Posts Tagged ‘Body horror’

PseudoPod 535: ARTEMIS RISING 3: The Lady with the Light


by Mel Kassel

“The Lady with the Light” was published originally in For Mortal Things Unsung in February 2017.

Mel Kassel writes dark speculative fiction and comedy in Chicago. She has a new horror review/writing blog, What Scared Me, as well as a humor-focused twitter account (@MelKassel). Her personal website can be found at www.melkassel.com.

This week’s reader – Jon Padgett is a professional—though lapsed—lesser ventriloquist who lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, and two cats. Padgett has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, The Lovecraft eZine and Xnoybis. Padgett’s chapbook, The Infusorium, was released in spring of 2015, and his first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, was released by Dunhams Manor Press in Autumn 2016. If you run right now, it’s available as a free eBook. For a few dollars more you can add the audiobook on top of that. Completely worth your time.


YOUR SPECIAL GUEST HOST THIS WEEK – Setsu Uzume spent her formative years in and out of dojos. She also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay.

She is a member of Codex and SFWA and her next story will be available in Grimdark Magazine in a few short weeks. While she has dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck.


PseudoPod wants to draw your attention to an anthology that dovetails nicely with Artemis Rising.

Sycorax’s Daughters, is a new volume of dark fiction and poetry and it is our understanding that this is the first horror anthology written entirely by Black women. It explores the intimate details of cultural nuance, race, and gender. Sycorax’s Daughters mission is to work “as a visionary space where Black women explore horror on their own terms.”

Those familiar with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest may remember Sycorax. She is an African sorceress operating as “the absent presence” throughout the play. While never on the stage, she is influential. She haunts the white male characters. She refuses to be excluded from the story.

 


While we’re talking about anthologies, let’s mention For Mortal Things Unsung.

If you liked “Standard Procedure” by Dagny Paul at the beginning of this month or “The Lady with the Light” by Mel Kassel, you should go pre-order our anthology. Both of those stories were originally published in our 10th anniversary anthology. If you backed our kickstarter, your copy showed up in February. If you missed out, it will be available for purchase at the end of March for your reading pleasure.

 


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


I’m enthralled when I arrive at the house in Hawaii. I see so many things that my mother would call “wonders”: sea turtles heaving themselves up from the surf, leaving clumsy sandangels; jellyfish dying slowly in the sun; seaweed pods that burp out air, the breaths that they held for years.  

Not everything is a wonder, of course. There are fish bones and dollops of seagull shit and women with floppy hats who coo over shells. But the ocean still surprises me. It coughs up newness now and again for me to discover, usually in the morning, when I leave the cat chewing on his food and walk down to the shore.

I establish a routine to keep myself from seeking out other tourists: wake up, walk along the beach, write for a few hours, eat lunch, watch a movie, go to The Log for dinner and exactly two beers. The people at The Log encourage me to bring in fresh pages for them to read aloud. To them, writing is a grand gesture, the mark of a man who can assemble his thoughts in a secret language. I tell them that the book is bad, and they don’t care. 

The book is bad. It’s worming itself out of me like a mucus. Better to spit it than swallow, but when I look at it, I’m disgusted. The main character is a detective. I’ve never met a detective, but I’m pretending to be Reggie Barns, a person who holds a pistol without wondering what to do with his thumb.

PseudoPod 493: The Last Escapement


James Smythe

by James Smythe

“The Last Escapement” was first published in Irregularity in 2014, by Jurassic London – an anthology about the enlightenment, a 16th and 17th movement of invention that resulted in John Harrison discovering the concept of Maritime longitude – the true story of which being the inspiration for “The Last Escapement.” Clocks used to be a very different thing, and our notions of time were somewhat sloppier. For years, people tried to build a clock that didn’t lose time when traveling the oceans – this is my contribution to the many tales about those endeavors.

JAMES SMYTHE is the winner of the Wales Fiction Book of the Year 2013, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2014. He is the author of, amongst other things, The Machine, The Explorer, No Harm Can Come To A Good Man, and the Australia trilogy, a series for Young Adult readers. His most recent book released in the US is No Harm, and in October of this year, Way Down Dark will be published in the US by Quercus.

Your narrator – Paul Jenkins – has narrated for Escape Pod, Pseudopod and PodCastle a number of times (he was honoured to be asked to narrate the very first PodCastle episode!). His science fiction podcast novel THE PLITONE REVISIONIST is available for free at Podiobooks.com at the link. His skeptical blog “Notes from an Evil Burnee” and his skeptical podcast “Skepticule” (aka “The Three Pauls Podcast“) can also be found at their links.

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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“I do not know how many times I am to try this: to create a time-keeping device that will hold its measure on a journey across the sea. Every day, the same thing: a task as simple as steadying a pendulum, the rock of left to right; of making it sturdy, able to take the yoke of a storm and hold it still. Time is regular, this is the crux of the problem, and when travelling the seas, time is lost. It evaporates, like salt-water from a deck — though time, of course, leaves no trace. It is such an intangible thing that we try to measure.”