Archive for the 'Podcasts' Category
PseudoPod 458: Stabilimentum

by Livia Llewellyn

“Stabilimentum” was published in the 2013 anthology Shadow’s Edge, which was edited by Simon Strantzas for Gray Friar Press.

“The story was written as a reaction to the massive and rapid development of the Jersey City waterfront, which is so out of character with the rest of the city – in particular my tenement-lined neighborhood – that it seems altogether alien and intrusive.”

Livia Llewellyn is a writer of dark fantasy, horror and erotica. Her fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Subterranean, Nightmare Magazine, and Postscripts; and her short story collection Engines of Desire: Tales of Love & Other Horrors was nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Collection. Her website is at, where she list all her current works-in-progress and upcoming publications.

Your narrator – Tatiana Gomberg is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. Learn more about her at

Preorder your copy of She Walks in Shadows here:

Buy a copy of Hexed by Anders Manga here:


Thalia woke up with a small moan, a gasp of air escaping her mouth as her eyes opened to dim morning light. She stood before the open door of her bathroom, the small room as black and empty as an elevator shaft. Did she sleepwalk? No, that couldn’t be it. She was only still so tired that she didn’t remember getting out of bed. Just like the day before, and the day before–three months of this now, starting the day she moved in. Leaning against the doorframe, Thalia flipped on the bathroom light, peering up at the ceiling as she waited for the vertigo to dissipate. Thirty floors above her, a small city pressing down. She felt it the most in this tight, windowless space, the gurgles of water and pinging of pipes, the crush of so many people above and around her, doing the exact same thing. She had wanted to live high above everyone, far away from the crowds. It never occurred to her that with so many tenants pressed together, she would never feel truly alone, never feel far away from anything at all. Everyone bleeding into each other’s space–city living, get used to it. Thalia pushed the unease away, and reached for the toothpaste.

She only noticed it later, as she was getting ready to leave for work–looking up as she struggled with her hair, she spied a large brown spider trembling on invisible strands, high up in the far corner over her bathtub. Thalia stared, momentarily slack-jawed, as the creature seemingly floated through thick circles and curves of a white spiral pattern within the invisible rest of the web, its pace furious in tempo and intent. That was going to be one big damn web when it was finished. Which would be never.

“Do not have time for this,” Thalia mumbled, half-tiptoeing, half-clomping through the living room in an attempt to keep the neighbors below from waking up and complaining yet again about high heels and noise. A single shake to the bright yellow canister from under the kitchen sink told her all she needed to know. Barely enough to kill it, but it was enough. She tip-clomped back into the bathroom, and rose the can high into the air. Another small gasp escaped her lips, and she leaned back against the door frame. Again, vertigo–always the sensation that she was rising, rushing upward into the clouds. She just needed more protein, that’s all, maybe eggs for breakfast tomorrow instead of coffee and toast. Thalia aimed the can, and pressed her finger down. The first shot sent the spider spiraling down into the tub, and the second, weaker blast slowed its tremulous death throes just enough to assure her there would be no sudden revivals. Thalia felt the prickle of wet mist against her skin, and a second later, an ugly floral scent stung her throat and eyes. She backed quickly out of the bathroom, leaving the frail crumple of body and legs on the bathtub mat, a dot waving eight farewells. She’d deal with it when she got home tonight.


Pseudopod 453: The Toyol

by Joel Arnold

“The Toyol” originally appeared in Black Static magazine in March, 2014. It has also been reprinted in Joel’s collection of horror, BEDTIME STORIES FOR THE APOCALYPSE III, which can be found in most ebook stores.

JOEL ARNOLD lives in Minnesota. His writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including Weird Tales and the Cemetery Dance anthology, SHIVERS VII.

Your narrator – Misty Dawn – describes herself as part warrior and part pacifist, owing to her Comanche and Cherokee heritage. She credits her mother with encouraging her two greatest loves: music and horror, and H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King with teaching her to embrace the darkest corners of her imagination, and to coax those things living within to come out and play. She hopes to create a YouTube channel and is working on redesigning her blog, Deadtime Musings, from Dusk to Misty Dawn, to include short stories of horror, both real and imagined as well as poetry and lyrics, also of a dark nature. A Navy brat who grew up abroad, she settled in San Francisco, attending UC Berkeley, where she received a BA in Drama/Communications.

