LIGHTSPEED MAGAZINE - Science Fiction and Fantasy Story Podcast (Sci-Fi | Audiobook | Short Stories)

By John Joseph Adams and Stefan Rudnicki (Skyboat Media | Geek's Guide to the Galaxy | Nightmare Magazine)

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 Jan 3, 2019

Description

Edited by bestselling anthologist John Joseph Adams, LIGHTSPEED is a Hugo Award-winning, critically-acclaimed digital magazine. In its pages, you'll find science fiction from near-future stories and sociological SF to far-future, star-spanning SF. Plus there's fantasy from epic sword-and-sorcery and contemporary urban tales to magical realism, science-fantasy, and folk tales. Each month, LIGHTSPEED brings you a mix of originals and reprints featuring a variety of authors, from the bestsellers and award-winners you already know to the best now voices you haven't heard yet. When you read LIGHTSPEED, you'll see where science fiction and fantasy have come from, where they are now, and where they're going. The LIGHTSPEED podcast, produced by Grammy Award-winning narrator and producer Stefan Rudnicki of Skyboat Media, is presented four times a month, featuring original audio fiction and classic reprints.

Episode Date
Caroline M. Yoachim | The Shadow Prison Experiment
41:21
The shopping district was crowded on a Sunday afternoon, and Vivian Watanabe was out running errands with her sixteen-year-old, Cass. Together they wove through throngs of shoppers wearing customized skins or the generic default. Vivian wasn’t fond of Generics---they fell into that uncanny valley between a nondescript human and a silver android. Cold and impersonal, plus it was hard to keep track of who you’ve interacted with. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
Aug 06, 2020
Ray Nayler | The Swallows of the Storm
47:01
One of the Senators cleared her throat, turned on the microphone in front of her, and began. “Would you like to tell us when you first became aware of the phenomenon, Doctor? Perhaps that would be the best place to start. We can formulate our questions from there.” The hearing was not in the main Congressional building. It was in a building on another part of Capitol Hill, in a room overdue for remodeling, with drop-ceiling panels stained by leaking pipes. But the room, however humble, was crowded. Harlan sat near the front of the room. | Copyright 2020 by Ray Nayler. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 30, 2020
Ray Nayler | The Swallows of the Storm
47:01
One of the Senators cleared her throat, turned on the microphone in front of her, and began. “Would you like to tell us when you first became aware of the phenomenon, Doctor? Perhaps that would be the best place to start. We can formulate our questions from there.” The hearing was not in the main Congressional building. It was in a building on another part of Capitol Hill, in a room overdue for remodeling, with drop-ceiling panels stained by leaking pipes. But the room, however humble, was crowded. Harlan sat near the front of the room. | Copyright 2020 by Ray Nayler. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 30, 2020
Mari Ness | Great Gerta and the Mermaid
50:44
That notorious ship that sailed to the wretched isle known as Neverland under the leadership of one James, self-styled Jas., Cook, called the Jolly Roger, has most naturally been a subject of intense study among historians. Yet even the most meticulous of these scholars have often failed to note that among that dreadful crew sailed at least one woman, Gerta, or, as she named herself, the Great Gerta, or, as she was named by others, Gerta the Girthy. | Copyright 2020 by Mari Ness. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jul 23, 2020
Mari Ness | Great Gerta and the Mermaid
50:44
That notorious ship that sailed to the wretched isle known as Neverland under the leadership of one James, self-styled Jas., Cook, called the Jolly Roger, has most naturally been a subject of intense study among historians. Yet even the most meticulous of these scholars have often failed to note that among that dreadful crew sailed at least one woman, Gerta, or, as she named herself, the Great Gerta, or, as she was named by others, Gerta the Girthy. | Copyright 2020 by Mari Ness. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jul 23, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The End of the World Measured in Values of N
16:07
Listen. The world ended thirty seconds ago. You greet this whisper with incredulity. After all, here you are, living and breathing. The people around you are living and breathing. You might be drinking coffee in lying in bed trying to decide whether to get up. You are reminding yourself of all the little life tasks awaiting you, things that need to be taken care of in order for you to continue going about your day. Thoughts of the apocalypse are a thousand miles away. Lunacy, they seem. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 16, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The End of the World Measured in Values of N
16:07
Listen. The world ended thirty seconds ago. You greet this whisper with incredulity. After all, here you are, living and breathing. The people around you are living and breathing. You might be drinking coffee in lying in bed trying to decide whether to get up. You are reminding yourself of all the little life tasks awaiting you, things that need to be taken care of in order for you to continue going about your day. Thoughts of the apocalypse are a thousand miles away. Lunacy, they seem. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 16, 2020
Kristina Ten | Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills
42:37
It doesn’t take long. She has few earthly possessions and her travel options are limited. There is a train that runs west through the Swamp Forest to the coast, but everyone knows and fears the old witch here, and on moving trains, she can cause quite a commotion. “Do not eat my children, Baba Yaga!” people cry when she steps onto the dining car. “Oh, please, have mercy! Do not use your pestle to grind up my bones!” She sits quietly in a booth, minding her own business. | Copyright 2020 by Kristina Ten. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Jul 09, 2020
Kristina Ten | Baba Yaga and the Seven Hills
42:37
It doesn’t take long. She has few earthly possessions and her travel options are limited. There is a train that runs west through the Swamp Forest to the coast, but everyone knows and fears the old witch here, and on moving trains, she can cause quite a commotion. “Do not eat my children, Baba Yaga!” people cry when she steps onto the dining car. “Oh, please, have mercy! Do not use your pestle to grind up my bones!” She sits quietly in a booth, minding her own business. | Copyright 2020 by Kristina Ten. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Jul 09, 2020
Em North | Real Animals
55:57
The bear has been stalking the taxidermy garden for ten weeks now, ever since Raffi showed up. Sometimes it disappears for a few days or a week, but it always comes back. Prowls the perimeter, looking for weak spots. From inside the taxidermy garden, Raffi feels the bear’s presence tugging on her, as though it has become the pole of her personal compass. The taxidermy garden isn’t a real garden. It’s a ski chalet, or what used to be a ski chalet, all hand-hewn logs and wood stoves. | Copyright 2020 by Em North. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jun 25, 2020
Em North | Real Animals
55:57
The bear has been stalking the taxidermy garden for ten weeks now, ever since Raffi showed up. Sometimes it disappears for a few days or a week, but it always comes back. Prowls the perimeter, looking for weak spots. From inside the taxidermy garden, Raffi feels the bear’s presence tugging on her, as though it has become the pole of her personal compass. The taxidermy garden isn’t a real garden. It’s a ski chalet, or what used to be a ski chalet, all hand-hewn logs and wood stoves. | Copyright 2020 by Em North. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jun 25, 2020
Ben Peek | Refuge
47:48
Dear Mr. Quilas: This morning, I began to read your new collection of essays, Forgotten Lives. I’ve enjoyed a number of your books previously, but this collection held a particular interest for me. Aned Heast, the subject of your third essay, “A Refuge in Juar,” held a personal interest and I looked forward to reading your piece about him. Sadly, I was disappointed. Your essay was riddled with misinformation and errors. I’m sure you do not wish to be told that. Few writers want to be told they are wrong. | Copyright 2020 by Ben Peek. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 18, 2020
Ben Peek | Refuge
47:48
Dear Mr. Quilas: This morning, I began to read your new collection of essays, Forgotten Lives. I’ve enjoyed a number of your books previously, but this collection held a particular interest for me. Aned Heast, the subject of your third essay, “A Refuge in Juar,” held a personal interest and I looked forward to reading your piece about him. Sadly, I was disappointed. Your essay was riddled with misinformation and errors. I’m sure you do not wish to be told that. Few writers want to be told they are wrong. | Copyright 2020 by Ben Peek. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 18, 2020
Marie Vibbert | Single Malt Spacecraft
27:28
The first time Fresia tasted scotch, it was true love. She was twenty-two. Her boyfriend had just turned twenty-one and had gotten a bottle of Glen Livet from his dad. He poured a shot for himself and for his friend, but none for Fresia. “Come on,” she said, “I want to taste it.” “Girls don’t like whisky,” he said. “Trust me, you’ll hate it.” “Let me find out for myself.” “Not for what this costs, sorry.” The friend gasped over his empty shot glass. “Oh, that’s good.” Her boyfriend put the whisky on the top of the fridge where he knew Fresia was too short to reach. | Copyright 2020 by Marie Vibbert. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 11, 2020
Marie Vibbert | Single Malt Spacecraft
27:28
The first time Fresia tasted scotch, it was true love. She was twenty-two. Her boyfriend had just turned twenty-one and had gotten a bottle of Glen Livet from his dad. He poured a shot for himself and for his friend, but none for Fresia. “Come on,” she said, “I want to taste it.” “Girls don’t like whisky,” he said. “Trust me, you’ll hate it.” “Let me find out for myself.” “Not for what this costs, sorry.” The friend gasped over his empty shot glass. “Oh, that’s good.” Her boyfriend put the whisky on the top of the fridge where he knew Fresia was too short to reach. | Copyright 2020 by Marie Vibbert. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 11, 2020
Julianna Baggott | The Postictal State of Divine Love
59:17
My mother used to tell me we came from the matriarchal vampiric line that had been traced farther back than Queen Elizabeth. She only told me these things after a seizure. Many people with epilepsy talk about how, after a seizure, strange memories pop up---small but suddenly vibrant details; my mother would recall the small vibrant details of our collective vampiric past. What kind of mother would do this? Mine. And, when I was little, I loved her for it. | Copyright 2020 by Julianna Baggott. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jun 04, 2020
Julianna Baggott | The Postictal State of Divine Love
59:17
My mother used to tell me we came from the matriarchal vampiric line that had been traced farther back than Queen Elizabeth. She only told me these things after a seizure. Many people with epilepsy talk about how, after a seizure, strange memories pop up---small but suddenly vibrant details; my mother would recall the small vibrant details of our collective vampiric past. What kind of mother would do this? Mine. And, when I was little, I loved her for it. | Copyright 2020 by Julianna Baggott. Narrated by Judy Young.
