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Far Fetched Fables

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Explore fantastical lands with Far-Fetched Fables! Do you sometimes wonder how things could be different, should be different? Do you feel the call of the bizarre and surreal? Each week, Nicola Seaton-Clark explores a little further into the rare and mysterious lands which lie just outside our familiar reality, forging paths of wonder, magic and delight! Join us on the journey!

Explore fantastical lands with Far-Fetched Fables! Do you sometimes wonder how things could be different, should be different? Do you feel the call of the bizarre and surreal? Each week, Nicola Seaton-Clark explores a little further into the rare and mysterious lands which lie just outside our familiar reality, forging paths of wonder, magic and delight! Join us on the journey!
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Explore fantastical lands with Far-Fetched Fables! Do you sometimes wonder how things could be different, should be different? Do you feel the call of the bizarre and surreal? Each week, Nicola Seaton-Clark explores a little further into the rare and mysterious lands which lie just outside our familiar reality, forging paths of wonder, magic and delight! Join us on the journey!




FarFetchedFables No 183 Paul R Hardy

“Customer Service Hobgoblin” by Paul R. Hardy (Originally published in Unidentified Funny Objects 5.) Beeep. "Good morning, you're through to Robin. How may I receive your prayer?" "Oh. Hello? My name is Bishop Augusto de Figueroa. Am I speaking to God?" "No, sir, my name's Robin. How can I --" "Well, young man, I wanted to talk to God. You see it's very important that I speak to him." "Yes, of course, sir. You've come through on the Methodist line, is that --" "No, no, no, this is...

Duration: 00:35:46

FarFetchedFables No 182 Karen Traviss

“The Man Who Did Nothing” by Karen Traviss (Originally published in The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection.) Hursley Rise, May 2 There was a boy – five, maybe six – sitting on half a discarded mattress by the kerb as Jeff drove down the road. At first he thought the child was trying to open a bottle of pop, but the closer he got, the better he could see that the boy was making a petrol bomb. Jeff slowed to a crawl and then stopped. He didn't dare switch the...

Duration: 00:49:02

FarFetchedFables No 181 Judith Field

“Psychopomps” by Judith Field (Originally published in The Colored Lens, Summer 2014.) Mark’s next door neighbour and business partner Pat kept telling him that power flowed through his veins. He took a breath and closed his eyes, trying to will the power back out again and into the ash wand in his outstretched hand. He pointed it at Pat’s door. A narrow beam of blue light squeezed out of the end and hit the lock. Nothing happened. Sighing, he folded the wand and put it in his pocket. He...

Duration: 00:32:53

FarFetchedFables No 180 Dave Smeds

“The Tavern at the Ford” by Dave Smeds (Originally published in Sword and Sorceress XXVIII.) Until that awful night, Azure had always assumed she would live out her entire life in the village. That’s how it had been for generations. Grandpa had shared the history one day while standing with her on the old stone bridge. “There used to be a ford there,” he said, pointing to the willow flats where Coil and Azure liked to play. Grandpa’s great-grandmother Cinnamon had drowned there while...

Duration: 01:00:20

FarFetchedFables No 179 K G Anderson

“Unraveling” by K.G. Anderson (Originally published in Triangulation: Beneath the Surface.) "Sarah -- he's using you!" My voice rose into the whine my daughter loathed, but I couldn't stop. I pressed the phone to my ear. "You're 16. I absolutely forbid -- " My runaway daughter informed me that she hated me. "Have fun with the old witches," she said, and hung up. I climbed out of the car, slammed the battered door, and slumped against the sun-baked metal. Gradually my heartbeat slowed, but...

Duration: 00:25:09

FarFetchedFables No 178 Evan Dicken

“Mouth of the Jaguar” by Evan Dicken (Originally published in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly #20.) Hummingbird was to be the final sacrifice of the day. The man before her struggled on a raised stone slab, chest heaving as a flock of blood-spattered priests pinned his arms and legs. Sunlight glittered on the Cazonci's obsidian dagger--curved like a jaguar's claw to better hook bone and tear flesh. The crowd around the ziggurat waited, caught in the anxious pause between lightning and thunder....

