Toasted Cake 185! In which we sing of adventure.

Grandma smelled of mushroom steaks sauteed in garlic butter and apples soaked in brandy and when she paused in her relentless movement between cooktop and sink and fridge and pantry the Oort cloud of flour settled around her teeshirt and jeans.

This story is original to Toasted Cake.

Clarion West 2010 alumni Jude-Marie Green's short story, ENDLESS SUMMER, will be included in the anthology Made In L.A., being released at the LA Times Festival of Books April 21/22. The book can currently be purchased from Amazon. Other recent short story sales are HANG TWENTY to Fantasy for the Throne: One Sitting Reads (ed. by Judith K. Dial and Tom Easton) and WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION to RE-Launch from Pole-To-Pole Publishing, both due out this spring. She won the Speculative Literature Foundation's Older Writers Grant in 2012. She holds proud membership in BroadUniverse, O.C. Writers (Orange County, CA writers collective), and LASFS (Los Angeles Science Fiction/Fantasy Society.) Her blog is at

Toasted Cake 184! In which we are caught with the Billy bookcase and the Darth Vader sheets.

Maxx Destruktinator bounced gently in his Poang chair and stroked the Persian as he surveyed his domain.

This story is original to Toasted Cake.

Jon Lasser was born in New York City. He lives and writes in Seattle, WA. He is a graduate of the Clarion West writers workshop. His stories have won the Writers of the Future contest and been shortlisted for the James White award. They have appeared or are forthcoming in Writers of the Future, Volume 32; Diabolical Plots; Galaxy's Edge; and elsewhere. When not writing or working in the tech industry, Jon plays with his children, cooks, and scuba dives. He prefers cold-water over tropical diving. Find him on the Web at and on Twitter as @disappearinjon.

Toasted Cake 183! In which we consider the glass and the shatter.

1. When she was old enough to know that her chest was flat, her father built a skin of glass around her. 

This story first appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly.

Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam's fiction and poetry has appeared in over 40 magazines such as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Hobart, and Everyman's Library's Monster Verse. She has been a finalist for the Nebula Award and Selected Shorts' Stella Kupferberg Memorial Prize. Her audio fiction-jazz collaborative album Strange Monsters was released from Easy Brew Studio in April 2016. You can find her online at or on Twitter at @BonnieJoStuffle.

Toasted Cake 182! In which the train steals our covers.

This morning, I woke up next to an Amtrak train.

This story first appeared right here in Fantasy Magazine.

Eden Robins lives in Chicago and will give you a very stern look if you speak disparagingly of the Midwest. Her short fiction has appeared in Shimmer, Apex, Kaleidotrope, and others, her long fiction has appeared on her hard drive, and by day she writes comedy videos for Big Pharma. She co-hosts Tuesday Funk, a monthly live lit show in Chicago, and leaves a trail of dead creative projects in her wake, including the flash fiction magazine Brain Harvest and the weekly podcast Should I Worry About This.

Toasted Cake 181! In which we monologue.

Founding members, new parishioners, and members of the media, I welcome you to the inaugural midnight mass of the First Church of Villainy.

This story is original to Toasted Cake.

TJ Berry has been a political blogger, bakery owner, and spent a disastrous two weeks working in a razor blade factory. She now writes science fiction from Seattle with considerably fewer on-the-job injuries. Her debut novel, Space Unicorn Blues, arrives July 2018 from Angry Robot Books. She's on Twitter at @TJaneBerry.

Toasted Cake 180! In which we stick to our work.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

This story first appeared on Nicole's patreon.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf is a New Orleanian writer living in Boulder, Colorado, where she skates roller derby under the name Fleur de Beast. She also knits fabulous socks. She writes very short fiction on a near-weekly basis for a very select audience at and blogs at

Toasted Cake 179! In which we practice our survival skills.

The Daffodil Project is a joint venture between the United Nations, ESA, and Friends of the Elderly. I am their 17th civilian recruit.

This story first appeared right here in Nature.

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley was born in Germany and spent her childhood in Los Angeles. She has inexplicably ended up in Tallinn where she writes about plane crashes and is discovering the lore of Estonian spirits and witches. Her short stories have been translated into over a dozen languages. You can find out more about her at

Toasted Cake 178! In which our boats come back.

Every Chinese family celebrates Ching Ming a little differently.