Jun 04, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Love
23:51
Your guidebook writers are---alas---very familiar with booking tickets in search of love. How many of us haven’t packed our bags for the new continent with this foolish goal in mind? We’ve stumbled through our travels, searching cities and villages for romance. In cafés, opera houses, and hotel rooms, we felt acutely alone. Why, even the most exquisite restaurants were dulled by the empty chair across from us. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
May 28, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Love
23:51
Your guidebook writers are---alas---very familiar with booking tickets in search of love. How many of us haven’t packed our bags for the new continent with this foolish goal in mind? We’ve stumbled through our travels, searching cities and villages for romance. In cafés, opera houses, and hotel rooms, we felt acutely alone. Why, even the most exquisite restaurants were dulled by the empty chair across from us. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
May 28, 2020
Ada Hoffmann | Melting Like Metal
52:33
When the quantum supercomputing systems of the God called Nemesis registered the sighting of the heretic Candor Gray---already tried in absentia and slated for termination, and assigned the serial number of HA3-940QK322PF-P---Enga Afonbataw Konum of Nemesis was already waiting, as she’d waited during the last few dozen stupid assignments. Enga was an angel of Nemesis, a no-longer-human cyborg built for a singular purpose: to hunt down and destroy the Gods’ enemies. | Copyright 2020 by Ada Hoffmann. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
May 21, 2020
Ada Hoffmann | Melting Like Metal
52:33
When the quantum supercomputing systems of the God called Nemesis registered the sighting of the heretic Candor Gray---already tried in absentia and slated for termination, and assigned the serial number of HA3-940QK322PF-P---Enga Afonbataw Konum of Nemesis was already waiting, as she’d waited during the last few dozen stupid assignments. Enga was an angel of Nemesis, a no-longer-human cyborg built for a singular purpose: to hunt down and destroy the Gods’ enemies. | Copyright 2020 by Ada Hoffmann. Narrated by Susan Hanfield.
May 21, 2020
Millie Ho | The Fenghuang
36:14
Narrated by Justine Eyre.
May 14, 2020
Millie Ho | The Fenghuang
36:14
Narrated by Justine Eyre.
May 14, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The Time Traveler’s Advice to the Lovelorn
27:12
Time is best described as the thing that must crawl by before even the most unlikely events finally get around to happening. A lot of it had passed in the little village we now visit, drifting down its cobblestoned streets like loose papers carried away by the wind, before the most unlikely of all developments had finally occurred. Samael, the junk collector, had fallen in love. Nobody had ever expected this, in large part because Samael was as dull and unimaginative a man who had ever lived. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
May 07, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | The Time Traveler’s Advice to the Lovelorn
27:12
Time is best described as the thing that must crawl by before even the most unlikely events finally get around to happening. A lot of it had passed in the little village we now visit, drifting down its cobblestoned streets like loose papers carried away by the wind, before the most unlikely of all developments had finally occurred. Samael, the junk collector, had fallen in love. Nobody had ever expected this, in large part because Samael was as dull and unimaginative a man who had ever lived. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
May 07, 2020
Rati Mehrotra | The Witch Speaks
20:41
As different as earth and sky. That is what they said about us. Yet even earth and sky meet at the horizon. Shade your eyes from the sun. Look, far in the distance. Do you see that line where brown merges into blue? I’m ready to walk there. But not before having told my story. | Copyright 2020 by Rati Mehrotra. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Apr 30, 2020
Rati Mehrotra | The Witch Speaks
20:41
As different as earth and sky. That is what they said about us. Yet even earth and sky meet at the horizon. Shade your eyes from the sun. Look, far in the distance. Do you see that line where brown merges into blue? I’m ready to walk there. But not before having told my story. | Copyright 2020 by Rati Mehrotra. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Apr 30, 2020
Andrew Dana Hudson | Voice of Their Generation
20:50
On their ninth rewrite of the third act of Detective Pikachu vs. Predator, it occurred to Thicket that they might just be the voice of their generation. In a fever, they swiped together the final epic speech where Detective Pikachu refutes Predator’s cynical attempts to turn him against his human partner, arguing that the Pokémon relationship with humanity was one not of servitude but of guardianship, for every Pokémon can see within each human the potential to rise above their flawed nature. | Copyright 2020 by Andrew Dana Hudson. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Apr 23, 2020
Andrew Dana Hudson | Voice of Their Generation
20:50
On their ninth rewrite of the third act of Detective Pikachu vs. Predator, it occurred to Thicket that they might just be the voice of their generation. In a fever, they swiped together the final epic speech where Detective Pikachu refutes Predator’s cynical attempts to turn him against his human partner, arguing that the Pokémon relationship with humanity was one not of servitude but of guardianship, for every Pokémon can see within each human the potential to rise above their flawed nature. | Copyright 2020 by Andrew Dana Hudson. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Apr 23, 2020
Celeste Rita Baker | Glass Bottle Dancer
38:34
When de words “glass bottle dancer” come to me as I was day-dreaming, listening to music on de radio, I thought it sounded like someting I’d like to see, didn’t tink it would change me whole life. I imagine it might mean taking a bunch of soda and beer bottles, laying dem on dey sides and stepping on dem widout having dem roll away. I thought a limbo dancer might do it to add someting special to dere act. | Copyright 2020 by Celeste Rita Baker. Narrated by Celeste Rita Baker.
Apr 16, 2020
Celeste Rita Baker | Glass Bottle Dancer
38:34
When de words “glass bottle dancer” come to me as I was day-dreaming, listening to music on de radio, I thought it sounded like someting I’d like to see, didn’t tink it would change me whole life. I imagine it might mean taking a bunch of soda and beer bottles, laying dem on dey sides and stepping on dem widout having dem roll away. I thought a limbo dancer might do it to add someting special to dere act. | Copyright 2020 by Celeste Rita Baker. Narrated by Celeste Rita Baker.
