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April: Changelings and Transformations

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Welcome to the April edition of BroadPod with host Jody Lynn Nye. This month’s stories deal with changelings and transformation. We have a fascination with metamorphosis. There’s a deep mystery in the physical way in which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, but what does the change do to the perception of the butterfly itself? And what if it was able to change back and forth between its two stages? Our authors are Carol Berg, EF Watkins, Kelly Harmon and Danielle Ackley-McPhail, with a bonus reading by Ann Wilkes.  Each delve into the subject in fascinating ways.

First up, from Carol Berg, an excerpt from her story, "Transformation".
Seyonne has been a slave for sixteen years, almost half his life, and has lost everything of meaning to him: his dignity, the people and homeland he loves, and the Warden's power he used to defend an unsuspecting world from demon ravaging.  With strict self-discipline he forces himself to exist only in the present moment. But from the hour he is sold to the arrogant heir to the Derzhi Empire, Seyonne's uneasy peace begins to crumble, and when he discovers a demon lurking in the Derzhi court, he must rediscover his past.

Next, from E. F. Watkins, in an excerpt from Danu's Children, a man discovers a new and startling aspect to a woman with whom he is infatuated. On a moonlit night, in a deserted spot, she seems to change into another form that expresses her true powers...or is it just a clever trick to make him into a believer?

Another story of transformation, from Kelly Harmon, “Selk Skin Deep,” a tale inspired by the true-life tragedy of the U.S.S. Forrestal, an aircraft carrier which exploded off the coast of Vietnam in 1967.  The story is about Cade Owen, who joined the U.S. Navy trying to alleviate the boredom from his nearly immortal life.  Cade is a selkie – a shape shifter who is both man and seal.

Our last reader, is Danielle Ackley-McPhail. In "The Runes", Camirel, adopted daughter of the last dragon, uses her transformation to seek out emberlings, the eggs of dragons removed from the earth before their time, confused by Man as no more than common gems. She encounters more than she expects on finding her first emberling.

And our special bonus track is Ann Wilkes, reading her flash fiction story, "Jolaneering", in which a man finds himself at the mercy of a precocious alien toddler, who just happens to be a changeling. This  first appeared in the last issue of Nanobison, an online speculative fiction magazine.  And if you ever thought you had a tough babysitting job, you’ll thank your lucky stars it wasn’t like this!


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