I’m sorry to say Master lay charred and inert on the laboratory floor for a good quarter hour before I noticed he was dead. I regret pulling the wrong lever, resulting in an overflow of electricity from the storm, the brunt of which Master received, resulting in his death and a ruined experiment. I’m even sorrier to admit I then ate all his internal organs before I remembered to offer any to Harry the moaning subject chained to the metal chair in the middle of the room or to the rest of my brothers-in-stitches in the downstairs dungeon.
• Narrated by Dave Thompson
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• A Cast of Wonders original!
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Rebecca Birch is a science fiction and fantasy writer based in Seattle, Washington. She’s a classically trained soprano, holds a deputy black belt in Tae Kwon Do, and enjoys spending time in the company of trees. Her fiction has appeared in markets including Nature, Cricket, and Flash Fiction Online. She is also a two-time finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. Check our her website, Words of Birch, or Twitter.
Dave Thompson is a teacher who lives in Southern California with his wife, three children, and eight chickens. He is an author, narrator, and sometimes Escape Artist who keeps getting pulled back in for one last job. (Actually, he always hopes it’s never the last job.) He’s lost NaNoWriMo twice and is the former editor of PodCastle. He doesn’t like to talk about himself in the third person, but he finds he is totally okay writing about himself in that way. Check out his website, follow him on Facebook or Twitter.
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
And if you’re a fan of Podcastle’s very own Dave Thompson, his short story collection And Welcome Back is on Kickstarter now. His stretch goals including a chapbook and audio book collection of Easter Werewolf mad libs stories by such luminaries as Ann Leckie, Amal El-Mohtar, Rachael K. Jones, Nathaniel Lee, M.K. Hobson, Matt Wallace, Mur Lafferty, and more. You don’t want to miss it.
This week we bring you another pair of stories about endings, starting with Reading Time by Beth Cato. Beth is the author of The Clockwork Dagger, a steampunk fantasy novel just released from Harper Voyager. Her short fiction can be found in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, and EscapePod ran her excellent Red Dust and Dancing Horses last week. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Her website is BethCato.com, and from there you can find links to her presence on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
The story is read for you by one of the cornerstones of fiction podcasting, the Easter Werewolf himself Dave Thompson, the host and co-editor of PodCastle. He’s narrated stories there, as well as EscapePod, Drabblecast, and here at Cast of Wonders. He’s also narrated Tim Pratt’s novel Briarpatch and Greg van Eekhout’s Norse Code, on sale at Audible. His stories have been published at EscapePod, Pseudopod, Drabblecast, and other cool places. He lives in Southern California with his lovely wife and three children, one of which I’m secretly convinced is Dave’s experiment in cloning technology.
Our final story this episode is A House in the Forest by Shawn Bailey. He sent me a pair of biographies to work from, for as he says like Hannibal, he’s incapable of turning that gaze inward. Shawn longs to change the world, but doesn’t want to interact with it in any way. He is also the leading spokesman behind a campaign against advertising, which he cannot seem to get off the ground. Shawn keeps a Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg underneath his pillow to ward off the evil entities known as the hunger spirits. He is nomadic for eight months out of the year, and lives in the attics of unsuspecting home owners. The other four months, he is feral. His Novella Sorry Charlie is available on Amazon, and he’s working on a trilogy, the first volume of which is called The Village. You can check in on him at his website.
The story is narrated for you by Lizzie. She works in data visualisation, and her work hours are consumed with thinking about data, how it fits together and how to visualise it in a simple manner for others. To escape this she is a keen gamer, writer and reader vanishing off into fantasy worlds for hours at a time. She currently lives with her husband and dreams of a time when they might have space to own a cat or a dog.
Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.
This is Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. This episode we bring you a trio of stories where enjoying the way you get somewhere is more important than your ultimate destination. Welcome to “The Journey”.
Our first story is Treasure Hunter by Alexandra Grunberg. Alexandra is a New York City-based author and actress, soon-to-be graduate from New York University”s Tisch School of the Arts. Her stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Plasma Frequency Magazine, and the Toasted Cake Podcast run by Cast of Wonders” good friend Tina Connolly. Alexandra won third place in Fiction Vortex”s August 2013 Monthly Contest. You can find links to her stories at alexandragrunberg.wordpress.com.
Your narrator is Elie Hirschman. Elie has been dabbling in voice acting for the past ten years, with several online production companies including Darker Projects, Dream Realm Enterprises and BrokenSea Productions. He has all his life failed to live by rule 3 of Mike Damone”s Five-Point plan – “Act like wherever you are – that”s the place to be.” He lives in the Eastern Hemisphere against his will and better judgment and occasionally turns bad drama scripts into intentionally bad comedy at Cool Fool Productions. You can find them on Facebook.
Elie is proud to have read for Podcastle, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, and is delighted to read his first piece for Cast of Wonders.
Our second story is The Eye of Reason by S. R. Algernon. You may remember him from Episode 66, “The Egg Game”. S. R. Algernon has been an avid reader of science fiction for many years and is a member of critters.org. He studied fiction writing in North Carolina, U.S.A., and currently lives in Singapore.
Your narrator is the legendaryDave Thompson. By day, Dave battles through reams of red tape writing corporate documentation. But his real job is co-editing and hosting the fantasy podcast PodCastle where you”ll find fantasy stories of all stripes. He is a published author and a respected and frequent narrator for many venues. You can find two of his audio book narrations on Amazon: Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout and Briarpatch by Tim Pratt.
Our final story is Downsizing Pluto by Shane Halbach. Shane is a software engineer, happily married and living in Chicago with his wife, two kids, and one nuisance cat. He has been accused of being obsessed with pirates, bacon, zombies, and his kids (not necessarily in that order). He”s a knitter, guitar player, and budding accordionista, and his fiction has appeared in Escape Pod, Redstone SF, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. He can be found online at shanehalbach.com. Shane”s work can most recently be found in “Oomph: A Little Super Goes a Long Way”, an anthology of the tremendous potential of trivial superpowers. Details are available at crossedgenres.com/titles/oomph/.
Today we present Barsoom in June by Brian Hurrel. Brian is an American who narrowly missed being born in Glasgow. A lifelong science fiction fan, he 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. His many previous occupations include high school English teacher, carpet installer, cab driver, and US Marine. He now develops software for the financial industry and lives in New Jersey with his wife and son.
Your narrators today are myself and my good friend Dave Thompson.
By day, Dave battles through reams of red tape writing corporate documentation. But his real job is co-editing and hosting the fantasy podcast PodCastle where you’ll find fantasy stories of all stripes. He is a published author and also a respected and frequent narrator for many venues. You can find two of his audio book narrations on Amazon: Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout and Briarpatch by Tim Pratt.
Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.