PseudoPod 733: Late Sleepers

Show Notes

Reviews of It Came from the Multiplex edited by Josh Viola and Echoes of a Natural World: Tales of the Strange & Estranged edited by Michael P. Daley were written and read by Shawn Garrett, co-Editor.


Late Sleepers

by Steve Rasnic Tem


Ted woke up in the dark with a dull headache, deciding to sneak out before the rest of the family got up. Going home for Thanksgiving was a terrible idea. He’d have to find some excuse to stay on campus for Christmas. Maybe he’d come home New Year’s Day, if he wasn’t too hungover.

He’d slept in the same clothes he wore at dinner. He didn’t know why he hadn’t changed; he didn’t remember going to bed. His dad worked all day on their ancient furnace, banging a hammer and making dinner late. Mom was furious, and that started the first argument. Then his brother got into it, followed by his brother’s wife. There’d been something about Ted’s major, the wasted college fees, his low grades, and other upsets he couldn’t remember at all. Politics maybe. Or a neighbor’s careless and tragic end. So much he couldn’t quite point to. For once his dad hadn’t participated. He just sat there staring at them. Ted remembered leaving the table mad at everybody, but nothing after. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 732: Devil Gonna Catch You in the Corners

Show Notes

Reviews at the end by co-Editor Alex Hofelich, read by Associate Editor Scott Campbell.

The Immeasurable Corpse of Nature is a collection by Christopher Slatsky.

Wonder and Glory Forever is an anthology edited by Nick Mamatas.

 


Devil Gonna Catch You in the Corners

by Christopher Slatsky


THURSDAY, 8th March, 1849.—

It has been a trying journey over narrow deer-paths and rutted trails. Heavy branches of ancient oaks cast the way in shadow, yet I continue to write my thoughts in my diary—what Father mockingly refers to as “belles-lettres”. When I was a child, I kept a daily record during the two-month emigration from New-England to the Willamette Valley where Father had been hired by the Hudson’s Bay Company; as an adult, a mere two-days’ travel will not dissuade me from continuing to write. These valleys, these streams that break the monotony of impenetrable alder and oak forests make the wagon’s passage that much more difficult. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 731: The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter

Show Notes

Reviews at the end by Associate Editor M.M. Schill, read by Assistant Editor Karen Bovenmyer.

Black Cranes is an anthology edited by Lee Murray and Geneve Flynn.

Halloween Season is a collection by Lucy A. Snyder.


The Genetic Alchemist’s Daughter

by Elaine Cuyegkeng


She dreams of death and rebirth on her mother’s table.

The smell of antiseptic: chemicals, artificial cherries and other-fruit. The specimen on the table. Herself, slipping a needle under the specimen’s skin to obtain samples for reconstruction. Finally, the disposal of the body while the new one grows inside her crimson egg, kicking her little amphibian feet. Later, a telepathic matrix imparts an (edited) library of the Prodigal’s memories. This reinforces the desired traits, knitted carefully into the genome.

In twelve days and twelve nights, there will be a single, perfected being: waking in the specimen’s old room with only a vague, uneasy sense of displaced time. There will be no official record, no trace of the original (save for the genetic profiles, buried deep in her mother’s libraries).

Everyone dreams those strange, mundane dreams of themselves performing their daily rites. The genetic alchemist’s daughter is no different; why should she be? But still, Leto Alicia Chua Mercado wakes as if she were a child waking from a nightmare. Leto thinks: there are fragments of bone and marrow in her pyjamas, in her blankets, her bed. For a moment, her hands are viscous with ruby red. (Continue Reading…)