Apr 16, 2020
Veronica Roth | The Least of These
29:56
Two women, Best and Least, woke in a bright room. Best did so as if surfacing in a pool of water, her eyes wide and observant. Least woke with a start, and immediately slammed her back against the wall behind her, her arms splayed. Where are we? asked Best. Who the fuck are you? demanded Least. Now, now, came a voice from the doorway. There’s no need to be coarse. A tall, graceful Being entered the room, diaphanous fabric afloat around its slender body. | Copyright 2020 by Veronica Roth. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Apr 09, 2020
Veronica Roth | The Least of These
29:56
Two women, Best and Least, woke in a bright room. Best did so as if surfacing in a pool of water, her eyes wide and observant. Least woke with a start, and immediately slammed her back against the wall behind her, her arms splayed. Where are we? asked Best. Who the fuck are you? demanded Least. Now, now, came a voice from the doorway. There’s no need to be coarse. A tall, graceful Being entered the room, diaphanous fabric afloat around its slender body. | Copyright 2020 by Veronica Roth. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Apr 09, 2020
Tahmeed Shafiq | Love and Marriage in the Hexasun Lands
1:05:40
Every child knows the story of how King Adhamrya, Son of Suns, slew a demon to win the heart and hand of Schyan, the goddess of love and desire. But the story of what happened afterwards is not as commonly known. In this entry I will present to you the full account of that sad tale, for I believe it is one worth remembering.  —Excerpt from A History of the Hexasun Lands by Imperial Historian Nananaore | Copyright 2020 by Tahmeed Shafiq. Narrated by Kate Orsini.
Mar 26, 2020
Tahmeed Shafiq | Love and Marriage in the Hexasun Lands
1:05:40
Every child knows the story of how King Adhamrya, Son of Suns, slew a demon to win the heart and hand of Schyan, the goddess of love and desire. But the story of what happened afterwards is not as commonly known. In this entry I will present to you the full account of that sad tale, for I believe it is one worth remembering.  —Excerpt from A History of the Hexasun Lands by Imperial Historian Nananaore | Copyright 2020 by Tahmeed Shafiq. Narrated by Kate Orsini.
Mar 26, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | Many Happy Returns
39:59
Gorman was on foot, crossing a frozen continent. It was not Antarctica. That was light years away, and so over. Nobody went there anymore. This continent he had chosen for his latest adventure was bigger, broader, colder, deadlier, nastier. It was not fun. Every step was an occasion for regret. He was probably going to die. He was glad he came. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 19, 2020
Adam-Troy Castro | Many Happy Returns
39:59
Gorman was on foot, crossing a frozen continent. It was not Antarctica. That was light years away, and so over. Nobody went there anymore. This continent he had chosen for his latest adventure was bigger, broader, colder, deadlier, nastier. It was not fun. Every step was an occasion for regret. He was probably going to die. He was glad he came. | Copyright 2020 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 19, 2020
Kristina Ten | Tend to Me
19:02
Nora is a serial becomer. She has become many things in her life, though rarely on purpose. The first time, it just sort of happened. The second time, it was a coincidence. Now, it is a habit she cannot seem to break. In the past, she has become a rock climber and a scuba diver, a beekeeper and a gardener and a mechanic specializing in European cars. For two months last summer, she was a stand-up comedian. Her senior year of college, she amassed New England’s largest collection of antique coins. | Copyright 2020 by Kristina Ten. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 12, 2020
Kristina Ten | Tend to Me
19:02
Nora is a serial becomer. She has become many things in her life, though rarely on purpose. The first time, it just sort of happened. The second time, it was a coincidence. Now, it is a habit she cannot seem to break. In the past, she has become a rock climber and a scuba diver, a beekeeper and a gardener and a mechanic specializing in European cars. For two months last summer, she was a stand-up comedian. Her senior year of college, she amassed New England’s largest collection of antique coins. | Copyright 2020 by Kristina Ten. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 12, 2020
Russell Nichols | Giant Steps
37:02
The Blue Marble is shrinking; as Orion II lifts off, ripping from the grasping tentacles of Earth’s gravity, the world gets smaller, smaller, a blot on the cosmic sheet of infinite blackness, which closes in like a camera iris in a classic film’s final shot. Picture the planet’s surface, where the wonders of the old world buckle at the top of the hour under the weight of new wars; where down below, all those little people fall to their knees, desperate voices crying, crying out to their deity-du-jour for deliverance. | Copyright 2020 by Russell Nichols. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Mar 05, 2020
Russell Nichols | Giant Steps
37:02
The Blue Marble is shrinking; as Orion II lifts off, ripping from the grasping tentacles of Earth’s gravity, the world gets smaller, smaller, a blot on the cosmic sheet of infinite blackness, which closes in like a camera iris in a classic film’s final shot. Picture the planet’s surface, where the wonders of the old world buckle at the top of the hour under the weight of new wars; where down below, all those little people fall to their knees, desperate voices crying, crying out to their deity-du-jour for deliverance. | Copyright 2020 by Russell Nichols. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Mar 05, 2020
JT Petty | The Gamecocks
43:57
Leslie Anne Moore had known Hardy Devine since second grade, when he had bloodied her nose in a game of dodgeball and then the other boys caught him crying about it and beat him pissy. By the end of the school year, Hardy had picked a fight with each one of those boys individually and found more satisfactory results. He didn’t look Leslie-Anne square in the eye again until seventh grade when he asked her to the Boone County Middle School Homecoming Dance and she said no. | Copyright 2020 by JT Petty. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 27, 2020
JT Petty | The Gamecocks
43:57
Leslie Anne Moore had known Hardy Devine since second grade, when he had bloodied her nose in a game of dodgeball and then the other boys caught him crying about it and beat him pissy. By the end of the school year, Hardy had picked a fight with each one of those boys individually and found more satisfactory results. He didn’t look Leslie-Anne square in the eye again until seventh grade when he asked her to the Boone County Middle School Homecoming Dance and she said no. | Copyright 2020 by JT Petty. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 27, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Toxic Destinations
20:44
Since the discovery of the Eighth continent, your Tour Guide writers have received many letters from travelers and concerned individuals. We have heard, for instance, from the embattled New Zealand geologists who have long attempted to gain traction for their theory of the unrecognized continent of Zealandia. These hardworking scientists argue that the collection of partly submerged fragments off the coast of New Zealand comprise a much larger landmass, claiming this fits within standard definitions of continental attributes. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Feb 20, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Toxic Destinations
20:44
Since the discovery of the Eighth continent, your Tour Guide writers have received many letters from travelers and concerned individuals. We have heard, for instance, from the embattled New Zealand geologists who have long attempted to gain traction for their theory of the unrecognized continent of Zealandia. These hardworking scientists argue that the collection of partly submerged fragments off the coast of New Zealand comprise a much larger landmass, claiming this fits within standard definitions of continental attributes. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Feb 20, 2020
Theodora Goss | A Statement in the Case
37:42
Sure, I know István Horvath. We met about a year before Eva died. That’s my wife, Eva. You knew that? Yeah, I figured you were pretty thorough. It was the year of the blizzard, when snow covered the cars parked on the streets and even the Post Office shut down. I didn’t have to go to work for a week. So one night, I think it was Thursday, Eva says, “Mike, I only have one of the blue pills left.” This was when we still thought the chemo was doing something. | Copyright 2005 by Theodora Goss. Originally published in Realms of Fantasy. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Kristoffer Tabori.
Feb 13, 2020
Theodora Goss | A Statement in the Case
37:42
Sure, I know István Horvath. We met about a year before Eva died. That’s my wife, Eva. You knew that? Yeah, I figured you were pretty thorough. It was the year of the blizzard, when snow covered the cars parked on the streets and even the Post Office shut down. I didn’t have to go to work for a week. So one night, I think it was Thursday, Eva says, “Mike, I only have one of the blue pills left.” This was when we still thought the chemo was doing something. | Copyright 2005 by Theodora Goss. Originally published in Realms of Fantasy. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Kristoffer Tabori.
