Posts Tagged ‘Little Wonders’

Cast of Wonders 264: Little Wonders 14 – Lyrical Beauty


• Authors: R. K. Duncan, Nicholas Ian Hawkins, Ryan Schapals
• Narrators: Katherine Inskip, Jeremy Carter, Pete Milan, Stephen J. Carrington
• Guest Hosts: Rachael K. Jones, Tina Connolly
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• “The Best Busker In The World” is a Cast of Wonders original!
• “The Weald Maiden’s Will” was originally published in The Best of Every Day Fiction (November 2008)
• “The Sherd” is a Cast of Wonders original!
• Read along with the text of The Best Busker in the World
• Read along with the text of The Weald Maiden’s Will
• Read along with the text of The Sherd
• 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

R.K. Duncan is a lifelong Philadelphian. 26 years old, he went to Haverford College with a double major in Philosophy and Linguistics. He listens to a lot of folk music and had a story published recently in the anthology “No Sh!t, There I Was – An Anthology of Improbable Tales”. Follow him online or on Twitter.

Katherine 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. Follow her online or on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

In addition to being audio producer for Cast of Wonders, Jeremy Carter has produced audio for the Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine, Far Fetched Fables, the Journey Into podcast and StarshipSofa. By day, he teaches physics and maths in the beautiful Peak District. He is a husband, father, photographer, cook and very occasional runner. Follow him on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Nicholas Ian Hawkins is an always-reader and sometimes-writer of fantasy fiction. His short works have appeared in The Best of Every Day Fiction, Return of the Sword, Magic + Mechanica, New Realm, and FLASHSHOT. He works as writer, editor, and photographer for a major Midwestern university. Follow him online.

 

 

 

Pete Milan is a writer and voice actor. He has recorded several audiobooks and has worked extensively with Pendant Productions on their audio dramas. For more information, visit his website or follow him on Twitter.

Ryan Schapals is a storyteller based in Los Angeles, who grew up in Chicago. He loves rolling dice to determine terrible fictional choices. At Hyper RPG he turns tabletop roleplaying games into performance-based experiences on Twitch. Tune in at twitch.tv/hyperrpg. Right now he’s building the world of Amaurea’s Dawn with Open Legend RPG, which will be out this summer 2017. Check out the latest updates and join the Open Legend community at openlegendrpg.com. Follow him online or on Twitter.

 

 

 

Stephen J. Carrington is a performer; a narrator; a dreamer. He leads an escapist’s life, earning a suspect coin by assuming others’ identities (until the director calls cut, that is). Through narration and voice-over, Stephen has brought characters to life in video-games and animated web-series. He believes in storytelling… and short stories… and podcasts. He is found on Twitter as @CarringtonTV.

 

 

 

 


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.

 

Episode 257: Little Wonders 13 – Death


• Content Warning: Grief
• Authors: Jennifer Lee Rossman, Jenny Rae Rappaport, Evan Berkow, David Steffen and Christine Lucas
• Narrators: Stephanie Morris, Setsu Uzume, Kate Baker, Makenzi Newman and Mur Lafferty
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
Always There was originally published in Lakeside Circus in February 2014
Chrysalis, The Black Veils, Moments in the Crawl, and Even Death are all Cast of Wonders originals!
• Read along with the text of the stories: Chrysalis, The Black Veils, Moments in the Crawl, Always There and Even Death
• 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

Jennifer Lee Rossman is a science fiction geek from New York, where she crochets, watches Doctor Who, and threatens to run over people with her wheelchair. Her short story “Scrapefoot” is featured in Circuits & Slippers, an anthology of sci-fi fairy tale re-tellings. Follow her online and on Twitter.

 

 

Stephanie Morris is a professional fangirl by day and the lone library assistant staffing a college circulation desk at night. She has narrated short stories for all four Escape Artists podcasts as well as StarShipSofa, has guest-blogs on subjects ranging from book recommendations to zombie turkeys, and performed Shakespeare in a handful of weird churches. Until she suppresses her inner perfectionist enough to create a website, you can find her on Twitter.


