Pseudopod 93: The Land of Reeds

By Patrick Samphire

Read by Cheyenne Wright

The dead, he had discovered, had mouths and could
speak, but they could not be heard.

Or, they could not be heard by the living: the dead
talked among themselves with voices of sand and dust.
Amenemhet did not wish to talk to the dead. A man who
has been murdered wishes to speak to those still
living, to lay testament before them, to give warning.

The dead, in their crowded voices, said that Re no
longer travelled through the underworld each night.
They said that his face was now no more than a ball of
fire in the sky. There were no more demons in the
underworld, no
Apep the serpent, no Amemet the
great devourer, no gates, no judges, no scales. There
was no Land of Reeds.

June 6th, 2008 12:19 pm

LOVED THIS. The high quality of prose, creativity, and narration may be the best I’ve heard so far, on balance.

Mari Mitchell
June 6th, 2008 9:37 pm

To me, this is not horror. Dark fantasy, yes, but not horror.

Cheyenne Wright voice is very commanding but I felt the reading could be a little slower paced.

The writing was good. I did not find the prose to outstanding, but I like description.

The idea is nice. I thought the research was well done and really added to the tale. It was a nice variation on a ghost story.

I like how the place in was reflected in so many ways.

The story had echoes of the Celtic fairy tale “The Bonny Swan.”

June 7th, 2008 7:57 pm

Another excellent reading from Cheyenne Wright

June 7th, 2008 8:16 pm

THAT’S more like it, Pseudopod! This story was incredible. The reading by Cheyenne sent chills down my spine. I don’t care if this isn’t classified as horror. It was incredible.

Cool setting, cool settings, cool resolution to their problems.


June 9th, 2008 9:55 am

Great story! Props to Cheyenne Wright on another great reading. I loved the Egyptian setting, and beg to differ with Mari Mitchell on why this isn’t horror. Splitting hairs like this about what is/isn’t horror/fantasy/scifi/whatever IMHO is rarely constructive.

June 9th, 2008 10:51 am

Best Pseudopod story of 2008 so far! Mr Samphire takes the vengeful ghost theme to a new level with skillful prose, the pacing of the story is masterful. And Mr Wright’s compelling delivery was perfect for the material. Much as I know ghosts don’t exist, I could not stop listening.

In three words – Excellent Excellent Excellent

June 12th, 2008 12:47 am

cheyenne always does an awesome job

June 14th, 2008 10:23 pm

Why did Cheyenne sound like a bad Dracula in the beginning of the story?

I thought it was okay. It wasn’t a bad story, but the fact that the child ghost would bring the adult ghost back to his task of revenge was obvious.

June 21st, 2008 1:35 pm

I thought the language was outstanding in that it had a wonderful pace and meter–Wright gets props for accentuating the flow of the prose, but it was in the writing, not just in the reading. The descriptions were rich (and matched by the timbre of Wright’s reading). I’ve been listening for a few months, and this is the first time that I’ve really noticed what a great fit the voice actor was for the piece (not that other pieces haven’t had a similarly nice match, but this one really stood out). Kudos to the editors/directors/engineers–whoever is making the calls on the technical end and minding these vital details (double-kudos, because I know that their work is generally ignored when done well and pitilessly lashed when screwed up). Thank you for keeping the podcasts coming.

June 27th, 2008 1:53 pm

All I can say after hearing that story is…


Fantastic presentation all around. The writing, the reading, the production… great work ‘Pod!

Dave is dead on with his remarks. He said it far better than I could. So I am left to say: “me too!”

July 9th, 2008 11:19 pm

This was another solid story. More on the dark fantasy side than horror (Dwango & Cerebrilith are right in that the duality of initially wanting to reconnect with the living family and then the eventual decline into forgetting them is horrific, but for me it would have to be played up a bit more to actually make the story horror) but still, entertaining and interesting and not just because I’ve been working on a story for 2 years that features a being’s Ka walking through unsuspecting people. Luckily, it’s much different despite that detail.

The reading was also good. The just slightly over-dramatic take was perfect for a story set in the mythic past.

All around, a stand-up job.

Thanks for listening

“(Egypt) is a great place for contrasts: splendid things gleam in the dust.”
Gustave Flaubert, letter to Louis Bouilhet (12/1/1849), FLAUBERT IN EGYPT