PseudoPod 470: The Santa Claus Parade

by Helen Marshall.

“The Santa Claus Parade” was first “published” by Helen as a Christmas card which she had specially printed with artwork by Chris Roberts and sent around to friends and family in 2013. It was reprinted and first made commercially available in GIFTS FOR THE ONES WHO COME AFTER (ChiZine Publications, 2014) which recently won the World Fantasy Award and the Shirley Jackson Award! “This is one of the weirdest stories I’ve written but I had a pretty gleeful grin on my face the whole time I was typing it out.”

HELEN MARSHALL is an award-winning Canadian author, editor, and doctor of medieval studies. Her poetry and fiction have been published in The Chiaroscuro, Abyss & Apex, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and have been reprinted in several Year’s Best anthologies. Her debut collection of short stories HAIR SIDE, FLESH SIDE (ChiZine Publications, 2012) was named one of the top ten books of 2012 by January Magazine. It won the 2013 British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer and was short-listed for an 2013 Aurora Award by the Canadian Society of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Her second collection GIFTS FOR THE ONES WHO COME AFTER was released in September, 2014. Follow her on Twitter.

Your narrator – The Word Whore runs Air Out My Shorts with Preston Buttons. This is an intermittent humor podcast which includes a not insignificant amount of booze and fiction of dubious quality. They are the patron saints of the Escape Artists Submissions Staff, the holiest of the slush pile. It is rumored that candles with religious imagery have been purchased at a gas stations and renegade modifications with AOMS fan art have been used to modify them. They are burned by submissions staff while conducting reviews.

Some people think the Santas are smiling.

The Company tries to weed out that kind of thinking pretty early on with videos from the eighties, people with big hair, shoulder pads, smiling in bleached out, crackling colours. There are diagrams about brain function. A specialist gave a talk on the subject but I slept all the way through it. Sweet dreams.