Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

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Cast of Wonders 336: Little Wonders 19 – Bittersweet Christmas

The Night Before Never

by Gerri Leen

Kris Kringle moved silently through the workshop, making sure nothing had been forgotten by the elves. Normally, they’d be starting their post-toy-making-frenzy party, but this year the group was more subdued, the carols on low, with no one making merry or wearing lampshades.

Kris sighed and lifted his hand in a wave as he passed the break room, but he didn’t go in.

Inventory.  Yes, inventory would take his mind in the direction it needed to go.

Toys?  Check.

Lumps of coal?  Check.

He peeked out the window.  Elves hooking up the reindeer?  Check.

Reindeer fat—but not too fat, they did have to fly—and happy?  Check.

Rudolph’s nose at full power?  Check.

As Kris moved from the workshop to the adjoining kitchen, he sniffed.  Apple pie baking, ready to eat when he got home?

No. (Continue Reading…)

Episode 185: Marley and Cratchit by David Steffen

Narrated by Ian Stuart
Audio production by Jeremy Carter

Originally published at Escapepod (December 2012)

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

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 SteffenDavid 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.

Ian StuartAnd 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

Read along with the text of the story.

Episode 184: Wine for Witches, Milk for Saints by Rachael K. Jones

Narrated by Kevin M. Hayes
Audio production by Jeremy Carter
Originally published in Intergalactic Medicine Show (November 2014)

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Rachael K. JonesWe ran Rachael K. Jones‘ full bio last week when she narrated Hat Trick by Beth Cato. So this week, let us tell you about some of her own work.

For example, we ran Rachael’s excellent Makeisha in Time as Episode 176. The story was originally published by the sadly soon-to-shutter Crossed Genres magazine, and then again on PodCastle narrated by the excellent K. Tempest Bradford.

But did you know Makeisha in Time was also one of the Top 100 podcast episodes featured on NPR’s new Or made the John Joseph Adams Notable list for 2015?

This is Rachael’s second year of professional publication, so her final year of eligibility for the Campbell Award. Please consider her when you’re making your best-of posts this year.

Kevin M. Hayes Wine for Witches, Milk for Saints is narrated by Kevin M. Hayes. Kevin has been reading science fiction since he was old enough to read, and has been writing it for almost as long. He is active in the Pittsburgh SFF organization, Parsec and helps put on Confluence, a genre fiction conference every year. He has had stories published in Six from Parsec and Triangulation as well as TV Gods and most recently in The Realm Beyond. He has narrated other stories for Pseudopod and, amazingly, has also published a few limericks. He lives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with the love of his life, some of her children and all of her cats.


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

Read along with the text of the story.

The next wave of semi-annual Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest has been announced, and this time around it’s science fiction! Learn more in the EA forums.

Episode 150: Little Wonders 7 – The Season of Goodwill

Authors: Emmalia Harrington and Jamie Lackey
Narrators: Anne Fortune and Marguerite Kenner

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

You’re listening to Little Wonders, our thematic flash fiction collections. This week we bring you our final episode for 2014, and lucky number 150 – a pair of stories for the inspired by the Season of Goodwill.

Our first offering is The Secret Ingredient Is by Emmalia Harrington. Emmalia is a writer and librarian who is making her first forays into publishing fiction. She adores fantasy, science fiction and other speculative works, as well as historical fiction and non-fiction. When she isn’t writing, she’s sewing, knitting, cooking or otherwise trying to keep her hands busy.

The story is served up for you by Anne-Louise Fortune, an actor and performer from Manchester. She also finds time to write scripts and the occasional audio drama, and yes, fanfic, as well as taking photographs at ‘geek events’ for Starburst Magazine. On Sundays Anne can be found being the eternally exasperated ‘Producer Al’ for The Bookworm podcast, a part of Fab Radio International. You can also find her on Twitter and follow her adventures as she conquers her fear of heights by learning aerial acrobatics!

Speaking of cozy, our second story is Jamie Lackey’s Christmas Lights. Jamie lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and cat. Her fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the Stoker Award-winning After Death… She’s a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Her short story collection, One Revolution, is available on Amazon. She’s currently editing the anthology Triangulation: Lost Voices, which is open for submissions through the end of February.

We’ll have links to her Facebook page, website and Twitter in the show notes.

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

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The Secret Ingredient Is: Click here to read the text of the story

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Episode 109: Nuclear Family by Alex Shvartsman

Read by Big Anklevich

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present Alex Shvartsman’s story, Nuclear Family. Alex has been here several times before — welcome back Alex! Thanks for gracing us with an inventive seasonal story.

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, editor, and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 50 of his short stories appeared in such venues as Intergalactic Medicine Show, Nature, Daily Science Fiction and Galaxy’s Edge. He is the editor of Unidentified Funny Objects anthology series of humorous science fiction and fantasy.

You can find him online at or on Twitter as @AShvartsman.

His latest anthology, Coffee: 14 Caffeinated Tales of the Fantastic was released earlier this month. Check it out at

Your narrator is Big Anklevich. Big is co-host of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. The show features genre stories brought to you as brilliant fullcast audio productions created by some of the most talented producers in the podisphere. After each story, Big and his co-host 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 at You probably won’t regret it…I mean, it’s pretty unlikely that you will…we’re not guaranteeing a lack of regret, just saying that studies have shown a very low amount of regret resulting from checking out What’s the downside, right? I mean, let’s say you don’t appreciate it…well, then you just move on. But if you do like it, then, well you liked it so, you’re good. So, check it out. Thanks.

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

Read along

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