PseudoPod 537: A World of Bones

by Brian Trent

 

“A World of Bones” is a Pseudopod original. “It seems to me that so many ghost stories are minor variations on the same theme. With ‘A World of Bones,’ I wanted to try something different.”

BRIAN TRENT‘s science-fiction and dark fantasy has appeared in Escape Pod, ANALOG, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nature, COSMOS, Daily Science Fiction, Galaxy’s Edge, and much more. He blogs at www.briantrent.com. His new dark fantasy series, “Rahotep,” is available for Kindle.

This week’s reader – Setsu Uzume – spent their formative years in and out of dojos. They also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay. They are a member of Codex and SFWA, and the assistant editor at PodCastle. While they have dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck. Find Setsu on Twitter @KatanaPen.


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


“She awoke in the blackness thinking she was still alive, fumbling for the lipstick she’d never found. Angela Chen jerked to her feet, confused at discovering herself in this place of shadows. She had been dreaming—if dreaming was the word now—of the wet corpses along Quinyun Road. Pawing at their pockets, feeling guilty as she did. Seeking only a little tube of lipstick on that rainy night as Shanghai fell.”

PseudoPod 536: ARTEMIS RISING 3: Meat

by Sandra M. Odell

 

“Meat” is a Pseudopod original. “How far would you be willing to go to stand out in a crowd? Is it far enough?”

SANDRA M. ODELL lives in Washington state with her husband, sons, and a grumpy orange cat. Her work has appeared in such venues as Pseudopod, Podcastle, Cast of Wonders, Crossed Genres, and Daily Science Fiction. She is currently avoiding her second novel, though not very well. You can find out more about her works, thoughts, and advocacy at WRITER ODELL.

This week’s reader – Linda Hamilton – is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Sarah Connor in THE TERMINATOR film series and Catherine Chandler in the 1987–1990 television series BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, for which she was nominated for two Golden Globes and an Emmy.

Linda was born in Salisbury, Maryland, has a twin sister, was a voracious reader as a child and we are very proud to feature her on PSEUDOPOD!



YOUR SPECIAL GUEST HOSTS THIS WEEK
A.C. Wise‘s fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Apex, Shimmer, and the Year’s Best Dark Fantasy and Horror 2015, among other places. The podcast version of her story Final Girl Theory, which appeared at Pseudopod, was a finalist for the 2013 Parsec Awards.

Her debut collection, THE ULTRA FABULOUS GLITTER SQUADRON SAVES THE WORLD AGAIN was published by Lethe Press in October 2015. Her second short fiction collection THE KISSING BOOTH GIRL AND OTHER STORIES was published by Lethe Press in the October, 2016. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, and contributed a monthly Women to Read Column to SF Signal. Find her online at A.C. Wise.com.


PseudoPod wants to draw your attention to an anthology that dovetails nicely with Artemis Rising.

Sycorax’s Daughters, is a new volume of dark fiction and poetry and it is our understanding that this is the first horror anthology written entirely by Black women. It explores the intimate details of cultural nuance, race, and gender. Sycorax’s Daughters mission is to work “as a visionary space where Black women explore horror on their own terms.”

Those familiar with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest may remember Sycorax. She is an African sorceress operating as “the absent presence” throughout the play. While never on the stage, she is influential. She haunts the white male characters. She refuses to be excluded from the story.

 


While we’re talking about anthologies, let’s mention For Mortal Things Unsung.

If you liked “Standard Procedure” by Dagny Paul at the beginning of this month or “The Lady with the Light” by Mel Kassel, you should go pre-order our anthology. Both of those stories were originally published in our 10th anniversary anthology. If you backed our kickstarter, your copy showed up in February. If you missed out, it will be available for purchase at the end of March for your reading pleasure.

 


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


“A poster on the far wall of the crowded cafeteria chamber shows an identical man and woman in coveralls and happy smiles with their hands on the woman’s pregnant belly. The caption at the bottom reads: A REPRODUCTIVE WORKER IS A HAPPY WORKER. MED CALL TO SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT SEXTIME TODAY.

Ollie puts her hands to her belly, her empty belly. Three miscarriages in the last eleven cycles. Only two more chances for a live baby before the overseers stuff her in a containment suit and ship her to processing half a kilometer below the meat farm. No one comes back from processing. ‘My baby won’t look like everybody else’s. It’ll be different. Better. Everyone will know it’s my baby.’”

