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


“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.


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

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.”


Pseudopod 356: The Night Wire

by H.F. (Henry Ferris) Arnold

“The Night Wire” first appeared in the September, 1926 issue of Weird Tales.

H.F. Arnold was born in 1901, worked as an author and journalist, and died in 1963. As far as is known, he published a total of 3 stories under the name H.F. Arnold – “The Night Wire” and “The City of Iron Cubes,” in Weird Tales and a “When Atlantis Was,” in Amazing Stories.

Your reader this week – Eric Luke – is the screenwriter of the Joe Dante film EXPLORERS, and the writer of comic books GHOST and WONDER WOMAN. His latest project is INTERFERENCE, an audiobook about an audiobook that kills… and you’re listening to it. Available as a free download on iTunes.


“There is something ungodly about these night wire jobs. You sit up here on the top floor of a skyscraper and listen in to the whispers of a civilization. New York, London, Calcutta, Bombay, Singapore — they’re your next-door neighbors after the streetlights go dim and the world has gone to sleep.

Alone in the quiet hours between two and four, the receiving operators doze over their sounders and the news comes in. Fires and disasters and suicides. Murders, crowds, catastrophes. Sometimes an earthquake with a casualty list as long as your arm. The night wire man takes it down almost in his sleep, picking it off on his typewriter with one finger.

Once in a long time you prick up your ears and listen. You’ve heard of some one you knew in Singapore, Halifax or Paris, long ago. Maybe they’ve been promoted, but more probably they’ve been murdered or drowned. Perhaps they just decided to quit and took some bizarre way out. Made it interesting enough to get in the news.

But that doesn’t happen often. Most of the time you sit and doze and tap, tap on your typewriter and wish you were home in bed.

Sometimes, though, queer things happen. One did the other night, and I haven’t got over it yet. I wish I could.”