From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

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Clockatrice by Tanith Lee (audio)

Poor girl. Beautiful Diana, named for a goddess, and barely sixteen years of age. Just after midnight she descended through through the gardens to meet her lover. And before any clock could strike one, she was as beautiful as she was dead.


The Vigilant by Dirk Strasser (audio)

The sorcery of djinn was like a stalking beast. You had to stay downwind of it, even when you were the hunter. Antar knew, as always, everything depended on him seeing the unseen and forcing his eyes to reveal what lay in the membrane between light and darkness. He drew a deep breath and rolled between his thumb and forefinger the seal that was chained to his neck.


Podcast: Fantasy Magazine‘s Micro-Fiction Contest Winners, Read by Maguerite Croft (Podcastle)

Night comes softly, and the crickets chirp their spell-binding lullaby. In a small thicket the nymph lulls to trance-like slumber as the last rays of light disappear.


Golden Lilies by Aliette de Bodard (audio)

It was the smell which woke me up, insinuating itself between the planks of my coffin: cooked meat mingling with the sweet odour of aromatic rice, and the tangy hint of fruit and spices — a powerful summoning if there ever was one.


The Water Tower by John Mantooth (audio)

At a certain point, somewhere past the junkyard, out beyond the little pond that, over the years, had been used to dump the things even the junkyard didn’t want, the woods changed. But not just the woods. The things in the woods changed as well.


Voice Like a Cello by Catherine Cheek (audio)

Mama had believed enough to sacrifice her savings and emigrate here, all for the sake of her poor, insane, eight-year-old daughter. Mama had found a place on a map, a city that wouldn’t exist without air conditioning and irrigation. A place with no history.


Birds by Jean-Claude Dunyach (audio)

The road stretches east. The ancient ruts are filled with dust. Tufts of yellowish grass rise up through the pebbles. The village remains out of sight for almost the entire walk, but the man counts his steps, just as he measures everything, and he knows exactly when he’ll arrive. The insects leave him be, while the lizards watch him from afar.


Shades of White and Road by Camille Alexa (audio)

It came to me that I should run away from home taking nothing but myself and so I thought I would and so I did. I’d not gone ten turns of the spiral before a small leathery suitcase began to tag along in my invisible wake. “Take me! Use me! Fill me!” it said. “Please, please fill me; I need to be filled.”


The Table Tennis Fantasy Tour

The Shandling show features a Goddess of Ping-Pong, a sometimes incandescent paddle carved out of a tree felled by a lightning bolt, and the climactic finish where Shandling smashes the final winner, and the ball goes into the air and–just as in the baseball version–knocks out the gym’s lights, showering everyone with sparks.


Okra, Sorghum, Yam

“The Okra, Sorghum, Yam,” by Bruce Holland Rogers, read by Rachel Swirsky, and brought to you by Podcastle. Published in Realms of Fantasy, October 2003. So the following summer when the second princess came to Old Kwaku’s hut, he said, “What do you want?” “My father said that I must learn wisdom from you.” “And […]