The Word Count Podcast: Episode 100

R. B. Wood

Former technologist, world traveler, & storyteller.

Humans: Of the FUTURE

Listen to the last show right here:

Ten years, 100 podcasts–it all comes down to this very last show.

Author Eden Baylee surprised me last Friday by arranging a socially- distanced teleconference with quite a few of the authors I’ve worked with over the years.

I was an act of kindness and friendship that goes beyond the simple “thank you” I offered to her, and the #WordCountIrregulars who were on the call.

We all chatted and caught up….and when the call ended, I sat alone in my writing lair sipping a double-bourbon for a very long time, reflecting on all that has happened in the last decade or so.

To our listeners, I say thank you for allow us to entertain you with our stories–nearly 700 of them. We wrote these for you.

To the authors who have shared stories on the show–there would have been NO “Word Count Podcast” without you. Thank you for your time and your talent.

Before I shed more tears, let’s get on with the show. There are ELEVEN stories to share with you this time–tied for the most stories in a single show. We have a few “blasts from the past” who wanted one more go before the end of the podcast. This show is the third in our end-of-season trilogy of animal stories. This one deals with  Humans of the Future  and is based on this visual prompt:

WCPep100 Prompt

Our Guests:

RobEdwardsme with glassesRob Edwards – “100 Humans of the Future”
Rob Edwards is a British writer and podcaster living in Finland. What he would mostly like you to know though is that his debut novel The Ascension Machine, a scifi superhero adventure was released last month. He’s still slightly excited.
Twitter: @storycastrob

MJKingheadshotM. J. King – “They Don’t Win in This One”

Melissa lives in the woods of coastal Maine with her family and writes many flavors of fantasy. Her short stories have been published in the crowd-funded anthologies Fight Like a Girl and What Follows, and she is a co-founder of the blog Anxiety Ink.
Twitter: @Mwithpen
Instagram: @writinginterrupted
Karl DandenellKarl Dandenell – “Stones of Särdal” 
Karl Dandenell is a first-generation Swedish American and an Active Member of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He lives on an island near San Francisco with his family and cat overlords. He is fond of strong tea and distilled spirits. When not editing help files for a major HMO, he reads a lot of speculative fiction, and serves as a First Reader for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
Twitter: @kdandenell
CameronCameron Garriepy –Dinner Plans”
Cameron Garriepy’s humans of the future are inspired by the Dresden Dolls. Can you name that tune? In April of 2015, Cameron released Damselfly Inn, the first full-length novel in her Thornton Vermont series, which is not about a dystopian off-world future or synthetic life partners. The Thornton series is complete, and she is hard at work writing more works of contemporary, small-town romance.
Twitter: @camerongarriepy
Instagram: @camerongarriepy
Pinterest: @camerongarriepy
CThomas SmithC. Thomas Smith – “Morpheus”

C. Thomas Smith is the author of such groundbreaking and memorable pieces as, “Whoops, that wasn’t meant for you”, “Seriously though, it was a joke” and “no, I did not shave the cat… it always had a mullet you just didn’t notice”.

He is presently trapped in his house with a wife who is rapidly losing patience with him, two children who ask their mother “when’s our real daddy coming home” and a cat with a mullet that it always had but no one noticed.

He writes in many genres, though has mastered the art of the “apology” email above all others. Currently, he is pretending that a small green torch is a spaceship while making pew-pew noises. This and other works will someday be available on his psyche eval.

If pushed, his favourite colour is grand strategy games, and his favourite flavour is purple.

Um, that’s it really. He’s bald. Did I mention that? He’s got a beard, a wonky eye. I mean, it doesn’t plop out of his face or anything. It’s just, you know, useless. Eh, he wishes they’d hurry up and make a season three of Lost in Space. That kinda fits in with the story, kinda. That’s a good show too. I mean, is it as good as Battlestar Galactica? I don’t know. It’s different. Saw Brian Cranston on an episode of X-Files recently. That was pretty cool. Not really space stuff. His head exploded, or his ear, or something. Not sure why I thought of that. The Brian Cranston thing, just, you know… it popped in there.

Not sure what goes here, really. What do the professionals do? Sure, I could check. But then there would be no mystery. Where’s the fun in that? Except, I guess a professional would check. Anyway.

I think that’s it. Did I mention the bald and wonky eye? Yes, yes, I did.

So, eh, yeah. Thanks for reading this. If you did read this. Well, you must have. Otherwise, how would you be reading this bit? Maybe you skimmed. I guess all that’s left to ask is if anyone is interested in buying about a pound of cat fur I found. If you are, send a detailed essay to Richard explaining why you want it. Include any plans you have for about a pound of shaved cat fur. I’m thinking of turning it into a wig, a cat fur mullet perhaps.

