Pseudopod 424: ARTEMIS RISING Women In Horror Showcase: The Godsmaid Clara And Her Many Smiles

by Sharon Dodge.

“The Godsmaid Clara And Her Many Smiles” is original to Pseudopod.

SHARON DODGE has lived in the Southwest, on the East Coast, in the far East, and in the Mediterranean. She hopes to someday add a tropical island. She blogs at Paper Castle.

Your reader – Kim Lakin-Smith – is a Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy author of adult and children’s fiction. Kim’s short stories have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. Her dieselpunk novel, Cyber Circus, was shortlisted for both the British Science Fiction Association Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel 2012. Kim’s latest short story, ‘Goblin’, will appear in the Sharkpunk anthology, out May 2015 from Snowbooks. Her critically acclaimed novella, ‘Black Sunday’, will be republished in The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, out July 2015. Kim is currently working on two new science fiction novels and an epic fantasy.

Your Guest Host this week is Marguerite Kenner, who edits Cast Of Wonders

To find out more about Women In Horror month, please visit WomenInHorrorMonth.com.

Also check out Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror at Indiegogo.

****************************
“‘Godsmaid,’ I say, and the butler’s eyes immediately glaze over. That’s pretty much always the case. It’s remarkable how little attention they pay me, how consciously their eyes slide over me as soon as I’ve announced my profession. Too dirty and gross, too much something no one wants to think about. Not unless you have monsters crawling all over the floor, anyhow. Of all people, the butler should know me, should appreciate me, but he’s new; I haven’t been here often, but often enough to have known his previous incarnation.

‘We have no need of one at present,’ he said. ‘Thank you for your offer, madame.’

‘I have an appointment, sir. His Lordship requested me,’ I say, and this time he actually looks me in the eyes.

‘Does he need you now?’ he asks dumbly, and I just smile at him, my polite society smile that says I’ve said what I must, and after a minute he sort of nods at me and leads me in.

I could walk the way myself—there are servants’ stairs that I’ve used before, and they’re quicker besides—but truthfully I get tired of being dismissed to the servants’ entryway, and the gentleman who made the appointment assured me I could use the front. Nevermind I am a servant. Not many people can do what I do. Well, not many people would care to, but even so.

A few of the other servants raise their eyebrows as I pass down the hallways, but nothing more than that. At least one of them recognizes me, from the way he quickly looks away. I do murmur, “It’s not catching, you know,” and the butler turns around to me, frowning, but I just smile and he keeps walking. The man I was actually talking to swiftly trods away from us.”

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

Pseudopod 423: The Ana Log

by Michael Gray Baughan.

“The Ana Log” first appeared in Vol. 2 of RICHMOND MACABRE, an anthology published in 2012 and edited by Beth Brown and Phil Ford.

MICHAEL GRAY BAUGHAN hails from Philadelphia, dwells in Richmond, and writes speculative fiction from somewhere else. At the moment, that somewhere else is a rock cut tomb in the Phrygian Highlands of ancient Anatolia (modern day Turkey), where he is spending a year subsisting on nothing but coffee and köfte while whittling away at his first novel. During full moons and the occasional equinox, he emerges from his writing cave to curate a collection of nonfictional oddities and curiosities at WonderCabinet .net.

Your reader – Jonathan Danz – exists in a parallel dimension that looks suspiciously like West Virginia. When he’s not trundling over rock and root on his velocipede, he labors to hammer stories out of unruly words. With the help of his wife and daughter, he manages to keep track of his car keys, his priorities, and his mind. Should you find yourself in the dusty corners of cyberspace, you may glimpse Words and Coffee, an occasional repository of his thought-mud housed at Words & Coffee.

EDIT
Sorry for the last posting: to help Greg Campbell, please follow this link here

****************************
“Saturday, February 5, 2011

Nondescript and nearly swallowed by the general blight of Jefferson Davis Highway, Thornbill’s store gives no clue that it houses the largest extant VHS collection on the East Coast. And that’s just what’s on the shelves, available for rental to anyone willing to pay the $5 membership fee.

He locked his front door, turned his sign to closed, and escorted me down an impressive gauntlet of vintage porn, through a steel door and into a vast, climate-controlled storeroom in the back that housed a large quantity of unknowns. I was tempted to inquire about certain other rarities that had long eluded me, but in the end felt it best to focus on the task at hand.

