PseudoPod 683: The Mystery of the Blue Jar


The Mystery of the Blue Jar

by Agatha Christie


Jack Hartington surveyed his topped drive ruefully. Standing by the ball, he looked back to the tee, measuring the distance. His face was eloquent of the disgusted contempt which he felt. With a sigh he drew out his iron, executed two vicious swings with it, annihilating in turn a dandelion and a tuft of grass, and then addressed himself firmly to the ball.

It is hard when you are twenty-four years of age, and your one ambition in life is to reduce your handicap at golf, to be forced to give time and attention to the problem of earning your living. Five and a half days out of the seven saw Jack imprisoned in a kind of mahogany tomb in the city. Saturday afternoon and Sunday were religiously devoted to the real business of life, and in an excess of zeal he had taken rooms at the small hotel near Stourton Heath links, and rose daily at the hour of six a.m. to get in an hour’s practice before catching the 8.46 to town.

The only disadvantage to the plan was that he seemed constitutionally unable to hit anything at that hour in the morning. A foozled iron succeeded a muffed drive. His mashie shots ran merrily along the ground, and four putts seemed to be the minimum on any green.

Jack sighed, grasped his iron firmly and repeated to himself the magic words, ‘Left arm right through, and don’t look up.’

He swung back—and then stopped, petrified, as a shrill cry rent the silence of the summer’s morning.

‘Murder,’ it called. ‘Help! Murder!’ (Continue Reading…)

For Your Consideration 2020: Original PseudoPod Fiction in 2019


For your consideration we present the Escape Artists stories that ran in 2019 which are eligible in the upcoming award nomination season.

Below are links to some aggregation projects, where fans are building lists of those eligible in the various categories. They’re great tools, and we’d like to thank all the contributors for their  efforts.

The list of individual stories for PseudoPod follows in order of publication:

2019 first publications:

Reprints of stories originally published in 2019:

  • 663: Birds of Passage by Gordon B. White, originally published in TWICE-TOLD: A COLLECTION OF DOUBLES, edited by CM Muller, Chthonic Matter Press in February 2019
  • 673: Venio by Gemma Files, (novelette) originally published in Vastarien Spring 2019
  • 679: The Woman Out of the Attic by Gwendolyn Kiste, originally published in Flame Tree’s Haunted House anthology in January 2019
  • 682: Pomegranate Pomegranate by Jack Westlake, originally published in Black Static #69 in May 2019. It was reprinted in the August 2019 issue of The Dark.

Want to share your opinions about our 2019 roster? Vote for your favorite stories here: https://forms.gle/BAMPFphJJnQYXfyL8 (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 682: Pomegranate Pomegranate


Pomegranate Pomegranate

by Jack Westlake


This is what she knows:

Do not immediately repeat a word.

Do not immediately repeat a word spoken by someone else, and do not allow someone to repeat a word you’ve just said.

Do not allow yourself to hear your own echo.

These rules will keep you alive.

Words cannot be trusted. Give them a chance and they will kill you. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 681: A Night of Many Months


A Night of Many Months

by C.L. Holland


He’d wondered, when he started the job, why he needed a belt with so many holes.  Now he knew–it fitted around him twice and felt like it needed tightening again.  It took months to visit every home in one night and he’d lived every minute, surviving on what was left for him.  In some houses it was mince pies and a glass of sherry.  In others milk and cookies, and a carrot for the reindeer.

In most, it was nothing at all. (Continue Reading…)