a hopepunk audio fiction anthology series
What is MonkeyTales? Break it down for me.
- Hopepunk – an optimistic, positive take on storytelling (not where we always win, but where we always fight – and always care)
- Audio Fiction – just what it sounds like, stories in podcast form – we wrote an article all about it
- Anthology – an ongoing series of one-shot episodes, each a tale all its own
Episode 1 – “Stars”
Featuring Sena Bryer and Cole Burkhardt; written and edited by D.J. Sylvis.
Stars is a conversation between two nonbinary lovers who have never met, brought closer by the universe that surrounds them both.
Sena Bryer (she/her) – Sena is a Los Angeles-based voice actor and writer. Relatively new to the acting world, her current credits include the narrator of the Steam Whistle Alley audiobook, and roles in the audio dramas The Pilgrimage Saga and Kalila Stormfire’s Economical Magick Services. She is also the author of the Dreambound novel series. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, tabletop RPGs, and petting dogs.
Cole Burkhardt (they/them) – Cole Burkhardt currently resides in Washington D.C and has tried everything from streaming tabletop games on Twitch to spelunking deep underground. They are the Creator and Co-Producer of the Piece of Cake Podcasting Network, a network devoted to helping people of color within the podcasting industry. They have voiced and produced a variety of podcasts, such as Unplaced, Project Ozma and Counterbalance. When they’re not working, Cole is traveling to conventions across the East Coast, discussing gender and sexuality in video games, tabletop games, podcasts and most other forms of media.
Twitter ** Website ** Piece of Cake
Episode 2 – “Super”
Featuring Martin Chodorek; written and edited by D.J. Sylvis.
On a busy city corner stands a guy in a Superman suit, taking pictures with tourists and asking for donations. You gotta be a little strange to choose that for your day to day, right?
Martin Chodorek (he/him) – Marty is a Torontonian tabletop roleplaying gaming enthusiast who is trying to be more than the sum of his privileged parts. He has frolicked in the worlds of D.J.’s imagination many times before and feels honoured to have been invited to return. He hopes you enjoy the sound of his voice and will have occasion to hear it in other places of the uncharted cyberwilderness soon.
Episode 3 – “Chance”
Featuring Tina Daniels and Danielle Shemaiah; written and edited by D.J. Sylvis.
In a possible future, a scout ship orbits a distant planet. While the two women inside perform their duties, they reveal to one another more of their selves than ever before – and along the way, they discover what it truly means to take a chance.
Episode 4 – “A Man Who Wasn’t There”
Featuring Shannon Perry; written and edited by D.J. Sylvis.
This episode is a tribute to a beloved and influential author in my personal pantheon, Douglas Adams. His work has entertained and amused me for most of my life – so this month I’ve dusted off a short story I wrote some years back called, “A Man Who Wasn’t There,” asked my friend and fellow enthusiast Shannon Perry to give it a dramatic reading, and here we are. Share and Enjoy!
Shannon Perry (she/her) — Word herder and consummate liar (in fiction, but never on her taxes), Shannon’s verbal skills long ago dictated that she would be a writer. Scribbler of Oz 9 podcast as well as kiddo books Marietta and the Creeping Nasties and Marietta and the Giant Mistake, Shannon is a firm believer that whimsy is serious business. She loves the writing of both Douglas Adams and DJ Sylvis and still can’t quite believe her luck being asked to narrate this piece.
Episode 5 – “Platypus”
Featuring Jas Lafond and Cat Blackard (special appearance by Evan Tess Murray); written by D.J. Sylvis. Edited by Gabriel Taneko.
Twenty years ago, Lila and Jovette went to high school together. Neither had come out, life was far less than perfect, and they were far less than friends. Today they’ve met again for the first time – and sparks fly, but not necessarily the good kind.
