Archive for the 'Stories' Category
PseudoPod 496: Nothing is Truly Yours

Sam J. Miller

by Sam J. Miller

“Nothing is Truly Yours” is a PseudoPod Original. “This story is an homage to the work of Julio Cortazar, a brilliant amazing writer who wrote horror, fantasy, science fiction that a lot of genre readers miss because people think of “magical realism” as lit-fic with ghosts, instead of a unique Latin American evolution of all that is wonderful about SF/F/H. He also translated the complete stories of Edgar Allan Poe into Spanish, and those translations are magnificent. So if folks like this story they should seek him out – “House Taken Over” is the spiritual antecedent to this story, but “Axolotl” & “We Love Glenda So Much” and “Blow Up” and “The Southern Highway” and tons of his other stories, and his novel “Hopscotch” are all genius. And if you DON’T like this story, you should still seek him out, because it just means I horribly botched my homage.”

SAM J. MILLER is a writer and a community organizer. His fiction is in Lightspeed, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and The Minnesota Review, among others. He is a nominee for the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, and a graduate of the Clarion Writer’s Workshop. His debut dark, edgy, fucked-up young adult science fiction novel THE ART OF STARVING is forthcoming from HarperCollins. He lives in New York City, and at Sam J. Miller where you can find a whole bunch of his stories.

Your narrator – Karen Bovenmyer – earned an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program in 2013. She spent many hours as a kid among beaten earth and bare roots avoiding predators and whispering to imaginary people of various moralities. She never had a pet rabbit, but she did have a hamster named Chucky Cheeks who wanted to be an astronaut. Karen is the Nonfiction Assistant Editor for Mothership Zeta, Escape Artists’ new e-zine and has been having a spectacular time helping set up the first issue. Check out book, short story, and movie reviews, a “Story Doctor” article from award-winning science fiction author James Patrick Kelly, and a science column from a real astronomer—as well as plenty of fabulous fresh stories from amazing authors both new and experienced.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

****************************

“It started in the room you call your studio, the spare bedroom at the end of the hall, where you keep the tools of your creative trade, the room you swear you’ll start making better use of—just as soon as this work project or upcoming event is over, or your brother’s current life crisis settles down. It started late at night, in the long dark dead hours of the morning when the call of the toilet summons you from sleep, and you stagger to the bathroom in a haze of fury and fear, terrified you’ll never fall back to sleep, convinced that here, now, is the beginning of the end, of your brain and your body conspiring to finally kill you. It started in the instant after you flushed, in the space of white noise where the ear is especially sensitive to possibly-imagined sounds. What was this one: a breath sucked in? A cough stifled? No. Nothing so concrete. But a house feels different when you are not alone. Sound echoes distinctly in an empty apartment. You had felt this before. Vague blurry feelings, indistinct impressions when drunk or depressed, knowledge that came from somewhere other than reason or the senses. Adrenaline unspooled in your abdomen. Tiny hairs along your neck and arms quivered, then stood up straight.

And in that moment you knew: someone was in there. Someone was in your home, sitting at the cluttered desk of your studio, silently, perfectly still but not asleep, in darkness, eyes open, looking in your direction. And you stood at the door—put your fingers against the cold firm real non-nightmare wood—and turned and hurried back to bed.”

PseudoPod 495: Shut The Final Door

Joe L. Hensley

by Joe L. Hensley

“Shut The Final Door” was first published in Alchemy and Academe in November 1970. It is presented with permission from the estate through the assistance of the Virginia Kidd Agency..

JOE L. HENSLEY (1926 – 2007) 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. 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.

