300 episodes

PodCastle is the world’s first audio fantasy magazine. Weekly, we broadcast the best in fantasy short stories, running the gammut from heart-pounding sword and sorcery, to strange surrealist tales, to gritty urban fantasy, to the psychological depth of magical realism. Our podcast features authors including N.K. Jemisin, Peter S. Beagle, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Jim C. Hines, and Cat Rambo, among others.



Terry Pratchett once wrote, “Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.” Tune in to PodCastle each Tuesday for our weekly tale, and spend the length of a morning commute giving your imagination a work out.

PodCastle Escape Artists, Inc

    • Fiction
    • 4.8 • 39 Ratings

PodCastle is the world’s first audio fantasy magazine. Weekly, we broadcast the best in fantasy short stories, running the gammut from heart-pounding sword and sorcery, to strange surrealist tales, to gritty urban fantasy, to the psychological depth of magical realism. Our podcast features authors including N.K. Jemisin, Peter S. Beagle, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Jim C. Hines, and Cat Rambo, among others.



Terry Pratchett once wrote, “Fantasy is an exercise bicycle for the mind. It might not take you anywhere, but it tones up the muscles that can.” Tune in to PodCastle each Tuesday for our weekly tale, and spend the length of a morning commute giving your imagination a work out.

    PodCastle 747: Colors of the Immortal Palette – Part 2

    PodCastle 747: Colors of the Immortal Palette – Part 2

    * Author : Caroline M. Yoachim

    * Narrator : Miyuki Jane Pinckard

    * Host : Matt Dovey

    * Audio Producers : Devin Martin and Eric Valdes

    *

    Discuss on Forums







    Previously published by Uncanny Magazine





    Rated R

     

    “The Traveler’s Guide to the Goblin Fells is an expansion book for the 5th edition of the world’s most litigious roleplaying game, about halflings riding giant pugs fighting against goblins piloting arcanotech mechs for control of valuable farmland at the onset of a brutal winter. The harvest is lean and there’s not enough to go around, someone’s going to go hungry this winter, but it doesn’t have to be you. The Goblin Fells can be easily located in any campaign setting and use the Creative Commons Weskven setting by default, so look for it on Kickstarter now or DriveThruRPG in the future to support the open source setting and indie development.”

     

    [Note: This is Part 2 of a three-part novelette. Visit our previous post to read Part 1.]

    Colors of the Immortal Palette

    by Caroline M. Yoachim

     

    COBALT BLUE

     

    I paint the English Channel at Étretat, shortly after sunrise. The sun is a fiery vermillion and the water shimmers cobalt blue. It is roughly my hundredth impression of a sunrise, spread across the year on whatever days I can gather up the energy to greet the dawn with my easel at the shore.

    I have painted skies both cloudy and clear, water in a variety of hues. When the tide permits I paint from the beach and include the white cliffs, and when the tide is high —  as it is today —  I paint the vast expanse of the channel from atop them. Sometimes the dark silhouettes of ships break the line of the horizon, and sometimes there is fog, a thin white mist that gives me shivers not entirely accounted for by the crisp morning air. Monet set off a movement with his Impression, Sunrise, painted not far south of here. Monet, and before that Manet, changing the world of art forever. Or so the historians like to spin the tale, imposing order onto the chaotic jumble of the past, pulling a single narrative thread from the fabric of time. Providing a focal point, like the bright orange sun that hovers above the water. And their focal point, of course, must always be a man.



    “You could have painted a hundred portraits of me, and instead you paint the sunrise.” Victorine has come up the trail behind me, carrying her own easel which she sets up next to mine. Her hair is like the sunrise reflected on the water, vermillion streaked with silver. She arrived here last week, at my invitation.

    “Manet painted the definitive portrait of you years ago,” I say, teasing.

    “And Monet painted the definitive impressionist sunrise,” Victorine replies, “yet you seem to have no issue painting those. Besides, I painted the definitive picture of me. They showed it at the Salon. Honestly, it is unfair that you should be immortal and I am not. Clearly I am the one with all the talent.”

    Her voice takes on an edge of bitterness as she says it, cobalt blue tinged green, like the underside of a wave in the bright light of a midday sun.

