The Best of Podcastle 2015

written by David Steffen

Podcastle, the fantasy branch of the Escape Artists podcast, has been running for almost eight years now.  And this has been an eventful year for the podcast for several reasons:

  1.  They upgraded their pay rate for new fiction to professional rates.  The other Escape Artists sister publications are now all pro-paying as well.  I’m hoping that will draw ever wider talent (and hopefully get more award interest).
  2. They are now paying their voice acting talent for the first time.
  3. Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind have stepped down from co-editor positions.
  4. Kitty Niclaian and Dawn Phynix were chosen to co-edit, but were unable to fill the roles.
  5. Finally, Rachael Jones and Graeme Dunlop are now the co-editors.

Podcastle published 69 stories in 2015.

After years of submitting, I finally sold a story to Podcastle, a flash story written as a brochure for adoptive parents of crash-landed alien infants: “So You’ve Decided to Adopt a Zeptonian Baby!”.

And, late in the year my second story appeared as well, another flash story, this one title “My Wife is a Bear in the Morning”.  That one is well described in the (literal) title.

The List

1. “The Sea of Wives” by Nathaniel Lee
A tale of selkies, where the fishing of selkies has become a major industry.

2. “Testimony Of Samuel Frobisher Regarding Events On Her Majesty’s Ship CONFIDENCE, 14-22 June, 1818, With Diagrams” by Ian Tregellis
First hand explanation of a ship’s encounter with the “tentacled bride”, a monster at sea.

3. “The Machine that Made Clothes” by Nathaniel Lee
Horror-ish story about the drive for fashion.

4. “Who Binds and Looses the World With Her Hands” by Rachael K. Jones
Two women, one a prisoner and the other a captive, are visited on their island by a stranger.  Interesting developing story, with deaf protagonist.

5. “Super-Baby-Moms Group Saves the Day” by Tina Connolly
Very fun full cast recording, about an online forum group of mothers of superpowered children.

6. “Makeisha in Time” by Rachael K. Jones
Makeisha takes reflexive jumps back to random points in time, and each time lives a full lifetime before returning to the exact moment in the present when she left.

7. “Wet” by John Wiswell
Immortal helps a ghost girl move on to the other side.

 

Honorable Mentions

“Sticks and Stones” by Nathaniel Lee

“The Newsboy’s Last Stand” by Krystal Claxton

“Congratulations on Your Apotheosis” by Michelle Ann King

 

 

The Best of Podcastle 2014

written by David Steffen

It’s been a great year for Podcastle with some of my favorite episodes ever after they and their sister podcasts came back from the brink of having to close due to lack of funds. The podcast is still edited by Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind and they’re doing a great job.Just a few days ago there was a metacast that announced big new things coming up, including that Alasdair Stuart and J. Daniel Sawyer are now owners of the company. Just yesterday I learned that Dave and Anna are stepping down from their editorial positions early this year after five years in the position–I hear that the full details are in the most recent episode along with the story Rachael K. Jones’ “Makeisha in Time” but I haven’t had time to sync my iPod and listen since I heard this, so I don’t know much more about it yet.

On to the list!

The List

1. “Heartless” by Peadar O Guilin

2. “The MSG Golem” by Ken Liu

3. “Stranger vs. The Malevolent Malignancy” by Jim C. Hines

4. “Without Faith, Without Law, Without Joy” by Saladin Ahmed

5. “Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future” by Keffy R.M. Kehrli

6. “Help Summon the Most Holy Folded One!” by Harry Connolly

 

Honorable Mentions

“The Old Woman With No Teeth” by Patricia Russo

“Underbridge” by Peter S. Beagle

“Ill Met in Ulthar” by T.A. Pratt

 

 

 

 

 

The Best of Podcastle 2013

written by David Steffen

Podcastle, and the other Escape Artists casts had a bit of a crisis to overcome this year–they realized that although they had a great listenership, only 1% of the listeners donated, and it wasn’t enough to keep the publications afloat. The good news is that when they revealed this there was a strong reaction to add subscriptions–if you read this and you like the cast, consider adding a subscription.

Podcastle published 57 stories in 2013, here are my favorites.

The List

1. Scry by Anne Ivy
Seeing the future, like time travel, is one of those story elements in which it’s hard to find new permutations which some other hasn’t already thought of. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for stories, but most attempts at using these elements novelly will result in something much like another existing story. This story managed to feel novel despite all that, giving interesting limitations to the main characters ability to scry the future, ways to make it both a strength and a weakness. She has been captured by a creature incapable of lying who has vowed to kill her, but she makes the most of what seems to be a bleak situation. Very cool.

