Archive for the 'Flash' Category
Pseudopod 377: Showcase: The Dark Audio Tone Poems of The Spectre Collector

by Ron Jon.

“Barking Mad”
“Shortcut”
“From The Deep”
“Quite Mad”
“Christ, I Think It’s Death”

RON JON has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature.
You can hear more of his work at The Spectre Collector Blog and The Spectre Collector Page. Also, be sure to check out the Killer Blood Shroom Cult hymns at The Fruits Of Madness.

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Essay features short clips from Disney’s Thrilling Chilling Sounds From The Haunted House (1964), Terror Tales By The Old Sea Hag (1959 – date dubious), Scary Spooky Stories (1973), A Coven Of Witches’ Tales (1973), Nightmare!! (1962), Alfred Hitchcock’s Music To Be Murdered By (1958) and Silica Gel: 50) Noisy Children Party.

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Pseudopod 374: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XIX: Blood On The Tracks – Departure, Transit, Arrival

Going nowhere… faster….

“Midnight Express” by Alfred Noyes.

“Midnight Express” first appeared in This Week, November 3, 1935.
ALFRED NOYES (1880-1958) is primarily remembered as a poet, especially for his ballads “The Highwayman” and “The Barrel-Organ”. Aside from his poetry he wrote a large number of short stories intended to boost the national morale and small number of uncanny stories including this, “The Lusitania Waits” and “The Log of the Evening Star”. He published many novels including the post-apocalyptic THE LAST MAN (1940) and his famed trilogy THE TORCH BEARERS (1922-1930).

Read by Paul Jenkins, who has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links.

“It was a battered old book, bound in read buckram. He found it, when he was twelve years old, on an upper shelf in his father’s library; and, against all the rules, he took it to his bedroom to read by candlelight, when the rest of the rambling old Elizabethan house was flooded with darkness. That was how young Mortimer always thought of it.”

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“Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” by Mark Samuels.

“Destination: Nihil by Edmund Bertrand” had its first appearance in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR #20 edited by Stephen Jones. MARK SAMUELS (born 1967) is the author of four short story collections THE WHITE HANDS AND OTHER WEIRD TALES (Tartarus Press 2003), BLACK ALTARS (Rainfall Books 2003), GLYPHOTECH & OTHER MACABRE PROCESSES (PS Publishing 2008) and THE MAN WHO COLLECTED MACHEN & OTHER STORIES (Ex Occidente 2010 and Chomu Press 2011) as well as the short novel THE FACE OF TWILIGHT (PS Publishing 2006). His tales have appeared in both THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW HORROR and THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY & HORROR. He has a new collection forthcoming from Egaeus Press in 2014 and has been described by Ramsey Campbell as “the British Thomas Ligotti”: A description he is at odds with, since he shares few, if any, of Ligotti’s aims either as a contemporary philosopher or writer of weird fiction. He is also literary executor for the late Edmund Bertrand. “How I came to be Bertrand’s literary executor is a convoluted affair and too long to go into here,” explains Samuels. “In any case, it’s certainly ironic, given that Bertrand (an American citizen, but of French ancestry, as his name suggests) was a staunch Anglophobe. Bertrand was born in Memphis, sometime during 1957, and died in a mysterious hotel fire whilst attending a convention in England in 2007. His stories chart the far reaches of madness, and were never collected together in a single volume. His main influences were European authors such as Stefan Grabinski, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Dino Buzzati and Jean Lorrain.”

Read by Jorn Meyer – who is new to PSEUDOPOD with this story and who is available for narration or voice work and can be reached at mail-at-joern-meyer.net

“There was no question now of keeping panic in check. Grey loped off along the aisle of the car in search of the conductor, or of the first person he encountered. A few rows further down he saw a man slouched in his seat, dressed in a rain mac and a wide-brimmed floppy hat that obscured his face. Grey hesitated before addressing the stranger, because he feared the face concealed in shadow. Would it be like that of the conductor? If it were, then he feared he would have reached a tipping point and might scream himself to death.”