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery involving the illegal trade of people for exploitation or commercial gain. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime. However, trafficking is also something occurring much closer to home. Estimates indicate between 100,000 and 300,000 children are trafficked for sex in the US each year, with the average victim being just 14 years of age. Also, 27% of trafficked victims are held for purposes of domestic servitude and 10% for work in agriculture. There is no single profile for trafficking victims; trafficking occurs to adults and minors in rural, suburban, or urban communities across the country. Victims of human trafficking have diverse socio-economic backgrounds, varied levels of education, and may be documented or undocumented. Traffickers target victims using tailored methods of recruitment and control they find to be effective in compelling that individual into forced labor or commercial sex. 

Here are some common indicators to help recognize human trafficking:
Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
Has a child stopped attending school?
Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

Warning Signs for Child Sex Trafficking
Chronic runaway/homeless youth.
Excess amount of cash in their possession (may be reluctant to explain its source).
Hotel keys and key cards.
Lying about age/false ID.
Inconsistencies when describing and recounting events.
Unable or unwilling to give local address or information about parent(s)/guardian.
Presence or fear of another person (often an older male or boyfriend who seems controlling).
High number of reported sexual partners at a young age.
Sexually explicit profiles on social networking sites.
Injuries/signs of physical abuse (that they may be reluctant to explain).
Inability or fear of social interaction.
Demeanor exhibiting fear, anxiety, depression, submissiveness, tenseness, nervousness.
Is not enrolled in school or repeated absence from school.
Does not consider self a victim.
Loyalty to positive feelings toward pimp/trafficker.
May try to protect pimp/trafficker from authorities.
Prepaid cell phone.

How can you help?
Organizations combating human trafficking in your area: NGO’s in your area

20 ways you can help fight human trafficking: Help

Avoid products that facilitate human trafficking:
According to research by the Polaris Project, human trafficking often operates alongside legitimate businesses. From chocolate companies to electronics producers, a number of corporations use human trafficking and forced labor as a means to making the most profit on their product. You can find out which companies still use slave labor in the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor. Do your research to make sure your investments are socially responsible and benefit companies that don’t take advantage of modern day slaves.

What is human trafficking?
Victims of HT
7 Ways To Join The Fight


“The man from the limousine stops, takes off his sunglasses and squints. He removes the handkerchief from his face and smiles. “How old are you?” he asks Zeya.

“Sixteen,” says Zeya.

“Are you hungry?”

“Yes. And my grandfather.” She nods toward U-Po. “We’re all hungry here.”

The man studies her for a moment. “I have work for you if you want it,” he says. “In Kuala Lampur. The hotels are looking for help. The pay is good.” He nods at U-Po. “You can send money to your family and still have enough left for yourself.”

Zeya looks at U-Po, who continues to mumble to his dead wife. He is the only family she has left. “What kind of work?” she asks.

“Housekeeping, restaurant work, laundry. Very good honest work and the pay is excellent.”

“But my grandfather – ”

The man looks at his watch. “I’ll give you fifteen minutes to decide. Then I must go.” He raises the handkerchief to his face and walks away to talk to one of the other girls nearby.”


Pseudopod 457: Escape From Kroo Bay

by Byron Barton

“Escape From Kroo Bay” is original to PSEUDOPOD.

BYRON BARTON received a PhD from the University of Vermont and currently lives and works in Aruba. His serialized novel, “Heat,” can be read at 31

Your narrator — Elan Ressel, last read “Set Down This” for us in 2010!  Elan’s company offers a corporate education tool, SPICE (Self-Paced Interactive Corporate Education). Take a look at this demonstration.


“Kossi glanced at the dead body sprawled across the bus stop floor. One ragged leg was draped over a weathered wooden bench while the torso was splayed in a half-twist over pitted concrete. Old newspapers and candy wrappers partially covered the corpse like a loose patchwork quilt. If not for the slack in the man’s jaws and dark goo pooling in his worn denim shirt, the corpse might simply be a passed out drunk.

Dead bodies on the street weren’t common in Freetown, but they weren’t particularly unusual, either. Kossi shuttered, thinking back to the civil war, when the RUF had temporarily taken the city and left behind enough stiffs and severed limbs to fill a dozen mass graves. Ebola hadn’t left nearly as many bodies behind, but the panic was the same. At least they could see the rebels. At least they could hide or beg or buy their way out of trouble. Ebola was invisible, and as indiscriminate as a child soldier jacked up on brown-brown.”


