Posts Tagged ‘Apocalypse’

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PseudoPod 556: Evitative

Show Notes

Shawn Garrett composed the soundbed for this episode, which he dedicates to master avant-garde musicians/field recorders Annea Lockwood & Chris Watson. A list of links to sounds used from Freesound.org are below.

SOUNDBED SOURCES
48558__crk365__birds-23dec07-spesh
278213__fundamental-harmonics__ban-doi-insects-night-time-02
320173__arnaud-coutancier__night-insects
65288__acclivity__cicadasplus


Thanks to our sponsor, ARCHIVOS – a Story Mapping and Development Tool for writers, gamers, and storytellers of all kinds!


by B.C. Edwards


Once the oceans came up and covered the streets over it was like they weren’t ever there. No streets or dead Camaros or boys that abandon you when things get flooded and break down. There were just the tall trees with the high branches and water everywhere and the smudge of mountains I can see off on the horizon if I climb all the way to the top of the tree we use for looking at things. The water filled in all the gaps and erased our telemarketing jobs and our high-heels and the clubs we wore them to. But we’re safe up here, on the little platform Jo-Jo built in the trees. He found me wandering in the muck, cold and alone and his was the first face that I’d seen in forever that didn’t look scared or desperate or tired. The first one since the water and the bombs and all who didn’t try to take one more thing from me, didn’t try to steal me away or trick me into anything. Jo-Jo just smiled and his eyes smiled too and even though he’d lost his words already I knew he meant well. And he showed me how to climb the trees and get up to his platform where there’s nothing to do but climb around, eat the berries and the appleish things that dangle off the branches like Christmas ornaments and screw all afternoon long and laze about watching the world disappear. Jo-Jo catches the birds that build their nests and try to eat our fruit, and then we eat the birds too. That’s about all we do.

That’s about all the kid in my belly will do, too. But the kid won’t know any different. It won’t think there was ever something other than the trees and the muck and the water and the men who come by every now and again in their canoes and their ugly paddles and their terrible broken whispers.

You can’t go down there; those men will eat you.

PseudoPod 495: Shut The Final Door

Show Notes

This episode is sponsored by J.R. HAMANTASCHEN (who podcasts at The Horror Of Nachos And Hamantaschen) and his new story collection WITH A VOICE THAT IS OFTEN STILL CONFUSED BUT IS BECOMING EVER LOUDER AND CLEARER (which can be ordered here from AMAZON

The follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection, YOU SHALL NEVER KNOW SECURITY, J.R. Hamantaschen returns with another collection of his inimitable brand of weird, dark fiction. At turns despairing, resonant, macabre and insightful, these nine stories intend to stay with you.

9 out of 10 – “there are nine tales in this collection, each of satisfying length and immediately striking, from first page to last . . . stories that will grip you for their humanity and soul.” – Starburst Magazine

“eclectic, poignant, thought provoking .. . too awesome to pass up” – HorrorTalk

“Perturbing, anomalous stories that will bore into readers’ minds.” – Kirkus

Unequivocal Recommendation – ShockTotem

“True, great horror. I love this book.” – Chris Lackey, HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast

“Those who an artistic approach, psychological depth and small details are going to read through this collection and remember it for days to come.” — HorrorPalace

“Resonating, delectably weird and spooky collection, thoroughly enjoyable” – IndieReader (received Official IndieReader Stamp of Approval)

4 out of 5 – Scream Magazine

4 out of 5 – Hungry Monster Review


Shut The Final Door

by Joe L. Hensley


The night was gentle and so Willie sat out on the combination fire escape and screened play area that hung in zigzags from the north side of the government-built, low-rent apartment building. He stayed out there in his wheelchair for a long time watching the world of lights from the other buildings around him. He liked the night. It softened the savage world, so that he could forget the things he saw and did in the day. Those things still existed, but darkness fogged them.

PseudoPod 488: A Thing Of Terrible Beauty


A Thing Of Terrible Beauty

by Roger Zelazny


How like a god of the Epicureans is the audience, at a time like this! Powerless to alter the course of events, yet better informed than the characters, they might rise to their feet and cry out, “Do not!”—but the blinding of Oedipus would still ensue, and the inevitable knot in Jocasta’s scarlet would stop her breathing still.

But no one rises, of course. They know better. They, too, are inevitably secured by the strange bonds of the tragedy. The gods can only observe and know, they cannot alter circumstance, nor wrestle with ananke.

My host is already anticipating the thing he calls “catharsis.” My search has carried me far, and my choice was a good one. Phillip Devers lives in the theater like a worm lives in an apple, a paralytic in an iron lung. It is his world.

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PseudoPod 473: Sack Race To The River


Sack Race To The River

by Chris Kuriata


After cramming ourselves into the sack—my brother and I crouched on top of Dad’s shoulder blades like a pair of folded wings—Dad galloped down the stairs and out into the night. My brother and I cheered, enjoying the midnight wind blasting across our faces. Dad ran to the escarpment, grabbing the trunks of skinny trees to keep his balance as we skidded down the incline. He ran to the edge of the river, huffing and puffing, checking the time on his phone.