This story first appeared in Crossed Genres.

Laurie Tom writes fantasy and science fiction from the comfort of her childhood home.  When not composing stories about things that don't happen in real life, she enjoys video games and anime.  Her fiction has appeared in venues such as Strange Horizons, Galaxy's Edge, and the Intergalactic Medicine Show.

Toasted Cake 177! In which we do don't do consider pushing the red button.

It has come to our attention that a plurality of users has significant problems during the quantum disambiguator configuration process.

First appeared right here in Nature Futures.

Stewart C Baker is an academic librarian, speculative fiction writer, and occasional haikuist. His fiction has appeared in Writers of the Future, Nature, Galaxy's Edge, and Flash Fiction Online, among other places. Stewart was born in England, has lived in South Carolina, Japan, and California (in that order), and currently resides in Oregon with his family­­--although if anyone asks, he'll usually say he's from the Internet.

Toasted Cake 176! In which we fling ourselves into perilous orbits.

We all look like Harrie, when we can afford it. Even the boys. Even the girls.

This story first appeared in the anthology XIII from Resurrection House, edited by Mark Teppo.

Andrew Penn Romine is a writer and animator living in Seattle. When he's not wrangling words, robots, cavemen, or dragons, he dabbles in craft cocktails and virtual reality. His fiction appears online at Lightspeed Magazine, Paizo and Crossed Genres as well as in the anthologies Fungi, After The Fall, By Faerie Light, and Help Fund My Robot Army. You can find his full list of publications at and on Twitter at @inkgorilla.

Toasted Cake 175! In which we manifest.

Congratulations! Your magic manifested itself. Maybe your teenage years won't suck quite so much, right? WRONG.

First appeared right here in Daily SF.

Nebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the new Blood of Earth Trilogy from Harper Voyager. Her newest novel is CALL OF FIRE. She's a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato.

Toasted Cake 174! In which we puree.

Begin by placing the Seasoning Mix in a small bowl. Refer to page 842 for Seasoning Mix ingredients. Glance at the clock and roll your eyes as you wonder how many more detours you'll find in this recipe.

This story first appeared in Wild Musette.

Dan Stout lives in Columbus, Ohio, where he writes about half-truths and double-crosses. His fiction draws on travels throughout Europe, Asia, and the Pacific Rim, as well as a convoluted employment history spanning everything from subpoena server to assistant well driller. Dan's stories have appeared in publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, Nature, and Plan B Magazine. His debut novel, Titanshade, is forthcoming from DAW Books. Dan can be found on the web at

Toasted Cake 173! In which we let Bonesy ride.

Hey folks, I know it's a tight squeeze for the manufacturing deadline for the Little Miss Apocalypse playset, but we got new market research results on the pony names.

First appeared right here in Fireside.

Effie Seiberg is a fantasy and science fiction writer. Her stories can be found in the "Women Destroy Science Fiction!" special edition of Lightspeed Magazine, Galaxy's Edge, Analog, Fireside Fiction, and PodCastle, amongst others. Effie lives in San Francisco, where she likes to make sculpted cakes and bad puns. Her day job as a marketing consultant definitely had nothing whatsoever to do with this story. You can follow her on twitter at @effies, or read more stories at

Toasted Cake 172! In which we still pass on the word from generation to generation.

Ten things were created on the eve of Shabbat, between the lights of night and day, and they are: the mouth of the earth, the mouth of the well, the mouth of the donkey, the rainbow and the manna, and the staff, and the shamir, the writing, the missive and the tablets.

This story first appeared in Uncanny.

Bogi Takács is a Hungarian Jewish agender person and a resident alien in the US. You can find Bogi as @bogiperson on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon.


Toasted Cake 171! In which we go spelunking.

In his future, I see a fish.

This story first appeared in Diabolical Plots.

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 100 of his short stories have appeared in Nature, Galaxy's Edge, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction and was a two-time finalist for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Fiction (2015 and 2017). He is the editor of the Unidentified Funny Objects annual anthology series of humorous SF/F. His collection, Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories and his steampunk humor novella H. G. Wells, Secret Agent are currently available. His website is

Toasted Cake 170! In which we are an egg.

