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Cast of Wonders 24: Kulturkampf

Show Notes

Anatoly Belilovsky is a Russian-American author and translator of speculative fiction. He was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (see Wikipedia, Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a paediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language.

His original work appeared or will appear in the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology, IdeomancerNature FuturesStupefying StoriesImmersion Book of SteampunkDaily SFMammoth Book of Dieselpunk, and Genius Loci anthology, and has been podcast by Cast of Wonders, Tales of Old, and Toasted Cake; his translations from Russian have sold to F&SFYear’s Best SF #32 (edited by Gardner Dozois,) Grimdark, and Kasma. He blogs about writing at loldoc.net.

 

Hans Fenstermacher was born in front of the Iron Curtain in Munich, Germany. He grew up in the crosshairs of the Cold War in Berlin. With that kind of provenance, what else could he do but study Russian? Despite the tutelage (read: learning swearwords) from his T.A., Anatoly, and after a stint really deep behind the Iron Curtain in Leningrad, Hans managed to graduate with a degree in Russian. He went on to a lengthy career in localization (if you have to ask what it is, you don’t need it) and language-related exploits.


Kulturkampf

by Anatoly Belilovsky

September 1, 1870

Most respected Feldmarschall von Moltke,

I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to put my theories to the test in the taking of Sedan. They were, of course, entirely correct, and our clear tactical victory I am happy to be reporting.

Die Grosse Bertha worked to perfection; we were able to play Bruckner’s Zero Symphony at half steam while the technicians adjusted all their valves and levers. Steamwinds worked perfectly on the first try, and though of course strings needed to be tuned, of the steam tympani there was never any doubt. I have perhaps been harsh on occasion in my estimation of Herr Bruckner’s work, but for making the listeners run away screaming I should say his symphonies are without rival.

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Cast of Wonders 23: Ruby Hearts


Show Notes

We’re off to a great start with today’s presentation, Ruby Hearts by Jodi MacArthur.

Jodi MacArthur loved to troll the forests with her brother for salamanders, fossils, and buried treasure. Mostly, they just got wet and jumped out of trees. This story was written for Thor and Xavier. Jodi’s fiction has won several contests and recently was nominated for a Derringer’s and a Spinetingler’s award. Discover more at her website.

Your narrator today is the Cast of Wonders Editor, Barry J Northern.

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

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Cast of Wonders 19: Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy (Part 2)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 2 of Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy by Willow Fagan.

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

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Cast of Wonders 18: Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy (Part 1)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 1 of Cockatrice Girl Meets Statue Boy by Willow Fagan. Willow lives in Portland, Oregon. They’re genderqueer, which for them means that they feel more like a pirate princess than like a man or a woman. Their fiction has appeared in Fantasy Magazine, Behind the Wainscot, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2011. To read more about their writing and adventures, go to their blog.

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

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Cast of Wonders 17: Saved (Part 2)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 2 of Saved by Arin Greenwood, read by Alasdair Stuart.

We gave Arin’s bio last episode but, at that time, I implied Arin is a boy. And here, I again display my fabulous research skills! Arin is a girl! My very humble apologies to Arin for getting it wrong. So it’s worth saying again, with the correct gender:

Arin Greenwood is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Washington, studying chemical engineering with a focus in nanotechnology. Apart from writing and reading, she is a dedicated musician, and a member of the Husky Marching Band at the UW. She attended the prestigious Alpha Young Writer’s Workshop in Pittsburgh for two consecutive summers, which features lectures taught by professional fantasy and science fiction authors, and the opportunity to meet writers of all ages.

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

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Cast of Wonders 16: Saved (Part 1)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 1 of Saved by Arin Greenwood. Arin is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Washington, studying chemical engineering with a focus in nanotechnology. Apart from writing and reading, he is a dedicated musician, and a member of the Husky Marching Band at the UW. He attended the prestigious Alpha Young Writer’s Workshop in Pittsburgh for two consecutive summers, which features lectures taught by professional fantasy and science fiction authors, and the opportunity to meet writers of all ages.

