Toasted Cake 144! In which we file, kicking and screaming untranslatably. 

"This is Carla at the Off-Planet Tax Return helpline, how can I help you?"

This story first appeared in UFO 3

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 carolineyoachim.com


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Toasted Cake 143! In which we find things. 

The morning after Vaidwattie left, Srilal found the first thing of beauty. 

Originally published right here in Strange Horizons

Patrick Samphire drinks green tea, designs cool websites, and writes books and stories. His forthcoming duo of middle grade adventure novels will be published by Henry Holt/Macmillan, beginning with Book One, Secrets of the Dragon Tomb. He lives with his wife (fellow writer Stephanie Burgis), their two sons, and their border collie in Wales. To find out more, visit his website: patricksamphire.com

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 alexcrenwick.com.




Toasted Cake 142! In which our financial health is assessed. 

It wasn't taste he was after, just the kind of slosh that could get the job done. 

This story first appeared in Stupefying Stories. 

(Content warning for language)

Samuel Marzioli was born and raised, and that's all you need to know about that. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in several publications, including Penumbra, Space and Time Magazine, Stupefying Stories, and Ares Magazine. You can find out more about his future projects and releases by going to marzioli.blogspot.com



Toasted Cake 141! In which we come apart. 

Evan started coming apart because of the dare. 

Aaron currently lives in Lawrence, Kansas with his wife and six children. He's now at full sitcom. His short fiction has appeared in Shock Totem, Shimmer, Bourbon Penn, and under several unsavory rocks. Rumor has it, he prefers ketchup with his beans. 

Brian Allard is a Portland based actor, director, teacher, audiobook narrator, podcaster, and most recently, step-father. The Artistic Director of the Original Practice Shakespeare Festival (Ops Fest), he and his co-host Andrew Bray recently started "OpsCast" - a discussion of Ops Fest news, Shakespeare Discussion, and random shenanigans. Find it at OpsFest.org. His most recent audiobook is a science fiction series for middle schoolers by Justin Johnson called "Coby Collins," on Amazon. Brian will appear on the NBC show GRIMM this coming Friday, March 27th. 




Toasted Cake 140! In which we parasite. 

Like most young and ambitious cities, Ckotkehl flourished for centuries without much heed to the outside world. 

Brink City by Andrew S. Fuller. 

Gods save the Queens. 

Stutter, by Deborah Walker. First appeared in Eschatology. 

Andrew S. Fuller is a writer whose fiction appears in On Spec, Daily SF, Crossed Genres, The Pedestal, Abyss & Apex, Fantastic Metropolis, the anthologies FISH, Bibliotheca Fantastica, and forthcoming in A Darke Phantastique. His novelette The Circus Wagon received a Best Horror of the Year Honorable Mention, and screenplay Effulgence won the Deep One Best Screenwriter Award at the 2009 H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. Since 1999, he has edited Three-Lobed Burning Eye magazine. He lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. Find him online at andrewsfuller.com and Twitter at @andrewsfuller

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration 




Toasted Cake 139! In which we strike a blow for freedom.

Monday: The narrow corridor got stuffier as the seconds ticked off. 

First appeared right here in Kazka Press.

Anatoly Belilovsky was born in a city that went through six or seven owners in the last century, all of whom used it to do a lot more than drive to church on Sundays; he is old enough to remember tanks rolling through it on their way to Czechoslovakia in 1968. After being traded to the US for a shipload of grain and a defector to be named later (see wikipedia, Jackson-Vanik amendment), he learned English from Star Trek reruns and went on to become a pediatrician in an area of New York where English is only the fourth most commonly used language. He has neither cats nor dogs, but was admitted into SFWA in spite of this deficiency, having published stories in NATURE, Ideomancer, Immersion Book of Steampunk, Daily SF, Kasma, UFO, Stupefying Stories, Cast of Wonders, and other markets. He blogs about writing at http://loldoc.net/loldoc.net, pediatrics at belilovsky.com, and his medical practice web site is babydr.us.


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Toasted Cake 138! In which we aria.

The overture begins in D minor, transitioning to a lighthearted D major allegro.

