Archive for December, 2009
Pseudopod 174: The Primakov

By R.J. Hobbs

Read by Ben Phillips

It was a Tuesday night when the Primakov received an emergency transmission on the ICT radio from The Bakapor, a distressed fishing vessel from Petropavlovsk. The captain translated the Russian slowly, word by word, with a phrasebook. The night was completely calm, and the ocean lapped up against the hull with gentle rhythmic intensity. The Bakapor had lost fuel after a storm, and required additional petrol if the sailors were ever to see their wives and mothers again. The Primakov wouldn’t even have to change direction to give them assistance.

Pseudopod 173: Bophuthatswana

By Lavie Tidhar

Read by Elan Ressel, voice actor for hire through Voices.com

It was just before the referendum, when white people voted on giving black people the right to vote. The skies were clear, the African sun was hot on my young face, and the wild scent of earth, of renewal, was in everything. All the Stop signs had F.W. sprayed on them. Stop F.W. Stop De Klerk.

Eugène Terre’Blanche was king.

I watched the Boer Nation on TV. Eugène, big and red-faced, a barrel of beer full of righteous White-Christian indignation. Eugène and his boys. I watched the bombs flower over Johannesburg in brilliant reds and yellows, fire and blood. Eugène and his boys valiantly rode to battle with pipe-bombs and guns, and I watched it on television. I felt like I was locked up, bound within the confines of the house, the garden, the walls, the barbed wire.








A quick primer on Afrikaans slang:



bankie – a bank coin bag, or bag of similar size, in which marijuana is sold (i.e., a dimebag)

dagga – marijuana (pronounced Dacha — the gg is the sound in Spanish J or hebrew Chet)

lekker – good, excellent

moer – to beat brutally

moffie – homosexual (slur)

jol – fun, good time

kaffir – a black south African (slur)

voetsek – go away; get lost; fuck off

tokoloshe – spectre/gremlin (orig. Zulu mythology)



Edit: Listener André Vermaak wrote in regarding the above slurs to emphasize that they are possibly more offensive than any used in American slang.

Pseudopod 172: The Dude Who Collected Lovecraft

By Nick Mamatas and Tim Pratt

Read by Jaron Cohen

I thought about the brittle old letters in my briefcase, which included (among genial advice on writing and cranky complaints about publishers) a few passages of deep loathing about “the niggers and immigrants who fester and shamble in the slums of our fallen cities.” Ah, Lovecraft. I always wondered how my great-grandfather’s letters back to him might have read. I doubted if old Cavanaugh Payne ever told his idol that he was a “miscegenator” himself. Three generations later, I was fresh out of white skin privilege myself, but I had enough of Cavanaugh’s legacy to clear all my debts, assuming I could ever find the isolated country house where this collector lived.

The hand-drawn map Fremgen had mailed me was crude, and obviously not to scale, so it was a little like following a treasure map made by a pirate with a spatial perception disorder.



Pseudopod 171: Napier’s Bones

By Stephen Gaskell

Read by Ian Stuart, voice actor for hire through voices.com

A

DESCRIPTION

OF THE ADMIRABLE

TABLE OF LOGA-

RITHMES:

WITH A DECLARATION OF

The Most Plentifvl, Easy,

And Speedy Vse thereof in both kindes

of Trigonometrie, as also in all

Mathematicall calculations.

Tom flicked through the book. Obtuse definitions and diagrams like fishbones filled the pages. A — seventeenth century? — textbook on logarithms? How the hell had Great Uncle Alvin ended up with this? Tom peered into the box. Another chapbook titled “Rabdologia”, by the same author, John Napier.

He shuffled through the other papers in the box. All writings by or about the man: extravagantly illustrated occult texts; religious revelations; serious biographies. At the bottom, wedged beneath a thick medical textbook with an MRI scan of the brain on the cover, Tom caught sight of several off-white stones. Their smooth, heart-shaped surfaces gleamed in the torchlight.