Archive for Reviews

Mother Horror and the Dystopia of Meat


This PseudoPod episode is narrated by Linda Hamilton. You know, she plays Sarah Connor in the Terminator franchise? THAT Linda Hamilton. She doesn’t just read the story or animate the dialog, she brings a cinematic quality to every line for the duration of this 30+ minute episode. It’s a real delight.

But what is an Oscar-worthy performance without something memorable to perform?

MEAT” by Xander M. Odell is unforgettable. (Continue Reading…)

Mother Horror and Final Girl Theory


Final Girl Theory” is a fictional story about a fictional, cult-classic movie called Kaleidoscope. The narrator is addressing the audience with a high level of knowledge about the film. At first, it’s almost documentary-like in tone but later, this changes.

John Meagher’s reading is perfect- he has an urgent, almost excited way of engaging with the text that demands rapt attention.

The author, A.C. Wise, does an amazing job with the descriptive language as the narrator translates, cinematically, what is happening on the screen. The specific details like how many minutes into the opening scene we are, lend themselves to the authenticity and believability.

The audience immediately forgets this movie is not real. (Continue Reading…)

Mother Horror challenges you to Take A Walk In The Night, My Love


First, I must use this opportunity to encourage horror fans that if they are only digesting their horror fiction through the traditional method of the written word, I strongly recommend integrating some audio into your diet.

This is only my third PseudoPod episode but already I can feel my appetite for more grow stronger every day.

Take A Walk In The Night, My Love” by Damien Angelica Walters is a whole meal. Immediately after savoring the thought and care that Walters put into preparing this feast for your horror soul, your mind will continue to lap at the lingering morsels.

It’s proving to be somewhat of a challenge to share my full experience because this is one of those stories where all of the discoveries need to be preserved and not spoiled. So I’ll start with what I can freely exchange: The moment the narrator, Justine Eyre, began speaking — I felt my shoulders fall. I exhaled. There’s something so dreamily intimate and almost hypnotic about her voice. She has a nuanced way of ending her sentences that captured my attention and later, my affection. I’ll be looking for more stories that she has narrated.

(Continue Reading…)

Mother Horror and “The Christmas Spirits”


It seems like something strange happens during the holiday season. Perhaps it’s the combination of eggnog, fruitcake, and the “Spirit of Christmas” that turns average people into consumers of cheesy books and movies with zero substance. To counter this alluring nonsense, I fill my December with Anti-Hallmark-Christmas-Horror. Instead of book covers featuring Golden Retrievers in Santa hats or sparkling toothy grins from a couple wearing matching plaid flannels — I opt for depictions of Krampus kidnapping children…

A serial killer on the loose…

An isolated cabin in the woods…

In my quest to search out yuletide tales of gore, I found The Christmas Spirits – A Tale of the White Street Society by Grady Hendrix on PseudoPod, narrated by Alasdair Stuart.

This episode is a goddamn delight. (Continue Reading…)

Snowbird Gothic


I picked this collection up after my revisitation to the Vampire Clan Novel Saga, because I was thoroughly impressed with Dansky’s excellent characters and action. Dansky pulls off the same trick that Stephen King does of making his characters fully inhabited and easy to settle into, and his plotting drags you along at a rollicking pace. Also, as an extra bonus, his story “Good Advice” was the second full length story to roll out on the PseudoPod feed.

This collection is thoroughly enjoyable and covers the territory from cryptozoology in “The Road Best Not Taken” to the unsettling dread wrought by an uncaring universe in “The Mad Eyes of the Heron King.” The latter story is ostensibly existential office dread and the dangers of not knowing your place. It is truly weird and unsettling. “And the Rain Fell through Her Fingers” is a Weird exploration of inertia and being trapped. (Continue Reading…)

The Clan Novel Saga: Final Thoughts


In 1999, White Wolf embarked on their most ambitious fiction project to tie in to their Vampire: the Masquerade game line. This may be the most ambitious fiction tie-in for any role-playing product, ever. They repeated this one more time with a Clan Saga to tie in to their Vampire: The Dark Ages set. There was also another for Werewolf that bundled tribes into a two-per-book format, so the ambition is already dwindling. While there are some D&D products that have massive catalogs for a setting, I’m not sure that any reach this scope and scale. Maybe Drizzt books, although those were not envisioned as a set of thirteen (or fourteen) linked books. (Continue Reading…)

The Clan Novel Saga: Anthology


Anthology covers events that start nearly a century before the primary events of the Clan Novel Saga, up through New Year’s Eve after the events. Also, oddly, part of the Assamite story also has events happening in 2001, a year after the anthology was published in November 2000. I can’t help but make squinty eyes at the title of this thing. “Clan Novel: Anthology” is crafted from elemental contradiction, and naming an anthology “Anthology” squanders so much opportunity for an evocative title. (Continue Reading…)

The Clan Novel Saga: Nosferatu


Clan Novel: Nosferatu covers events that happen between June 1 and November 30, 1999. It is Book 13 in the original clan novel saga, and was published in September 2000. It was written by Gherbod Fleming, who provided five of the thirteen novels in the set. Our primary POV character is Calebros, who is the center of the web of information – SchreckNet – located in the tunnels beneath New York City.

While released last, this novel begins chronologically before the rest, because the Nossies show us the signs leading up to all the mess. It was cool to see some of the memos reappear here that were first presented as hints in earlier novels. Unfortunately, there’s also number of revelations that were hidden from the reader, not from the characters. (Continue Reading…)