(First appeared in F&SF)

Oliver Buckram, Ph.D., lives in the Boston area where (under an assumed name) he teaches social science to undergraduates. While he has many publications in academic journals, his unambiguously fictional work has appeared in Shimmer and F&SF, among other places. He urges you to keep watching the skies.

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Toasted Cake 137! In which we come apart.

I gave my left arm to Elizabeth.

First appeared right here in Daily SF.

Caroline M. Yoachim lives in Seattle and loves cold cloudy weather. She has a story in this month's issue of Lightspeed, and a Tasting Menu of flash at Daily Science Fiction. For more about Caroline, check out her website at carolineyoachim.com.

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. You can find her at alexcrenwick.com.

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Toasted Cake 136! In which we look. Like love. 

I always thought of her as she.

Imogen Cassidy is a thirty-eight year old mother of two from Sydney Australia, currently juggling part time study and full time parenting with part time writing. Imogen's fiction has appeared in Devilfish Review, The Colored Lens and Aurealis. Other writings can be found at her website: imogenwrites.tumblr.com

Toasted Cake 135! In which we conquer.

The road to popularity at Fremont High School is paved with rose petals. 

First appeared right here at Kazka Press. 

Charity Tahmaseb has slung corn on the cob for Green Giant and jumped out of airplanes (but not at the same time). She's worn both Girl Scout and Army green. These days, she writes fiction (long and short) and works as a technical writer. Her novel, The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading (written with co-author Darcy Vance), was a YALSA 2012 Popular Paperback pick. Additionally, her short speculative fiction has appeared in the Unidentified Funny Objects and Coffee anthologies with forthcoming stories in Sucker Literary Magazine and Flash Fiction Online. She blogs (occasionally) at writingwrongs.wordpress.com
Toasted Cake 134! In which we remember the pebbles. 

My world is a pair of photographs.

First appeared right here in Daily SF.

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 70 of his short stories have appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Nature, Daily Science Fiction, and many more places. His collection, Explaining Cthulhu to Grandma and Other Stories is now out, and his website is alexshvartsman.com.


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Toasted Cake 133! In which we feed the birds. 

When the birds came, we novices fed them bread from the last night's meal. 

First appeared in Cabinet des Fées: A Journal of Fairy Tales.

Darja Malcolm-Clarke's fiction and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Clarkesworld Magazine, Fantasy Magazine, and elsewhere. She is an editor for a university press and has a penchant for cloudy days and hanging peculiar objects from her office ceiling. 

Alex C. Renwick was designed in Canada, built in California, and grown in Texas. She has written dozens of short stories as Camille Alexa, including her award-nominated collection Push of the Sky, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was an official reading selection of the Powell's Books SF Book Club. She currently splits her time between Portland, Austin, Vancouver, and Montreal. 




Toasted Cake 132! In which we brew the coffee. 

Henry Lindnis measured out his life with coffee spoons. 

First appeared right here in Nature. 

Alvaro is the co-author, with Robert Silverberg, of WHEN THE BLUE SHIFT COMES, which received a starred review from Library Journal. His short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Analog, Nature, Galaxy's Edge, and in a variety of other online venues and in translation abroad. 

Alex Shvartsman is a writer, translator and game designer from Brooklyn, NY. Over 70 of his short stories have appeared in InterGalactic Medicine Show, Nature, Galaxy's Edge, Daily Science Fiction, and many other magazines and anthologies. He won the 2014 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction. 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 releases on February 1, 2015. His website is alexshvartsman.com



Cake Still Toasting

Apologies for the delay! We'll be back on January 18th.
Toasted Cake 131! In which we acquaint Santa with our backyard. 

Santa was placing the last of the gifts under the Christmas tree when he heard a wee cough from behind. 

First appeared in the Unidentified Funny Objects anthology. 

Siobhan Gallagher is a wannabe zombie slayer, currently residing in Arizona. Her fiction has appeared in several publications, including AE - The Canadian Science Fiction Review, COSMOS Online, Abyss & Apex, Unidentified Funny Objects anthology. Occasionally, she does this weird thing called 'blogging' at: defconcanwrite.blogspot.com



Toasted Cake 130! In which we are shards of ice. 

When the first snow falls, it burns. 

First appeared in Three-Lobed Burning Eye.