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“The Terminus” by Kim Newman.

A slightly different version of “The Terminus” appeared in the fanzine Sheep Worrying in 1981; this version appeared in Fantasy Tales in 1985. “It’s pretty much the earliest story I sold professionally.” KIM NEWMAN is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes THE QUORUM, LIFE’S LOTTERY and PROFESSOR MORIARTY: THE HOUND OF THE D’URBERVILLES; his non-fiction includes NIGHTMARE MOVIES and BFI Classics studies of CAT PEOPLE and DOCTOR WHO. He has written plays for the theatre (The Hallowe’en Sessions) and radio (Cry-Babies), is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines and reviews in Video Watchdog. His official web-site can be found here. He is also on Twitter as @AnnoDracula and his latest novel is ANNO DRACULA: JOHNNY ALUCARD, fourth in the successful ANNO DRACULA series. His next novel, AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY, will be out in late 2014.

Your reader, 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.

“‘Oh yes,’ Verdon told me, ‘disappearances from the underground are not uncommon. Every once in a while some unfortunate wanders off where he shouldn’t and meets with an accident. Sometimes our staff doesn’t come across the remains for years. Some people never do turn up. Those are the most interesting, I think. This pile.’

It was an impressive stack of manila folders. On the night of 9 October 1872 (which I like to think of as appropriately foggy) Mr Julian Selwyn-Pitt, a landscape painter, walked into Oxford Street station and was never seen again. Since 1872, fifteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four people had followed Mr Selwyn-Pitt into Verdon’s files. The figure was exclusive of all those whose disappearance was not reported and those, like Robert Webb, whose folders had not yet drifted down to settle in Verdon’s office.

‘So there are nearly sixteen thousand people lying around the tube somewhere?’”

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Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, available from Music Alley.

Train sounds are from SoundJay.com.

Cave drips are from FreeSound.org.

Pseudopod 367: Flash On The Borderlands XVIII: Pseudopod Forum 2013 Flash Contest Winners

PSEUDOPOD PRESENTS THE WINNERS OF THE ESCAPE ARTISTS FORUM’S FLASH FICTION CONTEST 2013

THIRD PLACE

Whispers From The Trench
by Robert McKinney

Robert McKinney thinks about spaceships, dragons, and whatever falls in between. When not writing or rewriting, he fills his free time with TV marathons and hobbyist paints.
Read for you by Joel Nisbet

“That’s when I saw them. Three shapes dressed in enemy kit, slogging from their lines in the pockmarked soil to allied trenches to the southwest. Each had air tanks strapped onto their backs and had faces blocked by masks and gas bottle tubing.”

SECOND PLACE

The Violin Family
by James Douglas

James Douglas is quite happy to remain mysterious, although will confess to being ‘rather English’.
Read for you by Donna Scott
Donna Scott is a Comedian, editor, poet, blogger and Chair of the BSFA. She’s next appearing at Eastercon, where I will be hanging around the BSFA desk, and she should also be part of an anthology launch for Newcon Press. Check out www.donna-scott.co.uk for details of upcoming publications and appearances.

Music: Brice Catherin “Number 3: Version for violin and chamber orchestra” available at The Free Music Archive.

“There are four members of the violin family: the violin, the viola, the cello and the double bass.”

FIRST PLACE

Mr. Flyspeck
by R.K. Kombrinck
can be read HERE.
R.K. Kombrinck is a writer and artist who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and two sons. He is a founding cast-member of the popular horror podcast “Night of the Living Podcast.” He enjoys iced-tea (unsweet) and genuinely believes in Sasquatch. His collection, THESE LONELY PLACES is available HERE. You can hear him talk horror on the weekly Night Of The Living Podcast, and read more of my fiction HERE.
Read for you by Dani Cutler.

“She hadn’t been afraid, only curious and surprised. Something was sitting on the desk. It looked like a rat, or mouse. Three feet tall with orange fur and wild eyes. She remembered how it smiled at her. How it spoke.”