2. Wuffle by Chantal Beaulne
Beard humor! A wizard rids himself of his beard that has soaked up so much magic it has become sapient.

3. Mermaid’s Hook by Liz Argall
A great nonhuman POV, a mermaid rescues a man who’s been thrown off a ship and does her best to try to understand his perspective.

4. The Sunshine Baron by Peadar O Guilin
An unlikeable narrator done extremely well. Cool worldbuilding, and even though I hated the POV character, I wanted to see how it turned out, and I could understand his decisions even if I hate him for them.

5. Excision by Scott H. Andrews
I’ve heard time and time again that there is a conflict between magic and science. But there really isn’t–science is the study of the universe through measurable and repeatable tests. If magic exists, science would strive to understand it and catalog it. This story embraces that concept, trying to rigorously find new methods of healing magic.

6. The Discriminating Monster’s Guide to the Perils of Princess Snatching by Scott M. Roberts
I don’t much care for the title of this one, making it seem like it will be a whimsical lighthearted adventure story for children, but the story is very good, voiced by Dave Thompson, a perfect choice. The POV character is a monster who abducts people with great destinies to steal away their destinies as a source of energy, but this time he’s abducted the wrong princess.

 

 

Honorable Mentions

The Red Priest’s Vigil by Dirk Flinthart

Rumor of Wings by Alter S. Reiss

Beyond the Shrinking World by Nathaniel Katz

 

 

The Best of Podcastle 2012

written by David Steffen

In 2012 Podcastle published 51 feature stories, with 8 miniatures. This is the one of the Escape Artists podcasts that I haven’t managed to get a story into yet, but I listen on! Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind continue their tenure as editors, and there were plenty of good stories to pick from.

1. In the Stacks by Scott Lynch
A full cast recording, unusual for Podcastle. A story about magicians-in-training going into a violent magical library as a test of their abilities.

2. Recognizing Gabe: Un Cuento de Hadas by Alberto YaÃ’ ez
This one surprised me. I felt like I knew where it was going, but it surprised me in a very good way.

3. The Tonsor’s Son by Michael John Grist
“I knew from the moment I saw him that his beard was full of evil.” There’s one scene that many of the forumites found hard to take, but I think everyone who kept listening was okay with it in the long run.

4. Another Word for Map is Faith by Christopher Rowe
There are few things more frightening than religious zealotry.

5. Accompaniment by Keffy R.M. Kehrli
A kickass dark flash.

6. Destiny, With Blackberry Sauce by David J. Schwartz
I’ve seen stories before where someone tried to avoid their destiny, but never as hard as in this story.

 

Honorable Mentions

Fable From a Cage by Tim Pratt

A Window, Clear as a Mirror by Ferrett Steinmetz

Machine Washable by Keffy R.M. Kehrli

 

 

 

 

The Best of Podcastle 2011

written by David Steffen

Podcastle’s going strong under the continued editorship of Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind. In 2011, they published 52 feature length episodes (from episodes 138-189), and 9 flash episodes (flash episodes 58-66), as well as 4 special feature stories from the Alphabet Quartet.

Generally, it was a pretty strong year, I think. I had plenty of material to fill the list with. There was one episode that got under my skin in a bad way, that I had trouble shaking, but I want to keep these lists about the positive, so that’s all that I’ll say about it here.

1. As Below, So Above by Ferrett Steinmetz
I’m surprised this one didn’t appear on the Drabblecast. Bloodthirsty giant squid point of view character, mad scientists, all with a nice mix of theology.

2. The Parable of the Shower by Leah Bobet
Modern Biblical story that begins with an angel visit… in the shower. Fun stuff.

3. The Ghost of Christmas Possible by Tim Pratt and Heather Shaw
I’ve seen so many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol that I’d thought I’d never see another one that really seemed original. But this one pulled it off. It’s a mashup of the original and William Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost Hunter who is called in by Ebenezer to investigate the strange visitations.

4. The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu
Fair warning: this is a very sad one. A son’s story about growing up with an immigrant mother. The characters in this one seemed especially genuine.

5. Abandonware by An Owomoyela
A boy finds an apparently prophetic computer program in his dead sister’s belongings.

6. Stereogram of the Gray Fort, In the Days of Her Glory by Paul M. Berger
Two perspectives on a set of events taking place after the humans have lost the war with the Fae.

