PseudoPod 555: Four Hours of a Revolution

by Premee Mohamed

 

Premee Mohamed
“Four Hours of a Revolution” is a Pseudopod Original.

PREMEE MOHAMED is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and spec fic writer based in Canada. Her work has been published by Nightmare Magazine, Martian Migraine Press, Third Flatiron Press, and others.

She tries to post thoughts and discussions on her website, www.premeemohamed.com , so she will be writing a bit about this story as well as upcoming stories and any novel news there. And she would like to assure you that she survived the encounter with the creature in the grey shirt in the author photo.

Says Premee: “I’ll probably talk about this a bit on my website, but the entire story was inspired by the poster in the room where Death first begins his vigil of Whittaker, the teenage rebel. The poster was in turn inspired by a Tumblr thread I once saw about sleepy punks. I kept thinking about a city abandoned and overrun, and the only people left are, basically, punks too: exhausted but still fighting, people who trust each other and whose trust forms the basis of this story.”

This week’s reader – Ian Stuart – is a writer/performer living in York. He has done work for the BBC and Manx Radio, as well as audiobooks, historical guides and promotional videos. He is also a storyteller/guide for The Ghost Trail of York, taking tourists round the city and telling them some of its darker secrets. You can read more about his poetry and his dog, Digby, on his blog, The Top Banana. If you wish to contact Ian about v/o work of any kind , you can get in touch with him on Twitter at @yorkwriter99. His greatest boast is that he is the father of a famous son.


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


Rebels, like vampires, prowl by night, sleep by day; they are short on everything in the besieged city – bullets, socks, soap, bread – but mainly they are short of sleep, for they fight under starlight, hide under sun in secret places. And yet their enemies are most vulnerable at night when, like all good civil servants, they retire to their houses and lock their doors. Until they swap schedules neither side will eliminate the other.

So the revolution is easy enough to find as I whisper up the wall of the apartment complex, slide under the half-inch of space left by the open window. They will not open it further, even though the little boarded-up living room is intolerably hot. As it is, they sweat profusely in their sleep, even the lucky few shaded by the walls.

One has, deliberately I assume, curled up in an armchair under a poster reading ‘PUNK ISN’T DEAD BUT IT WOZ UP AWFUL LATE LAST NITE.’ On the poster, two men sleep in a train seat, cartoonishly rendered in hot primaries on a black ground. The rebel in the armchair echoes their pose, but instead of a tired friend she cradles a stolen police rifle, its distinctive silver finish oversprayed with matte black paint, the camera blocked with a glued-in coin. The police carry them proudly, counting on the reflected glare to carry their message far ahead of them; the rebels carry them only at night, counting on stealth.

It is this girl, Whittaker, in the armchair, in this war, that I am here to claim. In due time, as is her right and my duty. For I am Death.

PseudoPod 554: A Doll Full of Nails

by Ville Meriläinen

 

Ville Meriläinen

“A Doll Full of Nails” is a Pseudopod Original.

VILLE MERILÄINEN is a Finnish university student by day, author of little tragedies by night. His short fiction has appeared in 200 CCs and Mad Scientist Journal’s Fitting In anthology. His long fiction can be found on Amazon.com, with a new musical fantasy adventure, Ghost Notes.

Riku Kanninen

This week’s reader – Riku Kanninen – is a Finnish professional translator and linguist, an amateur singer, a mediocre all-around musician and a dabbler in all things, interesting or otherwise.

Your guest host – Tad Callin is associate editor of PseudoPod and master of the Escape Artists Wikia. Tad has been a lot of things, but he is most proud of being a father and writer. His previous published work includes an urban fantasy story, “Silver,” published on the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine podcast, and his self—published memoir, Tad’s Happy Funtime. One day, he hopes to return to the desert Southwest with his family, but for now, he enjoys living in Baltimore.


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


“Once upon a time,” the doll began, “there lived a god who feared the dark.

“He cast a shadow over his creations and heard them whisper his doom when he turned away. He feared them so much he stole fire from the other gods and gave it to the tiny creatures, hoping it would take away the dark in their hearts. Instead, they set the god on fire, and that is how the sun was born.”

