written by David Steffen
Another great year of Toasted Cake, the idiosyncratic flash fiction podcast. As ever, I am a huge fan, and when I was preparing to open Diabolical Plots’s slushpile I used my Best of Toasted Cake lists as an example of what I love to read. There are fewer stories this year than usual because of Tina’s reduced schedule at the beginning of the year to spend more time with her newborn baby, the occasional technical difficulties, and novel publishing interfering with podcasting (the nerve!).
One of my own stories was published in the podcast this year, titled “Turning Back the Clock” which takes place in a world where crossing the boundary between time zones actually bumps you forward or backward in time by one hour–a man comes home to find his wife killed by robbers and tries to get across the boundary in time to save her.
On to the list!
1. “Safe Road” by Caroline M. Yoachim
Mother knows the best way through the screaming grass and all the other hazards.
2. “Blood Willows” by Caroline M. Yoachim
You might want to skip this one if you have a high squick factor. Parasitic willows root in your flesh.
3. “The Shallows” by Nathaniel Lee
A girl’s reaction to alien visitors.
4. “The Front Line” by Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
We all do what we must for the sake of the war, even when it’s not what we expect.
5. “A Primary Function” by C.L. Holland
In some ways, a benevolent robot caretaker could be worse than a malevolent one.
“Last Band Standing” by Siobhan O’Flynn