The podcast of Mark's Brum Radio show, Mondays from 2pm

2 Mar March

This week Mark is joined via Skype by fellow podcaster, and fantasy author Matt Smith. Find his book Of Wood and Stone at

Here’s the story so far:

You've been aboard a ship called the Spacey McSpaceFace, on what has unaccountably turned out to be the longest day of your life. There are at least three versions of this ship as far as you can make out. Your home dimension is D3 but for reasons you can't quite explain, you've ended up in D2. The people are mostly the same in each copy, although the decisions they take aren't always the same.

In one dimension you met a robot called Blorp, who saved your life when you traveled to D2 and were nearly killed by that dimension's version of you. Before he died he suggested you steal a jar of powder from the ship's lab, which you still have on you.

Whichever dimension you travel in, you're constantly under attack by zombies, a plague which appears to be spread by vicious-looking spiders. You tracked their nest to your home dimension, where you hooked up with your captain, who it turns out, keeps a doorway between dimensions, in her ready room. You always knew she was cool.

Rather than stay in your home dimension, you chose to go back to D2 and help your newly-found friends fight off the hordes, before they spread even further.

And the opening scenario:

As you turn to head out of the door marked "D2", Spalletti says "wait".

She turns to her desk, and opens the second drawer from the top, and fishes out a box of cigarillos.

"I gave up years ago" she says "but if this parallel universe works any way like I think it does, she won't have. Give her these from me, and let her know I'm rooting for her".

You take the box and head out through the door, and back to an exact copy of the room, only in reverse. The old familiar trans-dimensional nausea fades, and you hear sounds of distress coming from your earpiece.

It sounds like screaming, with the occasional shot from a laser pistol. What do you do?