Pseudopod 257: In “The Poor Girl Taken By Surprise”

In “The Poor Girl Taken By Surprise”

by Gemma Files

‘Yet here we sit snug and warm and dry nonetheless, traders and settlers and immigrants bound for even more distant places alike, before this open, welcoming fire; here we may eat and drink our fill and go ‘round the circle in turn, each of we travellers swapping a story for our place beneath this roof ‘till morning. And I will be more than glad to add my own contribution to that roster, if only it should please you to bend your ear and listen.


About the Author

Gemma Files

Though she was born in London, England, Gemma Files is a Canadian citizen, and has lived in Toronto, Ontario for her entire life (thus far). She is the daughter of two actors, Gary Files and Elva Mai Hoover. Files graduated from Ryerson University with a B.A.A. in Magazine Journalism, then spent roughly eight years as a film critic, primarily writing for local alt-culture journal eye Weekly. By 1998, she was also teaching screenwriting, short screenplay writing, television series development, film history and Canadian film history, first at the Trebas Institute, then the Toronto Film School. After leaving eye, she taught full-time,  while also publishing two collections of short stories (Kissing Carrion and The Worm in Every Heart, both from Prime Books) and two chapbooks of poetry (Bent Under Night, a Sinnersphere Production, and Dust Radio, from Kelp Queen Press). In 2002, she married fellow author Stephen J. Barringer. In 2008, the Toronto Film School closed down and Files’ son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She became a stay-at-home Mom, finally beginning serious work on her long-planned first novel. A Book of Tongues: Volume One in the Hexslinger Series (ChiZine Publications) was released in April, 2010, and will be followed by two sequels, A Rope of Thorns (2011) and A Tree of Bones (2012).

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About the Narrator

Julia Rios 

Julia Rios is a writer, editor, podcaster, and narrator. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have appeared in several places, including Daily Science FictionApex Magazine, and Goblin Fruit. She was a fiction editor for Strange Horizons from 2012 to 2015, and is currently the poetry and reprints editor for Uncanny Magazine and co-editor with Alisa Krasnostein of Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories, and the Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction series. She is also a co-host of the Hugo-nominated podcast, The Skiffy and Fanty Show, a general discussion, interview, and movie review show. She has narrated stories for PodcastlePseudopod, and Cast of Wonders, and poems for the Strange Horizons podcast.

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