7. Hart and Boot by Tim Pratt
This story is based on the known life of Wild West outlaw Pearl Hart and her mysterious partner in crime, Joe Boot. This takes the known events of her life and fills in the gaps.

Honorable Mentions

A Hunter’s Ode to His Bait by Carrie Vaughn

Balfour and Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor’s Vengeance by Daniel Abraham

Beyond the Sea Gates of the Pirates of Sarskoe by Garth Nix

 

 

The Best of Podcastle 2010-

My first Best of Podcastle list was posted back on January 4th, 2010. This list picks up where that one left off, and includes the rest of 2010. So it includes all of Podcastle’s publications except for “When Shakko Did Not Lie”. Including flash fiction, there were 67 stories included in this set, and I’ll be listing out my favorite 7.

There have been some major events at Podcastle in the last year. They reached their 100th episode. Rachel Swirsky stepped down about the same time of my list last year, and was replaced by dual editors Dave Thompson and Anna Schwind (who I interviewed last year after they took over).

If you like this list, check out my other “Best Of” articles.

1. The Mermaid’s Tea Party by Samantha Henderson
read by Tina Connolly

Don’t be fooled by the title into thinking that this is Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The mermaids in this story are evil, spiteful creatures and the story hits on all cylinders from the first moments in which a young girl, a survivor of a shipwreck, is feigning enjoyment of seawater “tea” to keep the sharp-toothed mermaids from eating her. Very dark.

2. Creature by Ramsey Shehadah
read by Norm Sherman

A lovely, well-told non-human perspective. Creature is a near-invincible blob living in a post-apocalyptic world. The story follows his travels across the wasteland, as he meets and befriends a young girl.

3. The Warlock and the Man of the Word by M. K. Hobson
read by Bob Eccles

An awesome “weird west” tale, in a world where demons exist among cowboys in the wild west, and the power of prayer can generate a sending from God with unpredictable results.

4. The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
read by Eric Luke

This is probably my favorite Poe story, and it’s good to hear it on the podcast. This is one of those stories we had as required reading that convinced me that required reading does not necessarily suck.

5. Biographical Notes to “A Discourse on the Nature of Causality, with Air-planes” by Benjamin Rosenbaum by Benjamin Rosenbaum
read by Graeme Dunlop

No, the doubling of the name “Benjamin Rosenbaum” is not a mistake, the first is part of the title. This is a long philosophical adventure in a parallel world starring a parallel version of the author. Most of it takes placeon a dirigible in a world where airplanes are nothing but imagining. In this world philosophy is more prevalent than scientific rigor, so the perspective is very different and interesting.

6. The Alchemist’s Feather by Erin Cashier
read by Dave Thompson

Another well-told non-human perspective. The point of view is an Alchemist’s simulacrum, a little wooden doll without a voice who is kept only for his value in experiments.

7. Songdogs by Ian McHugh
read by Amanda Fitzwater

And, another “weird west” type tale, this one in a mutated post-apocalyptic Outback starring a bounty hunter mage bringing in her captive for her pay.


Honorable mentions

1. The Christmas Mummy by Heather Shaw & Tim Pratt
read by Rish Outfield

Interesting note: This was included with Heather and Tim’s Christmas letter last year. What a fun idea!

2. Fetch by Nathaniel Lee
read by Peter Wood

3. Sir Hereward and Mr. Fitz Go to War Again by Garth Nix
read by Paul Tevis




Busy Fitches: David Thompson and Anna Schwind

Anna Schwind and David Thompson are the co-editors of Podcastle, a weekly podcast of fantasy fiction. It’s one of a trio of podcasts produced by Escape Artists, the others being Escape Pod (for science fiction) and Pseudopod (for horror). They’ve stepped up to fill the editorial position recently vacated by Rachel Swirsky. I’ve very much enjoyed the stories that Rachel has chosen, but I’m excited to see what new editorial directions these two will steer the publication toward.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with these podcasts, you should check them out. My Best of Podcastle list would be a good place to start. They’ve carried stories by many of my favorite writers, including Tim Pratt, Greg Van Eekhout, Cat Rambo, and Edgar Allen Poe. Each podcast provides an audio story every week, free to download. They depend on donations to pay their authors, so if you like the story enough, you might want to consider dropping them a few bucks. I know both editors from the Escape Artists forums, where Dave and Anna are known as DKT and anarkey, respectively. If you like to discuss the good and bad qualities of stories, stop by.

