Archive for the 'Stories' Category
PseudoPod 515: The Magician’s Apprentice

by Tamsyn Muir

tmuir-biopic

“The Magician’s Apprentice” was first printed in Weird Tales, Issue #358 for Winter 2012 and was reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2013, edited by Rich Horton and The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Five, edited by Ellen Datlow.

TAMSYN MUIR is a horror, fantasy and sci-fi author whose works have appeared in Nightmare Magazine, F&SF, Fantasy Magazine, Weird Tales and Clarkesworld. She is a graduate of Clarion 2010, and was a 2012 Shirley Jackson Award nominee this story. She is a 2015 Nebula Award nominee and 2015 Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction for her novelette “The Deepwater Bride”. She is from Howick, New Zealand. She blogs from tumblr and Tweets from Twitter.

Your narrator – Louise Ratcliffe is a scientist, artist and stay-home Mum. She lives in New Zealand having moved there from England 12 years ago when her Maori husband brought her home. They have 3 children, 3 cats, 9 chickens, 8 ducks and a goat called Steve. She spends her time creating Art Yarn, and knitting body parts and blankets. Her work can be seen on Facebook at her Top o’ the Meadow fibre art page, or you can find her on Ravelry as Giggigoofer.


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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The CAST OF WONDERS Flash Fiction Contest info can be accessed at the link.


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


When she was thirteen, Mr. Hollis told her: “There’s never more than two, Cherry. The magician and the magician’s apprentice.”

PseudoPod 514: The Show

by Priya Sharma

Originally published in BOX OF DELIGHTS, you can read “The Show” online at NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE.

PRIYA SHARMA’s fiction has appeared in Interzone, Black Static, Albedo One and on Tor.com. She’s been anthologized in several of Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year series, Paula Guran’s Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror series, Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014, Steve Haynes’ Best British Fantasy 2014 and Johnny Main’s Best British Horror 2015. She’s also been on previous Locus’ Recommended Reading Lists (2010, 2012, 2013 & 2015). She is a Shirley Jackson Award Nominee and British Fantasy Award nominee for her story “Fabulous Beasts”, which appeared on Tor.com in 2015. Find her online at Priya Sharma Fiction.

This story was also reprinted this month as part of Nightmare’s special issue People of Colo(u)r DESTROY Horror! Read along with the story over at their site. Listen to two more stories from this issue over on the Nightmare podcast feed, and add it to your podcatcher while you’re at it!

Your narrator – Andrea Richardson – came through at the last minute for us! Check her out at Andrea Richardson!


Pseudopod has launched our TEN YEAR Kickstarter! CHECK IT OUT!

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The CAST OF WONDERS Flash Fiction Contest info can be accessed at the link.


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


The camera crew struggled with the twisting, narrow stairs. Their kit was portable, Steadicams being all the rage. They were lucky that the nature of their work did not require more light. Shadows added atmosphere. Dark corners added depth. It was cold down in the cellar. It turned their breath to mist, which gathered in the stark white pools shed by the bare bulbs overhead.
Martha smiled. It was sublime. Television gold.

PseudoPod 513: Flash on The Borderlands XXXIV: Interstices

They walk serene / in spaces between


All three of these stories are runners up from the PSEUDOPOD flash fiction contest


Zipper by Murf Freedmont

Original to Pseudopod. “Zipper was written entirely on my smart phone (in the middle of the night…in bed…when I could not sleep). I intended it to be a writing prompt for a story to be finished later, but when I counted the words the next morning I decided to submit it to the Pseudopod contest without significant changes. Since it fared much better than my other submission, perhaps I should limit all my writing to my phone … but I hate touch screens so much.”

MURF FREEDMONT lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and 3 daughters and is an information technologist.

Your narrator – Spencer DiSparti -is a published poet and voice actor from Phoenix, Arizona. You can find most of his work at SKELETOPIA.

Have you ever tried to open a sleeping bag zipper silently?


Subcutaneous by Nicholas Conley

This is a PseudoPod Original.

NICHOLAS CONLEY’s passion for storytelling began at an early age, prompted by a love of science fiction novels, comic books and horror movies. His a science fiction thriller novel PALE HIGHWAY (available now from Red Adept Publishing) is influenced by his experience working with Alzheimer’s patients in a nursing home, a subject that he has also written about for publications such as Vox and Alzheimers.net. PALE HIGHWAY is the story of Gabriel Schist, a genius Nobel Prize winner plagued by Alzheimer’s, who must find a cure for a terrifying new virus before his mind declines past the point of no return. When not busy writing, Nicholas resides in New Hampshire and spends his time reading, traveling to new places, and indulging in a lifelong coffee habit. To learn more about him, take a stroll over to Nicholas Conley.com

Your narrator – Rock Manor – has been a performer featured on The NoSleep Podcast, Chilling Tales For Dark Nights, StarShipSofa, and Tales To Terrify. He is the producer of Manor House: The Podcast, a horror anthology hosted by The Phantom Collector. Best selling author Brian Keene says “it’s like Tales From The Crypt. It’s really fucking cool.” Manor House: The Podcast is entering it’s third season which will feature stories by authors such as Adam Cesare and Stoker Award winner Eric J. Guignard. Sign up for Manor House’s free Fantom Zone membership to receive their monthly newsletter containing exclusives not found anywhere else. You can also become a premium Fantom Zone Access member to get full access to episodes not found on the regular podcast or webseries. For more details and for more info about the show, visit them online at ManorHouseShow.com (currently having server problems – please try back!).

