Lisa Morton, HWA President, said “We believe these recipients represent the future of the horror genre, and we’re very proud to be able to assist them in reaching their educational and professional goals,” Applicants to the scholarships were required to submit educational plans and/or essays, which were evaluated by committees. This year marks the third year that HWA has provided scholarships. The scholarships will re-open to applicants in early 2017.
Karen Bovenmyer earned an MFA in Creative Writing: Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She teaches and mentors students at Iowa State University and serves as the Nonfiction Assistant Editor of Escape Artists’ Mothership Zeta Magazine. Her short stories and poems appear in more than 30 publications and her first novel will be available Spring 2017. Listen for a story from her on Pseudopod in early 2017. Halloween is also her birthday, so go congratulate her, wish her a happy Halloween, wish he a happy birthday, and go read her personal essay up on our kickstarter today.
All three of these stories are runners up from the PSEUDOPOD flash fiction contest
Zipper by Murf Freedmont
Original to Pseudopod. “Zipper was written entirely on my smart phone (in the middle of the night…in bed…when I could not sleep). I intended it to be a writing prompt for a story to be finished later, but when I counted the words the next morning I decided to submit it to the Pseudopod contest without significant changes. Since it fared much better than my other submission, perhaps I should limit all my writing to my phone … but I hate touch screens so much.”
MURF FREEDMONT lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and 3 daughters and is an information technologist.
Your narrator – Spencer DiSparti -is a published poet and voice actor from Phoenix, Arizona. You can find most of his work at SKELETOPIA.
Have you ever tried to open a sleeping bag zipper silently?
NICHOLAS CONLEY’s passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books and horror movies. His a science fiction thriller novel PALE HIGHWAY (available now from Red Adept Publishing) is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox and Alzheimers.net. PALE HIGHWAY is the story of Gabriel Schist, a genius Nobel Prize winner plagued by Alzheimer’s, who must find a cure for a terrifying new virus before his mind declines past the point of no return. When not busy writing, Nicholas resides in New Hampshire and spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit. To learn more about him, take a stroll over to Nicholas Conley.com
Your narrator – Rock Manor – has been a performer featured on The NoSleep Podcast, Chilling Tales For Dark Nights, StarShipSofa, and Tales To Terrify. He is the producer of Manor House: The Podcast, a horror anthology hosted by The Phantom Collector. Best selling author Brian Keene says “it’s like Tales From The Crypt. It’s really fucking cool.” Manor House: The Podcast is entering it’s third season which will feature stories by authors such as Adam Cesare and Stoker Award winner Eric J. Guignard. Sign up for Manor House’s free Fantom Zone membership to receive their monthly newsletter containing exclusives not found anywhere else. You can also become a premium Fantom Zone Access member to get full access to episodes not found on the regular podcast or webseries. For more details and for more info about the show, visit them online at ManorHouseShow.com (currently having server problems – please try back!).
I like the way that skin feels.
The Void by Thomas Vicinanzo
Pseudopod original. “The most terrifying thing is a life devoid of intrinsic meaning, and a universe which does not and cannot understand us.”
THOMAS VICINANZO works in Mount Vernon, NY and writes fantasy and horror when he gets the chance. Some day his fantasy novel will be done (not the bad one, the good one), and all his true friends will read it and say it’s nice.
I tripped on a little ridge where the turf was bunched up like a carpet. It was early morning and the park was empty, so I pulled at the grass, and it came up, revealing soil blacker than fresh asphalt. Then I saw it wasn’t soil but black empty space.
Pseudopod will be launching their own Kickstarter in the upcoming weeks. Visit our YEAR 10 page for more details.
The suffering of strangers, the agony of friends. There is a secret song at the center of the world, and its sound is like razors through flesh.
Hand Off by S. Siporin
This is a Pseudopod Original. “We all have parts of ourselves we are unhappy with; the trick is to accept them as part of who you are”
S. Siporin lives and writes in NYC where strange encounters are commonplace. Other genres include science fiction and romance.
Your narrator – Louise Ratcliffe is a scientist, artist and stay-home Mum. She lives in New Zealand having moved there from England 12 years ago when her Maori husband brought her home. They have 3 children, 3 cats, 9 chickens, 8 ducks and a goat called Steve. She spends her time creating Art Yarn, and knitting body parts and blankets. Her work can be seen on Facebook at her Top o’ the Meadow fibre art page, or you can find her on Ravelry as Giggigoofer.