Feb 13, 2020
Kij Johnson | Noah’s Raven
23:26
Ten months after the ark first floated, and forty days after its keel snagged on a drowned mountain peak, Noah released a raven to look for land. Her name was ungraspable by humans, but might be translated as Bessary, plus a term ravens used for the taste of three-day-dead goat when the temperatures have stayed just above freezing, plus a color at the 327-nanometer wavelength, plus a sensation along the rictal bristles in a particular sort of cool air. Her feathers rustled like silk. | Copyright 2020 by Kij Johnson. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 06, 2020
Kij Johnson | Noah’s Raven
23:26
Ten months after the ark first floated, and forty days after its keel snagged on a drowned mountain peak, Noah released a raven to look for land. Her name was ungraspable by humans, but might be translated as Bessary, plus a term ravens used for the taste of three-day-dead goat when the temperatures have stayed just above freezing, plus a color at the 327-nanometer wavelength, plus a sensation along the rictal bristles in a particular sort of cool air. Her feathers rustled like silk. | Copyright 2020 by Kij Johnson. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 06, 2020
N.K. Jemisin | The Ones Who Stay and Fight
29:01
It’s the Day of Good Birds in the city of Um-Helat! The Day is a local custom, silly and random as so many local customs can be, and yet beautiful by the same token. It has little to do with birds---a fact about which locals cheerfully laugh, because that, too, is how local customs work. It is a day of fluttering and flight regardless, where pennants of brightly dyed silk plume forth from every window, and delicate drones of copperwire and featherglass---made for this day, and flown on no other!---waft and buzz on the wind. | Copyright 2018 by N. K. Jemisin. Originally published in How Long Til Black Future Month. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Jan 23, 2020
N.K. Jemisin | The Ones Who Stay and Fight
29:01
It’s the Day of Good Birds in the city of Um-Helat! The Day is a local custom, silly and random as so many local customs can be, and yet beautiful by the same token. It has little to do with birds---a fact about which locals cheerfully laugh, because that, too, is how local customs work. It is a day of fluttering and flight regardless, where pennants of brightly dyed silk plume forth from every window, and delicate drones of copperwire and featherglass---made for this day, and flown on no other!---waft and buzz on the wind. | Copyright 2018 by N. K. Jemisin. Originally published in How Long Til Black Future Month. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Jan 23, 2020
J.R. Dawson | She’d Never Had a Name Before
16:49
I never had a sister. Okay, so I did have a sister. She just died before she was born. No one talked about her, because sometimes a family looks ahead and sees through a veil into another universe where tomorrow is a given. But then we end up not living in that reality, and it creates a terrible break in our brains. Her name was Sarah. My dad finally told me her name on the deep black road between Omaha and Chicago, on my return to college for junior year. | Copyright 2020 by J.R. Dawson. Narrated by Chloe Amen.
Jan 16, 2020
J.R. Dawson | She’d Never Had a Name Before
16:49
I never had a sister. Okay, so I did have a sister. She just died before she was born. No one talked about her, because sometimes a family looks ahead and sees through a veil into another universe where tomorrow is a given. But then we end up not living in that reality, and it creates a terrible break in our brains. Her name was Sarah. My dad finally told me her name on the deep black road between Omaha and Chicago, on my return to college for junior year. | Copyright 2020 by J.R. Dawson. Narrated by Chloe Amen.
Jan 16, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Joy
20:21
Ever since the discovery of the eighth continent, we’ve all had to come to terms with the presence of a landmass we never knew existed. In this age, wherein it often feels like every inch of mountain and valley has been charted, crossed, and geocached, how could we have been blind to a continent floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? We suppose, like the mapmakers of a millennium ago, we were blinded by our self-assured scientists and their navigational tools. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Jan 09, 2020
Alexander Weinstein | Destinations of Joy
20:21
Ever since the discovery of the eighth continent, we’ve all had to come to terms with the presence of a landmass we never knew existed. In this age, wherein it often feels like every inch of mountain and valley has been charted, crossed, and geocached, how could we have been blind to a continent floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? We suppose, like the mapmakers of a millennium ago, we were blinded by our self-assured scientists and their navigational tools. | Copyright 2020 by Alexander Weinstein. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Jan 09, 2020
Kij Johnson | Story Kit
29:19
The pain of losing something so precious that you did not think you could live without it. Oxygen. The ice breaks beneath your feet: Your coat and boots fill with water and pull you down. An airlock blows: Vacuum pulls you apart by the eyes, the pores, the lungs. You awaken in a fire: The door and window are outlined in flames. You fall against a railing: The rusted iron slices through your femoral artery. You are dead already. | Copyright 2011 by Kij Johnson. Originally published in Eclipse Four, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Jan 02, 2020
Kij Johnson | Story Kit
29:19
The pain of losing something so precious that you did not think you could live without it. Oxygen. The ice breaks beneath your feet: Your coat and boots fill with water and pull you down. An airlock blows: Vacuum pulls you apart by the eyes, the pores, the lungs. You awaken in a fire: The door and window are outlined in flames. You fall against a railing: The rusted iron slices through your femoral artery. You are dead already. | Copyright 2011 by Kij Johnson. Originally published in Eclipse Four, edited by Jonathan Strahan. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Jan 02, 2020
Matthew Baker | A Bad Day in Utopia
28:33
She’d had a hard day. Earlier that morning she’d discovered that the game her company was developing, which was already months behind schedule for release, had a glitch somewhere in the code that caused the game to crash if the player character was equipped with diamond armor on the level with the meteors, and nobody could figure out why. It didn’t make any sense. It was a total nightmare. Anna, her boss, was mad at her for leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen again. | Copyright 2019 by Matthew Baker. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Dec 26, 2019
Matthew Baker | A Bad Day in Utopia
28:33
She’d had a hard day. Earlier that morning she’d discovered that the game her company was developing, which was already months behind schedule for release, had a glitch somewhere in the code that caused the game to crash if the player character was equipped with diamond armor on the level with the meteors, and nobody could figure out why. It didn’t make any sense. It was a total nightmare. Anna, her boss, was mad at her for leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen again. | Copyright 2019 by Matthew Baker. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Dec 26, 2019
Cat Rambo | The Silent Familiar
34:49
The Wizard Niccolo was not happy. At the age of 183---youthful for a wizard, but improbable for an ordinary human---he had thought certain things well out of his life. Sudden changes in his daily routine were one. And romance was another---even if it was his familiar’s romance, and not his own. “Could make an omelet with it, I suppose,” he grumbled to that familiar, the tiny dragon Olivia. She sat on the cluttered mantle, wrapped around her egg, still marveling at its production and entirely too pleased with herself. | Copyright 2009 by Cat Rambo. Originally published in _Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight_. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Dec 19, 2019
Cat Rambo | The Silent Familiar
34:49
The Wizard Niccolo was not happy. At the age of 183---youthful for a wizard, but improbable for an ordinary human---he had thought certain things well out of his life. Sudden changes in his daily routine were one. And romance was another---even if it was his familiar’s romance, and not his own. “Could make an omelet with it, I suppose,” he grumbled to that familiar, the tiny dragon Olivia. She sat on the cluttered mantle, wrapped around her egg, still marveling at its production and entirely too pleased with herself. | Copyright 2009 by Cat Rambo. Originally published in _Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight_. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Dec 19, 2019
T.L. Huchu | Njuzu
26:18
Water looks the same everywhere. It’s only the background, lighting, and impurities that differ. I peer at the silver-gray surface of Bimha’s pond, calm and still, undisturbed by wind. It’s deep and the bottom is a black abyss. Midday here is like dawn on Earth in the middle of the Kalahari. Light shines through the transparent panelling of the pressurised geodesic dome that prevents the water boiling straight into vapour. “This is where it happened,” VaMutasa says to me on the crackling open channel. | Copyright 2018 by T.L. Huchu. Originally published in AfroSF, volume 3, edited by Ivor W. Hartmann. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
Dec 12, 2019
KT Bryski | The Path of Pins, the Path of Needles
21:16
In the very heart of winter, the forest holds its breath. Frozen earth sleeps without dreaming; brittle sunlight breaks and scatters in gasps between the trees. The girl walks through the woods, boots crunching the crusted snow. There is always such a girl, walking alone. Little footprints point the way back to a clutch of hovels; she peers half-dazzled through shadow and snow-flash. A basket hangs dispiritedly from her arm. Sausage end. Hardened loaf. The creeping doubt in spring itself. | Copyright 2019 by KT Bryski. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Dec 05, 2019
Adam-Troy Castro | Eros Pratfalled, Or, Adrift in the Cosmos With Lasagna and Mary Steenburgen
27:17
Ellis Neider met his soulmate. The End. That’s his story. The rest is annotation. We would almost skip that part, were it not for the stone knowledge that any love story not about masturbation does require at least two characters. The object of his affection does deserve something approaching equal time. Ellis was a guy. Some men are guys, other men are dudes. Ellis was a guy. As a child, he was a little guy. As an adult, he was a bigger guy. Like most guys, he gave off the vibe that he knew the universe operated by a certain set of rules. | Copyright 2019 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Nov 28, 2019
Melissa Marr | Knee Deep in the Sea
52:57
I woke early---or perhaps didn’t sleep. My body is still adjusting to the time zone hop from Southern California to the islands north of the Scottish mainland. Orkney. A series of islands, many of them uninhabited, in the cold North Atlantic Sea. To the east is Norway. To the West are Iceland and Greenland. In other words, it’s chilly even in the summer when there is endless light. It’s stunning, aside from the dead guy currently at my feet. | Copyright 2019 2019 by Melissa Marr. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Nov 21, 2019
Dominica Phetteplace | Her Appetite, His Heart
49:08
It came to Javi in a vision while he was at Burning Man. There was something calling out to him, and he’d hoped an ayahuasca ceremony would help him figure out what it was. It was during the ceremony that she appeared to him. Isla. In his vision, she was a temple priestess and he was laid out on a sacrificial stone table. She was literally eating his engorged heart out of his chest cavity. It wasn’t as frightening as it sounded. It was only when the vision disappeared that he felt an aching in his chest. Isla, come back. | Copyright 2019 by Dominica Phetteplace. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Nov 14, 2019
Yoon Ha Lee | The Second-Last Client
16:56
Forty-six minutes and a trickle of seconds remained before the end of the world---this world, anyway---and I was trying to evacuate the second-last client on my list. Some apocalypses come in with horns blaring and guns blazing and cascades of fire. Some apocalypses like to be obvious. This wasn’t one of them. The humans had various names for their world. My partner Rawk and I called it Seedworld 722.11.15, which was our superiors’ label. We’d seen a lot of Seedworlds perish, she and I. | Copyright 2019 by Yoon Ha Lee. Narrated by Judy Young.