Jenny Rae Rappaport is a graduate of the Odyssey Writing workshop, and holds a BA in Creative Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. Her work has previously appeared in Knitty and STRAEON. She lives in New Jersey with her family, where she divides her time between novel writing and herding small children. Follow her online and on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Setsu Uzume is the assistant editor at Podcastle, and spent their formative years in and out of dojos. They also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay. While they have dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck. Find them on online and Twitter.

 

 


Evan Berkow lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and a small menagerie consisting of two enormous gray cats and one adorable rescue dog. His fiction has also appeared in Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, and Crossed Genres Magazine. He’s a member of SFWA, Codex, and the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers critique group. Find him online and on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Baker is the Podcast Director and Non-fiction Editor for Clarkesworld Magazine. She has been very privileged to narrate over 350 short stories/poems by some of the biggest names in Science Fiction and Fantasy for multiple venues. Kate won the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine in 2011 and 2013, the British Fantasy Award for Best Magazine in 2014 and the World Fantasy Award for Special Award: Non Professional in 2014 alongside the wonderfully talented editorial staff of Clarkesworld Magazine. She is currently situated in Northern Connecticut with her first fans; her wonderful children. She is currently working as the Director of Operations for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Follow her online and on Twitter.


David Steffen is a writer, editor, and software engineer. He edits Diabolical Plots, which began publishing original fiction in 2015. He runs the Submission Grinder, a tool for writers to find markets for their work. In December 2015 he published The Long List Anthology, which is a collection of 21 stories from the longer Hugo Award nomination list last year. His own stories have been published in many nice places, including the other three Escape Artists podcasts, Drabblecast, and Daily Science Fiction. You can follow him on Twitter.

 

Makenzi Newman is a tenth-grade student in Louisiana. She likes to write stories and poetry, and this is one of her first narrations!

 

 

 

 

 


Christine Lucas lives in Greece with her husband and a horde of spoiled animals. A retired Air Force officer and mostly self-taught in English, has had her work appear in several print and online magazines, including the Other Half of the Sky anthology, Daily Science Fiction, Space and Time Magazine, the Triangulation: Morning After anthology and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. She is currently working on her first novel, and in her free time she reads slush for ASIM. You can follow her online.

Mur Lafferty has been called one of the worst-kept secrets in science fiction and fantasy publishing, but she’s no secret to Escape Artists fan. She’s been the host and co-editor of both PseudoPod, and is the current co-editor of Escape Pod along with Divya Breed. She’s also the host and creator of the podcast I Should Be Writing and Ditch Diggers, which is a finalist for the Hugo this year with co-host Matt Wallace. She is the 2013 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her novels include The Shambling Guides and Six Wakes. Full links to all her social media haunts will be in the show notes. Follow her online and on Twitter.


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Episode 251: Little Wonders 12 – The Unexpected


• Authors: Evan Dicken, R. G. Ziemer, Laura Pearlman
• Narrators: Graeme Dunlop, Jonathan Chaffin, Alexis Goble
• Guest Host: Katherine Inskip
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
Why They’re Never About The Good Ones is a Cast of Wonders original!
The Finder is a Cast of Wonders original!
Why I Hate Zombie Unicorns was originally published in Shimmer (Vol. 20, August 2014)
Read along with the text of Why They’re Never About The Good Ones
Read along with the text of The Finder
Read along with the text of Why I Hate Zombie Unicorns
• 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

Evan Dicken’s work has most recently appeared in Analog, Pseudopod, and The Overcast, and he has stories forthcoming from publishers such as Unlikely Story, Fantasy Scroll, and Chaosium. Follow him online.

Graeme Dunlop is a Software Solution Architect. Despite his somewhat mixed accent, he was born in Australia. He loves the spoken word and believes it has the ability to lift the printed word above and beyond cold words on a page. He and Barry J. Northern founded Cast of Wonders in 2011 and can be found narrating or hosting the occasional episode, or working on projects behind the scenes. He has read stories for all of Escape Artists podcasts. Graeme lives in Melbourne, Australia with his wife Amanda, and crazy boy dog, Jake. Follow him on Twitter.

