26 February 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Best of Podcastle 2017

written by David Steffen

Podcastle is the weekly fantasy podcast published by Escape Artists.  At the beginning of the year it was co-edited by Graeme Dunlop and Jen Albert.  Partway through the year Graeme retired from the position and his co-editor seat was filled by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali.  As well as weekly full-length feature episodes, they also publish occasional standalone flash stories as bonus episodes, as well as triple flash stories for the occasional feature episode collection.

Because of an author pay-rate change in 2016, they qualified within 2017 as a qualifying market for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which means they have to meet certain criteria.

In February Podcastle once again participated in the Artemis Rising event across the Escape Artists podcasts, publishing fantasy stories written by women and nonbinary authors.

Podcastle has had a solid year; it was super hard to winnow the full list of 75 stories down to the necessary count.

Every short story that is eligible for Hugo nominations this year which were first published by Podcastle are marked with an asterisk (*), novelettes are marked with a double-asterisk.  If the original publisher was someone besides Podcastle, the original publisher is noted in parentheses for award-eligible fiction.

The List

 

1.  “How I Became Coruscating Queen of All the Realms, Pierced the Obsidian Night, Destroyed a Legendary Sword, and Saved My Heart’s True Love” by Baker & Dovey* (first published in No Shit There I Was)
Included in an anthology of bar-style exaggerated story, an over-the-top fun exaggerated epic fantasy.

2.  “The Chaos Village” (and part 2) by M.K. Hutchins**
Neuro-atypical man ventures into the chaotic ever-shifting area feared by most to explore.  Sequel to Golden Chaos.

3.  “Home is a House That Loves You” by Rachael K. Jones*
Everyone turns into structures of their choice when they get older.  You can live on to support your family long after your fleshy body passes away.

4.  “All of the Cuddles With None of the Pain” by J.J. Roth*
Artificial companions mimic human babies that won’t grow up and leave you behind.  But sometimes they become human…

5.  “Winter Witch” by Matt Dovey*
The witch can’t fix everything, but sometimes she can make a difference.

6.  “Zilal and the Many-Folded Puzzle Ship” by Charlotte Ashley*
An intricately built boat can be reconfigured in many different ways.

7.  “Six Jobs” by Tim Pratt
Recruited for magical work at a young age, moving from job to job.

8.  “Shadow Man, Sack Man, Half Dark, Half Light” by Malon Edwards* (first published in Shimmer)
A compelling dark story with less common monsters.

Honorable Mentions

“Blackbird Pastry” by Megan Branning*

“The Names of the Sky” by Matthew Claxton*

“A Whisper in the Weld” by Alix E. Harrow

“Maiden, Mother, Crone” by Ann Leckie and Rachel Swirsky

 

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