Your narrator today is the ever-impressive Alasdair Stuart, the writer and journalist from a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea.

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

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Cast of Wonders 14: Bad Kitty


Show Notes

Today we present Bad Kitty by Jason Dextraduer. He lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. If, like me, you know little about the US, Virginia Beach is the largest city in the state of Virginia; Virginia is on the West Coast. He works as a courier to pay the bills, and writes to keep the stories in his head from driving him crazy. Should he happen to have free time, he likes to spend it with friends, or outdoors letting the wind blow through him, or with a good story. Some of his other stories have appeared in The Hogglepot Online Fantasy Journal, The Absent Willow Review, and 5923 Quarterly.

Your narrators this week are the “Girl Friday Extraordinaire” Marguerite Kenner, who is becoming a welcome regular ‘round these here parts, and The Dark King of podcasting, Alasdair Stuart. Alasdair is a writer and journalist from a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea protected, the legends say, by a wizard who rolled wheels of fire down the central hill to dissuade invaders. Also it rained a lot, and he’s pretty sure that helped too.

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

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Cast of Wonders 13: The Name-Day

Show Notes

Today I wanted to present The Loot of Bombasharna by Lord Dunsany. However, I didn’t check the copyrights well enough. Lord Dunsany’s works are only in the Public Domain in the US, and certainly not in the UK and Australia. My apologies.

However, another very well-known writer was Hector Hugh Munro who used the pen-name Saki. Today we present his story The Name-Day. Saki’s works frequently satirised Edwardian society and culture and often had a mischievous twist, sometimes leaning toward the bizarre. An example of the mischievous is Down Pens, a story about the trials of responding to gift-givers with notes of gratitude, for politeness’ sake.

You can find out more about Saki at the ultimate arbiter of absolute truth, Wikipedia.


The Name-Day

by Saki

Adventures, according to the proverb, are to the adventurous. Quite as often they are to the non-adventurous, to the retiring, to the constitutionally timid. John James Abbleway had been endowed by Nature with the sort of disposition that instinctively avoids Carlist intrigues, slum crusades, the tracking of wounded wild beasts, and the moving of hostile amendments at political meetings. If a mad dog or a Mad Mullah had come his way he would have surrendered the way without hesitation. At school he had unwillingly acquired a thorough knowledge of the German tongue out of deference to the plainly-expressed wishes of a foreign-languages master, who, though he taught modern subjects, employed old-fashioned methods in driving his lessons home. It was this enforced familiarity with an important commercial language which thrust Abbleway in later years into strange lands where adventures were less easy to guard against than in the ordered atmosphere of an English country town.

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Cast of Wonders 12: To Be True (Part 2)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 2 of To Be True by Jess Hyslop.

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

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Cast of Wonders 11: To Be True (Part 1)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 1 of To Be True by Jess Hyslop. Jess lives in London has recently been ejected from the cosy realm of academia into the perils of ‘the real world’, where she is trying to survive the life of an aspiring writer. She studied English at the University of Cambridge and three years later, emerged with her passion for sci-fi and fantasy still fully intact. Extraordinary!

In 2010 she was awarded the University’s Quiller-Couch prize for creative writing, for Augury, a short story set during the Nazi occupation of Guernsey in WWII. You will soon be able to purchase the story from Shortfire Press.

You can find out more about Jess at her blog.

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

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Cast of Wonders 9: Alienation (Part 2)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 2 of Alienation by Katherine Sparrow.

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

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Cast of Wonders 8: Alienation (Part 1)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 1 of Alienation by Katherine Sparrow. Katherine lives with her partner in Santa Cruz which she says “is a bit too sunny and mellow for her over-caffeinated Seattle soul.” She’s a graduate of the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop, where she learned many excellent things. She has been selling short stories here and there and is currently writing a book about teenagers and the monsters who love them. Katherine especially likes writing books, because that’s where you get to do big things. Her work has been published in Escape Pod, PodCastle, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and many others. You can find out much more about Katherine on her website.

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