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Author Topic: PC518: Iron Aria  (Read 1662 times)


  • Castle Watchcat
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on: April 17, 2018, 10:00:58 PM
PodCastle 518: Iron Aria

Rated PG for vengeful mountains and the accursed dead.

First published in Fireside Fiction.

A. Merc Rustad is a queer non-binary writer who lives in Minnesota and is a 2016 Nebula Awards finalist. Their stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Fireside, Apex, Uncanny, Shimmer, Cicada, and several Year’s Best anthologies. You can find Merc on Twitter @Merc_Rustad or their website: Their debut short story collection, SO YOU WANT TO BE A ROBOT, was published by Lethe Press (May 2017).

Kate Baker is the Podcast Director and Non-fiction Editor for Clarkesworld Magazine. She has been very privileged to narrate over 350 short stories/poems for various venues.

She has been nominated for a Parsec Award. Kate won the Hugo Award for Best Semiprozine in 2011 and 2013, the British Fantasy Award for Best Magazine in 2014 and the World Fantasy Award for Special Award: Non Professional in 2014 alongside the wonderfully talented editorial staff of Clarkesworld Magazine.

Kate is currently situated in Northern Connecticut with her first fans; her wonderful children. She is currently working as Executive Director for SFWA.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!


  • Matross
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Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 03:55:52 AM
I loved so much that Kyru is trans, and also seemingly on the spectrum. This was executed very deftly and sympathetically. Don't ever let them say we have to wait for trans representation, queer representation, neuro-atypical representation: it's a lie, because we can have it now.

"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 #2 on: May 06, 2018, 12:14:28 PM
Loved the setting and the integration of the characters into the setting.

edit: As a heterosexual cis-man, the story gave me a good perspective on what it's like to be trans, without being too obvious. There have been a few podcastle stories in the past where the metaphors used were a bit heavy handed (e.g. a physical transformations of the character). This one felt natural and made it easy to emphasise with the protagonist.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2018, 12:20:20 PM by Moritz »


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Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 01:30:54 PM
So, there is now sea water streaming in to the valley? I don't really understand how the geography of this world works. Also, if the dam is deep inside the mountain, wouldn't it have been simpler and more of a long term solution to collapse the stone  tunnels, rather than more rust-able iron?
I don't understand why Kyru was so unhappy in his body. He wasn't being forced into feminine activities (except for his name) or kept from masculine ones, wasn't worried about being sexually attractive to anybody in particular, and seemed to prefer to be alone. How would having male genitalia have changed his life?
P.S. My confusion is not towards all trans people, just the situation posed in this story.