Michelle Muenzler's goal in life is to bring forth the bunny apocalypse and bury the earth with furry-soft goodness. When not working toward this goal, she experiments on her husband with new recipes and builds blockades around her NetBook to protect it from her cats. Her latest short stories can be found in Electric Velocipede, Daily Science Fiction, and Crossed Genres. For more information on how you can help with the bunny apocalypse or any other furry-soft apocalypse of your choice, visit her on FaceBook at facebook.com/michelle.muenzler



Toasted Cake 129! In which we stitch up our problems. 

The doctor woke up screaming, wiped the tears from his eyes and made some coffee. 

Sean Tanner lives in the south of Ireland with his girlfriend and no cats, where he operates jukeboxes and lives by the sea. His work has appeared in Subterranean Literary Journal, Phobos Magazine, and more.

Toasted Cake 128! In which we navigate the time zones. 

The boundary to the Central Time Zone was fifty miles to the west, across the border into Alabama.

First appeared in Bull Spec. 

The artwork today is by Joey Jordan, and first appeared alongside David's story in Bull Spec. 

TurningBackTheClockDavidSteffen-782x1024.jpg

David is a software engineer and writer who tends to take on more hobbies than he has time for. He's the founder and editor of Diabolical Plots and the co-founder and administrator of the Submissions Grinder. His latest extraneous hobby is writing interactive fiction, a text adventure along the lines of Zork and the other games made popular by Infocom of yore. His fiction has been published in Escape Pod, Daily Science Fiction, and others, including previous appearances right here on Toasted Cake. NEW! Diabolical Plots will be publishing fiction at pro rates; open the month of December for submissions.

Joey "like a baby kangaroo" Jordan is an international award winning artist whose works have been published in BullSpec magazine, LRH's Writers of the Future vol 27, Baen's Online Universe, and Renard's Menagerie along with various other publications. Originally from WA state, she now works out of her studio in Windsor Colorado where she can live her dream through the creation of otherwise unseen worlds! Find her at joeysart.wix.com/joeyjordan.


Power was out Saturday afternoon through Monday morning! Whee! Sorry, guys, no electricity means no toasting of the cake. We cooked food on the outdoor grill, but the metaphor only extends so far. Can' t grill the podcast.

Catch you next week (knock on wood!)
Toasted Cake 127! In which we stand by the rock-whale. 

You made a necklace strung with silver wire and beads like tender vials filled with blooming light.

First appeared in Not One of Us. 

Rose Lemberg is an immigrant from three countries. Her prose and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Apex, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and other venues. She edits Stone Telling with Shweta Narayan, and has also edited two anthologies: Here, We Cross, a collection of queer and genderfluid poetry from Stone Telling (Stone Bird Press, 2012) and The Moment of Change, an anthology of feminist speculative poetry (Aqueduct Press (2012). Rose can be found at roselemberg.net, rose_lemberg.livejournal.com, and on twitter as @roselemberg



Toasted Cake 126! In which we drink the Dixie cups of steaming cider. 

The only thing I ever wanted was to ride on the float in the Apple Harvest parade. 

First appeared in Every Day Fiction. 

Alisa Alering was hatched in a secret hollow in the Appalachian Mountains, where she ran around barefoot and talked to the trees. She now lives, writes, and complains about the cold in Indiana. Her short fiction has appeared in Flash Fiction Online, Clockwork Phoenix IV, and Writers of the Future Vol. XXIX.

Toasted Cake 125! In which the popcorn fires. 

I am taking Bill's flannels from the line 
in silence 
when she comes. 

First appeared right here in Strange Horizons

Your humble narrator lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. Her first fantasy novel, IRONSKIN, was a Nebula finalist, and the sequels COPPERHEAD and SILVERBLIND are now out from Tor. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. She narrates for Podcastle and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake (OMG THIS IS SO META), and her website is tinaconnolly.com.

Toasted Cake 124! In which we clean the algae. 

Miriam has always been a cleaner.

This story first appeared right here in Nature

Deborah Walker grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration.  

Alex C. Renwick was designed in Canada, built in California, and grown in Texas. She has written dozens of short stories as Camille Alexa, including her award-nominated collection Push of the Sky, which received a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was an official reading selection of the Powell's Books SF Book Club. She currently splits her time between Portland, Austin, Vancouver, and Montreal.



