March 23, 2019

“The Maltese Goddess”

“The Maltese Goddess”

Saturday Night at the Podcasts We are so delighted to welcome ZBS Media back to The Fictional Cafe with “The Maltese Goddess,” an entertaining and original takeoff on Dashiell Hammett’s novel, The Maltese Falcon. Not only is the script first class, but the ZBS Artistes have added two extraordinary aspects to this storytelling. One, from time to time the main characters break into song. And not just any song, like a pop diva, but operatic song in which the character is singing their lines from the script! They call “The Maltese Goddess” a detective opera. It’s just great, and even if you don’t think you like opera, I think you’ll like this. Two, the entire three-episode production is recorded in 3-D sound. What in the heck is that? you may be asking, so I thought…

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March 20, 2019

Casey Stanberry, Architectural Illustrator

Casey Stanberry, Architectural Illustrator

We’re pleased to introduce some new and fascinating art from Boston’s Casey Stanberry. Casey was trained as an architect and furthered his education at an art school in Spain. There, he participated in his first art shows and allowed the dense, historic architectural fabric to inspire his work. Originally from South Carolina, he has always had a passion for historic architecture and its relationship with contemporary daily life. His work reflects the intersection of the built environment and fine art in sweeping perspectives captured in painted and penned architectural diagrams.  Artist’s Statement “These pieces are drawn in elevation, plan, section and aerial to best expose certain structural and aesthetic qualities. Paint is sometimes layered over drawings followed by pen, which gives pieces a sense of being in architectural progress. There is an analytical approach to…

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March 18, 2019

“Never Odd or Even”

“Never Odd or Even”

A New Short-Short Fiction by Janelle Hardacre Editor’s Note: Ever wonder what goes through the mind of a fish and chips cook? Wonder no more. ** I collect things to tell her. Did you know that ‘never odd or even’ is the same backwards and forwards? I think she’d like that. Some of the things in the collection are white lies; like that her mam didn’t wanna see me anymore because I could never get the grease stink out. It’s getting busier. I slide the slice under the fish, check that the batter isn’t burning, then pull across the Perspex door. The hiss of the fryer blocks out the small talk of the server lasses. Every time I go to shake the chip baskets I see her name in flicky writing on my arm, so…

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March 1, 2019

The Weekend Podcast: “Anna Schutz” by Dean Peterson

The Weekend Podcast: “Anna Schutz” by Dean Peterson

We have a terrific new audio arts program for you tonight. It’s the story of an enigmatic young German woman named Anna Schutz and an American GI named Oli, who has a really bad case of depression. Or, in the author’s words: “A white-clad phantom seen running through the woods in Germany . . . a warren of abandoned tunnels under an American base . . . a forgotten clinic once used by the Nazis . . . one soldier’s obsession to solve a fifty-year old murder before his suicidal plans go any further. Listen to the madness unfold in Anna Schutz. “It’s like Jarhead meets The Shining.” We are providing the first six chapters to whet your appetite for this strange, enchanting ghost story, narrated with great empathy by the author. And speaking of the author, please be…

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February 19, 2019

Mark Greenside’s New Rabelaisian Novel

Mark Greenside’s New Rabelaisian Novel

The Night at the End of the Tunnel, or Isaiah Can You See? “It was the best of the worst of times, the worst of the best of times, the beginning of the end of the beginning.” That’s how this story begins. It’s late 70s, early 80s, New York City, and nothing works. No place is safe. Porn is everywhere. The streets are filthy, and the subways are worse. Trust is committing suicide–love is abused, and institutions and individuals are corrupt, corrupted, or corruptible. The City and country are disintegrating. Enter two of the unlikeliest characters you’ve ever met–think Charlie Brown meets Mr. Natural, or Alfred E. Neuman in The Heart of Darkness. All these guys want to do is survive, and they do–but in a way neither they nor you can imagine. What follows is…