Pseudopod 353: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XVII: Keeping Up Appearances

Things are not always as they seem…

“Down By The Sea Near The Great Big Rock” by Joe R. Lansdale

This story first appeared in MASQUES (1984). JOE R. LANSDALE, who recently appeared here with PSEUDOPOD #344: The Pit, 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 books are THE THICKET and EDGE OF DARK WATER, both from Mulholland Books. Joe blogs here and you can also follow him on Facebook.

Read by Corson Bremer, who lives in France and has dual nationality, but is American by birth. Corson works as a professional voice actor, technical communicator, and French-to-English translator. He is also a life-long curmudgeon. His professional credits in voice acting include audio guides, industrial video narration, e-learning, radio and tv commercials, and video games for Ubisoft (Red Steel 2 and Petz:Horses 2) and Spiders (Mars:War Logs). He’s a big fan of dramatic readings as well as radio drama and comedy. Check out HCBVoice.com for his voice services and demos. Corson is a board member of Voice Artists United, an organization for established and up-and-coming voice actors who are looking for support, community, education, and information. If you are a voice actor, find them at the link under their name or on Facebook and LinkedIn.

“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. “

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“The Demon Fields” by Keith McCleary

“The Demon Fields” has been performed in San Diego, and can be found at Gchatus, but Pseudopod is its first published appearance. “It was written in California while thinking of the summers I spent at my grandmother’s house in Vermont as a child. It’s also my girlfriend’s favorite piece of mine, so she should get some credit for its submission.” 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.

Read by Kevin Hayes – Kevin is a man of many facets. Hailing from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, he is overactively involved in the Science Fiction/Fantasy and Horror Community where he has done (and continues to do) programming for the usually annual SF conference Confluence – July 25th to 27th, 2014. He is a writer, a reader, an actor, a singer, a poet, and a cartoonist/illustrator – and that’s just in his spare time. He thrives with his artistic endeavors and lives with a hugely talented woman who shares his interests and is the passion of his life (they have collaborated on a novel that defies easy description for which they still try to find a publishing home). The home they have made for themselves also contains three of her five children, artists, writers and performers all. Kevin’s website can be found here and he also one of the driving members of a writers’ critique group called Write Or Die! (aka “WorD”) who meet at a local bookshop. He has a story appearing in “TV Gods” from Fortress Publishing, available May/June 2014, and he appears in a photo-graphic comic from Tia Tormen Productions called “Zombimboz” on sale now on Amazon!

“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.”

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“Pawn” by Jaki Idler

A shorter version of “Pawn” was a Semifinalist in the 2010 Escape Pod flash contest, where it was titled “Queen.” 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).

Your reader, Julia Rios, is a writer, editor, podcaster, and narrator. She’s one of the three fiction editors for Strange Horizons and hosts the Outer Alliance Podcast (celebrating QUILTBAG speculative fiction). Check her out at here blog here.

“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.”

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Help Gail Carriger get CRUDRAT up and running by checking out: CRUDRAT!

Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, from Music Alley.

Pseudopod 347: Flash On The Borderlands XVI: Trial & Discipline

“Passing Grade” by Paul DesCombaz

This story has not been published elsewhere.  Paul says, “This is the middle of the story. I have only a vague idea what happens before or after.”

PAUL DesCOMBAZ lives in Saint Paul, MN. “Passing Grade” is his second sale..

Read by Kyle Akers, the frontman of Antennas Up, an electro-pop rock band from Kansas City. A budding voice talent, he continues to expand his reading roles across several podcasts. Antennas Up’s new album “The Awkward Phase” is available on Spotify, iTunes and from antennasupmusic.com.

“This wasn’t cutesy time. You don’t get personal with the bad things coming for you. You don’t make sweet talk to nightmares. Just make it through to the other end. That’s your only job. Or something along those lines.”

