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Author Topic: PC477 / 624: Crickets Sing For Naomi  (Read 2241 times)


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on: July 05, 2017, 10:02:06 PM
PodCastle 477: Crickets Sing For Naomi

by Eden Royce

read by Khaalidah Muhammad-Ali

PodCastle Original!

Rated PG-13.

“If these danggone crickets don’t stop following me,” Naomi grumbled as the insect bounded out of the path of her wedge heel. Another of the bugs scuttled across the top of her foot, its spiny legs pricking her exposed skin. Under the streetlight, moths danced in the circle of brightness on the otherwise dim road. Heat ebbed from the asphalt, making her wish she’d worn flip-flops.

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Eden Royce is descended from women who practiced root, a type of conjure magic in her native Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been a bridal consultant, reptile handler, and stockbroker, but now writes fiction about the American South from her home in the English countryside.

Eden is the recipient of the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Diverse Worlds grant and is a regular contributor to Graveyard Shift Sisters, a site dedicated to purging the black female horror fan from the margins. Her fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming from FIYAH Literary Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, Truancy, and Abyss & Apex.

Find her online at or @EdenRoyce

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 07:29:52 PM by Ocicat »


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Reply #1 on: July 17, 2017, 01:06:36 PM
Nothing like a little magic to get you (or your friends) out of a fix.  This story is an intriguing take on the power of magic and how it helps you not only to get out of trouble, but to grow into your own space as a person.  The crickets were, in a way, Naomi's psychopomps, leading her into the death of her old, lack of confidence life into a new one where she accepts the power that she has.
I especially like the fact that the "old woman" was mobile, now, meeting people where they needed to be met.  No more shame in going to see the obeah woman now!

Before I read anymore into it, I promise that you will enjoy the story and the atmosphere that Ms. Royce weaves as the backdrop.   And that last line?  Talk about a zinger!


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Reply #2 on: July 18, 2017, 01:59:58 PM
I really enjoyed this one. The narrative voice of the MC is lovely and realistic. It felt like the author did a fantastic job of weaving the real world into one where magical things happen.


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Reply #3 on: July 23, 2017, 02:37:10 PM
'Crickets Sing for Naomi' by Eden Royce has a gorgeous has almost ethereal quality. It mixes the real and the fantastic. The protagonist Naomi is a empathetic woman who is more than what she seems.

I love the natural use of language used by the characters. Often story dialogue can read as artificial and this does not suffer from that. A sense of reality (whether in non fantasy or in fantasy/sci fi) draws in the reader more and makes one engage with the characters - whether you listen to the story or read it. Her descriptions too are marvellous - creating a rich background of sights, smells and tactile elements. It adds to the world building because the reader/listener can in their imagination, feel what they feel because it is described that beautifully. It is nuanced and makes the reader/listener empathise with the characters.

The narration of the audio version is engaging, beautiful in tone, clear and delivers the story in a elegant yet down to earth way.

There is a great sense of nature right from the get go - a unearthly beauty and the subtle within the textures of description flows like stroke of a lovely painting. With each metaphorical brush, we are lead deeper into the narrative so naturally that it seamlessly blends the natural with the supernatural. The connection to nature is reminiscent to me of Emily Bronte (where the Yorkshire Moors were almost a character in itself) where the crickets felt as much of a character as any other features in the story. Naomi's connection to them has a feel of Dario Argento's 'Phenomena' (in regards to Naomi having the connection with in a way that reminded me a little to Jennifer Connelly's character in 'Phenomena').

'Crickets Sing for Naomi' is a gorgeous unique fantasy. Well worth listening to the audio or even read the short story itself. A five star read.


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Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 12:25:03 AM
I definitely appreciate the inclusion of a possibly asexual character!

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


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Reply #5 on: April 29, 2020, 07:29:26 PM
This episode has been rebroadcast as PodCastle 624: TALES FROM THE VAULTS — Crickets Sing for Naomi