written by David Steffen
Cast of Wonders is the young adult fiction podcast. They have a broader definition of YA than you’ll typically find on bookshelves, especially in terms of the protagonist’s demographic–who need not be young adults. The podcast continues to be edited by Marguerite Kenner.
This has been a momentous year for Cast of Wonders. They announced their big news at WorldCon in August, and more widely in metacasts in October. Cast of Wonders is changing owners, from Wolfsbane Publishing to the Escape Artists family of podcasts. Escape Artists, before last year, consisted of Pseudopod, Podcastle, and Escape Pod. The non-audio publication Mothership Zeta launched last year two to make a family of five publications instead of three. Along with this change in ownership comes a major increase in pay for writers whose work is published as well, bringing them up to SFWA’s qualifying rate for original fiction. This change all has gone into effect as of the beginning of 2016.
In 2015, two of my own reprinted stories were published in Cast of Wonders.
- “This Is Your Problem, Right Here” which starts out as a plumber explains to the owner of a water park how her pool filters have stopped working because almost all of the trolls are dead.
- “Marley and Cratchit”, a steampunk secret history prequel to A Christmas Carol, which begins with Bob Cratchit as an alchemist and Jacob Marley as his business partner and financier.
Cast of Wonders published 30 stories in 2015.
1. “The Mothgate” by J.R. Troughton
A mother and daughter hold their ground against monsters from another dimension.
2. “Wine For Witches, Milk for Saints” by Rachael K. Jones
Puppetism is both a curse and a blessing. It can be transferred but never cured. When a child is inflicted with puppetism, any other medical conditions they have are rendered into a puppet analog of the condition that is much easier to fix. A Christmas story set in an Italy where strategic transfers of puppetism are the basis of the medical system.
3. “Setting My Spider Free” by Caroline M. Yoachim
Humans, living in towers that rise above the clouds, have crafted a symbiosis with a race of giant spiders.
4. “Fairy Bones” by Guy Stewart
Fairy remains are discovered in owl pellets by a scientist and her visiting nephew.
5. “Amicae Aeternum” by Ellen Klages
Before leaving on a generation ship, how can you say goodbye to your best friend?