Welcome to Pseudopod!

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.

PseudoPod 556: Evitative

by B.C. Edwards

 

B.C. Edwards

“Evitative” is the titular and ultimate story of The Aversive Clause, the collection of stories that also included, ‘Sweetness,’ which ran as Pseudopod episode 445.

B.C. EDWARDS is the author of two books,The Aversive Clause and From The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes. He has written for Mathematics Magazine, Hobart, The New York Times, and others. His debut story collection, which this is the titular story of, was awarded the Hudson Prize for fiction and received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts. He attended the graduate writing program at The New School in New York and lives in Brooklyn with his husband.

His website bce.nyc totally exists, but that’s really all that should be said about it. It’s in desperate need of a redo.

Says Edwards: “I’ve been listening to audial fiction for longer than I’ve been listening to
music. I ‘read’ Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, the works of Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and countless others in this form starting around four and continuing onto today. My work is always written with the intention of being read aloud. So it’s really something to have a pair of stories in your archive. Thanks for keeping both horror and the spoken word going strong at the same time.”

This week’s reader – Dani Daly – is one of the assistant editors of Cast of Wonders, and narrating is just one of the things she loves to do. She’s a retired roller derby player and current hobbyist soap maker, for instance. She rants on twitter as @danooli_dani, if that’s your thing. Or you can visit the EA forums. She loves it there.


Shawn Garrett composed the soundbed for this episode, which he dedicates to master avant-garde musicians/field recorders Annea Lockwood & Chris Watson. A list of links to sounds used from Freesound.org appears at the bottom of this post.


Thanks to our sponsor, ARCHIVOS – a Story Mapping and Development Tool for writers, gamers, and storytellers of all kinds!


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


Once the oceans came up and covered the streets over it was like they weren’t ever there. No streets or dead Camaros or boys that abandon you when things get flooded and break down. There were just the tall trees with the high branches and water everywhere and the smudge of mountains I can see off on the horizon if I climb all the way to the top of the tree we use for looking at things. The water filled in all the gaps and erased our telemarketing jobs and our high-heels and the clubs we wore them to. But we’re safe up here, on the little platform Jo-Jo built in the trees. He found me wandering in the muck, cold and alone and his was the first face that I’d seen in forever that didn’t look scared or desperate or tired. The first one since the water and the bombs and all who didn’t try to take one more thing from me, didn’t try to steal me away or trick me into anything. Jo-Jo just smiled and his eyes smiled too and even though he’d lost his words already I knew he meant well. And he showed me how to climb the trees and get up to his platform where there’s nothing to do but climb around, eat the berries and the appleish things that dangle off the branches like Christmas ornaments and screw all afternoon long and laze about watching the world disappear. Jo-Jo catches the birds that build their nests and try to eat our fruit, and then we eat the birds too. That’s about all we do.

That’s about all the kid in my belly will do, too. But the kid won’t know any different. It won’t think there was ever something other than the trees and the muck and the water and the men who come by every now and again in their canoes and their ugly paddles and their terrible broken whispers.

You can’t go down there; those men will eat you.


SOUNDBED SOURCES
48558__crk365__birds-23dec07-spesh
278213__fundamental-harmonics__ban-doi-insects-night-time-02
320173__arnaud-coutancier__night-insects
65288__acclivity__cicadasplus

Flash Fiction Contest 5: A New Beginning

The original paraphernalia for the Flash Fiction Contest had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Stuart, the oldest man in town, was born. Mr. Lieberman spoke frequently to the forum members about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here.

Mr. Garrett and his oldest daughter, Victoria, hold the black box securely on the stool until Mr. Lieberman can stir the papers thoroughly with his hand. Because so much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Lieberman had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations. Chips of wood, Mr. Lieberman had argued, had been all very well when the village was tiny, but now that the population was more than three hundred and likely to keep on growing, it was necessary to use something that would fit more easily into the black box.

The fifth incarnation of the Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest is coming. Pseudopod is leading the charge again. Every author may submit one original story of 500 words or less for consideration. Submissions are open now until September 15. Head to our special submittable portal for the flash fiction contest to exercise your civic duty in the lottery.

The competition will begin in October. The three winning stories will be purchased and run as an episode of Pseudopod. Payment will be $30 so this will be considered a pro sale. Stories will be published on a members-only section of the forums, so first publication rights will not be expended by participating in the contest. It’s easy to be become a member. Sign up for a forum account and make a single post so we know you’re not a bot. This is a good thread to start with. From there, all the pertinent details will be posted under “The Arcade”. Visit forum.escapeartists.net for rules and details.

