Archive for the 'Stories' Category
PseudoPod 551: Alison

by Seras Nikita

 

Seras Niketa

“Alison” is a Pseudopod original.

SERAS NIKITA is a writer of horror fiction living in Oakland, California. She works at vfx house Tippett Studio, where she handles public relations and virtual reality outreach. During her career Seras has worked on films such as Cloverfield, Ted, the Twilight series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and many more. She has acquired an unfortunate amount of information about which household products most closely resemble common bodily fluids (Cetaphil. The answer is usually Cetaphil.) She loves her Nighthawk motorcycle, but it’s currently not running so if any horror fiction fans / motorcycle mechanics in the East Bay want to take a look she’ll trade them a scary story.

She works on a series of stop-motion short films with her mentor Phil. The project is called MAD GOD. The website is madgodmovie.com. She’s also a painter, using a technique called spit-shading that uses saliva instead of water to control the viscosity of the ink. You can see some paintings, and also commission work at her website, violetsarered.com.

Says Nikita: “I just began submitting my short stories for publication recently. I know three extremely talented writers, and they all write very thoughtful literary fiction, mostly essays. They know a lot about themes. Exchanging writing with them feels like showing up to an art class where everyone else is a classically trained oil painter except me and I’ve got a ziplock baggie full of those jumbo crayons you get with the kids’ menu at Applebees. It makes me happy to have my work read on Pseudopod, because it makes me feel like there are people out there who enjoy crayon drawings just as much as they enjoy oil paintings. There aren’t as many layers, and they’re much simpler and easier to interpret. But they can be beautiful in their own way, if you press hard enough. Having stories published helped me realize that. Thank you for listening to my story, and thank you Pseudopod and Alasdair for all the hours of entertainment over the years. See you later!

This week’s reader – Dagny Paul is a lapsed English teacher, failed artist, and sometimes writer who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies, which she consumes whenever her five-year-old son will let her (which isn’t often). Dagny is Assistant Editor of PseudoPod.


Kickstarter


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


Alison will live her whole life in Folkston Georgia, forty miles from Waycross and as close to the Okefenokee as you can get before the ground starts filling your footprints with scab-colored water. She will wake each morning to the thickness of the swamp sucked up into the air around her. She will eat dinners of fried fish, and balls of corn fried with onions. Twice she will be hospitalized with blinding migraine headaches that are actually overdoses of aerosol insect repellent, ferried to her bloodstream via a bad habit of biting her nails and chewing the torn skin beneath them.

PseudoPod 550: Again

by Ramsey Campbell

 

Ramsey Campbell

“Again” was first published in Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone Magazine, November 1981 and has been reprinted numerous times.

Ramsey Campbell is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that “Campbell reigns supreme in the field today,” while S. T. Joshi has said that “future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood.”

Says Campbell: “It can be argued that my timidity or at least my restraint is why I remain. I’ve never gone for broke and tried to write the most horrifying tale I can concoct, because I don’t quite see the point. To quote the critic David Aylward, as I very often do: ‘writers [of horror fiction], who used to strive for awe and achieve fear, now strive for fear and achieve only disgust’ – and it seems to me that too much straining for terror is wont to produce nothing more than a disgusting dump. If I can’t approach awe, I’d rather try for the other quality I value most in dark fiction, not exclusively in generic horror – a lingering disquiet. I may have felt that way ever since I first encountered Herman Melville’s ‘Bartleby’ in the 1957 anthology BEST HORROR STORIES and didn’t feel cheated out of any of the pocket money I’d saved up to buy the book. Soon I found the quality in work such as the novels of Thomas Hinde and Samuel Beckett, not to mention films such as Last Year in Marienbad and Los Olvidados. I see no reason why fiction packaged as horror can’t achieve these effects of disturbance and dislocation. One definition of good art is that it makes you look again at things you’ve taken for granted, and that can certainly be true of horror.” Ramsey blogs at Ramsey Campbell.com.

Ant Bacon

This week’s reader – Ant Bacon – is an actor and voice over artist based in Manchester & London in the UK. When he’s not acting he’s usually found in the kitchen or in the gym. He’s currently appearing in the play ‘Avoidance’ in the Greater Manchester Fringe festival on at The Kings Arms in Salford and Oldham Library Theatre. In August he’ll be appearing in ‘Diana and I’ on the BBC where he shares a scene with the phenomenal Tamsin Greig.


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


All at once he was no longer sure that the groaning had been the sound of flies. Even so, if the old lady had been watching him he might never have been able to step forward. But she couldn’t see him, and he had to know. Though he couldn’t help tiptoeing, he forced himself to go to the head of the bed.

He wasn’t sure if he could lift the blanket, until he looked in the can of meat. At least it seemed to explain the smell, for the can must have been opened months ago. Rather than think about that—indeed, to give himself no time to think—he snatched the blanket away from the head of the figure at once.

PseudoPod 549: Flash On The Borderlands XXXVIII: Letting Go

“When you let go, you are truly free.”


Good Boy by Ruth EJ Booth

This story was first published in Far Horizons e-magazine, in their January 2015 issue.

Ruth EJ Booth is a BSFA award-winning writer from the North-East of England. Her fiction and poetry can be found in anthologies from NewCon Press, Fox Spirit books, and in Far Horizons e-magazine, amongst others. In 2015, her story ‘The Honey Trap’ won the BSFA’s Award for Best Short Fiction. Academic, musician, yogini and dilettante, she currently resides in Scotland, where she fosters a growing brood of hard and paperbacks. To keep up with her writing and photography (and everything else!), see her website at www.ruthbooth.com.

