PseudoPod 556: Evitative

by B.C. Edwards

 

B.C. Edwards

“Evitative” is the titular and ultimate story of The Aversive Clause, the collection of stories that also included, ‘Sweetness,’ which ran as Pseudopod episode 445.

B.C. EDWARDS is the author of two books,The Aversive Clause and From The Standard Cyclopedia of Recipes. He has written for Mathematics Magazine, Hobart, The New York Times, and others. His debut story collection, which this is the titular story of, was awarded the Hudson Prize for fiction and received a poetry fellowship from the New York Foundation of the Arts. He attended the graduate writing program at The New School in New York and lives in Brooklyn with his husband.

His website bce.nyc totally exists, but that’s really all that should be said about it. It’s in desperate need of a redo.

Says Edwards: “I’ve been listening to audial fiction for longer than I’ve been listening to
music. I ‘read’ Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island, the works of Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, and countless others in this form starting around four and continuing onto today. My work is always written with the intention of being read aloud. So it’s really something to have a pair of stories in your archive. Thanks for keeping both horror and the spoken word going strong at the same time.”

This week’s reader – Dani Daly – is one of the assistant editors of Cast of Wonders, and narrating is just one of the things she loves to do. She’s a retired roller derby player and current hobbyist soap maker, for instance. She rants on twitter as @danooli_dani, if that’s your thing. Or you can visit the EA forums. She loves it there.


Shawn Garrett composed the soundbed for this episode, which he dedicates to master avant-garde musicians/field recorders Annea Lockwood & Chris Watson. A list of links to sounds used from Freesound.org appears at the bottom of this post.


Thanks to our sponsor, ARCHIVOS – a Story Mapping and Development Tool for writers, gamers, and storytellers of all kinds!


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


Once the oceans came up and covered the streets over it was like they weren’t ever there. No streets or dead Camaros or boys that abandon you when things get flooded and break down. There were just the tall trees with the high branches and water everywhere and the smudge of mountains I can see off on the horizon if I climb all the way to the top of the tree we use for looking at things. The water filled in all the gaps and erased our telemarketing jobs and our high-heels and the clubs we wore them to. But we’re safe up here, on the little platform Jo-Jo built in the trees. He found me wandering in the muck, cold and alone and his was the first face that I’d seen in forever that didn’t look scared or desperate or tired. The first one since the water and the bombs and all who didn’t try to take one more thing from me, didn’t try to steal me away or trick me into anything. Jo-Jo just smiled and his eyes smiled too and even though he’d lost his words already I knew he meant well. And he showed me how to climb the trees and get up to his platform where there’s nothing to do but climb around, eat the berries and the appleish things that dangle off the branches like Christmas ornaments and screw all afternoon long and laze about watching the world disappear. Jo-Jo catches the birds that build their nests and try to eat our fruit, and then we eat the birds too. That’s about all we do.

That’s about all the kid in my belly will do, too. But the kid won’t know any different. It won’t think there was ever something other than the trees and the muck and the water and the men who come by every now and again in their canoes and their ugly paddles and their terrible broken whispers.

You can’t go down there; those men will eat you.


SOUNDBED SOURCES
48558__crk365__birds-23dec07-spesh
278213__fundamental-harmonics__ban-doi-insects-night-time-02
320173__arnaud-coutancier__night-insects
65288__acclivity__cicadasplus

PseudoPod 495: Shut The Final Door

Joe L. Hensley

by Joe L. Hensley

“Shut The Final Door” was first published in Alchemy and Academe in November 1970. It is presented with permission from the estate through the assistance of the Virginia Kidd Agency..

JOE L. HENSLEY (1926 – 2007) was a lawyer, prosecuting attorney, member of the Indiana General Assembly, circuit court judge, science fiction fan, and writer of science fiction and mysteries. While working as a law student, lawyer, legislator and judge, Hensley wrote science fiction and crime fiction (and at least one auto-racing story for a pulp magazine) as Joe L. Hensley and Louis J. A. Adams. His first fiction sale was the short story “And Not Quite Human,” published in the September 1953 issue of Beyond Fantasy Fiction. His first published novel was The Color of Hate in 1960. He had 20 more novels and collections published (over half of them in the series featuring Indiana circuit judge Donald Robak, which began with 1971’s Deliver Us to Evil) and around 100 short stories. His collaborators in science fiction included Alexei Panshin and Harlan Ellison; he co-wrote one mystery novel (Loose Coins) with fellow Indiana prosecuting attorney Guy M. Townsend. His last novel, Snowbird’s Blood, was published in February 2008. Many of his mystery novels were set in the fictitious Bington, a place which combined aspects of Madison and Bloomington. Hensley remained active in science fiction fandom throughout his life; the Hensleys were familiar faces at science fiction conventions such as Rivercon and Midwestcon. Hensley was a First Fandom “Dinosaur” (which meant he had been active in fandom prior to July 4, 1939), and received the First Fandom Hall of Fame Award in 2006.

