PseudoPod 548: Lord Randy, My Son

by Joe L. Hensley


“Lord Randy, My Son” was first printed in DANGEROUS VISIONS (1967) and appears here with the kind permission of the Hensley estate and the Virginia Kidd Agency. This is the second of Ellison’s Dangerous Visions to appear here on PseudoPod. Make sure to check out Go, Go, Go, Said the Bird by Sonya Dorman.

JOE L. HENSLEY 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 [also reprinted in Pseudopod in April of 2016]. 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.

This week’s reader – Ben Phillips – is a programmer and musician living in New Orleans. He was a chief editor of Pseudopod from 2006-2010.

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

He rebelled on the night the call came to leave the warm and liquid place; but in that way he was weak and nature was strong. Outside, the rains came; a storm so formidable that forecasters referred to it for all of the time that was left. He fought to remain with the mother thing, but the mother thing expelled him and in fear and rage he hurt the mother thing subtly. Black clouds hid the stars and the trees bent only to the wind.

PseudoPod 547: Escape to Thin Mountain

by Jon Padgett


“Escape to Thin Mountain” originally appeared in Padgett’s 2016 short story collection The Secret of Ventriloquism.

JON PADGETT is a professional—though lapsed—ventriloquist who lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, a cat and a dog. Padgett’s first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, was named the Best Fiction Book of 2016 by Rue Morgue Magazine. He has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, Lovecraft eZine, Xnoybis, Antenna::Signals and For Mortal Things Unsung, an anthology containing some of the best Pseudopod original stories to date. This summer, his work will appear in Joseph Pulver’s anthology, A Walk on the Weird Side, and Phantasm/Chimera, an anthology published by Plutonian Press. Later this year, Padgett will be narrating a story by Thomas Ligotti, which will be released on vinyl LP by Cadabra Records. Follow Jon on Twitter or on Facebook for further updates.

This week’s reader – Dagny Paul is a lapsed English teacher, failed artist, and sometimes writer who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies, which she consumes whenever her five-year-old son will let her (which isn’t often). Dagny is Assistant Editor of PseudoPod.

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

PseudoPod 546: Monsters Exist

by Ian McHugh

“Monsters Exist” is a Pseudopod Original.

IAN MCHUGH is a writer whose first success was winning the short story competition at his local science fiction convention in Canberra, Australia in 2004. Since then, he’s sold more than 40 stories to publications around the world, and his first story collection, Angel Dust, was published in 2014. You can find his full bibliography, with links to read stories that are available free online, including his past publications at Pseudopod, Escape Pod and Podcastle, at

This week’s reader – Ron Jon is a writer, narrator and singer. He has written and published children’s books; scripts and screenplays for animation and live action; musical lyrics and libretti. He is a student of strange phenomena/parapsychology, horror and children’s literature. Ron Jon writes short weird fiction under the name ‘the spectre collector’. See his disturbing videos and hear more of his work on ‘the spectre collector’ blog – Download his disturbing albums on ‘the spectre collector’ Bandcamp site – His new album on Bandcamp is called “Decomposition on ice”.

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

Monsters exist. Their numbers and nature vary from time to time and place to place, but they are always near.

More often than not, they are nearer than we like to think.

Monsters do not appear in the world fully formed. They are not angels, fallen from the sky. Monsters grow, here. They germinate, as if from a seed, and we water and nurture the seed ourselves.

PseudoPod 545: Indiscretions

by Hillary Dodge


Hillary Dodge

“Indiscretions ” is a Pseudopod Original. “The author invites you to sit back, close your eyes, and picture a deserted suburban neighborhood, lawns brown and tangled, the sky a bleak shade of yellow-gray…”

HILLARY DODGE is a writer and editor based out of Santiago, Chile. She has a Masters degree in Library and Information Sciences which is probably one of the coolest degrees out there – no joke. She enjoys shooting zombies like a boss, reading over a cup of steaming coffee, goat cheese on everything, and supporting fellow authors and creators.

Last year, Hillary and her husband quit their jobs and relocated their family to South America to collaborate on a cookbook entitled The Chilean Family Table. Throughout the next year, they will travel the length of this thin country, exploring the food culture of Chile while researching their book. You can follow their travels online at She is also the nonfiction editor for Gamut Magazine and if you don’t know what that’s about yet, it’s about time you visited, don’t you think?

Christiana Ellis

This week’s reader – Christiana Ellis – is an award-winning author and producer of fiction podcasts Nina Kimberly the Merciless and Space Casey, as well as a constantly bubbling stew of other podcasts. Christiana is currently acting as the Dungeon Master in a real-play Dungeons and Dragons podcast, called SO MANY LEVELS, available in both video and audio formats at

For supporting our Kickstarter, we’d like to give a very special thank you to Stacy Frazer.

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

During the full pound and punch of her morning run, in the steadily lifting gloom, Mary sees a figure, indistinct and blurry, at the end of the broken street where no one ought to be. She skids to a stop and blinks. The figure is gone.

Most of her neighborhood is undeveloped and has been for some time. There are wide open tracts of weeds, cracked flats of dirt, and animal holes in abundance. There are also three foundations, gaping holes, really, and another with a rotting timber frame above. It is as if the contractors went out for lunch and never returned. Even the For-Sale signs have disappeared, perhaps toppled by wind or kids and eventually buried.