Nov 07, 2019
Ray Nayler | The Death of Fire Station 10
42:10
“The death of Fire Station 10 affected me deeply. She had not been the smartest building, but she had been a friend for as long as I can remember. She was one story tall, the sole holdover from a much earlier time in the neighborhood---a piece of cinderblock nostalgia, of high-maintenance wood and plaster from an earlier age. Her brain and smart utilities were a retrofit, cobbled onto the cinderblock building later, in a clumsy addition on the back. When she was built, buildings had no minds." | Copyright 2019 by Ray Nayler. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Oct 24, 2019
Isabel Yap | Windrose in Scarlet
1:10:39
Red slays the wolf, and another bursts through the kitchen window and bites her in the stomach. Glass gets in her hair. She smashes the chopping knife into its head, then runs out the back door, gulping for air. She doesn’t stumble. The wood must be at war with itself: Some trees let her pass, others scratch her. The howling recedes; the howling’s at her ear. Eventually her boots skid on marble and she falls, her heart a hammer against her ribs. She curls up to make herself small. At least I’m all bones. They won’t enjoy me. | Copyright 2019 by Isabel Yap. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
Oct 17, 2019
Eli Brown | Nesting Habits of Enceladan Jade Beetles
41:47
The pink frost coating my face shield is, evidently, my own blood. The gas jetting from the pea-sized hole in my wrist spins me around, and for a panicked moment, I wonder if I have somehow been shot. I think I am screaming, but that would alert Station, and Ocampo is silent. Evidently, I am holding my breath, only wanting to scream, like the nightmare of being on the wrong side of the airlock. Now the hissing has stopped and pain nails me to the ice. | Copyright 2019 by Eli Brown. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Oct 10, 2019
E. Lily Yu | The Valley of Wounded Deer
38:08
Once there was a prince of Ruyastan who was born in secret and hidden behind a false wall with a nurse to hush her and soothe and give suck. The prince and her nurse lived in narrowness for ten years, reading and watching the world through a crack no bigger than a needle. During those years, the dowager queen hunted down and killed, for jealousy, every one of the prince’s half-brothers and cousins, carelessly begotten in cities and villages and forgotten apart from notes in the royal genealogies. | Copyright 2019 by E. Lily Yu. Narrated by Pandora Kew.
Oct 03, 2019
Jenny Rae Rappaport | The Answer That You Are Seeking
16:36
It’s the lollipops that break you. The thought of your child sucking on one during a lockdown drill carries enough cognitive dissonance that your brain has trouble actually comprehending it. You know the purpose---the methodology behind it all---lollipops in their mouths will keep preschoolers quiet, and surely the sugar can’t hurt. But the fact that your preschooler needs to know how to behave in case there’s an active shooter is so disturbing that you wish there was a way to retreat into your shell, like a defiant hermit crab. | Copyright 2019 by Jenny Rae Rappaport. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Sep 26, 2019
Seanan McGuire | Hello, Hello
44:46
Tasha’s avatar smiled from the screen, a little too perfect to be true. That was a choice, just like everything else about it: When we’d installed my sister’s new home system, we had instructed it to generate avatars that looked like they had escaped the uncanny valley by the skins of their teeth. It was creepy, but the alternative was even creepier. Tasha didn’t talk. Her avatar did. Having them match each other perfectly would have been . . . wrong. “So I’ll see you next week?” she asked. | Copyright 2015 by Seanan McGuire. Originally published in FUTURE VISIONS edited by Jennifer Henshaw and Allison Linn. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Sep 19, 2019
Micah Dean Hicks | Flight of the Crow Boys
25:23
People around here never wanted our family. Crow boys, they called us, a flock of five brothers and our father, all of us with long black hair. Flapping our over-sized, garage sale sleeves and falling over the fences the neighbors put between us and them. And maybe too because of the feathers. Our father hung black feathers from the side mirrors of his truck, along the eaves of the house, and he dangled them from the shriveled limbs of our dying fruit trees. All those feathers spinning in the hot wind. Copyright 2014 by Micah Dean Hicks. Originally published in WITNESS. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Sep 12, 2019
Brooke Bolander | A Bird, a Song, a Revolution
35:39
Before the flute is a flute, it is a bird. This is the first act of magic. This is the first lesson the girl learns, when the world is still young and shaggy-coated with lingering winter. Sometimes things can be other things. An axehead hides in a chunk of flint. Before it is a meal, a mammoth is a squealing calf tagging along behind its mother. A fox is a white spirit barking curses until an arrow finds it and turns it into a friend that shields your ears from the wind’s teeth. | Copyright 2019 by Brooke Bolander. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Sep 05, 2019
Cassandra Khaw | A Leash of Foxes, Their Stories Like Barter
28:22
Lady Mary was young and Lady Mary was fair, and she had brothers who loved her and lovers who adored her. But she was savvy, sly as a vixen, with hair like the color of the butchered sun. And of all the people she knew, of all the people who’d pledged their heart to her pleasure, she cared for only one: Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox, of course, had ginger locks and sharp white teeth, freckles like a map across his fair face and when he smiled sometimes, it wasn’t hard to see why they called him Mr. Fox and not Edgar, or Edward, or Egan. | Copyright 2019 by Cassandra Khaw. Narrated by Paul Boehmer.
Aug 29, 2019
Kendra Fortmeyer | No Matter
32:00
First, I want to give you this moment. You will understand why in the end. We were walking on the trail, the way we did on Sundays: the sun-washed gully, the open air, the shadows of last night’s rain staining the earth dark and slick beneath our boots. At the river’s edge, I caught my husband’s hand and pointed at a stack of topaz-eyed turtles that had piled themselves ancient and precarious as a cairn. Here are the shapes and shades that colored my life, before. Then we looked up and saw you. | Copyright 2019 by Kendra Fortmeyer. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Aug 22, 2019
Scott Sigler | The Final Blow
33:53
Like the Isle of Lenas upon which it sat, the town of Lodorest had been dying for decades. The final blow, however, came all at once. Outside of his father’s home, Manil shivered in the night air. He heard shouts and cries and screams, the roar of burning houses. Other sounds, too, drifting up the dirt streets, coming from the shadows as if the darkness itself was a monster feasting on the town: laughter; barking commands; angry bellows from deep-voiced men. Manil stood with his mother and his uncle. Manil barely came up to Uncle Janeed’s hip. | Copyright 2019 by Scott Sigler. Narrated by Scott Sigler.
