Pseudopod 343: Magdala Amygdala

by Lucy Snyder

“Magdala Amygdala” originally appeared in DARK FAITH: INVOCATIONS (Apex Book Company, October 2012) and has been selected for inclusion in the next volume of Ellen Datlow’s BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR anthology and recently won this year’s Bram Stoker Award. “I wrote this when I was working the graveyard shift in a large computer data center. Third shift can do terrible things to your brain after a while, because often you just don’t get the right kind of sleep (if you can sleep at all during the day; I never got the hang of it), and it kills your social life dead. I felt disconnected and zombified, and my short-term memory was starting to slip. My story came out of that experience, specifically my wondering what if I’d been put on that shift precisely because I couldn’t be allowed around normal people.”

Lucy Snyder is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of the novels SPELLBENT, SHOTGUN SORCERESS, SWITCHBLADE GODDESS, and the collections SPARKS AND SHADOWS, CHIMERIC MACHINES, and INSTALLING LINUX ON A DEAD BADGER. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Strange Horizons, Weird Tales, Hellbound Hearts, Chiaroscuro, GUD, and Dark Faith. You can learn more about her at her website

Your reader this week – Eugie Foster -calls home a mildly haunted, fey-infested house in metro Atlanta that she shares with her husband, Matthew. Eugie received the 2009 Nebula Award for her novelette, “Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast,” and the 2011 and 2012 Drabblecast People’s Choice Award for Best Story for “The Wish of the Demon Achtromagk” and “Little Grace of the House of Death,”, respectively. Her fiction has also been translated into eight languages and nominated for the Hugo and British Science Fiction Association awards. Her short story collections, RETURNING MY SISTER’S FACE AND OTHER FAR EASTERN TALES OF WHIMSY AND MALICE and MORTAL CLAY, STONE HEART AND OTHER STORIES IN SHADES OF BLACK AND WHITE, are available as ebooks for the Kindle and other ebook readers, as are a number of her short stories. Links and more information at her website.

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“I have excellent health insurance. There’s no bliss for me. What I and every other upstanding, gainfully-employed, fully-covered Type Three citizen gets is an allotment of refrigerated capsules containing an unappetizing grey paste. Mostly it’s cow brains and antioxidant vitamins with just the barest hint of pureed cadaver white matter. It’s enough to keep your skin and brains from ulcerating. It’s enough to keep your nose from rotting off. It’s enough to help you think clearly enough to function at your average white-collar job.

It is not enough to keep you from constantly wishing you could taste the real thing.”

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