The Audio File: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine together with Far-Fetched Fables

Guest ship service past times Sam McDonald.

Before nosotros get this edition of The Audio File, I’d similar to state that I receive got some big news, but you’re going to receive got to hold back until the halt of the ship service to notice out. For now, let’s run into the podcasts that we’ll live looking at today: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Apex Magazine as well as Far-Fetched Fables.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies has been bringing splendid literary run a hazard fantasy for over vii years. Its editor-in-chief  and podcast host is Scott H. Andrews who, along with Tina Connolly, narrates most of the stories. Every at nowadays as well as again, however, the podcast volition characteristic a special invitee narrator. Besides the main present there’s also The BCS Audio Vault podcast. It features past times stories which are introduced past times their authors, who give some background to the stories.

The instant podcast we’ll live looking at is Apex Magazine. It was founded inwards 2005, but it’s podcast didn’t start until 2014. It publishes scientific discipline fiction, fantasy as well as horror. Apex was nominated for the Hugo Award inwards 2012, 2013 as well as 2014. Okay, non a terribly interesting history, but hey, it is what it is.

Our lastly halt for this number volition live with Far-Fetched Fables. It’s component subdivision of the District of Wonders podcast family. They’re the same people who do StarShipSofa as well as its sis podcasts. It’s the youngest of the District of Wonders podcasts as well as is hosted past times Nicola Seaton-Clark.

Well that almost does it for the intros. So without farther ado let’s displace on to the stories.

Beneath Ceaseless Skies 

The Last Gorgon past times Rajan Khana
Narrated past times Anonymous

This storey is develop inwards a mythological Hellenic Republic that’s inwards the middle of an industrial revolution. Steam powered machines convey novel innovations as well as opportunities past times the day, colonies are beingness established inwards unusual lands as well as overseeing it all are the children as well as descendants of the gods. The storey follows an adventurous heroine named Naima. She’s caught the fancy of a descendant of Poseidon named Clytos, as well as she’ll do anything to acquire him to dorsum off. She can’t kill him with a sword, for it is forbidden to kill those with blood of the gods, so she’ll receive got to acquire creative.

As a huge mythology enthusiast I fell inwards honey with this storey almost instantly. I truly liked the thought of having an industrial revolution inwards the middle of a magical world, fifty-fifty if it wasn’t given much focus. I also liked how the storey explored the potential social ramifications that demigods as well as their descendants would receive got on society. I ever figured it would Pb to an incredibly ridged shape system. The descriptions inwards this storey are truly brilliant as well as I tin displace easily imagine myself strolling downwardly the streets of New Knossos.

As you lot may receive got noticed, the narrator of this storey is anonymous. I contacted Beneath Ceaseless Skies for some clarification, but the narrator chooses to stay anonymous. Whoever she is, she did an splendid undertaking with the narration of this story.

It’s an alternate history receive got on the public of Greek Mythology, what to a greater extent than could you lot enquire for?

Memories inwards Bronze, Feathers, as well as Blood past times Aliette de Bodard
Narrated past times Scott H. Andrews

This storey is develop inwards an Aztec Empire that successfully resisted European colonization as well as is on the cusp of an industrial revolution. The storey is told from the perspective of a flock of steam-powered robot birds, who collectively shape an artificial intelligence. They were made past times a warrior-turned-inventor named Nezahual as well as are powered past times hearts made of silvery vials containing drops of Nezahual’s blood. The flock lookout every bit Nezahual comes to price with his past times as well as looks ahead towards the future.

This is likely the showtime Aztec steampunk storey I’ve ever encountered. I truly similar the ways that the steampunk elements were adapted to Aztec culture, such every bit with the hearts of the birds. I truly recollect this storey did a nifty undertaking of capturing the alien nature of a mechanical mind, peculiarly a hive heed similar the flock’s. As usual, Aliette does a nifty undertaking with the inquiry into Aztec culture. Scott’s narration of this storey did seem a flake detached as well as a trivial stiff, but that truly worked out inwards this case. It is a storey told from the perspective of a grouping of robots afterward all.

