another reading for Toasted Cake podcast

folded paper elephant
folded paper elephant

I’ve just completed  another reading for Toasted Cake audio: “Five Things of Beauty” by Patrick Samphire, originally in print on Strange Horizons.

Once, Vaidwattie had told him, “I can make you anything with twelve folds of paper.” He hadn’t believed her. Prove it,” he had said, but she had just shaken her head and been hurt.

Direct link to the mp3: “Five Things of Beauty” by Patrick Samphire, read by Alex C. Renwick

…as guest reader, Toasted Cake #137

Dante_Gabriel_Rossetti_ detailAudio fiction fans might enjoy Caroline Yoachim’s “Pieces of My Body” over at Toasted Cake podcast #137, as read by me. An eerie and thoughtful story about both mortality and im-.

If you like that, check out Toasted Cakes #124 (“Green Future” by Deborah Walker) and #133 (“The Sending” by Darja Malcolm-Clarke). I’m particularly fascinated with my voice in “The Sending”; I was getting over a terrible sore throat and will never sound exactly like that again. It was like wearing an inadvertent disguise, and felt, in its husky other-self way, rather mysterious and spectacular.

Direct links to each story’s mp3:


430px-RokebyVenusI’ve just finished reading a story for the Toasted Cake podcast. Here’s a direct link to the audio.

Great, great fun. Much as I love performing my own work, there’s something especially intriguing in reading stories written by others. This week for Toasted Cake, I read “Green Future” by Deborah Walker, set in a future London overtaken by rampant flora and microfauna — algae adhering to every surface, changing everything it touches. Not only is there some great urban decay imagery, but the story itself explores what it would mean to be changed oneself by such a change, what it means to embrace things, to cling to things, to let things go.

Diego Velázquez’s Rokeby Venus (famously slashed as protest by suffragette Mary Richardson in 1914) features prominently in the story. It’s a wonderful choice on Walker’s part, as this particular Venus so saturates the public consciousness, the dialogue about art, fine art, and what it means culturally, that she’s been rendered and re-rendered:  as Snow White; as a Fat Ginger Cat; as a tattooed goddess; as a… whatever these are. Lovely irreverent reverence. An homage made while blowing raspberries. Now I want one in algae, please — or, playing into my own eco-fascinations, lichen.

Bonus Track: my urban decay board on Pinterest.