Pseudopod 450: The Horse Lord

by Lisa Tuttle.

“The Horse Lord” was first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in June 1977 and included in A NEST OF NIGHTMARES. This collection was first published in 1986 by Sphere Books and is now available as an e-book from Jo Fletcher Books; it is also included in STRANGER IN THE HOUSE, a collection of her early supernatural fiction published as a limited edition hardcover by Ash-Tree Press in 2010.

Lisa Tuttle began her career as a published writer in the early 1970s, and won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Writer of the year in 1974. She’s the author of seven novels and more than a hundred short stories. Born and raised in Texas, she has lived in a remote, rural part of Scotland for the past twenty-five years. Her first novel, Windhaven, was a collaboration with George R. R. Martin published in 1981. This was followed by a horror novel, Familiar Spirit, in 1983. Unable to stick to one well-defined genre, although most of her work features elements of horror and/or dark fantasy, she went on to write novels of psychological suspense (Gabriel and The Pillow Friend), science fiction (Lost Futures), and contemporary/mythic fantasy (The Mysteries and The Silver Bough) as well as books for children and young adults, and non-fiction (Encyclopedia of Feminism and Heroines).

Short stories were her first love, and remain important. Her first short story collection, A Nest of Nightmares was published in the U.K. in 1986, and two years later featured in Horror: 100 Best Books edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman. Her other collections include A Spaceship Built of Stone and other stories (1987), Memories of the Body: Tales of Desire and Transformation (1992), Ghosts and Other Lovers (2002) and Objects in Dreams (2012). A number of her short stories have appeared in “best of the year” anthologies and been nominated for awards; “Closet Dreams” won the 2007 International Horror Guild Award. She edited an influential anthology of horror stories by women writers, Skin of the Soul, first published in 1990.

She has just finished a new novel, to be published next year: THE CURIOUS AFFAIR OF THE SOMNAMBULIST AND THE PSYCHIC THIEF — this is the start of a new detective series set in London in the 1890s. If you want a taste of what is to come, check out her stories in both the Rogues and Down These Strange Streets anthologies and follow her author page on Facebook.

Your narrator this week is Christiana Ellis who is a Writer and podcaster living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is the author of Nina Kimberly the Merciless as well as Space Casey. She also produces several non-fiction podcasts and videos that can all be found at Most recent project is Space Casey Season 2, the sequel to the original audiodrama about a con artist in the future, which can be found on and


The double barn doors were secured by a length of stout, rust-encrusted chain, fastened with an old padlock.

Marilyn hefted the lock with one hand and tugged at the chain, which did not give. She looked up at the splintering grey wood of the doors and wondered how the children had got in.

Dusting red powder from her hands, Marilyn strolled around the side of the old barn. Dead leaves and dying grasses crunched beneath her sneakered feet, and she hunched her shoulders against the chill in the wind.

‘There’s plenty of room for horses,’ Kelly had said the night before at dinner. ‘There’s a perfect barn. You can’t say it would be impractical to keep a horse here.’ Kelly was Derek’s daughter, eleven years old and mad about horses.

This barn had been used as a stable, Marilyn thought, and could be again. Why not get Kelly a horse? And why not one for herself as well? As a girl, Marilyn had ridden in Central Park. She stared down the length of the barn: for some reason, the door to each stall had been tightly boarded shut.


Pseudopod 353: FLASH ON THE BORDERLANDS XVII: Keeping Up Appearances

Things are not always as they seem…

“Down By The Sea Near The Great Big Rock” by Joe R. Lansdale

This story first appeared in MASQUES (1984). JOE R. LANSDALE, who recently appeared here with PSEUDOPOD #344: The Pit, has written over thirty books, and numerous short stories. He has won a multitude of awards, including the Edgar for his novel THE BOTTOMS, and his novella BUBBA HO-TEP was made into the popular film starring Bruce Campbell. His current books are THE THICKET and EDGE OF DARK WATER, both from Mulholland Books. Joe blogs here and you can also follow him on Facebook.

