PseudoPod 062 Replay: Faith in Sips and Bites

We are digging a classic from the vault and reloading it into your queues anew. We hope that it makes you consider diving into our decade of back-catalog.

Michael Chant writes fiction, poetry, and reviews of books, music, and film. His work has appeared in Strange HorizonsTwilight Showcase, Quantum Muse, Electric Wine, The Chiaroscuro, Nocturnal Ooze, and GC Magazine.

Your narrator is the Lich King, Ben Phillips.


If you are reading this, we must’ve done it. I’m going to tell as much as I can. You newspaper people will have to clean up the spelling. Going to have your work cut out for you. Make it pretty for the front page. Crazy thinking something I write is going to be on the front page. That’s the Lord working in His mysterious ways again. Got to type it out. When I write it out longhand it looks like Chinese. Just have to hunt and peck as best I can. Can’t write no more. Hands shake too much. Nerve damage. All of us got it now.


In Kristi Demeester’s novel BENEATH we have a pastor struggling with a crisis of faith, and an investigative journalist endeavoring to subdue shadows of the past to shield from the greater darkness to come. We have an innocent touched by that darkness that wants to catalyze her to transform the world from that which we know to one of Stygian dreaming.

The cover art is phenomenal. Considering our troubled preacher, it evoked feelings like those from Night of the Hunter, particularly the impressive shot of the underwater grave. Does the stone keep her grounded and prevents her from floating away? Is the snake and her faith keeping her connected or tempting her elsewhere? Which is the shackle and which is salvation? Beautifully executed, and perfect for the conflict within.

More about the book at Word Horde.

 

 

PseudoPod 540: The Dog Pit

by Jason Fischer

 

“The Dog Pit” first appeared in “Cthulhu: Deep Down Under” and is soon to be reprinted in the “Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015”. “The Dog Pit came about as a story for the Australian-themed Cthulhu anthology “Cthulhu: Deep Down Under”, and was inspired by some history tours I took around Sydney. I’ve long had a fascination with colonial-era Australia, and the colourful old gangs of the Sydney Rocks area were just begging to be used in a horror setting. Sydney is an odd place, old in terms of European settlement, and incredibly ancient for the Indigenous peoples who lived in the region prior to first contact. The idea of these layers of humanity sitting above an eldritch horror seemed to gel, and of course we writers are lucky that a few Aussie Cthulhu mythos beasties can be used and reused. So enter the dingo creature Kurpangga, trapped beneath the earth for a million years…”

JASON FISCHER is an award-winning Australian author. He has published dozens of short stories, with a novel, a short story collection, comics and computer game work also under his belt. He enjoys competition karaoke, and loves puns more than life itself. His website can be found at jasonfischer.com.au.

This week’s reader – Barry Haworth – works as a statistician for the Australian Taxation Office. He holds a Masters degree in Statistics. Outside of work he is a keen reader of science fiction and enjoys choral singing and taking part in amateur theatricals, having performed such roles as Prospero in The Tempest, Major-General Stanley in The Pirates of Penzance, and Ebenezer Scrooge and Marley’s Ghost in two different versions of A Christmas Carol.

Barry has narrated episodes of Cast of Wonders, Escape Pod, Pod Castle and also the Cheap Astronomy podcast. He lives in Brisbane, Australia with his wife Sylvia, those of his children who haven’t left home yet, and whatever the current quota of pets is.


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


The Dutchman finally found the boy out on the gold diggings.

Being close to seven feet tall and as broad as an axe-handle at the shoulders, Cornelius Tesselaar was an instant curiosity in that place of mud and slap-shacks. His frock-coat and good boots spoke of a man more used to cobbled streets than a fossicker’s warren. He wore a top-hat, the good silk kind, and peered around him through a pair of expensive bifocals that by themselves would earn him a knifing if he stayed too long.

A quiet word and a handful of coins led Cornelius to the nearest opium den. He swept open the hessian sack that served as a doorway, and stood blinking at the thick cloud of smoke that drifted out.

“Toby Jangles,” the Dutchman boomed, striding inside. A dozen faces stared blankly at the man, even as he stepped over their sprawled bodies. One or two furtive shapes slinked away from the doorway, creeping into the furthest shadows of the clapboard shack.

PseudoPod 539: The Fear

by Richard Harland

 

“The Fear” was first printed in Macabra: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears in 2010 and reprinted in the US in Year’s Best Horror 2010. “Yes – imagine that film! Even though it may not end up the way you expect, visualize just how it might look and sound on the screen!”

RICHARD HARLAND was born in England but now lives in Australia, sixty miles south of Sydney between the green Illawarra escarpment and a string of golden beaches. He has been a folk-rock musician, a university lecturer and a poet who once did a poetry reading at the Sydney Opera House. He has won six Aurealis Awards (Australia’s nearest equivalent to the Nebulas) for his horror and fantasy novels and his short stories; also the prestigious Tam Tam Je Bouquine Award for “Worldshaker” in France. His website is at www.richardharland.net

This week’s reader – Graeme Dunlop – has been around Escape Artists projects, in various capacities, for a long time. Nearly ten years. He lives in Melbourne, Australia with his lovely wife Amanda. They have a crazy boy dog named Jake.