Your narrator – Patrick “The Voice” Bazile – Patrick is an American Actor/Voice Over Talent and a fresh sound in the voice over industry. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Patrick has voiced everything from PSA’s to major product brands. With a deep, powerful voice often referred to as “The Voice of God” he commands attention.? Check Outr: Patrick “The Voice” Bazile“.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

****************************

“The night was gentle and so Willie sat out on the combination fire escape and screened play area that hung in zigzags from the north side of the government-built, low-rent apartment building. He stayed out there in his wheelchair for a long time watching the world of lights from the other buildings around him. He liked the night. It softened the savage world, so that he could forget the things he saw and did in the day. Those things still existed, but darkness fogged them.”

PseudoPod 494: The Voyage & The Ship

Tim W. Burke

by Tim W. Burke

“The Voyage & The Ship” originally appeared in THE FLESH SUTRA.

TIM W. BURKE grew up a mile from the most notorious prisons in the U.S. He produced movies found on Netflix and wrote comedy sketches about the brains of the Kennedy Brothers playing touch football. Currently, he finds horror to be more emotionally satisfying. His novel “The Flesh Sutra” earned a place on the preliminary ballot for the 2015 Stoker Awards. Read his advice and inspirations at timwburke.com.

In THE FLESH SUTRA body horror and mysticism entwine under gaslight. We find ourselves in Fin de siècle Boston, where the mystic healer Alecsandri Keresh falls into the desperate embrace of his lover, Mrs. Olivia Spaulding, only to be shot dead in her arms. Alecsandri’s rage at her husband’s murderous action transforms his power and he returns to life – as an abomination. Recognizing each other as soul mates, Olivia and Alecsandri resolve to atone for their sins by helping humanity. But their jealousies mar their works – often with hideous results. And, to further warp their efforts, a vengeful spirit stalks them. One that grows more powerful at every turn. Will the depraved lovers succeed? Or will they mutilate mankind for love? Alasdair Stuart and Shawn Garrett agree and THE FLESH SUTRA earned its way to the preliminary ballot of the 2015 Stoker Awards

Your narrator – Paul Jenkins – has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

****************************

“At night, the city dock was empty of travelers and oriental immigrants, so I was able to note the activities of the policemen. Dock policemen were sharp-eyed in normal circumstances. But from my vantage point at the top of our luggage, I saw the police stop every young white man for additional scrutiny.

Otherwise Matthew would not have stood out. The scruffy, brown-haired youth struggled along the dock looking like any other American looking to make his mark in the Orient or the Yukon.

He muttered with relief when we saw “S.S. Queensland Beach” on a ship’s hull. The low-slung tramp steamer waited, having unloaded its burden of migrants and freight from the South China Sea. Its crew of Europeans and Islanders were busy using the ship’s cranes to load cargo into its hold. Their destination, and ours, was Hong Kong.”

PseudoPod 493: The Last Escapement

James Smythe

by James Smythe

“The Last Escapement” was first published in Irregularity in 2014, by Jurassic London – an anthology about the enlightenment, a 16th and 17th movement of invention that resulted in John Harrison discovering the concept of Maritime longitude – the true story of which being the inspiration for “The Last Escapement.” Clocks used to be a very different thing, and our notions of time were somewhat sloppier. For years, people tried to build a clock that didn’t lose time when traveling the oceans – this is my contribution to the many tales about those endeavors.

JAMES SMYTHE is the winner of the Wales Fiction Book of the Year 2013, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2014. He is the author of, amongst other things, The Machine, The Explorer, No Harm Can Come To A Good Man, and the Australia trilogy, a series for Young Adult readers. His most recent book released in the US is No Harm, and in October of this year, Way Down Dark will be published in the US by Quercus.

Your narrator – Paul Jenkins – has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

****************************

“I do not know how many times I am to try this: to create a time-keeping device that will hold its measure on a journey across the sea. Every day, the same thing: a task as simple as steadying a pendulum, the rock of left to right; of making it sturdy, able to take the yoke of a storm and hold it still. Time is regular, this is the crux of the problem, and when travelling the seas, time is lost. It evaporates, like salt-water from a deck — though time, of course, leaves no trace. It is such an intangible thing that we try to measure.”