Duration: 00:55:56

FarFetchedFables No 177 David Morrell

Main Story: “Perchance to Dream” by David Morrell (Originally published in Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy.) Dr. Baker. Dr. Baker. He came to my office on a Friday afternoon. Tall, slender, and sandy-haired, he had a thin, aristocratic face that might have been handsome if it weren’t so haggard. His eyes looked puffy. Red streaked their whites. I was surprised when I later learned that he was forty. He appeared at least ten years older. He said his name was Jody Cooke – he spelled his...

Duration: 00:49:06

FarFetchedFables No 176 Donald Jacob Uitvlugt

“The Hour of the Rat” by Donald Jacob Uitvlugt (Originally published in Cirsova Magazine #1.) shigururu ya winter rain nezumi no wataru a mouse runs koto no ue across the koto -- Yosa Buson (1716-1783) Nezumi's heart pounded as she pressed against the wall. She willed herself to be as invisible as the night all around her. She put a hand over her mouth so that the puffs of her breath would not give away her position. Within the estate beyond the wall, a guard approached her position....

Duration: 00:33:17

FarFetchedFables No 175 Jakob Drud

“The Demi-Arcanist's Will” by Jakob Drud (Originally published in The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Volume 2.) The cabinet was all but invisible in the fumes, except in the spot where Jarn Dinaris wove his grounding seam into Master Elosivan's seam of transmission. There the metal hissed and glowed in dark purples as they wove the commissioned refrigeration pattern. Jarn's focus on the pattern was so complete that he didn't immediately detect the failure in old Master...

Duration: 00:45:16

FarFetchedFables No 174 Molly N Moss and Khalidaah Muhammad-Ali

Flash Fiction: “The Banshee Behind Beamon's Bakery” by Khalidaah Muhammad-Ali (Originally published in Diabolical Plots #21.) Most nights the alley behind Beamon’s Bakery is just an alley. The street lamp bleeds piss yellow light, casting jagged shadows around the overflowing dumpster and discarded boxes. The walls are tagged with gang signs, claiming territory that was never theirs, yardage, bodies, souls, rights. Some nights a transient clears away the broken glass, the random detritus,...

Duration: 00:34:13

FarFetchedFables No 173 Sarah L Byrne

“Princess Cosima and the 1,000 Cats” by Sarah L. Byrne (Originally published in Betwixt #4.) "Provide ships or sails adapted to the heavenly breezes, and there will be some who will not fear even that void." -- Johannes Kepler, 1610 The red palace was home to a thousand cats. Or so people said. Princess Cosima, twenty, beautiful and bored, walked through the courtyards until she saw a lithe sandy female sunning itself on the flagstones. She slipped into the cat's mind and sent it prowling...

Duration: 00:50:36

FarFetchedFables No 172 Hal Duncan

Main Story: “The Tower of Morning's Bones” by Hal Duncan (Originally published in Paper Cities: An Anthology of Urban Fantasy.) “Once upon a time, the land of Shuber and Hamazi, Many tongued Sumer, the great Land of princeship’s divine laws, Uri, the land having all that is appropriate, The land Martu, resting in security, The whole universe, the people in unison, To Enlil, in one tongue gave praise." — Samuel N. Kramer (trans.), Enmerkar and The Lord of Aratta Daybreak in the Underworld A...

Duration: 00:55:19

FarFetchedFables No 171 Tracy Canfield

“The Seal of Sulaymaan” by Tracy Canfield (Originally published in Fantasy Magazine, July 2010.) Back when there were other ifriit to talk to, I’d tell them Morocco was as far as you can get from Mecca without leaving civilization. In Agadir, with its casinos and five-star hotels and nightclubs filled with Moroccan tourists sporting European fashions too daring to wear at home, even these most fractious of beings could not have argued; but here, a mere twenty miles out of town, I could...

