Archive for August, 2012
Pseudopod 297: Of Ants And Mountains

by Charlie Bookout

“Of Ants And Mountains” is an original to PSEUDOPOD. Charlie says “I visited the nearby city of Joplin, Missouri last year just after an EF5 tornado destroyed much of it. And before long, this story began to slither its way into my head.”

Charlie Bookout lives with his family in Gentry, Arkansas—a creepy little town that’s a stone’s throw from the hillbilly infested Ozark Mountains. He’s one of several rural artists who have converted Gentry’s old mortuary into a studio devoted to independent music and film. He began writing in 2011 and has had stories featured at Silverthought Online and in The Washington Pastime. The artists’ website is at Mortuary Studios, and Charlie’s music can be purchased at his CD baby website.

Your reader this week is the Paul Tevis, who you may know from Podcastle.

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“‘I thought it would be worse,’ I said as we ascended College Lane. ‘But it’s…’ My words caught in my throat. I stomped the brake pedal. Directly in front of us was a red minivan that had come to rest on its top. It was crumpled like tissue paper and was bleeding fluids onto the street. And beyond it was what old Mrs. Cropley must have already seen. The devastation was complete: bricks and cars and furniture… all jumbled together as if some great machine had bit into the earth and churned away for miles. No landmark was recognizable. Here and there the trunk of a tree remained, denuded of its bark. There were fires burning in half a dozen places. And there were people, everywhere in the streets, all in a hurry and accomplishing nothing. From a distance, they looked like ants searching for a pheromone after someone smashed their hill.”

A Short History of Pseudopod: Episodes 1 to 100

Submitted for your approval, or perhaps just to induce madness, a small reminder of what PSEUDOPOD has brought you these last few years, as we rapidly close in on Episode #300. Dare you attempt to listen to this fast-forward through our first 100 episodes?

(*medical note* -Bleeding nose, not too bad. Bleeding ears, bad. Bleeding eyes, very bad indeed!)

….ENJOY?

Pseudopod 296: The Squat

by Sean Logan

“The Squat” was first published in the 2007 charity anthology THE VAULT OF PUNK HORROR and Sean says “at the time I was thinking about what ‘punk’ means beyond the music and the esthetics. I remembered stories I’d heard about runaway kids living on the streets in San Francisco and the ways they used to take care of each other–the older kids looking out for the younger ones, sometimes prostituting themselves to provide for them. Somehow these acts of kindness and generosity from people who were in desperate situations themselves said ‘punk’ to me more than any loud music or mohawk ever could.”

Sean Logan lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his lovely wife and a skinny dog that is part piranha. At night he writes unpleasant stories, and in his marketing day job he also writes about scary subjects—like banking software. His stories have appeared in about two dozen publications, including ONE BUCK HORROR, the anthologies VILE THINGS and SICK THINGS, and on an earlier episode of Pseudopod with his story “Tenant’s Rights” (episode #57) and we are glad to welcome him back into the fold.

Your reader this week is the James Trimarco, who has had a few stories of his own appear on ESCAPE POD, including “The Sundial Brigade”.

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“The floor underneath him was sticky, as if it was covered in warm honey, and it made the skin on his hands and the side of face sting slightly where he’d touched it. All around him he heard the wet sounds of sliding, a thousand separate sounds, a thousand entities sliding toward him in the darkness. And all of these sounds seemed to echo down through a vast space, along with a deep, distant rumbling.

The sliding noises were closer now, and there was a wet, fleshy slapping against his feet, and creeping up his legs, under the pantlegs, thick coiling muscles, like long slugs or smooth tentacles, up and around his torso and arms, his neck and covering his face.

The old man felt himself being stretched and pulled and smothered, but the panic that had been rising in his mind was melting away. He didn’t remember how he’d gotten himself here, but for the first time in a long, long while he knew exactly where he was going. And he found comfort in that as his body and its extremities were pulled asunder.”

Pseudopod 295: Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls

by Brian Hodge

“Just Outside Our Windows, Deep Inside Our Walls” was first published April 2010 as a digital short by Darkside Digital, the e-book division of Delirium Books (click link for website). In 2011 it was reprinted in the two premier year’s-best anthologies: THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR Volume 3, edited by Ellen Datlow, and THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #22, edited by Stephen Jones.

Brian Hodge is the author of 10 novels, and 4 collections of short fiction, drawn from over 100 stories, novelettes, and novellas. His first collection, THE CONVULSION FACTORY, was named by critic Stanley Wiater as one of the 113 best books of modern horror. “As Above, So Below,” the anchor novella of the second collection, FALLING IDOLS, was selected for THE CENTURY’S BEST HORROR anthology, as 1998’s contribution to the top works of the 20th century. His most recent book is the collection PICKING THE BONES, released in 2011 by Cemetery Dance Publications, and he’s gradually releasing his backlist titles in e-book formats, and in a few cases hardcover reissues, so look for those now and throughout the next several months. He lives in Colorado, and is working on his next novel, next collection, and other projects. His website can be found by clicking his name in the byline, and he also blogs at WARRIOR POET.

Your reader this week is the Brian Lieberman, our very own Bdoomed on the forums. Brian is an aspiring game journalist. He blogs at MUSINGS AND RAMBLINGS.

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“She seemed not to have heard me even though I knew she had, and I started to feel bad for asking it at all. While at first I’d found her not very nice to look at, I began to wonder if I wasn’t wrong, because now it seemed I’d only been misled by a trick of light and her annoyance. I wondered, too, if she might jump from the window, or lean forward and let herself fall. In that other world three floors down, the neighbors’ house was ringed with square slabs of stone to walk on. Nobody could survive a fall like that.

“I draw,” I told her, volunteering a distraction to save her life. “Want to see?”

I’d sneaked up some old ones, at least, even if I couldn’t make new ones.

“Later, maybe,” she said, and pulled away. Like before, her hand went to the bottom of the window, lingering a few moments, but as she moved back into the room she again left it open.

That night after the lights were out I lay in my bed and imagined her doing the same. I fought to stay awake as long as I could in case there were other songs to hear, or a repeat performance of the first one. Barring that, it seemed possible that she might cry instead, because that’s what I’d done the first night they’d moved me up here, but just before I fell asleep I wondered if the reason I hadn’t heard anything from her was because she was lying in the dark listening for some sound out of me.”