by Tim W. Burke
“The Voyage & The Ship” originally appeared in THE FLESH SUTRA.
TIM W. BURKE grew up a mile from the most notorious prisons in the U.S. He produced movies found on Netflix and wrote comedy sketches about the brains of the Kennedy Brothers playing touch football. Currently, he finds horror to be more emotionally satisfying. His novel “The Flesh Sutra” earned a place on the preliminary ballot for the 2015 Stoker Awards. Read his advice and inspirations at timwburke.com.
In THE FLESH SUTRA body horror and mysticism entwine under gaslight. We find ourselves in Fin de siècle Boston, where the mystic healer Alecsandri Keresh falls into the desperate embrace of his lover, Mrs. Olivia Spaulding, only to be shot dead in her arms. Alecsandri’s rage at her husband’s murderous action transforms his power and he returns to life – as an abomination. Recognizing each other as soul mates, Olivia and Alecsandri resolve to atone for their sins by helping humanity. But their jealousies mar their works – often with hideous results. And, to further warp their efforts, a vengeful spirit stalks them. One that grows more powerful at every turn. Will the depraved lovers succeed? Or will they mutilate mankind for love? Alasdair Stuart and Shawn Garrett agree and THE FLESH SUTRA earned its way to the preliminary ballot of the 2015 Stoker Awards
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
“At night, the city dock was empty of travelers and oriental immigrants, so I was able to note the activities of the policemen. Dock policemen were sharp-eyed in normal circumstances. But from my vantage point at the top of our luggage, I saw the police stop every young white man for additional scrutiny.
Otherwise Matthew would not have stood out. The scruffy, brown-haired youth struggled along the dock looking like any other American looking to make his mark in the Orient or the Yukon.
He muttered with relief when we saw “S.S. Queensland Beach” on a ship’s hull. The low-slung tramp steamer waited, having unloaded its burden of migrants and freight from the South China Sea. Its crew of Europeans and Islanders were busy using the ship’s cranes to load cargo into its hold. Their destination, and ours, was Hong Kong.”