    “I would turn you if I could.” I hadn’t known how precious the gift was that my immortal artist gave me,

    • 29 min
    PodCastle 746: Colors of the Immortal Palette – Part 1

    PodCastle 746: Colors of the Immortal Palette – Part 1

    * Author : Caroline M. Yoachim

    * Narrator : Miyuki Jane Pinckard

    * Host : Matt Dovey

    * Audio Producers : Devin Martin and Eric Valdes

    *

    Discuss on Forums







    Previously published by Uncanny Magazine





    Rated R

     

    The music for the promotion intro is “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/



     

    Hey everyone, Alasdair here – hope you’re doing okay. The summer months are upon us, which means two things – hat weather for yours truly, and the part of our year when costs are high and support tends to dip. We know things are tight everywhere at the moment, and that includes us. For those of you who support us already, thank you so much. We hope you’re enjoying the great new CatsCast episodes. If you’d like to join them, we’ve got tons of options for you at Patreon and PayPal. Even a one-off at Ko-fi makes a big difference, or check out our great new swag store – maybe like me you need a hat! It all adds up, and helps us bring you the best in free audio fiction every week. Thanks, and enjoy this week’s episode.

    Colors of the Immortal Palette

    by Caroline M. Yoachim

     

    LEAD WHITE

     

    I will always remember the view of Paris from his window. Snow, pure and untouched, softens the outline of the buildings and covers the grime of the streets. White, the color of beginnings. His canvas is primed and ready to be painted, and stark winter sunlight glows bright on his undead skin.

    The studio is cramped, drafty despite the heat radiating from the stove. One corner is clean and lavishly decorated, the rest a cluttered chaos of painting supplies and personal effects. He studies me intently as I take in the room, evaluating me much as he did at the Café Guerbois when I’d first caught his eye.

    I wait for him to ask how I came to be in Paris. Artists are so very predictable that way — no trouble at all accepting this pale immortal creature as one of their own, but a woman of my mixed ancestry? Utterly implausible.

    “You should hear the stories they tell of you at the café,” he says. “If Émile is to be believed, you arrived here as a ukiyo-e courtesan, nothing more than paper wrapped around a porcelain bowl. A painter — he will not say which of us it was, of course — bought the bowl and the print along with it.”

    “And the painter pulled me from the print with the sheer force of his imagination, I’m sure,” I reply, laughing. “Émile is a novelist and can hardly be trusted to give an accurate account. The reality of my conception is vastly more mundane, I assure you . . . though it does involve a courtesan.”

    “A grain of truth makes for the best fiction.

    • 37 min
    PodCastle 745: A Beautiful Memory

    PodCastle 745: A Beautiful Memory

    * Author : Shannon Peavey

    * Narrator : Tina Connolly

    * Host : Matt Dovey

    * Audio Producer : Eric Valdes

    *

    Discuss on Forums







    Previously published by Apex





    Rated PG-13

     

    The music for the promotion intro is “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/



     

    Hey everyone, Alasdair here – hope you’re doing okay. The summer months are upon us, which means two things – hat weather for yours truly, and the part of our year when costs are high and support tends to dip. We know things are tight everywhere at the moment, and that includes us. For those of you who support us already, thank you so much. We hope you’re enjoying the great new CatsCast episodes. If you’d like to join them, we’ve got tons of options for you at Patreon and PayPal. Even a one-off at Ko-fi makes a big difference, or check out our great new swag store – maybe like me you need a hat! It all adds up, and helps us bring you the best in free audio fiction every week. Thanks, and enjoy this week’s episode.

    A Beautiful Memory

    by Shannon Peavey

     

    On Thursday, a windsor-knotted businessman paid Anna three times her normal asking price for a quartet of thought-birds. She normally sold two at a time, because their growth was so slow. But he insisted. A bird of each flavor: contentment, melancholy, joy, fury.

    “A few of the guys at work have taken up competitive birdsong,” he told her as he wrote the check. He had sharp breath, with the whisper of a three-martini lunch. “But they’re just using finches or sparrows. This one guy’s got a bunch of pigeons. Seriously.”

    “I see,” Anna said, and stroked the melancholy bird’s head with one finger. It let out a sad little trill.

    “So what do these things eat, anyway?”

    “Seeds,” she said. “They’re just birds.”

    She gave him the same form she gave all new customers — with a list of proper birdfoods and signs of good health: the dos and do-nots of birdkeeping. She didn’t tell him that holding the melancholy bird would make him feel like his heart would break, or that listening to the joyous bird could induce midlife crises. If he’d come to her, he should already know.



    “Can’t wait to see these things in action,” the businessman said, and Anna put the birds in little cardboard carrying-cases and printed his receipt. He carried them away, juggling the cases from hand to hand as he struggled with the door. One of the birds chirred softly, but Anna didn’t know which one it was. The birds didn’t affect her the same way they did her customers.