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“The Killing Machine” by Karen Runge

This story has never been formally published before, but an edited version was presented at the 2nd Open Reading for Beijing Writers, which is a small quarterly event open to anyone in the Beijing area who writes creatively, in any form. “When we are guilty of evil, do we deserve empathy? When we are victims of evil, are we capable of feeling empathy for those who have harmed us? Just how much punishment is too much? Where exactly do we draw the line between justice and cruelty?”

KAREN RUNGE is a South African who has been living in China since 2008. She was first formally published in the South African Science Fiction and Horror magazine, ‘Something Wicked’ in 2007, twice in the South African ezine ‘iBhuku’ and she is a huge fan of the horror genre in all the forms it takes. Another short story of hers, ‘When Layla Wakes’, recently appeared in issue 17 (May-June) of Horrorbound. When she has trouble writing, she usually tries to paint.

Karen recommends the Something Wicked SF & Horror magazine Anthologies! Volume 1 is available for purchase at Amazon and also at Something Wicked’s website.

Read by Eve Upton

07:00AM

Broadcast:

Wake. The day is clean, white and waiting. Don’t look back on the things that happened yesterday, don’t think about what will happen later. Think for a moment about the life you lived before. Say your prayer of repentance before you get out of bed. Allow yourself to feel your guilt, savour it inside of you. It is yours, now. It belongs to you.

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“Awaiting Redemption” by Maurice Broaddus

This story was bought by the Horror World web site. “People can claim a religious faith but use it strictly as a cover for their own cruelty (that has nothing to do with their religion).”

MAURICE BROADDUS’ dark fiction has been published in numerous magazines, anthologies, and web sites, and he’s the author of the urban fantasy series, THE KNIGHTS OF BRETON COURT. He has been a teaching artist for over five years, teaching creative writing to elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adults. You can visit his site at MauriceBroaddus.com. His anthology, DARK FAITH: INVOCATIONS, has just been released from Apex Books. His KNIGHTS OF BRETON COURT trilogy has been released as an omnibus from Angry Robot books.

Read by Laurice White

“Serving was her religious duty, he told her, though she was too impure to read the Qur’an for herself.  She knew his kind.  For him religion was a tool he re-shaped into his own image to vent his cruelty and hate.  He probably knew less of the Qu’ran than she did.  His dagger sliced her Arizona Cardinals Super Bowl XLIII 2009 Champions shirt, still stiff with dried blood.  Wearing only her Nike running shoes, one size too small, she lowered her head, not allowed to cover herself.  He touched her in a familiar way, but she would not taste shame no matter how he tried to force feed it to her.  She never hid her scars.  They told the story of who she was, a map to her soul.”

Pseudopod 330: Flash On The Borderlands XV: At Your Service!

Do you feel an implicit threat in the query “How May I Help You?”


“Last Waltz in Texas” by Bryce Albertson

This story originally appeared in Necrotic Tissue #10 and was reprinted in THE BEST OF NECROTIC TISSUE.

BRYCE ALBERSON is a writer from Fort Smith, Arkansas whose work has appeared in The Brooklyner, THE BEST OF NECROTIC TISSUE, MALPRACTICE: AN ANTHOLOGY OF BEDSIDE TERROR, On The Premises, and other places. His screenplay, PAPER EMPIRES, won first Place in the 2012 Las Vegas Film Festival‘s screenplay contest. He was a guest judge for issue #17 of On the Premises and his story, “Like the Title Goes Here and Stuff”, will be featured in that issue, which should come out sometime near the end of July.


Read by Jacquie Duckworth, who grew up sneaking out of her room in the wee hours of the night to watch Twilight Zone and Night Gallery (my kind of girl – ed.). She is an actress in the San Francisco Bay Area performing everything from Shakespeare to sketch comedy and is proud to have been featured as the “Bondi Neighbor Woman” in a television episode of Discovery ID Channel’s I ALMOST GOT AWAY WITH IT!

“Hey there, cowboy. Have a seat.”


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“Sterile” by Christopher Tepedino

“Sterile” has not been published previously. Pseudopod is the first publication to pick it up.