I like the way that skin feels.


The Void by Thomas Vicinanzo

Pseudopod original. “The most terrifying thing is a life devoid of intrinsic meaning, and a universe which does not and cannot understand us.”

THOMAS VICINANZO works in Mount Vernon, NY and writes fantasy and horror when he gets the chance. Some day his fantasy novel will be done (not the bad one, the good one), and all his true friends will read it and say it’s nice.

Your narrator is Laurice White, who last read “Awaiting Redemption” for Pseudopod, part of episode 347 – Flash On The Borderlands XVI: Trial & Discipline.

I tripped on a little ridge where the turf was bunched up like a carpet. It was early morning and the park was empty, so I pulled at the grass, and it came up, revealing soil blacker than fresh asphalt. Then I saw it wasn’t soil but black empty space.


Pseudopod will be launching their own Kickstarter in the upcoming weeks. Visit our YEAR 10 page for more details.

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The CAST OF WONDERS Flash Fiction Contest info can be accessed at the link.


PseudoPod 512: Boys

by Damien Laughlin

Before being reprinted in Pseudopod, “Boys” was published in 2015 in The Cadaverine Magazine, which publishes Prose, Fiction and Nonfiction from writers under thirty. “I’ve always struggled with titles, so when submitting work to my creative writing group I had taken to giving my stories temporary headings derived from Latin terms for animals: Ursa (Bear), Haedus (Young Goat), Porcus (Pig). This eventually incurred the wrath of my peers who found it completely pretentious and overblown. Hell hath no fury like writers patronized. Out of sheer stubbornness, I was all set to continue with this practice when submitting my next story, an early draft of this story. “Bos” I was intending on titling it, from the Latin term for cow. So I put the word “Bos” at the top of the document and as soon as it was there I struggled to take my eyes off it. All my other Latin titles felt like placeholders, but this felt right – or very nearly right. It was only after an hour or staring that I finally put the vital ‘y’ between the ‘o’ and the ‘s’, giving myself “Boys”. After I got the title right, everything else with the story fell into place in subsequent drafts, thematically, narratively. In naming it I’d realized something: it wasn’t the cow, the bos, that gave the story its horror. It was the boys; the foul, abhorrent and distressingly relatable boys.”

DAMIEN LAUGHLIN is a twenty-three year old writer from Derry, Northern Ireland. He’s an incurable people-watcher, eavesdropper and notetaker, and in the last year he found an outlet for these habits while studying Creative Writing at Queen’s University Belfast.
He’s recently been featured in a new zine called Penny Mag, which publishes 500-word prose pieces and puts them together with a illustration. Subscribers to Penny have three illustrated stories delivered to their email inbox every week – a fine alternative to the clickbait that invades all our electronic devices.

Your narrator – Phil Lunt – Hails from the rain-sodden, North Western wastelands of England, and has dabbled in many an arcane vocation. From rock-star to conveyor-belt scraper at a bread factory, milkman to world’s worst waiter. He’s currently a freelance designer, actor and sometime writer/editor. For his sins he’s Chair of the British Fantasy Society, a role that can be more complicated than herding cats, at times. He’s still considering becoming an astronaut when he grows up. He currently throws words at gameronomy.com but also welcomes folk to check out what they do at the British Fantasy Society because it’s not all about folk trying to shout louder than their neighbour, they do try to do good stuff!

Your guest host – Associate Editor Dagny Paul


The CAST OF WONDERS Flash Fiction Contest info can be accessed at the link.


Pseudopod will be launching their own Kickstarter in the upcoming weeks. Visit our YEAR 10 page for more details.

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Dock at MOTHERSHIP ZETA for all your far-flung fiction and non-fiction needs!


The Eighth Day Brotherhood is a new novel by Alice M. Phillips that should be of interest to PseudoPod listeners. If you want a novel with the milieu of The Stress of Her Regard but tighter pacing, look no further. Couple this with the sensibility of Fincher’s Se7en and you have a tense and relentless thriller. Alice’s love for the tenebrous portions of the Decadent period glows through Paris while the Eiffel Tower rises on the bank of the Seine and as the city prepares of the Exposition Universelle. It manifests with an abiding love for the period supported by an incredible depth of research. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book from Black Rose Writing.

The Eighth Day Brotherhood by Alice M. Phillips — Black Rose Writing

One August morning, in Paris, 1888, the sunrise reveals the embellished corpse of a young man suspended between the columns of the Panthéon, resembling a grotesque Icarus and marking the first in a macabre series of murders linked to Paris monuments. In the Latin Quarter, occult scholar Rémy Sauvage is informed of his lover’s gruesome death and embarks upon his own investigation to avenge him by apprehending the cult known as the Eighth Day Brotherhood. At a nearby sanitarium, aspiring artist Claude Fournel becomes enamored with a mesmerist’s beautiful patient, Irish immigrant Margaret Finnegan. Resolved to steal her away from the asylum and obtain her for his muse, Claude only finds them both entwined in the Brotherhood’s apocalyptic plot combining magic, mythology, and murder.


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


It was Ethan’s thirteenth birthday and he had invited me to a sleepover, along with friends from his new school. We were making our way through the forest by his home when he signaled for me to slow down. We allowed the other boys to pull ahead. That’s when he grabbed my arm and uttered a warning in my ear: I wasn’t going to like what he was taking us to see at the river bay.