Duration: 00:42:48

FarFetchedFables No 170 Dennis Mombauer

“The Breeding Dust” by Dennis Mombauer (Originally published in Outliers of Speculative Fiction.) Silent, angular houses with white plaster, a sand-suffocated well and a couple of stunted palms huddled together on the low ground, a once bustling city that only the ghostly desert wind inhabited now. The sun gleamed down without mercy, hanging in the sky as a swirling ball that made the air flicker, and the small caravan decided to rest in this ancient oasis. The camels were led down the...

Duration: 00:36:12

FarFetchedFables No 169 Michelle Ann King

“Where There's Magic” by Michelle Ann King (Originally published in Kaleidotrope, April 2016.) The witch had a favourite saying: where there's life, there's magic. There was a second part -- where there's magic, there's death -- but she usually kept that to herself. She placed the newborn into the father's arms. He gazed upon the babe with wonder, then upon his wife with concern. "Why does she still scream?" he said. "Can't you ease her pain?" "There is still pain because she carries...

Duration: 00:52:16

FarFetchedFables No 168 Robert J Santa and Tonya Liburd

"“Princess Lily's Wedding” by Robert J. Santa (Originally published in Blood, Blade & Thruster.) "I love him, Daddy!" King Frederick breathed deeply. It had been a very long conversation with his youngest child, punctuated by much pouting and exasperated sighing and stomping of pretty feet. Frederick stood over her while she held her face in her hands and cried. He wanted to do nothing more than pout and sigh and stomp his feet. Of course, he couldn't, even in his daughter's bedroom with...

Duration: 00:30:20

FarFetchedFables No 167 Alter S Reiss

"“By Appointment to the Throne” by Alter S. Reiss (Originally published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #155.) Getting up early enough to open a kitchen hurts. Leaving a warm bed before second watch makes your head ache, and you can feel the chill going from the cobbles through your feet and into your soul. When it's wet on top of the cold, it's the nearest thing to hell. But once I'm there and I'm in the rhythm, it just moves. I check the carcasses as they come in, kick up a fuss if they try...

Duration: 00:45:31

FarFetchedFables No 166 Scott Huggins

"“Phoenix for the Amateur Chef” by Scott Huggins (Originally published in Sword and Sorceress 30.) The phoenix fell. Its sobbing death cry silenced by a coat of ravening flame, it corkscrewed to earth, bleeding dirty white fire across the dusk. What struck the cliff face above our heads was a ball of charred meat. We ducked the searing gobbet of flesh. Only a little pile of ash and bone was left, rapidly whitening, like charcoal. I looked at Tywin, who stood sucking his teeth and polishing...

Duration: 00:54:19

FarFetchedFables No 165 Valjeanne Jeffers and Ed Ahern

"“The Sickness” by Valjeanne Jeffers (Originally published in Griots: Sisters of the Spear.) The Bini warriors crouched in the high grass of the savanna. They'd passed the Fula borders a mile back, and now were a hundred yards from the Adobe mud city. At the forefront they were armed with sword and shield, behind them the archers readied their bows. General Chinua led the army. To his right was Nandi, a tall woman with braided hair, high cheekbones and full lips and her ebony-skinned...

Duration: 00:48:50

FarFetchedFables No 164 Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam

"“The Centaur's Daughter” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Originally published in A cappella Zoo.) As a little girl I never understood my father’s night self. It’s hard to be a kid whose father is two people. He changed every day with the sky. I cried at sunrise. I had trouble sleeping. Still do, and I’ve had seventeen years to process my father’s differences. When I was small enough that my hands didn’t fit around a soda bottle, I couldn’t be left alone. The babysitter would coax me from the...

Duration: 00:34:33

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