Archive for the 'Stories' Category
Pseudopod 435: Raw Appetite

by Christa Pagliei.

Raw Appetite” first appeared in the August 2014 “Kitchen Sink” issue of Fictionvale. “I suppose that I want people to think about the intersection of honing a craft, and obsession as well as mentorship.”

CHRISTA PAGLIEI lives in Brooklyn, New York where she writes and works in Television as a Producer’s assistant. Her work has appeared in Fictionvale, Strangelet Journal, strong>InstaGatorZine, and more. When she’s not working she enjoys riding her bicycle, listening to Rock N’ Roll, haunting Flea Markets, and anything that’s a little creepy. Her first feature film Now/Here, on which she was was a co-screenwriter and producer, is set to premier at festivals this year. You can follow her on twitter @ChristaPags or her tumblr: ChristaPagliei.

Your reader this week – Brian Rollins – is a voice actor living in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two kids, and a Great Dane that thinks she’s a lap dog. When not narrating audiobooks, he’s on stage or chipping away at that steampunk novel that lives in the back of his brain that won’t go away. He also writes reviews for the Sci-Fi website, and blogs at TheVoicesInMyHeaD. Magic Moments, Inc. is a non-profit organization, established in 1983, that produces an annual musical and theatrical production in the Denver area. Each production integrates persons with physical and developmental disabilities into the total performing cast of amateurs and professionals. The mix is truly magical for everyone involved – cast, staff, and the audience. You can find out more at Magic Moments.

Jonathan Chaffin (aka Atari)’s CASK OF AMONTILLADO Kickstarter can be found here!


“As a commis I worked under the rest of the Chefs de Partie. The first two months were a slog of relentless hazing and trouble. I never flinched, just kept moving forward. I knew I was the lowest man on the totem pole and I’d simply have to wait out the abuse.

In my sixth month when Chef first asked me to keep his knives sharp I was taken aback. I didn’t even know that he knew my name. He’d certainly never spoken directly to me before. Chef Catalan never let anyone even touch his knives, but to trust some aspect of their care to a mere commise… It was unusual to say the least.

The hazing stopped, but now I was only spoken to in a professional capacity. I became an automaton to them, a tool, no more worth socializing with than a ladle or a whisk. I never let any emotion show as a rule, but I certainly never showed them how much their silence pleased me. The more I could streamline my existence. The more I could eliminate every superfluous thing, person, and interaction, the more I could dedicate myself to my craft. It only took two weeks to get the knives as he wanted, or at least get past the point of a daily critique of my sharpening technique. When dealing with Chef Catalan, two weeks to anything resembling pleasure is a triumph.”


Pseudopod 434: Drink to Me Only with Labyrinthine Eyes

by Thomas Ligotti.

“Drink to Me Only with Labyrinthine Eyes” first appeared in Nyctalops #17, 1982.

THOMAS LIGOTTI is one of the foremost contemporary authors of supernatural horror literature. His works been honored with several awards, including the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker award for the collection THE NIGHTMARE FACTORY (1996) and the novella MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE (2002). Revised, definitive editions of his first three story collections — SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER, GRIMSCRIBE, and NOCTUARY — were published in 2010, 2011, and 2012, respectively. Revised editions of his collections THE AGONIZING RESURRECTION OF VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN AND OTHER GOTHIC TALES and DEATH POEMS were issued in 2013. Ligotti has also published THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE (2010), a nonfiction work that explores the intersection of the darker byways of literature, philosophy, and psychology. Forthcoming titles by Ligotti include a collection of interviews and a chapbook consisting of two newly written stories and a Penguin edition for both SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER and GRIMSCRIBE this fall. The web site Thomas Ligotti Online was founded as a forum for discussions of and media related to Ligotti’s writings as well as those of wide range of authors, artists, and musicians whose work is associated with the horror genre, among other areas of interest to devotees of unconventional art and thought.

Your reader this week – Rish Outfield – is a podcaster, writer and audiobook narrator, who is afraid of everything. He’s afraid of ghosts, he’s afraid of children, he’s afraid of old women, he’s afraid of cockroaches, he’s afraid of the boogeyman, he’s afraid of enclosed spaces, he’s afraid of wasps, he’s afraid of rejection. He’s afraid the deflector shield will be quite operation when your friends arrive. Rish is host of the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine–yes, that’s still a thing–where they present full-cast productions of genre fiction, often with sound effects and music, and even more often with annoying conversation afterward.

Jonathan Chaffin (aka Atari)’s CASK OF AMONTILLADO Kickstarter can be found here!