Your narrator – Patrick “The Voice” Bazile – Patrick is an American Actor/Voice Over Talent and a fresh sound in the voice over industry. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Patrick has voiced everything from PSA’s to major product brands. With a deep, powerful voice often referred to as “The Voice of God” he commands attention.? Check Outr: Patrick “The Voice” Bazile“.

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review

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“The night was gentle and so Willie sat out on the combination fire escape and screened play area that hung in zigzags from the north side of the government-built, low-rent apartment building. He stayed out there in his wheelchair for a long time watching the world of lights from the other buildings around him. He liked the night. It softened the savage world, so that he could forget the things he saw and did in the day. Those things still existed, but darkness fogged them.”

PseudoPod 488: A Thing Of Terrible Beauty

by Roger Zelazny

“A Thing Of Terrible Beauty” was first published in Fantastic Stories of Imagination, April 1963.

Roger Zelazny (1937 – 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber. He won the Nebula award three times and the Hugo award six times. In his stories, Roger Zelazny frequently portrayed characters from myth, depicted in the modern world. Zelazny was also apt to include numerous anachronistic present-day elements and references to various drama classics into his fantasy and science-fiction works. His crisp, minimalistic dialogue also seems to be somewhat influenced by the style of wisecracking hardboiled crime authors, such as Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett. The tension between the ancient and the modern, surreal and familiar was what drove most of his work. He has a crustacean named after him! Many thanks to Trent Zelazny for working with us to share this story with you. While you’re in the mood for fiction, check out some of his work. We recommend starting with his excellent collection “The Day the Leash Gave Way and Other Stories“.

Your narrator – Ben Kohanski initially became interested in voice work thanks to Pseudopod. He has been an avid listener since all the way back in 2006, and having developed a love of audio fiction, decided to pursue narration. He has since professionally recorded and produced one audiobook, as well as a previous story for Pseudopod, and is available for contract on ACX (hint hint). Though he hails from the grim primordial forests of northwestern Connecticut, he currently lives in Niigata, Japan where he teaches English.

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How like a god of the Epicureans is the audience, at a time like this! Powerless to alter the course of events, yet better informed than the characters, they might rise to their feet and cry out, “Do not!”—but the blinding of Oedipus would still ensue, and the inevitable knot in Jocasta’s scarlet would stop her breathing still.

But no one rises, of course. They know better. They, too, are inevitably secured by the strange bonds of the tragedy. The gods can only observe and know, they cannot alter circumstance, nor wrestle with ananke.

My host is already anticipating the thing he calls “catharsis.” My search has carried me far, and my choice was a good one. Phillip Devers lives in the theater like a worm lives in an apple, a paralytic in an iron lung. It is his world.

PseudoPod 473: Sack Race To The River

by Chris Kuriata

“Sack Race To The River” was first published in issue 3 of Phobos in December, 2014.

CHRIS KURIATA has written stories about home invading bears, elderly poisoners, and ghastly family photographs, which have appeared in many fine magazines. He lives in the Niagara Region. He has a funny and creepy story included in the upcoming Exile anthology THE PLAYGROUND OF LOST TOYS.

Your narrator – Spencer Disparti – is a poet and the podcast host for “The Green Magick Podcast”. You can find most of his work at Skeletopia and you can find the podcast in iTunes or at Podbean.com.

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After cramming ourselves into the sack—my brother and I crouched on top of Dad’s shoulder blades like a pair of folded wings—Dad galloped down the stairs and out into the night. My brother and I cheered, enjoying the midnight wind blasting across our faces. Dad ran to the escarpment, grabbing the trunks of skinny trees to keep his balance as we skidded down the incline. He ran to the edge of the river, huffing and puffing, checking the time on his phone.

“Seven minutes,” he said. “Thank God we’ve started now ’cause we need practice. We need so much practice.”

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