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Author Topic: PC361: Traveller, Take Me  (Read 2023 times)


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on: April 28, 2015, 01:21:34 PM
PodCastle 361: Traveller, Take Me

by Kate Heartfield

read by Wilson Fowlie

First published in On Spec.

The Canadian National Railway wants to know what to call the copper town tucked into the dogleg on the border between Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The radio operator says they’re threatening to call it Flin Flon – if they don’t hear any different from us.

We all laugh ourselves giddy at that, all of us in the Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. Go ahead, we say, call it Flin Flon. Bad luck to call it anything else. It’s the only name the place has had for its 15 years now, and if that’s not the judgment of history in these uncertain times I don’t know what is.

All of us in the mine company know the story of how Tom Creighton named the place for a character in a dime novel, back in 1914. Tom himself tells it to anyone who’ll half listen.

But he never tells the story of how he found the novel in the first place, and what that book did, once he started to read it. He never says where the book is now. I hope it’s fallen apart, battered into mush by the rain and snow. Unreadable.

Rated PG.

Kate Heartfield is a journalist and fiction writer from Manitoba who now lives in Ottawa, Canada. Her stories have appeared recently in places such as Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Crossed Genres and Lackington’s. She is on Twitter as @kateheartfield and her website is

Wilson Fowlie has been reading stories out loud since the age of 4, and credits any talent he has in this area to his parents, who are both excellent at reading aloud.

He has been narrating stories for more people than his own family since late 2008, when he answered a call for readers on the PodCastle forum from PodCastle’s then-editor, Rachel Swirsky.

The first story he recorded for PodCastle was episode 51, “The Cambist and Lord Iron” by Daniel Abraham, which is still one of his favourite narrations. Oddly, due to circumstances that he’s still not entirely clear about, his first *published* narration was episode 41, “Dragon Hunt” by Sarah Prineas.

Since then, he has gone on to become PodCastle’s most prolific narrator, reading or appearing in nearly 30 episodes. He’s also narrated for many other podcasts, including, of course, PodCastle’s sister ‘casts, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, as well as StarShip Sofa, Protecting Project Pulp, Crime City Central, Tales To Terrify, Beam Me Up, Cast Macabre, Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine and the Journey Into… podcast.

He fits in all this narrating between his day job as a web developer for a tech company in the Greater Vancouver area in Canada, and being the director of a community show chorus called The Maple Leaf Singers.

He’s still hoping to find a paying gig narrating stories, or maybe, since he doesn’t really have the time to go looking for it, that one will find *him*.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 01:23:04 PM by Talia »


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Reply #1 on: April 28, 2015, 05:50:53 PM
What a light sketch of a story.  A lot of impressions and ideas not really going anywhere.  I wanted there to be more to the story like a point to the trip or a more interesting or hidden revelation  of why the town's name mattered or that there was more to the story they found.  It's kind of like a real story of history you'd find in a historic place.  A snippet of what occurred in this place with vague acknowledgement of the times in which they occurred, without context to a historic narrative.  Kind of how the novel they found had no ending, this story feels the same, like a few pages were ripped out, from the end, middle, and beginning.


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Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 03:36:59 PM
I liked how it tied into the history, and appreciated that this was explained in the end.  I was interested as the story was happening, interested to see where it would go, but didn't really feel like it made a complete story in the end.  I found the historical context interesting, and the book swapping  element in particular, and that that ended up with a town being named after an SF book character.


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Reply #3 on: May 06, 2015, 03:29:29 PM
Weird. It's public domain but not on Gutenberg.

You can find it here:

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #4 on: May 17, 2015, 12:21:33 AM
I liked this story, especially the narration.  Like Unblinking, I liked the way the story included history as an element.  I had the urge to look up the characters and location to learn more. 


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Reply #5 on: May 21, 2015, 07:08:58 PM
I like the Canadian alternate history aspect of it and I really liked the narration. And there was singing! That duet at the end really sounded authentic, I could believe it was a married couple singing together.



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Reply #6 on: June 19, 2015, 02:36:59 AM
I was suitably creeped out by the ghost appearing during each reading, and enjoyed the historical aspect as well. However, I did feel like it was the middle of a story and the beginning and ending were somehow missing. The ending in particular seemed quite arbitrary.