” ‘Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen,’ I say when the lights come back on and the meager applause dies entirely. ‘I hope my beautiful assistant and I haven’t bored you too much this evening. You do look a little sleepy, as if you’ve been lulled into a trance yourselves. Which is not such a bad feeling, is it? Sinking deep into a downy darkness, resting your souls on pillows stuffed with soft shadows. But our host informs me that things will liven up very soon. Certainly you will awake when a little chime commands you to do so. Remember, it’s wake-up time when you hear the chime.’

I repeat. ‘And now I believe we can prosecute this evening’s festivities.’ ”


Pseudopod 433: 20 Simple Steps To Ventriloquism

by Jon Padgett.

“20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism” first appeared in the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award winning anthology, THE GRIMSCRIBE PUPPETS. “When I was a child, my first ventriloquist dummy came with a pamphlet entitled “7 SIMPLE STEPS TO VENTRILOQUISM.” Though the following ventriloquist story went through a tremendous number of transmutations from its inception two decades ago (when it was first conceived), that pamphlet from my past proved to be the key to what “20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism” would finally become. Practice the first seven steps enough, and you may one day be able to throw your voice with the best of the showbiz ventriloquists out there. Practice the rest of the steps at your own risk.”

JON PADGETT – your author AND reader – is the creator and long time administrator of the Thomas Ligotti Online website, and — as such — has been the first publisher for a number of Ligotti’s prose works over the years, including MY WORK IS NOT YET DONE and CRAMPTON. He has work forthcoming in “Lovecraft eZine” and “XNOYBIS“. Padgett’s chapbook, THE INFUSORIUM & his first short story collection, THE SECRET OF VENTRILOQUISM ARE forthcoming from Dunhams Manor Press. Padgett is a professional — though lapsed — ventriloquist who lives in New Orleans with his spouse, daughter, two cats, and dog. Padgett is also a professional voice-over artist with over thirty-seven years of theater and twenty years of audio narration experience who recently produced Occult .45: Four Tales of Gunrunning in the Weird West by Nick Carcano and is in the midst of producing an audiobook version of A.R. Morlan‘s novel, Dark Journey: A Novel of Horror. Padgett also has produced some notable amateur audio performance efforts, such as “The Bungalow House” by Thomas Ligotti and “Silent Snow, Secret Snow” by Conrad Aiken.

All needle drops and run-out grooves in this audio production are derived from the carefully curated sample collection of ye olde editor Shawn M. Garrett… who always knew they would come in handy someday

This is the link for the Faculty of Horror podcast.

Steven Saus’ Pseudopod Story The Burning Servant is at the link under the name (natch) and his twitter account is as well.

JR Blackwell’S Author Portrait Kickstarter can be found here and his twitter feed is here.


“Being a ventriloquist is a lot of fun. Anyone from eight to eighty can learn the basic techniques of this craft with a little practice. If you really want to know about ventriloquism and what it can do for you, just follow these 20 easy steps, and one day you’ll find out just how much fun a ventriloquist can have.


“How to hold your mouth”

Always practice in front of a mirror. Close your mouth in a natural, relaxed way and part your lips slightly. Stare at your mouth closely in this position until you can see nothing else, as if your mouth were hovering in the midst of nothingness.”


Pseudopod 432: The Influence Of Thomas Glittio

by Arthur Staaz.

“The Influence Of Thomas Glittio” is previously unpublished.

ARTHUR STAAZ is a relatively newly published writer. He has been writing for many years, but finally, at mid-life, has decided to get serious about it. In various incarnations, Arthur has been a songwriter, laborer, lawyer, teacher, father, husband, and victim of suppressed unconscious desires. He is fascinated by dark philosophies, the absurdity of human existence, and the black mysticism to be found in a Thomas Ligotti story. He has a blog/web site at by COLD, DARK, EMPTY.

Your reader – Branan Edgens — is a filmmaker living in New York City. He’s currently producing a documentary on Hmong (pronounced Mong) folk-singing and gearing up for his first feature film, SALAX (pronounced Say-lax) a horror/drama in the vampire genre. When not working he can be found somewhere in the woods building a cabin, if you can find him. You can’t. Check out Genetic Films.


“He felt it immediately. A current that flowed into his body through his eyes as they scanned the page and out through his fingertips as they tapped the keyboard. He was alive, powerful. One might even say meaningful. But certainly not Glittio.

The room around him faded to a shimmering darkness. Objects lost their distinctness, as did he himself. He could not have told you at that point where he ended and the keyboard began, let alone how it was different from the desk upon which it sat or the floor beneath the desk. Even the act of scanning the words in the frayed paperback on his desk called into question for him whether the book was a separate thing from his eyes. All melded together.

The nebulous quality of his perceptions was contrasted by the clarity of his mind. It is as if I am he, he thought. Indeed, he could not tell for certain. And yet these thoughts did not act as a distraction from the task at hand but only served to further focus his mind. No longer just a student in the act of transcribing an author’s work, he in a sense became the author.”