Posts Tagged ‘alternate realities’


Cast of Wonders 470: Matches


by Sydney Paige Guerrero

Madge used to make wishes on raindrops. Lev always said that you could see more raindrops on windows than stars in the night sky and while airplanes and city lights may try to trick you, raindrops were never anything except exactly what they were. Back when they were nine years old and his house was a sanctuary from the emptiness of her own home, they would spend hours wishing for impossible things–ice cream cones that tasted like any flavor they could think of, unicorns and giant robots whisking them away from their math homework, Madge’s father coming home from Singapore to celebrate her birthday. Their fingers would draw new constellations, follow raindrops as they slid across the glass like shooting stars, and let themselves believe that anything was possible even just for a while.

It would be easy, she thinks, to make such a wish now as she watches raindrops quiver on the taxi window. Madge could wish the past year and a half away, go back to a time before she and Lev broke up, before he told her he was getting married, before she ran away to an entirely different universe to escape him. Easy, yes, but certainly not true. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 198: The Authorized Biography (Part 2)

Show Notes

Show Notes

This week we present the conclusion of The Authorized Biography by Michael G. Ryan, narrated by Brian Rollins.

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


The Authorized Biography (Part 2)

By Michael G. Ryan

“My mom,” Betsy had written, “met Eugene Versace—no relation, it turns out—when she took our old dog Gator in to be put to sleep. Dad didn’t go that day. I was still in the hospital recovering from surgery, and at the age of four Jasper certainly could not have understood why our sixteen-year-old dog could not go on forever. So, Dad stayed with him at the house and kissed Gator goodbye in the driveway. So, Mom was alone with her grief when she met the veterinarian who would comfort her and then break up my parents’ marriage.”

“Fuck!” Toonby shouted, slamming the book closed. His eyes watered.

“Gator?” he called in a gentle voice. “Come here, boy.”

He could hear the golden retriever’s toenails on the hardwood floor in the hallway, and for the first time he imagined he could hear old age and world-weariness in that familiar sound. Gator poked his head around the corner, tongue wagging tiredly, and came to Toonby, pushing his head into Toonby’s open palm. Then he lay down at his feet as if the moment of affection were all he could endure. Toonby reached down, and the dog raised his head slowly into the touch. They stayed that way for some time.

“With a name like Eugene, he shouldn’t even be able to talk to a woman,” Toonby finally said, “let alone steal mine. For crying out loud, the man has his hands up cats’ asses all day long.”

Gator lowered his head again as if embarrassed at the thought.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 197: The Authorized Biography (Part 1)

Show Notes

Galen Dara’s amazing print for Artemis Rising is available on Society6.

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

The Authorized Biography

by Michael G. Ryan

In the beginning, Tim Toonby was bewildered to find his biography. Bewildered and ultimately alarmed.

It appeared Saturday morning on his front porch in an unadorned metal box, the fireproof kind meant for legal documents. No key. Tim Toonby had just stepped outside to leave the full diaper pail liner for the service, and in the age of letter bombs, he hesitated when he saw the box on the steps. He looked around as if the deliverer would still be nearby, waiting for the detonation, but the neighborhood was typically quiet—prefabricated homes with lawns of sod, flower boxes along porch railings, stone lions at the end of driveways as affectations of the neighbors’ aspirations. Toonby had them, too. It was a street for dreamers, not killers.

When he picked up the box, the lid wasn’t latched—it fell open, and he was suddenly looking down at his own face on the cover of a book inside. His own face, thirty years older, hair gone to gray, the crow’s feet at his eyes deep and sad. The black-and-white photo looked posed in a cheap hotel room where the nightstand’s drawer was pulled open enough to reveal a book, a Gideon’s Bible. But when Tim Toonby squinted at the picture, he could see that wasn’t right. He could just make out the text on the cover: Barnabas’s Bible by Timothy Toonby.

This was the book he had started writing six months ago. His first book, his hope for the great American novel, his dream of fame and fortune. The one his agent said would make him a household name.

(Continue Reading…)