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A monthly podcast of classic short fiction...

Welcome to the online home of Back of the Bookshelf, a monthly podcast of classic short fiction narrated by author, C.J. Carter-Stephenson. Our mission... to shine a light into the shadows of the past in search of neglected gems. There are no restrictions about setting, theme or genre; the only qualification here is quality, though as the name suggests, the emphasis is on books that tend to be pushed to the back of the shelf, rather than bestsellers.

Prepare to encounter lesser known works by literary giants like Mary Shelley and Guy de Maupassant, and be transported to the fantastical worlds of forgotten pioneers of genre fiction. Episodes go live on the first day of each month and can be viewed or listened to according to your preference right here or any of the following platforms: Spotify, iTunes, Libsyn, YouTube, Google Play Music, Fourble, Stitcher, Podtail, Podbay.fm, Player FM, TuneIn, Castbox. The podcast is suitable for all ages, and the best part is, it's absolutely free. All we ask is that you let us know if you enjoy it by liking, subscribing and spreading the word. Those of you who like C.J. Carter-Stephenson's promotional artwork might also consider picking up some merchandise in our online store, which you can find at the following link:

Online Store

Our bill of fare as it currently stands is as follows:

Episode 1 - The Disintegration Machine

Released 1st May 2018.
Inaugral episode, featuring a science fiction story by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who is, of course, best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes. It’s a thrilling adventure starring the brilliant, but hot-tempered Professor Challenger, vividly brought to life by immersive sound effects and a dramatic sensibility. 

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Episode 2 - The Jewels

Released 1st June 2018.
Next up is a Guy de Maupassant story, thematically similar to his more famous The Necklace, but arguably superior with its multifaceted approach. The characters are easy to relate to and with our carefully selected sound effects you'll almost believe you've stepped back into 19th century Paris.

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Episode 3 - Into the Sun

Released 1st July 2018.
In episode three, we whisk you away to 19th century San Francisco in an apocalyptic science fiction story from Robert Duncan Milne, originally published in The Argonaut. Fans of classic fiction will find much to endear them in this gripping tale, which features a dramatic balloon ride and a Poe type ending.

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Episode 4 - The White Cat Of Drumgunniol

Released 1st August 2018.
It's horror time in episode 4, courtesy of J. Sheridan Le Fanu, author of popular vampire novella, Carmilla. Originally published in All Year Round in 1870, this one is about a family in rural Ireland who are afflicted by a strange curse and is everything a ghost story should be - scary, atmospheric and a lot of fun.  

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Episode 5 - A Masked Ball

Released 1st September 2018.
In episode 5, we return to 19th century Paris with Alexandre Dumas' A Masked Ball, which was originally published in 1833 in 'Scènes du Beau Monde'. Intrigue, betrayal and heartache are skillfully woven together as the hero ventures into a high society den of debauchery and has a memorable encounter with a woman who clearly doesn't belong there.

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Episode 6 - The Cone

Released 1st October 2018.
Few people have had a bigger impact on science fiction than H.G. Wells, our episode 6 author. In line with our mission statement, however, our story, The Cone, comes from his other work, which is less well known. It revolves around the manager of an iron works, who suspects his wife is having an affair. The locations are vividly described and the tension is almost unbearable.

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Episode 7 - The Higher Life

Released 31st October 2018.
In honour of Halloween, our seventh episode features a supernatural story called The Higher Life from the pen of the great Mary Elizabeth Braddon. One of her least known works, it originally appeared in a 1907 anthology called Tales for the Homes. There's something special about Victorian horror and this is a prime example.  Join us now on a thrilling journey to the other side.

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Video Feeds

Episode 1 - The Disintegration Machine - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Episode 2 - The Jewels - Guy de Maupassant

Episode 3 - Into the Sun - Robert Duncan Milne

Episode 4 - The White Cat Of Drumgunniol - J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Episode 5 - A Masked Ball - Alexandre Dumas

Episode 6 - The Cone - H.G. Wells

Episode 7 - The Higher Life - Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Audio Feeds

Episode 1 - The Disintegration Machine - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Episode 2 - The Jewels - Guy de Maupassant

Episode 3 - Into the Sun - Robert Duncan Milne

Episode 4 - The White Cat Of Drumgunniol - J. Sheridan Le Fanu

Episode 5 - A Masked Ball - Alexandre Dumas

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Episode 6 - The Cone - H.G. Wells

Episode 7 - The Higher Life - Mary Elizabeth Braddon