The Best of Clarkesworld 2019

written by David Steffen Clarkesworld continues strong this year with a mix of science fiction and fantasy, and edited by Neil Clarke, with Kate Baker producing and usually narrating the podcast. They published 80 stories in 2019 by my count. Their translation stories are many of my favorites, as they have been for the past … Continue reading The Best of Clarkesworld 2019

The Best of Lightspeed 2019

written by David Steffen Lightspeed Magazine is the award-nominated science fiction magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, and their podcast is  produced by the excellent Skyboat Media.  They publish about half of the stories they publish in text.  They published about 48 stories in the podcast. The stories eligible for the upcoming award season are … Continue reading The Best of Lightspeed 2019

DP FICTION #61A: “The Eat Me Drink Me Challenge” by Chris Kuriata

The first YouTube video received over seven million hits before being taken down.

A shaky camera held by a giggling friend captured a teenage boy standing in a well-tended backyard. Dressed in cargo shorts, he stared solemnly down the lens before announcing, “I’m Shyam Rangaratnam, and this is the Eat Me Drink Me Challenge.”

After taking a deep breath and a dramatic pause—as all on-line daredevils do before embarking on their potentially painful stunt—Shyam broke the seal on the familiar purple vial, and emptied the liquid onto his tongue.

An audible poof sounded as the teenager twisted and writhed, shrinking away like an ice cube under running water. The camera zoomed into the grass, swishing back and forth before discovering miniature Shyam—no bigger than a salt shaker—cavorting through the leafy green jungle he’d thrown himself into.

“Aw shit, dude,” the friend behind the camera guffawed as he stomped his sandaled foot into the grass. “Look out! I’m going to crush you!” In his over-exuberant Godzilla impression, the camera man came frighteningly close to stomping Shyam for real. Every adult watching the video cringed, astounded by how close these kids came to filming a gruesome tragedy.

The Best of Pseudopod 2019

written by David Steffen Pseudopod is the weekly horror podcast edited by Shawn Garrett and Alex Hofelich. Pseudopod publishes episodes weekly, with occasional Flash on the Borderlands episodes that collect 3 similar-themed flash stories for a single episode, for a total of 60 stories published in 2019, by my count. Stories that are eligible for … Continue reading The Best of Pseudopod 2019

The Best of Cast of Wonders 2019

written by David Steffen Cast of Wonders is the YA branch of the Escape Artists podcasts, edited by Marguerite Kenner and Katherine Inskip, covering all speculative genres and aiming to appeal to YA audiences.  Marguerite Kenner announced at the end of the last episode of the year that that was the last episode she was … Continue reading The Best of Cast of Wonders 2019

The Best of Drabblecast 2016-2019

written by David Steffen The Drabblecast is a weekly (theoretically) podcast of strange stories for strange listeners (such as yourself). It is edited, published, and hosted by Norm Sherman. In 2016-2017 it gradually fell into hiatus for a couple years until a big relaunch plan with a Kickstarter to help keep it going. It’s very … Continue reading The Best of Drabblecast 2016-2019

DP FICTION #60B: “The Cliff of Hands” by Joanne Rixon

“Lhálali’s bloody viscera,” Eešan cursed. She searched the cliff face for a hold and found nothing. Finally she spotted a thread-thin crack and wedged her wingtip claw in it so she could reach upward with her stubby grasping-hands. 

“Watch out,” Aušidh said. “If you fall now you’ll get hurt, won’t you?” She dipped in a little swoop less than a winglength away from Eešan in the air. The shadow of her wide membranous wings rippled across the uneven stone and the little burst of wind ruffled the sparse black fur on Eešan’s back. 

The others circled farther away, the curves and points of their silhouettes slowly churning the air as they gawked. Eešan was putting on enough of a spectacle that half her hatchmates had turned up to watch. 

“Yes,” Eešan said tightly. It made her feel sick to have to speak her fear out loud. “If I fall, I’ll die.” 

“Oh.” Aušidh circled up and around again, landing on the cliff face just beneath Eešan, her grasping-hands and wingtips confidently catching in a clean four-point landing on the irregular stone surface. “I didn’t think you were that high up yet.”

MOVIE REVIEW: Spies In Disguise

written by David Steffen Spies in Disguise is a 2019 computer-animated action/comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The movie follows super-suave celebrity spy (ala James Bond) Lance Sterling (Will Smith), who is on the top of his game, able to infiltrate an enemy’s facility and make it look … Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Spies In Disguise

The Best of Podcastle 2019

written by David Steffen Podcastle is the weekly fantasy podcast published by Escape Artists, which at the beginning of 2019 was co-edited by Jen Albert and Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali.  During the year Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali stepped down and now at this time the podcast is co-edited by Jen Albert and Cherae Clark. As well as weekly full-length … Continue reading The Best of Podcastle 2019

The Best of Escape Pod 2019

written by David Steffen Escape Pod is the weekly science fiction podcast, one of the Escape Artists family of podcasts, edited by S.B. Divya and Mur Lafferty. Escape Pod published a total of 41 stories in 2018, which is lower than it has been in some years because of a combination of longer stories that … Continue reading The Best of Escape Pod 2019