Things are not always as they seem…
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“Down By The Sea Near The Great Big Rock” first appeared in MASQUES (1984).
“The Demon Fields” has been performed in San Diego, and can be found at Gchatus, but Pseudopod is its first published appearance.
A shorter version of “Pawn” was a Semifinalist in the 2010 Escape Pod flash contest, where it was titled “Queen.”
“Down By The Sea Near The Great Big Rock” by Joe R. Lansdale
Down by the sea near the great big rock, they made their camp and toasted marshmallows over a small, fine fire. The night was pleasantly chill and the sea spray cold. Laughing, talking, eating the gooey marshmallows, they had one swell time; just them, the sand, the sea and the sky, and the great big rock.
“The Demon Fields” by Keith McCleary
One day, one of the farmhands mustered the courage to ask him what the barn was all about. Ben squinted at the structure in the distance, picked a reed to chew on and crossed his burly arms across his barrel chest. ‘Well boys,’ he said. ‘That barn’s gonna hold my demons. Ev’ry man’s got ’em. Gotta get ‘em stored away if I ever want to share this farm with someone. Can’t have ‘em runnin’ loose, now can I?’ and he smiled.
“Pawn” by Jaki Idler
The pain of pushing the larva through the very flesh of my transgression should be punishment enough. But mating was the Queen’s privilege, not the bait’s, and she’d ensure I’d rather die than overstep again. She called the lair witness, lest my lesson bear repeating. I squatted and bore down, slave to more primeval powers. My lair sisters ringed the cavern, tall and smug, every stiff spine saying they knew better. I’d known better.
About the Authors
Jaki Idler lives outside Philadelphia where she writes, teaches and – despite any literary evidence to the contrary – raises two wonderful boys. Her day job is bringing other’s stories to life. You can follow her writing at Idle Truths. She just narrated her own story “Terminal” for Wicked Women Writers 2012 at HorrorAddicts.net. She’s also thrilled to read Crystal Connor’s “Spores” on podiobooks.com (pending).
KEITH McCLEARY is an MFA student at UCSD, and received his BFA in Film at NYU. His work has or is due to appear in Heavy Metal magazine, Weave, Flash, Short Fast and Deadly, the San Diego Poetry Annual, and in comic books he has written and illustrated for Terminal Press. He has also served as a copyeditor for Kill Screen Magazine. Keith maintains a semi-regular presence at his flash fiction tumblr, Gchatus and his website, Weird Things I Have Done.
JOE R. LANSDALE has written over thirty books, and numerous short stories. He has won a multitude of awards, including the Edgar for his novel THE BOTTOMS, and his novella BUBBA HO-TEP was made into the popular film starring Bruce Campbell. His current book is EDGE OF DARK WATER, and forthcoming in September is THE THICKET, both from Mulholland Books. Joe blogs here and you can also follow him on Facebook.
About the Narrators
Kevin M. Hayes has been reading science fiction since he was old enough to read, and has been writing it for almost as long. He is active in the Pittsburgh SFF organization, Parsec and helps put on Confluence, a genre fiction conference every year. He has had stories published in Six from Parsec and Triangulation as well as TV Gods and most recently in The Realm Beyond. He has narrated other stories for Pseudopod and, amazingly, has also published a few limericks.
He lives in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with the love of his life, some of her children and all of her cats.
Corson Bremer – is an American living in France. He began acting professionally, as well as working as an on-air presenter in radio, while still in college in the States studying theater and technical communication. In his varied career he has been an actor, Technical Director and Set Designer for the theater; a commercial copywriter, Program Director, and producer for radio; a grant writer for non-profit organizations; and a technical writer writing user documentation for hardware and software for companies like Bull, Alcatel-Lucent, HP, and Thomson Reuters. After moving to France in 1990, and with the multimedia boom on the Internet, he combined his acting and narration skills with his technical writing experience to create voice-overs for e-learning and web videos. His big break in voice-over came when he was cast to perform characters in 2 video games for Ubisoft Paris. He set up his professional home studio and has worked internationally as a professional voice artist in commercials, video games, machinima, technical narration, audio guides, and corporate web videos since 2002. Other than “The Ninth Skeleton”, Corson’s most recent major project was voicing 5 different characters for Spiders Games’ new video game for XBox Live, PSN and PC, MARS: WAR LOGS scheduled for release in Spring 2013.
Julia Rios is a writer, editor, podcaster, and narrator. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in several places, including Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, and Goblin Fruit. She was a fiction editor for Strange Horizons from 2012 to 2015, and is currently the poetry and reprints editor for Uncanny Magazine and co-editor with Alisa Krasnostein of Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, and the Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction series. She is also a co-host of the Hugo-nominated podcast, The Skiffy and Fanty Show, a general discussion, interview, and movie review show. She has narrated stories for Podcastle, Pseudopod, and Cast of Wonders, and poems for the Strange Horizons podcast.