Pseudopod 456: Flash On The Borderlands XXVI: Official Reports

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. ”

George Orwell


“Thumbwood” by Davin Ireland

“Thumbwood” was originally published in September of 2007 in THE FIRST HUMDRUMMING BOOK OF HORROR STORIES, a UK print anthology of horror fiction edited by Ian Alexander Martin. The tale was reprinted in August of 2010 in ESTEBAN’S HOUSE OF BIZARRO, an online journal of bizarro fiction that folded some weeks later. While the tale itself is fictional, the structure and language of the document are lifted directly from a genuine British Ministry of Defence report I was able to get my hands on.

DAVIN IRELAND was born and raised in the south of England, but currently resides in the Netherlands. His fiction credits include stories published in over sixty print magazines and anthologies on both sides of the Atlantic, including Aeon, Underworlds, The Horror Express, Zahir, Comets & Criminals, Rogue Worlds, Storyteller Magazine and Something Wicked. He blogs at Davin Ireland.

Your reader – should be somewhat familiar to you…

“c) The kitchen is surprisingly modern given the setting, and contains many of the domestic appliances one might expect from an equivalent family home. Dishwasher, microwave, fridge-freezer and designer espresso machine are all in evidence. In an alcove by the back door, Sisyphus struggles valiantly to push a large granite sphere up a craggy mountainside. Oblivious to our operative’s presence, the former Corinthian king puffs and strains in order to achieve his goal, jaw clenched, diminutive biceps popping beneath the fabric of his flimsy cotton tunic. The task is a thankless one.”


“Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch” by M. Bennardo.

“Final Corrections, Pittsburgh Times-Dispatch” was first published by Daily Science Fiction on January 3, 2013. (about story) “I’m quite fond of Pittsburgh, and selected it as the scene of this story only for its interesting geography.”

M. BENNARDO is the writer of over 40 published short stories. He is also co-editor of the MACHINE OF DEATH series of anthologies (along with David Malki and Ryan North). The most recent volume in the series, “THIS IS HOW YOU DIE”, was published by Grand Central Press in July 2013, and was named by the Onion AV Club as one of their favorite books of the year. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio and his personal website is M. Bennardo.

Your reader – John Bell – is creator of award-winning radio ads (no, really!), voice talent, audio-book voice, and writer/producer of the “Bells in the Batfry” podcast. He has an audio book on Audible and iTunes (plus a text version, but you REALLY want the audio version) called “The Devil’s Pinata”… a rather silly and pun-filled spoof of action-adventure novels…

“In several items yesterday, the Visitor was variously described as having six legs, eight legs, or “an unholy agglomeration of writhing, thrashing appendages, unable to be counted”. The correct number of legs is eight.”


“N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis” by Adam Corbin Fusco.

“N0072-JK1: Study of Synaptic Response of the Organism to Spontaneous Stimulation of Vulnerability Zones. Photographic Analysis” was first published in the anthology Borderlands 5 from Borderlands Press. It was reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection. Borderlands 5 was republished by Warner Books under the title From the Borderlands.

ADAM CORBIN FUSCO is a writer whose fiction has appeared in Realms of Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Weird Tales, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and other publications. His website is at The Tantisper Tower

Your reader – Erik Luke – is the screenwriter of the Joe Dante film EXPLORERS, which is currently in development as a remake, the comic books GHOST and WONDER WOMAN, and wrote and directed the NOT QUITE HUMAN films for Disney TV. His current project INTERFERENCE, a meta horror audiobook about an audiobook… that kills, is available free on iTunes and at

“Reaction to the ‘primal face’ is correlative to reaction to the ‘laughter response face.’ Subjects were shown a photograph of a theater audience. They were told the audience was viewing a comedic film and were asked to rate the comedic value of the film on the one to five Tortelli scale based on the audience’s facial reaction. Seventy-nine percent of males and seventy-two percent of females rated the comedic value at a four or greater. The fact that the audience was not watching a comedic film at all maintains the consistency of the study. (Note photographic archive of Nazi ‘Laughter Cabaret’ wherein each seat delivered mid-level electrical shock via anal probes during strategic ‘punchlines.’)”


If you like horror movies you really should be listening to FACULTY OF HORROR!.