Imagine, if it were not for the Wordcount Podcast, no one would see this. Then again, if it were not for Richard and the show, I’d probably have given up writing a long time ago.

(HOSTS NOTE: I missed these insane bios, mate.)

Instagram: @KRSTVR

MariaHaskinsMaria Haskins – “The Stars in Heaven Sing a Music”

Maria Haskins is a Swedish-Canadian writer and reviewer of speculative fiction. Her work has appeared in Black Static, Mythic Delirium, Fireside, and elsewhere. She was born and grew up in Sweden but currently lives in Canada with a husband, two kids, a snake, several birds, and a very large black dog.


Twitter: @mariahaskins

smaller wbj williamsW. B. J. Williams – “A Phoenix Lands”

W. B. J. Williams, the author of The Garden at the Roof of the World (Dragonwell Publishing) and the InfoCoup (Abyss and Apex Magazine, October 1, 2019, holds advanced degrees in anthropology and archeology. He is an avid historian, mystic, poet, and author who manages an information security program at a prominent New England firm. He is noted for his bad puns, and willingness to argue from any perspective. He is endured by his beloved wife and two daughters, and lives in Sharon Massachusetts. When he is not at home or at his computer, he can often be found haunting the various used bookstores of Boston.



Jack Gwaltney & John McCaffrey“Unclogged”

john and jack

Jack Gwaltney was born in Virginia, went to the University of Virginia and lives in New York, fortunate to perform as an actor on stage, television and in film. Collaborating with John McCaffrey is one of the wisest things Jack does. Thanks to The Word Count Podcast!

John McCaffrey grew up in Rochester, New York, attended Villanova University, and received his MA in Creative Writing from the City College of New York. He is the author of The Book of Ash and Two Syllable Men. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

BillkBill Kirton – “Perhaps. Nothing More”

Bill Kirton was born in Plymouth, England, studied French at Exeter University, and graduated in 1962. While teaching at Hardye’s School, Dorchester, he started his Ph.D. on the theatre of Victor Hugo and was a lecturer at Aberdeen University from 1968 to 1989.

He’s also been a voice-over artist, TV presenter and has extensive experience of acting and directing. His directing credits include many French language plays as well as works by Shakespeare, Orton, Beckett, and Ionesco. He spent a sabbatical year at the University of Rhode Island Theater Department, which commissioned translations of 3 Molière plays from me, one of which he directed himself. The script also won third prize in the British Comparative Literature Association’s Annual Translation competition, 1999.

Bill wrote and performed songs and sketches in revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stage plays, two of which were commissioned by Aberdeen Children’s Theatre, and radio plays for the BBC, two of which were also broadcast in Australia.

Since the late 1990s, his writing has concentrated on prose fiction. He has written many short stories and ten novels, two of which have won awards, with a third being long-listed for the Rubery International Book Award.

Bill has held posts as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow at universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews and, since 2015, have been the organiser of a Scotland-wide scheme which places professional writers in schools to help students with the transition to writing at university. He still gives workshops in schools from Orkney to Dundee as part of the scheme and he’s written five books in Pearson Educational’s ‘Brilliant’ series on the study, writing, and workplace skills. Bill also co-authored ‘Just Write’ for Routledge.

Website (and blog):

Facebook pages:

Screen shot 2016 04 16 at 1.41.13 PMEden Baylee – “Final Cut”
Eden Baylee left a twenty-year banking career to write and is now a full-time author of multiple genres.

She has written three collections of erotic novellas and flash fiction ~ SPRING INTO SUMMER, FALL INTO WINTER, and HOT FLASH.

In 2014, she launched the first novel of her STRANGER TRILOGY with Dr. Kate Hampton–a psychological mystery/suspense called “Stranger at Sunset.” In addition to working on her next novel, Eden created the LAINEY LEE SERIES about a feisty divorcée who finds adventure and romance in Hawaii.

An introvert by nature and an extrovert by design, Eden is most comfortable at home with her laptop surrounded by books. She is an online Scrabble junkie and a social media enthusiast, but she really needs to get out more often! 





rbwoodR. B. Wood – “100”

R. B. Wood is a recent MFA graduate of Emerson College and a writer of speculative and dark thrillers. Mr. Wood recently has appeared in Crystal Lake Publishing’s Shallow Water’s anthology, as well as online via SickLit Magazine &, and in the award-winning anthology “Offbeat: Nine Spins on Song” from Wicked ink Books.  Along with his writing passion, R. B. was the host of The Word Count Podcast—a show of original flash fiction and will be introducing a new show in 2021.

R. B. currently lives in Boston with his partner Tina, a multitude of cats, and various other critters that visit from time to time.