Posts Tagged ‘space ships’

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Cast of Wonders 195: The Tale of the White Tiger (Staff Pick 2015)

Show Notes

Every year in January, Cast of Wonders takes the month off to recharge our batteries, plan the year ahead, and highlight some of our favourite episodes. As part of joining the Escape Artists family, this year we’re pulling out all the stops. We’re running 10 staff pick episodes over the month, each one hosted by a different member of the Cast of Wonders crew.

We hope you enjoy editor and host Marguerite Kenner’s favorite story from 2015, The Tale of the White Tiger by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt and narrated by Tracey Yuen. The story originally aired July 5, 2015 as Cast of Wonders 168.


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


The Tale of the White Tiger

by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

Blind Li Xiao surveyed the marketplace. The sensor net embedded in his storyteller’s robes fed signals directly to his brain. The citizenship transponders exactly matched the number of heat signatures. A world firmly loyal to the Empire, then. Or one too afraid to act otherwise.

A passive scan showed at least two peacekeepers in the market. Probably more secret police. He would have to be careful in his story selection. Something from one of the official chronicles. Something he could use for his own purposes.

He beat his staff on the ground three times. The bells at the head chimed out their message. Be still and hearken. Blind Li Xiao is about to begin his tale. He chanted the introductory poem in his clear, high voice:

“When wicked ministers subvert the good,

“The Systems lose the beautiful and true.

“On Heaven’s River vast, White Tiger sails,

“Her course set by the pirate Madam Hu.”

An audience gathered in front of Blind Li Xiao. Children pressed close, their grandparents behind them. The young women and men stood at the edge, feigning disinterest or fearing entrapment. Blind Li Xiao swept the head of his staff in a broad arc as he spoke.

(Continue Reading…)

Genres:

Cast of Wonders 168: The Tale of the White Tiger


The Tale of the White Tiger

by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

Blind Li Xiao surveyed the marketplace. The sensor net embedded in his storyteller’s robes fed signals directly to his brain. The citizenship transponders exactly matched the number of heat signatures. A world firmly loyal to the Empire, then. Or one too afraid to act otherwise.

A passive scan showed at least two peacekeepers in the market. Probably more secret police. He would have to be careful in his story selection. Something from one of the official chronicles. Something he could use for his own purposes.

He beat his staff on the ground three times. The bells at the head chimed out their message. Be still and hearken. Blind Li Xiao is about to begin his tale. He chanted the introductory poem in his clear, high voice:

“When wicked ministers subvert the good,

“The Systems lose the beautiful and true.

“On Heaven’s River vast, White Tiger sails,

“Her course set by the pirate Madam Hu.”

An audience gathered in front of Blind Li Xiao. Children pressed close, their grandparents behind them. The young women and men stood at the edge, feigning disinterest or fearing entrapment. Blind Li Xiao swept the head of his staff in a broad arc as he spoke.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 147: 30 Minutes for New Hell (Part 2)


30 Minutes for New Hell

by Rick Kennett

Part 2

He checked the clock again.

Twenty-nine, twenty-eight, twenty-seven …

From his vantage point at the weapons console at Com, Lieutenant Frank Peters looked first at the forward access hatch, then at the aft access hatch, speculating. Yes, he thought. Forward hatch. Definitely. It was slightly further from Scans, but more direct. And the Professor was nothing if not direct.

He leaned back and listened to the building power-song of the drive firing gravity rings down the hull, faster and faster, acting on every atom simultaneously, causing no g forces within.

Twenty-four, twenty-three, twenty-two …

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 146: 30 Minutes for New Hell (Part 1)


30 Minutes for New Hell

by Rick Kennett

Part 1

What are they doing?

Cy De Gerch leaned forward and peered at the scene on one of her repeater screens. A few minutes ago, there in the middle of a New Hell desert viewed from a high-orbit drone, the Dhooj’s vehicle had suddenly stopped – skidding on its six balloon tyres, spraying red dust. Yet none of its crew, clad in their vacuum suits and transparent helmets, had so far emerged.

Which was odd, and Cy knew it. Ever since their landing on New Hell two days ago the Dhooj had been trundling along, setting up experiments, making observations, reporting excitedly back to their home world thirty million kilometres sunward like the pioneers and explorers they were. Energetic creatures, the Dhooj, not ones to just sit. Didn’t they have geological samples to take? Water probes to drill? Low g sports to play?

On impulse Cy shivered and pulled her grey tunic closer about. There was a desert wind blowing down there. She could feel it even from so distant an orbit. The scene was too much like home, too much like Mars. And well she knew that Martian winds blew forever cold.

(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 144: The Middle Rages


The Middle Rages

by Joseph L. Kellogg

Cale twirled his drumstick morosely as the last of the reverb from the guitars died out.

“We vent,” he finally declared, tossing the sticks down onto the snare with a clatter. He leaned against the back of the couch and crossed his arms over his ample stomach.

“No, come on,” Bendrick replied, turning toward the drums as he brushed the hair from his eyes. “That was good, we’re definitely getting better. We’ve just gotta-” He stumbled as he stepped on the cord and pulled the plug sharply from his guitar. “We’ve gotta keep practicing.”

“What for, Benny?” asked Jillan, plopping down on an amp and resting her head in her hands. “It’s not like we can ever sign a big record contract, or go on a world tour. There aren’t any opportunities on the ship, no matter how good we are.”

“Don’t you see?” Bendrick said, pulling the guitar strap over his head and setting it down. He pointed at the crude letters formed from strips of electrical tape on the base drum. “We’re The Middle Rages! It’s not about the money or the fame, it’s about the rage, the emotion. It’s about the art.”
(Continue Reading…)

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Cast of Wonders 131: Survivor


Survivor

by Josh Roseman

Wen slumped against a crystal formation and stared up at the dark sky, lit only by greenish-gold auroras. Sweat ran down into her eyes and made her clothes cling in uncomfortable places. She wanted to sit down, wanted to take off the pack for a few minutes, but the last time she’d done that, her feet had ached even worse for the respite.

No. Better to stay standing.

She caught her breath before taking a measured swallow from the canteen that hung at her side. Gulping the water would be a mistake; in this state, she’d just throw up. Staying calm, that was the key.

One more swallow, though she ached to drain the whole thing, and then back onto its clip.

Wen’s borrowed comm pinged. Four hours to sunrise. Four hours until the witchlight above her head gave way to the burning white orb that would blast her with heat and radiation until she was nothing but a memory.

Four hours to live.
(Continue Reading…)