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



cake still toasting

sorry, no voice this week! see you next week.
Toasted Cake 107! In which we eat our Fauxcolate. 

Magda waited until the group of time tourists she was following had turned the corner, then plunged her arm into the nearest garbage can. 

First appeared right here in Daily SF. 

Sarah Pinsker is a singer/songwriter with three albums on various indie labels, and a fourth in production. Her fiction has been published in Asimov's and Fantasy & Science Fiction, and her 2013 Strange Horizons novelette, "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind," was nominated for a Nebula Award. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland but she's secretly a New Yorker.

TC107-join-our-team-of-time-travel-professionals.mp3


Toasted Cake 106! In which we listen to the ticking of time. 

I first heard this story after my sister's engagement party. 

First appeared right here in Hogglepot

LiAnn Yim's work has appeared in New Haven Review, NANO Fiction, Luna Station Quarterly, and Verse Kraken. She co-edits the speculative literary journal The Golden Key and tweets from @lkyim



Toasted Cake 105! In which we totally act like a prototype. 

It had a pink tinge. 

Jon's stories have appeared in Mad Scientist Journal, Geek Force Five, Fiction Vortex and Lakeside Circus. He lives in Michigan and spends his days --nights, actually-- working for the state. You can find links to Jon's other work at jonarthurkitson.wordpress.com 



Toasted Cake 104! In which we go fox-catching. 

She's lurking outside my campfire again. 

(This story first appeared in Aeon Magazine.) 

Stephanie Burgis grew up in America but now lives in Wales, surrounded by castles and mountains, with her husband (fellow writer Patrick Samphire), their two sons, and their sweet border collie mix. She's published over 30 short stories in various magazines and anthologies, and her trilogy of Regency fantasy novels begins with KAT, INCORRIGIBLE. To find out more, please check out her website: stephanieburgis.com



Toasted Cake 103! In which we reveal some secrets. 

Yeah, claws, crimson as a fire engine, great big puffed out claws that, god help me, made it so all I could think was, "How's the boy manage to drink a beer?

Prophetic Lobster Man by Cat Rambo first appeared in The Mad Scientist Journal. 

The point is that monkeys didn't write "Hamlet," Shakespeare did--no matter how many monkeys you try to put in his place and no matter what you call them. 

When There's a Will by Brian K. Lowe first appeared in Speculon. 

Cat Rambo writes, edits, and teaches, all from the shore of eagle-haunted Lake Sammammish, where she co-exists with two cats, a software developer, and a large number of plastic dinosaurs. See her website at kittywumpus.net for links to more of her fiction. 

Brian K. Lowe is a paralegal in Southern California. When he's not writing about werewolves and aliens and vampires, he's usually to be found in seedy bars buying them drinks in exchange for their life stories. You can see more of him at brianklowe.wordpress.com



Toasted Cake 102! In which we have grandiose plans for the future.

"Do you think she's post-human?" I whisper to my husband. 

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.

TC102-glass-future.mp3


Toasted Cake 101! In which we are desperately sobbing, but it could mean a number of things. 

This time when Roo woke them up, some of the colonists began to cry.

This story first appeared right here in Every Day Fiction. 

 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 flat by replacing her books with Kindle editions, but it's just not the same. 




Toasted Cake ONE HUNDRED! In which we interrogate. 

1. When you lifted my body into the belly of the great gray ship, did you know I was sentient?

First appeared right here in Daily SF. 

Erica L. Satifka's short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Daily Science Fiction, and Ideomancer. She lives in a currently undefined location with her husband Rob and three needy cats. Visit her online at ericasatifka.com

(And, we are NOW BACK to the regular weekly schedule!)



Toasted Cake 99! In which you must not forget the ships, O Best Beloved. 

Once upon a time, O my Best Beloved, when the world was one world with one moon and the stars did scintillate and sparkle in the sky, astronomers discovered a Beast of a Meteor flying through the vast black toward the Sun.

First appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine.

Lee Hallison is a transplanted New Yorker who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and her teenaged daughter. She has been published in Daily Science Fiction, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Drabblecast and Beam Me Up. You can read more about her at leehallison.com




Toasted Cake 98! In which we decipher our fortunes. 

I had a problem--and only one cat could solve it. 

First performed at the 2009 Odyssey Writing Workshop public reading. 

K.G. Jewell lives and writes in Austin, Texas. He has never lost a cage match. His website, which is rarely updated, is lit.kgjewell.com

David D. Levine is the author of over fifty published science fiction and fantasy stories. His work has appeared in markets including Asimov's, Analog, F&SF, and Realms of Fantasy and has won or been nominated for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Sturgeon, and Campbell. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Kate Yule, with whom he co-edits the fanzine Bento. You can hear him reading his own award-winning short story collection Space Magic on an audiobook that's available from Audible, Amazon, and iTunes, and his website is at daviddlevine.com



Toasted Cake 97! In which a woolybooger meets a recipe for disaster. 

Little Alycia came upon a dark cave one day while walking in the forest.

Gary Cuba's short fiction has appeared in more than fifty magazines and anthologies, including Jim Baen's Universe, Flash Fiction Online, Grantville Gazette: Universe Annex, Abyss & Apex and Andromeda Spaceways. He lives in South Carolina, USA, with his wife and way, way too many dogs and cats. He is a member of the Codex writer's group. Visit his website at thefoggiestnotion.com for links to some of his other quirky stories.

Graeme is a Software Solution Architect and Voice Actor living in Melbourne Australia. He is the sound producer for the horror podcast Pseudopod, and host of the YA podcast Cast of Wonders. You can find him on Google+ and he occasionally tweets as @kibitzer on Twitter.



Toasted Cake 96! In which we tend the psychosis grass. 

"Do as I do," Mama tells me, "and you'll be safe. We walk this road together."

(This story first appeared right here in Daily SF.)

Caroline M. Yoachim is a writer and photographer living in Seattle, Washington. She had six new stories come out in 2012, including appearances in Lightspeed, Interzone, and Daily Science Fiction. For more about Caroline, check out her website at carolineyoachim.com



Toasted Cake 95! In which we keep an eye on the cookies. 

When Mrs. Wallace looked through her oven door, the gingerbread man woke up. 

(First appeared right here in Raven Electrick.)

Vylar Kaftan has published several dozen short stories in such places as Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, and COSMOS, as well as an Incan Empire alternate history novella in Asimov's. She was nominated for a Nebula Award in 2011 for her short story, "I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno". Four years ago, she founded FOGcon, a science fiction convention in the San Francisco Bay Area. She blogs at www.vylarkaftan.net and tweets as @vylar_kaftan



Toasted Cake 94! In which you tell stories of the sea. 

You will come to me tonight. You will press your feet into the damp sand, and I will creep to you, soft and cold

Spencer Ellsworth wrote his first novel at seven years old and never recovered. In the years since, he's worked in wilderness survival and publishing; he's currently an English teacher, ruining Shakespeare for first-year college students. He also plays bass in the band Pawnbroker. He lives in Bellingham, Washington, with his wife, fantasy artist Chrissy Ellsworth, and three children of the apocalypse. 

Dave Thompson is the host and co-editor of PodCastle, the weekly fantasy fiction magazine. Recently, he's been narrating a lot of audiobooks including Tim Pratt's Briarpatch, Greg van Eekhout's Norse Code, and James Maxey's Bitterwood. 



Toasted Cake 93! In which we reconsider disco. 

Peter had a weakness for glam rock and roller skating -- bad habits from his days at Cal. 