    She watched him through the glass door as he went to his car. A gust of wind blew his tie into his face. Anna said, “I hope he chokes on that thing,

    • 33 min
    PodCastle 744: Double Feature! I Will You Back to Time and Space; The Ocean-Eyed Boy

    PodCastle 744: Double Feature! I Will You Back to Time and Space; The Ocean-Eyed Boy

    * Authors : Dafydd McKimm and Timothy Mudie

    * Narrators : Alasdair Stuart and Kyle Akers

    * Host : Matt Dovey

    * Audio Producer : Devin Martin

    *

    Discuss on Forums







    “I Will You Back to Time and Space” was originally published by Flash Fiction Online

    “The Ocean-Eyed Boy” was originally published by Deep Magic





    “I Will You Back to Time and Space” has a content warning for the loss of a child

    “The Ocean-Eyed Boy” has a content warning for a child undergoing invasive medical procedures





    Rated PG-13.

     

    The music for the promotion intro is “Sneaky Snitch” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)

    Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/



     

    Hey everyone, Alasdair here – hope you’re doing okay. The summer months are upon us, which means two things – hat weather for yours truly, and the part of our year when costs are high and support tends to dip. We know things are tight everywhere at the moment, and that includes us. For those of you who support us already, thank you so much. We hope you’re enjoying the great new CatsCast episodes. If you’d like to join them, we’ve got tons of options for you at Patreon and PayPal. Even a one-off at Ko-fi makes a big difference, or check out our great new swag store – maybe like me you need a hat! It all adds up, and helps us bring you the best in free audio fiction every week. Thanks, and enjoy this week’s episode.

    I Will You Back to Time and Space

    by Dafydd McKimm

     

    You are ten years unborn on the evening of the day that will soon become known as G-day. I am washing dishes in the kitchen of our newly bought terrace, cleaning the residue of dinner from our finest boot-sale porcelain. I bring two glasses of wine over to the sofa, where your mother is yawning contentedly, and touch my glass gently to hers. The clink sings through the stuffy air.

    “Cheers, fellow homeowner,” I say.

    Your mother grins, takes a sip of her wine. Then her eyes focus on something behind me. Her glass falls; she screams; and I turn to see them for the first time: two hulking things, arms thick as tree trunks, barrel-chested, those beetle-browed primate eyes focused so intensely on us. I shout, curse, push your mother back, my head ringing like the resounding clink of the wine glasses but an alien moment ago.

    Soon enough, we find out the gorillas aren’t just there for the two of us. They’re everywhere, following every living person, and they’re here to stay.





    Everyone has a different theory about what exactly the gorillas are: outward manifestations of our souls; ...

    • 35 min
    PodCastle 743: Ribbons

    PodCastle 743: Ribbons

    * Author : Natalia Theodoridou

    * Narrator : A. F. Grappin

    * Host : Matt Dovey

    * Audio Producer : Eric Valdes

    *

    Discuss on Forums







    Previously published by Uncanny Magazine





    Rated R

    Ribbons

    by Natalia Theodoridou

     

    Monday’s lover tugs at Jan’s ribbon with his teeth. Jan doesn’t yell at the lover to stop. The guy just received bad news from the front — a friend lost to a bomb, perhaps, a sibling blown to bits; Jan doesn’t ask. He tells the lover, instead, to be careful: We don’t want my head rolling off now, do we? We’ve all heard of them, after all, the stories of women taking it off and their heads falling to the ground.

    Monday’s lover nods and keeps his teeth to himself. Says he’s never seen a guy with a ribbon before.

    What can I say, love? Jan tells him. I’m special.

    Jan is a name he chose himself, early on, for it secretly reminded him of Janus, the god of change and passages.

    Yes you are, the lover says as he kisses the scars on Jan’s chest, his eyes that lustful colour lovers get in the half-dark of his little room. Have you been conscripted yet? he asks.

    I’m waiting my turn, Jan lies.

    Silently, he counts the days. Only a week left until induction.

    The lover tells him the stories of his own scars then, how he got some of them on the battlefield and others in the dark wooded area on our northern border where witches and snakes make your wishes come true in return for a bit of finger or a first-born child. And when he’s done with his own he tells Jan the stories of a soldier friend of a soldier friend and his seven sisters who grew out of a tree in their mother’s garden, one every year, much to their mother’s delight, until their father went and chopped it down with an axe.

    Jan only half-listens to him. The ribbon cuts into his skin and the knot at the back chafes his neck, and so he runs his hands up and down the man’s torso to keep them from fumbling with it. He wishes he remembered how he got his ribbon, but he’s found few people ever remember how theirs or their child’s appeared. Was it given? Did it grow from the skin? Was it the result of a deal some ancestor made with a spirit living under the river?

    Maybe, if he knew, he’d know how to take it off without losing his head.

