You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. For a decade, Pseudopod has been bringing you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere. We pay our authors professional rates for original fiction and we reach more people every week than any other short fiction horror market.
We’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year. For details, check out our Year10 page.
Are you new to Pseudopod? Don’t let our decade of content daunt you. We’ve assembled a list of stories that show the strength and diversity of our offerings. Check it out here (or at the “New to Pseudopod?” link on the left side of the page).
WARNING: This is a podcast of horror fiction. The stories presented here are intended to disturb. They are likely to contain death, graphic violence, explicit sex (including sexual violence), hate crimes, blasphemy, or other themes and images that hook deep into your psyche. We do not promise to provide ratings or specific content warnings. We assume by your listening that you wish to be disturbed for your entertainment. If there are any themes that you cannot deal with in fiction, that are too strongly personal to you, please do not listen.
Pseudopod is for mature audiences only. Hardly any story on Pseudopod is suitable for children. We mean this very seriously.
“There Is No Road through the Woods” is a Pseudopod Original. “Silly as it seems — no, is — I’m actually a bit afraid of plants. I like trees, and I have a garden, but there’s something unnerving about being among all these living things that we treat as though they’re just background. They’re alive. It freaks me out. The title of this story comes from a Rudyard Kipling poem, The Way Through The Woods. I read this poem when I was about three quarters of the way finished with the piece, and it really shaped the way it turned out.
The Way Through The Woods
by Rudyard Kipling
They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate,
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods.
But there is no road through the woods.
DAGNY PAUL is an 8th-grade English teacher who lives in New Orleans with her husband and three-year-old son. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies. After we purchased this story, Dagny was asked to come on board with PseudoPod as Associate Editor.
Your reader – Tatiana Gomberg – is a critically acclaimed actress of stage, screen, and the audio booth. She lives in New York City. She can be contacted for work at her VOICE 123 account.
Strix Publishing has launched a Kickstarter to bring us a new and expanded hardcover edition of Orrin’s collection NEVER BET THE DEVIL AND OTHER WARNINGS. This new edition includes all ten stories from the original, as well as the heretofore hard-to-find “A Night for Mothing” and an all new story, “Goblins.” As of the time of this recording, it’s just passed the halfway mark with almost three weeks to go, so it’s time for the add-ons and additional goals to creep out of the corners.
Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.
“The summer it happened, Mr. Mason cut down the diseased elm in his front yard and found a fist-sized clot of blood, bone, and hair in the middle of its trunk. I didn’t see it, but Ellie Langford, who was a year ahead of me and lived next door to Mr. Mason, said that she had been sitting on her front porch, waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up, when all of a sudden Mr. Mason’s chainsaw died and she looked up to see red splatters on his wife beater and a puzzled look on his face.”
This annual award will be presented for the first time in 2016—for works published in 2015.The Eugie Award honors stories that are irreplaceable, that inspire, enlighten, and entertain. It will shine the spotlight on stories that are beautiful, thoughtful, and passionate. That change us and the field. The recipient will be a story that is unique and will become essential to speculative fiction readers.
The finalists for this award are:
“The Deepwater Bride” by Tamsin Muir
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong
“The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Pocosin” by Ursula Vernon
“Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” by Aliette De Bodard
To highlight how fantastic these authors are, we are re-running three stories on Escape Pod, PodCastle, and Pseudopod:
“The Fisher Queen” was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2014. It is available to read free online at fu-GEN.org. “The Fisher Queen” was on the shortlist for the 2014 Nebula along with Eugie Foster’s last story, “When It Ends, He Catches Her” which ran last year on Pseudopod. It has been translated into Chinese, French, and German. “The Fisher Queen” is set up in the fashion of traditional oral storytelling, where truth and myth blend together. However, it’s about the very real effects of societal, systematic violence against women.
Alyssa Wong is a Shirley Jackson-, and World Fantasy Award-nominated author, shark aficionado, and 2013 graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She made the shortlist for the 2015 Stoker Award and won the 2015 Nebula Award for “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” which you should go check out at Nightmare Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Black Static, among others. She is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University and a member of the Manhattan-based writing group Altered Fluid, and can be found on Twitter @crashwong. Alyssa Wong has been deservedly shortlisted for the Joseph W. Campbell Award for New Writers this year, and “The Fisher Queen” is part of why she made it to the list.
