Pseudopod 410: Flash On The Borderlands XXII: Britshock

by Francesca Haig, Lou Morgan, Den Patrick, Andrew Reid, Richard Kellum, Severity Chase & Peter Newman

A gaggle of new Flash Fiction to warm your heart and chill your bones…

The Day The Words Took Shape by Francesca Haig
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Francesca is an academic, writer and tea enthusiast whose first novel, The Fire Sermon is due out next year from Harper Collins in the UK and Simon and Schuster in the US. She can be found here on Twitter.

Juggernaut Revisited by Lou Morgan
Read by Wilson Fowlie
Lou is an old, dear friend and the author of three novels to date, Blood and Feathers, Blood and Feathers: Rebellion (There may be a supporting character in there you find slightly familiar…) and Sleepless, a chillingly good YA horror novel. She’s also the author of numerous short stories, including one of the best Mummy stories I’ve ever read and is an Archer although, to the best of my knowledge, her frequent trips to Starling City have not been confirmed. She blogs: here.

The Anniversary by Den Patrick
Read by Alasdair Stuart
Den is the author of the wonderful Dwarf, Elf and Orc War Fighting Manuals, in-universe anthropology texts about the culture, weapons and history of the three cultures. Imagine Art of War written by Douglas Adams and you’re close. He’s also the author of the fantastic novel The Boy With The Porcelain Blade and, along with the magnificent Jen Williams, has pioneered Super Relaxed Fantasy Club, a new, rapidly growing author/publisher/fan/editor/agent meeting that’s started to spread across the UK.
Den blogs here.

Kraken Rising by Andrew Reid
Read by Dave Robison
Andrew Reid – Cook, climber, teacher, writer and one of the most fiercely articulate, creative people it’s my honour to know. He and I, along with Lou, survived redshirting World FantasyCon together last year. That may mean at some point we open a bar. We’ll let you know… Andrew blogs at My God It’s Raining.

Party at the Witch House by Richard Kellum
Read by Rikki La Coste
Richard’s not only an author he’s a fellow podcaster who, along with Chris Brosnahan (Who’s own serial you should totally be reading too), hosts Early Draft. He’s on twitter here.

The Lake by Severity Chase
Read by Siobhan Gallichan
Severity Chase’s body of work is well known in some circles but this is her first foray into horror and it comes with the same precision and subtle flamboyance that she brings to all her work.

The Biggest Candle of Them All by Peter Newman
Read by Graeme Dunlop – audio engineer, Chief Technical Officer and superhero. One of the singular pleasures of working at EA is the amazing people you get to work with and Graeme is one of the best.
Pete is the author of The Vagrant, a post-apocalyptic thriller due for release in 2015 and is the husband of Emma Newman (who blogs at Em’s Place), author of the wonderful Split World series and host of Tea & Jeopardy one of my favourite podcasts. Any resemblance between Pete and Lattimer the butler is entirely coincidental. Pete blogs at Run, Pete, Write!

And that’s our stories. I’d like to thank all our narrators and authors for turning in stories that show just how diverse and vibrant a genre horror is. Armageddon to basement ghosts, supernatural music to last commands, these stories have it all and it’s been a pleasure to share them with you.

Pseudopod 311: Flash On The Borderlands XIV: Resistance!

For Pearl Harbor Day, three flash pieces about fighting back …

No Further by Matthew Acheson

This piece was previously published in “Underground Voices” magazine and is one of two stories available to date from Mr. Acheson’s WHISPERS FROM THE NORTH saga, a series of linked short stories that sets the backdrop for his currently in progress fantasy novel.

Matthew Acheson lives in Orono, Maine. He earned his Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Ancient History from the University of Southern Maine, and has worked as an engineer in the telecommunications industry for over a decade. His fiction has appeared in Raygun Revival, Spinetingler, Digital Dragon, Morpheus Tales, and others. On some cold winter nights you’ll find him by the fireplace, entertaining his fourteen nieces and nephews with strange tales of supernatural horror and the fantastic. His website, Cryptic House, is linked under his byline above.

Read by Ian Stuart, who has something special in store for you in a few weeks!

“Their arrival was a terrible sight. The light from the full moon cast a strange, eerie glow upon the host of pale corpse things and their shrieking masters which stretched across the vale for miles in every direction. They swept the valley like a flood that left only ash, carrion and pestilence in its wake.”


The Conchie by J. Chant

Pseudopod is the story’s first publication.

Jayne Chant resides in a tiny town in Cambridgeshire with her husband, daughter and malevolent cat. Her first experience of the unmatchable thrill of a good ghost story was as a small child listening to her mother read Victorian ghost stories by candlelight..

Read by Kim Lakin-Smith, whose dark fantasy and science fiction short stories 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 (“‘Field of the Dead”), 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. Published on the 1st of December by Snow Books will be RESURRECTION ENGINES, an anthology of steampunk short stories inspired by classic novels from the Victorian period, containing her short story, “The Island of Peter Pandora” (a mashup of Peter Pan and The Island of Doctor Moreau), which has also been picked up for Best Fantasy 2013 from Proxima Books. She is currently working on an urban fantasy YA novel and a dark fantasy novel for adults.

“‘But last night I could not sleep. That unending thunder – I shut my eyes and all I could see were flames. It hurt to breath. It was Thomas I worried for. Then very late, after the clock struck three, Peter appeared and my heart leapt. He sat on the Ottoman at the foot of the bed, his back to me, his arm stretched along the bedstead.

‘I noticed a terrible stain on his back, and as I watched, it spread. I cried out his name, and for the first time he seemed to have heard, in all the nights he’s appeared. His head turned, only a little. I don’t think he wanted me to see his face. His fingers twitched.’

‘It was only a nightmare, Amelia.’

‘I crawled down the bed towards him. I said; my dear, my sweet child, are you in pain? His head shook from side to side. I reached out for his hand, and for a moment I felt his flesh. Cold and damp. And then he was gone. Completely. The room filled with the scent of honeysuckle, just like Vaughn house, where we used to summer, and Peter fished and climbed trees and played soldiers.’

Amelia’s hand shot out and gripped Elizabeth’s, far too hard.

‘It was a nightmare, nothing more,’ said Elizabeth, pulling her hand away.”


Bitter Tea & Braided Hair by Henry Lu

This story was first published on Fiction365 on May 4th, 2012.

Henry Lu learned English in a pre-podcast era, by listening to Voice of America when he was a teenager in Communist China. He also paints. You can look at his paintings on RedBubble under the name of “ArtPal”

Read by Tracey Yuen, who is involved in education and considers listening to podcasts a big factor in getting himself to “read” fiction and dabbles in photography, videography editing, page layout and narration.

“Incense smoke rises from the monastery into the low-hanging clouds of the same ominous shade, portending a quick-fire summer storm.

His standard-issue dark suit gives him away: even the Chinese tourists can tell he’s a plain-clothes. He watches the crowd’s every move, carrying the thermos mug that has earned him the “bitter tea” nickname. Like his Tibetan mother, he is addicted to Chinese bitter tea.

He pays close attention to the braided hairs of Tibetan maidens, determined to follow his Chinese father’s footstep in marrying one of them someday.”