Posts Tagged ‘Modern Fantasy’

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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Episode 135: Flowers For The Dead by Jamie Mason (Part 2)


Narrated by Paul Cram

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This week we bring you the conclusion of Jamie Mason’s Flowers For the Dead, narrated by Paul Cram. You can find the author’s and narrator’s biographies in the show notes of Episode 134.

We dedicate these episodes to the memories of Kimberly Proctor and Tyeshia Jones.

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

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Episode 134: Flowers For The Dead by Jamie Mason (Part 1)


Narrated by Paul Cram

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This week we bring you part one of Flowers For The Dead by Jamie Mason.

Jamie is a Canadian sci-fi/fantasy writer whose short fiction has appeared in On Spec, Abyss & Apex, the Canadian Science Fiction Review and been anthologized in DEAD NORTH and FRACTURED: TALES OF THE CANADIAN POST APOCALYPSE (Exile Editions, August 2014). His novel ECHO was published in 2011 and he has a forthcoming post-apocalyptic novel, THE BOOK OF ASHES from Permuted Press.

You may remember Jamie from Episode 48, The Malthus Alternative, which was Barry’s Staff Pick for 2013. Jamie lives on the beautiful Vancouver Island, and you can find out more about him at his website, Jamie Scribbles, or on Twitter.

The story is narrated for you by a new voice to Cast of Wonders, Paul Cram. Paul is an actor by trade. He’s been in dozens of articles, reviews and interviews in places like Chicago’s Screen Magazine, Fangoria.com, and the Horror Movie Podcast. When not acting Paul can either be glimpsed with his head in a book between the rows at the library, or running to look for loose railway spikes at an old train station. You can find him on Twitter and online.

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

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Episode 132: The Collector by Jameyanne Fuller


Narrated by Alasdair Stuart

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This week we present The Collector by Jameyanne Fuller. Jameyanne writes fantasy and historical fiction and is usually buried under at least ten story ideas. She graduated from Kenyon College in May 2014, and in October she will be moving to Italy on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she will teach English to high school students. Her story The Year of Salted Skies was the third runner-up for the 2014 Dell Award for Undergraduate Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing. This is her first publication. She is particularly interested in depictions of family relationships and memory in fiction, and when she isn’t studying or writing, she enjoys reading, hiking, and playing with her Seeing Eye dog, Mopsy.

Your narrator this week is Alasdair Stuart. Alasdair is well known in podcasting circles: he’s the host of Pseudopod and co-hosts EscapePod, two of the three Escape Artists productions. He’s a prolific blogger, reviewer and genre journalist who’s work has appeared nearly everywhere: The Guardian, SFX, Film Divider, Bleeding Cool and many other geek sites. When he’s not doing all that, he’s writing DoctorWho roleplaying games for Cubicle Seven, or fiction with the likes of Dave Robison and Fox Spirit Books.

Alasdair can be found on Twitter and, almost as often, cooking, reading, watching or training in things.

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

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Episode 126: The Perfect Prom by Kat Otis


Narrated by Mur Lafferty

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

This week we present The Perfect Prom, by Kat Otis. Kat lives a peripatetic life with a pair of cats who enjoy riding in the car as long as there’s no country music involved. Her fiction has appeared in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword & Sorceress XXVI. Her story What Memories are Made Of will be out in Daily Science Fiction this month. She can be found online or on Twitter.

The story is narrated for you by the one, the only, the amazing Mur Lafferty. Mur is the 2013 winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She’s been called one of the worst-kept secrets in science fiction and fantasy publishing and her latest book, The Shambling Guides 2: Ghost Train to New Orleans should be on your To Be Read Stack. When Mur isn’t writing urban fantasy, superhero satire, afterlife mythology, and Christmas stories she’s podcasting for the likes of Angry Robot and her own award-winning I Should Be Writing. And as if all that wasn’t enough, in January this year she graduated from the Stonecoast program at the University of Southern Maine with an MFA in popular fiction. Her website is Murverse, and you can follow her on Twitter as @MightyMur.

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

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Episode 123: Taxidermy and Other Dangerous Professions by JR Johnson


Narrated by M K Hobson

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Show Notes

This week we present Taxidermy and Other Dangerous Professions by JR Johnson. JR grew up in the folded Appalachian hills, where she learned to love Fall, blueberries straight from the bush, and the stream beneath the willows near her house. The fact that Fall is inevitably followed by Winter, that picking berries means crossing paths with bears, and that the stream was laced with dioxins may also have had some impact on her outlook. For more on her latest projects visit her website.

Cast of Wonders is thrilled to welcome back your narrator this week, MK Hobson. You may remember her from my staff pick for 2013, The Giant Who Dreamed of Summer. M.K. Hobson recently decided to follow a time-honored authorial tradition and become a bitter recluse. She swore off all social media and left her website to go to seed. At the moment, she exists only as a voice on short fiction podcasts such as this fine enterprise and Podcastle. She leavens the tedium of her vastly expanded free time with misanthropy, paranoia, and weight lifting. She assures anyone who might be interested that, when she does finally decide to re-engage with the public sphere, she will bring with her several new stories, perhaps a novel or two, and some heinously sick lats.

