Tag Archives: Podcastle

Re: Hart and Boot

There’s an awful lot of Tim Pratt stories on the Escape Artists podcast, most of which I enjoy, so it’s hard to pick out one in particular to talk about. But recently, I thought their reading of Hart and Boot, by Tim Pratt, was an especially good example.

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Re: Love Among the Talus

I am so far behind in listening to podcasts. Sadly, with the fiction podcasts, this is involving a lot of skipping ahead until I finally reach one that I enjoy listening to, like the pleasant reading on Podcastle of  “Love Among the Talus,” Elizabeth Bear.

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Re: Chinatown

“Chinatown,” by Greg Van Eekhout is the sort of amusing flight of fancy you might have while enjoying your favorite bowl of soup noodles in Chinatown — if the broth has been simmering for 800 years. And evil Belgians might send their attack monkeys at any moment. And there’s way more than five Chinese brothers. What’s an innocent foodie to do?

Extracted from “Tales From the City of Seams,” originally in Polyphony 4. Read on Podcastle. Tasted on my iPod Touch.

Re: The Dybbuk in the Bottle

Folklore is a natural font for fantasy stories, but some stories fit in better than others. “On The Banks of the River of Heaven” felt like an extra element gracefully inserted into Japanese folktales. “The Dybbuk in the Bottle,” by Russell William Asplund feels like a genie in a bottle story dressed up with Jewish folk elements. Despite a couple of hiccups,  I ended up liking it enough to want to talk about it.

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Re: On the Banks of the River of Heaven

In Japan, Tanabata is a summer festival, based on a widely varying legend about two lovers who are now stars in the sky, parted by the Milky Way, flowing like a river across the heavens. And who better to carry messages between them than a clever otter? Leaving aside the sad fate of the river otter in Japan, “On the Banks of the River of Heaven,” by Richard Parks gives us yet another variant in a reading on Podcastle that’s just right for a sweltering summer evening.

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Re: Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge

I’ve managed to avoid reading anything close to horror lately, but there are a few ghosts and monsters floating through a nice long reading at Podcastle of “Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge,” by Richard Parks. Lord Yamada is drawn back into Heian imperial court at the request of an old friend, Princess Teiko. Even before the palace intrigue starts, the story is filled with hints and hidden messages, and we are drawn in along with Yamada to puzzle them out.

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Re: Clad in Gossamer

One thing I’m finding in Nancy Kress stories is really good portrayals of jerks. In “Clad in Gossamer”, her take on The Emperor’s New Clothes, you know everyone’s a jerk, so it works well.

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Do you like your cookies sweet or crispy?

Here’s a twofer Tuesday. Why not?

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Re: Ancestor Money

It’s a real pity that a copy of China Mountain Zhang has been languishing on my bookshelf,  because what little I’ve read of Maureen McHugh I really like. Take “Ancestor Money,” (collected in Mothers & Other Monsters) which was read on Podcastle a few months ago. Rachel is spending her afterlife in Swan Pond Kentucky, when she receives notice of an offering of ancestor money from her granddaughter. And she has to go to Hong Kong to claim it.

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Re: The Fable of the Octopus

Still working my way through the Podcastle archives, I enjoyed a series of four fables by Peter S. Beagle that were podcast last fall.  My favorite was “The Fable of the Octopus,” about an octopus who wanted to see god. His ideas about god are about as good as your typical human New Age book. Since I like that sort of thing, and am sometimes tempted to perpetrate my own half-baked ideas, I was charmed.

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