When David Thompson isn’t editing, he’s also a writer, who wrote Last Respects (among other things) which made it on my Best of Pseudopod list. You can find him on LiveJournal as well where he talks about many things, including the new season of LOST.

Anna is also a writer who’s been published in Escape Pod and Every Day Fiction. You can find out more about her on her website.

David Steffen: How were you chosen to co-edit Podcastle? Had either of you expected it or was it completely out of the blue?

David Thompson: In August 2009, Rachel emailed us and asked us to come aboard and help with some of the details-oriented tasks at PodCastle like finding narrators for stories, scheduling introductions, manage the schedule, record feedback, those kinds of things. It was kind of hinted at that she might want to hand over the editorial reigns at some point, but then we got another email a little over a month later saying that time was now. We all kind of sat on it for a while, and convinced Rachel to stay until the end of the year, but that’s when we started reading slush and selecting stories. So it wasn’t completely out of the blue, but it all happened very fast. At least, that’s how I remember it.

Schwind: I remember it exactly the same way! Except with talking trains and a rotting orange and the secret message in a bottle from that werewolf guy.

Thompson: Ben Phillips is a werewolf? That explains so much.

Steffen: Can you give any hints about the stories you’ve bought? How do you think the stories you two choose will be different than Rachel’s?

Thompson: For the most part, I’d rather keep what we bought and what Rachel bought slightly ambiguous. I can tell you that we’ve run stories that Anna and I have selected, and we’re still running stories that Rachel selected, as well. I’m not entirely sure how our selection will differ from Rachel’s. That might be a question better suited to our listeners a year or so from now.

Schwind: I can give you the following hint: we’ve bought some great stories. Stories which Dave and I are really excited, I mean hand-rubbing and cackling excited, to share with listeners. Some of them will be stories Rachel never would have bought, and some of them will be stories that are exactly what she would have bought.

Steffen: Is editorial work what you expected?

Thompson: I’m not really sure what I expected, to be honest. It’s certainly very satisfying work – we’re doing something we believe in, telling stories to thousands of people. And since we were both longtime fans of the Escape Artists podcasts, it feels like we’re really giving back. But it’s definitely more complicated than I thought it’d be – it’s more than just reading stories. There’s also looking for narrators, recording introductions, recording other stuff like announcements or feedback, scheduling. It’s a big job. But I love it!

Schwind: Pretty much, yeah, what I expected. I knew it was too much work for one person, actually, which makes the extensive work Rachel put into PodCastle all the more remarkable. I’m really glad to have someone to share the responsibility (and the joy) with. Oh, wait, did I write that? Now my co-editor is going to think I like him or something.

Steffen: What’s the hardest thing of the job? The most rewarding?

Thompson: Okay, I’ll cop to one story that was our pick: Samantha Henderson’s “The Mermaid’s Tea Party.” I loved it when I first read it a couple years ago, and blogged about it, and shared it with a few friends. But when we ran it at PodCastle, we got to share a story we loved with over 10,000 people. For me, that’s the best part – sharing stories we love. That it was well-received by our listeners was also nice. As I said before, the details of everything else is the hard part, at least for me. There’s so much more than just finding a story you love that goes into the podcast.

Schwind: Fishy bitches!

Thompson: OMG. “Fishy bitches” should be the logo on the next PodCastle t-shirt.

Schwind: Ok, on a more serious note: the toughest thing for me is knowing there’s stories out there which I adore, but because of rights situations or inappropriateness to audio or wrong genre or no ability to contact the author or whatever, we just can’t bring to listeners. And let me just insert a PSA right here: PodCastle solicits stories sometimes, and we can’t solicit your story if you, as an author, have not included a way to be contacted on your webpage. You’d think that’d be totally basic, but alas, no. You, author, go put a contact me button on your webpage RIGHT NOW.

Steffen: How do you split the duties? If one of you likes a story and the other doesn’t, how do you decide whether to buy it or not?

Thompson: We both read the stories that Ann Leckie, our incredible, tireless slush reader, forwards to us. If one of us likes a story and the other one doesn’t, we have a discussion on what’s working for us in the story and what isn’t and why. After that discussion, we’re usually on the same page. As for splitting the duties, I record intros once a month and record outros/feedback segments for every episode. I think that’s really the only thing that I do that Anna doesn’t.

