PseudoPod 528: Unsent Letter From An Unnamed Student

by Aaron Fox-Lerner

 

“Unsent Letter From An Unnamed Student” is a Pseudopod original.

AARON FOX-LERNER is from Los Angeles and currently lives in Beijing. His fiction has appeared in Grimdark magazine, Akashic Books, Thuglit, The Puritan, and other publications. His portfolio can be found here.

This week’s reader – Kenny Kinlund – is a musician from Lincoln, NE. His band Warbonnet has a self-titled album out on iTunes with Tremulant Records, but he would rather you send your money to the ACLU or the Electronic Frontier Foundation right now. His twitter handle is @svenskjaevel.


Pseudopod wants to direct your attention to a project by one of our Authors, Greg Stolze. This is a good time to go back and relisten to episode 317, Enzymes.

YOU is a novel, set in the universe of the democratic horror game Unknown Armies, which pits readers against a book that hates them while situating them in the person of a middle-aged businessman named Leo Evans.

Leo is divorced, a fan of racquet sports, and a cultist of the Necessary Servant—a quasi-religion he freely admits seems silly, except for the way it grants him extra senses and paranormal abilities. The chief cultist, however, is his ex-wife, and the two of them clash over a key question of what it means to truly “serve” with integrity.

In the process of hashing all this out, Leo must survive a couple attempts on his life, come to grips with an enchantment that makes him hate the person he previously loved most, and deal with lingering issues between himself and his son.

This novel is Kickstarting in February, check the trailer at www.gregstolze.com/you


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


“The first time you killed me was the scariest. Those large hands, holding me down until I breathed water and then nothing at all. Those hands that had previously stroked me and caressed me and ranged all over my body now shoving my head under the light ice on the pond, steadying me as my thrashing grew gradually more feeble.”

Pseudopod 407: Train Tracks

by W.P. Johnson

“Train Tracks” was first published in Weird Noir by Fox Spirit Books and edited by Katy Laity. It’s a wonderful anthology of crime noir stories with elements of weird fiction, and is still available through Amazon as a kindle download or print version.

W.P. JOHNSON is a writer of horror and weird fiction. He lives and works in Philadelphia where he is currently writing his first novel, a dark fantasy entitled A Song For John, and researching his second novel, an untitled horror story about comedians. You can follow him via the moniker “americantypo” on twitter, wordpress, and instagram. He is also featured in American Nightmare by Kraken Press (“The King”) and “Cut In Half” is available from Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing.

Your reader this week is Sam Ferree who read “Stone Born for Podcastle! Sam lives in the Twin Cities where he writes grants for a small nonprofit by day and stories and plays by night. He co-produces Story Club Minneapolis and encourages performance story tellers to come check out the show and share. To learn more about Sam, visit is website, samferree.com, or follow him on Twitter, @samferree.

****************************

“The thing that I always ask guys is if they can get me glow. Scribbled in my father’s notebook:
glow, aka, snot, rubber, soul, bright light. Knock offs include deadlights and slag (ecstasy cut with meth emulsified with gelatin and made into a hard jelly).”

*****************************

The Journey Into kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/763571195/edgar-allan-poe-meets-ken-scholes-a-journey-into-e/posts

Pseudopod 405: A Fine Sacrifice

by Steve Vernon

“A Fine Sacrifice” was originally published in chapbook format and is VERY hard to find. It was reprinted in the collection DO-OVERS AND DETOURS, published in 2010 by Dark Regions Press. You can pick up a copy of the collection on Kindle for a mere 99 cents here. As for the story: “I would like you to think about the sound of a baseball bat swinging for home. That hard clocking sound that a well-swung piece of Northern white ash makes as it impacts upon horsehide – or something else.”

STEVE VERNON has had stories appear in The Horror Show, Cemetery Dance, Flesh and Blood, Chthulhu Sex, Karl Edward Wagner’s YEAR’S BEST HORROR, HOT BLOOD XIII and many other anthologies, magazines and the occasional men’s room wall. Keep up with Steve Vernon’s writing at his blog YOURS IN STORYTELLING.