 

 


R. G. Ziemer was born on the South Side of Chicago. He has taught English, worked construction, and never stopped writing. He presently teaches composition at the College of DuPage and is working to complete a YA novel, The Ghost of Jamie McVay. His poetry has recently appeared in the journals Prairie Light Review and Rivulets.

 

 

 

 

Jonathan M. Chaffin is the designer and writer behind the Cthulhu tiki mug and other horror-themed barware collections from Horror In Clay; each object has a backstory and contributes to a narrative for the collection. He also co-owns Mug Crate, the quarterly tiki mug subscription box, has narrated and designed for Pseudopod, and frequently speaks on all things tiki, horror, crowdfunding, and pop culture at events like DragonCon and Anachrocon. He also writes horror movie reviews for The Collinsport Historical Society from time to time.

 

 


Laura Pearlman lives in California with two cats and no unicorns. Her stories have appeared in Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, Daily Science Fiction, the Unidentified Funny Objects 4 anthology, and Mothership Zeta. You can follow her online and on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Alexis Goble has been a slush reader for Cast of Wonders since the spring of 2015. She’s new to the world of audio, and you may have heard her Staff Pick episodes last January. Alexis lives in Cincinnati with her partner in a 100-year-old house. You can occasionally find her on Twitter.

 

 

 

 


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

 

Episode 237: Little Wonders 10 – Flash Fiction Contest Winners


• Authors: Rachael K. Jones, Katherine Inskip, J. Lily Corbie
• Narrators: Katherine Inskip, Alasdair Stuart, Dani Daly
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• All three stories are Cast of Wonders originals!
• Read along with More Than Machines Will Fall to Rust
• Read along with A Coat of Salt and Sand
• Read along with She and I
• 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

More Than Machines Will Fall to Rust

Rachael 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 in dozens of venues including Shimmer, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, EscapePod, PodCastle, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and The Drabblecast. She is an editor, a SFWA member, and a secret android. Follow her on online or on Twitter.

The story is narrated by Katherine Inskip.

 

A Coat of Salt and Sand

Katherine Inskip teaches astrophysics for a living and spends her (infrequent) spare time populating the universe with worlds of her own. She is a mother to two boys, and enjoys chaos, water-fights, tree-climbing, and thwarting plans for world domination. Katherine is addicted to chocolate and Japanese logic puzzles, narrates for a variety of podcasts, and wishes she’d started slush reading decades ago. You can read her blog, Trisigmatic, or follow her on Twitter.

This story is Katherine’s first professional story sale – congratulations!

Alasdair Stuart is the owner of Escape Artists and the host of Pseudopod. When he’s not doing either of those things, he’s professionally enthusiastic about genre fiction all over the place, like Tor.com, MCM Buzz and Fox Spirit Books. He lives in the UK with your intrepid editor and their shared herd of microphones. Follow him at his blog, Man of Words, or on Twitter.

 

 

 

She and I

J. Lily Corbie is a lifelong horror and fantasy enthusiast. She’s passionate about mythology and folklore and loves bats, bones, butterflies, and octopuses. Her work has appeared on Pseudopod. She lives with three cats and a dog, and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

Your narrator is our own assistant editor, community manager, and flash fiction contest runner Dani Daly. You can follow her on Twitter or say hello over at the EA forum.

 

 

 

 

 


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Episode 231: Staff Pick 2016 – The Four Stewpots by D K Thompson


• Narrated by Tina Connolly
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Forthcoming in And Welcome Back, D K Thompson’s first collection.
• 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. A different member of the Cast of Wonders crew will present their favorite story of 2016 each week in January.

We hope you enjoy associate editor Sally Gill’s favorite story from 2016, The Four Stewpots by D. K. Thompson, narrated by Tina Connolly. The story originally aired December 25, 2016 as part of Episode 225, Little Wonders 9: Comfort Food.


Dave Thompson is a good name to know if you spend any time around Escape Artists. (So is “California King,” or “Easter Werewolf”…) He’s a pretty awesome guy, even if he disparages pumpkin beer. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three terribly photogenic children. While he can tweet up to 175 characters, he refrains from using this power for chaos. Together with co-editor Anna Schwind, he ran PodCastle for five years before stepping down to focus on his own writing in 2015. This story is forthcoming in Dave’s first collection And Welcome Back, which he successfully Kickstarted last year. You can find two of his audio book narrations on Amazon: Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout and Briarpatch by Tim Pratt. Follow him online or on Twitter.

Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake.

 

 


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read along with the text of the story.

Episode 225: Little Wonders 9 – Comfort Food


• Authors: D K Thompson and Shane Halbach
• Narrators: Tina Connolly and M K Hobson
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
The Four Stewpots is forthcoming in And Welcome Back, D K Thompson’s first collection.
Her Path Lay Forward is 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

Dave Thompson is a good name to know if you spend any time around Escape Artists. (So is “California King,” or “Easter Werewolf”…) He’s a pretty awesome guy, even if he disparages pumpkin beer. He lives outside Los Angeles with his wife and three terribly photogenic children. While he can tweet up to 175 characters, he refrains from using this power for chaos. Together with co-editor Anna Schwind, he ran PodCastle for five years before stepping down to focus on his own writing in 2015. This story is forthcoming in Dave’s first collection And Welcome Back, which he successfully Kickstarted last year. You can find two of his audio book narrations on Amazon: Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhout and Briarpatch by Tim Pratt. Follow him online or on Twitter.

Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many more. Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including Podcastle, Pseudopod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake.

 

 

 


Shane Halbach lives in Chicago with his wife and three kids, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. His story Downsizing Pluto appeared in Cast of Wonders Episode 106, all the way back in December of 2013. Additionally, his fiction has appeared in Analog, EscapePod, The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction, and elsewhere. He blogs regularly, or can be found on Twitter.

 

 

 

M K Hobson has switched things up recently. While she continues to write, she has been dallying with a newfound love of photography. She’s also been traveling quite a bit, and as a matter of fact today’s story was recorded at Timberhouse in Ottowa, an urban castle and creative paradise. You can find her online and on Twitter.

 

 

 

 


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read along with the text of the stories: The Four Stewpots and Her Path Lay Forward.

Episode 210: Little Wonders 8 – Embracing Change


• Authors: Adam Gaylord and J. J. Litke
• Narrators: Dani Daly and Katherine Inskip
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
The There-It-Is Store originally appeared in T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Fiction Blog.
• 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

Our first story is The There-It-Is Store by Adam Gaylord, originally published on T. Gene Davis’s Speculative Fiction Blog.

Adam lives with his wife and daughter in Loveland, Colorado where he’s rarely more than ten feet from either cake or craft beer. His recently released gladiatorial fantasy novel Sol of the Coliseum is all about hope (as in, he hopes you’ll read it). Follow him on Goodreads or his infrequently updated blog.

Your narrator for this story is Dani Daly, our newly minted assistant editor. Dani lives, works, dreams and plays on Long Island, New York with a husband and some cats. She is on Twitter often and updates her blog on very rare occassions when something extra special happens. All her links are available on our newly updated About Us page – check it out!


When the Planets Left by J. J. Litke is a Cast of Wonders original. J. J. lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes SFF and moonlights as a graphic design instructor. She can tell you more than you want to know about GREP styles and WordPress development. Her work has also appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and Farstrider Magazine. You can find her at online and on Twitter.

The story is narrated for you by our slush wrangler and also new assistant editor, Katherine Inskip. Katherine teaches astrophysics for a living and spends her (infrequent) spare time populating the universe with worlds of her own, which you can read at her blog, Trisigmatic. She’s on Twitter as well.


The Little Wonders theme “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read along with the text of the stories:
The There-It-Is Store
When the Planets Left

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 MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

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

Christmas Lights: Click here to read the text of the story

Episode 139: Little Wonders 6 – A Little Laughter


Authors: James Vachowski, Charity Tahmaseb and Terry L. Mirll
Narrators: John Cmar, Princess Scientist and Dave Robison

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

You’re listening to Little Wonders, our thematic flash fiction collections. This episode we bring you A Little Laughter.