If you are female (or identify as such) and write horror fiction, you should consider submitting to Artemis Rising 2: Hecate Strikes Back

If you enjoyed the stylistic conceit of this week’s episodes, you should check out TANDEM REGION TIMES

Pseudopod 455: Turbulence

by Scott R. Jones

“Turbulence” was first published by Innsmouth Free Press in Innsmouth Magazine #14, November 2013

Scott R. Jones is the author of When The Stars Are Right: Towards An Authentic R’lyehian Spirituality (a bio-ethnographical work of “gleeful nihilism”, examining Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones from a neo-Gnostic spiritual perspective); I have stories upcoming in the anthologies The Summer of Lovecraft (Chaosium), Fossil Lake 2, Flesh Like Smoke (April Moon Books), and Australia’s Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I live in Victoria BC with my wife and two frighteningly super-intelligent spawn. He has edited an anthology for Martian Migraine Press RESONATOR: New Lovecraftian Tales From Beyond, featuring stories revolving around the Tillinghast Resonator (or technologies and processes like it). RESONATOR will be available in print and electronic formats from most major retailers and showcases the talents of Cody Goodfellow, Anya Martin, Scott Nicolay, Orrin Grey, Damir Salkovic, and Christine Morgan, among others.

Your narrator is Siobhan Gallichan, who is a voice over artist interested in paid work and is also the long time producer of The Flashing Blade Podcast.


They’re sealing the silo today and the cavern below it. One hundred fifty thousand tonnes of concrete poured down the wet, black throat of the thing. I hope it’s enough.

The facility is down to a skeleton staff now. Topside security and just enough eyes on the monitors to hit the red button if things change down there. I’m not really needed; my MSc is in Avionics Engineering, after all. I don’t even work here anymore, but I felt like paying my respects. I’m not alone in this. Declan made friends easily and there are a lot of project folks here that don’t need to be.

His official funeral was just so goddamned unsatisfying, for one thing. That eulogy! “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth….” They ran that Magee poem into the ground, which was about as tasteless as you could get, considering the circumstances. Considering his resting place.

That’s just it though, isn’t it? Declan isn’t at rest. Declan will never be at rest. I know what they told everyone. That he died testing the DreadMoth. That’s only technically true. I know he’s not dead. Ask anyone who ever sat with him down there, in the cavern. They’ll tell you.

They talked about Icarus at the funeral, too, which is all mytho-poetic and sells the American hero line, sure, but it’s a flawed comparison. Icarus fell. That kid kissed the dirt.

Declan may be half a mile underground, but he hasn’t touched down, yet.


Pseudopod 454: Eastern Promise

by Stewart Horn

“Eastern Promise” originally appeared in Crowded Magazine issue 2, 2013.

STEWART HORN is a professional musician and amateur writer and poet based on the West Coast of Scotland. His work has appeared in the Horrorzine website and two Horrorzine anthologies, Screaming Dreams Press’s magazine Estronomicon, Crowded Magazine, the Lovecraft Ezine and the British Fantasy Society Journal, as well as a few small local things. He blogs occasionally at Stewartguitar, writes reviews for the BFS and is a member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writers’ Circle.

Your narrators are Ian Stuart (introductions) and Hugo Jackson. Hugo is a fantasy author and cosplayer from Chichester, England with a passion for acting, anime, and movie soundtracks, currently living in Raleigh, North Carolina. The first of his four book young adult fantasy series, The Resonance Tetralogy, is available on and can be found on facebook under the series name Resonance Tetralogy or on Writesaber. His publisher is Inspired Quill. He can be found amongst his cosplay projects on facebook at BritFang Cosplay


“‘In more western parts of Europe, incorrupt corpses were apt to induce almost the opposite response. A lack of decay was taken to be evidence that the individual had died in a state of perfect grace, immaculate and sinless. There are reputed to be whole, perfect bodies secreted among the other saintly relics in churches all over France, Spain, Italy and Prussia, and all those that remain intact have since been canonized. Many such corpses were said to emanate an ‘odour of sanctity’ for some time after death, described as akin to the smell of fresh flowers; it may be principally this olfactory phenomenon, coupled with geographical and religious incidence, that determined which corpses were worshipped as saints, and which destroyed as demons or vampires.’

M. Rhodes, Demonology and Vampirism in Europe, 1897”


Please Stand By

Escape Pod has been messing around with time, and it has sent vortexes and rippled throughout the ‘verse. I tried to get a better explanation from them, but they babbled some nonsense at me, jumped in a blue box, and disappeared. I think they stole some time from us to try to rebalance some paradox wave. Or somesuch.

Episodes 453 and 454 are coming, but with slight delays. We’re trying to make sure we get them right rather than rush them out, but they’ll be here soon. Thanks for your patience!