“Worm Within” was originally printed in “Clarkesworld” 2008.
“Lullabies For A Clockwork Child” is a PseudoPod Original.
“Used” is a PseudoPod Original and was reprinted in For Mortal Things Unsung.
“The strategic problem is, of course, that simulacra are reassuring only when viewed from outside. They do not provide an existential model for how to be in the world. One can appreciate the brilliance of the embalmer’s work, but one would not want to be its object.”
“Decadent Naturalism” by Charles Bernheimer; introduction to A HAVEN by J.K. Huysmans in THE DECADENT READER.
Sounds in this episodes:
by Cat Rambo
The LED bug kicks feebly, trying to push itself away from the wall. Its wings are rounds of mica, and the hole in its carapace where someone has tacked it to the graying boards reveals cogs and gears, almost microscopic in their dimension. The light from its underside is the cobalt of distress.
Lullabies For A Clockwork Child
by Shane Halbach
You are not Jack, but I will tell you of Jack, so you can know.
Jack was beautiful and strong. Jack had curly hair and shining brown eyes, and when we walked, he held my thumb and swung our arms just to feel them move.
You will not look like Jack. Every child is different. You are both my sons, but you are different.
by Sandra M. Odell
I recognize her sitting five seats down at the bar. She notices my attention and invites me over with a sip of her drink and a nod to the empty stool to her right. We are diseased, and long for understanding company.
She says her name is Cindy. Small, Clairol blonde, buxom Cindy with a blue, winged heart tattoo under her left collarbone. I introduce myself as Steve, buy her another what-she’s-having. She traces circles around the knuckles of my right hand with the sweat from her glass. There is a band of pale skin at the base of her ring finger.
About the Authors
Shane Halbach is a writer and blogger living in Chicago with his wife and three kids, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. He has been accused of being obsessed with pirates, bacon, zombies and his kids (not necessarily in that order). He is a knitter, guitar player, budding accordionista, and a board and card game enthusiast. His fiction has appeared in Analog, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, and The Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction, among others. He blogs regularly at shanehalbach.com, or can be found on Twitter @shanehalbach.
Xander M. Odell lives in Washington state with their husband, sons, and an Albanian miniature moose disguised as a dog. Their has appeared in such venues as Crossed Genres, Daily Science Fiction, PseudoPod, Cast of Wonders, and PodCastle. They are a Clarion West 2010 graduate, and an active member of the SFWA.
Their collection of speculative fiction holiday stories, THE TWELVE WAYS OF CHRISTMAS, and debut short story collection GODFALL & OTHER STORIES are available from Hydra House Books.
Support them on Patreon at: http://patreon.com/writerodell
About the Narrators
A once and future organizer for Penguicon.
Pete Milan – is your reader this week. Pete writes, and produces audio drama for Pendant Audio, and can also be heard in audio dramas from Gypsy Audio, the Colonial Radio Theater On The Air, and Cape Cod Radio Mystery Theater. He has also performed free audiobooks for Librivox. You can visit him at twitter.com/PeteMilan..
Julie Hoverson has been recording a ton of books for audible.com – including Jake Bible’s Dead Mech series, and the short novellas for Brian McLellan’s Powder Mage series (an unusual and very good fantasy series). She also just put out a book of victorian photos called MY LADY’S WARDROBE – the first in a series – aimed at gamers, costumers, and fans of steampunk who are looking for inspiration in garb. Just search her on Amazon or Audible.