Aug 15, 2019
Brenda Peynado | The Rock Eaters
29:21
We were the first generation to leave that island country. We were the ones who on the day we came of age developed a distinct float to our walk, soon enough hovering inches above the ground, afterwards somersaulting with the clouds, finally discovering we could fly as far as we’d ever wanted, and so we left. Decades later, we brought our children back to see that country. That year, we all decided we were ready to return. We jackknifed through clouds and dodged large birds. We held tight our children, who still had not learned to fly. Behind us trailed rope lines of suitcases bursting with gifts from abroad. We wondered who would remember us. | Copyright 2015 by Brenda Peynado. Originally published in EPOCH. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Judy Young.
Aug 08, 2019
Senaa Ahmad | Ahura Yazda, the Great Extraordinary
38:44
The sunshine brings him to his knees. Every day he thinks, I am here, I am here, in this house that we raised above ourselves, with this woman who chose me. The girls are safe. The creatures are fed. The windowsill is pearled with dew. The spiders are friendly. We have made a life for ourselves, away from the world. We live in a church of infinite light. In these hours, he is left soft-footed and silent, walking the hallways in the farmhouse that he built with his wife Roksha. In their bedroom, she is nosedived into her pillow, and in the other one, his daughters’ silk hair feathers around them. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 25, 2019
Andrew Penn Romine | Miles and Miles and Miles
28:50
Noah Stubbs eyes the large white pill pinched between his thumb and forefinger, remembering the first time he hit golf balls on the moon with Gord. “I wonder,” Gord says to him as Noah lines up on the tee, “just how far these suckers’ll really go?” THWACK! Noah swings. The little ball hurtles into the Lunar day, a pinprick of speeding light bright against the velvet sky. Long after the ball becomes invisible to the naked eye, his suit’s visor tracks its trajectory until it drops towards the ground. They parked the hopper at the top of the Virgo Escarpment. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 18, 2019
Karen Lord | The Mysteries
11:54
“Light, dust, and water are the alchemy of the universe.” Ritual words murmured softly by myriad voices, powerful as a roar, effortless as a whisper. “I will consent to be made and unmade.” An initiate must never walk in. Many elders raise the cocooned body high upon their hands and process into the open space, to lasers alight in a pin-and-string arrangement of bright green on dark velvet. “To burn to ash and dissolve in dew.” The elders guide the still, surrendered form up and into the core of the lattice of light. “I am but dust and ashes; for me the world was created.” | 2018 by Karen Lord. Originally published in PARTICULATES edited by Nalo Hopkinson. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
Jul 11, 2019
Micah Dean Hicks | Song Beneath the City
18:37
For decades, the four plumbers had answered the call of old widows who’d dropped jewelry down their drains. Sometimes, the plumbers unscrewed the U-shaped trap under the sink, knocked out its splat of tobacco-colored crud, and fished out a golden ring. But other times, there was no reclaiming the lost diamonds and gold. They tumbled blind through the maze of pipes below the city, never to see the sun again. Whenever the plumbers left a house, the widows would ask, “Do you hear it too? The singing that comes rattling up from the pipes?” | Copyright 2018 by Micah Dean Hicks. Originally published in THE ADROIT JOURNAL. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jul 04, 2019
Yoon Ha Lee | Warhosts
36:17
The Warhosts sit in the lees of the starships while the sky grows less flushed with dawn, playing cards. At the same time, the regulators within the Red emissary and our own play their own game across a moist medium of flesh, chemical brew, and stench to determine where the next battle will be fought. We---the Purples---have been fighting the Reds for possession of this moon, jigsaw piece by slow jigsaw piece, as deliberately as a pavane or carved ice. The Reds have grown increasingly desperate. The moon has a certain strategic importance, and the Reds are very close to having to cede it entirely. | Copyright 2014 by Yoon Ha Lee. Originally published in War Stories, edited by Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 27, 2019
Ellen Kushner | When Two Swordsmen Meet
14:58
When two swordsmen meet, no one knows what to expect. It’s a cold night in a cold city. Cold stone under cold starlight. He walks down a deserted street, sure of himself, sure of the weapon he bears. He’s not altogether surprised when the stranger steps out of the shadows. “Hey,” he says to the newcomer. “You hungry? I’m going to friends with a fire and a big pot always bubbling on it.” By which we see that it’s not just his sword that defends him, whatever he may think. The other stands very still. “You’re not what I thought you’d be,” he says flatly. “Why not?” the swordsman asks, curious. | Copyright 2015 by Ellen Kushner. Originally published in Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany, edited by Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 20, 2019
Isabel Cañas | The Weight of a Thousand Needles
47:57
A full moon silvers the stalls of the Light Markets, the bazaar of the living and the dead. Here, where jinn mix with mortals and gods, where sorcery sits thick on the air, blue as incense, a crow presides over its wares. Silver rings set with opals like apricot pits nestled in obsidian silk; human teeth peer out of the smoky glass of a tall vase. Mother-of-pearl dice wink in candlelight, their pale faces carved with symbols even the jinn are too young to know. A young man approaches the crow’s stall, gliding dark out of the shadows of the alley. His eyes and hair are jet moonless night, his shoulders bear the velvet raiment of eight heavens. | Copyright 2019 by Isabel Cañas. Narrated by Roxanne Hernandez.
Jun 13, 2019
Deji Bryce Olukotun | Between the Dark and the Dark
1:25:00
Two hundred ships moved through the stars, leaving an iridescent trail of transmission beacons in their wake. Five billion kilometers long, the beacons stretched all the way to Earth, a desiccated and shaken planet that the passengers once called home. Sometimes simple messages from the ships arrived in the data. After a long time, images came and---after an even longer time---clips of the passengers going about their lives. But the vast distances meant these clips were rare. Normally an image arriving on Earth was cause for celebration, because it meant the crew was still alive, or at least the ship’s systems were still functioning. | Copyright Deji Bryce Olukotun. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jun 06, 2019
Adam-Troy Castro | The Minor Superhero, at Home after His Series Ends
18:23
He has a superhero name. It’s as stupid as every other superhero name. It’s not something you can comfortably call another person in casual conversation. Just try to have a normal-sounding talk with some of the guys in the Liberty Force. “So, hello, uh, Pile-Driver Man. And, how are you doing, Dynamic Woman?” You can’t. You honestly can’t. You need to have a superhero name, and so he has one, bestowed upon him by others when he lagged too long in coming up with one for himself. It still seems vainglorious to him. | Copyright 2019 by Adam-Troy Castro. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
May 23, 2019
Max Gladstone | The Iron Man
31:57
The boy stopped playing after his Mom and Dad chained the iron man to the Kingdom’s heart. The boy used to run alone and brave through the welt within the walls, and even ranged as far as the borders of the wood. He tossed the ball his mother gave him into the sky, gold against blue with the sun behind, and laughing, caught it again. The ball purred in his grip. Sometimes he asked it questions---how to build a puppet, how to open the castle gates, how to change the color of the sky--- and it answered. | Copyright 2016 by Max Gladstone. Originally published in THE GRIMM FUTURE, edited by Erin Underwood. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
May 23, 2019
Rati Mehrotra | This Way to Paradise
53:32
May 09, 2019
Kathleen Kayembe | The Ocean That Fades Into Sky
1:23:32
Although it takes constant effort for Coasts to mold herself into a human body when none live on her shores, and a far greater effort---even with her mother’s help---to sustain a flight of giant sea turtles across hundreds of miles, for once she is grateful; the focus required keeps her thoughts from the empty space beside her where Obsequies should be. There are three women Coasts loves more than anyone on the whole of Uloh-la, and Obsequies, her lover, is one of them. Her mother, in the guise of the turtle beneath her, is another. Both of them are mad at her. Dwellings, the third, would be angry too, if Coasts told her the truth. | Copyright 2019 by Kathleen Kayembe. Narrated by Janina Edwards.
