Archive for Episodes

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Cast of Wonders 59: Once There Was A Hero…


Once There Was A Hero…

by Jenny Moore

*Text to Come*

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Cast of Wonders 58: The Great Game, Part 5 – The Dark Continent

Show Notes

The Dark Continent is part 5 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.


The Great Game, Part 5 — The Dark Continent

by James Vachowski

Light a lamp, child, and be quick about it. The day is fading, and my eyes are not what they once were. Ah, that’s the rub. This room closes in when night falls. Oftimes I find myself back in the dense brush of the Kalahari. Were you to speak a smattering of Bantu, odds are fair I would mark you by size as a pygmy Bushman.

What?  A Bushman, child!  Do you mean to tell me you have no knowledge of the fiercest warriors on this Earth?  The scourge of the Dark Continent? Those diminutive spearmen have dispatched tens of thousands of Her Majesty’s riflemen to their end, and it is no embellishment to say that I was nearly one of that number.
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Cast of Wonders 57: Empty Pockets (Part 2)

Show Notes

Today’s episode is Part 2 of “Empty Pockets” by James Issac. Be sure to listen to Part 1  if you haven’t yet.


Empty Pockets, Part 2

by James Isaac

Fresh, clean and ready for his first day of work, Dee Jay made sure to wake way before nine o’clock. No rain today, a good sign, he thinks as he walks leisurely to the shop-with-no-name. MCG is sitting on her stool, this time whistling as she paints purple polish on her nails. She nods to Dee Jay as he crosses the street, shouting loudly because of the noise of the headphones “Good morning.”

As soon as he pushes past the bead-curtain Granny Guffin is there, throwing an orange apron at him. “Here is your ‘Apron of Customer Service,” she says. Lacking kangaroo pouch, Dee Jay considers it ‘rated underling.’

“Don’t you ever close?” he questions, as Mrs Guffin seems to be wearing the same gear as yesterday.

“Don’t be silly. Now clever young man, off to work you go. I want you to put the contents of those boxes on the shelves” she says pointing over to several large cardboard boxes between the aisles. “Do it anyway and anyhow you want. And remember, in case of a customer, we are what we are in the eye of the beholder.”
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Cast of Wonders 56: Empty Pockets (Part 1)

Show Notes

Today we present Part 1 of Empty Pockets by James Isaac. James has three stories (non-YA) placed in three different anthologies that should be out before the year’s end:

Anabiosis, editors John G. Hartness & Emily Leverett, The Big Bad – An Anthology of Evil (publication and other details pending)

The Edge Between, Soul Reflections, Wicked East Press, 2012 (not yet appeared) e Publications, 2012

Waste Not Want Not, Tales for the Toilet, Crowded Quarantine Publications, 2012

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


Empty Pockets, Part 1

by James Isaac

MCG doesn’t notice the young man, clutching a wad of freshly printed CVs, walk past and enter Pound Palace next door. Oblivious to the pattering of rain on the blank shop-awning above, she nods her head to the noises emitting from the over-sized, Monster Soundzzz, studio-quality headphones clutching her ears and scalp. A panoply of charms spreads randomly on the stall display-table in front of her; vacuum packed rabbits feet, horseshoes, an array of styled sevens and twelves. Leaning back on a wooden stool, with her fat-laced trainers up on the table, she maintains a precarious equilibrium. Her stall’s alleged purpose is to entice customers into the shop directly behind. But the last thing MCG expects is to be disturbed by customers. No-one ever enters from the front door.
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Cast of Wonders 55: Flash Collection II

Show Notes

Our first story is Color Contacts by Bethany Powell. Bethany didn’t really know people wore contacts until one day in middle school, when one of her classmates ran out of homeroom because one of his flipped. The fascinating trickery of it has stuck with her. (Though he was just as cute in glasses the next day.) She also has a weak spot for manga with plot points about glasses or contacts.

Bethany has mainly published fantasy genre poetry, which you can find at bethanypowell.com. She also keeps a semi-popular Tumblr on suit fashion, mainly featuring Asian celebrities. When not scribbling or reblogging photos, she waits tables in a tea room.

Our second story is The Quest Unusual by David Steffen. David runs the webzine Diabolical Plots, which posts interviews, reviews, lists and other material related to the field of speculative fiction. At this point DP is the only site to regularly review Daily Science Fiction, where this story originally ran. Another highlight is the “Best of” podcast lists, including a “Best Of Cast Macabre”, and in the near future a “Best of Cast of Wonders”.

He has stories upcoming in Escape Pod, Pseudopod, and Daily Science Fiction, and his stories have been published in more than a dozen others. See his a bibliography page on Diabolical Plots for a full listing.

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


Color Contacts

by Bethany Powell

Crap, the lens is slipping, and it’s driving my eye crazy. I can barely focus to get out my credit card to hand to the clerk. It can’t come out now, I’m in public—and of course she’s as cute as that actress I liked last year, which is completely my luck.

So painful, it’s flipped or something and when I have to sign, the paper starts to smell of dangerous heat before I realize what I’m doing and shut it down. I crinkle it a little before handing it back, to try and hide the char-streaks.
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Cast of Wonders 54: The Great Game, Part 4 – In The Bowels of the Sick Man

Show Notes

In The Bowels of the Sick Man is part 4 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.

