Author Topic: PC457: Blade And Branch And Stone  (Read 3343 times)


  • Castle Watchcat
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on: February 28, 2017, 09:54:56 PM
PodCastle 457: Blade And Branch And Stone

by Spencer Ellsworth

read by Graeme Dunlop (as Lassan), Wilson Fowlie (as Dhar), Kay Steele (as Kahirun)

hosted by Matt Dovey

First published in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly.

Rated PG-13.

The trees screamed. Mortars shattered white wood that bled golden sap. The Fei looked down from the ridge with cold blue eyes, raised their muskets and hailed lead onto the human lines. Blood blossomed on white shirts around Lassan, under black-coated Imperial jackets.

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Spencer Ellsworth wrote his first novel at seven years old. (It was called Super Tiger, and it was pretty lit.) He hasn’t stopped since. His short work has appeared or is forthcoming at Lightspeed, F&SF,, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the best market ever, Podcastle. His first novels, a space opera trilogy called Starfire, are coming at binge-read speed from in 2017. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, artist & designer Chrissy Ellsworth, and three children of the apocalypse.

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 and has narrated for PodCastle, Escape Pod and Pseudopod, as well as StarShipSofa, Protecting Project Pulp, Crime City Central, Tales To Terrify, Beam Me Up, Cast Macabre, Dunesteef Audio Fiction magazine and the Journey Into… podcast. In real life he’s a web developer and also the director of a community show chorus called The Maple Leaf Singers.

Kay Steele is her own evil twin and has a secret identity where she writes stories and makes art but she’s not telling unless you ask nicely, or ask at all, or just sort of glance in her general direction. A nerd by awkward accident and a geek by choice, Kay is also a gamer, an innuendo specialist and thankfully gets by on very little sleep. Sharing a tiny house with a small child and cartoonish number of pets wasn’t really the plan but it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to her. She absolutely loves doing voice acting and narration because she’s a ham.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!

ajames reincarnate

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Reply #1 on: March 14, 2017, 11:20:06 AM
Long time listener, once a frequent poster on the discussion boards.  But years have passed without a single post, and my old account is dead, or at least dead to me.  I enjoyed this story so much I wanted to post my appreciation to the Podcastle crew and the author, so I reincarnated myself.

Great story writing, and great story telling. 

I love when an author can take an old trope and really make it new, but still true to the original themes.  The Fae in this story are definitely fae, yet not quite like any fae I have come across.

Add to that a compelling plot and story themes explored and developed from three different point of views, and you have a story that has stayed on my mind long after listening to it.

I will look for more from this author.

Jethro's belt

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Reply #2 on: March 21, 2017, 02:11:04 AM
Yeah, what ajames said, not your parents Fae trope and what a twist with the sacrifice of the trees; just a wonderful story. Oak, Birch and friends deserve to be in more stories. Perhaps my favorite so far this year. 


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Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 12:57:39 PM
I usually don't like the very long episodes, but this one gripped me for a number of reasons. First of all it was beautifully written and had a compelling story. I also liked to have a non-urban fantasy/modern fairy tale/ new weird story once a while. Blade and Branch and Stone was not a "traditional" fantasy story,  but it was still an "in the past with magic and mystery" story that I subjectively feel is sometimes underrepresented on podcastle. (don't get me wrong, I love settings in the current time or in an alternative present, but I also want more "fantasy fantasy" stories. Well, I want more stories in general :) ). I don't like ensemble casts, but using different readers for the different elements of the story was done well, and the singing was great.