May 02, 2019
Shweta Adhyam | A Conch-Shell’s Notes
20:19
This is the story of a conch-shell, and the man who answered its call to adventure. The powerful and mysterious conch resided in a seaside temple on the outskirts of Peacetown. Whenever a resident of the town found themselves at life’s crossroads, wondering which path to take, notes from the conch-shell sounded in their ears and sang of what lay ahead in each direction. When danger lay in the town’s future, it called one of its young men, bright of mind and clean of limb, to fight it. That evening, it sounded in the ears of Kwa, a citrus-seller who was piling fruit upon fruit into neat pyramids, turning the best faces outwards. | Copyright 2019 by Shweta Adhyam. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Apr 25, 2019
Matthew Corradi | Gundark Island, or, Tars Tarkas Needs Your Help
44:40
When Tommy Burke took me out to Gundark Island to see the alien, I wasn’t really expecting much. Maybe I was just going because I thought it would be cool to take a ride in Tommy’s canoe. Or maybe I was just hoping Tommy might turn out to be a friend. If there really was an alien there, too, then all the better. After passing a hand-painted sign that said “Please Don’t Feed the Alien,” we came to a clearing in the middle of the island where I saw a lump in the ground. At first it looked like a small boulder, except that it had a grayish-purple tint to it. Upon closer inspection it vaguely appeared to have scales. | Copyright 2019 by Matthew Corradi. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Apr 18, 2019
Ashok K. Banker | The Seeds of War
48:36
Hastinaga was ablaze with word of Vrath’s amazing feat. Vrath’s stepmother, Dowager Empress Jilana, while taken aback at the manner in which it had been done, nevertheless bit her tongue when she saw what he had accomplished. That the two daughters of the king of Serapi were beautiful there was no doubt. At the wedding, they were the envy of every woman in the court. Tall, with full heads of thick, lustrous blue-black hair, fingernails and toenails painted blood red, heavy of hip and breast, heart-faced with a glow to rival the moon, they walked like queens already. | Copyright 2019 by Ashok K. Banker. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Apr 11, 2019
Caroline M. Yoachim | The Archronology of Love
1:14:34
This is a love story, the last of a series of moments when we meet. Saki Jones leaned into the viewport window until her nose nearly touched the glass, staring at the colony planet below. New Mars. From this distance, she could pretend that things were going according to plan---that M.J. was waiting for her in one of the domed cities. A shuttle would take her down to the surface and she and her lifelove would pursue their dream of studying a grand alien civilization. It had been such a beautiful plan. | 2019 by Caroline M. Yoachim. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
Apr 04, 2019
Woody Dismukes | My Children’s Home
28:01
My children do not dream and neither do I. But that does not mean our sleep is sound. Sometimes they wake in the middle of the night, eyes wide and wet, grasping for a reason they stare into the darkness. I wish I could tell them it was a nightmare, that whatever they are feeling isn’t real, but instead I tell them to close their lids and lay lightly back into sleep, which they always do. My children are good at taking orders. | Copyright 2019 by Woody Dismukes. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 28, 2019
Ashok K. Banker | A Hundred Thousand Arrows
1:20:03
After decades of warring, a time of peace came to the Krushan dynasty. The great armies of the Burnt Empire set aside their battle armor and weapons in exchange for flowers and rice. A great celebration lit up the streets of Hastinaga, the capital city. The marriage of Emperor Sha’ant and his unusual new Empress, Jilana. The daughter of a fisher chief married to the Emperor of the greatest empire in the known world! | Copyright 2019 by Ashok K. Banker. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 21, 2019
Carolyn Ives Gilman | On the Shores of Ligeia
47:22
Seth Calder felt like he had barely dozed off when his alarm blared at 6:00 a.m. Level morning sunlight leaked through the blinds onto the birch and linen furniture of his Stockholm apartment. Amalia was already in the shower, so he lurched out of bed and went to check his news feed. NASA TO LAUNCH MARS CREW TODAY, said the first headline. The picture showed the ten crew members in flight suits, grinning at the camera. | Copyright 2019 by Carolyn Ives Gilman. First English language publication. Originally published in Chinese by the Future Affairs Administration. The story is inspired by “Technology and the Good Future” SF Workshop, which is jointly hosted by Future Affairs Administration (Guokr Publishing) and Ant Financial Services Group in Hangzhou, China. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 14, 2019
Maria Romasco-Moore | Self-Storage Starts with the Heart
39:09
You’ll notice how the commercials never mention the price. They’ve all got some lab-coated guy with chiseled cheekbones spouting dumbed-down drivel about how emotions have wavelengths, the same as light or sound, which are reflected and absorbed by the objects around us. How this discovery has the potential to revolutionize your life. Yes, you, the one glued to your screen at three a.m., binging YouTube videos. | Copyright 2019 by Maria Romasco Moore. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Mar 07, 2019
Carrie Vaughn | Marlowe and Harry and the Disinclined Laboratory
40:40
Lieutenant James Marlowe watched a room full of grown, distinguished men act like young ladies at their first ball. Flustered, fidgeting, adjusting each others’ cravats, going back and forth from one table to another inspecting equipment and displays that were already perfect, they were exhausting to watch, and so he tried not to. He had only ever been to three balls in his life, before he ran off to join the Navy, and this was a reminder of why he hated them. | Copyright 2019 by Carrie Vaughn. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 28, 2019
Ashok K. Banker | The Terrible Oath
1:33:49
The nation greeted Vrath with great warmth and approval. The Burnt Empire regarded its liege as nothing less than a demi-god; in a sense, this was not far from the truth: Whether or not the Krushan dynasty was in fact born of stonefire, they were certainly something more than human. In the Krushan tongue, which was the official language of the capitol Hastinaga and the rest of the Empire, there was no word for “lie” or “falsehood.” | Copyright 2019 by Ashok K. Banker. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 21, 2019
KT Bryski | Ti-Jean’s Last Adventure, as Told to Raccoon
22:19
Okay. So. There’s a time when I’m looking for Coyote, because I need to tell him this story. So, I walk the St. Lawrence River from one end to the other, and I cannot find him. Check the Rockies---he is not there. I even paddle to Baffin Island, because he likes to sleep on it. It is Coyote-shaped, a little. He’s not anywhere. But me, I have a story to tell, and so I look for someone else. Raven is not home, and Muskrat is doing Netflix and chill. | Copyright 2019 by KT Bryski. Narrated by Justine Eyre.
Feb 14, 2019
Matthew Baker | Life Sentence
1:03:48
Home. He recognizes the name of the street. But he doesn’t remember the landscape. He recognizes the address on the mailbox. But he doesn’t remember the house. His family is waiting for him on the porch. Everybody looks just as nervous as he is. He gets out. The police cruiser takes back off down the gravel drive, leaving him standing in a cloud of dust holding a baggie of possessions. | Copyright 2019 by Matthew Baker. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Feb 07, 2019
Meg Elison | Endor House
20:25
Meet Hermes Maleficarum, the reclusive force behind the multiverse’s biggest publishing house. A mystery generations in the making. The first thing I notice about Hermes was how unlike the rest of his family he seems. Hermes’ parents, Taliesin and his wife Morgana, were something of a power couple in the magic business, cutting a twin swath like obsidian blades at every fashionable event. | Copyright 2019 by Meg Elison. Narrated by Pandora Kew.