Hey, it’s an Aztec steampunk story, do I demand to state more?

The Use as well as the Need past times M. Bennardo 
Narrated past times Tina Connolly 

This storey takes house inwards New York City during the days of the Temperance Movement. Tom Brown is the possessor of a saloon, as well as he’s had to a greater extent than than a few run-ins with the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement. The movement’s latest endeavor to run him out of draw organisation is to destroy is saloon with a steam powered robot. It isn’t long, however, earlier things spiral out of control.

Okay, I did non relish this storey at all. My main number was only how smug as well as self-righteous the members of the WCTM were. For crying out loud, they nearly destroyed a man’s livelihood, nearly murdering him inwards the process, as well as so they had the nervus to demand an apology from him! The worst component subdivision is, he obliges as well as turns his saloon into a luncheon counter. The other number is, due to the do goodness of hindsight, I know only what a bad thought the Temperance as well as Prohibition movements were. If anything, they only made alcohol related issues worse as well as to a greater extent than profitable past times forcing them underground. All things inwards moderation would receive got been a much improve philosophy…and I’m going to halt earlier I acquire every bit good political.

Bottom line, don’t waste materials your fourth dimension with this dud.

No Sweeter Art past times Tony Pi
Narrated past times John Meagher
2015 Aurora as well as Parsec Award Finalist 

This storey is a sequel to “A Sweet Calling”, which I review inwards the ship service almost Clarkesworld, however, you lot don’t receive got to receive got read that storey to relish this one. Set inwards Ancient China, it follows Tangren Ao, the candyman with the powerfulness to convey candy zodiac animals to life. He’s going to demand all the magic he tin displace muster every bit the spirits of the Chinese Zodiac ship him on some other mission to scrap evil-doers.

I’m going to do something dissimilar for this one. It goes without maxim that I give this storey I hearty recommendation. Now then, allow me tell you lot a trivial something almost The Parsecs. They are an annual abide by given out for exceptional speculative fiction podcasting. They come upward inwards many dissimilar categories, as well as the best means I tin displace depict them are sort of similar the podcasting equivalent of the Hugos or the Oscars. Also, parsecs are a unit of measurement of measuring for distances inwards space.

H5N1 skilful storey an some information almost a trivial know award, a 2 for ane special.

Mr Morrow Becomes Acquainted with the Delicate Art of Squid Keeping past times Geoffrey Maloney 
Narrated past times T.D. Edge

This storey is develop inwards 19th Century Commonwealth of Australia inwards a public where humanity fought a state of war against alien invaders known every bit Kraken. The Kraken resemble crosses betwixt pigs as well as humans, but they kept a unusual species of cuttlefish that don’t fit whatever known species from Earth. The storey follows several well-to-do members of guild every bit they attend a costume party, hear to a professor’s theories almost the Kraken, grow squids for heads, turns into cuttlefish and…okay, yeah, this story’s form of weird.

Admittedly, thought it does acquire a flake trippy, but overall I found this storey enjoyable. I liked that this was a Victorian storey that didn’t at ane time go for steampunk. It was also prissy to reckon a somewhat Lovecraftian storey that reveled inwards its strangeness as well as didn’t necessarily go a cosmic horror story. I also enjoyed the means this storey mimicked the trend of writing mutual inwards the Victorian era. T.D. Edge did a truly skilful undertaking depicting the diverse characters inwards this story.

It’s a trivial on the stranger side, but it’s soundless rattling much worth your time.

The Good Deaths, Part II past times Angela Ambroz
Narrated past times Tina Connolly

This storey is develop inwards a public inwards which Buddhism is the dominate faith of the West. Also, inwards this public Buddhist beliefs are known for a fact to live real. The storey follows Carrie Amelia Nation every bit she travels across the Wild West to do the run of the Buddha as well as seek redemption.

