and have been nominated, placed, or earned mention for many nifty awards. In between writing, parenting, and other madness, Shannon is also an officer for the Science Fiction Poetry Association, a poetry editor for Devilfish Review, and founding editor of Riddled with Arrows Literary Journal (set to debut in early 2017). Learn more on her website.

 

 

 

Katherine InskipKatherine Inskip, assistant editor of Cast of Wonders, teaches astrophysics for a living and spends her spare time populating the universe with worlds of her own. She is addicted to chocolate and Japanese logic puzzles. You can follow her on Twitter or her website.

 

 

 

 


Learn more about Stop Hate and their work to challenge all forms of hate crime and discrimination based on any aspect of an individual’s identity.


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

Read along with the text of the story.

Episode 138: Things We Leave Behind by Alex Shvartsman


Narrated by Alex Shvartsman

Listen above or download here.

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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