Jan 24, 2019
Tony Ballantyne | Midway
34:47
It’s not unusual to hear music in a spaceport arrival lounge. After all, if aliens didn’t enjoy music, I’d never have been able to travel. But this sounded familiar. Disturbingly familiar. Standing in line, I felt a sinking sensation as the tune wound its way to its conclusion. It was The Beatles. Millions of light years from Earth and I was listening to The Beatles. How did I feel? | Copyright 2019 by Tony Ballantyne. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jan 17, 2019
Ashok K. Banker | Son of Water and Fire
1:06:52
Born of water, into water, the boy knew no other world. It would not always be thus. Someday, he had been told, he would leave here for another place. His mother had told him this, in a quiet time, her body swollen and expanded to its widest, spanning banks miles apart, trailing enormous skirts of silt. He loved her at these quiet times, when her icy mountain rage had mellowed to a somnolent trawl, flowing majestically down to the ocean. | 2019 by Ashok K. Banker. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jan 10, 2019
Merc Fenn Wolfmoor | With Teeth Unmake the Sun
1:07:41
Io Destiny is a rich planet, home to three billion lives, built as a faceted gem to honor the Seven Suns. All the gods are worshiped equally here in peace. Temples caress the lower atmosphere and ships dance in celestial orbit; the Seven Suns are honored in effigy in great statues and holograms that mortals adore. Io Destiny is the only neutral world. While the gods chafe and feud with each other, hovering on the cusp of war, this planet is sacrosanct. | Copyright 2019 by A. Merc Rustad. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Jan 03, 2019
Seanan McGuire | Under the Sea of Stars
46:51
We have traveled here, to this most innocuous of country landscapes, to make good on a promise made by my grandfather, Carlton Whitmore, to a girl he loved in his youth. How foolish that sounds, writ down so! But it is true. Grandfather met her on the banks of the Bolton Strid, where she stood naked and confused, water drying on her skin. His notes state that she knew no modesty, and that “she was pale as the belly of a deep-river fish." Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
Dec 27, 2018
Shaenon K. Garrity | Grandma Novak’s Famous Nut Roll
22:55
Hello, family! As everyone who follows my sister on Facebook knows (and who isn’t reading Kat’s posts? Twenty lashes with a wet noodle, and you bet it’ll be Grandma’s kluski!), last weekend she and I visited Grandma Novak for . . . baking lessons! Though Grandma’s strong as she ever was (just try to tell her otherwise) she IS getting on in years. Kat and I agreed we ought to get her recipes down in writing while we can. | Copyright 2018 by Shaenon K. Garrity. Narrated by Judy Young.
Dec 20, 2018
Lizz Huerta | Mouths
29:37
Times were strange, and those who survived the collapse had a jarring mixtape of skills. Plumbers were holy men, exorcising the encampments of the demons of human waste. They brought forth, stored and dispensed the holiest sacrament of all, clean water. Warriors emerged from the strangest of places, sex workers commanded respect and were offered it gladly. | Copyright 2018 by Lizz Huerta. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Dec 13, 2018
Ashok K. Banker | A Love Story Written on Water
1:30:02
Bhi’ash was a king of the Axe clan. Truthful and courageous, he was renowned for having performed one thousand Black Horse sacrifices and one hundred Fire sacrifices. For his devotion, upon his demise he attained entrance to the heavenly realms and was honored by the Stone Gods. One day, Bhi’ash—accompanied by many other king-mages and some of the Stone Gods themselves—went to pay homage to Agar, the highest of Stone Gods. | Copyright 2018 by Ashok K. Banker. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Dec 06, 2018
Stephen Graham Jones | Moonboys
10:34
You ask how my brother died on the moon that day, but that’s the wrong question. Ask instead what he spelled with his bootprints when we first stepped down from the platform. Ask instead the one song he listened to, the whole flight there. Ask why he wanted me there instead of Jess, his wife. It’s because we used to pretend the backyard at night was the moon. That we were astronauts. That gravity was different. | Copyright 2018 by Stephen Graham Jones. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Nov 22, 2018
Matthew Hughes | Hapthorn’s Last Case
1:14:20
My assistant said, “You have received an invitation from Holk Xanthoulian. He is embarking on a new menu and invites, and I quote, ‘a select coterie of the cognoscenti to sample its superlative assemblage of tastes, textures, and titillations.’” “He has a flair for the alliterative,” I said. “Sadly, that is true,” my assistant said. “Shall I decline?” | Copyright 2018 by Matthew Hughes. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Nov 15, 2018
Theodore McCombs | Talk to Your Children About Two-Tongued Jeremy
49:00
His name was Two-Tongued Jeremy; he was a monitor lizard with a forked tongue, thick glasses, and a wild, wagging smile meant to convince children that learning could be fun, too. He came highly rated. He updated automatically. When our promising children propped their tablets against their stacks of textbooks, their glazy angelic eyes took on that ferocious determination we liked to see in ourselves. | Copyright 2018 by Theodore McCombs. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Nov 08, 2018
Theodora Goss | Queen Lily
1:05:28
Once upon a time, there was a princess named Little Snowdrop, who had six brothers and four sisters. Her brothers were ravens, and her sisters were swans. Whenever they wished, they would fly around the castle on their black or white wings, but Snowdrop, not having any wings of her own, could not join them. She could only wave at them from the window of a high tower as they flew by. Her father was the King, and he loved her very much. | Copyright 2018 by Theodora Goss. Narrated by Gabrielle de Cuir.
Nov 01, 2018
Mel Kassel | Ten Deals with the Indigo Snake
31:07
I’m fourteen the first time I bargain with the indigo snake. I find it basking on the rocks that are piled against the south side of our house, a lazily drawn line of black, like a cursive letter that has gotten away from itself. It lifts its head as I walk up. “Can you hurt Sam Mueller?” I ask. I’ve taken health class by this point, so I know that I’m not supposed to speak to snakes. There are videos about what happens to the kids who do. But they’re so poorly made, the actresses too peppy and the snakes no more than plastic-eyed puppets. Hardly sinister. | Copyright 2018 by Mel Kassel. Narrated by Judy Young.
Oct 25, 2018
Molly Tanzer | The Real You™
31:21
We were getting coffee, which we used to do all the time, when Tierney told me she was thinking of having it done. “Really?” I asked, half-laughing---I didn’t think she was serious. “Why?” “What do you mean, why?” Tierney looked annoyed. “Do I need a reason? Why did you get your tattoo?” I’d hurt her feelings. I hadn’t meant to. As I tried to think of what to say I followed the line of her eyes to a woman who’d just walked in and was ordering a latte. Her face was merely a suggestion, like a Cycladic head or a more abstract Brâncuși. | Copyright 2018 by Molly Tanzer. Narrated by Pandora Kew.
Oct 18, 2018
Cameron Van Sant | Super-Luminous Spiral
25:18
Even though your creative fiction professor fawns over Joyce, you don’t understand the copy of ULYSSES you checked out from the library, so you hide behind it while you stare at your classmate whose skin flickers. His blue and green skin is speckled in spirals of twinkling lights. When you stare long enough, you realize the spirals spin like galaxies. Part of your brain should tell you he is abnormal, but it does not. He stands up and reads his assignment. He reads poetry. This is not a poetry class. | Copyright 2018 by Cameron Van Sant. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Oct 11, 2018
Dale Bailey | The Horror of Party Beach
1:04:36
All this happened a long time ago, in the summer when Blackboard Jungle ruled the screen, “Rock Around the Clock” shot up the charts, and Hal March asked the first $64,000 Question. That was the year our friend the atom lit up the streetlights of Arco, Idaho, the world’s first atomic city. Reddy Kilowatt had slain Bert the Turtle, who’d been telling us to duck and cover for years. | Copyright 2018 by Dale Bailey. Narrated by Norm Sherman.
Oct 04, 2018
Maria Dahvana Headley | You Pretend Like You Never Met Me, and I’ll Pretend Like I Never Met You
48:31
The worst day of Wells the Magician’s life begins pleasantly enough, with a shot of whiskey at the Lost Kingdom bar. It’s a birthday party day, and as all low-rent magic men know, birthday party days begin with booze and move laterally through coffee, cake, and whichever divorcee can be convinced to unhook her bra, whether offsite or in a back bedroom. Onward from there into (dire case) helium, (better case) weed, or (best case) coke. | Copyright 2018 by Maria Dahvana Headley. Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki.
Sep 27, 2018
Yoon Ha Lee | The Coin of Heart’s Desire
33:36
In an empire at the wide sea’s boundaries, where the clouds were the color of alabaster and mother-of-pearl, and the winds bore the smells of salt and faraway fruits, the young and old of every caste gathered for their empress’s funeral. In life she had gone by the name Beryl-Beneath-the-Storm. Now that she was dead, the court historians were already calling her Weave-the-Storm, for she had been a fearsome naval commander. | Copyright 2013 by Yoon Ha Lee. Originally published in ONCE UPON A TIME: NEW FAIRY TALES, edited by Paula Guran. Reprinted by permission of the author. Narrated by Judy Young.
Sep 20, 2018