“Fascinating,” grumbled the doll maker, setting a glass eye into the socket of his latest masterpiece. This one, he hoped, would be as mute as most, unlike the one sitting on his shelf. “And patently untrue. Be quiet, now, or you’re getting another nail.”

Flash Fiction Contest 5: The Dream Child

Across the globe, the dreams of the artists are causing many a restless and feverish night. Someday soon the call would come, when the stars were ready. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Flash Fiction Contest; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and killing and revelling in joy. Then the liberated Flash Fiction Contest would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom.

A special Flash Fiction contest portal will open on Submittable at midnight EDT on 8/15 and close at midnight on 9/15. If the portal disappears, submissions are formally closed and will not reopen.


In order to be a valid submission to the contest, each story must adhere to the following rules:

1. The story must be no more than 500 words long, not including its title. Do not use the title to skirt around the word count. Word count will be determined using Google Docs.

2. The story must adhere to the general Pseudopod submission guidelines. Most importantly, it needs to be a horror story; other genres, including science fiction and fantasy, are discouraged. As a general rule, we will take a very liberal view of what constitutes horror, but authors should note that past experience shows that stories which attempt to skirt the genre restriction tend to fare badly in the voting.

3. The story must be original and previously unpublished. Stories will be posted on a members-only portion of the forum, so first publication rights will not be spent if your story does not win.

The person submitting the story must be the story’s author (or acting for the author with express permission) and hold full publishing rights to the story. A story that is derived from a previous published work in another format (i.e. not a short story) is fine (assuming doing so isn’t in violation of copyright, obviously).

If you are not sure whether your story counts as published or not (for example, if an earlier version has appeared on your blog but nowhere else), please write (PM or send a query to brian@escapeartists.net with the subject line “QUERY”) and ask before submitting. Please do not submit stories that have been entries in a previous Escape Artists contest.

4. The story should be submitted in its final form, as the author intends it to be read by the voting public. We may or may not allow minor typo corrections if those slip in, but as a general rule, we will not allow authors to submit changes to stories, especially not after submissions are closed.

5. Each author may submit only one story.

Included the body of the submission should be the title and the text of your story. Any byline will be stripped when the stories are posted in the contest, and will be revealed when either the story fails to advance, or ultimately wins. Feel free to request a pseudonym for the byline, but we will need a legal name if you win for prize purposes.

Please blog, tweet, email, send postcards, telephone, summon demons, and otherwise get the word out.

PseudoPod 553: Fade to Gold

by Benjanun Sriduangkaew

“Fade to Gold” was first published in End of the Road, edited by Jonathan Oliver (Solaris Books, 2013).

BENJANUN SRIDUANGKAEW Benjanun Sriduangkaew writes love letters to the future and beautiful bugs. Her fiction has appeared in Tor.com, Clarkesworld and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, among others. She blogs at beekian.wordpress.com and edits fiction for Harlot Media.

This week’s reader – Jen Zink is a stay at home mom and podcaster with a love of all things science fiction and fantasy. You can find her on twitter @loopdilou or on The Skiffy and Fanty Show (http://www.skiffyandfanty.com or on twitter @skiffyandfanty), which she produces and co-hosts. The Skiffy and Fanty Show is a weekly podcast and active blog featuring anything and everything related to the science fiction and fantasy genres, with commentary on controversial topics and news in literature, film, and interviews with authors, scientists, and filmmakers.


They say the afterlife is a wheel and that is true, but I am between and so for me the way is a line. It unspools interminably into a horizon that shows the soft gold of dawn, always just a little out of reach.

Before the war this was only packed earth and grass and dirt to me; before the war I trod this path from home to capital thinking of the sweetness of rare fruits. Now that my back is to Ayutthaya the ground is sometimes baked salt where nothing grows and sometimes wet mud bubbling with the voices of the dead. Inside my arteries there is blood which throbs and pumps, and my belly growls at emptiness as might a bad-tempered dog. But it is difficult to be sure, after so much soldiering, that one is still alive. It is difficult to be certain this is not all a fever dream.