Your narrator – Andrew Reid is a teacher and author currently living in Sweden. He writes fantasy and alt-history, and harbours an unhealthy obsession with coffee. Not to mention being a damn fine Destiny team mate, if you’re looking for one. His first fantasy novel, Kingdom’s Fall, is currently available on Amazon.

Cook, climber, teacher, writer. Fiercely articulate and creative. He and Lou and Alasdair, survived redshirting World FantasyCon together in 2014. That may mean at some point they are obligated to open a bar.

I’d wanted a dog ever since I was little. So when I finally moved out, I was bound to end up with my own. This scratty wee scrag of soot. I say he’s mine, I think we sort of found each other. Well, they say the dog picks the owner. I say he found me when nobody else wanted me.


Reaching Out by Richard Farren Barber

This is a PseudoPod Original.

Richard Farren Barber was born in Nottingham in July 1970. After studying in London he returned to the East Midlands. He lives with his wife and son and works as a manager for a local university. He has over 50 short stories in publications including: Alt-Dead, Alt-Zombie, DarkFuse, ePocalypse – Tales from the End, Fever Dreams, Horror D’Oeuvres, Murky Depths, Midnight Echo, Midnight Street, Morpheus Tales, Night Terrors II & III, Siblings, The House of Horror, Trembles, When Red Snow Melts, and broadcast on Tales to Terrify, Pseudopod (#390!), and The Wicked Library. His first novella “The Power of Nothing” was published in September 2013. His second novella “The Sleeping Dead” was published by DarkFuse in August 2014. His third novella “Odette” is due to be published early in 2016. His website is www.richardfarrenbarber.co.uk.

Your narrator – Moaner T. Lawrence is a regular contributor to the world’s largest horror publication, Rue Morgue: Horror In Culture & Entertainment (and a member of their Rue Crew), as well as a regular contributor to Germany’s largest horror publication, VIRUS.

To date, his published works include several movie and book reviews, interviews with authors, actors, and other colorful individuals, as well as art and cultural articles pertaining to the genre.

I tried to ignore the woman because that’s what you do in a cemetery; you don’t intrude on someone else’s grief. But she was only a few rows behind me and I couldn’t concentrate on what I was saying to Gemma so I turned around.


A Thing In All My Things by Samuel Marzioli

This story was originally published in Urban Fantasy Magazine on August 25, 2015.

Samuel Marzioli is an Italian-Filipino writer, currently living in Oregon with his family. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various publications, including Apex Magazine, Intergalactic Medicine Show, Shock Totem, and Penumbra eMag. His blog, marzioli.blogspot.com, featuring updates on his current projects, releases and sales, and a complete list of publications.

Your narrator – Spencer Disparti is a poet and the podcast host for “The Green Magick Podcast”. You can find most of his work at Skeletopia and you can find the podcast in iTunes or at Podbean.com.

There’s a thing in my closet, crouched in the dark, black lines accentuating every crease and fold of its shriveled face. A cherry-red eye peeks at me. The slash of a frown hints at untold regrets even as its croaking voice spills into the silence.

PseudoPod 548: Lord Randy, My Son

by Joe L. Hensley

 

“Lord Randy, My Son” was first printed in DANGEROUS VISIONS (1967) and appears here with the kind permission of the Hensley estate and the Virginia Kidd Agency. This is the second of Ellison’s Dangerous Visions to appear here on PseudoPod. Make sure to check out Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird by Sonya Dorman.

JOE L. HENSLEY was a lawyer, prosecuting attorney, member of the Indiana General Assembly, circuit court judge, science fiction fan, and writer of science fiction and mysteries. While working as a law student, lawyer, legislator and judge, Hensley wrote science fiction and crime fiction (and at least one auto-racing story for a pulp magazine) as Joe L. Hensley and Louis J. A. Adams.

His first fiction sale was the short story “And Not Quite Human,” published in the September 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction [also reprinted in Pseudopod in April of 2016]. His first published novel was The Color of Hate in 1960. He had 20 more novels and collections published (over half of them in the series featuring Indiana circuit judge Donald Robak, which began with 1971’s Deliver Us to Evil) and around 100 short stories. His collaborators in science fiction included Alexei Panshin and Harlan Ellison; he co-wrote one mystery novel (Loose Coins) with fellow Indiana prosecuting attorney Guy M. Townsend. His last novel, Snowbird’s Blood, was published in February 2008. Many of his mystery novels were set in the fictitious Bington, a place which combined aspects of Madison and Bloomington.

Hensley remained active in science fiction fandom throughout his life; the Hensleys were familiar faces at science fiction conventions such as Rivercon and Midwestcon. Hensley was a First Fandom “Dinosaur” (which meant he had been active in fandom prior to July 4, 1939), and received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 2006.

This week’s reader – Ben Phillips – is a programmer and musician living in New Orleans. He was a chief editor of Pseudopod from 2006-2010.


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


He rebelled on the night the call came to leave the warm and liquid place; but in that way he was weak and nature was strong. Outside, the rains came; a storm so formidable that forecasters referred to it for all of the time that was left. He fought to remain with the mother thing, but the mother thing expelled him and in fear and rage he hurt the mother thing subtly. Black clouds hid the stars and the trees bent only to the wind.