The Hoffenphaafs know it, the mud-men know it, the steam urchins sprouting in their vesicles know it, even the protein-sellers that carry the thick-frozen slabs between slaughterhouse and tower on their enormous calloused shoulders know it - the pillars of the earth shiver in the heat, the golden-tiled floors of the playtime levels are bending, the face of the earth below buckles until it near breaks.

This story was first published in Grendelsong.

Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California. Her stories have been published in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld, and Interzone, and the anthologies Tomorrow's Cthulhu and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk. She's the author of the Forgotten Realms novels Dawnbringer and Heaven's Bones.

Toasted Cake 169! In which we stay on the red line for like a really totally annoying long time.

When the invading hordes sack your city and raise triumphant flags over the monuments like a pledge to tackiness, the underground metro is simultaneously the best and worst place in the world to be.

This story is original to Toasted Cake.

Andrea Tang is a speculative fiction writer and international affairs wonk based out of DC. Her stories have previously appeared at Apex Magazine, PodCastle, and a variety of other publications. When not hunched over a notebook misusing her imagination, she's known to enjoy theater, music, and martial arts. Drop by for a hello and a virtual cup of tea at, or on Twitter at @atangwrites.

Toasted Cake 168! In which we call someone with our song.

Ianthe went down the long steps singing because she hadn't stopped singing in a week.

This story is original to Toasted Cake.

Megan Lee Beals is an old sea witch who lives in Tacoma, Washington with her husband Erik, and a one-eyed cat called Mr. Peepers. She has stories in The Iowa Review and InterGalactic Medicine Show. Visit her online at

Toasted Cake 167! In which we level-up for sure.

Students streamed from Yvonne's geology class, rolling their flexible displays and shoving them into backpacks.

This story first appeared right here in Nature.

H.E. Roulo is a Pacific Northwest writer of science-fiction, horror, and fantasy. The first book in her Plague Masters trilogy released in 2015. Her short stories appear in dozens of publications, including Nature and Fantasy's special Women Destroy Fantasy issue. Fractured Horizon, her science-fiction podcast novel, was a Parsec Award Finalist. Find out more at

Toasted Cake 166! In which we peel back many layers.

Borobor lived alone in a taupe mini-McMansion with all-over carpeting.
This story first appeared in Goldfish Grimm.

Rose Lemberg is a queer, bigender immigrant from Eastern Europe and Israel. Their fiction and poetry have appeared in Lightspeed's Queer Destroy Science Fiction, Uncanny, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and many other venues. Rose's work has been a finalist for the Nebula, Crawford, and other awards. For a full bibliography, please visit

Toasted Cake 165! In which we eat the cake. Or don't!

As a reward for her philanthropy, Ambassador FE927C (Effie for short) was the first android to achieve Mexican citizenship.

This story is original to Toasted Cake.

David Steffen is the editor and publisher of The Long List Anthology series of stories from the longer Hugo Award nomination list. Volume 3 just released in December, with stories by Caroline M. Yoachim, Cat Rambo, Cassandra Khaw, Mary Robinette Kowal, Joseph Allen Hill, and more! He is also the editor of Diabolical Plots which has been publishing original fiction since 2015, and co-founder and administrator of The Submission Grinder, an online tool for writers to find new publishers for their work.

Toasted Cake 164! In which our hallelujahs pulse electric.

In an outlet behind the altar of the First Baptist Church, the Roomba's red glowing eyes blink in time with Pastor Smythe's exhortations.

First appeared right here in Diabolical Plots.

Rachael K. Jones grew up in various cities across Europe and North America, picked up (and mostly forgot) six languages, and acquired several degrees in the arts and sciences. Now she writes speculative fiction in Portland, Oregon. Contrary to the rumors, she is probably not a secret android. Rachael is a World Fantasy Award nominee and Tiptree Award honoree. Her fiction has appeared in dozens of venues worldwide, including Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Strange Horizons, and PodCastle. Follow her on Twitter @RachaelKJones.

Toasted Cake 163! In which we wear the festive red velvet.

The magic was all in the hat, of course.

This story first appeared in 10Flash Quarterly.

C.L. Holland is a British writer of speculative fiction, and past winner of Writers of the Future. She has a Bachelors Degree in English with Creative Writing and a Masters degree in English. She is taking steps to avoid collapsing the floor of her house by replacing her books with Kindle editions, but it's just not the same. Find her at

Toasted Cake 162! In which we use the rib cutter.

