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Cast of Wonders 75: The Field Trip


The Field Trip

by Alex Shvartsman

The obelisk towered over the surrounding ruins, the strange signs carved into its sides gleaming in the afternoon sun. It was mysterious, majestic, and very, very annoying.

I walked over and joined the other students. The group waited in an uncomfortable silence, sizing each other up nervously and trying to guess if any of the others had better luck in figuring out Professor Quilp’s puzzle. The stakes were high. Professor Quilp, one of Milky Way’s most notable scholars of xenoarchaeology, had room for exactly one new intern in his department at the Academy.  We five were his top candidates, and this was the final audition.
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Cast of Wonders 71: Now Cydonia


Now Cydonia

by Rick Kennett

Cadet Cy De Gerch bounced forward into the desert darkness, raised her arms in a defensive posture and, as best as a fourteen year could, barked, “Halt! Who goes there!”

There was no one there. There never was.

Cy jumped back, a slow leap in the low gravity, to her original position on the perimeter, her vacsuit moving easy like a second skin, to watch and wait and break the boredom as best she could until relieved. Out there was the desert she had trekked the past two years with her section of Martian Star Corps cadets. Out there was the countryside of Mars – cold and red and a billion years dead, littered with rocks, pocked with craters, filled with myths and ghost stories, most of which Cy didn’t really believe. Sergeant Kreeng – Old Get-It-Right – had known what he was doing when he’d set them perimeter guard duty consisting mostly of doing nothing. It was, she knew, a discipline of the mind.
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Cast of Wonders 67: Barsoom in June


Barsoom in June

by Brian L. Hurrel

Come in, Mr. Unger. Now, what’s all this fuss about? You’ve created quite a stir within the Astronomy Department.

I’m sorry sir. It was unintentional. I was setting up a spectroscopy demonstration for my Astronomy 101 class. I used the Talbot ECR 394 with —-

Long story short, Mr. Unger.

Well sir, I did a test analysis of Mars, and, well, it showed oxygen. Lots of oxygen.

Obviously there was something wrong with the machine or its calibration.

That’s what I thought too. So I tried a second spectroscope. The Marchand 227—

The Marchand always was a little quirky.

Yes sir, so I ran the same tests on the Dorushuk equipment and—

And?

The results were the same.
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Cast of Wonders 66: The Egg Game


The Egg Game

by S. R. Algernon

I never would have invented the egg game if our parents had taken us–that is, me and my little brother Donnie–on a real vacation. Don’t tell them that, though. Donnie and I will never live it down if we admit, even for a second, that our parents are capable of doing anything cool, even by accident.

It all started last summer, about a week after school let out. Our parents cast suspicious eyes over our glowing report cards and, with a sigh or two, agreed to take us on a trip to space. We were thinking of Lunar World or the Balloon Cities of Venus, but a week before launch day we found out that, no, we were going to the Sun Spot. The Sun Spot turned out to be a “floatel” resort just far enough out of the atmosphere so that our parents technically kept their promise. It spun like a giant bicycle wheel for gravity. Its elevators ran along the spokes, so that someone could get a workout at the gym on the one-point-five gee level, ride inward–or “up”–to the normal level for lunch and then continue on one of those floating zero-gee tai chi groups. It had all the stuff adults liked to do, but as far as Donnie and I were concerned, it might as well have been a bus station.
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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.

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Cast of Wonders 45: Finding the Blue Door


Show Notes

Today we present Finding the Blue Door by L. Lambert Lawson. L. Lambert Lawson writes from his library in Southern California. From 2005-2007, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine. He is the publisher of Kazka Press, an independent SFF press with a monthly flash fiction contest. He can be found online or on Twitter.

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

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Cast of Wonders 26: Fearing The Invasion (Part 2)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 2 of Fearing The Invasion by Eric Del Carlo.

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

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Cast of Wonders 25: Fearing The Invasion (Part 1)


Show Notes

Today we present Fearing The Invasion by Eric Del Carlo. Eric, who lives in California, has been writing since his early twenties. He knew the late Robert Aspirin well and collaborated with him on two novels. His work has appeared in many publications including Asimov’s, Sybil’s Garage, Necrotic Tissue and Everyday Fiction, amongst many, many others. You can find several of his books on Amazon and you can find out more about Eric himself here.

Your narrator is Marguerite Kenner, the crime-fightin’, rock-climbin’, cymbal-bangin’ “Girl Friday Extraordinaire”!

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

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Cast of Wonders 22: Rust


Show Notes

Today we present Rust by Brian Griggs. He’s taught junior high for ten years, five as an English teacher and five as a teacher-librarian. Of this story, he says, “I had a great chemistry teacher when I was in high school that greatly influenced my writing of “Rust”.”

You can find out more about Brian at his website, briangriggs.com.

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

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Cast of Wonders 21: Peanut Butter and Jellyfish (Part 2)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 2 of Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Guy Stewart.

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

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Cast of Wonders 20: Peanut Butter and Jellyfish (Part 1)


Show Notes

Today we present Part 1 of Peanut Butter and Jellyfish by Guy Stewart. Guy is a writer and science teacher who’s been writing since he was 13. His main writing focus is science fiction and writing for children. His passion is to someday create science fiction books that would do for today’s young people what Robert A. Heinlein did for him.

His work has includes publications in ANALOG and CRICKET, a Hadley Rille anthology called AETHER AGE: HELIOS; the emagazine STUPEFYING STORIES; science experiments in TURTLE and HOPSCOTCH FOR GIRLS, historical and contemporary fiction, and the curriculum for two PBS science programs, to name just a few. You can find out more about him at his online.

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

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Cast of Wonders 15: Same-Day Delivery

Show Notes

Now, last week, I professed ignorance of U.S geography, then went straight on to prove it by locating Virginia on the west coast! It is, in fact on the east coast. My humble apologies to all Virginians for shifting your fair state so far afield! My only defence is that I live in Australia where right now we’re heading into Spring, Christmas is in the middle of Summer, we walk upside-down, navigating our way through hordes of kangaroos, and everything is generally backwards.

Today we present Same-Day Delivery by Desmond Warzel. The story first appeared in issue #11 of On the Premises. Desmond lives in northwestern Pennsylvania, and that his most recent short story publications appeared in Daily Science Fiction, the anthology Candle in the Attic Window from Innsmouth Free Press, and at Tor.com.

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


Same-Day Delivery

Desmond Warzel

Renninger looked like trouble.

Of course, they’re all trouble, or they wouldn’t be coming to me. By definition.

But it’s a sliding scale.


My office was at the end of what most people would consider an excessively long and narrow corridor. It had no door, affording me a clear view of the entire passageway; a necessary concession to my unique brand of paranoia. I need to see them coming, and from as far away as possible.

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