CHRISTOPHER TEPEDINO is a speculative fiction writer currently living in Champaign, IL, just south of Chicago. His other works have been published in Fusion Fragment, SNM Horror Magazine, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and Arable. He is hard at work on a western zombie apocalypse novel that involves the pursuit of a mythical gun that may save mankind.


Read by John “Man Of Many Voices” Bell – why haven’t you gone and listened to BELL’S IN THE BATFRY, yet? Are you MAD?!?

“‘A shiny quarter. It’s on the pale green floor outside room 133, bright and sparkly, and Reynolds Parker stoops to pick it up. He’s a short, hunchbacked man, with missing teeth and a left eye that rolls in its socket without purpose. He has a mop in one hand; the tendrils hang toward the floor, splotched in dark red. He clutches the mop, sure to not let it fall — it’s his, after all — and hesitantly folds the shiny quarter in his palm. His hand shakes as he turns the quarter over, examining the eagle on the back, wings spread, perched on a branch of olives above the block letters E PLURIBUS UNUM, and then the decapitated George Washington head, a letter halo LIBERTY poised above his balding skull. It’s silver all around, not a speck of red blemishing its smooth surface, and Reynolds tucks it into the front pocket of his pants. Such items did not go in his apron; those pockets are for messiness. This quarter is clean.”


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“Meat” by David Steffen

“Meat” has not been previously published.

DAVID STEFFEN writes video processing algorithms for traffic control systems by day. He lives with his wife and three dogs in Minnesota. His fiction has been published in Daily Science Fiction, Bull Spec, AE, and twice previously on Pseudopod, among others. He has been a dedicated listener to all the Escape Artists podcasts for years, and you can find him on the forum as “Unblinking”. David co-edits the non-fiction zine Diabolical Plots, focusing on interviews, reviews, and other topics of interest to speculative fiction fans. Also check the site for a full bibliography.


Your reader, Josh Roseman, has been published in Asimov’s and on Escape Pod, among other places, and his reviews appear regularly at Escapepod.org (he’s on the forums as Listener). His most recent fiction sale was
“Secret Santa”, which appeared on THE DUNESTEEF last December, and he is currently seeking a publisher for his new superhero novel. He’s in the midst of a Buffy re-watch on his blog, Listener. His main website is
Josh Roseman; his twitter is @listener42; and you can follow him on Google Plus or like him on Facebook.

“Try as I might, I fail Master. Keep the house clean and keep red meat in the fridge, he said. These are menial tasks, yet I fail.”

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PLEASE HELP PSEUDOPOD AND ANSWER A VERY SHORT DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY AT THIS LINK. IT WILL HELP US IMMEASURABLY! and thank you!

SURVEY

Pseudopod 311: Flash On The Borderlands XIV: Resistance!

For Pearl Harbor Day, three flash pieces about fighting back …


No Further by Matthew Acheson

This piece was previously published in “Underground Voices” magazine and is one of two stories available to date from Mr. Acheson’s WHISPERS FROM THE NORTH saga, a series of linked short stories that sets the backdrop for his currently in progress fantasy novel.

Matthew Acheson lives in Orono, Maine. He earned his Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Ancient History from the University of Southern Maine, and has worked as an engineer in the telecommunications industry for over a decade. His fiction has appeared in Raygun Revival, Spinetingler, Digital Dragon, Morpheus Tales, and others. On some cold winter nights you’ll find him by the fireplace, entertaining his fourteen nieces and nephews with strange tales of supernatural horror and the fantastic. His website, Cryptic House, is linked under his byline above.


Read by Ian Stuart, who has something special in store for you in a few weeks!

“Their arrival was a terrible sight. The light from the full moon cast a strange, eerie glow upon the host of pale corpse things and their shrieking masters which stretched across the vale for miles in every direction. They swept the valley like a flood that left only ash, carrion and pestilence in its wake.”


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The Conchie by J. Chant

Pseudopod is the story’s first publication.