PseudoPod 555: Four Hours of a Revolution

by Premee Mohamed

 

Premee Mohamed
“Four Hours of a Revolution” is a Pseudopod Original.

PREMEE MOHAMED is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and spec fic writer based in Canada. Her work has been published by Nightmare Magazine, Martian Migraine Press, Third Flatiron Press, and others.

She tries to post thoughts and discussions on her website, www.premeemohamed.com , so she will be writing a bit about this story as well as upcoming stories and any novel news there. And she would like to assure you that she survived the encounter with the creature in the grey shirt in the author photo.

Says Premee: “I’ll probably talk about this a bit on my website, but the entire story was inspired by the poster in the room where Death first begins his vigil of Whittaker, the teenage rebel. The poster was in turn inspired by a Tumblr thread I once saw about sleepy punks. I kept thinking about a city abandoned and overrun, and the only people left are, basically, punks too: exhausted but still fighting, people who trust each other and whose trust forms the basis of this story.”

This week’s reader – Ian Stuart – is a writer/performer living in York. He has done work for the BBC and Manx Radio, as well as audiobooks, historical guides and promotional videos. He is also a storyteller/guide for The Ghost Trail of York, taking tourists round the city and telling them some of its darker secrets. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana. If you wish to contact Ian about v/o work of any kind , you can get in touch with him on Twitter at @yorkwriter99. His greatest boast is that he is the father of a famous son.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


Rebels, like vampires, prowl by night, sleep by day; they are short on everything in the besieged city – bullets, socks, soap, bread – but mainly they are short of sleep, for they fight under starlight, hide under sun in secret places. And yet their enemies are most vulnerable at night when, like all good civil servants, they retire to their houses and lock their doors. Until they swap schedules neither side will eliminate the other.

So the revolution is easy enough to find as I whisper up the wall of the apartment complex, slide under the half-inch of space left by the open window. They will not open it further, even though the little boarded-up living room is intolerably hot. As it is, they sweat profusely in their sleep, even the lucky few shaded by the walls.

One has, deliberately I assume, curled up in an armchair under a poster reading ‘PUNK ISN’T DEAD BUT IT WOZ UP AWFUL LATE LAST NITE.’ On the poster, two men sleep in a train seat, cartoonishly rendered in hot primaries on a black ground. The rebel in the armchair echoes their pose, but instead of a tired friend she cradles a stolen police rifle, its distinctive silver finish oversprayed with matte black paint, the camera blocked with a glued-in coin. The police carry them proudly, counting on the reflected glare to carry their message far ahead of them; the rebels carry them only at night, counting on stealth.

It is this girl, Whittaker, in the armchair, in this war, that I am here to claim. In due time, as is her right and my duty. For I am Death.

PseudoPod 554: A Doll Full of Nails

by Ville Meriläinen

 

Ville Meriläinen

“A Doll Full of Nails” is a Pseudopod Original.

VILLE MERILÄINEN is a Finnish university student by day, author of little tragedies by night. His short fiction has appeared in 200 CCs and Mad Scientist Journal’s Fitting In anthology. His long fiction can be found on Amazon.com, with a new musical fantasy adventure, Ghost Notes.

Riku Kanninen

This week’s reader – Riku Kanninen – is a Finnish professional translator and linguist, an amateur singer, a mediocre all-around musician and a dabbler in all things, interesting or otherwise.

Your guest host – Tad Callin is associate editor of PseudoPod and master of the Escape Artists Wikia. Tad has been a lot of things, but he is most proud of being a father and writer. His previous published work includes an urban fantasy story, “Silver,” published on the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine podcast, and his self—published memoir, Tad’s Happy Funtime. One day, he hopes to return to the desert Southwest with his family, but for now, he enjoys living in Baltimore.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


“Once upon a time,” the doll began, “there lived a god who feared the dark.

“He cast a shadow over his creations and heard them whisper his doom when he turned away. He feared them so much he stole fire from the other gods and gave it to the tiny creatures, hoping it would take away the dark in their hearts. Instead, they set the god on fire, and that is how the sun was born.”

“Fascinating,” grumbled the doll maker, setting a glass eye into the socket of his latest masterpiece. This one, he hoped, would be as mute as most, unlike the one sitting on his shelf. “And patently untrue. Be quiet, now, or you’re getting another nail.”