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

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David Steffen

David Steffen is an editor, publisher, and writer. If you like what he does you can visit the Support page or buy him a coffee! He is probably best known for being co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, a donation-supported tool to help writers track their submissions and find publishers for their work . David is also the editor-in-chief here at Diabolical Plots. He is also the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology: More Stories From the Hugo Award Nomination List series. David also (sometimes) writes fiction, and you can follow on BlueSky for updates on cross-stitch projects and occasionally other things.

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