PseudoPod 506: The Shopping Cart Apocalypse

by Garrett Croker

Garrett Croker

“The Shopping Cart Apocalypse” is a Pseudopod Original, inspired by actual parking lots and actual injuries. Some details have been embellished.

GARRETT CROKER lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he’s not a writer, he has at different times been a college English teacher, a copywriter, and a marketer. He received his MFA in creative writing from Mills College. His fiction has appeared previously in Mad Scientist Journal‘s anthology SELFIES FROM THE END OF THE WORLD. He can be found online at THE BALLPOINT APOCALYPSE, or follow him on twitter @garrettcroker.

Your reader – Alasdair Stuart – was just recently in the United States and is currently moving house (although not to the US, afaik). And I could not ask for a better boss.


The beautiful Horror in Clay 01 – The Murders in the Rue Morgue mug Kickstarter can be accessed at the link! Check it out, for the love of God, Montressor!


I wanted to bring your attention to a project from Orrin Grey and Strix Publishing. You already know and love Orrin Grey.




Strix Publishing has launched a Kickstarter to bring us a new and expanded hardcover edition of Orrin’s collection NEVER BET THE DEVIL AND OTHER WARNINGS. This new edition includes all ten stories from the original, as well as the heretofore hard-to-find “A Night for Mothing” and an all new story, “Goblins.” As of the time of this recording, it’s just passed the halfway mark with almost three weeks to go, so it’s time for the add-ons and additional goals to creep out of the corners.

So, please check it out: NEVER BET THE DEVIL AND OTHER WARNINGS Kickstarter. You’ll be glad you did!


The CAST OF WONDERS Flash Fiction Contest info can be accessed at the link.


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


“Eli had never seen so many scattered across the lot so early, their sleek plastic frames a startling red against the radiating blacktop. Some congregated in small packs, propped haphazardly onto planters two by two, or grouped into neat lines just outside the cart returns, or facing outward from each other in small, defensive circles that only had the appearance of random chance. Others hunted alone, hiding behind cars, or rolling slowly down the lot’s near imperceptible incline, or simply waiting patiently in plain sight, loose wheels spinning slowly in the breeze. There was no order to unify the disparate groups, as he might have hoped. This was a disaster.”

PseudoPod 470: The Santa Claus Parade

by Helen Marshall.

“The Santa Claus Parade” was first “published” by Helen as a Christmas card which she had specially printed with artwork by Chris Roberts and sent around to friends and family in 2013. It was reprinted and first made commercially available in GIFTS FOR THE ONES WHO COME AFTER (ChiZine Publications, 2014) which recently won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award! “This is one of the weirdest stories I’ve written but I had a pretty gleeful grin on my face the whole time I was typing it out.”

HELEN MARSHALL is an award-winning Canadian author, editor, and doctor of medieval studies. Her poetry and fiction have been published in The Chiaroscuro, Abyss & Apex, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and have been reprinted in several Year’s Best anthologies. Her debut collection of short stories HAIR SIDE, FLESH SIDE (ChiZine Publications, 2012) was named one of the top ten books of 2012 by January Magazine. It won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and was short-listed for an 2013 Aurora Award by the Canadian Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her second collection GIFTS FOR THE ONES WHO COME AFTER was released in September, 2014. Follow her on Twitter.

Your narrator – The Word Whore runs Air Out My Shorts with Preston Buttons. This is an intermittent humor podcast which includes a not insignificant amount of booze and fiction of dubious quality. They are the patron saints of the Escape Artists Submissions Staff, the holiest of the slush pile. It is rumored that candles with religious imagery have been purchased at a gas stations and renegade modifications with AOMS fan art have been used to modify them. They are burned by submissions staff while conducting reviews.

Some people think the Santas are smiling.

The Company tries to weed out that kind of thinking pretty early on with videos from the eighties, people with big hair, shoulder pads, smiling in bleached out, crackling colours. There are diagrams about brain function. A specialist gave a talk on the subject but I slept all the way through it. Sweet dreams.


Pseudopod 332: Willow Tests Well

by Nick Mamatas

“Willow Tests Well” was first published in the anthology PSYCHOS: SERIAL KILLERS, DEPRAVED MADMEN, AND THE CRIMINALLY INSANE, edited by John Skipp, which was published in September 2012.

NICK MAMATAS is the author of several novels, including BULLETTIME and the forthcoming noir novel LOVE IS THE LAW. Recent short stories have appeared in the anthologies BLACK WINGS II, FUTURE LOVECRAFT, and FUNGI, and the new UK-based magazine the “Imperial Youth Review”. He is also published by Wildside Press – whose website is here. Check them out!

Your reader this week – Julie Hoverson – plies her audio trade as the main creative force behind award winning audio drama anthology series 19 NOCTURNE BOULEVARD. (In particular, check out their interesting dramatization of Lovecraft’s THE DUNWICH HORROR!)


“Tenth birthday: greeting cards from the CIA and NSA. Willow had scored ridiculously well on the Race to the Top tests, and even discovered the instructions for and answered the questions in the secret test integrated into the exam. Questions like

What does the old saying “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” mean?”

a. birds are unpleasant because they need to be cared for

b. it’s better to own something than risk what you have for a potential reward

c. if you have a bird in your hand, you can squeeze it, you can kill it…

d. possession is nine-tenths of the law”