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 editing before stepping down. She will be missed!
This year’s offerings included their usual staff pick re-airing of stories from last year (which are not considered for the list since they were already considered for a previous list), and stories for their Banned Books Week theme, for a total of about 43 stories considered for the list.
Short Stories that are Hugo and Nebula eligible for the year are marked with an asterisk (*).
1. “The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections” (Part 1 and Part 2) by Tina Connolly, narrated by Alethea Kontis
This is one of my favorite stories in years. The layers! Based around confections that draw you back into immersive flashbacks that evoke a particular feeling based on the ingredients of the confection.
2. “Blame it on the Bees” by Rachel Menard, narrated by Tina Connolly*
A teen grieving over her dead friend discovers that her friend’s soul has become housed in a flower.
3. “Common Grounds and Various Teas” by Sherin Nicole, narrated by Jesenia Pineda*
A family that can harness the power of stories, and finding your own way in a family tradition.
4. “A Singular Event in the Fourth Dimension” by Andrea M. Pawley, narrated by Dani Daly
Tale from an android child’s point of view, about how she fits in with her family, and how roles change as the family changes.
5. “Why I Spared the One Brave Soul Between Me and My Undead Army” by Setsu Uzume, narrated by Katherine Inskip*
From the point of view of a necromancer overlord, and the one she spares, and what comes of it
“An Evil Opportunity Employer” by Lawrence Watt-Evans, narrated by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali