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…)

PseudoPod 621: Voices

Show Notes

This story showed up nearly fully formed in a dream one night. I probably should have been freaked out by it, but instead I woke up thinking, ‘Ooh, I better get that written down!'”


by Ira Brooker

It was just after sundown when we heard the first voice, a faraway voice, whispery, wheezy, barely distinguishable from the howl of the wind that bore it. “Lessss… innnnn…” was what I heard. Not quite words but near enough that I ran to Mother on the other side of the room.

“Mother, did you-” I began. She silenced me with a raised index finger.

“Yes, I heard it,” she said. Her face was cautious, a look that was not quite fear but concern that soon it would be time for fear. Tomas huddled close to the hem of her skirt, happily pushing a stone around the barnwood floor. “Hush now and listen,” Mother said.

I kneeled beside Mother and we listened. The wind was strong, stronger than I had heard yet this season, screeching across the prairie in a fury that told us snow was imminent. We listened hard, trying to ignore Tomas’s occasional babbles and squeals. After a few moments the voice came again, clearer this time, closer, but still that eerie whisper. “Let… usss… innnnn…” (Continue Reading…)

The Clan Novel Saga: Tzimisce

Clan Novel: Tzimisce covers events that happen on and around the attack on Atlanta on the evenings of June 19 through July 7, 1999. I read Part 1: The War Council (6/19-21) before the TOREADOR book, the Part 2: The Firedance (6/22) and Part 3: The Deception (6/22-7/2) after TOREADOR. After TZIMISCE, I went to Part 1 of SETITE. TZIMISCE is Book 2 in the original clan novel saga and was published in May 1999. It was written by Eric Griffin, who also wrote the Tremere novel.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the lush cover art. The vampire depicted is monstrous in countenance and action, enjoying a meal in debauched hedonism. Surrounding the primary figure are leering faces born of nightmare with just enough detail to suggest the worst in the shadows. (Continue Reading…)