Pseudopod 436: Flash On The Borderlands XXV: Simulacra

“The strategic problem is, of course, that simulacra are reassuring only when viewed from outside. They do not provide an existential model for how to be in the world. One can appreciate the brilliance of the embalmer’s work, but one would not want to be its object.”

“Decadent Naturalism” by Charles Bernheimer; introduction to A HAVEN by J.K. Huysmans in THE DECADENT READER.


“Worm Within” by Cat Rambo

“Worm Within” was originally printed in “Clarkesworld” 2008. It is reprinted in Cat’s fantasy story collection, EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT. “I hope it unsettles YOU. I meant it to be unsettling — in an enjoyable way. :)”

CAT RAMBO writes and edits in the Pacific Northwest. Her most recent book is NEAR + FAR, science fiction stories, from Hydra House. Listeners are invited to check out THE WORLD REMAINS MYSTERIOUS.

Your reader – Julie Hoverson – the writer and producer of such audio dramas as 19 Nocturne Boulevard and Fatal Girl (both available at 19 Nocturne, has now turned her hand to audiobooks and can be found on narrating such diverse pieces as Jake Bible’s Dead Mech Apex Trilogy (third book coming soon) and several novellas that are part of Brian MacLellan’s Powder Mage series, most recently MURDER AT THE KINNEN HOTEL.

“The LED bug kicks feebly, trying to push itself away from the wall. Its wings are rounds of mica, and the hole in its carapace where someone has tacked it to the graying boards reveals cogs and gears, almost microscopic in their dimension. The light from its underside is the cobalt of distress.”


“Lullabies For A Clockwork Child” by Shane Halbach.

“Lullabies For A Clockwork Child” is seeing its first publication on Pseudopod.

SHANE HALBACH lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids, where he writes software by day and avoids writing stories by night. His fiction has appeared on Escape Pod, Redstone SF, Daily Science Fiction, and elsewhere. He blogs regularly at Is This Thing On?.

Your reader – Pete Milan – is a writer and voice actor. Pete can be heard in the horror audio drama PHANTOM CANYON from Pendant Audio, available wherever audiobooks are sold. Visit Pete Milan: Cosmopolitan Jackadandy for more from him.

“You are not Jack, but I will tell you of Jack, so you can know.

Jack was beautiful and strong. Jack had curly hair and shining brown eyes, and when we walked, he held my thumb and swung our arms just to feel them move.

You will not look like Jack. Every child is different. You are both my sons, but you are different.”


“Used” by Sandra Odell.

“Used” is appearing here for the first time anywhere.

SANDRA ODELL (usually) lives with her family in Washington state. Her work has appeared in Pseudopod, Jim Baen’s UNIVERSE, Crossed Genres, and Ideomancer. She is a Clarion West 2010 graduate, and is currently plotting world domination. Or her second novel, whichever comes first.

Your reader – Matt Arnold – last appeared on Pseudopod reading Episode #223 Murdock The Nobody. We also believe he is still involved with Penguincon 2015.

“I recognize her sitting five seats down at the bar. She notices my attention and invites me over with a sip of her drink and a nod to the empty stool to her right. We are diseased, and long for understanding company.

She says her name is Cindy. Small, Clairol blonde, buxom Cindy with a blue, winged heart tattoo under her left collarbone. I introduce myself as Steve, buy her another what-she’s-having. She traces circles around the knuckles of my right hand with the sweat from her glass. There is a band of pale skin at the base of her ring finger.”

The Parsec Awards Nomination page can be found here

Sounds in this episodes:

“Ticks” for story 1 can be found here.
“Static” for story 1 can be found here
“Interstitial Clockwork” for story 2 can be found here

Pseudopod 411: Flash On The Borderlands XXIII: Grief

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.” – C.S. Lewis


“Poor Me and Ted” by Kate Jonez

“Poor Me, and Ted” first appeared in ATTIC TOYS an anthology published by Evil Jester Press and edited by Jeremy C. Shipp. “Every day we go about our lives navigating through crowds on busy city streets, riding buses or trains filled with strangers. Most of the time, individuals barely register in the sea of humanity. We don’t know, or perhaps even care, what lurks in the mind of nondescript passers-by. We should care.”

