Posts Tagged ‘time travel’

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Cast of Wonders 333: Tunguska, 1987


Tunguska, 1987

by Maria Haskins

1929

Alexander was running through the snow. The rifle, and the pack of squirrel-skins pounded against his back with every step. Realization seeped into him as he ran: he had shot a Metallic. Its shiny armor hadn’t protected it. After all these years of living in fear, it had been that easy to take one down: one shot, straight into its mid-section, and the hovering thing had cracked apart and fallen to the ground. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 291: If Only Kissing Made it So

Show Notes

PodCastle wants you to nominate your favs! We’re asking fans and frequent listeners of the podcast to nominate up to five of your favorite-ever PodCastle episodes. These nominations will be used to create a “Best of PodCastle” ballot so everyone can vote for their favorites in the final round, starting on February 14th. The top five PodCastle episodes, as voted by fans, will be featured in a special later this year!

Nominations will close at 11:59 p.m. PST on February 13. What are you waiting for? Get nominating!


The Hugo Awards have these things they call nominations tallys but they are commonly referred to as The Long Lists. These include the top fifteen nominees, and show who just missed making the finals. For example, Escape Pod, PodCastle, and Mothership Zeta all made the long list last year for Semiprozine.

One of the great values of these long lists is that it allows readers even more excellent works to add to their “to read” pile. David Steffen has worked to make mining those lists significantly more convenient for you. For the third year in a row, David has published a volume of The Long List Anthology. In this most recent version are included works from names familiar to fans of Escape Artists. Lavie Tidhar, Ursula Vernon, Caroline M. Yoachim, and Ken Liu, among a host of amazing others.

Want to know what sort of story makes it to this anthology? Go listen to episode 607 of Escape Pod and catch Red in Tooth and Cog by Cat Rambo. Been procrastinating picking up Hammers on Bone by Cassandra Khaw or Run Time by Escape Pod’s S.B. Divya? This anthology will assuage your guilt. You can find The Long List Anthology Volume 3 at all the usual purveyors of books. If you’re already the proud owner of this book, become a subscribing supporter of Diabolical Plots which is also edited by David Steffen. Subscribing there puts you in line early for not only the ebooks of the original stories published in Diabolical Plots, but also gets you in line early for The Long List Anthology Volume 4. Go support this fantastically creative human being.


If Only Kissing Made It So

by Jason Kimble

This afternoon, the boy I’ve had a crush on for years told me two things: he loves me, and he’s a time traveler. I’m not sure if I feel crazier believing the first or the second.


If I’d known Lucas Medina had rung the doorbell, I would have thrown on a good shirt. At the very least, I would have dumped my snack in the garbage. Instead, I opened the door wearing a stained Atari T and sucking on a bright green ring pop, and instantly wanted a do over. (Continue Reading…)

Episode 244: Terminals by Angela and Joel Enos


• Narrated by Tatiana Grey
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Originally published in NewMyths.com (Issue 35, June 2016)
Read along with the text of the story.
• 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

Angela & Joel Enos were raised by the same two people though they sometimes think it was in differing parallel dimensions. The goose told them this was possible as it chased them down the path. Their work together tends to reflect this confounding combination of events.

Angela Enos has been published in A Café in Space, Flapperhouse, Niteblade Magazine, Visibility Fiction, Nonbinary Review’s alphanumeric, and Body Parts Magazine. She is also a designer and artist whose work in theatre has been seen across the United States. Follow her on Twitter.

Joel Enos is a writer and editor who has written comics (Sonic the Hedgehog) and graphic novels (Ben 10 Omniverse) and published short fiction in Whispers from the Abyss, Visibility Fiction, The Lorelei Signal, Theme of Absence and Flapperhouse. Follow him online and on Twitter.

 

Tatiana Grey is a critically acclaimed actress of stage, screen, and the audio booth. She has been nominated for dozens of fancy awards but hasn’t won a single damned thing. She went to NYU and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Follow her online and on Twitter.

 

 

 


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

Episode 232: Staff Pick 2016 – Twenty-One by Michael Merriam


• Narrated by John Meagher
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Originally published in Afterburn SF (September 2007)
• 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.

