PseudoPod 623: Greener Pastures

Show Notes

There’s still a sort of sad Western romance about American truckers, from the language of the CB radio to the drone of all those wheels on the highways. Endless sodium lamps. Although the trucking industry is still very much alive, it often feels like truckers are a relic of the past, and the blank spaces on the maps have less traffic in them. The rest stops and all-night diners tucked into these spaces feel more lonesome. I wanted to write about them in an ode to The Twilight Zone, as a sort of anti-ghost story. We are all haunted by our dead—it is a motif that has been and always will be a resonant voice. But what if the voice is that of the living? Truckers leave behind their loved ones for long stretches at a time, and there is a lot of empty road out there before the dawn.”

Greener Pastures

by Michael Wehunt

“You ever can’t sleep?” the trucker said.

Forsyth glanced up out of his thoughts. The man standing at his table was big and worn out, his eyes raw and heavy even in the shadow of his cap’s bill. He had a young face with an old beard matted on the left side, as though he’d been trying to nap against the window of his cab.

The trucker slid into the booth but Forsyth didn’t answer his question at first. He felt the contradiction of road life, that of the lonesome loner. It could be nice to have company when he stopped off someplace, but he’d never been much for talk. He glanced around the diner. A couple more long-haulers sat on high stools at the counter, knives and forks chattering against their plates. The waitress was somewhere back in the kitchen. Even for a graveyard shift the place had a tired air. (Continue Reading…)

The Clan Novel Saga: Gangrel

Clan Novel: Gangrel covers events that happen between July 7 and July 26, 1999. It is Book 3 in the original clan novel saga and was published in June 1999. It was written by Gherbod Fleming, who provided five of the thirteen novels in the set.

Some odd choices were made in the crafting of this book. The first was to focus most of the book on a pack of Gangrel who are only vaguely aware they are vampires, let alone cognizant of how to integrate into vampire society. This book nearly stands alone, as it barely involves any major players and doesn’t follow any major events. It mostly focuses on the existential dread of immortality and what it means to be a vampire. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 622: En Plein Air

Show Notes

“A colleague in the English department at VCU, where I work as a librarian, gave it to the students in her Gothic seminar to read. I sent them the following notes: Writing and reading heavily, as well as being a librarian by profession, I found several years ago that I needed a pastime that was not about words. I have a longtime interest in the arts, and so I decided to try my hand at painting. As often happens, I rushed in headlong, taking classes and working late into the night. The more I painted, though, the less I was writing, and eventually I had to step back from the easel for a while. I still enjoy painting occasionally, but it’s produced an unexpected side effect. Some authors frequently use writers as protagonists, and I now have a similar tendency with artists, though I try to cycle through different media, with a sculptor in one story, a photographer in another. “En Plein Air” came along just after I’d been working on a landscape, as well as finally reading all of M.R. James’ ghost stories, so I expect both of those things influenced the story. I like to think that my art-inflected work fits into a lineage that includes The Red Tree, “Pickman’s Model,” “The Mezzotint,” The Picture of Dorian Gray, etc. These stories are a pleasure to write, in any case, and I’m always pleased when they make their way into print.”

En Plein Air

by J. T. Glover

A gust of wind boiled off the James without warning, flattening cattails and clumps of spikerush as it swirled around the inlet where I was painting, and of course it caught my canvas. The morning’s work rushed away from me like a sailboat before a storm, taking my field easel with it. Just as I was sucking in breath to howl with frustration—it shuddered to a stop in midair. Two pale hands held it fast, reaching around from the back. (Continue Reading…)

The Clan Novel Saga: Setite

Clan Novel: Setite covers events that happen between June 21 and July 31, 1999. It is Book 4 in the original clan novel saga (but third chronologically that ties up its events) and was published in July 1999. It was written by Kathleen Ryan, who also wrote the Ravnos book.

While this novel interacts with the events of the previous books, it practically stands alone. It is structured in three acts and follows a cohesive plot. The events in this book do not rely on knowing the events happening elsewhere in the world, yet they still build on them. Hesha seems unperturbed by most of the upheaval in the vampire world in the eastern United States. The events are inconveniences that require adjustments, but there are no major changes to what he does. (Continue Reading…)