Pseudopod 426: ARTEMIS RISING Women In Horror Showcase: The Devil Inside

by Shannon Connor Winward.

“The Devil Inside” first appeared in SOMEONE WICKED: A WRITTEN REMAINS ANTHOLOGY by Smart Rhino Publications. “I did actually have a baby this past summer, but she is not possessed or evil – so far as I know.”.

Words by SHANNON CONNOR WINWARD have appeared in Pedestal Magazine, Flash Fiction Online, Strange Horizons, Plasma Frequency Magazine, Star*Line, Literary Mama, and Scigentasy: Gender Stories in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and have been awarded Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future Contest and as an emerging artist in literature by the Delaware Division of the Arts. Her debut collection of poetry, UNDOING WINTER, is available through Amazon and Finishing Line Press. In between parenting and other madness, Shannon works to support local artists, and here and there has been intimate with a microphone. She lives and writes in Newark, Delaware. She has fiction forthcoming in Spinetingler Magazine and Stupefying Stories, and poetry in Scheherezade’s Bequest and Kaleidoscope. Her blog about writing and life, including upcoming features and literary events, can be found here.

Your reader – Tatiana Gomberg – is a New York City based actress of stage, screen, and of course, the audio booth. She’s also a huge fan of pseudopod and listens regularly. Learn more about her at tatianagomberg.com.

Your Guest Host this week is Nicole Suddeth who slaves away in the fiction mines at Pseudopod as an associate editor…

To find out more about Women In Horror month, please visit WomenInHorrorMonth.com.

Also check out Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror at Indiegogo.

Tim Burke is one of the best authors we’ve ever featured. His stories of Victorian mediumship and horror have been collected and expanded into the excellent The Flesh Sutra. In fact it’s so excellent that it’s been longlisted for a Stoker Award this year. So, pop along to the The HWA website and take a look at the ballot. There’s some great stuff on there and the finalists will be announced on the 23rd. So, if you’re a member, go vote and go vote for Tim, his stuff’s great. Also if you don’t own the The Flesh Sutra, pick it up, it’s brilliant

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“‘What do you mean by that, Rebecca?’ the doctor queried. ‘What did no one tell you?’

Becca studied the drops of rain on the window, little falling jewels of light.

She felt evil, just saying it. ‘I read all the books. They warn you about everything that can go wrong. Preeclampsia. Preemies. Feeding problems. But no one tells you what to do when you don’t love your baby. Like it’s … unthinkable.’

Her words hung for a time, as Dr. Marsh scribbled on his pad. ‘It’s quite common. Many women experience post-partum depression …’

‘I’m not depressed, I just don’t love him.’

‘Why is that, do you think?’

Why? Because he didn’t love her back? Because he cried? All the time, always, screeching until his little voice cracked. Because Becca couldn’t cry?

‘I just don’t feel it,’ she murmured.”

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Pseudopod 380: Abigail

by Hunter Gray.

“Abigail” has been performed at various readings in northern New Jersey and New York but is published now here.

Hunter Gray is a poet/short-storyist living in northern New Jersey where she teaches literature and creative writing. She is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a degree in English Literature and her publication credits include Chavez magazine. She is currently working on a collection of short stories and has recently completed her first book of poems, AMERICAN GROTESQUE.

Your reader – Alethea Kontis – is the co-author of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s DARK-HUNTER COMPANION, and penned the ALPHAOOPS series of picture books. Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines. She has done multiple collaborations with Eisner winning artist J.K. Lee, including THE WONDERLAND ALPHABET and DIARY OF A MAD SCIENTIST GARDEN GNOME. Her YA fairy tale novel, ENCHANTED, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012, was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both ENCHANTED and its sequel, HERO, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award. Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie. You can find Princess Alethea online at aletheakontis.com. If you’re a fan of Grimm and Andersen, be sure to watch Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants – there is a new episode on Alethea’s YouTube channel every Monday.

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“The sun was dipping now, and I feared for myself. My hands grew cold, like ice. And then, I felt the popcorn pop in my belly. The jelly-baby was kicking. My jelly-baby was awake and real and moving. And then I feared for her too.

The pin-prickle of fear brushed itself against the small of my back even more when I saw what lay in the street ahead of me. A perfect mountain of frosting…a cake delicately decorated in pink icing. Maraschino cherries floated around the edges and crystal sugar sprinkles peppered the top. It was beautiful, but terrifying. Why was this in the middle of the road? Who left such a thing? Instinctually, I looked around me. And behind me. For the first time, in a long time, I felt like the prey, not the predator.

But there was no one, nothing. No cars or birds or tiny children or good Samaritans trying to feed some hungry knocked-up college kid.

And then, I saw it. The most beautiful house I had ever seen.”

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Pseudopod 329: Red Rubber Gloves

by Christine Brooke-Rose – presented here through the kind courtesy of her literary executor, Jean-Michel Rabaté, who has allowed us to produce this story.

This week’s episode sponsored by Audible.com; they offer Pseudopod listeners a free audiobook download of their choice from Audible’s selection of over 100,000 titles.

“Red Rubber Gloves” was originally read by your editor in the late 1970s (when he was a small lad) in a collection called TALES OF UNEASE edited by John Burke and published in 1966. The book was a tie in to a soon-forgotten, and now seemingly lost, regional television anthology horror show of the same name that ran on London Weekend Television.