Content Warning: This week’s story involves more profanity than usual. Parents listening with younger children may want to join us again next week.

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 assistant editor Katherine Inskip’s favorite story from 2016, Twenty-One by Michael Merriam, narrated by John Meagher. The story originally aired April 2, 2016 as Episode 204.


Michael Merriam is an author and spoken-word performer living in Hopkins, Minnesota. His novella, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep, was long-listed for the Nebula Award in 2010, and his novel, Last Car to Annwn Station was named a Top Book in 2011 by Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Fiction. Michael has appeared on stage in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Minnesota Storyfest, Story Slam Minnesota, and over the air on KFAI Radio and Minnesota Public Radio. He’s also the co-organizer of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers. Visit his homepage or follow him on Twitter.

John MeagherJohn Meagher is the writer and narrator of Tales of the Left Hand, an ongoing fantasy series offering “swashbuckling, intrigue, and a dash of magic.” You can learn more about his work at www.talesofthelefthand.com or on Twitter. In his secret identity, he’s a graphic designer living outside Washington DC with his wife, daughter and two cats.

 

 

 


Read along with the text of the story.

Theme music is Appeal to Heavens by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Supernatural Radio and Tempting Secrets by A Kevin MacLeod are licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Episode 204: Twenty-One by Michael Merriam


• Narrated by John Meagher
• Audio production by Jeremy Carter
• Originally published in Afterburn SF (September 2007)
• 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.

Read along with the text of the story.

Show Notes

Content Warning: This week’s story involves more profanity than usual. Parents listening with younger children may want to join us again next week.

Michael Merriam is an author and spoken-word performer living in Hopkins, Minnesota. His novella, Should We Drown in Feathered Sleep, was long-listed for the Nebula Award in 2010, and his novel, Last Car to Annwn Station was named a Top Book in 2011 by Readings in Lesbian & Bisexual Women’s Fiction. Michael has appeared on stage in the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Minnesota Storyfest, Story Slam Minnesota, and over the air on KFAI Radio and Minnesota Public Radio. He’s also the co-organizer of the Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers. Visit his homepage or follow him on Twitter.

John MeagherJohn Meagher is the writer and narrator of Tales of the Left Hand, an ongoing fantasy series offering “swashbuckling, intrigue, and a dash of magic.” You can learn more about his work at www.talesofthelefthand.com or on Twitter. In his secret identity, he’s a graphic designer living outside Washington DC with his wife, daughter and two cats.

 

 

 

 


Happy birthday, Podcastle! Our fantasy sister show is celebrating it’s 8th anniversary. Pop on over and join the party with Graeme Dunlop, Rachael K. Jones and the rest of the castle’s inhabitants.

Our good friend Alex Shvartman’s Unidentified Funny Objects 5 has just successfully completed it’s Kickstarter and is now open for submissions through the end of April.


Theme music is Appeal to Heavens by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Supernatural Radio and Tempting Secrets by A Kevin MacLeod are licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Episode 191: Staff Pick 2015 – Makeisha in Time by Rachael K. Jones


Narrated by Laurice White
Audio production by Rikki LaCoste
Originally published in Crossed Genres, August 2014

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge our batteries, plan the year ahead, and highlight some of our favourite episodes. As part of joining the Escape Artists family, this year we’re pulling out all the stops. We’re running 10 staff pick episodes over the month, each one hosted by a different member of the Cast of Wonders crew.

We hope you enjoy audio producer Jeremy Carter’s favorite story from 2015, Makeisha In Time by Rachael K. Jones and narrated by Laurice White. The story originally aired August 30, 2015 as Episode 176.


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

Read along with the text of the story.

Genres: ,

Episode 176: Makeisha in Time by Rachael K. Jones

Show Notes

You can find the Uncanny Magazine Kickstarter here.


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


Makeisha In Time

by Rachael K. Jones

Makeisha has always been able to bend the fourth dimension, though no one believes her. She has been a soldier, a sheriff, a pilot, a prophet, a poet, a ninja, a nun, a conductor (of trains and symphonies), a cordwainer, a comedian, a carpetbagger, a troubadour, a queen, and a receptionist. She has shot arrows, guns, and cannons. She speaks an extinct Ethiopian dialect with a perfect accent. She knows a recipe for mead that is measured in aurochs horns, and with a katana, she is deadly.

