Archive for the 'Stories' Category
PseudoPod 519: Perfect Reflection

by Elizabeth Siedt

“Perfect Reflection” is a PSEUDOPOD original.

ELIZABETH SIEDT is a writer, playwright, and improviser in Chicago, and performs at iO Chicago with her team, Stag. Her plays have been performed all around the city of Chicago, and she’s currently the managing director of a new theater company for women, The Jades. Additionally, you can hear her sillier musings at the podcast she co-hosts, So You Don’t Have To. She blogs at Honestly Doing Her Best.

Your narrator – Dani Daly – is assistant editor, community manager, slush reader and narrator for Cast Of Wonders. She lives on Long Island, in NY USA with her husband and obligatory cats. When she isn’t working her boring day job, Dani is most likely either reading (for Cast of Wonders or otherwise) or playing roller derby with Strong Island Derby Revolution. Occasionally, she blogs at “Who Doesn’t Love Stories?”.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


“You hate mirrors.

You use them, sure, begrudgingly checking your hair and doing your makeup and smiling into them after you’ve finished brushing your teeth. But you’ve never liked them, how they throw back at you a world you take for granted is your own. Antique mirrors in particular unsettle you, like silent mercurial ancestors, hanging on your wall and looking right into your eyes. The worst are the oval ones, with the thin, gold frames. They look like enormous keyholes to a darker world. ”

PseudoPod 518: The Tiger

by Nina Allan

 

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“The Tiger” was first printed in Terror Tales Of London in May 2013. It was subsequently reprinted in Best Horror of the Year #6 and The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime #11.

“The Tiger” is one in a loose sequence of stories Nina is still in the process of writing, featuring some continuing characters and all set in and around Lewisham in south east London, where she lived for some years. Other stories in the sequence so far include “Wilkolak” which was published in the biannual British magazine Crimewave, and “The Nightingale”, which was published in the British horror magazine Black Static.

Nina Allan’s stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Best Horror of the Year #6, The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2013, and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women. Her novella Spin, a science fictional re-imagining of the Arachne myth, won the BSFA Award in 2014, and her story-cycle The Silver Wind was awarded the Grand Prix de L’Imaginaire in the same year. Her debut novel The Race was a finalist for the 2015 BSFA Award, the Kitschies Red Tentacle, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. A new, expanded edition of the novel The Race was released by Titan Books in the UK and the US in July of this year. Nina lives and works in North Devon.

Your narrator is George Hrab. Multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, producer, composer, and heliocentrist George Hrab has written and produced six independent CDs and a concert DVD; published two books; recorded hundreds of episodes of the award-winning Geologic Podcast; emceed countless science conferences; been a TEDx speaker; and has even performed for President Clinton. He’s traveled to four continents promoting critical thinking, science, and skepticism through story and song. George is considered one of the preeminent skeptic/science/atheist/geek-culture music icons currently living in his apartment. 


Pseudopod’s TEN YEAR Kickstarter project successfully funded. Thank you all for supporting! If you missed it, info on preordering the book and mug is coming soon.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


There is a bed, a wardrobe with a large oval mirror, a builtin cupboard to one side of the chimney breast. The boards are bare, stained black. There is a greyish cast to everything. Croft guesses the room has not been used in quite some time.

“It’s not much, I’m afraid,” the woman says. Her name is Sandra. Symes has told him everyone including her husband calls her Sandy, but Croft has decided already that he will never do this, that it is ugly, that he likes Sandra better. “I’ve been meaning to paint it, but there hasn’t been time.”

She is too thin, he thinks, with scrawny hips and narrow little birdy hands. Her mousy hair, pulled back in a ponytail, has started to come free of its elastic band. Croft cannot help noticing how tired she looks.

“Don’t worry,” he says. “If you can let me have the paint, I’ll do it myself.”

“Oh,” she says. She seems flustered. “I suppose we could take something off the rent money. In exchange, I mean.”

“There’s no need,” Croft says. “I’d like to do it. Something to keep me out of mischief.” He smiles, hoping to give her reassurance, but she takes a step backwards, just a small one, but still a step, and Croft sees he has made a mistake, already, that the word mischief isn’t funny, not from him, not now, not yet.

He will have to be more careful with what he says. He wonders if this is the way things will be for him from now on.

PseudoPod 517: Into The Penny Arcade

by Claire Dean

“Into The Penny Arcade” was originally published as a chapbook by Nightjar Press in 2012 and reprinted in THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR: VOLUME FIVE.

CLAIRE DEAN‘s stories have been published in Beta-Life (2014), Spindles (2015), Thought X, The Best British Short Stories, Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds, Still Shadows & Tall Trees and elsewhere. Marionettes and Into the Penny Arcade are published as chapbooks by Nightjar Press. She lives in Lancashire with her two young sons. She tweets at @claireddean and maintains her web presence at GATHERING SCRAPS.

Your narrator – Eve Upton – would just like to point out that she was framed, it was just an apple tree, and will no one cut a girl a break now?.


Pseudopod’s TEN YEAR Kickstarter has only days left! CHECK IT OUT! Please consider pledging (every little bit helps!) as we are just over halfway there!

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Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


“She walked down the same street every day on her way home from school. There were no houses along there, just old warehouses with boarded-up windows and rubbish-plugged holes. Red brick dust crumbled from the walls and made patterns on the pavement. Greyish-green moss grew in all the cracks.

The lorry hadn’t ever been there before. It was dark blue with no writing on the side. She crossed away from it, walked faster. Her rucksack dug into her right shoulder, textbooks bounced against her spine, her heels snapped on the pavement. There were no other sounds. The street was like a tunnel; the wind sucked her along it.

She emerged into the real world at the other end: cars bombing past, chip shop smell, a mum with a buggy yelling at a kid who was lagging behind.

The lorry was there again the next day. She crossed over. There were girls who got snatched. Men who did things to girls. It would be dark inside that lorry. Was it always going to be there now? Had it moved during the day whilst she was at school, or at night after she’d passed it? And then come back.”

PseudoPod 516: The Fox

by Conrad Williams

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“The Fox” was first published March 1st 2013 as a chapbook by This Is Horror and reprinted in THE BEST HORROR OF THE YEAR: VOLUME SIX.

In 2007 CONRAD WILLIAMS won the International Horror Guild Award for Best Novel for The Unblemished. In 2008 he won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novella for The Scalding Rooms. In 2010 he won the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel for One.

Your narrator – Kaushik Narasimhan – is management consultant by day and struggling writer and general dilettante by night. He tweets at @Kazarelth and his writing can be found at Kaushik’s Blog.


Pseudopod has launched our TEN YEAR Kickstarter! CHECK IT OUT! Please consider pledging (every little bit helps!) as we are just over halfway there!

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Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


“Megan was trying to push past her mother and now I was able to breathe more easily. Kit was just trying to shield Lucy from what was inside the coop. Or rather, what wasn’t. The chicken-wire had been torn open. All four chickens were gone. No feathers, no signs of a fight whatsoever. Just one spot of blood on the ramp leading into what Megan had been referring to as the ‘chook-chook’s bunga-oh’.”