To start things off, we bring you Continue? by Cast of Wonders alumnus James Vachowski. You may remember James from The Great Game, a multi-part story we ran in 2012. He works as a quality assurance technician for an independent traveling circus, where he strives to ensure that your next ride on the Cyclone is in full compliance with most, if not all, applicable state safety regulations. When he’s not living his dream of seeing the world from the parking lots of local shopping malls and Moose lodges, he writes fiction. You can find James surfing all sorts of corners of the social media space, including Twitter, Facebook, and Amazon, as well as his website.

To narrate this story, we welcome back the dulcet tones of podcasting’s favorite infectious diseases doctor, John Cmar. John splits his time between treating horrors such as syphilis, and molding the next generation of doctors, while repeatedly washing his hands in between. When not herding his five cats or going fanboy over the space endeavors of his wife Moon Ranger Laura, John infectious various podcast and radio projects with his voice. He is the Chief Medical Officer and Bad Doctor in Residence at his personal blog, where he consults and ruminates over all manner of things.


Our next story is The Girl With The Piccolo by Charity Tahmaseb. Charity was a part of our last Little Wonders collection, Trope Twists, with her story Sleeping Beauty. She also has one of my favorite bios.

Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She’s worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer. You can find her on Twitter at @geekgirlX2, and at her Writing Wrongs blog.

Your narrator for this story is a new friend I made at LonCon this year, Princess Scientist. She has a new blog you can check out at Creeper Gazette. And I’m hoping she does her video advent calendar again this year, so check out her site around December. While you’re there, ask her about her Gordon Ramsey theory…


Finally this episode, we’ve saved what may be the best for last with Some Assembly Required by Terry L. Mirll. Award-winning author Terry L. Mirll has written three novels, a novelette, and numerous short stories as well as non-fiction articles. Most recently, his short story Astrafugia took first place in science fiction for Writer’s Digest magazine’s Ninth Annual Popular Fiction Awards. A native Texan, he currently lives in Oklahoma with his wife and three daughters. “Some Assembly Required” is his first publication with us, and we hope to read many more. You can find Tim on Facebook.

Why do I say we saved the best for last? Because we asked Dave Robison to narrate the story for you, and he did so very much more than that. I won’t ruin the surprise, but you’re in for a real treat. Dave hardly needs an introduction in the wide world of podcasting, or to Cast of Wonders fans. In fact, Dave was involved in our very first Little Wonders collection, with Influx Capacitor. When he’s not busy with Writer’s Roundtable, he’s forwarding his life’s goal of being an Agent of Awesomeness armed only with a theater degree. Since arriving on the scene of audio fiction, he’s had the privilege of lending his voice to numerous dramatic readings for such notables as StarshipSofa, The Drabblecast, Tales to Terrify, and the trifecta of Escapepod, Pseudopod, and Podcastle. Say hello to him on Twitter when you get a chance.

Special thanks to Kevin McCloud and the Free Sounds Project for providing music and special effects.


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

Read Along

Continue?: Click here to read the text of the story

The Girl With the Piccolo: Click here to read the text of the story

Some Assembly Required: Click here to read the text of the story

Episode 121: Little Wonders 5 – Trope Twists


Authors: Jessica Holscher, Charity Tahmaseb, Michael Strickland and Alexandra Grunberg
Narrators: John Cmar, Chloe Yates, Big Anklevich, and Rish Outfield

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This is Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. This episode we bring you the conclusion of our flash fiction month: Trope Twists!


Our first twisted trope — and the story which inspired this Little Wonders collection — is The Hero by Jessica Holscher. Jessica is a freelance writer in Oregon who loves to write fun fantasy stories. She has two novels published by ASJ Publishing: Legend of the Phoenix and Kenneth Randall: Grower. She’s on Twitter as @jessholscher, and you can find out more about her on her Facebook page.

The Hero is narrated by the extremely talented John Cmar. John is an infectious diseases physician in Baltimore who splits his time between treating horrors such as syphilis, and molding the next generation of doctors, while repeatedly washing his hands in between. When not herding his five cats or going fanboy over the space endeavors of his wife Moon Ranger Laura, John infectious various podcast and radio projects with his voice. He is the Chief Medical Officer and Bad Doctor in Residence at his personal blog, where he consults and ruminates over all manner of things at Saint Nickanuck.