Schwind: One thing I like about working with Dave is that we complement each other so well. Often he’s perfectly happy to do the aspects of running the podcast that I find tiresome. I believe he feels similarly, and he’ll ask me if I’d mind doing something that to him seems an onerous chore and I’m overjoyed to do it. Splitting duties has been relatively painless because of that. As to deciding on stories where we feel differently, it’s about – like Dave said – talking it through. We’ve not yet had a knockdown drag out fight over anything. I’m actually hopeful that we do, at some point, just to see what that’s like, but so far we’ve been able to make a case that sways the other or not about each individual story. That sounds civil and boring. I should probably have made something up, about a contest of wills or a platinum battle in the astral plane.

Thompson: I didn’t realize fights on the astral plane were an option. Now I’m going to have to go out of my way to pick a fight over a story.

Schwind: Eeeeexcellent, Thompson. We shall meet in the metaphysical arena of stars and infinite night, each wielding our ineffable auras as a finely honed weapon, and the first to fall shall give over the right to peddle one story.

Thompson: I’ve got dibs on the Possible Sword!!!

Steffen: What sort of stories have you seen too many, and what sort would you like to see more?

Thompson: We’ve seen a lot of stories featuring pirates. But I’m actually fine with that. I wouldn’t mind seeing more…weird stuff in general. New weird, I guess. I wouldn’t mind finding some Sword and Sorcery that really blew my mind, but I haven’t read it yet.

Schwind: Let’s see…we see a lot of stories where the implications of the worldbuilding aren’t acknowledged within the story and lots of stories where the author thought fantasy was an excuse to skip their research. We also see lots of run of the mill fantasy, with no distinguishing marks, whether it be urban or faux medieval or pre-columbian or whatever. On reflection, I’m considerably less interested in what I see too much of than in what I’d like to see more of. I’d generally agree with Dave that I have a strong attraction to stories that court the weird. Give me some Fortean phenomena, or some cockroach-shaped, lightning-emitting unicorn, or some vividly described but unusual setting and I’m there. I don’t think anyone’s sent us a story where the plot hinged on the outcome of a soccer game between centaurs, or one where their furniture is trying to murder them at the behest of an angel. We don’t get many stories set in Africa. It’d be nice to get a city story about Mumbai or SÃ’ o Paulo, instead of New York. We don’t get any fantasy set in the 1950s or the 1970s; it’s either current or in the far past. Cold war fae? Quetzalcoatl and the Sandinistas? I could get into that. Very few stories from the point of view of a bug have come to our inbox. In fact, since I’m on point of view, I will also say we don’t get many stories in omniscient POV. I like tight third and first person narrations as much as the next reader, but fantasy has a well-established tradition of omniscient POV and I really enjoy it, when it’s deftly executed. So, you know, there’s plenty of leeway for surprise and delight. There are innumerable situations I haven’t seen or read about, and those are the ones I want to see and read about.

Thompson: Come to think of it, I could go for more whimsy. I love the dark and gritty stuff. The fishy bitches and the goblin sweatshops. But we’ve got a story coming out by Merrie Haskell that’s very adult but at the same time completely charming. It’s not a kid’s story – it has some pretty mature stuff happening in it. But it’s permeated with whimsy, and we don’t see a lot of that in our slush.

Steffen: Besides the editorial change, are there any other changes in the works for Podcastle?

Thompson: Nothing major. We’re doing some smaller things, like running reviews. We have our first, full-length PodCastle original coming out soon. The other EA podcasts run originals regularly, but PodCastle’s run almost only reprints. So that’s kind of a new thing. But for the most part, getting out a feature-length story every week and a piece of flash fiction every third week keeps us pretty busy.

Schwind: Busy Fitches!

Steffen: When you’re not editing, writing, or reading, what do you like to do?

Thompson: Ha! I don’t think I have time to do too much else. Spend time with my family. I need to make more time to write – I haven’t had as much time to do that in the last six months as I’d like to.

Schwind: I’m strongly tempted to make something up here. I’ll tell you two lies and one truth: I like to watch TV, I like to fold origami, I like to bake cakes.

Steffen: Who do you admire most?

Thompson: To be honest, I’d have to say I think I admire my children most right now. They’ve both had some difficult times this past year, and yet they’ve handled it all with far more grace than I would have. I appreciate their grounding me, and I admire how much joy and wonder they both radiate.