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February 3, 2019

“Ghost Train” A Short Story by Stephen Brayton

“Ghost Train” A Short Story by Stephen Brayton

After the seven-hour drive from Connecticut, Rick and Bill were following Joe Spence’s directions to his camp on Chebuncook Pond: Nutting Road for five miles, then right onto a dirt road marked by a row of mailboxes beneath a stand of birches. Bumping along with the boat behind, they crossed the abandoned railroad line that Joe had noted. Even though he knew the railroad map of northern Maine, Rick had searched this one anyway, a Maine Central branch abandoned over a decade ago. They’d come across it at different locations on past trips. Here, its right-of-way through the woods remained clearly evident, no doubt from snowmobile and ATV use. In another half-mile, the waters of Chebuncook Pond appeared through the trees. They passed two camps and pulled in at the third. Joe’s camp looked like…

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January 27, 2019

“Night Embers” A Short Story by Tanya W. Newman

“Night Embers” A Short Story by Tanya W. Newman

The rains had set in two days ago and hadn’t stopped yet. Grace kept her eyes on the gleaming puddles before her on the sidewalk as she jogged while spiky raindrops hit her face and every car that passed sent rainwater splashing, soaking her leggings. She cut right so she could run down to the park, but running downhill became too much for the knees that once carried her with ease and now buckled and gave out underneath her. She crashed to the ground, her hands hitting the pavement first. She didn’t get up right away. She lay there, letting the rain fall over her in her defeat. Her hands were bleeding. The fiery singes in them told her that before she lifted them to see the scrapes and cuts for herself. They’d have to…

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January 23, 2019

“Seth Seeks Sex for Sex’s Sake,” A Short Story

“Seth Seeks Sex for Sex’s Sake,” A Short Story

We welcome Paul Negri, a new member of the FC Coffee Club today, with a witty short story for you. Seth Seeks Sex for Sex’s Sake by Paul Negri “It’s so sibilant.” Jamie picked a french fry from Seth’s plate and put it on top of her frisée salad. “That’s the point,” said Seth. He took a sip of water. “Say it fast. Seth seeks sex for sex’s sake Seth seeks sex for sex’s sake. It’s like the sound some women make when they’re having sex.” Jamie filched another fry. “I never made that sound.” “You did. Sometimes.” “I never heard that.” “Of course, you didn’t hear it. It’s like snoring. No one hears themselves snore.” At 39, Jamie looked enticingly older. Trim, pale, blonde, with startling black eyes. She’d overheard one of her high…

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January 19, 2019

For Your Listening Pleasure, The Saturday Night Podcast

For Your Listening Pleasure, The Saturday Night Podcast

Good evening, listeners! Tonight we welcome back to the Café another podcast from Jack J. Ward’s Electric Vicuna Productions, and a second thoughtfully curated old time radio show for your entertainment. From EVP’s Deadline Anthology Series, our first offering is “Clay Pigeon Shooting.” Don (John Bell) takes his employee Andrew (Cayenne Chris Conroy) out for a friendly weekend hunting. The game is something more elusive than deer. Something of an hommage to “The Most Dangerous Game.” Next, we offer for your listening enjoyment an episode of a rare radio show from the mid-10940s, “The Avenger.” It has two earmarks of all crime-fighting radio plays of the era: one, the message is always “crime does not pay” and two, a creaky old organ providing the musical background and scene segues. That said, this is a good…

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January 16, 2019

Leaping Metaphysical Boundaries: John Michael Barone’s Art

Leaping Metaphysical Boundaries: John Michael Barone’s Art

Artist’s Statement Painter John Michael Barone believes while we gain success as artists and entrepreneurs, it is our duty to help the art scene grow. It is exceptionally important now for artists to be seen as key contributors to the future of our communities. If we do not forge a strong path and build platforms for artists, failure may be inevitable. Working together, we can set sound examples for the future of the arts. If we teach others, they will teach us. We guide them and they will show us the way. As artists young or old, professional or amateur, we can all learn from each other. This will help us all achieve our goals of reaching higher peaks of learning and expanding our knowledge of the artmaking process. Current Work   “I have been…

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