Inside a framed and sheet-rocked subdivision of the storeroom, Thornbill had a HR-S8000U hooked up to a Sony Triniton CRT. The inner walls of this room were lined with soundproofing tiles to allow for the private screening of any manner of material. Thornbill excused himself for a moment and returned with an aluminum attaché case, which he placed on the table, unlocked, and opened. It contained eight VHS-C cassettes of the make and vintage I was expecting, plus a folder full of photos and police reports.

Thornbill powered on the VCR and the television, presented me with an adapter cassette, and then excused himself again. As he left the room I asked if he had seen the tapes. He said he had not and would like to keep it that way, but he had every confidence that they were genuine. He had acquired them directly from a retired Richmond P.D. captain. Thornbill said this in a way that made it clear from which direction my troubles would come if I was ever foolish enough to be indiscreet with this information. I asked him why his source had decided to sell them now, after all these years. Thornbill said the man had protected her for as long as he could and just needed someone else to shoulder the burden. It was a strange choice of words, overly metaphoric for a cop. I was eager to take possession of the tapes and be gone with them before Thornbill changed his mind, but I also wanted to be certain the material was genuine. I inserted the first five tapes in sequence and watched a few minutes of each. Immediately I knew that things would never be the same.”

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

Pseudopod 422: Necrosis

by Dale Bailey.

“Necrosis” first appeared in the May/June 2012 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and reprinted in The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 24.

DALE BAILEY lives in North Carolina with his family, and has published three novels, The Fallen, House of Bones, and Sleeping Policemen (with Jack Slay, Jr.). His short fiction, collected in The Resurrection Man’s Legacy and Other Stories, has been a three-time finalist for the International Horror Guild Award, a two-time finalist for the Nebula Award, and a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Bram Stoker Award. His International Horror Guild Award-winning novelette “Death and Suffrage” was adapted by director Joe Dante as part of Showtime Television’s anthology series, Masters of Horror. His collection, The End of the End of Everything: Stories, will be out next March, with a novel, The Subterranean Season, to follow

Your reader – Simon Meddings – is a writer, script writer and Podcaster. For 6 years he has produced and co-hosted the popular Waffle On Podcast, and co-hosted the Mash 4077 podcast. He has written several audio dramas and is currently in development with a television script set in Australia. Simon has read several audio stories for pseudopod and hopes to narrate more. He is the writer & Director at Martian Creative.

****************************
“In retrospect none of us could say with any precision when it began. Condon had never been part of our set. Grandfathered into the club by one of those old robber barons whose fortunes had declined, he was essentially nondescript—capable of maintaining a decent conversation, pleasant enough to be around, but not the kind of man with whom one formed deep and lasting relationships.

When we met him, we were friendly. When we didn’t — which was the norm, Condon not being ubiquitous in our circles — we didn’t think of him at all. So it was hard to say, as we thought the thing through among ourselves, when precisely it had begun — a task complicated by the fact that none of us had known anything had begun, until it was over.”

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

Pseudopod 421: The Three Chimes

by David Longshore.

This is the first time “The Three Chimes” has been published. “Historical horror isn’t a new subgenre, but it does remain terra incognita for many of today’s horror and dark fiction writers. While it can be a challenging undertaking successfully melding historical tropes with contemporary horror themes, history itself has often provided plenty of gruesome inspiration for those writers who are willing to take on the task. As Louis XVI discovers in “The Three Chimes,” the trick is to remember that whether in ancient regime France or the 21st-century world, horror and terror and all that they inspire in human beings are universal constants, and omnipresent across all time.”

Born in Ipswich, Massachusetts – the heart of H. P. Lovecraft country – DAVID LONGSHORE holds degrees from Amherst College and the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of the Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones, as well as other non-fiction narratives. Previous examples of his horror and dark fiction have appeared in “The Horror Zine,” “SNM Horror,” and various anthologies.

Your reader – Corson Bremer – is a professional voice artist with a love of audio drama and dramatic readings. Which is also why he loves the work the folks at Escape Artists do. His roots are in acting, radio, and even technical writing, but he’s a full-time voice artist now His professional work includes video games, commercials, documentaries, and a variety of corporate voice over projects.

****************************
“On the 21st day of January in the last year of his life and reign, Louis awoke in his cold apartments in the Temple well before dawn. He was quickly assisted into his clothes by his valet, then sank to his knees beside his bed and prayed with his confessor until he heard a commotion from an adjoining room.

Almost crippled by fear and horror at the suddenness of the horrible day’s arrival, Louis nonetheless rose from his prayers and went to the door leading into the front room.”

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