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.

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 500: A Bit Of The Dark World

Fritz Leiber

by Fritz Leiber

“A Bit Of The Dark World” originally appeared in Fantastic Stories of Imagination, February 1962. It is presented here as the 7th part of our 10 episode “A CENTURY OF HORROR” celebration – with 9 other episodes made available only to subscribers!

FRITZ REUTER LEIBER JR. (1910-1992) was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert. With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having in fact created the term. Leiber was heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Graves in the first two decades of his career. Beginning in the late 1950s, he was increasingly influenced by the works of Carl Jung, particularly by the concepts of the anima and the shadow. From the mid-1960s onwards, he began incorporating elements of Joseph Campbell’s THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES into his work.

Your Reader – Norm Sherman – did a heroic reading job for this extra-long story! Give him a hand!

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“… and then one of the last rays of the sun must have struck a mirror-surface in the summit-crag, perhaps an outcropping of quartz, for it struck back at me like a golden rapier, making me blink, and then for an instant the beam was glitteringly black and I thought I saw (though nothing as clearly as I’d seen the black all-knowing spider-centipede on the pinnacle) a black shape — black with the queer churning blackness you see only at night with your eyes dosed. The shape coiled rapidly down the crag, into the cavern gullies and around the rocks and finally and utterly into the undergrowth above the fold and disappeared.”

PseudoPod 499: The Tooth Fairy

Russel McLean

by Russel McLean

“The Tooth Fairy” is a PseudoPod Original. “I hope the story works on its own without needing to know too much. But I’ve always been fascinated by the fascination that people have with serial killers, and how our perception is affected by both the fiction and the mythologizing of fact. To say much more would of course be to give away some of the story. Its also an unusual piece for me in that its one of very few stories I’ve written set in the US. I’ve always wanted to write more US based fiction as that is mostly what I read, although I’m known for writing about Scotland and, more generally, the city of Dundee. It was refreshing to be able to write about a subject matter and location that was new to me, and the enthusiasm of Pseudopod for the story has been a great reward for taking that risk.”

RUSSEL MCLEAN is the author of five novels featuring Scottish private investigator J McNee. His debut, THE GOOD SON, was shortlisted for a Shamus Award for Best First Novel by the Private Eye Writers Association of America. Russel’s short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and magazines including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and the recent anthology, THE ADVENTURES OF MORIARTY. He spent over a decade as a bookseller before writing full time. His reviews and interviews with writers have appeared in The Herald, The Independent on Sunday, The Skinny and the TLS, and he frequently interviews writers for literary festivals and library events. When not writing his own fiction, he also works as a freelance editor. He lives in Glasgow with his partner and three cats: Moriarty, Mycroft and Magwitch. His latest book out in the UK and US from Severn House is CRY UNCLE, the fifth in the J McNee series.

Jon Padgett lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, and two cats. Padgett has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, The Lovecraft eZine and Xnoybis. Padgett’s chapbook, THE INFUSORIUM, was released in spring of 2015, and his first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, is forthcoming from Dunhams Manor Press, Autumn 2016. Also later in 2016, Padgett–along with a team of editors and the artistic wizardry of Dave Felton–will be releasing the first issue of Vastarien: a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti and the authors who influenced and are influenced by him.

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“The package, when it arrives, is innocuous. Plain envelope. Bubble wrap. A little box inside. Black cardboard. Red ribbon.

Could be anything.

Anything at all.

It comes standard delivery. Anything else would provoke suspicion. Signing for packages, someone, somewhere has to say what’s inside.

How would you explain the contents of that black box?

I sit it, for a while, on the black onyx stone of the kitchen worktop. I look at it. I anticipate opening the box. Think of Schrodinger’s Cat.

Dead?

Alive?

Present?

Gone?

I won’t know. Until I open the box.”

PseudoPod 498: The Only Ending We Have

Kim Newman

by Kim Newman

“The Only Ending We Have” was first printed in Psycho-Mania! in October 2013, edited by Stephen Jones, then in a Year’s Best edited by Ellen Datlow. Have a biscuit (US: cookie) every time you clock a reference to an Alfred Hitchcock title.

Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes the Anno Dracula series, Life’s Lottery, Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles and An English Ghost Story; his non-fiction includes Nightmare Movies and BFI Classics studies of Cat People, Doctor Who and Quatermass and the Pit. He co-wrote the comic miniseries Witchfinder: Mysteries of Unland and the plays The Hallowe’en Sessions and The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Any More. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines. His latest novel is The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School. He is on Twitter as @AnnoDracula.

Your narrator – Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor; Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.

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“The windshield wipers squeaked … like shrilling fiddles, scraped nerves, the ring of an unanswered phone. Another reason to trade in her ‘57 Ford Custom. For 1960, she’d like something with fins. Not that she could afford next year’s showroom model.

Unless Hitch coughed up the ransom.

For the thing it was all about. The mcguffin.

The thing the audience doesn’t care about, but the characters do.

‘Good eeeev-ning,’ Hitch said, every goddamn morning … like in his TV show with that nursery/graveyard tune burbling in the background. ‘Funeral March of the Marionettes’. Dump-da- dumpity-dump- da-dump…”

PseudoPod 497: Killer

Sean Ganus

by Sean Ganus

“Killer” is a PseudoPod Original. “Killer” is the second sequence of “The Murderer Cycle,” a loosely connected set of stories written to deconstruct the near-mythic portrayal of killers in modern horror.

Sean Ganus lives and work in Macon, Georgia. He’s a struggling writer and graduate student, currently working on his Master’s in School Psychology, though with any luck he’ll have wrapped that up by the time this story is released. He passes the time by working in a coffee shop. He’s previously written book reviews for the UK-based Horrifically Horrifying Horror Blog, and he’s tremendously thankful to its founder Emma Audsley for giving him the opportunity to be a part of her amazing website. His only other published (or, rather, produced) work is the short story “Write Away,” featured on the October 24, 2014 episode of “Tales to Terrify.” He posts original writings on his blog, “Writing Myself Into a Hole,” at seanganus.wordpress.com, and run ongoing horror serials from his Twitter handle, @TweetTheHorror. He’s in the process of revising his first novel, and a small film company he runs with a close friend has just finished production on two independent horror films: “The Last Haunted House” and “The Rabbits.”

Your narrator is Jen R. Albert. Jennifer Albert is an entomologist, writer of science fiction and fantasy, gamer, and (in her own words) all around geek. She is co-editor at PodCastle and submissions editor at Uncanny.

Her first story appeared in Mad Scientist Journal in June 2015.

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There’s a killer in my kitchen. I don’t know how long he’s been here, sitting in the dark. I didn’t notice him until I was already six steps inside, obliviously hitting the light and grabbing a pear from the basket by the stove. He’s sitting at the little wooden table I keep by the window. He looks like he’s waiting for dinner. His elbows hang over the edge and his hands rest on top of each other. One hand clenches the handle of a machete. The tool sports a fresh, gleaming edge. It was sharpened with obvious care. It’s wet and glistening in the fluorescent light.

He’s massive, so unbelievably *big*. He’s a heavy chunk of muscle and bone, tied off in a mechanic’s jumpsuit. Clumps of drying mud peel from his boots.

I know him. I mean…I know who he is. Velstrom. Robert Velstrom. Robby’s been dead and buried for thirteen years, but he’s sitting here now.