Posts Tagged ‘Katherine Inskip’

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Cast of Wonders 369: Glass Gardens


Glass Gardens

by Y. M. Pang

I was the eldest daughter, so I knew I was doomed.

The youngest marries the prince. The youngest saves the kingdom. The youngest is immortalized in song. I told myself I didn’t mind missing those things. I didn’t want princes, or kingdoms, or songs. I was happy being the wicked one.

If only I knew a single story–just one–where the wicked sister won. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 361: Heartless

Show Notes

This episode is part of our 2019 Summer Spotlight, showcasing the work of the year’s major award finalists.

Peadar’s YA novel The Invasion is a finalist for the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book.


Heartless

by Peadar Ó Guilín

“No one asks for death.” This was the proud boast of the city of Kalegwyn. “No one ever asks for it.” Until Malern did. A bad move for her, as it turned out. She awoke on Castellan Garvinger’s operating table with his favourite surgeon elbow-deep in her chest.

“This is going to hurt,” said Garvinger from somewhere in the background. “Scream all you want.”

And she did. She couldn’t help herself, although she knew her cries were being conveyed magically to the people in the plaza beyond. She screamed until something seemed to snap in her throat, and after that the best she could manage was a wheezing, bubbling sound that carried no hint of her former insolence.

The surgeon kept working, ripping and tearing. He made sure she could see everything. They had pointed a mirror at her chest and had pinned her eyes open.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 358: A Singular Event in the Fourth Dimension


A Singular Event in the Fourth Dimension

by Andrea M. Pawley

Olive touched the tiny carbon fiber legs. They folded under her fingertip. The drone was dead. Its accumulator nodes held enough copper to get Olive through the next three days. Papa had always provided Olive with the inorganics she needed, but Papa hadn’t been home much since Mama stopped going to work and the second grandma arrived five days ago.

With her hand curled around the drone, Olive wiggled backward through the sinewy filament holding each living quarters trailer like a barnacle to the side of the elevator. The filament slowed Olive. So did a shortage of metals in her system. None of today’s dead drones carried the gold she needed most.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 356: Little Wonders 20: 2018 Flash Fiction Contest Winners

Show Notes

Dream Foundry is a new organization helping all professionals, especially beginners, working in the speculative arts. Back their Kickstarter to make sure they last and grow, and to get yourself some nifty rewards.

 

Website: www.dreamfoundry.org
Twitter: @dream_foundry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dreamfoundryorg/
Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dreamfoundry/dream-foundry-2019-hatching


An Economy of Words

by Wendy Nikel

Growing up so far from the wordfields, I’ve learned to appreciate the few words I have, so as the fitting for Baron Kensington’s festival garments drag on, I cringe at each wasted remark.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 355: Why I Spared the One Brave Soul Between Me and My Undead Army (Artemis Rising 5)


Why I Spared the One Brave Soul Between Me and My Undead Army

by Setsu Uzume

I am loathe to admit that the ambush was masterful. Not only had the bounty hunters slain my contacts, but they had done so in the right order — dispatching the Ritualist before she had any corpses to animate. Had I come on horseback, they would have had me, too.

In addition to my dead allies and their hobbled wagon, I counted four hunters lumbering through the dark. Big lads, experienced and well-equipped, but given the style of their breastplates they had come from the west — tracking the cultists and not me. It made them slow and ill-prepared to face me in my glory. I whirled, my shadow splitting off to pierce kidneys and slice the backs of their knees while I led them a merry dance through dead leaves and bracken. One of them even turned, his blade slashing a wide arc, but shadows have no heads to remove. Him, I killed the quickest.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 350: The Last Fifth (Part 2 of 2)


The Last Fifth (Part 2 of 2)

by Naru Dames Sundar

Anur cradled his face in his hands, his split lip still oozing blood.  It hurt, a kind of searing pain far greater than the dull ache of bruises he had suffered at the hands of the bullies at school.  He tried to run when the men had exited the van, tried to get away, but he had tripped and fallen amidst the smoke and the wreckage.  Bala, the man with the scraggly beard, hit him and dragged him by one arm back into the van.

The men had retrieved something from the wreckage.  Anur had only caught a glimpse of it, a charred sphere the size of a soccer ball, bits of wire dangling from it.  Tears welled in Anur’s eyes. He wanted to be at home, sitting on the big blue couch wrapped in a blanket while mummy fed him halwa and sweet tea with jasmine.  But his tears and his wants didn’t help him, they didn’t bring him any closer to freedom.

“Child.”

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 349: The Last Fifth (Part 1 of 2)


The Last Fifth (Part 1 of 2)

by Naru Dames Sundar

Anur slumbered under the ledge of the sloping walkway, leaning on the housing of a small flower strewn altar to Ganesh.  Rain plinked onto the jasmine-filled votive bowls that lined the altars on the opposite wall. Anur blinked his eyes open, looking sideways at shafts of light breaking across the falling drops, shimmering gold as they drizzled onto the row of Shiva-lingam jutting out from the wall.  The narrow street still looked dry, yet the rain continued. The voices of two men spoke across the pitter patter of the falling drops.

