Pseudopod 77: Merlin’s Bane

By G.W. Thomas

Read by Ben Phillips

She wasn’t nervous. She didn’t have a gun. Just a smile.

“You want the book, right?”


“You won’t get it.” She waved a tantalizing finger at me. I tried to ignore the digit but for some reason it wouldn’t leave my eyes.

“I’ve heard that one before,” I said, pretending to be all ice.

“You think you’re a great sorcerer, a mage of the ancient knowledge, but it won’t make any difference.”

“Why not?” I should have thrown the glass dagger that was up my sleeve. Then and there. And there was that damned “Burning Desert Glyph” I never quite got around to.

“Because you are a man.”

This week’s episode sponsored by, offering you a free audiobook download of your choice from their selection of over 40,000 titles, for a limited time.

February 15th, 2008 5:37 pm

I was listening to this and for the first bit I was like UHHH is this a dupe? But no its actually kind of a sequel to that other story Goon Job, (also by the same author) and I liked Goon Job, and listening to this story being along the same lines was actually kind of nice, but someone should have mentioned it in the opening, because I was seriously thinking “Did Someone Screw Up” until it defined itself as a different story. Good story however (either of them Goon Job or Merlin’s Bane) no fault there.

February 16th, 2008 3:33 pm

Good story, though I preferred Goon Job, glad you mentioned the author in the previous outro. Hope to hear more of this story later on.

February 17th, 2008 1:56 am

That was carefully designed to confuse everyone horribly. Sorry about that!

February 19th, 2008 7:07 pm

I really enjoyed it. I don’t know if it was horror. At least not like most of the stories on this show but I loved it. Nice mix of drama, fantasy, and humor.

February 23rd, 2008 11:33 pm

I feel like the protagonist was kind of the weak link, basically just a cookie-cutter, hard-boiled vehicle for the conceit. Which isn’t to say that the conceit wasn’t cool and engaging. I just thought it could have been better executed.

February 26th, 2008 3:11 pm

Like it, but I loved the first one much, much more.

Also, I thought all the vulgar references were a bit out of place in light of our first exposure to this character and his business. It’s weird. I don’t normally mind vulgarity, and gross sexual references, but it just didn’t seem to work for me in this story.

So, now that you’re cramming ads (if I never listen to a podcast that ISN’T hawking or gotomypc, I’ll be a happy man) into our ears, will you ever respond, in the podcast, to any of the mountains of feedback you’ve received?

March 13th, 2008 1:55 pm

Love the book collector stories and don’t mind the ads a bit. Since I can’t afford to support you or EP directly I’m not complainin’. Keep up the good work lads!

October 2nd, 2008 12:24 am

Really enjoy the book collector stories. I love getting noir all over my horror and fantasy, so it’s perfect. I’d love to hear more of this writer in general and The Book Collector in particular.

Also, it should be said that Ben does a wonderful gumshoe.