Posts Tagged ‘revolution’

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Cast of Wonders 273: Banned Books Week – The Wayfinder & His Sister

Show Notes

Don’t miss our other Banned Books Week episodes.

Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.

The Wayfinder & His Sister

by Maria Haskins



Mama always said that the best stories are true and needful, even if they’re not real. I know that’s heresy, punishable by lashes or prison if you’re caught, but I don’t think mama has ever been much for following rules and orders, anyway.

She also used to say, that if you tell yourself the right story about who you are, and what you want to do, you can achieve pretty much anything. Last time she told me that was the night before she left. She was in her workshop; crystal goggles strapped to her face, curly hair tightly braided, bent over her workbench in her oil-stained overalls, wielding her tools as she assembled and tested the latest iteration of her metallic creatures, fitting together gleaming gears and polished alloys, tempered glass and minute atom-spirit engines.

I believed her. I believed her, even after she left for Old Vancouver with papa, even as Titus and I toiled on the farm every day without them, even as they did not come back after two or even three weeks. I believed her even as Titus and I set off on this desperate journey to find her and papa, but today, as an almighty storm breaks on top of me and Rex and Titus, turning the bruised-black sky into a writhing snake pit of lightning, I feel as though I’m losing my faith in mama’s words for the first time in my life.

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Episode 113: Staff Pick 2013 – The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason

Read by Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Graeme’s staff pick for 2013 is The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason. I guess the staff pick is meant to be from 2013 but I couldn’t resist looking over our whole back-catalogue. From the time this idea was floated, two stories were foremost in my mind. At first I thought I wouldn’t go with them because I narrate both and it seemed self-serving. But honestly I love both stories and so I went with my favourite, which is The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason. It ran as Episode 48, way back in August 2012.

Why did I like it so much? I think the foremost reason is the main character, Michael. He feels himself an outsider, an observer, a thinker. His path through life has been set by his father and he feels ensnared. Through martial arts and his mat sister Glenda, he senses that he can take a different path if he has the courage to choose. And choose he does, despite the personal sacrifice. And even in that sacrifice, we see at the end he is still fighting.

I find that both inspiring and challenging. It’s easy to follow an expected path. It’s easy to look around and see there is much with the world that isn’t right. It’s even easy to see what to do to make a difference, set some things right. But it can be hard to come to those conclusions and act. I respect Michael’s decisions and actions and I’d like to think I’m capable of them too.

Jamie has packed a lot of ideas and thoughtful introspection into a small space, something that’s not easy to do. Jamie, thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us.

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

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