Jayne Chant resides in a tiny town in Cambridgeshire with her husband, daughter and malevolent cat. Her first experience of the unmatchable thrill of a good ghost story was as a small child listening to her mother read Victorian ghost stories by candlelight..


Read by Kim Lakin-Smith, whose dark fantasy and science fiction short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Black Static, Interzone, Celebration, Myth-Understandings, Further Conflicts, PANDEMONIUM: STORIES OF THE APOCALYPSE, THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF GHOST STORIES BY WOMEN (“‘Field of the Dead”), and others, with “Johnny and Emmie-Lou Get Married” shortlisted for the BSFA short story award 2009. She is the author of the gothic fantasy Tourniquet; Tales from the Renegade City, the YA novella QUEEN RAT, and CYBER CIRCUS which was shortlisted for both the 2012 BSFA Best Novel award and the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel. Published on the 1st of December by Snow Books will be RESURRECTION ENGINES, an anthology of steampunk short stories inspired by classic novels from the Victorian period, containing her short story, “The Island of Peter Pandora” (a mashup of Peter Pan and The Island of Doctor Moreau), which has also been picked up for Best Fantasy 2013 from Proxima Books. She is currently working on an urban fantasy YA novel and a dark fantasy novel for adults.

“‘But last night I could not sleep. That unending thunder – I shut my eyes and all I could see were flames. It hurt to breath. It was Thomas I worried for. Then very late, after the clock struck three, Peter appeared and my heart leapt. He sat on the Ottoman at the foot of the bed, his back to me, his arm stretched along the bedstead.

‘I noticed a terrible stain on his back, and as I watched, it spread. I cried out his name, and for the first time he seemed to have heard, in all the nights he’s appeared. His head turned, only a little. I don’t think he wanted me to see his face. His fingers twitched.’

‘It was only a nightmare, Amelia.’

‘I crawled down the bed towards him. I said; my dear, my sweet child, are you in pain? His head shook from side to side. I reached out for his hand, and for a moment I felt his flesh. Cold and damp. And then he was gone. Completely. The room filled with the scent of honeysuckle, just like Vaughn house, where we used to summer, and Peter fished and climbed trees and played soldiers.’

Amelia’s hand shot out and gripped Elizabeth’s, far too hard.

‘It was a nightmare, nothing more,’ said Elizabeth, pulling her hand away.”


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Bitter Tea & Braided Hair by Henry Lu

This story was first published on Fiction365 on May 4th, 2012.

Henry Lu learned English in a pre-podcast era, by listening to Voice of America when he was a teenager in Communist China. He also paints. You can look at his paintings on RedBubble under the name of “ArtPal”


Read by Tracey Yuen, who is involved in education and considers listening to podcasts a big factor in getting himself to “read” fiction and dabbles in photography, videography editing, page layout and narration.

“Incense smoke rises from the monastery into the low-hanging clouds of the same ominous shade, portending a quick-fire summer storm.

His standard-issue dark suit gives him away: even the Chinese tourists can tell he’s a plain-clothes. He watches the crowd’s every move, carrying the thermos mug that has earned him the “bitter tea” nickname. Like his Tibetan mother, he is addicted to Chinese bitter tea.

He pays close attention to the braided hairs of Tibetan maidens, determined to follow his Chinese father’s footstep in marrying one of them someday.”

Pseudopod 303: Flash On The Borderlands XIII – Responsible Parties

A Murder Of Crows by Tres Crow

Tres Crow lives in Atlanta with the two people he loves most in the world. He’s been published in decomP, Emprise Review, Full of Crow, The Foundling Review, as well as the website Metalsucks.net. Check out his blog, Dog Eat Crow World, at the link under his name above.

Read by Malcolm Charles

I grab him by his shirt and yank him to his feet. He is so thin, a bird, just like his mother, and the reek of liquor from his pores and breath stings in my nostrils. I shake him.

“John…” starts my wife, dropping the shovels, but I wave her away.

