First Story: “Too Delicate for Human Form” by Cate Gardner
A trail of dead goldfish wound towards the pool where Jenny’s aunt drifted face down.
Her aunt’s silver chain, its pendant an iron key, dangled from the prongs of a leaf rake. Jenny put the chain around her neck and wondered if the fish had tried to save her aunt or themselves. The iron key dangled between her breasts, irritating her skin. Following the trail back into the house, she phoned for an ambulance. To the coroner, the fish were a suicide note. To Jenny, they were family.
Cate Gardner is a British horror and fantastical author with more than one hundred short stories published. Several of those stories appear in her collection Strange Men in Pinstripe Suits (Strange Publications 2010). She is also the author of four novellas: Theatre of Curious Acts (Hadley Rille Books, 2011, Barbed Wire Hearts (Delirium Books, 2011), In the Broken Birdcage of Kathleen Fair (Alchemy Press, 2013), and This Foolish & Harmful Delight (Egaeus Press, 2013).
Her chapbooks Nowhere Hall (Spectral Press 2011) and The Sour Aftertaste of Olive Lemon (Bucket ‘O’ Guts Press 2009) have sold out, and she is currently working on a novel.
She can be found online at categardner.net.
Main Story: “The Island of Peter Pandora” by Kim Lakin-Smith
Peter caught the fly between his palms. The insect buzzed and tickled.
“Aren’t you the jolly little irritant!” Peter parted his hands slightly and tried to peep in. When the fly flew out, he snatched at it. A trace of gore stained his hand.
“Funny bug.” Peter didn’t bother to brush off the insect’s remains, but picked up the wrench and plunged his hands into the Lost Boy’s stomach.
“Those Rogues. They’ll do for me one day,” said Nibs in his chiming voice.
“Ha! They’d have to catch me first, and Peter Pandora is not easy to tie down.” Peter lifted his sharp chin a notch. Locating the flywheel under the leather heart, he adjusted the torque. A squeeze of oil from a can and the gears moved smoothly again.
“I am nothing if not exceptional.” Peter slid the bolt plate back across Nibs’ stomach. He cleaned his hands on a rag.
“You’re the bravest and the best, Peter.” Nibs craned in his legs, rocked onto his porthole backside and got up off the grass. Steam oozed from his joints.
Peter nodded sagely. “I am.” When the Lost Boys failed to concur, he shot them a savage look. “What say my men?” He bit his bottom lip.
The animatronic band wheezed into life at the command.
Kim Lakin-Smith attained a first class honors degree in English Lit and Creative Writing from the University of Glamorgan, and was tutored by award winning author Graham Joyce while studying for her MA in Writing at Nottingham Trent. Formerly a copywriter, advertising exec, and website designer, her desire to write fantasy and science fiction novels took precedence.
Her novels include Tourniquet: Tales From the Renegade City, Cyber Circus, and Queen Rat; her stories appear in the anthologies Celebration, MythUnderstandings, Further Conflicts, Pandemonium: Tales of the Apocalypse, and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women. Her short story “Johnny and Emmie-Lou Get Married” was shortlisted for the 2009 British Science Fiction Association short story award.
Kim is a regular guest speaker at literary events and has run numerous writing workshops at colleges and conventions. She lives in 2/5ths of a Victorian gothic mansion house with her mini-demon of a daughter and dark lord of a husband. She believes she is well placed to connect with her readers, having a hazy attitude to maturity, an eclectic dress sense, and a true zest for the weird and the freakish.
She can be found online at kimlakin-smith.com.
About the Narrators:
Heidi Hotz is not just another voice. She’s a voiceover artist with a range of personalities that varies from mom to the business corporate, to the friendly girl next door. She has been in the industry for more than 10 years, and has worked on TV commercials, radio, documentaries, audio fiction, and narration in general.
She can be found on LinkedIn here.
Peter Nixon is a full-time programmer and full-time student. He is the editor and producer for Green Eggs and Horror, a Dr. Seuss inspired short story anthology. He narrates and writes in his spare time, because he doesn’t believe in normal hobbies.
Find out more at GreenEggsAndHorror.com.
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.
We have been nominated in the Best New Speculative Fiction Podcaster/Team category. In addition to that, 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) category, 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!
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
Episode 52: The Mask of ’67 by David Prill, narrated by Matthew Frederickson; and The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Monsters by Alex Shvartsman, narrated by Nicola Seaton-Clark
Episode 53: The Tower of the Elephant by Robert E. Howard, narrated by Mark Kilfoil
Episode 54: Too Delicate for Human Form by Cate Gardner, narrated by Heidi Hotz; and The Island of Peter Pandora by Kim Lakin-Smith, narrated by Peter Nixon