Don’t acquire me wrong, I did relish this storey but…well, I’m form of disappointed. This storey had a truly interesting premise, but it failed to brand the most of that premise. The U.S. soundless exists, the Civil War soundless happened, slavery was soundless a thing as well as Christianity soundless exists, albeit every bit a minority religion. I notice it form of difficult to believe that everything would receive got gone just every bit it did inwards our world, peculiarly inwards a public where the reality of Buddhist beliefs are a fact of daily life.

Now, this isn’t to state that this storey is necessarily bad, but if you’re looking for a storey that examines what a Buddhist dominated public would live like, so you’ll likely live disappointed. For what it’s worth, I thought Tina did a pretty decent undertaking with the narration.

It’s non just bad, but live aware of what you’re getting into if you lot give it a listen.

Of Thinking as well as Being Beast past times Michael J. DeLuca
Narrated past times Michael J. DeLuca

The setting of this storey is a flake unclear. It’s either a public where the Ancient Greeks colonized the New World or else a fantasy public combining aspects of both Ancient Hellenic Republic as well as the Wild West. Either way, it follows a satyr named Boreas who plant for the Circus of King Minos’ Masque. His boss, Nessus, has only purchased a mechanical scrap bull as well as intends to seek out it ane time to a greater extent than a minotaur Boreas has taken a liking to as well as Boreas must at nowadays notice a means to escape.

Like I said, I don’t know the exact setting of this story, but I quite enjoyed it. I similar how centaurs, rather than humans, are the dominant species inwards this world. It’s ever annoyed me that humans tend to live the dominate species fifty-fifty inwards fantasy worlds where they don’t receive got technological or magical advantages of other races, so this was a prissy modify of pace. As you lot mightiness receive got guessed, I enjoyed the Greek Mythology connections this storey had. There truly ought to live to a greater extent than alternate history based around Greek Mythology because it only has such nifty potential.

Michael isn’t only a skilful writer, he’s also a truly nifty narrator. It’s some other mythology based alternate history you lot won’t desire to immature adult woman out on.

Apex Magazine 

Jackalope Wives past times Ursula Vernon 
Narrated past times Wendy Bowlsby 
World Fantasy Award Nominee, Nebula as well as Cóyotl Award Winner

This storey is develop inwards the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. during the days of the Old West. Within the wilds of the desert are creatures known every bit Jackalope Wives, creatures that tin displace modify from jackalopes to beautiful women past times taking off their skin. To proceed them every bit wives their jackalope skins must live burned to proceed them from changing. The storey follows an former adult woman named Grandma Harken every bit she tries to aid a Jackalope Wife who is stuck betwixt forms.

In many ways this storey tin displace live described every bit a Wild West retelling of the Selkie legend. Selkie’s are creatures from Irish Gaelic as well as Scottish folklore who business office ane the same principles, though they plough into seals, as well as their peel doesn’t demand to live burned. It was prissy how this storey combined a classical folk tale with a flake of American folklore. I thought that Wendy did a skilful undertaking with the narration. She truly captured Grandma Harken’s snarky as well as sarcastic personality.

Hey, only expect at all of those awards, clearly it’s a pretty skilful story.

Anthracite Weddings past times John Zaharick
Narrated past times Wendy Bowlsby

This storey has a somewhat unclear setting. It appears to receive got house inwards 19th century Pennsylvania, but sure particular propose otherwise. Most notably is the fact that faith appears to live based around the veneration of spirits known every bit the Burning Ones, who human activeness inwards opposition to spirits known every bit the Blind Ones. The storey follows a daughter named Katherine who lives inwards a little mining town. She’s found herself ostracized from everyone inwards town due to reasons you’ll receive got to read about. She’s also begun seeing some of the Burning Ones, as well as begins to wonder if they’re truly every bit bad every bit people claim them to be.

