Archive for Podcasts

PseudoPod 592: Free Balloons for All Good Children

Show Notes


“This story came about because the balloon described in it drifted past my window at work.

Because a balloon floating five feet off the ground on a grey day in early October is so unlikely, my first thought was naturally that it was something horrible up to no good at all. It went away… eventually, after hanging around near a bus stop for far longer than seemed quite right. I don’t know what it was actually up to, but I’d like to thank the mystery balloon for the inspiration it provided.

The story was also an attempt to exorcise a vapour I developed about seven years ago– what if I become incapacitated while I’m the only parent on hand for my tender tot? I’m sorry to report that the exorcism has not really worked.”


Free Balloons for All Good Children

by Dirck de Lint


Tom gave the stroller a little nudge to turn Danny out of the sun.  Danny responded by wriggling around under the straps to put himself as much in the sun as possible.  Tom smiled at this, and found that he couldn’t really blame his son.  The day was a little chilly for so late in May, and if he was enjoying the warmth of the sun it stood to reason that Danny would, too.  He was very close to just putting the stroller back the way it had been.  There was some uncertainty in his heart, though, about how far Danny could be trusted to look out for his own safety even now that he was above a year old.  When, he wondered, did they stop staring right at the sun if given a chance? (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 590: Emperor All


Emperor All

By Evan Marcroft


It is like X-ray vision. Like in the comic books from when he was ten. John blinks the rain out of his eyes, and suddenly he can see through the mugger, through his shellacking of wet muscle and scaffolding of bone to the chassis beneath, to the gears and flywheels that make him move and point the knife at him. John reaches through a yielding mist of sinew and makes key refurbishments, so that the knife is aimed at the mugger’s own throat. He unscrews the man’s skull and with an easy tinkering makes him the saddest he’s ever been, plugs bright blaring red thoughts into his head.

A moment later he steps over the body and splashes across the parking lot, trembling giddily. He can’t remember where he left his car, and the city is dark. Instead he auditions the cars lined up on either side of him until he finds one that is better than his own, and makes it his.

It is unlocked when he tries the handle, and when it snarls to life (with just his touch) his favorite song is playing on the radio. The traffic lights are all green on the drive home. The police are all at other crimes as the speedometer needle roars past sixty. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 589: Flash On The Borderlands XLII: Misanthropes

Show Notes

People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone


Sam Gorenstein: “I’d like to dedicate ‘Edgar’ to my late uncle Conan Gorenstein, who passed away in 2013.”


A Bar Story

by Melissa Snark


The gangly youth scurried on long legs and over-sized feet. He stumbled on a cracked tile, but righted himself. Shoulders squared, Daniel Hollar ran a hand through his long orange hair, finger combing the frizzy mess. Hundreds of freckles peppered his pale face, and his green eyes were bright behind wire-rimmed glasses.

He slapped on a polite smile for the middle-aged man crouched on a stool at the end of the L-shaped bar. The customer’s arms rested on the counter, the diamond frame forming a protective barrier about the shot glass cradled between his hands. Sweat bullets lined the customer’s blotchy red forehead. A scraggly crown of damp hair stuck to the collar of his white dress shirt. His gut overhung belted dark trousers. He wore a clean gold band on his left ring finger and his clothing was made from fine fabric.

“Evenin’, sir. What’s your poison?” (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 588: ARTEMIS RISING 4: The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls

Show Notes

This is Izzy’s first professional sale.

“While writing this story, I was thinking a lot about how many of the worst things we do to one another are done out of a desire to protect and keep safe, and how little surety we have that change will bring about improvement.”


The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls

by Izzy Wasserstein


One of the Mothers shoves the new girl into the dorm room, the slick threads of the Mother’s grasp lingering long enough that several of us shiver. The new girl wears a short dress, shot through with sunset, though we are not sure we remember sunsets properly. The hem of the dress is ragged and mud-caked. It is the most beautiful thing we have ever seen. We hate the new girl.

Get her into uniform, the Mother commands. It makes no sound, but its words echo between our ears. The new girl has been standing with her hands on opposite shoulders, her chin jutting forward. That changes when we surround her. We rip the dress from her shoulders and toss a gray shift over her body. Now she is dressed just as we are.

The Mother squelches out of the room, and the door slams shut behind it. (Continue Reading…)