PseudoPod 592: Free Balloons for All Good Children

Show Notes


“This story came about because the balloon described in it drifted past my window at work.

Because a balloon floating five feet off the ground on a grey day in early October is so unlikely, my first thought was naturally that it was something horrible up to no good at all. It went away… eventually, after hanging around near a bus stop for far longer than seemed quite right. I don’t know what it was actually up to, but I’d like to thank the mystery balloon for the inspiration it provided.

The story was also an attempt to exorcise a vapour I developed about seven years ago– what if I become incapacitated while I’m the only parent on hand for my tender tot? I’m sorry to report that the exorcism has not really worked.”


Free Balloons for All Good Children

by Dirck de Lint


Tom gave the stroller a little nudge to turn Danny out of the sun.  Danny responded by wriggling around under the straps to put himself as much in the sun as possible.  Tom smiled at this, and found that he couldn’t really blame his son.  The day was a little chilly for so late in May, and if he was enjoying the warmth of the sun it stood to reason that Danny would, too.  He was very close to just putting the stroller back the way it had been.  There was some uncertainty in his heart, though, about how far Danny could be trusted to look out for his own safety even now that he was above a year old.  When, he wondered, did they stop staring right at the sun if given a chance? (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 591: The Plutonian Drug and The Hashish-Eater

Show Notes


The drone used in “The Plutonian Drug” was Cerebral Cortex (Drone Mix) by Parvus Decree available and used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license from the Free Music Archive. No changes were made to the piece.  Available at the following link

The music used in “The Hashish Eater” was “Last Rites Of Amduscias” by Turmoil available and used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 from the Free Music Archive. No changes were made to the piece.  Available at the following link


The Plutonian Drug

 by Clark Ashton Smith


‘It is remarkable.’ said Dr. Manners, ‘how the scope of our pharmacopoeia has been widened by interplanetary exploration. In the past thirty years, hundreds of hitherto unknown substances, employable as drugs or medical agents, have been found in the other worlds of our own system. It will be interesting to see what the Allan Farquar expedition will bring back from the planets of Alpha Centauri when — or if — it succeeds in reaching then and returning to earth. I doubt, though, if anything more valuable than selenine will be discovered. Selenine, derived from a fossil lichen found by the first rocket-expedition to the moon in 1975, has, as you know, practically wiped out the old-time curse of cancer. In solution, it forms the base of an infallible serum, equally useful for cure or prevention.’ (Continue Reading…)

This is Horror Award: Fiction Podcast of the Year


We’re honored to accept FOR THE SECOND TIME the This is Horror Award for the Fiction Podcast of the Year category. We would have been perfectly satisfied losing to any of the other folks we graced the shortlist with, and we are humbled by the outcome. Congratulations to all the other winners!

2017 was an amazing year for PseudoPod. We ran three stories by Ramsey Campbell, a master of the short form. We ran a classic from titan editor and writer Karl Edward Wagner which was narrated and sound bed by Anson Mount, who will soon be playing the role of Captain Christopher Pike in the Star Trek Discovery television series. We celebrated Artemis Rising for a third year, and prepared for our fourth year (go check out the five excellent stories we ran in March!) We could gush for hours about all the voices and stories, new and old, that we brought to our listeners. 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 continued celebration our first decade of podcasting weekly short horror fiction, delivering our first anthology, For Mortal Things Unsung, and a sweet tiki mug. Our host and one of our editors participated in the second year of the Eugie Foster Memorial Award for Short Fiction. And there’s so much more! We couldn’t have done this without our tireless staff, including Dagny, Moaner, Karen, Graeme, Chelsea, Marty, Brian, Shawna, Tad, Scott, Cecilia, Cliff, Britany, Adrian, Kim, Austin, Erin, Otter, Jesse, and Victoria. We look forward to what else 2018 will bring!

PseudoPod 590: Emperor All


Emperor All

By Evan Marcroft


It is like X-ray vision. Like in the comic books from when he was ten. John blinks the rain out of his eyes, and suddenly he can see through the mugger, through his shellacking of wet muscle and scaffolding of bone to the chassis beneath, to the gears and flywheels that make him move and point the knife at him. John reaches through a yielding mist of sinew and makes key refurbishments, so that the knife is aimed at the mugger’s own throat. He unscrews the man’s skull and with an easy tinkering makes him the saddest he’s ever been, plugs bright blaring red thoughts into his head.

A moment later he steps over the body and splashes across the parking lot, trembling giddily. He can’t remember where he left his car, and the city is dark. Instead he auditions the cars lined up on either side of him until he finds one that is better than his own, and makes it his.

It is unlocked when he tries the handle, and when it snarls to life (with just his touch) his favorite song is playing on the radio. The traffic lights are all green on the drive home. The police are all at other crimes as the speedometer needle roars past sixty. (Continue Reading…)