From Modern Mythcraft to Magical Surrealism

The Conductors 728x90 banner ad




The Voices of the Snakes

“The Voices of the Snakes,” by Karina Sumner-Smith, read by Rachel Swirsky, and brought to you by Podcastle. Published in Issue #2 of Fantasy Magazine, February 2006. “Hello poison, hello grave-specter, hello nightmare,” the little green grass snake called, his tiny voice high and all his sibilants hissed. He flicked his tongue and uncurled his […]


In This City by Brian Dolton (audio)

In this city, there are glass sculptures that catch the light from stars as yet unborn. In this city, there are buildings made of woven silk and mirrorwood. They fold themselves around one another like lovers, and their passionate sighs are the wind in the subway. In this city, subway trains rattle on tracks of bone and ivory. In this city, the night is bright with the livid green of burning ectoplasm. In this city, darkness can be touched, and feels like heavy velvet. In this city, the night breathes.


The Desires of Houses by Haddayr Copley-Woods (audio)

The floor is sulking. She almost always wears shoes in the basement, and the cement lies all day in agony listening to the first floor’s boards sighing loudly in ecstasy at the touch of her bare heels. All it can hope for in its slow, cold way is that the woman will scoop the cat boxes, squatting on her heels, after she starts a load of laundry. Today oh joy oh joy she does. The floor is practically writhing at the smell of her (she always showers after the scooping, so her scent is thick)—the tangy rich odor. The cement feels (or maybe it’s just wishful thinking) just a bit of her damp warmth.


Penguin and Wren

The wooden box promises to make Dale the life of any party or social gathering, 1001 tricks, gags and illusions. The Queen of Hearts Deluxe, The Dancing Ball, The Invisible Empress, simple tricks with exotic names. He wears a velvet top hat and carries around a white-tipped wand, and people call him Magician.

When Dale vanishes a coin for his sister Sonia and materializes it from behind her ear, she grabs her ear frantically and knocks the quarter into a heating vent. She rocks her wheelchair back and forth and Dale has to clamp onto the handles to keep her from tipping over.



“Believe” by Katherine Sparrow, read by Ann Leckie. Content courtesy of PodCastle.



Dear Father:

If you are reading this, Dariael murdered me.

Though I am not your favorite daughter, you also know I’m not the type of sixteen-year-old to feign suicide for sympathy. For the moment, I ask only that you believe in my abilities as a threadkeeper. If my sorcery works, you can save me in your universe. If you’re too busy to follow my instructions, you’ll never see me again…