Posts Tagged ‘Cast of Wonders’

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Cast of Wonders 327: Memories of Mirrored Worlds

Show Notes

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Memories of Mirrored Worlds

by Barbara A. Barnett

At midnight on her ninth birthday, Alison Marie was crowned Queen of the Nightlands; she decreed that flowers should glow in the dark and that bats should dine with her at supper. At midnight on her tenth birthday, she was named Keeper of the Secret Word, which she whispered to her trusted steed, a giant frog who galloped through the moors. On her eleventh birthday, Alison Marie was worshipped as Goddess of the Sky. She spread her dragon wings each night and breathed the stars to life with fire. But at midnight on her twelfth birthday, Alison Marie became the daughter of a widowed man, and she made no more visits to her other lives. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 326: Forgiveness


Forgiveness

by Leah Cypess

The day Michael came back to school, I was still wearing long sleeves.

Not because of the bruises. That’s what everyone thought, but the truth was, the bruises had faded weeks before. I didn’t know why I was wearing them myself, until Michael slunk through the front doors, and everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to stare at him. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 325: Banned Books Week – The Librarian

Show Notes

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The Librarian

by Maria Haskins

The library hadn’t been there the day before, Ella was sure of it. That patch of dirt beside the rusting piles of spaceship debris outside the refugee camp had been bare, with nothing but weeds and rocks on it. Now, there was a library there. She knew it was a library because it said LIBRARY right on it, painted in glittery letters. The word was spelled out in the twelve most commonly spoken languages and dialects in the camp. Ella recognized them all from school, even if she could only read and understand five of them. .

The building was small and rectangular. It looked like a brightly painted version of one of the metal shipping containers Ella would see at the spaceport when she went there with her friends to scavenge for leavings. Of course, you weren’t supposed to go scavenging there, but everyone did anyway. You could find anything there – scraps of metal and junky electronics for the trader, even food, if you were lucky.

Ella squinted at the library’s sign. She was supposed to come straight home after school, but school had ended early since the power went out, and Pappa wouldn’t notice she was gone until later. And who had ever heard of anyone offering books around here? Better take the chance when it was offered.

Ella opened the door and stepped inside. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 324: Banned Books Week – The Sound of Her Voice


The Sound of Her Voice

by Jennifer Hykes

I saw her van as I turned the corner by the convenience store.  It was exactly as I remembered it: the coat of green paint cracked and faded now, but the logo unmistakable.  It was burned into my memory like a brand.

I moved before I even realized my old instincts were kicking in, pressing myself against the brick wall and slowing my breathing so the sound would not give me away.

Every nerve in my body tingled.  I watched. I waited. (Continue Reading…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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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…)

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Cast of Wonders 318: Presumed Dead (Part 5)

Show Notes

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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.

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    Cast of Wonders 317: Presumed Dead (Part 4)

    Show Notes

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    Presumed Dead (Part 4)

    by Rick Kennett

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