Read by Corson Bremer, who lives in France and has dual nationality, but is American by birth. Corson works as a professional voice actor, technical communicator, and French-to-English translator. He is also a life-long curmudgeon. His professional credits in voice acting include audio guides, industrial video narration, e-learning, radio and tv commercials, and video games for Ubisoft (Red Steel 2 and Petz:Horses 2) and Spiders (Mars:War Logs). He’s a big fan of dramatic readings as well as radio drama and comedy. Check out for his voice services and demos. Corson is a board member of Voice Artists United, an organization for established and up-and-coming voice actors who are looking for support, community, education, and information. If you are a voice actor, find them at the link under their name or on Facebook and LinkedIn.

“Down by the sea near the great big rock, they made their camp and toasted marshmallows over a small, fine fire. The night was pleasantly chill and the sea spray cold. Laughing, talking, eating the gooey marshmallows, they had one swell time; just them, the sand, the sea and the sky, and the great big rock. “


“The Demon Fields” by Keith McCleary

“The Demon Fields” has been performed in San Diego, and can be found at Gchatus, but Pseudopod is its first published appearance. “It was written in California while thinking of the summers I spent at my grandmother’s house in Vermont as a child. It’s also my girlfriend’s favorite piece of mine, so she should get some credit for its submission.” KEITH McCLEARY is an MFA student at UCSD, and received his BFA in Film at NYU. His work has or is due to appear in Heavy Metal magazine, Weave, Flash, Short Fast and Deadly, the San Diego Poetry Annual, and in comic books he has written and illustrated for Terminal Press. He has also served as a copyeditor for Kill Screen Magazine. Keith maintains a semi-regular presence at his flash fiction tumblr, Gchatus and his website, Weird Things I Have Done.

Read by Kevin Hayes – Kevin is a man of many facets. Hailing from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, he is overactively involved in the Science Fiction/Fantasy and Horror Community where he has done (and continues to do) programming for the usually annual SF conference Confluence – July 25th to 27th, 2014. He is a writer, a reader, an actor, a singer, a poet, and a cartoonist/illustrator – and that’s just in his spare time. He thrives with his artistic endeavors and lives with a hugely talented woman who shares his interests and is the passion of his life (they have collaborated on a novel that defies easy description for which they still try to find a publishing home). The home they have made for themselves also contains three of her five children, artists, writers and performers all. Kevin’s website can be found here and he also one of the driving members of a writers’ critique group called Write Or Die! (aka “WorD”) who meet at a local bookshop. He has a story appearing in “TV Gods” from Fortress Publishing, available May/June 2014, and he appears in a photo-graphic comic from Tia Tormen Productions called “Zombimboz” on sale now on Amazon!

“One day, one of the farmhands mustered the courage to ask him what the barn was all about. Ben squinted at the structure in the distance, picked a reed to chew on and crossed his burly arms across his barrel chest. ‘Well boys,’ he said. ‘That barn’s gonna hold my demons. Ev’ry man’s got ’em. Gotta get ‘em stored away if I ever want to share this farm with someone. Can’t have ‘em runnin’ loose, now can I?’ and he smiled.”


“Pawn” by Jaki Idler

A shorter version of “Pawn” was a Semifinalist in the 2010 Escape Pod flash contest, where it was titled “Queen.” Jaki Idler lives outside Philadelphia where she writes, teaches and – despite any literary evidence to the contrary – raises two wonderful boys. Her day job is bringing other’s stories to life. You can follow her writing at Idle Truths. She just narrated her own story “Terminal” for Wicked Women Writers 2012 at She’s also thrilled to read Crystal Connor’s “Spores” on (pending).

Your reader, Julia Rios, is a writer, editor, podcaster, and narrator. She’s one of the three fiction editors for Strange Horizons and hosts the Outer Alliance Podcast (celebrating QUILTBAG speculative fiction). Check her out at here blog here.

“The pain of pushing the larva through the very flesh of my transgression should be punishment enough. But mating was the Queen’s privilege, not the bait’s, and she’d ensure I’d rather die than overstep again. She called the lair witness, lest my lesson bear repeating. I squatted and bore down, slave to more primeval powers. My lair sisters ringed the cavern, tall and smug, every stiff spine saying they knew better. I’d known better.”


Help Gail Carriger get CRUDRAT up and running by checking out: CRUDRAT!