Next we have The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty by Charity Tahmaseb. Charity has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She’s worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer. Her novel, The Geek Girl’s Guide to Cheerleading (written with co-author Darcy Vance), was a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback pick. Her short speculative fiction has appeared in the Unidentified Funny Objects and Coffee anthologies, Flash Fiction Online, and elsewhere.
Next month, her YA novelette Just a Matter of Time will appear in Volume 3 of Sucker Literary Magazine. She’s on Twitter as @geekgirlx2, and her blog is Writing Wrongs.

Your narrator is Chloë Yates. Chloë has written several pieces for the excellent Fox Spirit Books, and her latest story, ‘Well Our Feeble Frame He Knows’, closes out Guardians in their Fox Pocket series. More of her work will be included in several upcoming anthologies, including ‘Tits Up in Wonderland’, which will round off the Missing Monarchs Fox Pocket and can also be heard in Episode 16 of Dark Fiction Magazine.

As well as ‘All Things Fall’ in the upcoming anthology Girl At The End of the World, Vol 1.
She writes humorous, if somewhat macabre, poetry. You can contact her through her website, while she wanders through Twitter under the sobriquet @shloobee.

She’s currently working on a collection of short stories for Fox Spirit and on her first novel. English born, she lives in the middle of Switzerland with her bearded paramour, Mr Y, and their disapproving dog, Miss Maudie.


Michael Strickland’s Bigfeet is next. Michael has published a handful of other short stories in small indie outlets. In addition to Bigfeet, his story Pale Green Pants — inspired by What Was I Scared Of? in Dr. Seuss’ Sneetches and Other Stories — recently appeared in the anthology Green Eggs and Horror. By day, Michael wrangles words as a professional copywriter, and you can find him online here.

Michael says this story was created when a friend challenged him to reduce a screenplay idea into a flash story under 300 words.

Regular listeners of Cast of Wonders will recognize our next two narrators, the podcasting duo of Big Anklevich and Rish Outfield from the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine. Dunesteef features genre stories brought to you as fullcast audio productions created by some of the most talented producers in the podisphere. After each story, Big and 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!


To bring our twisted tropes to a close we present Alexandra Grunberg’s Jack and the Griffin Eggs.

Alexandra is a New York City based author and actress. Her work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Perihelion Science Fiction, and here at Cast of Wonders in episode 106, our Little Wonders collection “The Journey” with Treasure Hunter.

Her story Any Ending won third place in Fiction Vortex’s August Monthly Contest and her story Finale in Blue won third place in their October Horror Contest. She is currently writing a web series, HOUSED, in which she will also be appearing as a lead character. You can find links to her stories at her website.

Rish Outfield’s prior narrations for Cast of Wonders include episode 91, “Open 28 Hours” and the chilling “Cosmetic Procedures” from episode 69. We’re thrilled to have him back.


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

Read Along

The Hero: Click here to read the text of the story

The Secret Life of Sleeping Beauty: Click here to read the text of the story

Bigfeet: Click here to read the text of the story

Jack and the Griffin Eggs: Click here to read the text of the story

Episode 106: Little Wonders 4 – The Journey


Authors: Alexandra Grunberg, S. R. Algernon and Shane Halbach
Narrators: Elie Hirschman, Dave Thompson and Bob Eccles

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

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 legendary 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 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/.

Robert C. (Bob) Eccles is a radio news reporter and anchor who has narrated stories for Pseudopod, PodCastle, Transmissions From Beyond, Cast Macabre and Every Day Fiction. He also enjoys writing short stories, mostly horror and sci-fi. He”s a member of the Horror Writers Association, the Great Lakes Association of Horror Writers and The Fictioneers. Tiny Terrors, his collection of 67 mostly very short horror stories, is available in the Kindle store at Amazon.


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

Read along

Treasure Hunter: Click here to read the text of the story

The Eye of Reason: Click here to read the text of the story

Downsizing Pluto: Click here to read the text of the story

Discuss

Episode 99: Little Wonders 3 – Scary Stories


Authors: Beth Hull, Ian Rose, and J. A. Ironside
Narrators: Alasdair Stuart, Barry J. Northern, and Ian Stuart

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

You’re listening to Little Wonders, our collection episodes featuring flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme. And since it’s Halloween, that means it’s time for scaaaaaary stories!


