Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

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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 347: Your Words There for the World to See (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 audio producer Jeremy Carter.


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 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 342: An American Refugee (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 associate editor Emma Smailes.


An American Refugee

by Tiah Marie Beautement

I first spot the surfer as I run down the path that cuts below the lighthouse. I can’t believe it. The Point is full of holiday campers, so motors are banned on the water until eight a.m. and it is only six-thirty. I run down the steps; reaching the bottom of the peninsula, I find that the few souls that are awake are calm and content. Strange. But when I reach the part of the path that curves at the base of Inner Pool I realize why.

No sound. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 341: The Raptor Snatchers (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 associate editor Andrew K. Hoe.


The Raptor Snatchers

by Rachael K. Jones

Dad said you can’t buy friends, but that’s not always true, because I bought my best friend Zilla with my 10th birthday money. She didn’t cost much because velociraptors were pests, which meant there were too many of them in Absence, and nobody liked them. Rooster’s Rescue was overflowing with raptors. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 335: Skinned


Skinned

by Amanda Helms

So Jian thinks he needs a new skin.

He says it like it’s no big deal, just a little epidermal clean-up, Oh ha ha how’d that peeling happen? But what he means is that he has to replace his rusting face. It’s harder to accept than a pinkie finger would be, or even a whole arm. His face is him, and Jian acts like tearing it off means nothing.

He heard from someone who heard from someone that the old Smythson Cerebral place has a working rejuvpod, so that’s why we’re sneaking into an abandoned biodroid repository at two in the morning. He’s hoping he’ll get double-lucky and find a compatible stem-skin.

Jian scans the darkened landscape, probably seeking a sturdy-enough tree I could hide in, except there’s nothing but wizened trunks and naked branches.

He’s also checking for bandits. One little apocalypse and they breed like rabbits.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 334: Secrets and Things We Don’t Say Out Loud


Secrets and Things We Don’t Say Out Loud

by José Pablo Iriarte

Blame cabin fever–I don’t usually do stupid things. (Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 330: The Raptor Snatchers (Dinovember)

Show Notes

Rachael had this to say: This story is part of a shared world project I did with several friends who happen to be fellow Escape Artists authors, although this is the only story in the project so far to reach publication. I’m always looking for new ways to peer pressure them into finishing their chapters of this project, so if you enjoy this one, please help me by shaming them with effusive praise on Twitter!


The Raptor Snatchers

by Rachael K. Jones

Dad said you can’t buy friends, but that’s not always true, because I bought my best friend Zilla with my 10th birthday money. She didn’t cost much because velociraptors were pests, which meant there were too many of them in Absence, and nobody liked them. Rooster’s Rescue was overflowing with raptors.

Zilla was real funny-looking. About half her brown crest feathers had fallen out, and underneath her skin was bright pink, my favorite color. At the rescue, she’d squeezed out of her pen to chase a kitten up Mr. Rooster’s trouser leg. Mr. Rooster lassoed a cord tight around Zilla’s neck and forced her back into her cage. She looked so sad, like Godzilla in movies Dad watched, getting shot by airplanes when he just wanted to be left alone, so I picked her and named her Zilla.
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 326: Forgiveness


Forgiveness

by Leah Cypess

The day Michael came back to school, I was still wearing long sleeves.

Not because of the bruises. That’s what everyone thought, but the truth was, the bruises had faded weeks before. I didn’t know why I was wearing them myself, until Michael slunk through the front doors, and everyone stopped what they were doing and turned to stare at him.

(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…)

Genres: ,

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 320: Presumed Dead (Part 7)

Show Notes

Buy the full-length novel from Amazon!


Presumed Dead (Part 7)

by Rick Kennett

The Xenoid hadn’t tried to cover up evidence of its theft.

Her raft had been dragged out from behind the fungi bush and now lay on the white sand beach. Many of its locker doors hung open, their contents spilled on the floor. There was a gouged-out space on the control console where the computer had been.

It’d probably planned to use the raft after eliminating her, Cy guessed confidently. But, being a calculating creature, it had to secure the computer’s memory module when it had the opportunity. It represented a prize too invaluable to risk to the chance of failure.
(Continue Reading…)