KATE JONEZ is a student of all things scary and when she isn’t writing she loves to collect objects for her cabinet of curiosities, research obscure and strange historical figures and photograph weirdness in Southern California where she lives with a very nice man and a little dog who is also very nice but could behave a little bit better. She writes dark fantasy fiction. Ceremony of Flies published by DarkFuse is available in limited edition hardcover and ebook. Her Bram Stoker Award nominated novel Candy House is available at Amazon in print and ebook. She is also chief editor at Omnium Gatherum a small press dedicated to publishing unique dark fantasy, weird fiction or literary dark fiction in print & ebook. Three Omnium Gatherum books have been nominated for Shirley Jackson Awards.

Your reader – Tatiana Gomberg – is a New York City based actress and audiobook narrator. She has performed Off and Off-Off Broadway as well as regionally and internationally. Her work in The Night of Nosferatu garnered her an NYIT award nomination for Best Featured Actress and her portrayal of a drone pilot in Hummingbirds earned her a Best Actress Nomination through the Planet Connections Awards. She also played leads in two seasons of classics at Theatre 1010 and toured the United States with TheatreworksUSA. You can hear her narration work on, tv, radio, and numerous podcasts. She blogs at

“Glory, Glory, Glory. That’s about the stupidest name you can give a person like me. But my mom had high hopes like lots of hard-working folks do. They use fancy names like they’re magic spells. As if naming a kid could somehow make it better than it really is. I don’t go in for that kind of crap. I named my kid John. Simple. John.

‘I know that mess is up here somewhere, Ted. I know it is.'”


“The Beachcomber “ by L.R. Bonehill.

“The Beachcomber” was originally published in May 2013 by Dark Fuse at Horror D’oeuvres. “It is one of those rare stories that came to me more or less fully formed after spotting a strange, slightly disturbing figure ambling across a rain-soaked beach in Wales. There was no way I wanted to talk to this odd man, but, from a safe distance, I wanted to know what clacked and rattled inside his bag. He’s still out there somewhere, I’m sure. So, like all Pseudopod stories, this one is most definitely true.”

L.R. BONEHILL is a writer from the dark heart of England. His work has appeared in various haunts including Hint Fiction, Fifty-Two Stitches, This is Horror, and Cast Macabre. He is lucky enough to have been published alongside some of his literary heroes including Joe R. Lansdale, Gary Braunbeck, and Peter Straub. This never ceases to make him smile. He blogs at Bonehill’s Boneyard. His latest tale of woe can be found in an upcoming DARKFUSE anthology.

Your reader – John Michnya – is an actor, illustrator, and screen printer living in Pittsburgh PA.

“All that came back from the cold sea was Little Rosie-Cheeks. Washed ashore one late afternoon as rain whipped down from a slate-grey sky and a rough wind snapped across the beach. Face down in a rock pool, stranded in shallow water and silt. Red cheeks washed pale, white dress smeared with grime the colour of tobacco. A deep gouge cut across her forehead, the seams flecked with grit.

David held the doll now as he walked along the quiet beach. Held it by the hand as if it were a child at his side. It bumped and knocked against his leg as a litter of shells crunched underfoot. Water leaked through a split in the bottom of one shoe. He could taste salt in the breeze, the tang of brine on his tongue.”


“Sanctuary” by Steve Calvert

“Sanctuary” makes its first appearance on Pseudopod. “‘Sanctuary’ began as a story about fear, and how it can sometimes feed on itself and grow stronger. Later I realized it was also a story about prisons and how—sometimes—the worst prisons are the ones we build in our minds.”

STEVE CALVERT (usually) lives in the UK. He usually writes horror fiction, but occasionally writes in other genres. His fiction has been published in Arkham Tales, Hub, and Necrotic Tissue. You can learn more about Steve at his website and further slices of his fiction can be read in his horror anthology Written in Blood, which is available in the Amazon Kindle store.

Your reader – Roberto Suarez – is a proud supporter and periodic narrator for all Escape Artists productions. He co-hosts of “A Pod of Casts”, the Game of Thrones Podcast! His blog can be found here.

“Raoul had been sleeping. He did not know what had awakened him. Perhaps his body had grown tired of sleep. Raoul slept a lot–too much–
but his hiding place was small and dark, so there was nothing else for him to do.”


Interstitial music is “Fearless Bleeder” by Chimpy, available from Music Alley.

