Let's hear it for podcasts!
See what I did there? See? See?. . .suit yourself.
THE DRABBLECAST may well be my favorite fiction pocast. It certainly is the one I've listened to longest, introduced by a friend who thought I would appreciate the show's mission to bring "strange stories, by strange authors, to strange listeners such as yourself", and I am happy to say I've been a fan ever since. THE DRABBLEAST looks at weird fiction not only as ann expression of other genres, but as a genre of its own. From it's first aired podcast February 21, 2007, THE DRABBLECAST has entertained, educated, and generally weirded out thousands of listeners with stories from the hilarious to the horrific to the sublime. Here are but a few of the reasons I am a dedicated listener and supporter:
EPISODE 39: "The Beekeepers" by J. Alan Pierce, read by Norm Sherman, is an excellent example of an alien invasion story a la weird fiction. Earth has been invaded by a strange and terrifying insect race that uses an alien virus to both subdue the population and prepare the survivors to serve as hosts to alien larvae. Creepy, intricate, and engaging.
EPISODE 131: "Storm Comes A' Callin'" by Jerimiah Tolbert, read by Norm Sherman and Cheyenne Wright. Hands down my favorite Drabblecast episode, here is the story of the last of a long line of stormbreakers and a visit from a storm threatening the Mississippi delta. The narration and music are superb. Trust me on this one, folks.
EPISODE 170 & 171: "Mongoose Pt 1" & Pt 2 by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear, read by Norm Sherman, Abby Crayden, and Lauren Synger. A damn near perfect blend of Lovecraft, Lewis, and science fiction/horror. A space station's infestation of toves threatens to widen a tear in reality and allow larger, more terrible, creatures through. A splendid story, whimsy and horror knotted together. Also one of the few multi-cast productions I can listen to without cringing because of the production values.
EPISODE 190: "The Wheel" by John Wyndham, read by Norm Sherman. A classic science fiction story given new life by the audio presentation. A young boy is imprisoned after adding forbidden wheels to a box to make a wagon, and his grandfather must share the grim news of the boy's punishment. Aching, beautiful, and so very worth the listen.
EPISODE 214: "The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk" by Eugie Foster, read by Norm Sherman. A tale of extra-dimensional horror of the huggable sort. A demon seeking release from its prison finds itself trapped inside a stuffed teddy bear. Eugie is gone, but this story perfectly captures her wonderful narrative voice.
EPISODE 320: "Half a Conversation, Overheard While Inside An Enormous Sentient Slug" by Oliver Buckram, read by Norm Sherman. Weird, wonderful, funny, and a little gross. Lord Ash has been murdered, and his giant slug servant knows who did it. I can't stop smiling every time I listen to this one.
EPISODE 321: "The Goat Cutter" by Jay Lake, read by Norm Sherman. This is my second favorite episode, an incredibly dark gut punch of a tale of a young man and his struggles against the Devil within and without. Jay is another voice gone too soon, but you can listen to his words from the shadows.
Whew! THE DRABBLECAST is weird fiction at its best. Not every story is great for all ages, so pay attention to the intros for the occasional warning. Take a listen, and if you like what you hear consider making a donation to keep the stories coming.
Have a favorite podcast? Let me know in the comments. And until next time, gentle listeners, keep your ears open!