Your reader this week is James Silverstein was born and grew up just outside of Chicago and has been writing fiction since the age of 9, the day he was given his first typewriter (and ‘Dragonman’, the draconic superhero was born!). He has been involved in theater from the same age, including some professional Shakespeare in the 90’s and now does community theater). He has written for various role playing games, including 7th Sea, Stargate, and, most recently, Cairn. He is working with Dave Robison on his SHATTERED WORLDS project, and Antimatter Press on his own novel; NECROPOLIS, a hard-boiled private eye tale with the undead..

Philip Roberts THE FORTIS HASTATUS Kickstarter project can be accessed here.

M.F. Wahl’s DISEASE can be pre-ordered here.

****************************

“‘That the best you can do?’ He asked gamely.

Will took a swallow of beer, his eyes never leaving Sam’s.

‘Best he can do,’ Will said, nodding derisively towards Artie.

Artie just shrugged. He was technically the better pitcher, but it was an honest fact that he couldn’t match Will for sheer power.

Will stared up at the sun as if it were a clock.

‘You’re late,’ He said in Sam’s direction.

Sam looked up at the sun. It just looked like a ball of burning gas to him. He wondered if Will could really tell the time by the sun, or if it were all for show. With Will you never quite knew for sure. That was part of his magic.

Will grinned, and it made him look mean. He had a face like a ring seasoned boxer. His eyes looked like hard narrow gun sights. He always reminded Sam of a surly Robert Mitchum. He claimed to have been a Navy Seal as a young man, and although both Sam and Artie couldn’t swim a stroke, neither dared to say differently.

You just never could tell with Will.”

*****************************

Pseudopod 379: The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number

by Gertrude Atherton.

“The Greatest Good Of The Greatest Number” first appeared in her collection THE BELL IN THE FOG AND OTHER STORIES (1905).

GERTRUDE ATHERTON (1857-1948), a protege of Ambrose Bierce, was an American novelist, primarily of social romances, who also wrote popular histories, biographies and the occasional supernatural or dark fiction tale. Her first publication was “The Randolphs of Redwood: A Romance,” serialized in The Argonaut in March 1882 under the pseudonym Asmodeus. When she revealed to her family that she was the author, it caused her to be ostracized. She had a satirical (and sometimes harshly acerbic) wit and was an advocate for social reform and women’s rights. Her novels often feature strong heroines who pursue independent lives and she is best remembered for her California Series, several novels and short stories dealing with the social history of California. Her few contributions to the weird genre – which include “The Striding Place” (rejected by The Yellow Book as “too gruesome”) and “The Bell In The Fog” – are invariably well crafted and display a strong sense of the dramatic and a debt to Henry James. She also composed tales of psychological horror, of which this episode is one.

Your reader – George Hrab – has an astounding SEVEN albums available on iTunes AND can also be heard regularly on The Geologic Podcast, an astounding aural phenomena with not a trace of silica!

****************************

“‘How long can I keep it from them?’ he asked bitterly. ‘What an atmosphere for children–my children!–to grow up in!’

‘If you would do as I wish, and send her where she belongs–‘

‘I shall not. She is my wife. Moreover, concealment would then be impossible.’

They had reached the third floor. He inserted a key in a door, hesitated a moment, then said abruptly: ‘I saw in a paper that she had returned. Can it be possible?’

‘I saw her on the Avenue a few moments ago.’

Was it the doctor’s imagination, or did the goaded man at his side flash him a glance of appeal?

They entered a room whose doors and windows were muffled. The furniture was solid, too solid to be moved except by muscular arms. There were no mirrors nor breakable articles of any sort.

On the bed lay a woman with ragged hair and sunken yellow face, but even in her ruin indefinably elegant. Her parted lips were black and blistered within; her shapely skinny hands clutched the quilt with the tenacious suggestion of the eagle–that long-lived defiant bird. At the bedside sat a vigorous woman, the pallor of fatigue on her face.

The creature on the bed opened her eyes. They had once been what are vaguely known as fine eyes; now they looked like blots of ink on parchment.”

*****************************