Pseudopod 293: Flash On The Borderlands XII – (Black) Arts & (Dead) Letters

Three flash fictions about the creative impulse that drives and maddens…

DANCING by Donna Glee Williams.

This will be the world debut of this story, which was written at Odyssey 2011, inspired by Ben Bova’s “Leviathan” and owes a lot to the feedback it got from Evil Overlord Jeanne Cavelos and her Minions.

Donna Glee Williams is a writer, seminar leader, and creative coach. A sort of Swiss Army knife of the page, Donna Glee has seen her work published in anthologies, newsstand glossies, literary magazines, academic journals, reference books, big-city dailies, online venues, and spoken-word podcasts, as well as on stage and CD recordings. These days, her focus is on speculative fiction, aka fantasy and science fiction. Check out her blog at the link under her name above.

Read by Heather Welliver continues singing and doing various voicework. Check out her website (link under her name, natch) and download some of her recent work.

““I do not pay you to tell me what cannot be done.” They used to call her Freedom on the Wing. And now… This fool said it could not be fixed.

“But this… This isn’t an illness, Diva,” he creaked. “This is natural. You’re maturing.”

The dancer hated being soothed. “I’m hardening,” she snapped. “I’m losing my range of motion. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, but suddenly my turn-out is shrinking. My forefoot extension is down. Do something. Why do I keep you if you can’t do something?”

LOST FOR WORDS by Kenneth Yu.

“Lost For Words” was won first place in FANTASY MAGAZINES 2009 Halloween Flash Fiction contest, which was overseen by writer Rae Bryant and under the ezine’s publisher, Sean Wallace. It can be read here.

Kenneth Yu is a writer from the Philippines. His work has seen print in his country’s various publications, including the Philippine ezines Usok and Best Of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2009. One of his stories also placed 3rd in the Neil Gaiman-sponsored 3rd Philippine Graphic Fiction Awards in early 2010. Elsewhere, his stories have been accepted by Innsmouth Free Press, The Town Drunk and AlienSkin.

Read by Marguerite Croft. Marguerite is a professional writer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s a recovering anthropologist and a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop; her most recent publication was in the Boys of Summer anthology. She has also read fiction for Podcastle and Escape Pod, and can be found on Twitter as @albionidaho.

“When she was young, the words flowed freely, fearlessly, seemingly forming on their own into sentences and paragraphs, pages upon pages, blending together until they became stories.

She drew scenes with almost no effort, conjuring them with a vividness that took control of her readers’ imaginations. She could make her readers cry or laugh, fill them with anger or melancholy, leave them sighing in bittersweet pleasure, or stir them with high inspiration, all as she so directed with the words she chose.”


This story was originally published in Mort Castle’s 2002 anthology NATIONS OF THE LIVING, NATIONS OF THE DEAD. Originally was a story in the comic book NIGHT CITY (with art by Mark Nelson).

Mort Castle has three times been Guest of Honor at the World Horror Convention, has had multiple nominations for the Bram Stoker Award and the Pushcart Prize, and was cited as one of “21 Leaders in the Arts for the 21st Century in Chicago” by the Star/Sun-Times Newspaper Group. He won the Readers’ Choice Black Quill Award for Best Non-Fiction Work for editing ON WRITING HORROR (2007) and the collection, Ksi??yc na Wodzie (MOON ON THE WATER) was considered one of the “Best Books Published in Poland” in 2008. The hardbound edition of J. N. Williamson’s MASQUES, Mort Castle Editorial Director, presenting horror stories in comics format, is available from Checker Book Publishing Group.

Read by Patrick “The Voice” Bazile. Patrick was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and, many years ago, wrote, produced, and performed Hip Hop music. Patrick works as a professional voice artist (HIRE HIM…..HE HAS SEVEN CHILDREN!!!!!) and you can check out his “amateur looking voice talent page” at Patrick “The Voice”.

“It’s dark, the special dark of the city as it is punctuated by street lights. We see the shoes of the saxophone player on the sidewalk as he is moving right along.

The saxophone player is a man with somewhere to go.

He has somewhere to go tonight because —

–It is Springtime. We have Spring and we have the night.

We have Two A.M. and the city is angles and rhythms. The city is moves and slides and whisperings. You can hear the city breathe.”