Main Fiction: “The Way Down the Hill” by Tim Powers, first published in the December 1982 edition of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, volume 63, no. 6 and later reprinted in Strange Itineraries. The author has generously granted us a one-time permission to reproduce this story in audio form.
Narrator: Fred Himebaugh.
Interview: Host Dave Robison and editor Fred Himebaugh interview Tim Powers, author of this episode’s story.
The rich, leathery smell of Latakia tobacco told me that old Bill was there, and I soon identified him by the long, blackened meerschaum pipe he somehow found again every time. The little girl puffing at it gave me a raised eyebrow.
“Saul, Laddie!” piped the little girl’s voice. “Excuse the nonrecognition. You were a gawky youth when I saw you last. Been doing anything worthwhile?
I didn’t even bother to give the standard negative reply. “I’ll talk to you later,” I said. “Got to find something for this beer to chase.”
Bill chuckled merrily. “They laid in a dozen bottles of Laphroaig Scotch in case you came.” He waved his pipe toward the dining room that traditionally served as the bar. “You know your way down the hill.”