Toasted Cake 123! In which we hide in the shadows of an air conditioning unit. 

He adjusted the parabolic microphone to aim at the apartment building across the street. 

This story first appeared in The Storyteller. 

C.D. Reimer writes about the everyday reality that he finds weird, twisted and absurd for which most people accept as being perfectly normal. He lives and works in Silicon Valley, consoling hurt computers and fixing broken users. 



Toasted Cake 122! In which we clench the door frame. 

The house at 213 Myrtle Street wore an enchantment that could obscure it when it so desired.

First appeared right here in Flash Fiction Online. 

Beth Cato's debut steampunk novel THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER will be released by HarperCollins Voyager on September 16th, 2014. She's originally from Hanford, California, but now resides in Arizona with her husband and son. Her short fiction, poetry, and tasty cookie recipes can be found at bethcato.com

Toasted Cake 121! In which we taste the wine. 

Everyone knows that humans shouldn't eat or drink when visiting Faerie, but no one's quite sure why.

First appeared right here in Daily SF.

Kat Otis lives a peripatetic life with a pair of cats who enjoy riding in the car as long as there's no country music involved. Her fiction has appeared in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword & Sorceress XXVI. She can be found online at www.katotis.com or on Twitter as @kat_otis



Toasted Cake 120! In which we have glitter guts. 

Brian told me the truth about woodpeckers. 

This story first appeared in 10 Flash Quarterly. 

Folly Blaine lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her fiction has appeared at Every Day Fiction, Mad Scientist Journal, and in the anthologies, Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations, and Fresh Blood, Old Bones. See more at www.follyblaine.com



Toasted Cake 119! In which we leave people and places behind. 

Other Theories of Relativity, by Nicole J. LeBoeuf, is original to Toasted Cake. 

Catastrophe comes and goes in a scattering of instants. 

Mon pays c'est l'hiver, by Amal El-Mohtar, first appeared in Lackington's. 

In a land of noon-darkness and damp, of mornings that sway between syrup-bright and pigeon-grey and evenings of thick velvet, a traveller feels a tug at the hook in her heart. 

Nicole J. LeBoeuf is a New Orleanian writer living in Boulder, Colorado, where she learned to fly single-engine propeller aircraft, use a spinning wheel, and skate roller derby. Other stories of hers appear in the anthology Blood and Other Cravings and in NaMeL3ss Magazine. Her website is nicolejleboeuf.com

Amal El-Mohtar is the Nebula-nominated author of The Honey Month, a collection of poems and very short fiction written to the taste of 28 different kinds of honey. She plays the harp, is a member of the Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours, edits an online quarterly of fantastic poetry called Goblin Fruit, and currently lives in Glasgow with two Jellicle cats and their pet Glaswegian. 



Toasted Cake 118! In which we bag on Nickleback, just a little. 

So there's this story stuck rumbling round in my head and as it just keeps coming back, I thought I'd write it down.

Siobhan O'Flynn is a zombie watcher, horror movie aficionado, end of the world worrier, once DJ, now academic, culture watcher, fiction enthusiast. Find her at siobhanoflynn.com



Toasted Cake 117! In which we climb. 

Stephen cradled Mara in his arms. She was light, but awkward to carry because of her trees.

This story first appeared in Flash Fiction Online. 

Caroline M. Yoachim lives in Seattle and loves cold cloudy weather. She is the author of over two dozen short stories, appearing in Lightspeed, Asimov's, and Clarkesworld, among other places. For more about Caroline, check out her website at carolineyoachim.com



Toasted Cake 116! In which we hear the lub-dub of the spam. 

I can hear bits broadcast from the Grand Cayman Casino and Erectile Dysfunction marketing campaigns while at the office. 

First appeared right here in Nature.

Alex Shvartsman is a writer and game designer whose short stories appeared or are forthcoming at Nature, Daily Science Fiction, Buzzy Magazine, One Buck Horror and many other 'zines and anthologies. His adventures so far have included traveling to over 30 countries, playing a card game for a living, and building a successful business. Alex resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and son. His recently published fiction is linked at www.alexshvartsman.com, and his anthology series of humorous F/SF, Unidentified Funny Objects, is at ufopub.com. And check out Alex's Kickstarter for his new collection!   