Schwind: Most? Seriously? I have no idea. I admire the way my cats can sleep in uncomfortable positions and the way the sun glints on the Atlantic and the way Obama speaks in public and the way Suzanne Vega sings and the way Darjeeling tea tastes in the morning.

Steffen: In exactly 6 words, what is the meaning of life?

Thompson: Love everyone. Do not be afraid.

Schwind: Inhale. This, too, shall pass. Exhale.

Steffen: What was the last book you read?

Thompson: I’m listening to Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer right now. I’d read the entire Book of the New Sun series years ago, but I just found it online at Audible, and I’m having a great time listening to that on my commute and at work. It’s such a challenging, layered, weird book. I’m also reading Jim MacDonald’s The Apocalypse Door, which is fun. I’m crazy excited for Escape Artist authors who have books coming out: Greg van Eekhout, Tim Pratt (who is serializing Broken Mirrors online for free right now), M.K. Hobson, Samantha Henderson, N.K. Jemisin, and Mary Robinette Kowal – they all have novels coming out soon, and that makes me really happy, because I became a fan of all of them from listening to their stories at Escape Artists.

There’s always way too many things I want to read.

Schwind: The Book Thief by Mark Zusak.

Steffen: Your favorite book?

Thompson: Oh, there’s a few I love. I still remember just needing to take a few hours to think after reading Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in high school. Alex Garland’s The Beach really channelled the GenXer in me. In college, I wanted to escape and live in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. I’m still kind of blown away by all the cool weirdness that China Mieville crammed into Perdido Street Station.

Schwind: I can’t fail but notice that all of these questions come in the singular. This makes me sad.

Steffen: Wait a minute… What do you mean “all of these questions”? It’s almost as if you know what questions are coming even before I ask them. But that’s impossible! What am I thinking of right now?

Thompson: Erm, who is your favorite author?

Steffen: I’m the one who asks the questions around here. Now, where was I? Ah yes, now I remember: who is your favorite author?

Steffen: Who is your favorite author?

Thompson: My favorite? That’s a difficult question for a short story editor to answer! Thinking more along novel-length stuff: Gaiman and Mieville, definitely – they’ve had the strongest influence on me.

Schwind: I am wallowing in sadness.

Steffen: What was the last movie you saw?

Thompson: Wow. The last one I saw in the theaters was the last Harry Potter, I think. The last DVD I watched was District 9. But it seems like lately, I’m watching a lot of TV on DVD like Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies, and The Wire. And, of course, the final season of Lost.

Schwind: The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. I love Terry Gilliam.

Steffen: What is your favorite movie?

Thompson: Empire Strikes Back, easily. I would love to carve out nine hours one day and rewatch all the Lord of the Rings movies. I also tend to quote Get Shorty randomly.

Schwind: Now I weep.

Thompson: You don’t like Empire Strikes Back? Or Get Shorty? I’m…not sure I can work with you anymore.

Schwind: As long as we agree that Han shot first, I may be able to stop crying over the tyranny of the singular favorite.

Thompson: Hrm. Guess we can keep working together, then.

Steffen: Incidentally, Anna, could you stop using my invisibility cloak as a hanky? Human tears make it all shimmery, and it costs a fortune to get it dry-cleaned. Now, do you have any upcoming publications you’d like to tell us about?

Thompson: Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe? I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

Schwind: No. I’m trying to be better about submitting stories, but well.

Steffen: Do you have any writing works in progress you’d like to tell us about?

Thompson: Oh, some short stories, a couple novels. You know, the usual. But at this point, I’d feel more comfortable just saying enjoy PodCastle.

Schwind: All my writing consists of works in progress. Very little gets finished or revised. I feel badly for whomever has the task of going through my papers when I die. That said, I expect to be starting a new novel soon, perhaps before the year is out. If you want to read it you’ll need to join my crit group, though. 🙂

Steffen: Thanks to both of you for taking the time to answer a few questions. I know you’ll keep doing a great job in your new roles. I’ll be listening.

Schwind: Thanks for taking the time to interview us. I believe this may be the first time I’ve ever been interviewed.

Thompson: Yes, thank you! It’s a first for me too. Although I do feel kind of ripped off that there weren’t any cockroach-like unicorns to mark the occassion…

Steffen: You didn’t see them because they’re invisible. And pink. I know when they’re nearby because my nose hair tingles and I taste royal purple on my tongue at the same moment that I get a craving for garlic.

Thompson: Ah, yes. I see them now!