“Stop your whining. It’s your fault we’re out here. If you weren’t such a goddamn idiot,” I yell at him and I shake him and I stamp my feet.

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Magnitude Seven by David Glen Larson

This story was originally published in Niteblade, December 2011.

After leaving the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, David worked as a screenwriter and television writer for several years before writing his first short story, which recently appeared in Daily Science Fiction. He has also published speculative poems in magazines like Niteblade, Ideomancer, and the British Fantasy Society Journal (formerly Dark Horizons).

Read by Patrick Bazille. Patrick “The Voice” Bazille is a new and fresh sound in the voice over industry. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Patrick has voiced everything from PSA’s to major product brand commercials and movie trailers to documentaries. With a deep, commanding voice often referred to as “The Voice of God” Patrick demands attention.

Levoy found a road at the bottom of the stairs, and followed it to a city of blue and white tents. There were strange people all around him: dog people, pig people, tin-can people, people with legs made of tires and arms of twisted steel, and rat people too. All of them had no eyes.

There were also children making masks from scraps of wood and other broken things for tourists that would never come here. The children had no eyes.

One of them called out his name. It was Marta, a friend from the school Magnitude Seven destroyed. Marta had no eyes.

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Always Grinning by Nathaniel Lee

Nathaniel is a writer living in North Carolina with his wife, child, and obligatory cats. He puts words in order, and sometimes people give him money for them.  His work, including a full bibliography, can be found at his daily writing blog, Mirrorshards (see the link under his name above) where he publishes a 100-word story most days.  HIs short story “Gastrohpidia” is currently available at Ideomancer.  The Mirrorshards book, “Splinters of Silver and Glass” has 100 of his drabbles, one flash fiction story (“The Lady of Tilmarine”) and one full-length short story (“Old Growth.”)

Read by Rikki LaCoste. Rikki is the creator and co-host of the metaphysical and esoterically flavoured podcast, Kakophonos Internet Radio available for free from iTunes.  His odd, informative, and provocative show often collapses into the silly and the absurd whenever it begins to get a little too serious.  Rikki is a writer of strange articles on occult subjects, a musician (involved in the projects Panthea and Wychwood Children), the creator of a cartoon strip about Aleister Crowley, a Hermetic Philosopher, a Ceremonial Magician, a summoner of daemons, and teaches piano to happy little children.  He currently lives in Toronto, alone, and in a basement that is dubiously avoided because of the strange sounds and eldrich odours that regularly waft from it.

With an audible thump, a man threw himself at the glass, arms splayed. Jay jumped before his conscious mind caught up with his reactions. Some asshole office-clown playing a prank.  But there was something wrong with the man’s head.  Jay peered up at the window as he resumed walking, then stopped dead barely ten feet away from the building. The man wasn’t moving, hadn’t thrown himself at all.  He was dead.  He had to be, couldn’t still be alive.  Could he?  Jay saw bones jutting from one limp leg, saw the bruises and black smears of blood across the man’s pudgy, gray-haired face.

A Short History of Pseudopod: Episodes 201 to 300

(creaking door) Welcome, boils & ghouls, to our gory little abattoir of the airwaves, a festering waveband of wretchedness we’ve dubbed Pseudopod! Woven into this website of witchery are some truly tormented tidbits, so pull up a casket fear-fans, adjust your drool cups and settle in for some sickening sound, as we serve up…

A Short History of Pseudopod: Episodes 201 to 300

(see you soon at a Senate Subcommittee hearing on Internet delinquency and the corruption of the web’s morals!)

A Short History of Pseudopod: Episodes 101 to 200

(clasps hands behind back and walks into shot) Welcome to our audio archive of eerie, atavistic atrocities (lights cigarette), a carefully curated cacophony of chilling curiosities, sure to curdle the blood and tingle the spine. With the greatest of pride, we bring you tonight’s offering and welcome you to

… A Short History of Pseudopod: Episodes 101 to 200

(Do not operate heavy machinery while under the influence of this audio file. Do not operate light machinery, either. Do not operate, period.)