Place a body block under the back of the cadaver so that the chest protrudes and the neck and arms fall backwards.

This story originally appeared in Interfictions.

Natalia Theodoridou is a writer of strange stories that have appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Apex, and elsewhere. For more, visit her website,, or follow @natalia_theodor on Twitter.

Toasted Cake 161! In which we give advice to Squeakybuns.

Dear Mr. Squeakybuns,
Thank you for contacting Research for You.

This story first appeared in Mothership Zeta.

Laura Pearlman's work has appeared in Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, Daily Science Fiction, and a handful of other publications. She lives in California with two cats who have, to the best of her knowledge, always been cats. You can find her on Twitter at @laurasbadideas.

Toasted Cake 160! In which we iterate.

When it's dark and no one would notice, we'll break into the office.

A version of this story first appeared right here in Flash Fiction Online.

Shane Halbach lives in Chicago, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. His fiction has appeared in Analog, Intergalactic Medicine Show, and The Year's Best YA Speculative Fiction, among others. He blogs at, or can be found on Twitter at @shanehalbach.

Toasted Cake 159! In which we dance.

Was all over in a fraction of a second, but then again ain't everything?

First published in the Daily Cabal.

Ken Brady is a writer, strategist, filmmaker, brewer, and car dork. His fiction has appeared in magazines and anthologies around the world, including ANALOG, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Writers of the Future, and Fantastic Stories of the Imagination. He splits his time between Oregon and Japan. Though he occasionally updates, he can be found more easily in the usual social media places.

(Content warning for mild language)

Toasted Cake 158! In which we hear the chime of new comments. 

The girl behind the counter is a waif with mottled cheeks, swaddled in a blue barista's apron.

First published right here in Flash Fiction Online.

Sarah Grey was born on Bloomsday, but prefers her fiction short. Her stories have appeared in a number of publications including Lightspeed Magazine, Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, and Flash Fiction Online. She lives with her family near Sacramento, California.

Toasted Cake 157! In which we discuss some new rules with Gleeb. 

We are so happy that you are part of our family this academic year!

First published in Dear Robot: An Anthology of Epistolary Sci-Fi.

Tara Campbell is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and an assistant fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Litbreak, Masters Review, Luna Station Quarterly, Procyon Science Fiction Anthology, and Toasted Cake Podcast. Her novel, TreeVolution, was released in 2016, and her collection, Circe's Bicycle, with be published in fall 2017.

Toasted Cake 156! In which we fail to press the bell.

It's the kind of night that beckons you home.

This story first appeared in Syntax & Salt's April 2016 issue.

G. V. Anderson is a British writer whose first professional short story, "Das Steingeschöpf", was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2017. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in StarShipSofa, Strange Horizons, and F&SF. Find her at

Toasted Cake 155! In which we begin to suspect that our new cat is not normal.


This story is original to Toasted Cake.

Nebula-nominated Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger duology and the new Blood of Earth Trilogy from Harper Voyager. Her newest novel is CALL OF FIRE. She's a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at and on Twitter at @BethCato

Toasted Cake 154! In which we follow the tracks in the slush.

The footprints were as big as my snowshoe, the narrow heel a crisp outline, the impression not more than a couple of hours old.

This story first appeared in Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix.

Holly Schofield travels through time at the rate of one second per second, oscillating between the alternate realities of city and country life. Her short stories have appeared in Analog, Lightspeed, Escape Pod and many other publications throughout the world. You can find her at

Toasted Cake 153! In which we are eager to ensure our own nutritional security.

Don't just survive -- with Missionwhisper, you can THRIVE!

First appeared in Mothership Zeta.

Darusha writes science fiction and speculative poetry as M. Darusha Wehm and mainstream poetry and fiction as Darusha Wehm. Science fiction books include: Beautiful Red, Children of Arkadia and the Andersson Dexter cyberpunk detective series. Mainstream books include the Devi Jones' Locker Young Adult series and The Home for Wayward Parrots (forthcoming from NeWest Press). Darusha's short fiction and poetry have appeared in many venues, including Arsenika, Nature, Escape Pod, and several anthologies. Darusha is originally from Canada but currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand after spending the past several years sailing the Pacific.

Toasted Cake 152! In which we make the chevre. 

Eljay went to the goat enclosure with two plastic jugs and a resource acquisition ticket.

