Pseudopod 001: Bag Man

By Scott Sigler.

Read by Ben Phillips.

I swallowed. I didn’t want this to happen. I knew the game. Bag Man always called the cops and gave them a code. He gave that same code to the victim. Even after two years of killings, the fucking cranks were still calling 9-1-1, claiming the Bag Man had called them and that they needed protection. His codes solved that problem. He was a damn courteous kid.

Thing was, the codes became more of a warning to the cops than a way to separate out the sick, attention-starved loonies. The cops wanted to confirm Bag Man’s targets — not so they could stop him, but so they could stay the hell out of his way.

August 11th, 2006 7:01 am

Great to see Pseudopod off the ground at last! I look forward to listening to the story.

Tom fleetingjoy N.
August 11th, 2006 7:59 am

hoooooooray it’s story time

August 11th, 2006 9:19 am

Great job on the first podcast! I loved the the story.

August 11th, 2006 12:18 pm

I haven’t listened yet, but I’m excited! Congrats on being up and running!

August 11th, 2006 1:39 pm

w00t! Consider yourselves’ed, dugg and linked on my sites.

August 11th, 2006 1:41 pm

Great story, it had me feeling a bit skittish after listening to it, and that’s what I was hoping for. I’m ready for more, too bad it’s only bi-weekly (for now?).

Excellent narration, really fit the character.

August 11th, 2006 2:31 pm

Wow! What a great reading! I’m absolutely thrilled. I’m so proud to be the first story on PsuedoPod – what an honor.

August 11th, 2006 2:59 pm

That was a most excellent story. Wow.

August 11th, 2006 3:34 pm

I’m a big fan of scifi and horror stuff. My mother language is not English and I found that this is the best resource to learn English for me. I really love the story. I enjoyed so much. Thank you very much.

August 11th, 2006 4:50 pm

First congrats and good luck

Now I must go listen.

August 11th, 2006 11:25 pm

Yay! Looking forward to listening!

August 12th, 2006 2:12 pm

Excellent! Both the story and the reading. Looking forward to lots more!

August 12th, 2006 2:43 pm

Congrat’s to Mur and Ben and their baby Psuedopod! Its a terrible beauty. has made an inagural $25.00 contribution.

August 13th, 2006 11:20 am

You need a very good story to keep my attention. And this one did. I hope Ben will do a lot more readings. His voice is perfect to read horror stories.

August 13th, 2006 3:56 pm

Great story. What a chilling idea. Looking forward to more!

Gary G
August 13th, 2006 8:12 pm

Congratulations to Scott Sigler for an excellent story, Ben Phillips on a great read and to Mur and the whole Pseudopod team for a fantastic start to what I expect will become one of the “cornerstones” of the podcasting universe. (Hmmmm. Can you have more then 4 corners in cyberspace?)

Good job guys and gals!
I look forward to the many, many Pseudopod casts to come.

August 15th, 2006 4:07 am

Great First Story….

Congrats one and all,


August 15th, 2006 10:35 am

Awesome story. I linked to you on LJ. See you at Dragoncon!

August 15th, 2006 3:25 pm


I loved this story! Very spooky, about 99% of it was establishing the mood, working the audience up into an establishing of the inevitable before the killing stroke.

The only thing that got me was when the reporter is revealed to be a date rapist. I’ve got to admit, the whole sense of eerieness collapsed, and was replaced with kind of a “Crow” like motif, if you will, in which I was suddenly really hoping that the reporter would get snuffed. So it didn’t really fit my definition of horror, although I can’t say it’s bad or good, one way or the other.

However, please, please don’t let that bit of criticism obscure the fact that I loved the story. I am really looking forward to seeing what Ben Philips and the already-overworked Mur Lafferty have selected for us next time!

August 16th, 2006 5:34 am

Hmm, apparently my earlier comment didn’t get through. Let’s try again.

It takes a lot to keep me listening to a story for 20 minutes, but Ben’s voice and the eerie atmosphere the story brought to the mix kept my interest. I hope Ben will do a lot more readings.

Congrats to Mur and the entire Pseudopod staff for a job well done!

August 16th, 2006 5:35 am

Hmm, apparently my earlier comment didn’t get through. Let’s try again. It takes a lot to keep me listening to a story for 20 minutes, but Ben’s voice and the eerie atmosphere the story brought to the mix kept my interest. I hope Ben will do a lot more readings. Congrats to Mur and the entire Pseudopod staff for a job well done!

August 16th, 2006 6:13 pm

Scott, This was your best story yet!

Mur and Ben, The production quality was excellent.