Jas LaFond (they/them) — Jas LaFond is a social worker, co-host and co-writer of the Witcheverpath podcast, host of the Ask a Brown Feminem podcast, genderqueer advice columnist, event organizer and activist. Helping to advocate and create spaces for marginalized communities is their passion and purpose, and they have dedicated their life to redefining ideas on mental health and what it is Queer and what it is to be a Person of Color. Currently Jas is working to create safe, uplifting spaces for the Queer folx and People of color in New Hampshire where both groups make up just a fraction of the population. It is Jas’ goal to eradicate stigma and stereotypes around what it means to be a part of a minority and to promote equity for marginalized groups. Jas lives in Southern New Hampshire with their spouse and two children.
Cat Blackard (she/they) — Cat Blackard is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in writing, illustration, and podcasting. She’s the showrunner of the award-winning audio drama, The Call of Cthulhu Mystery Program, a queer horror-comedy; co-creator the forthcoming animated series, Lightning Dogs; and is Mother Brain of Omniverse, her media company focused on storytelling podcasts. Her forthcoming series, TRANScend is a genre-bending autobiography exploring her transgender journey and the interconnectedness of all things.
Episode 6 – “The Littlest Bugbear”
Featuring Tom Zalatnai; written and edited by D.J. Sylvis.
“The Littlest Bugbear lived in a side corridor far from the heart of the dungeon, with his Mother and Father and 1d8 siblings.” This month we take a trip into a familiar fantasy scenario, but not from a familiar point of view …
Tom Zalatnai (they/them) – Tom is a non-binary podcaster & producer based out of Montreal. Follow them on Twitter at @tomzalatnai, and make sure to check out Natural Toonie, their D&D actual-play podcast, and Up For Discussion, the long-running emotionally honest comedy podcast. http://upfordnetwork.com
Episode 7 – “Text-Based Adventures”
Featuring Tal Minear and D.J. Sylvis. Written and edited by D.J. Sylvis; sound design by Tal Minear.
“YOU find yourself sitting in a chair in a small, featureless room …” in this tribute to the most old-school style of gaming, and the connections inherent in telling a story.
Also available as a part of International Podcast Month 2020!
Episode 8 – “Extra-Natural Creature Solutions”
Featuring Caroline Mincks and Robin Howell; directed by Tal Minear. Editing and sound design by Claudia Elvidge. Written by Maddy Searle.
Are monsters tramping down your marigolds? Creatures of the night making it difficult to have a few friends over for a cookout? Who you gonna call? Never fear, there’s a solution close at hand!
Episode 9 – “Impressions”
Featuring Charlie Pacheco and Khalila Marie; written and directed by Evan Tess Murray. Editing and sound design by Cass McPhee.
Content Warning: Discussions of violence and transphobia
Trey and Tali hide out in a doorway recovering from the fear and flight of a bigoted attack. Their date ended before it really had a chance; but the conversation is only beginning.
Episode 10 – “Reminiscence”
Featuring JayJay and Mandy Wong; written by Luísa Lopes; directed by D.J. Sylvis. Editing and sound design by Trace Callahan.
Two friends are cleaning out a storage area to use as a greenhouse. What they find in the process leads them to contemplate their past and future, and the community that any two of us can create.
Episode 11 – “Pumpkin Patch”
Written by D.J. Sylvis; with Liz Morey as Karo and Tina Daniels as Yvonne, with Dallas Wheatley and Leeman Kessler. Produced by D.J., Tina, and Sarah Müller. Audio production and original music by Trace Callahan. Our October cover art is by Grendel Menz.
Welcome to the monster world of October, where weres run free and the Moon is always overhead. Karo, born in this world but living in ours, has brought their girlfriend for a first visit … and perhaps, something more.
Episode 12 – “Gardens”
Written and directed by Ella Watts; produced / sound designed / scored by David Devereux of Tin Can Audio. Featuring Gabrielle Adkins as Eliza, Socks Whitmore as Faith, Chiara Santella as April and Brandon Nguyen as Joshua.
We meet Faith and Eliza rappelling down the side of a crumbling skyscraper, tending to the gardens they’ve planted inside. Why, and how, and what comes of the paradise they’ve built … that’s what we’re here to find out.