First appeared right here in Daily SF.

Caroline M. Yoachim lives in Seattle and loves cold cloudy weather. She is the author of dozens of short stories, appearing in Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's, and Lightspeed, among other places. Her debut short story collection, Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World & Other Stories, came out with Fairwood Press in 2016. For more about Caroline, check out her website at


PS: Yes, Toasted Cake is back for a school year run. Submissions open for all the month of October!
Toasted Cake 151! In which we make deals.

That it has long been our joke that our hair lengths are inversely proportional, and cannot exceed the same cumulative mass it possessed on the day we met;

First appeared right here in Shimmer.

Rachael K. Jones grew up in various cities across Europe and North America, picked up (and mostly forgot) six languages, an addiction to running, and a couple degrees. Now she writes speculative fiction in Athens, Georgia, where she lives with her husband. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in many venues, including Shimmer, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside Magazine, Strange Horizons, Escape Pod, InterGalactic Medicine Show, The Drabblecast, and Daily Science Fiction. She is a podcaster, a SFWA member, and a secret android. Follow her on Twitter at @RachaelKJones.


PS: No, we are not back from hiatus, but the outro will catch you up on our current status. :)

I'm saying "stop" instead of "end" because it is stopping for now, but I am not saying never about future Toasted Cake. (I love it too much, what can I say?)

Some stats for you:

We reached 150 episodes.

We in this case consists of 

  • 1 editor (me)
  • 110 authors (okay, I'm including me here, too)
  • 6 guest hosts 

So...yeah, I think that's a pretty good accomplishment.

In the last episode, "A Million Oysters for Chiyoko", by Caroline M. Yoachim, you can hear me list some memorable episodes (I had to limit myself to mentioning only one story from each of the ten authors who've been on the podcast the most times, or I would have been there all day listing off all 150 episodes.)

Authors with the most episodes:

9 - Caroline M. Yoachim
5 - Cat Rambo, Alex Shvartsman, Deborah Walker
4 - Anatoly Belilovsky, Samantha Henderson, Sylvia Spruck Wrigley
3 - Nathaniel Lee, Ken Liu, David Steffen

Two people appeared as hosts AND as writers: Camille Alexa/Alex C. Renwick, and David D. Levine.

I don't have stats for this, but not all our episodes were reprints. We ran several original stories. Of the reprints I would guess that the top markets were Daily SF, Everyday Fiction, and Brain Harvest, but I'd have to actually look at the numbers. I may do that some time.

Did you miss some back episodes? Want to hear your favorites again? They're all tagged by author name, and you can find the full list here

At any rate, keep Toasted Cake on your podcatchers, because there will likely be some bonus content coming your way now and then. Also, there is a new podcast project in the works (we might see it around winter or so) but if that falls through, I promise I will bring back Toasted Cake in one year, after I've turned in my next two books. So there will be something.

Until next time...
Toasted Cake 150! In which we find what we have lost.

A Japanese mermaid, the tourists called her

First appeared right here in Daily SF

Caroline M. Yoachim lives in Seattle and loves cold cloudy weather. She is the author of dozens of short stories, appearing in markets like Lightspeed, Asimov's, and Clarkesworld. For more about Caroline, check out her website at  

Toasted Cake 149! In which we shout our jokes into the void. 

"Hey, Ship? How about this one: A skeleton walks into a bar and says, 'Give me a beer and a mop.'"

First appeared in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review. 

Holly Schofield has been published in AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review and Perihelion, as well as three anthologies, including Tesseracts 17. For more of her work, see

Toasted Cake 148! In which we stay. 

Just following instinct, staying above the water.

Devin is the author of short stories and novels, and writes articles on the naval aspects of the American Civil War for the New York Times. He is a member of the New York City based Altered Fluid writing group.

Toasted Cake 147! In which we go to the mall.

Annabel's dad had told her that old Earth buildings were full of ghosts.

First appeared in 10Flash Quarterly.

Evan Dicken's work has appeared or is forthcoming at Daily Science Fiction, Escape Pod, The Lovecraft eZine, Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine, and Toasted Cake. 

Alex C. Renwick has written dozens of short stories as Camille Alexa, including her award-nominated collection Push of the Sky. She currently splits her time between Portland, Austin, Vancouver, and Montreal. Her website is