CHRISTINE BROOKE-ROSE (1923-2012) was one of the greatest British experimental novelists (the novel, BETWEEN (1968) is written entirely without using the verb “to be”), as well as a critic and a leading interpreter of Modernism. She was born in Geneva, Switzerland. During World War II she worked at Bletchley Park as a WAAF in Intelligence, later completing her university degree. She then worked for a time in London as a literary journalist and scholar. Because she often used alternative narrative devices (including unorthodox chronology and unusual typography) to create alternative realities, her work is sometimes classified as science fiction, though much of it is beyond category. As with much postmodern fiction, her writing — organized around an unspoken compact between the author, who is unspooling the text, and the reader, who is watching it unspool — is about the act of writing itself. As her New York Times obituary said “Ms. Brooke-Rose was a linguistic escape artist. In book after book she dons self-imposed syntactic shackles, and in book after book she gleefully slips them.”

Your reader this week – Kim Lakin-Smith – writes dark fantasy and science fiction short stories that have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies including Black Static, Interzone, Celebration, Myth-Understandings, Further Conflicts, Pandemonium: Stories of the Apocalypse, The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories By Women, and others, with ‘Johnny and Emmie-Lou Get Married’ shortlisted for the BSFA short story award 2009. She is the author of the gothic fantasy Tourniquet; Tales from the Renegade City, the YA novella Queen Rat, and Cyber Circus which was shortlisted for both the 2012 BSFA Best Novel award and the British Fantasy Award for Best Novel.

Her short story ‘Beyond Hope’ features in Solaris Rising 2, which is launched at this year’s Eastercon. Later in the year, her crossover YA novel Autodrome will be published by Snowbooks. Autodrome is part Speed Racer, part Death Race – on the same day that 15 year old Zar Punkstar qualifies as Pro Leaguer, he finds his inventor father murdered. His opposition are polished Pro Leaguers, hired thugs, and parts pirates. But who to trust in a world of competitors?

Visit Kim at her website

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“In the kitchen window of the right-hand house the panel of two squares over two over two over two is open to reveal a· black rectangle and the beginning of the gleaming sink. Inside the sink is a red plastic bowl and on the window-sill are the red rubber gloves, now at rest.

In the morning the sunlight slants on all the windows, reflecting gold in some of the black squares but not in others, making each rectangular window, with its eight squares across and four squares down, look like half a chessboard gone berserk in order to confuse the queen and both her knights.

In the black rectangle of the open kitchen window the sunlight gleams on the stainless steel double sink unit, just beyond the cream-painted frame. Above the gleaming sink the red rubber gloves move swiftly, rise from the silver greyness lifting a yellow mass, plunging it into greyness, lifting it again, twisting its tail, shifting it to the right-hand. sink, moving back left, vanishing into greyness, rising and moving swiftly, in and out, together and apart.

On closer scrutiny I can see that in the left-hand house the wooden frames of the thirty-two black squares, eight by four in each of the rectangular windows, are painted white. It is only the right-hand house which has cream-painted windows. They all looked the same behind the trees against the strong September sun that faces me on my high balcony. The left-hand house seems quite devoid of life. Possibly the two rectangular windows, one above the other in the square end of the inverted U, are not the windows of the bathroom and kitchen at all in the left-hand house. It is difficult to see them through the apple-tree, and of course through the goldening elm in the garden at the back of my block. In the right-hand house, however, the lower room is definitely the kitchen, in the black rectangle of which the red rubber gloves move swiftly apart, shake hands, vanish into greyness, lift up a foam-white mass, vanish and reappear, move to the right, move back, lunge into greyness, rise and move swiftly right. Beyond the red rubber gloves is a pale grey shape, then blackness.”

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PLEASE HELP PSEUDOPOD AND ANSWER A VERY SHORT DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY AT THIS LINK. IT WILL HELP US IMMEASURABLY! and thank you!

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Pseudopod 322: Cry Room

by Ted Kosmatka



“Cry Room” is available to read over at fellow horror fiction website NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE. Check out their biweekly offerings of new horror fiction, non-fiction and podcast readings on their main page for current and past horror fiction and recordings by authors like Margo Lanagan & Norman Partridge, all curated for you by the tireless John Joseph Adams – and tell ’em PSEUDOPOD sent ya and please remember to extend a tentacle in friendship! “Cry Room” was inspired by events that occurred a few years back. The line between fiction and reality is probably not where you’d expect.



TED KOSMATKA set his sights early on being a writer. This mostly involved having all his writing rejected, pursuing a biology degree, dropping out before graduation, and becoming a steel worker like his father and grandfather. Then the mill went bankrupt. After that he worked various lab jobs where friendships were born and fire departments were called. (And where, incidentally, he learned the fine point of distinction between fire-resistant and fire-proof) Eventually, Ted finished college and worked in a research lab with electron microscopes. Then came the final logical step: ditching all that to write video games at Valve. Ted’s fiction has been widely reprinted and nominated for both the Nebula and Theodore Sturgeon awards. His first novel, THE GAMES, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best genre books of 2012 and is currently available on Amazon. His second novel, PROPHET OF BONES will be released in bookstores on April 2.



Peter Piazza – is your reader this week. Pete narrates stories for sites including StarshipSofa and Tales of Old (as well as Pseudopod, of course).



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“Around him, ladies fanned themselves in the heat, dressed in their Sunday finest. At the front of the church, the minister began. He was an older gentleman, narrow and angular as the church itself. Somewhere up ahead, among the sea of blue hair and balding pates sat his cousin Jason—along with Jason’s wife, her grandparents, and other assorted relation, both close and distant, all here for the special occasion.

Mitch came from Steel people, north counties, Hammond and East Chicago. But these were rural people down here. Farm people. His cousin’s wife’s side. In Indiana, an hour south might have been another world.

His daughter was good for the first minutes of the minister’s sermon. Then it began: she slid down his knee to the floor.”
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