    And is that all he would lose?

    He’s asked others how they got theirs, but no one would give him a straight answer. Still, he catalogues them in his mind, and runs through them now and then, when he feels the most desperate and lost: One trans woman told him she’s had her ribbon since birth; another that it appeared some time into her transition, overnight and without warning. Some enbies don’t have and never get one. Among those who do have them, some seem to love them, while others conceal them with high-collared shirts and turtlenecks; and then there are those who, as far as Jan knows, are content with loose ribbons they buy at the market. They tie them around their necks some days, then remove them, then tie them again when the mood strikes or the need dictates.

    Jan wishes his ribbon would disappear the way that trans woman’s had appeared — and what does it mean for his own manhood that it didn’t?

    He hasn’t met any other trans men he could ask. Perhaps, if he just accepted it, Jan thinks, he could learn to be happy. Perhaps that’s what all the other trans men out there have been doing, or maybe they’re just born without ribbons, like most men. Besides,

    PodCastle 742: The Morning House

    PodCastle 742: The Morning House

    * Author : Kate Heartfield

    * Narrator : Kaitlyn Zivanovich

    * Host : Matt Dovey

    * Audio Producer : Devin Martin

    *

    Discuss on Forums







    PodCastle 742: The Morning House is a PodCastle original.





    Content warning for dementia





    Rated PG-13

    The Morning House

    By Kate Heartfield

     

    “This B&B is frankly unacceptable,” Dad says. “I want to go home.”

    Sylvia freezes, runs through all the things she shouldn’t say.

    You are home, Dad.

    No, don’t argue. Never argue. Rule number one. Don’t dismiss. Get into his world, because he can’t get into yours.

    Don’t you remember? You bought this house before I was born. You and Mom.

    Don’t mention Mom, for God’s sake. Maybe today he doesn’t know she’s dead.

    I know you think it’s a bed and breakfast, but this is actually your house. We all live here, now. Me and Kayla and David and you, together. Remember, Dad? Remember? We moved in with you, in March, after the diagnosis. But this is still your house.





    Geez, Dad had said that to her, once. Years ago. When she was eight. “This is still your house, Sylvia.” She’d been sitting down at the bottom of the sloping lawn, by the cast-iron arbour. Her butt was wet from the grass but she refused to come in. She was waiting for someone to come through that arbour and take her away to the Mirror House, where everything was the same, but better. In the Mirror House, Mom and Dad always got along. They weren’t getting a divorce. Sylvia didn’t have to stay in Vancouver. The Mirror House was her home. But the real house wasn’t. Not anymore. She was moving away with Mom.

    Dad sat with her quietly for a long time — he was younger then, bigger. He sat in the wet grass and just let the silence stretch. At last, he said, “This is still your house, Sylvia.”

    She shook her head. “Not this one.” She looked through the arbour, at the fence beyond.

    “Ah.” A long pause. “The old story about the house that’s just like ours. Well, maybe there will be a special other house in Vancouver too.”

    “It’s not imaginary. I’m not making it up.”

    “I didn’t say you were, sweetheart.”

    “Then why don’t you believe it exists?”

    Dad pulled a blade of grass, thought for a while. It was getting dark. Time for dinner, with Mom and Dad, and everyone would be polite. Sylvia didn’t want dinner.

    Finally, Dad said, “There’s this principle in science called Occam’s Razor. It basically means that when we ask whether something’s true, we try to work with what we already know. I already know that when I look through that arbour, I see a wooden fence. I know many other people also see a fence, right? So how can I explain that you see a house there?”

    “I don’t see a house there. Only sometimes.”

    “Right, OK. Well, I could imagine all kinds of reasons why there might be a house there sometimes, but I think the simplest explanation is that it’s a house that only you can see. Which doesn’t mean you’re making it up.”

    She thought about this for a while. “What does it have to do with shaving?”

    He was puzzled. “What do you mean?”

    “The razor.”

    “Oh, ha, right. Well, it’s because you’re shaving away extra bits that you would need to assume for your theory to be true. Like my beard.” He put his hand to his face. “Needs a shave, actually. Want to feel?”

    She put her hand to his stubble and smiled despite herself. It was very bristly.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

AvantGarden___ ,

Brilliant

I always enjoy tuning in to discover new writers to follow. Excellent production values!

Phil Whole ,

Beautiful escapism.

A lovely mix of fantasy from across the board, with a great mix of narration. Thanks to the escape artist team, you do a fantastic job.

Cronan ,

Fantasy short fiction done well

Great fantasy stories with great narrators. Along with Pseudopod and Escape Pod, they're all the short fiction I need for my daily commute.

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