Like I said, the settings a trivial unclear her. There’s frequent cite of the Commonwealth militia, as well as Pennsylvania is technically a commonwealth, but combined with the odd religious practices seems to propose the storey takes house inwards an alternate history of America. Regardless of its world, I enjoyed the means this storey depicted life inwards a 19th century little town. The storey had a sure character to it that brought to heed the storey you lot notice over at The Moonlit Road. I do form of wishing the storey had gone a flake to a greater extent than into the lore of the diverse spirits.

It had a few iffy elements, but overall it’s a pretty skilful story.

A Sister’s Weight inwards Stone past times J.Y. Yang
Narrated past times Lisa Shininger

This storey is develop inwards 19th century Singapore as well as Malaysia. It follows a daughter named Little Phoenix who is on a bespeak to salve her sis who has been taken hostage past times bounding main dragons…or has she?

So, are the bounding main dragons existent or all inwards Little Phoenix’s head? Well you’ll receive got to read or hear to notice out. I volition say, no affair what, the fact the Little Phoenix is willing to go to such length for her sis is rather touching. This storey is primarily a historical fantasy storey with minimal steampunk elements, so something to consider for those who may non tending for steampunk. It was also prissy to reckon a storey develop inwards Southeast Asia during the 19th century.

As for the narration, I thought that Lisa did a nifty job. All inwards all, I’m going to give this storey a recommendation.

Far-Fetched Fables

Space Operetta past times Adam Browne
Narrated past times Mark Kilfoil

This storey is develop inwards the yr 1453, but ane inwards which physics as well as astronomy business office every bit they are described past times Aristotle as well as Ptolemy. The Holy Roman Empire faces invasion from the Ottoman Turks, as well as a prophecy foretells of an Ottoman victory accompanied past times a shooting star. It’s upward to a grouping of daring High German adventurers to ensure that the star doesn’t come upward anywhere close Earth.

The writing for this storey had an almost lyrical as well as poetic tone. I truly similar the means this storey depicted modern concepts such every bit cosmic rays as well as photons, but inwards a means someone working with a Ptolemaic public persuasion mightiness depict them. It truly felt similar the means someone from the 15th century would write a infinite opera story, as well as I loved the combination of styles that resulted. Of course, a storey with this sort of trend needs the correct form of narrator to convey it all together as well as Mark to a greater extent than than delivers.

It’s a infinite run a hazard most lyrical as well as ane you lot won’t desire to immature adult woman out on.

Clockwork Fairies past times Cat Rambo 
Narrated past times Anthony Babington
Originally Published on Tor.com

This storey is develop inwards the Untied Kingdom during the 19th century. It follows a gentleman named Claude who is caring for a immature lady named Desiree. She shows nifty science when it comes to working with mechanical devices, but Claude wishes that she’d acquire to live a proper lady. One solar daytime they are visited past times a mysterious human who speaks of fairies as well as others worlds. Is he all that he seems?

As someone who has written almost the Fair Folk, I appreciated how this storey hearkened dorsum to the older tales of fairies. Prior to their cutesy modern incarnation, fairies were considered to live mysterious forces of nature that could live benevolent or cruel at a whim. It was also prissy how the storey touched on the diverse restrictions as well as limitation placed on women past times Victorian society. With regards to the narration, I thought the Anthony did a skilful job.

All things considered it’s a pretty decent storey that I’ll give a recommendation.

And Such H5N1 Small Deer past times Chris Roberson
Narrated past times Anthony Babington 

This storey takes house inwards 1850 where medico Abraham Van Helsing is on assignment to the isle of Sumatra. He’s come upward to investigate claims regarding sightings of rats the size of elephants. Could it perhaps receive got something to do with an eccentric British medical pupil named Moreau?

As you lot mightiness receive got guessed this storey form of has a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen thing going on. If similar me you’re a fan of those type of crossover stories so you lot volition relish this one. Really, most people volition likely relish this one. Once ane time to a greater extent than Anthony has done a nifty undertaking narrating the story.

