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PseudoPod 494: The Voyage & The Ship

Tim W. Burke

by Tim W. Burke

“The Voyage & The Ship” originally appeared in THE FLESH SUTRA.

TIM W. BURKE grew up a mile from the most notorious prisons in the U.S. He produced movies found on Netflix and wrote comedy sketches about the brains of the Kennedy Brothers playing touch football. Currently, he finds horror to be more emotionally satisfying. His novel “The Flesh Sutra” earned a place on the preliminary ballot for the 2015 Stoker Awards. Read his advice and inspirations at timwburke.com.

In THE FLESH SUTRA body horror and mysticism entwine under gaslight. We find ourselves in Fin de siècle Boston, where the mystic healer Alecsandri Keresh falls into the desperate embrace of his lover, Mrs. Olivia Spaulding, only to be shot dead in her arms. Alecsandri’s rage at her husband’s murderous action transforms his power and he returns to life – as an abomination. Recognizing each other as soul mates, Olivia and Alecsandri resolve to atone for their sins by helping humanity. But their jealousies mar their works – often with hideous results. And, to further warp their efforts, a vengeful spirit stalks them. One that grows more powerful at every turn. Will the depraved lovers succeed? Or will they mutilate mankind for love? Alasdair Stuart and Shawn Garrett agree and THE FLESH SUTRA earned its way to the preliminary ballot of the 2015 Stoker Awards

Your narrator – Paul Jenkins – 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.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

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“At night, the city dock was empty of travelers and oriental immigrants, so I was able to note the activities of the policemen. Dock policemen were sharp-eyed in normal circumstances. But from my vantage point at the top of our luggage, I saw the police stop every young white man for additional scrutiny.

Otherwise Matthew would not have stood out. The scruffy, brown-haired youth struggled along the dock looking like any other American looking to make his mark in the Orient or the Yukon.

He muttered with relief when we saw “S.S. Queensland Beach” on a ship’s hull. The low-slung tramp steamer waited, having unloaded its burden of migrants and freight from the South China Sea. Its crew of Europeans and Islanders were busy using the ship’s cranes to load cargo into its hold. Their destination, and ours, was Hong Kong.”

PseudoPod 493: The Last Escapement

James Smythe

by James Smythe

“The Last Escapement” was first published in Irregularity in 2014, by Jurassic London – an anthology about the enlightenment, a 16th and 17th movement of invention that resulted in John Harrison discovering the concept of Maritime longitude – the true story of which being the inspiration for “The Last Escapement.” Clocks used to be a very different thing, and our notions of time were somewhat sloppier. For years, people tried to build a clock that didn’t lose time when traveling the oceans – this is my contribution to the many tales about those endeavors.

JAMES SMYTHE is the winner of the Wales Fiction Book of the Year 2013, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2014. He is the author of, amongst other things, The Machine, The Explorer, No Harm Can Come To A Good Man, and the Australia trilogy, a series for Young Adult readers. His most recent book released in the US is No Harm, and in October of this year, Way Down Dark will be published in the US by Quercus.

Your narrator – Paul Jenkins – 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.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

****************************

“I do not know how many times I am to try this: to create a time-keeping device that will hold its measure on a journey across the sea. Every day, the same thing: a task as simple as steadying a pendulum, the rock of left to right; of making it sturdy, able to take the yoke of a storm and hold it still. Time is regular, this is the crux of the problem, and when travelling the seas, time is lost. It evaporates, like salt-water from a deck — though time, of course, leaves no trace. It is such an intangible thing that we try to measure.”

PseudoPod 492: The Fisher Queen

Alyssa Wong

by Alyssa Wong

“The Fisher Queen” was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, May/June 2014. It is available to read free online at fu-GEN.org. “The Fisher Queen” was on the shortlist for the 2014 Nebula along with Eugie Foster’s last story, “When It Ends, He Catches Her” which ran last year on Pseudopod. It has been translated into Chinese, French, and German. “The Fisher Queen” is set up in the fashion of traditional oral storytelling, where truth and myth blend together. However, it’s about the very real effects of societal, systematic violence against women.

Alyssa Wong is a Shirley Jackson-, and World Fantasy Award-nominated author, shark aficionado, and 2013 graduate of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. She made the shortlist for the 2015 Stoker Award and won the 2015 Nebula Award for “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” which you should go check out at Nightmare Magazine. Her work has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Uncanny Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Black Static, among others. She is an MFA candidate at North Carolina State University and a member of the Manhattan-based writing group Altered Fluid, and can be found on Twitter @crashwong. Alyssa Wong has been deservedly shortlisted for the Joseph W. Campbell Award for New Writers this year, and “The Fisher Queen” is part of why she made it to the list.

Your narrator – Mae Heaney is originally from Manila, Philippines and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her Irish husband, 2 young children and Parmi the Chook. She is an IT professional who once briefly dabbled in theater, and loves to bake to tame the voices in her head. She is very successful in changing nappies under five minutes, but fails miserably in trying to read her toddler’s mind and in updating her blog celticpinaymom.blogspot.com.

Your guest host this week is Associate Editor Dagny Paul. Dagny is an 8th-grade English teacher who lives in New Orleans with her husband and four-year-old son. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies.

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MY MOTHER WAS A FISH. That’s why I can swim so well, according to my father, who is a plain fisherman with a fisherman’s plain logic, but uncanny flair for the dramatic. And while it’s true that I can cut through the water like a minnow, or a hand dipped over the edge of a speedboat, I personally think it’s because no one can grow up along the Mekong without learning two things: how to swim, and how to avoid the mermaids.

Mermaids, like my father’s favorite storytale version of my mother, are fish. They aren’t people. They are stupid like fish, they eat your garbage like fish, they sell on the open market like fish. Keep your kids out of the water, keep your trash locked up, and if they come close to land, scream a lot and bang pots together until they startle away. They’re pretty basic.

My sisters tried to talk to a mermaid once. It was caught up in one of Dad’s trammel nets, and when they went to check the net out back behind the house, they found this mermaid tangled in it. It was a freshwater one, a bottom-feeder, with long, sparse hair whose color my sisters still argue about to this day. Iris, the oldest, felt bad for it and made May splash some water on its fluttery gills with her red plastic pail. She asked the mermaid if it was okay, what its name was. But it just stared at her with its stupid sideways fish eyes, mouth gaping open and closed with mud trickling out over its whiskers. Then Dad came home and yelled at Iris and May for bringing in the nets too early and touching the mermaid, which probably had sea lice and all kinds of other diseases.