Posts Tagged ‘speculative fiction’

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Cast of Wonders 259: Seer’s Salad

Show Notes

Theme music is “Appeal to Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available from Promo DJ or his Facebook page.


Seer’s Salad

by Barbara A. Barnett

There would be no snatching my laptop back from Diya. She slapped my hand every time I reached across the café table for it. I had been a keystroke away from deleting the amateur-hour comic panels cluttering up my hard drive–months of wasted effort that Diya was now inexplicably determined to keep reading. Her gaze remained glued to the screen as she shoveled forkfuls of salad from bowl to mouth.

“Tam, these are awesome,” she said, voice pitched at a chirpy, bird-like frequency. “It’s like George Romero meets Dostoyevsky meets Thelma and Louise meets an alien invasion flick.”

I shrugged. As much as I wanted to believe I had enough talent to create a successful webcomic, it was hard to take Diya’s encouragement seriously. I had seen her get equally excited over blueberry pancakes, after all.

(Continue Reading…)

Writers, Start Your Engines: Submission Call Alert


September 25 through October 1st is Banned Book Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and raising awareness of the immense social value of free and open access to information. We’ve run special episodes spotlighting the event in the past, such as Alex Shvartsman’s The Things We Leave Behind.

To celebrate, later this year (tentatively scheduled for April/May), Cast of Wonders will hold a specific submission call for new YA stories focusing on themes of overcoming censorship, access to information and the transformative power of literature in all its forms.

Full details will be availaible before the submission window opens and will include:

  • Two week submission window to be announced in April or May 2016
  • New stories only
  • Open to both flash and short fiction
  • Our regular pay rates ($0.06/word), submission guidelines and contractual terms will apply
  • We plan to purchase up to seven stories to showcase the week

We hope this inspires you, and we can’t wait to see your stories!

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For Your Consideration


Hello everyone, this is Alasdair, the voice of Escape Artists. This is our 2016 metacast to present the stories we ran in 2015 which are eligible in the upcoming Hugo nomination season.

First, a quick plug four ourselves. All four EA shows – Podcastle, Pseudopod, Escapepod and Cast of Wonders – are themselves eligible in the SEMIPROZINE Hugo category.

Not Fancast. Not Fanzine. Semiprozine.

Yes, the categories are confusing and often overlap. Fancast as a category is traditionally dominated by commentary shows and sketch based audio programs. Take at look at the finalists over the last couple of years. Whereas the Semiprozine category is home to the types of publications we consider our publishing peers.

While there’s an argument to be made we could split the shows and compete in multiple categories to increase our chances, we don’t think benefits anyone. The division would be artificial at best, extremely difficult to explain given all four of our shows have harmonized pay rates and submissions policies, and smack of gamesmanship which doesn’t interest us.

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVED seeing Podcastle and Escapepod on last year’s Hugo long lists, and we’d be honoured for one of our shows to be a finalist. But that’s a decision that rests solely in the hands of you, our fans and supporters.

And just a note, Mothership Zeta doesn’t qualify this year because they’re too new.

Update: all of our editors (Graeme Dunlop and Rachael K. Jones at PodCastle, Shawn Garrett at Pseudopod, Marguerite Kenner at Cast of Wonders and Norm Sherman at EscapePod) are themselves eligible in the Editor, Short Form category.

These show notes contain links to a few different aggregation projects, where fiction fans are building cumulative lists of those eligible in the various categories. They’re great tools, and we’d like to thank David Steffen in particular for his efforts. We’ll also link to our Wikia page, containing links to all the stories mentioned.

And with that, we present the following for your consideration:

Editor, Short Form:

Marguerite Kenner

Cast of Wonders 2015 Short Story first publications:

Aisha Bets Her Life on Magic by Jarod K. Anderson
There Are No Marshmallows in Camelot by Christian McKay Heidicker
Lost Socks by Lisa Montoya
Above Decks by Terry Ibele
Fairy Bones by Guy Stewart
A Troll’s Trade by Sandra M. Odell

2015 reprints:

The Mothgate by J.R. Troughton – originally published by Shimmer
The New Kid Is Not An Alien by Bert Lowe originally published in the July 2015 issue of Spaceports & Spidersilk from Nomadic Delirium Press