First Story: “Unraveling” by David Steffen
(Originally published in the July 2014 Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.)
He passed from his study to his map room. One full wall of the room was covered in a map of the world. A red light pulsed in Michigan. That’s where the alarm had happened. On his own turf, where no other weaver had been known to establish themselves for two hundred years.
From the drawer he pulled out smaller maps and found the glowing light there. The address was only a hundred miles away from his own house. A quick Internet search found that the address was registered to Hilda Freitag. Of the dozen weavers in the world who could make a soulbox, she was the most crafty. No one seemed to know her age, but Cavendish suspected that she was the oldest of them all. She had already been powerful when Cavendish was raised up some six hundred years before. He had died at her hands two dozen times, and he had never once bested her.
David Steffen is a writer, editor, and software engineer. He edits Diabolical Plots, which began publishing original fiction in 2015. He runs the Submission Grinder, a tool for writers to find markets for their work. He recently published The Long List Anthology, which is a collection of 21 stories from the longer Hugo Award nomination list last year. His own stories have been published in many nice places, including Escape Pod, Podcastle, Daily Science Fiction, and StarShipSofa.
Main Story: “Showing Faeries for Fun and Profit” by Julie Frost
(Originally published in the July 2013 Stupefying Stories Showcase.)
I dodged through picketers into the Expo Center, dragging a cart loaded with four aquariums and a box of tiny furniture, and swearing under my breath. Greg Carson waved to me from across the show floor, and I made my way over to him through the general chaos that always attended the Annual Clearfield County Faerie Show. “I saved you a spot, Emily,” he said.
“Thanks.” I rolled my eyes as I set my aquariums on the table. “The faerie rights activists give you any problems?”
Greg drew himself up to his full six-foot, four-inch height, flexed his considerable arms, and deepened his voice.
“Most of them don’t want to mess with me.” Then he laughed, white teeth flashing in his dark face. “They get a rude awakening when they realize that Faerie Show people aren’t just elderly grannies with bifocals and bonnets.”
Julie Frost writes every shade of speculative fiction and lives in Utah with her family, which consists of an equal number of guinea pigs and people, and a collection of anteaters and Oaxacan carvings, some of which intersect. Her short fiction has appeared in Cosmos, Unlikely Story, Plasma Frequency, Stupefying Stories, and others, and was a finalist at Writers of the Future and the Hidden Prize for Prose. Her first novel, Pack Dynamics, was released at Salt Lake ComicCon 2015 by WordFire Press, and sold out there, much to everyone’s delight. She whines about writing, a lot, at agilebrit.livejournal.com.
About the Narrators:
Jonathan Sharp lives and works in a sleepy southern New Mexico town alongside his exceedingly talented wife, Paige. When he is free from the mountains of organic vegetables under which he works, he plays in front of the microphone in the hope it may one day talk back to him. You can reach him online at sharpandvoice.com.
Amy Robinson is a voice artist with a wide range of vocal styling, inflections, and accents. She can be heard in a wide array of radio announcer spots, audiobook narrations, animated series, and even telephone IVR systems, and is a featured player on the Rookery Radio Hour Podcast. You can find her online at amyrobinsonvo.com.
The Audio Fantasy Fiction Magazine