Our first story is Come To Me, by Beth Hull. Beth lives in Northern California with her artist/scientist husband, their two children, and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. Beth writes young adult novels and the occasional short story. To learn more about Beth, her work, and the things that annoy her (windy days, ticking clocks), and scare her (black widow spiders lurking in the mailbox), you can visit her website or find her on Twitter.

Come to Me is narrated for you by podcasting’s Dark Overlord, Alasdair Stuart. Alasdair is the host of Pseudopod, the weekly horror fiction podcast by Escape Artists. He also co-hosts Escape Pod, their weekly science fiction show. He blogs about lots of things for lots of people, including himself, his website. You can listen to him talk about cooking things, reading things, watching things or training in things like martial arts and baking on Twitter.


When most people thing of young adult fiction, they think of fantasy with a heavy sprinkling of science fiction. Horror doesn’t seem to be a popular genre, and I can understand why: thinking about younger people in frightening or dangerous situations isn’t very comforting. When you think of Harry Potter, you probably think of the fun times Harry, Ron and Herminoe have, and you glaze over the very real danger they were in.

But growing up can be scary, with or without the presence of the supernatural. And unlike a book, you can’t put your life down and come back to it later. Learning how to deal with an ugly reality is an important skill.

Which brings us to our second story, Piper by Ian Rose. Ian is a web developer and former field biologist living in Portland, Oregon. He loves oceans and mountains and rain, and is very pleased to have found a place that offers him all of these, though he does have to visit his native east coast every year to fill up on bagels, pizza, and other bread products that Oregon just can’t seem to get quite right. He blogs here and can be found on Twitter. Ian also has a story about to be published by New Myths.

Your narrator is our very own Barry J. Northern. Barry is a game developer based in Bournemouth, England making freemium games for clients such LEGO and the BBC. His latest game is breaking all records on iOS, not surprising with a title like “LEGO Star Wars Yoda Chronicles”. It’s for younger kids, but if you fancy blasting alien brains check out LEGO Hero Factory Brain Attack. All this game developing has meant Barry hasn’t been as active in the podcasting and fiction world as he used to be, but he still works behind the scenes at Cast of Wonders. He also guest narrates on occasion at The Drabblecast and StarShip Sofa.


Ian told us the inspiration for Piper was, that in of all the fables and fairy tales I was read as a child, the pied piper was the only one that ever really scared him. Not only the power that the Piper, over both the rats and the children, but the willingness to use it was terrifying. He was a sort of avatar for all the threats and dangers in the world that Ian didn’t yet understand but still knew to be afraid of.

And speaking of things you should be afraid of, how about cowled figures rowing tiny boats on dark rivers late at night? Should you ever find yourself in need of such, maybe you shouldn’t pick the one with the skeletal face…

For our final scary short, we bring you The Boatman by JA Ironside. Jules Anne Ironside started writing as a child. She grew up in Dorset in a house full of books, fed on a diet of myths, legends and spooky tales. She particularly likes to take well known myths and turn them on their heads. Jules is a keen martial artist having taught karate for fifteen years now. In her free time she likes to read and add to her collection of dead or little use languages. She has had several other short stories published in the anthologies Reading is Magic and Stories for Homes both available from Amazon. Her next published story will appear in the A Chimerical world; Unseelie anthology. You can follow her on Twitter.

To complete our trio of narrators, The Boatman is read for you by the very talented Ian Stuart. Ian Stuart is a writer, poet and performer living and working in York. In the past he has worked for BBC local radio in Manchester and the Isle of Man, where he taught English. As well as providing voice tracks for hotels, businesses and foreign language courses, he is a tourist guide for The Ghost Trail of York. (I’ve been on his tour, you don’t want to miss it!) And Ian has been a resident voice artist for Pseudopod for some years. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana, or follow him on Twitter.


The Little Wonders theme, “Neversus” is by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

Come With Me: Click here to read the text of the story

Piper: Click here to read the text of the story

The Boatman: Click here to read the text of the story