Toasted Cake 115! In which we were promised no more experiments. 

We flying monkeys get no respect. 

(First appeared right here in Every Day Fiction)

Dale Ivan Smith has his mother to thank for his love of reading, his writing and his passion for science fiction and fantasy. When he was five, he glimpsed the cover of a paperback sci-fi novel she was reading and was immediately interested. She encouraged him to read widely and follow his passion. He got into trouble in grade school for sneaking off to the library during class, so naturally after earning a history degree he became a librarian, and has worked for Multnomah County Library system since 1987. His stories have appeared in online magazines and on Amazon. Currently he's working two novels: a superhero serial and a weird western. You can find him at his website, daleivansmith.com .



Toasted Cake 114! In which we find a lump of carbon crystal. 

I found the piece of the alien ship out back, right on the marsh edge. 

This story first appeared right here in Flash Fiction Online. 

Nathaniel Lee lives in North Carolina with his wife, son, and obligatory cats, where he maintains a vague sort of career that provides sufficient money to continue his writing and board game habits. He is the Assistant Editor of both Escape Pod and the Drabblecast, which means he has read enough stories about penises, serial killers, and time travel. Find him at his blog at Mirrorshards.org, where he does Very Short Stories . 100 words. No more. No fewer. Every day.



Toasted Cake 113! In which we methylate. 

On the jumbo-sized TV hanging over the bar, they're showing the Red Sox-Yankees game.

(First appeared right here in Nature.)

Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. His fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov's, Analog, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and Strange Horizons, among other places. He has won a Nebula, a Hugo, a World Fantasy Award, and a Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Award, and been nominated for the Sturgeon and the Locus Awards. He lives with his family near Boston, Mass. 



cake still toasting

Sorry guys, no ep this week! Baby/life smashed me. I was working on the ep at midnight and then I realized that sometimes sleep is the better part of the pronouncing words correctly.
Toasted Cake 112! In which we fell-a. 

I can't keep the words out of my head, not even when I concentrate on the pain in my arm. 

(This story first appeared right here in Strange Horizons.) 

Amy Sisson is a writer, librarian, and book reviewer who lives in Houston with her husband and a large collection of ex-parking lot cats. Her fiction has appeared in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Sybil's Garage No. 7, and a number of Star Trek anthologies from Pocket Books. She attended Clarion West in 2000. 



Toasted Cake 111! In which we consider Sh'pach. 

Other than the pheromones, and the fact that I now have to wear a breathing mask when I sleep so that I can actually get some sleep, there's only one thing that drives me crazy about Mrf.

Josh Roseman (not the trombonist; the other one) has had fiction published in Asimov's, Escape Pod, a Crossed Genres anthology, and several other places. He's a member of SFWA and a graduate of Taos Toolbox, and is probably at this very moment either writing or complaining about not writing. Find him online at roseplusman.com or on Twitter at @listener42



Toasted Cake 110! In which we Rail. 

I find earplugs necessary, at least. 

Paul Hamilton lives in the Silicon Valley with his wife and daughter. He writes stories about broken people and repairing worlds. When not writing, he reads or draws or rides roller coasters. He considers the word "omnibus" beautiful and never passes up a chance to try a new food. More of his writing is available at ironsoap.com; he also tweets @ironsoap



Toasted Cake 109! In which we walk the asbestos roofs. 

The King of the World and I sit on the roof of my house and talk philosophy. We are ten. 

Vajra Chandrasekera lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has audio fiction forthcoming at Drabblecast and Cast of Wonders, and you can find more stories at vajra.me



Toasted Cake 108! In which we drink all the gin. 

(First appeared right here in Nature.)

First of all, I want you to forget every single word that they told you at the recruiting office.

Sylvia Spruck Wrigley was born in Germany and spent her childhood in Los Angeles. She now splits her time between South Wales and the Costa del Sol, two coastal regions with almost nothing in common. In addition to selkies, she writes about faeries, asteroid colonies, and modern aircraft. You can find out more about her at intrigue.co.uk. Her new book, The Mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is out - find it at mh370.fearoflanding.com



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