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


The Great Game, Part 4 — In The Bowels of the Sick Man

by James Vachowski

Child!

What is that swill you have brought me?  I called for coffee!

From Colombia, you say? Where? South America? My dear lad, America is but a speck along the timeline of history and hardly worth mentioning, much less pinpointing on a map. Ah, but real coffee… now that is something timeless.

Of course, there is only one place on earth where one can get such a draught. Hmm? I mean Istanbul, you fool! Here now, if you cannot manage to make proper coffee then at least steep a kettle for tea, and be quick about it.
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Cast of Wonders 53: The Cruel Sister


Show Notes

Today we present The Cruel Sister by James Breyfogle. James writes fantasy and Science Fiction from his home in Pennsylvania.

Your narrator is the fabulous Tina Connolly! Tina lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and young son, in a house that came with a dragon in the basement and blackberry vines in the attic. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the anthology Unplugged: Year’s Best Online SF 2008. Her debut fantasy novel IRONSKIN is forthcoming from Tor in October 2012, with a sequel in 2013. She is a frequent reader for Podcastle, and is narrating a 2012 flash podcasting venture called Toasted Cake. In the summer she works as a face painter, which means a glitter-filled house is an occupational hazard. Her website is here. Check the shownotes for details.

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

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Cast of Wonders 52: Retention


Show Notes

Today we present Retention by Jason Heitkamper. Jason is a student writer attending St. Petersburg College where he have participates in creative and film writing classes in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature. This is Jason’s first first publishing credit. We’re very pleased for Jason and hope you enjoy the story as much as we do!

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

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Cast of Wonders 51: Off Button

Show Notes

Today we present Off Button by Shannon M Wendt. Shannon has had recent writing credits in The Washington Pastime, Cygnus, and Nine, among others. When she isn’t working at one of her two day jobs, Shannon spends her time writing fiction and taking photographs. She lives in wind-blown, sun-blasted New Mexico with her husband and five rescued dogs. She dreams of verdant forests and rain. You can find out more about Shannon and her work her website.

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


Off Button

by Shannon M Wendt

Serious, fourteen-year-old Becky Brown, with her over-large glasses and unruly brown hair, is considered the best babysitter in town and has a reputation of being able to tame even the most difficult brat. She is so popular and in-demand that parents bring their kids to Becky’s place instead of the other way around. On any given night, she has anywhere from three to a maximum of fifteen children in her care.

Becky is such a prolific sitter that she keeps an accounting ledger of her booming, little business. She can tell at a glance who her best clients are and who owes her money (although she rarely agrees to babysit “on account”). She makes between $600 and $1,200 per week, and has even been known to give her parents a loan from time to time (with interest, of course).
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Cast of Wonders 50: The Great Game, Part 3 – The Empty Quarter

Show Notes

The Empty Quarter is part 3 of a series of stories called The Great Game by James Vachowski and narrated by Barry J Northern. To find other episodes in the series search for the tag The Great Game.

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


The Great Game, Part 3 — The Empty Quarter

by James Vachowski

My dearest child,

I was delighted to receive your most recent correspondence. In response to your inquiry, it would give me the utmost pleasure to assist with your History essay. I did indeed serve with Colonel Lawrence during the Arabian campaign, but in those days, before his fame reached its peak, Lawrence of Arabia was known to us simply as Toms.
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Cast of Wonders 49: Miranda and the Butterfly

Show Notes

Today we present Miranda and the Butterfly by Abigail Hilton. We’re very pleased to feature Abigail again; welcome back! You may remember that she started us off in Episode 1 with A Suitable Pet.

Abigail is a nurse anesthetist and writer who lives in Florida. Her works are primarily set in the world of Panamindorah and are available as free audio downloads or as eBooks from Amazon, B&N and the like. You can listen to her trilogy, The Prophet of Panamindorah, for free.

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


Miranda and the Butterfly

by Abigail Hilton

When Miranda was seven, she asked her mother whether she had a daddy. “Yes, he was a traveling salesman.” Her mother sounded so disgusted that Miranda didn’t ask again until she was ten. This time, her mother said, “He was a lousy, no good, lying fairy.”

Miranda took this to mean that her father was gay, an idea she accepted philosophically. Miranda had a friend, Jeremy, who was gay. As far as Miranda could tell, this meant that Jeremy would admit to liking My Little Ponies and was more fun to play with than other boys. He also got beaten up a lot. When Miranda was twelve, Jeremy decided to become tough in order to keep from getting beaten up. As far as Miranda could tell, being tough meant being a jerk. Miranda missed him.
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Cast of Wonders 48: The Malthus Alternative


Show Notes

Today we present The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason. Jamie is a Canadian sci-fi/fantasy short-story author and novelist whose works are characterized by absurdist themes and an exaggeratedly fatalistic world view. His stories have been featured in On Spec, Abyss & Apex and the Canadian Science Fiction Review. His young adult sci-fi novel ECHO was published in June 2011 by Drollerie Press. Find our more on his website

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