She was wealthy; you could tell by the thick brown fur of her coat, by the elaborate, streaked hair that made her look ten years younger than she really was. Three slender fingers on her left hand gleamed smooth and ivory; they were heavy with silver and gold rings, mementoes of failed marriages. Her right hand was bare of decoration; it hung flaccid by her side, brushing against the soft fur like a sallow slab of flesh. She tried to hide it under her coat. It was defective, shriveled, half paralyzed.
Without warning, it twitched, the fingers diddling as if playing an invisible piano, as if restless, discontent. The line between her eyes deepened, darkened as if someone had drawn on her face with magic marker. Not again, she thought. Not here. Her left hand pressed its palm flat against her forehead; she felt the ache of an incipient migraine.
Annie Neugebauer is a returning visitor to Pseudopod Towers. She last visited with “Jack and the Bad Man” for Halloween 2014. Annie Neugebauer is a novelist, short story author, and award-winning poet. She has work appearing in over fifty venues, including Fireside, Buzzy Mag, and DarkFuse. She’s an active member of the Horror Writers Association, the webmaster for the Poetry Society of Texas, and a columnist for Writer Unboxed. She lives in Texas with her sweet husband and two diabolical cats.
Your narrators – Marc Bailey and Heather Welliver have been a part of the podcasting community since 2006 as voice actors and narrators. They are in the process of rebooting their podcast Grailwolf’s Geek Life with a new name, focused on positive reviews of all things geeky along with thoughtful essays on the continuing The Geek Renaissance.
When I met Cecilia I’d only been dead for twenty years and she’d only been alive for about as many. She was all golden-brown skin and mahogany eyes and legs that stretched longer than the last week of summer, and I was cold – so cold.
I stood several yards away in the shade watching her with her friends. We were at an outdoor concert where a local band did a shitty job of playing good songs. Cecilia sat on the grass with those legs sprawled easily in front of her, catching the sun, leaned back and propped on her elbows. She wore a big white floppy hat that should have seemed silly and out of place but instead looked perfect.
Think of the Bones by Gary Emmette Chandler
This is a PseudoPod Original. It is about struggling with body image, and whether the story’s resolution is comforting or unsettling is up to the listener. Recommended additional reading is “The Skeleton” by Ray Bradbury, which is included in the October Country collection.
Your Author – Gary Emmette Chandler works from his apartment in Portland as a copywriter and web developer, mostly in pajamas, with a cat nibbling at his leg. His fiction has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Pantheon, and Fantasy Scroll, among others. You can follow his hungover ramblings on Twitter @TheWearyLuddite. He has a recent publication in Theian Journal #1 from Stupefying Stories.
Your Reader – Kris Straub is a cartoonist and creator of the gag-a-day Chainsawsuit, the sci-fi comic Starslip, and the 1930s horror adventure Broodhollow. He’s also producing a series of short horror on YouTube called Local 58. His work can be found atstudios.chainsawsuit.com. The television adaptation of his creepypasta story Candle Cove begins airing in September on the SyFy network under the name CHANNEL ZERO.
When the bones first began to grow, David had watched them with something like lust. Each night, in his small apartment, he would sit at the edge of his bed and watch the bones shift, gradually taking form. It started with the feet: that multitude of delicate, tiny bones, slowly knitting themselves together.
It was a secret he kept for himself — a routine that kept the days in motion, swinging about in silence, with hope.
The Sadist’s Bible on Kickstarter
To bring The Sadist’s Bible to print, 01Publishing is currently seeking support on Kickstarter. The campaign will be running until October 22nd. The campaign needs a total of $3000 to print the book at the best quality possible. Incentives include an exclusive one-on-one tutoring session with Nicole on writing, and a “Get Out Of Scandal FREE” card. Once the campaign is funded the novella will go to print and should be available in February 2017.
Nicole Cushing is the Bram Stoker Award® winning author of Mr. Suicide. She has also written the Stoker-nominated short story collection The Mirrors and three stand-alone novellas (including the Shirley Jackson Award nominated Children of No One).
Various reviewers have described her work as “brutal”, “cerebral”, “transgressive”, “taboo”, “groundbreaking” and “mind-bending”. This Is Horror has said that she is “quickly becoming a household name for horror fans.”
Pseudopod will be launching their own Kickstarter in the upcoming weeks. Visit our YEAR 10 page for more details.
I’m here to turn up the volume. To press the stinking face of humanity into the dark blood of its own secret heart.
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.