Archive for the 'Podcasts' Category
Pseudopod 419: Nurse

by Thomas Kearnes.

“Nurse” first appeared in the now-defunct print magazine Wicked Hollow and was featured in the horror anthology TRUE DARK.

Thomas Kearnes is a 37-year-old author living in Houston, where he’s studying to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor. He has been published mainly in literary magazines, but writes horror on occasion. He has two collections of literary fiction available – PRETEND I’M NOT HERE from Musa Publishing and PROMISCUOUS from JMS Books.

Your reader – Christiana Ellis – appeared on Pseudopod recently reading Prince Of Flowers.

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“Helen has been in the bathroom for fifteen minutes. Her limit is ten. She knows this. I have the contract in my purse, next to her caddy of anti-depressants and stabilizers. I will show it to her once she returns and say, ‘What did we agree upon last month? I know you like this restaurant, but if I can’t trust you here, we can’t come anymore. Do you understand?’

I watch for other women to leave the restroom, to catch the clues not even an accomplished talent like Helen can hide. Older women, their faces pinched sour with disgust and the younger ones, especially in the summer, who bolt from the room with whispers and backward glances. Poor Helen. Like most unfortunates in her position, her hard, impenetrable blindness prevents her from knowing the effect she has on others. In some ways, I prefer our afternoons or mornings in public to the interminable days in which her paranoia keeps us trapped in her home. Aided by the indulgence of others, I can trace her movements and perform my duties more easily.

I check my watch. Twenty minutes. No doubt Helen would implore me in her singsong voice, pale blue eyes darting like goldfish, that time had escaped her. This is nonsense. Those afflicted with her condition, in addition to her myriad other difficulties, have few skills, but they do possess an inborn awareness of where they are in time. This knowledge they rarely apply to their own betterment, but it is a unique gift, a grain of sand’s awareness of where the tide will next fall.

Helen’s salad sits rearranged, uneaten. One of my coworkers once joked she couldn’t understand these women who regurgitated their meals yet never ate them. What were they vomiting? You can tell from this ignorance my coworker is a poor nurse. For unfortunates like Helen, eating, like most intimate activities, was something she only could do alone. Perhaps that is what was taking so long. I believe she was at the point in her illness where she took a perverse pride in the fact she could continue her behavior without anyone trying to stop her. After all, if one makes it her mission to destroy another, someone usually will step in, but if one decides to destroy herself, most will just step aside.”

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Pseudopod 418: Shadow Transit

by Ferrett Steinmetz.

“Shadow Transit” was originally published in Buzzy Mag.

FERRETT STEINMETZ is a Nebula-nominated author who’s appeared on PSEUDOPOD before (“Riding Atlas,” “Suicide Notes, Written By An Alien Mind” and “The Sound of Gears“), in Asimov’s, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Shimmer, among other venues. He is also a graduate of both the Clarion Writers’ Workshop and Viable Paradise.

Your reader – Marie Brennan – appeared on Podcastle recently reading The Ascent of Unreason.

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“Michelle wasn’t sure how to tell if her daughter was going insane, because kids weren’t stable. She remembered how Lizzie would boldly greet her favorite aunt one day and then hide behind Michelle’s legs the next. Lizzie slept through the night for years without a nightlight, and then suddenly developed a terror of the dark. That was just how kids were; their personalities fluid, like water, ever-changing.”

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Pseudopod Christmas 2014 Bonus Flash: Tradition

by L.M. Ball.

“Tradition” is original to Pseudopod! “It was at WriterHouse in Charlottesville, Virginia that I founded a member group for sci fi, fantasy and horror writers to meet and support each other. It’s a fantastic group and they helped motivate me to write, edit and submit this piece. Winter holidays are usually such a happy time, I wanted to try and do something seasonal that was a lot darker. I’ve always liked the pagan tradition of bringing in evergreens to give nature spirits a place to live during the cold weather and this story really came out of that idea- manifesting the rituals into something a lot more sinister and corporeal. I find the loss of control and fear that comes with this setting quite unsettling”

L.M. BALL is a British expat living in the East Coast of America as a full time Microbiologist. She started writing Star Trek fan fiction as a child and eventually evolved into creating my own stories.

Your reader – Isis LaCoste – is the pre-teen daughter of Rikki LaCoste, a regular narrator for Pseudopod. Isis is an aspiring young actress, a prolific artist and musician, a chip off the old block, really, and a lover of scary stories and movies. Isis and her father live in Toronto Canada.

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“It always starts when the leaves change colour. At first they’re yellow, then golden before fading to a russet brown. I like the red ones the best, even though you could say they are the most obvious sign of what’s to come. They give you a rake and they tell you to make piles of the leaves. Your parents I mean, not the leaves. Though that wouldn’t be all that strange, considering. Sometimes when they aren’t watching we play in them, making big piles and knocking them over. It should be fun and it is, when you can forget that winter’s coming.

I think they started it all off, with the weird traditions, cutting down trees and bringing them indoors. Decorating everything in red and green, something about berries. Didn’t they notice that blood’s red too? Mamma says she remembers a time when winter was exciting, decorating a tree with glitter and ornaments to make it pretty. We don’t decorate our tree. Before, people believed that bringing foliage indoors was to provide a home for nature spirits, now that’s its purpose. I guess if you believe in something strongly enough, you can make it manifest. When the ornaments started to fall off by themselves and shatter on the floor, when it happened more than once, people started to notice. That’s what Mamma says. She said it was hard not to feel nervous that something else was going on when your entire tree had thrown off its decorations like an unwanted layer of skin.”

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Pseudopod 417: The Blistering

by Johnnie Alward.

“The Blistering” is original to Pseudopod!

JOHNNIE ALWARD hails from a small town in southern Ontario where he lives with his girlfriend, their cat Vincent Price and a vague but omnipresent sense of self-loathing.

Your reader – Matt Haynes – is the artistic director of The Pulp Stage Theatre company in Portland, Oregon. This January, the company will be premiering BOX: A Live Science Fiction Trilogy co-authored by Matt and acclaimed speculative fiction writer Tina Connolly. You can learn more about the show and its current fundraising campaign at The Pulp Stage.

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“‘Try to imagine the human brain as being analogous to the ocean.’

Sam Dillinger snapped his fingers and an enormous map of the world unfurled itself above him.

‘Like the ocean, the human brain is tangible in its theory and physicality. We can touch it, understand its general uses, even map its surface topographically – the Atlantic here, the Pacific there; cognitive processing in this corner, emotional reckoning in that. We’ve studied them – lived with them – since time immemorial, but we still have so much to learn. Man may have stripmined the mountains and scorched the green earth, but he still hasn’t conquered the depths.’

He snapped his fingers again and the map reconfigured itself into a large glass pane. Paul watched as folded in on itself like crystal origami until it had become the Epsilion Prism, a corporate emblem as fiercely lionized as the golden arches or Newton’s apple.

‘Here at Epsilion, we pride ourselves in possessing the most finely detailed cognitive maps that the world has ever seen. In fifteen short years, we’ve gone from a small, speech therapy start-up on 40th street to one of the largest and most relentlessly innovative companies ever founded on American soil. We’ve helped thousands of our clients to access long-forgotten memories, undo crippling mental illnesses, and learn new languages and mathematical skillsets in the space of a few scant minutes. And still, we’ve barely begun to skim the surface of a vast and unknowable space.’

He paused and stared into the crowd – 300-odd painters, writers and musicians who hung on his every syllable.

‘That is, until now.'”

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