Her jumps happen intermittently. She will be yanked from the present without warning, and live a whole lifetime in the past. When she dies, she returns right back to where she left, restored to a younger age. It usually happens when she is deep in conversation with her boss, or arguing with her mother-in-law, or during a book club meeting just when it is her turn to speak. One moment, Makeisha is firmly grounded in the timeline of her birth, and the next, she is elsewhere. Elsewhen. (Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Cast of Wonders 139: Little Wonders 6 – A Little Laughter

Show Notes

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

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


Continue?

by James Vachowski

 

Fog fades away.  Darkness lifts. I struggle to find my feet as vision returns.  The room is empty. Signs of a struggle.

She’s gone!

Off and running with no control of my body as I fly on a path towards revenge.  An unseen hand guides my movements. Of course I know who took her. Who else could it be but Ryoku?  Damn him! If only we had left when he first made his threats…but this is no time to dwell on the past.

Rushing forward, unable to turn back.

Through flat, muted ears, I can almost hear the timer that ticks down the seconds we have left.

My steel jaw clenches as I will the fury down into my tightened fists.  Rage funnels through them as I pummel wave after wave of Ryoku’s goons, henchmen, thugs, and anyone else foolish enough to stand in my way.

Down the stairs.

Through the alley.

Over the barbed wire fence, ducking a pair of rabid junkyard dogs.

Forward still, rushing onward towards my love, and vengeance.

From nowhere, a street-scraping tuner skids to the curb!  The thick subwoofers within blast out a bass line that shakes the entire block.  Four huge thugs emerge from the tiny lowrider.

They’re all holding bats.

They swarm.

I defend myself to no avail.  Each time I knock down one Yakuza, another regains his footing.  Finally, as I tire from their relentless blows, the thickest of them sneaks up behind me and swings for the fences.

The Louisville Slugger connects.  Solidly. With the back of my head.

Dazed, I fall to the cold street.

The gang shuffles about my still body.  They mock me with a menacing dance.

The world dims to a gray haze.  Through my pixelated, pain-streaked field of vision, I spot the timer which counts down the scant seconds I have to live.

 

19…

18…

 

A single cryptic word flashes beneath the numbers:

 

Continue?

 

I strain my ears once more, listening for my lifeline.  The familiar sound of clinking quarters should come any second.

 

17…

16…

 

It does not.

 

15…

14…

 

I begin to worry.

 

13…

12…

 

Damn it, move your ass, kid!

 

The flat boots of the Yakuza make no sound as the goons pace around me.  The only sound comes from a pair of oversized hightop sneakers as they race across the concrete floor, sprinting towards the change machine.

 

11…

10…

 

I hear the machine hum as it spins the kid’s dollar bill along its rollers.

A pause.

 

9…

8…

 

With an angry whirr, the beast spits the wrinkled bill back out.

 

7…

6…

 

A crumpling sound.  The child uses the palm of his hand to flatten the dollar bill against his pants leg.  He inserts it once more.

 

Another hum.

Another pause.

 

5…

4…

 

The bill catches within.

The ambient soundtrack of the video arcade melts away to silence.  The sirens, the bells, the buzzers, they disappear as I strain to hear one single, joyful noise.  And then, as if by some divine miracle, I hear it. The beautiful tinkling echo of four quarters bouncing off each other as they drop down into the change dish.

The bells of angels would make no sweeter sound.

 

3…

 

The child plods back towards me, each lethargic step causing me more pain than the concussion.

His skinny fingers fidget as they race to stuff the four quarters into my machine.

The coins hang for a split second before finally falling.

Slowly.

 

Twenty-five cents.

Fifty.

 

2…

 

Come on, damn it!

 

Seventy-five cents.

 

The fourth coin sticks.  It misses the stop latch, drops down hard into the change slot, then bounces up.  And out. And across the floor.

The massive Yakuza leader spots the kid’s fumble and smiles.  Pure evil shines in his eyes.

