Pseudopod 402: The Recovery

by H.V. Chao.

“The Recovery” was first published in a slightly different form in Strange Tales IV from Tartarus Press, edited by Rosalie Parker. It is forthcoming in a translation by Anne-Sylvie Homassel in Le Visage Vert.

H.V. CHAO‘s fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, West Branch, The Antigonish Review, Birkensnake, The Nashwaak Review, Epiphany, The Coachella Review, and Douglas Lain’s defunct Diet Soap. His stories have been translated into French in Brèves and Le Visage Vert. He is at work on Guises, a collection whose every story is meant to be as different as can be from the others.

Your reader – George Hrab – …oh, just go listen to THE GEOLOGIC PODCAST already!!

Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here.

As mentioned by Al, please consider throwing a few bucks to the Bobby Lombardi Fundraiser or PayPal to: Piercewmc@gmail.com

ALS fund can be contacted here, and Waterkeeper here.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

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Tonight, I hiked to the chapel of the town’s patron saint. On the way, you pass something like a chimney sprouting from the ground. Topped by a Madonna, it marks the spot where the saint is said to have sauvé la terre, vanquishing a dragon by throwing his ring in its mouth. The chapel is flanked by pines and had been locked against vandals. On a nearby rise are the remains of a long, low barn: the fractured roof timbers, a wall of wattle and daub still whole but reeling as if from a mighty blow. The decrepitude bespoke neither neglect nor the cheap residue of expedience, but the weight of centuries withstood. From atop the hill, I could see the cemetery.

The whole town was there, gathered by a grave. Their backs were turned to me, and a tremor passed through the group: shoulders swayed, weight shifted to the other foot. I saw the butcheress draw closer to my landlady and further from the cheesemonger. I watched until the group slowly scattered, then I skittered down the hill to the graveyard. Wrought-iron masts and crosses, plaques, shattered flowerpots. On the tomb were a shovel and a bottle of wine, but the grave was empty. I was still standing there when it began to rain.

A village is a murder mystery. The conversation of townsfolk is rich in allusion; red herrings in shared histories you don’t understand. The air of conspiracy inspires you to imagine a crime. Everyone has something to hide, but you cannot tell if it pertains to the case at hand, or if it will merely prove a false lead: another skeleton in another closet, a private and irrelevant embarrassment. Yet surely this suspicion of wrongdoing is only a hallucination of exclusion. After all these months, I was still a stranger to the town, while my neighbour had found not only love, but he would abscond with it.

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Pseudopod 401: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife

by Dave Beynon.

“The Lighthouse Keeper’s Wife” was published in Oct 2013 in the anthology TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN: SPECULATING CANADA FROM COAST TO COAST COAST, edited by Colleen Anderson and Steve Vernon (Edge Publishing). The story is in the exact middle of the anthology – I like to think of it as the delicious, chewy centre of the book. “Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest freshwater island. It has a timeless, rugged beauty and I’d encourage anyone to visit if they have the chance. While the island boasts a number of lighthouses, each one the stuff of postcards, you’ll never find the one where William Jones so diligently kept the light burning. Misery Bay has no lighthouse.”

DAVE BEYNON lives in Fergus, Ontario with his wife, two kids and a golden retriever. He writes speculative fiction of varying lengths and genres. His work has appeared in the anthologies TESSERACTS SEVENTEEEN and EVOLVE TWO. His story, “The Last Repairman” will appear in the near future on Daily Science Fiction. In 2011, Dave’s unpublished time travel novel, THE PLATINUM TICKET, was shortlisted for the inaugural Terry Pratchett First Novel Prize. His website is davebeynon.com and he can be followed on twitter @BeynonWrites

Your reader – Wilson Fowlie – says if you’re in the Vancouver, Canada area – or even if you just love a good show chorus – check out The Maple Leaf Singers, the group he directs. You can find them at the link or the Maple Leaf Singers Facebook page.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

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“You’re too early,” said the owner. “No one drinks until eleven.”

The oiler pointed to William, leaning over a dram of rye whiskey.

“What about him? He has a drink in his hand.”

“He’s a special case. Mind your own business. No booze ‘til eleven.”

“I’ve never met a special case before,” the oiler said to William. “What makes you so special?”

The oiler smelled of stale sweat and grease. His trousers and shirt were filthy with weeks’ worth of spilled oil. A tattoo peeking from beneath one rolled-up shirt cuff caught William’s attention. “Show me that.”

He gestured at the tattoo with his glass, sloshing rye onto the table.

“You’re wasting good whiskey,” the oiler said, dragging back a chair. “May I?”

William nodded and tapped the cuff of the oiler’s shirt. “Show me that.”

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Pseudopod 400: The Screwfly Solution

by James Tiptree Jr.

“The Screwfly Solution” first appeared in the June 1977 issue of Analog, won the Nebula award for Novelette in 1978 and has been reprinted multiple times since then. In 2006 it was adapted by Sam Hamm and Joe Dante as an episode of Showtime Network’s Masters of Horror series. It is being podcast with the permission of Jeffrey D. Smith and the Virginia Kidd Agency, Inc..

JAMES TIPTREE JR. was the pseudonym of Alice B. Sheldon (1915-1987). She was a photo-intelligence officer in WWII as well as a CIA agent, which formed the bulk of her career before academia. This experience was influential on her stories, including her in-depth understanding of national and international responses to crises. After her career with the CIA, she achieved a doctorate at George Washington University in Experimental Psychology in 1967, and her doctoral dissertation was on the responses of animals to novel stimuli in differing environments. You can see this reflected in her work and in this story. It was at this time that she started writing science fiction stories under a pseudonym to protect her new academic career, and chose a male name to fit in better at the magazines. In addition to James Tiptree, she published under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon. Tiptree also won two more Nebulas, two Hugos, and a World Fantasy Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2012. In 1991, the James Tiptree, Jr. Award was named in her honor, and recognizes speculative fiction that expands or explores our understanding of gender. This story was later collected in Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. If you only pick up one Tiptree collection, and you should, this is a great place to start.

Your readers on this special episode include Matt Franklin as Alan, Tina Connolly as Anne, Anna Schwind as Amy, Matt Weller as Barney and Rish Outfield, Eric Luke, George Hrab & Jarus Durnett in supporting roles.

Please consider helping out P.G. Holyfield’s family here.

We mourn the loss of Larry Santoro. Please visit http://www.cancer.org/ and http://www.imermanangels.org/ to learn more about cancer support.

Also, Saladin Ahmed could really use your help.

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“AP/Nassau: The excursion liner Carib Swallow reached port under tow today after striking an obstruction in the Gulf Stream off Cape Hatteras. The obstruction was identified as part of a commercial trawler’s seine floated by female corpses. This confirms reports from Florida and the Gulf of the use of such seines, some of them over a mile in length. Similar reports coming from the Pacific coast and as far away as Japan indicate a growing hazard to coastwise shipping.”

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SPECIAL EDITION: PG Holyfield

Announcement: http://specficmedia.com/2014/08/17/pg-holyfield-announcement/

Music in this episode:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/All_These_Simple_Things/09_-_The_Idea_of_Space