“Cuernavaca” is a Pseudopod Original. “I’d like the audience to ask themselves what ‘belief’ means to them, and whether they think the things we believe in can protect us from a world that doesn’t seem to believe in much at all.”
JOHN M. DEISINGER is a writer from Milwaukee who lives in Michigan. He blogs at JohnMDeisinger.com
Your reader – Luis Moreno – is an actor from New York City. He holds an MFA in acting from Columbia University, and you can learn more about him at his website, luismorenotheactor.com. He loves recording audiobooks, and does so for many publishers; his narration work can be found on Audible and other commercial platforms.
Luis’ audio producer is the impeccable Branan Edgans (whom you last heard reading on Pseudopod in The Influence Of Thomas Glittio. And we would also like to thank Chris and Rob at BrickShop Audio in Industry City, Brooklyn for the recording help!
“Morelos state, as you know, is the crucible of the People’s Revolution. This was where the Grito de Dolores found its most fervent listeners. This was the homeland of Zapata, who I rode with and followed. You should have seen the landlord’s faces when we asked them for the taxes. When we burned their fields of sugar cane, so that the campesinos could plow them fresh and plant corn and peppers. They squealed like pigs in hot grease. How they threatened us, with their army, with their policemen, with their money, with their God. And all of this is to say nothing of the ones whose houses we burned.
But excuse me. My point is, I know the land well. The mountains that separate the city from the Distrito to the north. The patchwork fields, the lakes and small forests, where the peasants trap snakes for meat and smoke little green cigars. You are a peninsulare, of course, yes? You would have been lost, camarada. Your Spanish might serve you well in Monterrey or Madrid, but you’d be lost in the cornfields. The tongue of conquered peoples lives there still, it’s more Nahua than nacionale down there.”
“The Horror From The Mound” was first published in WEIRD TALES, May 1932.
Most famous for inventing the modern sword & sorcery tale with his Conan stories, ROBERT E. HOWARD (1906-1936) often introduced horror elements as a threat in his short fiction but the evocation of supernatural dread is only incidental in most of his tales; the chronicling of titanic adventure is the primary purpose. When Howard later switched from fantasy to westerns, he made the transition with this story. Howard’s major horror genre reputation rests with three stories (sadly, all of which are a bit too long for the podcast): “Black Canaan” (Weird Tales, 1936) was praised by Lovecraft for its “genuine, regional background and its compelling picture of the horror that stalks through the moss-hung, shadow-cursed, serpent-ridden swamps of the American far south”; “Pigeons from Hell” (Weird Tales, 1938) was praised by Stephen King as “one of the finest horror stories of our century” and “Worms of the Earth” (Weird Tales, 1932) is thought by many Howard fans to be his best story. The Del Rey series of Howard’s collected fiction includes Horror, Historical Adventures and Desert Adventures, in addition to his better known Conan, Kull and Solomon Kane tales. Please see this site. More info on Howard can be found at the REH Foundation and Project Pride, the caretakers of the REH House and Museum in Cross Plains, TX.
Your reader – Anson Mount – should need no introduction, but just in case we hope you’ve been watching him on AMC’s HELL ON WHEELS. He was last heard on Pseudopod in the Artemis Rising episode Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by Kelly Link. Anson’s audio producer is the impeccable Branan Edgans (whom you last heard reading on Pseudopod in The Influence Of Thomas Glittio. And we would also like to thank Chris and Rob at BrickShop Audio in Industry City, Brooklyn for the recording help!
“Steve Brill did not believe in ghosts or demons. Juan Lopez did. But neither the caution of the one nor the sturdy skepticism of the other was shield against the horror that fell upon them — the horror forgotten by men for more than three hundred years — a screaming fear monstrously resurrected from the black lost ages.”
D. MORGAN BALLMER lives in Maple Valley, Washington. His short fiction can be found in “Three-Lobed-Burning-Eye Magazine”, the NOT YOUR AVERAGE MONSTER Anthology, and the upcoming SILENT SCREAMS Anthology. I maintain a small web presence on Facebook.
“Most everyone in Fairview knows of the Trauma Box. None agree on its origins. Some claim the box was brought in by bootleggers during Prohibition as a place to stash illicit booze. Others claim it was used by the FBI to interrogate suspected communists back in ’50s. The Reverend, should you bump into him, will whisper of a family whose sole heir was a malformed child. The deranged boy was supposedly chained inside the box until his untimely death some eighteen years later (or ‘six-six-six years later’ as the Reverend puts it).”
This is a PseudoPod Original. This story takes its inspiration from the phenomenon of the “rat king”: a group of rats whose tails have gotten knotted and stuck, so that the rats all live and die together in a big tangled, biting mass.
Lia Swope Mitchell is a PhD student in French literature at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She studies visual media and speculative fiction in the nineteenth century, teaches grammar, and writes fiction on the sly.
Your narrator – Rish Outfield can be found regularly at The Dunesteef podcast, which he produces with Big Anklevich, and you can hear him pretty much everywhere in the genre story pod-o-sphere. And for good reason!
Listen. This is just a free consultation. We’re just two men in a bar, you and I. Respectably dressed with respectable drinks, talking business, like everyone else. But I can see it on your face, written underneath your eyes. I can smell it. Underneath the bourbon, underneath the cigarettes and lies. Something’s in there, crawling around inside. You’ve got a secret. And you want to do business, I can tell.
David Murphy’s latest book Walking on Ripples was published by the Liffey Press in Dublin, Ireland, in 2014. His previous books includes a contemporary fantasy novella Bird of Prey (2011), Arkon Chronicles (also a novella, 2003) and the well received novel Longevity City (2005), each of which was published in the USA. His award-winning short fiction has been published and translated worldwide; over one hundred appearances including magazines and anthologies, two chapbooks and a short story collection brought out first in Dublin in 2004 and re-issued in 2013. The title story of that collection, Lost Notes, won the inaugural Maurice Walsh Award for short stories.
Your narrator – Siobhan Gallichan, is a voice-over artist available for work at macfadyan-at-gmail.com. Listen to Siobhan’s podcast at The Flashing Blade or watch the show on YouTube.
Incisions are made within the clinical white surrounds of the operating lab; incisions in space and time in the operating theatre itself – and incisions into the flesh of the patient. These cuts and alterations take place in a lab so pristine that ceiling, walls and floor blend in a haze that fuses dimensions of distance, height and depth; a shining cleanliness so all-pervasive that light and surface intermingle, making it difficult to distinguish what is vertical from what is horizontal. Concentration and precision are of vital importance in this facility. All tables are smooth, all medical equipment sharp. Follow the instruction manual carefully. Do not – repeat: do not – attempt any ancillary procedures beyond those outlined in this manual.
This story originally appeared in PERSONAL DEMONS in 1998.
Author: Christopher Fowler is the award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the Bryant & May mystery novels, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives investigating impossible London crimes. His latest books are the Dubai-set thriller ‘The Sand Men’ and the Bryant & May novel ‘Strange Tide’. Other recent work includes a graphic novel, ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’, and a Hammer horror radio play under the Hammer Chillers label.
Your narrator is Jon Grilz. Jon is mystery writer as well as the creator of the Small Town Horror podcast who isn’t entirely sure which day of the week it is, but is pretty happy every time the sun rises. Most of the time you can find him wandering somewhere between the line dividing reality and wherever that laughter is coming from.
‘Look,’ said Albert, ‘they’re beating up Mrs Tremayne.’
‘She’s not done anything wrong, has she?’ asked Dr Figgis. ‘No. Perhaps that’s why they’re beating her up.’
‘Doesn’t follow, does it? God, she’s making a lot of noise.’ He shouted through the bars. ‘Hey, keep it down!’
‘This thing’s hard on my arse.’ Albert fidgeted on the rungs. After a few hours they cut into your buttocks and forced you to change position. At least, that was the effect they had on Albert. He noticed that many of the others never seemed to move at all.
Your guest host this week is Associate Editor Dagny Paul. Dagny is an 8th-grade English teacher who lives in Baton Rouge with her husband and four-year-old son. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies. There’s a small but nonzero chance she was sent here from the future to stave off the awakening of an AI.