 

1…

 

The last quarter rolls to a stop, mere feet away.

Underneath the sneaker of another kid.

A bigger one.

Much bigger.

 

“Time’s up, twerp” the pimply teenager says with a sneer.  He reaches down to claim the coin as his own. “Let someone else have a turn!”

As the younger boy holds out an empty palm in a desperate plea for mercy, I know my fight is lost.

The Yakuza sense this as well.  They resume their victory shuffle, quicker now, moving with monstrous leers of triumph plastered over their two-dimensional faces.  Lunging, the boy throws himself against his tormentor. His pasty hands flail in a series of wild slaps. The blows find their mark, but do no harm.

The dim light fades faster now.

I think of her.

Of how I failed her.

Of how she is doomed to remain in Ryoku’s evil clutches.

Death envelops me quickly as a cocoon of darkness fills the screen.  In one last show of impotent anger, I clench my fists and fix a hard stare at the child who’d been working my controller.

The kid doesn’t notice.

He’s doubled over beneath the bully’s freckled, scabby arm, sniveling and gasping for air.  His breaths come in short, high-pitched wheezes.

 

I use my final, dying breath to curse the child’s ineptitude.

Man up and defend yourself, you hopeless little turd!  For the love of Christ, it’s just a chokehold! Drive your elbow into his solar plexus, then snap his neck and walk away!

But the boy cannot hear me.

 

The screen goes black.

 

Fog fades away.  Darkness lifts. I struggle to find my feet as vision returns.  The room is empty. Signs of a struggle.

She’s gone!


 

The Girl with the Piccolo


by Charity Tahmaseb

 

No one thinks about the empty note casings after the nightly revelry. Someone has to pick them up, right? That I spent four grueling years at the Acoustic Academy at Stormy Point for the privilege is something I try not to think about.

True, it takes only a breath or two to chase the notes into my sack. Still, patrolling the DMZ (Disharmonious Zone) feels anti-climactic. I didn’t sign up for this. But now, with the sun nearly cresting the horizon, I can’t say what I did sign up for.

I holster the piccolo and continue the patrol. When I first enlisted, I wanted something shiny, something big and brassy, a trumpet or a trombone, or–if I dared to dream–the saxophone. (Really, who doesn’t want the sax?) The supply sergeant gave me a once over and puttered around her inventory on grizzled wings.

“Here you go, sweetie,” she said, dropping a piccolo into my outstretched hands.

My own wings sputtered and I sank to the ground in disbelief.

“None of that,” the supply sergeant barked. “Remember, everyone underestimates the girl with the piccolo. Don’t let them.”

Perhaps I have. Let them, that is. This might explain why that piccolo and I now do border patrol.

Through my viewfinder, I scan the tree line on the other side of the DMZ. I catch sight of my enemy counterpart. She is a brilliant pink, where I am midnight blue. Her wings drip with glitter. Mine spark with stardust. I wonder how she can breathe a single note through her piccolo with all that tinsel in the air.

Through the lens, I see her eyebrows furrow. When her viewfinder is level with mine, I stick out my tongue. This, sadly, is the highlight of my evening.

I near the border, my bag overflowing with spent notes. I swipe the residue from a tuba casing. The tubas are so wasteful. I can fuel my piccolo for a week on what they leave behind. Across the way, the pink fairy dips and swoops; I suspect she’s doing the same thing I am.

A shift in the air makes the fine hairs on my wings stand on end. I shoot skyward just as a full marching band crowds the path alongside the meadow. Stardust fills the air. I could reach out and pluck notes as they float past me. I might. Except. This particular band? Doesn’t include a piccolo player. Underestimated? Try forgotten. Typical. They can play on without me.

I turn to fly away when the stench of rotted nectar hits me. I blink back tears. The aroma clogs the back of my throat. The players are drunk, spoiling for battle, and a wing’s breadth away from the DMZ. From above, I watch the band weave along the path, each rousing measure inching them closer to treaty violation. I cast a look for the security forces. Certainly someone is on the way.