PseudoPod 535: ARTEMIS RISING 3: The Lady with the Light

by Mel Kassel

“The Lady with the Light” was published originally in For Mortal Things Unsung in February 2017.

Mel Kassel writes dark speculative fiction and comedy in Chicago. She has a new horror review/writing blog, What Scared Me, as well as a humor-focused twitter account (@MelKassel). Her personal website can be found at www.melkassel.com.

This week’s reader – Jon Padgett is a professional—though lapsed—lesser ventriloquist who lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, and two cats. Padgett has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, The Lovecraft eZine and Xnoybis. Padgett’s chapbook, The Infusorium, was released in spring of 2015, and his first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, was released by Dunhams Manor Press in Autumn 2016. If you run right now, it’s available as a free eBook. For a few dollars more you can add the audiobook on top of that. Completely worth your time.


YOUR SPECIAL GUEST HOST THIS WEEK – Setsu Uzume spent her formative years in and out of dojos. She also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay.

She is a member of Codex and SFWA and her next story will be available in Grimdark Magazine in a few short weeks. While she has dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck.


PseudoPod wants to draw your attention to an anthology that dovetails nicely with Artemis Rising.

Sycorax’s Daughters, is a new volume of dark fiction and poetry and it is our understanding that this is the first horror anthology written entirely by Black women. It explores the intimate details of cultural nuance, race, and gender. Sycorax’s Daughters mission is to work “as a visionary space where Black women explore horror on their own terms.”

Those familiar with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest may remember Sycorax. She is an African sorceress operating as “the absent presence” throughout the play. While never on the stage, she is influential. She haunts the white male characters. She refuses to be excluded from the story.

 


While we’re talking about anthologies, let’s mention For Mortal Things Unsung.

If you liked “Standard Procedure” by Dagny Paul at the beginning of this month or “The Lady with the Light” by Mel Kassel, you should go pre-order our anthology. Both of those stories were originally published in our 10th anniversary anthology. If you backed our kickstarter, your copy showed up in February. If you missed out, it will be available for purchase at the end of March for your reading pleasure.

 


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


I’m enthralled when I arrive at the house in Hawaii. I see so many things that my mother would call “wonders”: sea turtles heaving themselves up from the surf, leaving clumsy sandangels; jellyfish dying slowly in the sun; seaweed pods that burp out air, the breaths that they held for years.  

Not everything is a wonder, of course. There are fish bones and dollops of seagull shit and women with floppy hats who coo over shells. But the ocean still surprises me. It coughs up newness now and again for me to discover, usually in the morning, when I leave the cat chewing on his food and walk down to the shore.

I establish a routine to keep myself from seeking out other tourists: wake up, walk along the beach, write for a few hours, eat lunch, watch a movie, go to The Log for dinner and exactly two beers. The people at The Log encourage me to bring in fresh pages for them to read aloud. To them, writing is a grand gesture, the mark of a man who can assemble his thoughts in a secret language. I tell them that the book is bad, and they don’t care. 

The book is bad. It’s worming itself out of me like a mucus. Better to spit it than swallow, but when I look at it, I’m disgusted. The main character is a detective. I’ve never met a detective, but I’m pretending to be Reggie Barns, a person who holds a pistol without wondering what to do with his thumb.

This is Horror Award: Fiction Podcast of the Year

We’re honored to accept the This is Horror Award for the inaugural Fiction Podcast of the Year category. And we’d like to think we’re not the Jethro Tull to the Metallica’s we graced the shortlist with. Congratulations to all the other winners!

2016 was an amazing year for PseudoPod. We ran our 500th Episode with a story by Fritz Leiber, followed with a classic by Robert E. Howard narrated by Anson Mount, who will soon be playing the role of Black Bolt in the Marvel Inhumans television series. We celebrated Artemis Rising for a second year, and prepared for our third year (running now!) We celebrated our first decade of podcasting weekly short horror fiction, ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to pay for an our first anthology and a sweet tiki mug, and completed the one-year qualification period to register as a SFWA Qualifying Market. Our host and one of our editors participated in the inaugural year of the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction. And there’s so much more! We hope you’ll take the opportunity to take a look at what we did this past year and peek into our back catalog. We look forward to what else 2017 will bring!