Writer Brent Bowen is co-host and producer for the Parsec award-winning podcast Adventures in Scifi Publishing, and he's studied at the 2009 Viable Paradise XIII writer's workshop. He lives in a Kansas City suburb with his wife, two children, mutt Monty and pretty boy golden retriever Rufus. Learn more about Brent and his work at splitlegend.com. You also can follow Brent on Twitter where he goes by the handle SplitLegend

A Maine transplant, our narrator Matt Haynes has been happily playing in PDX for over 8 years. He is delighted to be with Toasted Cake, narrating for the first time. Matt is the artistic director of The Pulp Stage theatre company, currently taking submissions for the "Pocket Pulp Project" at thepulpstage.weebly.com.



Toasted Cake 92! In which we slip out to the giant camp by the lake. 

Franklin Connor said once that the world came to an end the day Misty Connor did three cartwheels on the front lawn of the Connor Savings & Loan. 

(First appeared in On Spec.) 

Tina Connolly lives on a puffy white cloud with her family of three hedgehogs, two grand pianos, and a copperhead hydra. Her stories have been written in moon dust and inscribed on the rings of Saturn. Her plays have been performed by a traveling troupe of vervet monkeys. Her podcasts are beamed into your earballs every time you go under that one bridge on the way to work. Oh, and COPPERHEAD, the sequel to the Nebula-nominated novel IRONSKIN, comes out this Tuesday from Tor.



Toasted Cake 91! In which we dissect. 

My holding cell fills with the gas, the sedative they use when they wish to experiment. 

(First appeared in the War of the Worlds: Frontlines anthology.) 

David works for an engineering design firm in Minnesota. His fiction has appeared in Escape Pod, Bull Spec, Pseudopod, Drabblecast, and many others. He edits the ezine Diabolical Plots, and is also the co-creator of the Submissions Grinder, a free writer's tool that provides a submission tracker and fiction market listings with response time statistics. Find him at diabolicalplots.com




Toasted Cake 90! In which we sprout fur. 

Her son was a year grown when the dream started.

First appeared right here in Clarkesworld.

Samantha Henderson's short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, the anthologies Running with the Pack and Fantasy, and reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk. She is the author of the Forgotten Realms novel Dawnbringer, and the poetry collection, The House of Forever. Her website is at samanthahenderson.com.



Toasted Cake 89! In which we attend a wedding, with a cat in a handbag. 

An English church. An August wedding. 

(First appeared right here in Nature's Futures.) 

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. Her stories have appeared in Nature's Futures, Cosmos and Daily Science Fiction. You can frequently find her in the British Museum, or on her blog at deborahwalkersbibliography.blogspot.com



Toasted Cake 88! In which we complicate literary criticism. 

... the researcher in parahistorical literature faces a multitude of new worlds, each following its own timeline and offering its own literary development. 

Benjamin Blattberg is a freelance writer currently living in Texas. He writes a webcomic called Voyages, about a Franciscan monk lost in Fairyland, which borrows freely from Douglas Adams and P.G. Wodehouse and which can be found at voyagercomicsonline.com



Toasted Cake 87! In which we dive and defend. 

In diving Thumbs-up does not mean okay. 
   Surface, it signals. Abort

"Dalton's Law" by Helena Bell first appeared right here in Rattle


In your strange stomach, 
This delicious pastrami 
May well be poison. 

"Seven Standpoints From Which to Defend Your Sandwich From a Hungry Alien" by D. T. Friedman first appeared right here in After Ever After


Helena Bell is an occasional poet, writer, and international traveler which means that over half of what she says is completely made up, the other half is probably made up, and the third half is about the condition of the roads. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Clarkesworld, and Shimmer. 

D. T. Friedman is a doctor of Internal Medicine, specializing in Palliative Care with a focus on in-hospital bioethics and guidance for patients and families in difficult decision-making circumstances. She is currently starting an MBA, writing a science fiction novel geared toward teenage girls, and doing some rather exciting research on sickle cell disease. Her short stories can be found in venues such as Shimmer Magazine and the Dark Faith Anthology. Sometimes she juggles fire.



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