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


“It’s impossible to explain without visuals. You’d have to see the movie to know why it was so frightening. Think yourself lucky you never will.”

PseudoPod 538: Flash On The Borderlands XXXVII: Higher Beings Command


NASA aurora image from April 10, 2015, Delta Junction, Alaska

“Higher Beings Command…Their Powers To The Ground….”
Coil


Behold, The Drowning by John Purfield
“Behold, The Drowning” was first made available to the public via the “No Sleep” section of reddit.com. “I would like the audience to consider, while listening to this story, the implications of sensory deprivation on fear. Loss of sight has been explored many times over; it is pivotal to our primordial fear of the dark. Loss of sound, however, receives far less attention and is, potentially, more horrifying for reasons stated by the story’s protagonist.”

JOHN PURFIELD is a 28 year old Army veteran living in Denver, Colorado with my family and two dogs.

Your narrator – Brian Lieberman is an associate editor of Pseudopod. By day, he’s a copywriter and front-end developer at OutboundOps. By night, he fights various evils with his friends. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, a roommate, a brooding rat, a school of fish, and a cat with no patience for his tomfoolery.

I once wished I could give both my eyes for a pair of ears that worked. My world is experienced through the narrow window of my vision. I hear no birds sing, nor waves crash on rocks. The intricacies of music are lost on me, but for the vibrations of a particularly obnoxious bass line. In the animal kingdom, there are many blind animals, but precious few deaf creatures. The deaf die fast and young, for hearing is the only sense that gives you full scope of your environment. You can hear a predator creep behind you, but you cannot see it unless it is in front of you.


Bring The Moon To Me by Amelia Gorman

“Bring The Moon To Me” was first printed in 2015 in the anthology SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS (later renamed “CTHULHU’S DAUGHTERS”), edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles

Your narrator – Laura Hobbs – works in infosec by day and is a random crafter by night. Twitter is her social media of choice, and she despises the word “cyber”. When asked nicely, she sometimes reads things for people on the internet. You can find her online at soapturtle.net

They had names like Herringbone and Honeycomb, or Tyrolean Fern. My mother turned yarn into thick forests and spiraling galaxies with luscious titles. I watched her fingers busy themselves for hours to produce squares of cloth. Sometimes, her hands faded away and the string had a life of its own. Like a snake or an eel, it raised its head then dipped it back down. It looped around itself, only to slip away and tie up its own tail. Eventually, a familiar pattern emerged.


The Hole At The Top of the World by Benjamin Blattberg

“The Hole At The Top of the World” is a Pseudopod Original. The story is about equal halves me imagining a character given his own space when, in many other stories, he’d be relegated to a minor role; and me thinking about depression..

BEN BLATTBERG is a software developer, improviser, and writer currently living in Austin, TX, as long as there are no follow­up questions on any of those facts. His stories have appeared in Tina Connolly’s Toasted Cake, Crossed Genres, Pornokitsch, and Podcastle.

Your narrator – John Chu – is a microprocessor architect by day, a writer, translator, and podcast narrator by night. His story “The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” won the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Short Story. Bibliography is at JohnChu.net. His story “Making the Magic Lightning Strike Me” will be published in issue 16 (May/June 2017) of Uncanny Magazine..

“Imagine a man on top of the world, with a sharp knife.
His name is Tenzin Tsheri and he hesitates before saving the world, again.”


This Creature, This Creature, This Wonderful Creature by A. W. Baader

“This Creature, This Creature, This Wonderful Creature” first appeared in the short story collection SING ALONG WITH THE SAD SONG in 2016

A. W. BAADER is an archaeologist, after a fashion, a psychogeographer, and writer of short fiction living in the south of Cymru. He left school a couple of years before he was supposed to and has lived a somewhat itinerant life both getting into and causing trouble all over the UK. He’s lived on the streets, in squats, and had a rather strange and interesting time all the while. He eventually went to university to study things which are probably best left hidden (Archaeology) and after doing that decided that he would try his hand at writing stories as there is probably more money to be made in that than in archaeology… taste the bitterness. He’s currently living in Wales by mistake and may well end up blighting some other country with his presence some day soon. He has a collection of stories, including “This Creature, This Creature, This Wonderful Creature”, coming out this year entitled SING ALONG WITH THE SAD SONG. He also has an occasionally updated blog which can be found at ABAADER.com

Your narrator – Christopher Reynaga – is a storyteller, novelist, and creator of the podcast radio show Point Mystic: In search of stories behind the magic, the mystery, and the unexplained. Find out more at POINT MYSTIC.

“It came first as a cloud, this creature, settling upon my mind: its happy moist softness seeping into the folds of soft pinkness; soft pinkness accepting it happily, joyously, greedily. It came as gentle Spring rain or the softest touch upon the tenderest of wounds, it came and I wept. Weeping elation flecked tears down scabrous smile cracked cheeks I allowed this creature (this creature, oh! this wonderful creature) to make home (a nest a burrow a home) deep inside my mind.”


For Mortal Things Unsung.

We would appreciate it if you order our 10th anniversary anthology. If you backed our kickstarter, your copy showed up in February. If you missed out, it is currently available for your reading pleasure.

 


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