“Do you trust the buyer, Kalan?  Can he really get Pankaj out of that mountain hell-hole?”

“The buyer has a reputation to uphold, Bale.  And I promised Amma that I would get him out somehow –”

“It leaves us very… exposed.”

“We’re exposed by being who we are, Bala.  All or nothing, my friend, all or nothing.”
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 346: The Librarian (Staff Picks 2018)

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders highlights some of our favorite episodes from the previous year. It’s a great chance for us to take a bit of a breather, and let you, our listeners, catch up on any missed back episodes with new commentary from a different member of the crew.

Today’s episode is hosted by assistant editor Katherine Inskip.


The Librarian

by Maria Haskins

The library hadn’t been there the day before, Ella was sure of it. That patch of dirt beside the rusting piles of spaceship debris outside the refugee camp had been bare, with nothing but weeds and rocks on it. Now, there was a library there. She knew it was a library because it said LIBRARY right on it, painted in glittery letters. The word was spelled out in the twelve most commonly spoken languages and dialects in the camp. Ella recognized them all from school, even if she could only read and understand five of them. .

The building was small and rectangular. It looked like a brightly painted version of one of the metal shipping containers Ella would see at the spaceport when she went there with her friends to scavenge for leavings. Of course, you weren’t supposed to go scavenging there, but everyone did anyway. You could find anything there – scraps of metal and junky electronics for the trader, even food, if you were lucky.

Ella squinted at the library’s sign. She was supposed to come straight home after school, but school had ended early since the power went out, and Pappa wouldn’t notice she was gone until later. And who had ever heard of anyone offering books around here? Better take the chance when it was offered.

Ella opened the door and stepped inside. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 328: Ava Paints the Horses


Ava Paints the Horses

by Ville Meriläinen

It’s late into morning on a Friday, and Ava paints the horses. Her feet are bare despite the season, and she has buried them in a pile of leaves that rustles as she curls her toes in rhythm with her strokes. The scent of hot cocoa wafts up from the mug between her knees, mixing with the smell of summer grass that escapes her painting.

She sits on the porch of her home and sinks herself into her work, so she wouldn’t have to hear how close Mom is to tears when her parents argue about money. It’s a school day in September, but she hasn’t been to class for days. Everyone is understanding of her troubles at home, but no one asks where she would rather be.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 325: The Librarian (Banned Books Week)

Show Notes

Check out The Drabblecast Reborn!


The Librarian

by Maria Haskins

The library hadn’t been there the day before, Ella was sure of it. That patch of dirt beside the rusting piles of spaceship debris outside the refugee camp had been bare, with nothing but weeds and rocks on it. Now, there was a library there. She knew it was a library because it said LIBRARY right on it, painted in glittery letters. The word was spelled out in the twelve most commonly spoken languages and dialects in the camp. Ella recognized them all from school, even if she could only read and understand five of them. .

The building was small and rectangular. It looked like a brightly painted version of one of the metal shipping containers Ella would see at the spaceport when she went there with her friends to scavenge for leavings. Of course, you weren’t supposed to go scavenging there, but everyone did anyway. You could find anything there – scraps of metal and junky electronics for the trader, even food, if you were lucky.

Ella squinted at the library’s sign. She was supposed to come straight home after school, but school had ended early since the power went out, and Pappa wouldn’t notice she was gone until later. And who had ever heard of anyone offering books around here? Better take the chance when it was offered.

Ella opened the door and stepped inside.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 322: Your Words There for the World to See (Banned Books Week)


Your Words There for the World to See

by Aimee Ogden

The school library doesn’t have the book you want. No surprise there. There are a few dozen volumes on its shelves; plenty of other books are out there in the cloud, but the part of the cloud with your book is partitioned off too. It’s in the Premium Access tier and a Title X school in Ass-Nowhere, Wisconsin is not exactly Premium Access quality. The librarian apologizes for that, but apologies don’t put the words in your hands.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 311: And Flights of Skuhwiggle


And Flights of Skuhwiggle

by Charles Lee McDaniel

“Hello, children. Quiet down and give me your attention. We have a super-duper treat for you this morning.”

Geez, Nurse Janina was laying it on thick. Jimmy’s hand tightened around the tall stool he held, and his stomach shrank to the size of a raisin.

Why are you worried? the familiar voice inside his head asked.

Because I’ve never done this before, Jimmy thought back.

Excuse me? The gooey green alien perched on Jimmy’s shoulder puffed out its rubbery chest and it squinted its almost-human eyes at him. Have you forgotten how we wowed the crowd at the school talent show? It was only a couple of weeks ago. I know you humans can’t compete with Astrofarians when it comes to memory, but even so…

It’s not that. Jimmy peeked past the curtain hiding him and Skuhwiggle from the rest of the ward. Twenty or so kids looked up at Nurse Janina, drinking in her tale of how Jimmy had supposedly met his alien friend.

(Continue Reading…)