PseudoPod 701: Technicolor

Show Notes

The inspiration, “The Masque of the Red Death”, was read on PodCastle and can be found here

The Tor article that Alasdair mentions: https://www.tor.com/2019/11/13/the-things-we-do-for-course-credit-john-langans-technicolor/


Technicolor

by John Langan


Come on, say it out loud with me: “And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.” Look at that sentence. Who says Edgar Allan Poe was a lousy stylist? Thirteen words—good number for a horror story, right? Although it’s not so much a story as a masque. Yes, it’s about a masque, but it is a masque, too. Of course, you all know what a masque is. If you didn’t, you looked it up in your dictionaries, because that’s what you do in a senior seminar. Anyone?

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 700: Hop Frog

Show Notes

Twitch eapodcasts

Hop Frog Animated Version

Content warning:

Spoiler Inside SelectShow


Hop-Frog

by Edgar Allan Poe


I never knew anyone so keenly alive to a joke as the king was. He seemed to live only for joking. To tell a good story of the joke kind, and to tell it well, was the surest road to his favour. Thus it happened that his seven ministers were all noted for their accomplishments as jokers. They all took after the king, too, in being large, corpulent, oily men, as well as inimitable jokers. Whether people grow fat by joking, or whether there is something in fat itself which predisposes to a joke, I have never been quite able to determine; but certain it is that a lean joker is a rara avis in terris.

About the refinements, or, as he called them, the ‘ghost’ of wit, the king troubled himself very little. He had an especial admiration for breadth in a jest, and would often put up with length, for the sake of it. Over-niceties wearied him. He would have preferred Rabelais’ ‘Gargantua’ to the ‘Zadig’ of Voltaire: and, upon the whole, practical jokes suited his taste far better than verbal ones.

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PseudoPod 699: Flash on the Borderlands LI: Quaint and Curious Forgotten Lore

Show Notes

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

A Dark Bird

by Bradley H. Sinor


She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally, decided to walk through the door.  The words of the poems echoed in her head.

She hesitated for only a moment before crossing the threshold, as the blue flames wrapped around her, sending a tingling cold into the deepest bits of her.

For the longest time there was nothing, finally in the distance came the sound of water gently lapping against the piers of a dock, the cold December winds reaching out onto the water. A dark bird of her desire circled near her.

“The one you seek is near,” said the creature.

Two men in the heavy jackets and caps of seamen shivered as she passed, one crossing himself and drawing deeper within his jacket. The other crossed himself, glancing up into the sky at the full moon.

“Why do you torment me?” she asked the bird. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 698: Of Marrow and Abomination – Narration Only


Of Marrow and Abomination

by Morgan Sylvia


I am very young when I first dream of the ruined barn.

The barn is nothing more than a burnt-out husk in the northern woods. It stands alone in an overgrown meadow, a blackened shell of rotted shingles and charred, cracked timbers, its weathered grey boards standing in stark contrast to the golden hayfields around it. The northeast is peppered with such ruins. Built by hand, not machine, the old barns are silent, forgotten monuments of a lost age, one where horses, not cars, carried men through the thick, tangled woods, and where woodstoves rather than furnaces kept away the biting winter cold.

It was initially repurposed as a numbers station, a clandestine radio station that broadcasts coded messages to spies via short-wave radio transmissions. Later, it became something else. A black site, of sorts. By then, the Cold War had ended, and we had clawed our way greedily into the information age.

I wonder now if they understood what they were doing, those Cold War doctors with their shiny shoes and thick glasses and slicked-back hair. They chose this spot, no doubt, because it was both isolated and unremarkable. They wanted the space and freedom to explore their madnesses, their alchemy, far away from prying eyes, in a place where only beasts and forgotten ghosts could see. I wonder if it ever occurred to them that the abominations created here would never be contained. They saw themselves, no doubt, as pioneers, inventors. In truth, they were sorcerers as much as scientists, heirs to Crowley and Agathodaemon as much as to Newton and Einstein and Hawking.

They are dead now. The darklings gnaw on their skeletons.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions and the corpses of men like them. (Continue Reading…)