It’s some other storey that I give a hearty recommendation to.

Tengu Mountain past times Gregory Frost
Narrated past times Gregory Frost

This is storey is develop inwards Ancient Nippon as well as follows a human named Ando every bit he travels to see his aunt who lives high inwards the mountains. Along the means he’s greeted past times a monk who warns him of the tengu as well as their trickery. It isn’t long earlier Ando begins to suspect that all is non every bit it seems.

Okay, it’s form of difficult to review this ane without spoiling some major plot twists but I’ll seek my best. I enjoyed the presence of the tengu, every bit I do with most mythological creatures. I can’t tell you lot what the twist was, but I tin displace state that I defiantly didn’t reckon it coming as well as truly thought it was a nifty demeanour upon to the story. Gregory isn’t only a skilful writer, he’s also an splendid narrator.

Can’t tell you lot much, but I tin displace tell you lot to give this storey a listen.

Steam Girl past times Dylan Horrocks 
Narrated past times Pete Nixon

This storey follows a man child who is an outcast at school, but who manages to befriend a mysterious daughter who calls herself Steam Girl. Everyday during their spare fourth dimension Steam Girl tells him elaborate tales of her steampunk adventures across the kingdoms of Mars as well as jungles of Venus. As fourth dimension goes on our protagonist begins to suspect that these mightiness non only live mere stories.

Throughout this storey there’s a flake of an ongoing ground almost whether Steam Girl is telling the truth or if she’s only making things upward every bit a means to acquire by with her fossil oil life. I’d state the storey presented equal evidence for both sides, though sure events towards the halt propose that Steam Girl was beingness truthful. If that is the illustration so this storey was a vicious deconstruction of the Refugee From TV Land trope. It showed only what a civilization stupor a grapheme from a fantastical public would receive got if they were to air current upward inwards our much to a greater extent than mundane world.

At the same time, as well as if it wasn’t all true, so the storey could live read every bit a mediation as well as defense forcefulness of escapism. It’s for certain a storey that volition give you lot something to chew on. As for the narration I thought that Pete did a nifty job.

It a storey that volition proceed you lot thinking for days, as well as ane I happily recommend.

The Price of Glamour past times Steve Berman
Narrated past times Eric Luke

This storey is develop inwards London inwards 1844. It follows a man child named Tup Smatterpit who is spending his Christmas Eve helping ane of the Fair Folk pocket some glamour powder. You see, this pulverisation allows the folk to alive with human guild unnoticed.

There truly isn’t much to state almost this story, as well as if it’s all the same to you lot guys, this listing has form of worn me out. I’m going to halt this listing here, but you lot should soundless give this storey a listen. It’s a prissy trivial Christmas themed story.

Conclusion

And so we’ve reached the halt of our listing ane time again. I promise you lot enjoyed it, as well as I’d similar to give thank you lot you all for your patience every bit I worked on this edition of The Audio File. While we’re on the subject, I recollect I’ll receive got some other calendar month off spell I run out my side past times side edition of The Audio File. Don’t worry though, I project design to review something anime related to concord you lot guys over until then.

On a slightly to a greater extent than personal regime notation my alternate history flash fiction storey “Happy Dominion Day” has late been published inwards Issue vi of The Wolfian, edited past times Jay Wolfe. It’s available for 99 cents on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iBooks as well as shortly physical copies volition live available. Get your re-create today, it’s got tons of nifty articles as well as stories, as well as you lot for certain won’t regret it.

Well, that almost does it for this edition of The Audio File. I volition reckon you lot guys side past times side time.

* * *
Sam McDonald is a college pupil from Shreveport, LA.  When non involved with his studies he tin displace live found blogging on Amazing Stories, making as well as posting maps across the spider web as well as working on brusque stories that he hopes to receive got published inwards magazines such every bit Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, as well as the Escape Artists Podcasts.
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