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

Pseudopod 302: Singing By The Fire

by Jamieson Ridenhour

“Singing by the Fire” is original to Pseudopod, though an earlier version was briefly available on the author’s website as a piece of free fiction. This story is directly inspired a decade of recurring snake nightmares and by a masterful little poem by North Carolina poet Robert Morgan, called “Mountain Bride” -but that near-decade of snake dreams underpins it like venom. He has recently had the story accepted for publication in the print anthology Hunting Ghosts, forthcoming from Black Oak Media (see link).

Jamieson Ridenhour is the author of the comedy werewolf murder-mystery Barking Mad (Typecast 2011) and creator of the short horror films Cornerboys and The House Of The Yaga. He used to live in a log cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, though one with electricity. He now lives in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Your reader this week is the Nathan Lowell, who you may know from Escape Pod #357: Connoisseurs of the Eccentric.


“‘I don’t know that I’d call it a ghost story,” Whithers said, looking at the reflected firelight caught in his brandy glass. “I don’t think I really believe in ghosts. It’s been twenty-five years, now.’ He fell silent again, studying his drink.

We leaned forward, eagerly awaiting his next words. A potluck feast of grilled salmon, tomato and basil couscous, and oven-fresh bread was digesting comfortably in our stomachs as we settled round the fire in our accustomed places. The chairs in Whithers’ townhouse were soft and leathery. The rosy feeling in our cheeks and bellies was a combination of good food, wood smoke, and an amiable brandy that Patterson’s wife Deirdre had brought back from Ireland last fall.

The weather had suggested ghost stories; the storm outside was one of those summer gullywashers that swept down from the mountains unannounced, outing power and flooding streets. When the power had gone out we had scurried to find candles and hurricane lamps, and the fitful illumination put us in the mood for some spectral entertainment. Not that we needed any encouragement. Our monthly get-togethers often turned towards the ghostly, but until this particular night Whithers had stayed out of the story-telling sessions, becoming withdrawn and sullen when talk turned ghoulish. So when Henderson asked Withers for a ghost story, his acquiescence had surprised us all.

‘I feel sort of silly talking about this,’ he continued, not looking up. ‘I’ve never told anyone but Melinda, and I don’t think she believed me. But I assure you it is true. It’s the strangest thing that ever happened to me.’

We stayed silent, not wanting to break Whithers’ train of thought for fear he would reconsider. The candles and fireplace combined with the lightning outside to create a weird shifting of shadows across Whithers’ face as he continued.”

Pseudopod 291: Lizardfoot

by John Jasper Owens
“Lizardfoot” originally appeared in A capella Zoo #3 and is readable by clicking the link. It was nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

John Jasper Owens says “if you like this story, Google me or enter my full name in Amazon. I’m around, in bits and pieces. Do try my story “Lord Braugh’s Dessert” at Bard and Sages Quarterly.

Your reader this week is the amazing John Bell. Further work by the astounding Mr. Bell can be heard online at Sonic Society and also Bells In The Batfry.


“It was Rayletta that made the lizard boots what had the footprints we used to track around. I never asked, on account of Missy-Bee don’t like me talking to Rayletta, who is divorced and therefore hell-bound and has those huge boobs, but I suspect Rayletta made the LizardFoot boot bottoms by way of a gator foot, which she put on butcher paper, and traced around it to make it bigger. And as y’all also know, the swamp out back of my trailer was the ideal place to stomp around in the boots, because that marsh goes back about a hundred miles to the coast and is too shallow for skiffs, too deep and pock-holed for hiking, and impossible to drain, unless you are also willing to drain the Santeechee river what feeds it. Plus the gulf.

It seems like that swamp goes on forever, under them cypress trees.

Sometimes at night, sitting out on my deck, I watch the moonlight coming through the branches and hanging moss and then I hear a hoot owl, and I will admit I have sometimes wondered if the alleged sightings of LizardFoot have had some truth to them. Although during the day, like most people, I believed those sightings to have been moonshine and/or crank induced. My own daddy claims to have seen old LizardFoot once or twice, but mostly when in trouble with mama for gigging till dawn. And Daddy is not afraid of a drink.”