Inside Fictions - Dead Eyes at the Midnight [Special Episode]

October 25, 2016
On today's episode, I introduce you to the secret project I've been talking about for the last few months. It's a serialized fiction collaboration between me and Jessica Kinghorn called, At the Midnight. If you like stories about hotel desk managers combating eldritch horrors, you'll like this. 

You'll find new episode of this and more on Inside Fictions main channel: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inside-fictions/id1159779864?mt=2

Music by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas
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Inside Fictions - The Weisz Institute and Temporal Crisis Hotline [Special Episode]

October 4, 2016

On today's episode, I briefly discuss Season 2 of Steve Reads Stories, and I give you a preview of a full episode of a new project I've been working on, Inside Fictions. Take a listen, I think you'll like it. 

If you're interested in more Inside Fictions, you can subscribe here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inside-fictions/id1159779864?mt=2

Music by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas
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C.S. Lewis Writes About Writing to a Young Fan [Letter]

July 21, 2016
On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at a letter written in 1956 by C.S. Lewis to a young fan named Joan Lancaster.

C.S. Lewis is best known as the person who brought the Chronicles of Narnia, but he also wrote many other fascinating novels, including the Cosmic Trilogy, which was a part of a deal he made with J.R.R Tolkien. He would write a "space travel" story, if Tolkien wrote one about time travel.

Unfortunately, Tolkien never never finished his. It's unfortunately because his plan was to link Middle-Earth to the modern world, which could have changed the world as we know it.

1956 was the year the very last book in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle was published, and the same year he published Till We Have Faces, a re-telling of the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

This is a letter about writing, from a writer, to an aspiring writer, and I love it not only because it offers some very good advice on craft, but also because it's exactly the sort of thing I needed to read tonight.

This is a good letter, filled with good ideas.

I hope you enjoy!

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185
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Bearskin [German Folk Tale]

July 14, 2016
On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at Bearskin, a German folk tale brought to us by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen. 

Bearskin was originally published in 1670, under the title, "The Origin of the Name Bearskin." It's a folk tale of type 361, which are stories about people who get into deals with the Devil, and come out at the other side with wealth and a beautiful bride -- a rarity indeed. 

Before getting into the rest, it's worth taking a moment to mention that Hans Jakob is also the author of, "The life of an odd vagrant named Melchior Sternfels von Fuchshaim: namely where and in what manner he came into this world, what he saw, learned, experienced, and endured therein; also why he again left it of his own free will." which is not only one of the longest subtitles I've ever had the pleasure of relating, but is also said to be one of the finest pieces of German literature of the 17th century.

Bearskin is a story about a soldier who desserts, runs off to the woods, nearly starves to death, meets the Devil, neglects his hygiene and marries a princess. 

It's also one of those rare times when the Devil gets his due, but not on the person who actually made the deal.

This is ultimately a tale about how failing to listen to your father, can be more dangerous than taking up with Satan himself.

I hope you enjoy.

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185
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A Widow Writes to Her Dead Husband Eung-Tae Lee [Letter]

July 7, 2016
On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at a letter written in 1586 by an unnamed and pregnant widow to her dead husband Eung-Tae Lee. 

This letter was discovered in 1996 in a tomb in Andong City, South Korea. Eung-Tae Lee, who was a member of the ancient Goseong Yi clan, was found with it along with a pair of sandals -- apparently woven from hemp bark and his wife's own hair.

This is a moving and deeply affecting letter, and I hope I've done it justice.

And I hope you enjoy. 

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185
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The Singing Sword [Estonian Folk Tale]

June 30, 2016

On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at The Singing Sword, an Eastern European folk tale brought to us from Estonia via Brooklyn. 


It was written in 1928 by Frances Jenkins Olcott, who was born in Paris and later moved to New York to become an assistant librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library. She left that position to head up the first Children's Department at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, returning to New York in 1911 to write children's books, including Wonder Tales From Baltic Wizards -- where we find this piece. 

The Singing Sword is a brilliantly energetic tale, opening with a breathless description of our hero, the Giant Kalevide, and his titular weapon. It goes on to describe how he loses the sword first at the hands of crafty wizard, and then more permanently to a Water Nymph.

Honestly, it has been a while since I've had this much fun with a read.

The Singing Sword is a fast-paced story about giants, wizards, magic, and the beauty of Nymphs. 

I hope you enjoy. 

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185
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A 16 Year Old George R. R. Martin to Stan Lee [Letter]

June 23, 2016
On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at a letter written in 1964 from George R.R. Martin to Stan Lee. 

George was 16 when he wrote this, and despite the generally gloomy tone his more recent works have taken, here you find a young man bursting at the seams. It's a letter than bleeds joy onto the page, written by someone whose looking at comics with the eye of a connoseiur. It's also sophisticated, you can tell that this was penned by a person who cares about stories and their structure.

It'd be another 12 years before he published his first full length work, a short story collection called A Song for Lya, but this is George already building worlds.

I hope you enjoy.

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185

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The Raven [Grimm Fairy Tale]

June 16, 2016
On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at The Raven, another German folk tale from the collection of the Brother's Grimm.

The version we are interested in is found in the 1905 edition of Grimm's Fairy Tales, and is of type 401, as classified by the Aarne-Thompson system. For those keeping score, these are tales where young girls are transformed into animals. In our particular case, that animal is a Raven.

This is one of those stories where I find myself questioning the translation a little. In the very first scene, the princess is transformed into a Raven and flies off into the dark, dark woods. Yet, throughout the rest of the telling, she rides around in carriages, hands out magical foodstuffs and golden rings, and generally gets on about her business just fine.

I don't know a lot of Ravens who could pull off half the tricks that she manages. 

This is also a fairy tale that manages to pack in witches, giants and highwaymen all at the same time, which is quite a feat when you think about it.

The Raven is a story of magic sticks, magic food, and incredibly talented bird women.

I hope you enjoy. 

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185

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A Love Letter Between Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir [Letter]

June 9, 2016
On tonight's podcast, we'll be looking at a letter written by Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir.

Satre was famous for popularizing existentialism, and de Beauvoir for writing -- The Second Sex -- a book that formed the philosophical underpinnings of second-wave feminism. 

While they were deeply in love, and were considered a power couple in their time, they never lived in the same place and they famously had an open relationship. 

I love this letter, because it takes all the strangeness and incongruities of their affair and packages it into a few short paragraphs. You can see at once how Satre is trying to hold her close and push her away at the same, and the cool logic he uses to do it. It's art and essay at once.

I hope you enjoy. 

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185

Follow us on Twitter @StoriesCast
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How The Devil Married Three Sisters [Italian Folk Tale]

June 2, 2016
Tonight, we'll be looking at How The Devil Married Three Sisters, an Italian Folk Tale. 

Unfortunately, I didn't have time to write an intro for this one, since it's after 2AM and I've spent the last week lugging boxes into my new apartment. 

Even so, this is a great story about the trials and tribulations of satanic marriage, and well worth a listen. 

I hope you enjoy. 

Background music provided by: https://soundcloud.com/michel-escaillas/classik-electro

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/steve-reads-stories/id1087197185

Follow us on Twitter @StoriesCast
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