August 17th, 2006 12:22 am

I think I actually heard about you from Boing Boing. I’m always on the look out for good quality podcasts that stand up to my standards of content AND production. Thanks for doing a great job on both.

I really liked the story. I love horror movies, but don’t read much as I’m a slow reader, so audio books are my thing. When I heard about this, I got quite excited, and after listening to the first episode, I’m psyched for more.

August 17th, 2006 8:22 am

Good Stuff, nuff said.

August 18th, 2006 8:36 pm

Great start Mur! I don’t particularly like horror but you have found a new fan in me, I’m subscribed and listening. Charles

August 20th, 2006 4:21 pm

Who better to kick off a horror ‘cast than Scott Sigler? And what better reading than that of Ben Phillips?

M’lady Mur, m’lord Ben, you’re off to an excellent start. I shall most definitely be back for more!

August 27th, 2006 7:41 pm

This story was great before I realized it all 20 mins passed and I was wanting more. I didn’t care for the next two podcasts although I will keep listening because I am sure I will like more then not.

Shawn Williams
September 11th, 2006 12:38 pm

Wonderful Story. Great selection and Mr. Siegler has outdone himself again!

September 20th, 2006 6:03 am

Lovely:) I’m a total mark for stories like this. Cheerfully unpleasant, a twist I didn’t see coming and a world I’d like to go back to. Good job:)

September 22nd, 2006 6:01 pm

This is brilliant Mur.. Absolutely brilliant. It really tears your guts out and sticks in your head. Exactly as good horror should…

If you can keep getting submissions this good Pseudopod is going to be magnificent.

October 8th, 2006 6:18 pm

Just discovered you guys and loved the first story, I’m trying to go through them in order and catch up gradually.

Very well written story, was it just me or did anyone else wonder where the Bag Man will stop. Got the major criminals (serial killers, gangsters, etc), going through the less unpleasant ones (date rapists, petty crooks?) but where does he go from there? Very creepy thought….

Keep them coming.

October 13th, 2006 12:01 am

I loved the story and the narration but one thing blemished it.

The whole thing about the police lady being in her job because she earned it, as opposed to whatever the rant was by the author. It’s fine to have a few pro or con for Affirmative Action. Even to let your readers know your view. But . . . that part broke the flow of the story at that part, even the narrator sounded as if he was knocked off his flow by it. It wasn’t prose it was a rant, and that didn’t fit the flow of this story. The author could have worked in that statement in a way as to not come across as a rant.

Luce, I think a lesson one might take from this story is for those who live in glass houses (a one time date rapist) to not throw stones (cheer the vigilante ghost.)

David Brady
December 3rd, 2006 2:16 pm

There’s no doubt that this is a really good thriller.

It had a lot of tension and anticipation. When horror short stories take this route of constantly building up tension it can really drag the story down as the reader/listener becomes bored and impatient. This story was especially prone to falling into this hole because the end for the character was so inevitable, however, the story excelled in it’s narrative; it was exciting and clever.

I liked the twist at the end where it was revealed that the victim was a rapist. It turned my emotions almost 360 because I WANTED the guy killed.

The narrative, I thought, was a tad pretensious at times, for example the abundant swearing and colloquilalisms – for me it took a lot away from the stories credibility as I could not help but think ‘couldn’t Sigler have thought of a better word to use’. But at the same time it is in the 1st person and it is not the auther’s own voice…and besides, he is a rapist.

It was thrilling overall which is all that is needed!

April 18th, 2007 2:55 am

Thank You

March 21st, 2008 1:13 pm

Great thrilling start!

October 24th, 2008 10:03 am

I just found this site!
INCREDIBLE first story, really brilliant!

Looking forward to making my way through the rest!

December 28th, 2008 2:55 am

I didn’t like it. The narrator sounds like John Stewart of The Daily Show which is irritating in itself. Punishment didn’t fit the crime in the story.

January 11th, 2009 8:58 pm

A “Seven year old boy” that can liquidate your brains in less than 5 seconds is somthing i think we might need. Wonder if we could make one. Well done.

June 16th, 2009 2:47 pm

I just found this site (and to be honest, podcasts in general) and I must say, that was a delightful first story! Growing up in the age of superheroes, one takes it for granted they’ll get the bad guys for us but never really stop to wonder where to draw the line between bad-enough-for-a-superhero-to-go-after and just-guilty-of-hurtful-but-not-serious-things. What do you do when all the murderers and serious criminals have been put away and the most serious crime is rape?

I look forward to catching up on all the fantastic (and frightening) stories on this site!