Your narrator – Mae Heaney is originally from Manila, Philippines and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her Irish husband, 2 young children and Parmi the Chook. She is an IT professional who once briefly dabbled in theater, and loves to bake to tame the voices in her head. She is very successful in changing nappies under five minutes, but fails miserably in trying to read her toddler’s mind and in updating her blog celticpinaymom.blogspot.com.
Your guest host this week is Associate Editor Dagny Paul. Dagny is an 8th-grade English teacher who lives in New Orleans with her husband and four-year-old son. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies.
MY MOTHER WAS A FISH. That’s why I can swim so well, according to my father, who is a plain fisherman with a fisherman’s plain logic, but uncanny flair for the dramatic. And while it’s true that I can cut through the water like a minnow, or a hand dipped over the edge of a speedboat, I personally think it’s because no one can grow up along the Mekong without learning two things: how to swim, and how to avoid the mermaids.
Mermaids, like my father’s favorite storytale version of my mother, are fish. They aren’t people. They are stupid like fish, they eat your garbage like fish, they sell on the open market like fish. Keep your kids out of the water, keep your trash locked up, and if they come close to land, scream a lot and bang pots together until they startle away. They’re pretty basic.
My sisters tried to talk to a mermaid once. It was caught up in one of Dad’s trammel nets, and when they went to check the net out back behind the house, they found this mermaid tangled in it. It was a freshwater one, a bottom-feeder, with long, sparse hair whose color my sisters still argue about to this day. Iris, the oldest, felt bad for it and made May splash some water on its fluttery gills with her red plastic pail. She asked the mermaid if it was okay, what its name was. But it just stared at her with its stupid sideways fish eyes, mouth gaping open and closed with mud trickling out over its whiskers. Then Dad came home and yelled at Iris and May for bringing in the nets too early and touching the mermaid, which probably had sea lice and all kinds of other diseases.
“Cuernavaca” is a Pseudopod Original. “I’d like the audience to ask themselves what ‘belief’ means to them, and whether they think the things we believe in can protect us from a world that doesn’t seem to believe in much at all.”
JOHN M. DEISINGER is a writer from Milwaukee who lives in Michigan. He blogs at JohnMDeisinger.com
Your reader – Luis Moreno – is an actor from New York City. He holds an MFA in acting from Columbia University, and you can learn more about him at his website, luismorenotheactor.com. He loves recording audiobooks, and does so for many publishers; his narration work can be found on Audible and other commercial platforms.
Luis’ audio producer is the impeccable Branan Edgans (whom you last heard reading on Pseudopod in The Influence Of Thomas Glittio. And we would also like to thank Chris and Rob at BrickShop Audio in Industry City, Brooklyn for the recording help!
“Morelos state, as you know, is the crucible of the People’s Revolution. This was where the Grito de Dolores found its most fervent listeners. This was the homeland of Zapata, who I rode with and followed. You should have seen the landlord’s faces when we asked them for the taxes. When we burned their fields of sugar cane, so that the campesinos could plow them fresh and plant corn and peppers. They squealed like pigs in hot grease. How they threatened us, with their army, with their policemen, with their money, with their God. And all of this is to say nothing of the ones whose houses we burned.
But excuse me. My point is, I know the land well. The mountains that separate the city from the Distrito to the north. The patchwork fields, the lakes and small forests, where the peasants trap snakes for meat and smoke little green cigars. You are a peninsulare, of course, yes? You would have been lost, camarada. Your Spanish might serve you well in Monterrey or Madrid, but you’d be lost in the cornfields. The tongue of conquered peoples lives there still, it’s more Nahua than nacionale down there.”
Artemis Rising returns in March 2017 across all four Escape Artists podcasts! Celebrating its third anniversary, Artemis Rising will be a month-long showcase of stories by women and nonbinary authors in speculative fiction.
PseudoPod is seeking reprint or original (preferred) horror fiction with a length of 2000 – 6000 words and will be open for Artemis Rising submissions during the month of September 2016. Anyone who identifies as a woman, to whatever degree they do, and non-binary authors are welcome and encouraged to submit a story.
Payment, rights, and manuscript format will be the same as specified in our general guidelines, but Artemis Rising will have a dedicated submissions portal.
As always, Escape Artists strongly encourages submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented or excluded from traditional horror, including, but not limited to, people of color, LGBTQ authors, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States. Our goal is to publish fiction that reflects the diversity of humankind, so we strongly encourage submissions from these or any other underrepresented groups.
The PseudoPod Artemis Rising submissions portal will open on September 1, 2016. We look forward to reading your stories!