Story: “The Guardian of the Egg” by Christopher Barzak
My sister was the girl with the tree growing out of her head. You’ve probably heard of her. You might have seen her on TV. Her picture was plastered all over the place for a while. That shock of wheat ruffling around her face like a great golden mane, the weeping willow tree growing out of the top of her head, her skin white as chalk and smooth as porcelain, those tiny tiger lilies that grew between her eyelashes. And all of those geese she kept under her mossy cloak! A freak show, really. I understand why everyone thought she might be working with a foreign government, or that she’d been irradiated by the local nuclear power plant. But, really, she was just another ordinary teenager under all of that flora. I know because she was my older sister.
Christopher Barzak is the author of the Crawford Fantasy Award-winning novel One for Sorrow, which was made into the major motion picture Jamie Marks is Dead. His second novel, The Love We Share Without Knowing, was a finalist for the Nebula and James Tiptree Jr. Awards. He is also the author of two collections: Birds and Birthdays and Before and Afterlives, which won the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection. Christopher grew up in rural Ohio, has lived in a southern California beach town, the capital of Michigan, and has taught English outside of Tokyo, Japan, where he lived for two years. His next novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, will be published by Knopf in Septemeber 2015. Currently he teaches fiction writing in the Northeast Ohio MFA program at Youngstown State University.
Learn more about Chris at christopherbarzak.com.
About the Narrator:
Father, husband, narrator, and voice talent at your service, Tobias Queen has been talking to himself in a small padded room since about 2008, when people started paying him to do so. If you’d like to contact him, just go to tobiasqueen.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve heard from us during the past year and want to sing our praises a little, then please pop on over to their website and nominate us for a 2015 Parsec Award.
Since this is our first year in existence, we are eligible for the Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team category. We’ll only get the one shot, and by golly we’re going to take it.
Also, anything that we have (or will) run from May 1, 2014 to April 30, 2015 is eligible for the Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form), and those stories are listed below. So if there was a specific story featured in Far Fetched Fables that blew your mind, please nominate it as well!
Stories eligible for Best Speculative Fiction Story: Small Cast (Short Form) are:
Episode 03: Commando Bats by Sherwood Smith, narrated by Summer Brooks; and The Pirate’s True Love by Seana Graham, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark
Episode 04: The Teashop by Zoran Zivkovic, narrated by Tina Connolly; and Bamboozled by Kelley Armstrong, narrated by Natalie Ross
Episode 05: An Accounting by Brian Evenson, narrated by Sam Walter; and Snowball’s Chance by Charles Stross, narrated by Kenny Park
Episode 06: A Ring of Green Fire by Sean McCullen, narrated by Colin Clews; Rules to Win the Game by Matthew Burnside, narrated by Tim Maroney; and Cloud Eating by Tricia Glock, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark
Episode 07: Lost Arts by Stephen Dedman, narrated by Geoffrey Welchman; and Nor Iron Bars a Cage by Deborah J. Ross, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark
Episode 08: The New Deal by Trent Jamieson, narrated by Martin Reyto; and Disillusions by Mike Resnick and Lawrence Schimmel, narrated by Katherine Inskip
Episode 09: A Night in the Tropics by Jeffrey Ford, narrated by Pete Nixon; The Blue Magnolia by Tony Ballantyne, narrated by Anthony Babbington; and Tomorrow Tea by Laurel Winter, narrated by Kimberly Mintz
Episode 10: Neverland Blues by Adam Browne, narrated by James Silverstein; and The Swan Maiden by Barbara A. Barnett, narrated by Rachel Dee
Episode 11: Lost Son by Maurice Broaddus, narrated by Gregory Austin; and 10 Things I Know about the Wizard by Steven Tem, narrated by Shaun Hayworth
Episode 12: Tengu Mountain by Gregory Frost, narrated by the author; and Lost Wax by Leah Bobet, narrated by Bob Raudys
Episode 13: Blood, Oak, Iron by Janny Wurts, narrated by Mark Nelson; and Comber by Gene Wolfe, narrated by Anthony Babington
Episode 14: Jack Shade in the Forest of Souls part 1 by Rachel Pollack, narrated by Larry Oliver; and Gathering Rosebuds of Rust by Nicola Belte, narrated by Sarah Frederickson
Episode 15: Jack Shade in the Forest of Souls part 2 by Rachel Pollack, narrated by Larry Oliver; and Night of the Goblin Girl by Amal El-Mothar, narrated by Sarah Frederickson