Or not. I blow a few quick notes into my piccolo, an alert that may not reach its intended recipients, at least, not in time. Frantic, I peer through my viewfinder. The stricken face of my counterpart stares back at me, a hand on her own piccolo. A few breaths and she will bring in her own band–and they will not be drunk. They will be deadly, armed with wing-piercing notes. They will tear across the meadow, swoop into the DMZ, reigniting the Fairy Wars.

All on my watch.

I pull out my piccolo. Next, I take a quick peep through my viewfinder to make sure my pink counterpart is watching. She is. I mimic holding a baby, of rocking it to sleep in my arms. Certainly this movement is universal. Pink fairies come from somewhere, yes? I peer through my viewfinder again. Nothing but a pair of pink fuzzy eyebrows, drawn into a frown.

I rock my imaginary baby again, then hold up my piccolo. I run my fingers across it while holding my breath–one false note will bring my plan crumbling down. I check my viewfinder again. One of those pink eyebrows is raised. In question? Understanding? This time, I waltz with my imaginary baby before checking the viewfinder.

I hope her smile means what I think it does. I hope this isn’t a ruse. Without her help, I will be tried for treason, assuming, of course, I survive the ensuing battle.

I hold up a hand for the countdown … three … two … one. Fairies have many lullabies, but only one in three quarters time. When pitched just right it sooths the most colicky baby, sends mortals into a deep sleep. As for drunken fairies …

Her piccolo plays counterpoint to mine. At first, my comrades show no sign of stopping their rampage. In fact, the tuba player bursts through the ranks, intent for the DMZ and the meadow beyond.

Before he can reach the DMZ, his pace flags. The tuba slips from his grip. His wings falter. By the time both are on the ground, he’s snoring. The rest of the band drops off, in twos and threes, notes scattered everywhere. My own notes, and those of the pink fairy, play in the sky, creating an iridescent lavender that prolongs the night.

At last I need a breath–and so does she. I alight on the tuba. From this vantage point, I can peer across the meadow. Through my viewfinder, I study my enemy counterpart. How many times has she fogged my view with pink glitter? How many times have I stuck out my tongue? This time, before she can look away, I salute. Then, I shoot skyward. Someone else can clean up all these notes. After all this time, I realize what the supply sergeant meant.

Never underestimate the girl with the piccolo.

That goes for both of us.


 

Some Assembly Required

by Terry Mirll

CONGRATULATIONS on your purchase of your Easy-Time® Space-o-Matic Build-It-Yourself Time Machine. Easy-Time® Corporation is proud of its product line, offering quality space-time quantum manipulation equipment for home, school, or office. We’re sure you will have hours and hours of fun using this device, once you have followed our simple, easy-to-understand instructions. (But remember: Careful not to kill Grandpa! Ha-ha!)

WARNING: BE SURE TO READ, UNDERSTAND, AND FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS IN ASSEMBLING THIS DEVICE. ANY DEVIATION FROM THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR EASY-TIME® SPACE-O-MATIC BUILD-IT-YOURSELF TIME MACHINE TO MISFUCTION AND THUS MAY HAVE UNFORTUNATE OR OTHERWISE UNDESIRABLE CONSEQUENCES. EASY-TIME® CORPORATION ACCEPTS NO RESPONSIBILITY AND ASSUMES NO LIABILITY IN SUCH MATTERS, IN WHICH OCCURANCE THE WARRANTY SHALL BE CONSIDERED NULL AND VOID.

Tools Needed for Assembly (Not Included):

  • Adjustable frequency electro-spanner
  • Fixed frequency electro-spanner (1041 Hz)
  • Twenty-four “C” clamps
  • Ball-peen hammer

Step 1: Ensure all piece parts have been included. These consist of: One packet of short rivets, vertical stabilizer, horizontal stabilizer, frame (pieces A-L), temporal flux modulator, circuit board, windshield/headlight array (available on Deluxe Model only), Easy-Time® Ultra-Comfort adjustable seat.

Note:  By international agreement, temporal flux modulators vary according to region. You must ensure that the temporal flux modulator issued to you is coded for the correct region in which you live. Please see the cross-reference guide included in your purchase packet, or access www.whatsmytemporalfluxmodulatorregion.com for pertinent information. Use of an incorrectly-coded temporal flux modulator can have catastrophic results, including (but not limited to): creation of alternate realities, inescapable time-loop paradoxes, infinite combinatorial inflation of cosmological constants rendering the universe incapable of admitting human life, and drowsiness.

