First Story: “Space Operetta” by Adam Browne
It’s the tenthday of March in the year of our lord 1453 and Cardinal Bessarion is lofting on rotors of gold and spun silver like some godlet in his Romanesque conch shellicopter, dazzling his way over the Alps, from upper airs to lower, purposed to drop in on Vienna, where he visits with Frederick III, Holy Emperor of Germany, Prussia and Austria.
And although Frederick’s happy to see the Cardinal, receiving him with splendours of many types and fruits artificed to exhale mists of auspicious reverie, the Cardinal, who’s not much of a merry andrew at the best of times, is in no mood for such diversions. He’s here to request German military assistance against the Turks, who took Constantinople the month before…
Inconstant Constantinople! — a city due for a name change, thinks the Emperor, who has got a trifle less hail-fellow-well-met. He’s very (shall we say) respectful of Turkey, mainly due to what he’s been hearing from Greece: airborne malevolences drifting across the Aegean; phlegmatick infirmities; stools loose and rank as carrion; lesions equipped with tongues to whisper blasphemies into your dreams…
And so on.
Adam Browne, 50, lives in Melbourne, Australia. His story “Neverland Blues” originally appeared in 2008 in Dreaming Again: Thirty-Five New Stories Celebrating the Wild Side of Australian Fiction. It won the 2009 Chronos Award for Best Short Fiction. His first novel, Pyrotechnicon: Being a True Account of the Further Adventures of Cyrano de Bergerac among the States and Empires of the Stars, by Himself (Dec’d), was published by Coeur de Lion in 2012, and is still available as a print-on-demand illustrated hardcover. His collection of short stories, Other Stories and Other Stories, was recently published by Satalyte, and is available as an audio book.
You can find out more at adambrowne.blogspot.com.au.
Second Story: “Endgame” by Lev Grossman
It was morning rush hour and the subway station was packed. The platform was choked with people: they bunched up at the stairs and wherever construction made the space too narrow and they had to walk in single file. Some of them had thought it necessary to bring an umbrella and some of them hadn’t.
They were all trying to hurry while at the same time not touch each other or look directly at each other or acknowledge in any way that there was anybody else on the platform with them. They made themselves human black holes: no information about their interior lives, if they had any, escaped through their faces.
A train pulled in, and everybody raised their hands to their ears in unison at the scream of metal on metal.
Lev Grossman is the author of the New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy and a staff writer at Time magazine.
Visit him online at levgrossman.com.
About the Narrators:
Mark “the Encaffeinated One” Kilfoil loves fiction, so much so that he’s written some (such as the Parsec-nominated Tainted Roses), read quite a lot (a library of over a thousand half-read books and growing), and now narrates it (sometimes actually recorded for others). He’s found that volunteering for a dozen years in radio was a decent way to get a full-time job as a Program Director at a community radio station in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, but not such a great way to finish his thesis, so he stopped at a Masters in Computer Science. He can be heard frequently on CHSRfm.ca, and two of his shows regularly appear as podcasts, and can be found at encaffeinated.ca and theweirdshow.com. He likes cats enough to pet them but not enough to own one, and computers enough to own several but pet none of them. He will someday write a million words, but at this rate, that will require life extension, so he eagerly awaits the ability to upload into a computer, if that hasn’t already happened and this is all only a simulation.
Katherine Inskip weighs galaxies for a living, and builds worlds in her spare time. She is addicted to chocolate and Japanese logic puzzles.
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
Episode 51: Space Operetta by Adam Browne, narrated by Mark Kilfoil; and Endgame by Lev Grossman, narrated by Katherine Inskip