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

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Episode 117: Pignus by Jez Patterson


Read by Graeme Dunlop

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Show Notes

Today we present Jez Patterson’s story, Pignus. Jez is a British teacher and writer, currently based in Madrid. You can find out more about Jez and her work at jezpatterson.wordpress.com.

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

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Episode 96: Gift Cards of an Ex-Goddess by Melissa Embry


Narrated by Christiana Ellis

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Show Notes

Today we present a story from Melissa Embry. Melissa is a former journalist living in Dallas, Texas, whose short fiction has appeared most recently in Stupefying Stories and Jake’s Monthly Anthologies. Her fantasy short story, After the War, is scheduled to appear online in The Lorelei Signal in October and in Lorelei’s print magazine, Mystic Signals, in November 2013.

When not writing fiction, she says she mouths off on Facebook and blogs.

Your narrator is Christiana Ellis. Christiana is a writer/podcaster currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her novel Nina Kimberly the Merciless was podcast online and it was published in print by Dragon Moon Press. Her comic audio-drama, Space Casey, was the winner of a Parsec Award and a Gold Mark Time Award. She also hosts and participates in a number of non-fiction podcasts including Talking About Survivor, Something Ventured, Nothing Gained, Beyond the Wall and SpecFicMedia.com presents: Consumption. All her stuff can be found at her website.

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

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Episode 85: Patterns by Susan Oke (Part 2)


Narrated by Marguerite Kenner and Alasdair Stuart

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present part two of Susan Oke’s story, Patterns. Susan spends her days working in the Higher Education sector, and her nights, weekends and every spare minute writing short stories and working on her first novel. Susan’s short stories have appeared in the magazine Words With Jam, and the Words Made Flesh (Tree House Press) and If Only You Could See Yourself (Words Just Words Publishing) anthologies. Her latest story Junction 13: There and Back Again will appear in the Writers in the Crowd anthology (Tree House Press). Susan regularly blogs for the webzine Astronaut.com: where Science Fiction meets Reality.

You can find out more about Susan on her WordPress site Loving Life in the Rain.

Your narrators are Alasdair Stuart and Marguerite Kenner, both familiar to anyone who’s been with us for a while.

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

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Episode 84: Patterns by Susan Oke (Part 1)


Narrated by Marguerite Kenner and Alasdair Stuart

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present the first part of Susan Oke’s story, Patterns. Susan spends her days working in the Higher Education sector, and her nights, weekends and every spare minute writing short stories and working on her first novel. Susan’s short stories have appeared in the magazine Words With Jam, and the Words Made Flesh (Tree House Press) and If Only You Could See Yourself (Words Just Words Publishing) anthologies. Her latest story Junction 13: There and Back Again will appear in the Writers in the Crowd anthology (Tree House Press). Susan regularly blogs for the webzine Astronaut.com: where Science Fiction meets Reality.

You can find out more about Susan on her WordPress site Loving Life in the Rain.

Your narrators are Alasdair Stuart and Marguerite Kenner, both familiar to anyone who’s been with us for a while.

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

Read Along

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Episode 68: Mercurial Skin by Raechel Henderson


Narrated by Marguerite Kenner

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present Mercurial Skin by Raechel Henderson. Raechel once worked in a bookstore that bears a striking resemblance to the one in the story, although the books never whispered to her. She has since traded selling used paperbacks for running her own publishing company, Eggplant Literary Productions.

Your narrator is our esteemed editor, Marguerite Kenner. Marguerite is a native Californian who has forsaken paradise to be with her one true love in Merrye Olde England. She currently wears so many hats that she needs two heads.

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

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Episode 42: Campfire Story by Mark Brandon Allen


Narrated by Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present Campfire Story by Mark Brandon Allen. Mark began writing Science Fiction and Fantasy purely for the amusement of his friends, children and grandchildren. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana where a vicious three pound Yorkshire terrier holds both he and his wife hostage. His work has been published in the pages of Demon Minds Anthology, Bull Spec, The Last Man Anthology, Sounds Of The Night, Indiana Science Fiction Anthology 2011 and Polluto amongst others. You can find out more about Mark at http://markbrandonallen.com/.

Mark also has a book out on the Lulu Books website — ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION issue #1. Within the context of Fantasy and Science Fiction pulps, ifs IMAGINE FANTASY SCIENCE FICTION has much to recommend itself to the speculative fiction reader. The nineteen ifs within the book’s lineup make a meaty and satisfying read. For more about the book, go to lulu.com and search for “ifs IMAGINE” or “Mark Brandon Allen”. Available as an ePub file or a paperback. Also available as a Kindle edition from Smashwords.

A purchase would help this writer stave off abject poverty.

Due to our website crash in April 2014, we are in the process of reconstructing our back catalog. Please enjoy listening to the episode – we’ll have the show notes up as soon as we can!

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