Step 2:  Frame assembly.

Using the twenty-four “C” clamps, arrange the twelve frame pieces to form the machine’s outer skeleton by carefully clamping the clamps at either end of each individual frame piece. Long pieces A-D form the sides; E-L form the top and bottom (see schematic diagram at the head of these instructions). At this point, get a friend to help you.  As you tighten the clamps, ask the friend to tap the frame carefully with the ball-peen hammer at any point lacking proper alignment. (A crisp ninety degrees at all joints is highly recommended.) Once the frame is stabilized, dismiss the friend and affix the pieces using the short rivets. Remove the clamps.

Step 3: Installing the Horizontal Stabilizer.

Slide the support brackets (A-D) of the horizontal stabilizer onto the alignment grooves of the lower sides of the frame. Using the adjustable-frequency electro-spanner, remove the hardware at the bottom of the horizontal stabilizer and adjust the primary and secondary input/output transducers for a +/- 0.2 percent variance. At this stage, precise calibration is a must. When this is accomplished, CAREFULLY re-insert the hardware and reattach, making sure not to cross-compartmentalize the field ambit so as to avoid creating any instances of temporal skip. In temporal dynamics, effect can precede cause, and is thus oftentimes easily overlooked. (Look for anything that seems suddenly out of place, like a sudden lsat-farging mstfrp. A skip is usually quite brief, so stay alert!

Step 4:  Installing the Vertical Stabilizer.

As in Step 3, slide the stabilizer into its support grooves, first removing the hardware (using ONLY the fixed frequency electro-spanner!) and tuning to EXACTLY 1041 Hz. Again, be very careful. Unlike the horizontal stabilizer, an improperly-installed vertical stabilizer can play havoc with cosmological constants affecting universal probabilities, thus creating a cascade of alternate realities that may phase in and out of existence, which, yea, shall most surely vex the Dark Lord, long His unholy reign! Sacrifice a small goat, and reinstall the hardware.

Step 5:  Installing the temporal flux modulator.

Note:  This is the most crucial step in the assembly process. Great care must be taken not to warp or bend external components or allow electronic surge to damage critically delicate internal components.

First, thoroughly wash and dry your hands. With a coarse brush, scrub under your nails with hot, soapy water. It is highly recommended before proceeding with this step to shave your hands and give them a good scouring with a piece of steel wool or pumice stone. Rinse your hands in an ice bath that has been chilled to at least thirty-five degrees Fahrenheit (for Heaven’s sake NOT Celsius!) and examine them under a magnifying glass. Only when you’re certain that your hands are clear of all foreign contaminants should you proceed.

Pick up the temporal flux modulator along its outer edges using only your fingertips and GENTLY insert it in the brackets along the upper half of the vertical stabilizer. If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, ensure that the edge labeled “A” extends along the length of the horizontal stabilizer at precisely one inch (2.5 centimeters if you live in Canada or Europe). If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, ensure that the “A” edge is inserted in a ninety-degree counterclockwise configuration. If you live on the equator, please return your Easy-Time® Space-o-Matic Build-It-Yourself Time Machine to the store where you purchased it and ask for a prompt, cheerful refund. (Receipt required.)

Step 6:  Installing the circuit board.

Before proceeding with this step, it is highly recommended you take a moment to recover from Step 5. Have a good, stiff drink. (Easy-Time® Corporation offers an award-winning assortment of single- and double-malt whiskey blends, so bottom’s up!)

Carefully clip the circuit board securely between the temporal flux modulator and horizontal stabilizer. Inspect all contact points for fit and placement. If desired, you may test all contacts using a standard electromagnetomitron capacitor variance meter. (NOT RECOMMENDED EXCEPT FOR LEVEL VI CERTIFIED TECHNICIANS!)

Step 7:  Installing the Easy-Time® Ultra-Comfort Adjustable Seat.

The seat goes on top.