Pseudopod 456: Flash On The Borderlands XXVI: Official Reports

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”

George Orwell


“Thumbwood” by Davin Ireland

“Thumbwood” was originally published in September of 2007 in THE FIRST HUMDRUMMING BOOK OF HORROR STORIES, a UK print anthology of horror fiction edited by Ian Alexander Martin. The tale was reprinted in August of 2010 in ESTEBAN’S HOUSE OF BIZARRO, an online journal of bizarro fiction that folded some weeks later. While the tale itself is fictional, the structure and language of the document are lifted directly from a genuine British Ministry of Defence report I was able to get my hands on.

DAVIN IRELAND was born and raised in the south of England, but currently resides in the Netherlands. His fiction credits include stories published in over sixty print magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including Aeon, Underworlds, The Horror Express, Zahir, Comets & Criminals, Rogue Worlds, Storyteller Magazine and Something Wicked. He blogs at Davin Ireland.

Your reader – should be somewhat familiar to you…

“c) The kitchen is surprisingly modern given the setting, and contains many of the domestic appliances one might expect from an equivalent family home. Dishwasher, microwave, fridge-freezer and designer espresso machine are all in evidence. In an alcove by the back door, Sisyphus struggles valiantly to push a large granite sphere up a craggy mountainside. Oblivious to our operative’s presence, the former Corinthian king puffs and strains in order to achieve his goal, jaw clenched, diminutive biceps popping beneath the fabric of his flimsy cotton tunic. The task is a thankless one.”


“Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch” by M. Bennardo.

“Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch” was first published by Daily Science Fiction on January 3, 2013. (about story) “I’m quite fond of Pittsburgh, and selected it as the scene of this story only for its interesting geography.”

M. BENNARDO is the writer of over 40 published short stories. He is also co-editor of the MACHINE OF DEATH series of anthologies (along with David Malki and Ryan North). The most recent volume in the series, “THIS IS HOW YOU DIE”, was published by Grand Central Press in July 2013, and was named by the Onion AV Club as one of their favorite books of the year. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio and his personal website is M. Bennardo.

Your reader – John Bell – is creator of award-winning radio ads (no, really!), voice talent, audio-book voice, and writer/producer of the “Bells in the Batfry” podcast. He has an audio book on Audible and iTunes (plus a text version, but you REALLY want the audio version) called “The Devil’s Pinata”… a rather silly and pun-filled spoof of action-adventure novels…

“In several items yesterday, the Visitor was variously described as having six legs, eight legs, or “an unholy agglomeration of writhing, thrashing appendages, unable to be counted”. The correct number of legs is eight.”


“N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis” by Adam Corbin Fusco.

“N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis” was first published in the anthology Borderlands 5 from Borderlands Press. It was reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection. Borderlands 5 was republished by Warner Books under the title From the Borderlands.

ADAM CORBIN FUSCO is a writer whose fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Weird Tales, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and other publications. His website is at The Tantisper Tower

Your reader – Erik Luke – is the screenwriter of the Joe Dante film EXPLORERS, which is currently in development as a remake, the comic books GHOST and WONDER WOMAN, and wrote and directed the NOT QUITE HUMAN films for Disney TV. His current project INTERFERENCE, a meta horror audiobook about an audiobook… that kills, is available free on iTunes and at

“Reaction to the ‘primal face’ is correlative to reaction to the ‘laughter response face.’ Subjects were shown a photograph of a theater audience. They were told the audience was viewing a comedic film and were asked to rate the comedic value of the film on the one to five Tortelli scale based on the audience’s facial reaction. Seventy-nine percent of males and seventy-two percent of females rated the comedic value at a four or greater. The fact that the audience was not watching a comedic film at all maintains the consistency of the study. (Note photographic archive of Nazi ‘Laughter Cabaret’ wherein each seat delivered mid-level electrical shock via anal probes during strategic ‘punchlines.’)”


If you like horror movies you really should be listening to FACULTY OF HORROR!.

If you are female (or identify as such) and write horror fiction, you should consider submitting to Artemis Rising 2: Hecate Strikes Back

If you enjoyed the stylistic conceit of this week’s episodes, you should check out TANDEM REGION TIMES