Episode 16: Of Men and Wolves by An Owomoyela, narrated by Rish Outfield; and Stray by Benjamin Rosenbaum and David Ackert, narrated by David Ackert
Episode 17: The Flying Woman by Laurel Winter, narrated by Sarah Frederickson; Intelligent Design by Ellen Klages, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark; and Act of Penance by Michael Haynes, narrated by Marvin Münstermann
Episode 18: The Funeral, Ruined by Ben Peek, narrated by Kim Mintz; and Poison by Bruce McAllister, narrated by Andrew Leman
Episode 19: Perchance to Dream by Isobelle Carmody, narrated by Cynthia P. Colby; and The Weather Cinema by Adam Browne, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark
Episode 20: The Shooter at the Heartrock Waterhole by Bill Congreve, narrated by Eric Luke; and The Comb by Marly Youmans, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Calrk
Episode 21: Troll’s Night Out by Jenny Blackford, narrated by Catherine Logan; and A Thousand Waves Beneath the Stars by Brendan Connell, narrated by Matthew Frederickson
Episode 22: Chasing the Wind by Elizabeth Wein, narrated by Rachel Dee; and Surface Tension by KJ Kabza, narrated by Alex Weinle
Episode 23: Compartments by Zoran Zivkovic, narrated by Anthony Babington; and In the Nightmare Garden by Shenoa Carroll-Bradd, narrated by Cherryl Phipps
Episode 24: Save me Plz by David Barr Kirtley, narrated by Katherine Inskip; and Of Melei, of Ulthar by Gord Sellar, narrated by Maria Makis
Episode 25: The Master Miller’s Tale part 1 by Ian McLeod, narrated by Colin Clewes; and Princesses by Jeremy Sim, narrated by Bob Raudys
Episode 26: The Master Miller’s Tale part 2 by Ian McLeod, narrated by Colin Clewes; and Show Me Yours by Robert Reed, narrated by Nikolle Doolin
Episode 27: Public Safety by Matthew Johnson, narrated by Nobilis Reed; and Mrs. Wilson and the Black Arts of Mrs. Beelzebub from Number Six by Steven Pirie, narrated by Veronica Giguere
Episode 28: Riding Shotgun by Charles de Lint, narrated by Eric Luke
Episode 29: Steam Girl by Dylan Horrocks, narrated by Pete Nixon; and Blood Drunk by Adam Browne, narrated by James Silverstein
Episode 30: Keeper of Memory by Todd Lockwood, narrated by Sam Walter; and Awakening by Valjeanne Jeffers, narrated by Miss Bee
Episode 31: Nightship by Kim Westwood, narrated by Nikolle Doolin; and Smoke and Mirrors by Amanda Downum, narrated by Catherine Logan
Episode 32: The Swan Pilot by L.E Modesitt Jr., narrated by Gareth Stack; and The Stone Man by Nancy Kress, narrated by Anthony Babington
Episode 33: America is Coming by Dario Ciriello, narrated by Pete Nixon; and The Forest by Kim Wilkins, narrated by Nikolle Doolin
Episode 34: The Last Worders by Karen Joy Fowler, narrated by Sarah Frederickson; and Tales from the City of Seams by Greg van Eekhout, narrated by Anthony Babington
Episode 35: Childrun by Marc Laidlaw, narrated by Larry Oliver
Episode 36: The Price of Glamour by Steve Berman, narrated by Eric Luke; and The Magikkers by Terry Dowling, narrated by Graeme Dunlop
Episode 37: The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats by Scott Lynch, narrated by Mark Nelson
Episode 38: Fool’s Fire by Hayley E. Lavik, narrated by Sarah Frederickson; and Justice by Suzan Harden, narrated by Deanna Sanchez
Episode 39: Dream Eaters by A.M. Dellamonica, narrated by Heidi Hotz; and The Flying Woman by Meghan McCarron, narrated by Sarah Frederickson
Episode 40: Forever by Tim Lebbon. Narrated by Anthony Babington
Episode 41: Castor on Troubled Waters by Rhys Hughes, narrated by Alex Weinle; Lure by Paul Collins, narrated by Kim Mintz; and A Guided Tour in the Kingdom of the Dead by Richard Harland, narrated by Josh Roseman
Episode 42: Requiem for a Druid by Alex Shvartsman, narrated by Mark Kilfoil; Snow White, Red Rose by Lydia Millet, narrated by James Silverstein.
Episode 43: Spirit Brother by Pamela Sargent, narrated by Pete Nixon
Episode 44: Older, Wiser, Time Traveler by Matthew Bennardo, narrated by Rish Outfield; and Loose in the Wires by John D. Brown, narrated by Eric Luke
Episode 45: The Hum of Refuge by Anna Ilona Mussman, narrated by Heidi Hotz; and Sinking Among the Lilies by Cory Skerry, narrated by Anthony Babington
Episode 46: Infinity Syrup by Laurel Winter, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark; and Isle of Women by Jacqueline Carey, narrated by Sarah Frederickson
Episode 47: Dream Logic by Barbara A. Barnett, narrated by Gareth Stack; and The Title of This Story by Stephanie Campisi, narrated by Tim Maroney
Episode 48: Clockwork Fairies by Cat Rambo, narrated by Anthony Babington; and When Robot Mermaids Attack by Oliver Buckram, narrated by Chris Mack
Episode 49: A Dark, Beautiful Force by Jessica May Lin, narrated by Sarah Frederickson; and Canadian Blood Diamonds by Kristi Charish. Read by Nikolle Doolin
Episode 50: The Guardian of the Egg by Christopher Barzak, narrated by Tobias Queen