CONGRATULATIONS! YOUR EASY-TIME® SPACE-O-MATIC BUILD-IT-YOURSELF TIME MACHINE IS READY FOR USE!

Troubleshooting Guide:

Trouble operating your time machine? Here’s a quick list of common problems and solutions:

Problem:  The device won’t operate.

Check the power supply. The temporal flux modulator operates on a standard hearing aid battery, located at the base of the modulator. (See the above comments concerning applicable region. Your region will determine the size and voltage of the battery required.) CAUTION: For extended periods of time travel, it is highly recommended you carry a spare battery, otherwise you may find yourself stranded in some technologically backward (and physically uncomfortable) period in history. If you find yourself temporally marooned, you will need to find a way to leave us a message so that we can send assistance. Be creative. One user’s solution, for example, resulted in a very interesting series of cave paintings in Lascaux.

Problem:  I find myself materializing into empty space, and very nearly suffocate before returning to the present.

Please remember that in time travel, you’re not only going to a moment in time but a place in three-dimensional space (which is why we call it a space-time continuum). If, for instance, you wish to travel to ancient Rome to watch the chariot races, you should also calculate where Rome actually was on the desired date, figuring in variables such as continental drift, the Earth’s rotation, its travel around the sun, the rotation of the Milky Way, and the expansion factor of “hot” Big Bang cosmology. A slide rule or school calculator is helpful.

Problem:  Wherever I go, no one speaks English.

You’ve gone back in time more than five hundred years. The machine is functioning properly.

Problem:  Whatever date I program, the machine takes me to April 20, 1979, and I end up watching Jimmy Carter getting attacked by a rabbit.

We told you to wash those hands.

Your Easy-Time® Space-o-Matic Build-It-Yourself Time Machine is now ready for use. We hope it gives you many hours of fun and adventure. Please use our product responsibly.

CAUTION: In the unlikely event of probability breakdown, the user will notice             intermittent outa along ng continuum as we know it. If this happens, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THE USER

D              QU                 ¬

├ →                OTHERWISE, THE SPACE-TIME CONTINUUM ITSELF WILL BEGIN TO UNRAVEL, RESULTING IN TOTAL ANNIH

Episode 87: Little Wonders 1


Authors: Kara Hartz and Eric Juneau
Narrators: Marguerite Kenner and Dave Robison

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Hello everyone! Surprise! Today, July 21st, is the two year anniversary of Cast of Wonders. We couldn’t be prouder, and to celebrate we’re debuting a new type of episode. You’re listening to the very first Little Wonders, a collection of flash fiction and poetry centered around a theme or genre. We’re going to start things off nice and easy with a pair of science fiction shorts.


Up first, we have Immersion by Kara Hartz. Kara writes and lives in my old stomping grounds, Northern California, with the support of her husband and children and despite the attentions of her cats. She loves Science Fiction and Fantasy because she is drawn to incredible ideas. You can find her blogging sporadically here.


Our second story this week is Influx Capacitor by Eric Juneau. Eric is a 31-year-old software engineer living in Minnesota with his wife and two daughters. His hobbies include writing, video games, reading, and eating as much barbecue as he can find. Huh, we have a lot in common! He blogs about his quest to become a ‘capital-A’ Author here. Recently, Eric has started a new fiction project chronicling a healing mage’s experience in World of Warcraft, available here.

For your narrator, we bring you the audio stylings of podcaster extraordinaire Dave Robinson, from Roundtable Podcast. Dave embarked on his life mission to be an Agent of Awesomeness armed only with a theater degree. He had learned at an early age that – if you ACTED like you knew what you were doing – people tended to believe you.

This principal has resulted in most of his employment, from graphic designer, to software instructor, from event coordinator to web applications developer. Throughout it all, however, theater remained a constant, and he would trod the boards with any performing troupe that would have him.
When podcasting became all the rage, he discovered a new venue to ply his not inconsiderable talents… audio fiction. Since arriving on the scene, 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. He’s thrilled to add Cast of Wonders to his performance credits.


Our lovely new Little Wonders theme, “Neversus”, is from Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Read Along

Immersion: Click here to read the text of the story

Influx Capacitor: Click here to read the text of the story