“Seven minutes,” he said. “Thank God we’ve started now ’cause we need practice. We need so much practice.”

PseudoPod 356: The Night Wire


The Night Wire

by H.F. Arnold


There is something ungodly about these night wire jobs. You sit up here on the top floor of a skyscraper and listen in to the whispers of a civilization. New York, London, Calcutta, Bombay, Singapore — they’re your next-door neighbors after the streetlights go dim and the world has gone to sleep.

Alone in the quiet hours between two and four, the receiving operators doze over their sounders and the news comes in. Fires and disasters and suicides. Murders, crowds, catastrophes. Sometimes an earthquake with a casualty list as long as your arm. The night wire man takes it down almost in his sleep, picking it off on his typewriter with one finger.

Once in a long time you prick up your ears and listen. You’ve heard of some one you knew in Singapore, Halifax or Paris, long ago. Maybe they’ve been promoted, but more probably they’ve been murdered or drowned. Perhaps they just decided to quit and took some bizarre way out. Made it interesting enough to get in the news.

But that doesn’t happen often. Most of the time you sit and doze and tap, tap on your typewriter and wish you were home in bed.

Sometimes, though, queer things happen. One did the other night, and I haven’t got over it yet. I wish I could. (Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 351: The Blues

Show Notes

“The Blues” was my attempt at confronting and ruminating on the limits of our adaptability, something not often addressed in apocalyptic literature.

Slusher music is “Green Olives” by Barbacoa from Music Alley


The Blues

by Cameron Suey


The brick edifices lean over me, red canyons of abandoned history. Despite the lingering warmth of the late valley summer, dried leaves are already piling in the gutters. Without a human hand to clean them I imagine them heaping up, year after year, burying the small town in an endless leaf pile, patiently waiting in vain for a child to leap into them.

Spun off on this chain of images and ideas, I drift away from Alex and lean against the boarded windows of a storefront. The leaves are swirling now with the blues in my mind, the cool colors crackling through the warm autumn refuse. Somewhere in the middle of the conceptual whirlwind, I get sick, the bile rising from the back of my throat bringing an unpleasant fungal taste. I spit as my mouth floods with thin and bitter saliva.

‘Tell me if I can help, man.’

Alex is across the street, leaning against a bike rack, watching me. I try to shake my head, to raise an arm, but I am trapped inside the whirlwind, not sure of its boundaries and borders, not sure if I am enjoying this anymore. Leif and King’s distant, muffled voices blend into the spinning vortex.

‘Nope,’ I manage with great effort. Alex nods and looks away.

PseudoPod 327: What It’s Come To


What It’s Come To

by Wolf Hartman


The gas station climbs out of the dark.

Every step rattles my broken bones. A rib and my nose for sure. The ankle could just be a sprain but that doesn’t stop the mean throb from busting my stride. I limp, throwing myself forward then dragging the rest up behind. The tarmac shreds my bare feet. The night’s cold sits like new skin, thin and wet, on my naked arms and neck. The rest of me is hot with blood. Soaking my clothes. Drenching my jeans, my hair. Drying my tongue and cracking when I blink pink sweat out of my eyes.

Trees stipple the highway shoulder. Like fingers closing into a fist around me. The air is pregnant with the musk of firs, melding with the far off smell of fire and ashes. The sky is red-orange. The color of bad blood. The fires will burn the whole city. There’s no one left to put them out.

A tangle of highway behind. A ringing in my ears. But I’m here. I’m alone in the dark. On this road. In these woods. But I’m still here and the gas station fights the dark with all its lights still on. Come in. Say hello. Take a load off.

The hard pain grinds in my side and I stumble forward.

The gas station is pitted against the forest. Its pumps sit like tombstones covered in a mold of cigarette and Coke ads. Buy 2 get 1 free. The surgeon general warns. Cars sit beside them. Quiet like mourners. The gas station’s convenience store glows and hums.

I shuffle into the forecourt. The fluorescents cut sharp and my vision tilts. I squint to save myself. Hands on my knees and sick breathing until it passes.

A man hovers by one of the pumps. Dressed in a navy blue jumpsuit stained with oil at the chest and knees. He’s young. Clean-shaven with skin colored like spoiled milk. He holds a squeegee in one hand and a bucket of soap water in the other. He stares at me dumb.

‘Hey,’ I say. ‘Hey. Excuse me.’

Pseudopod 298: The Long Road To The Sea


The Long Road To The Sea

by James L. Sutter


 

After enough time had passed for everyone to get unloaded and settled, Mischa gave the order, and the real work began. Throwing open the back doors of the largest truck, he quickly prepped the surgery, then let Colville’s mayor know he was ready.

The first corpse was a young man, maybe twenty or twenty-one, who’d fallen beneath a thresher and bled out before the other field hands could even send for help. One arm was a mangled mess from the crushed collarbone down, but the convoy had been expected and the family had the sense to keep him cold in the cellar.

Mischa accepted the corpse with respect and ceremony, then firmly ushered the hard-faced locals back outside and shut the truck doors, limiting the people in his workshop to himself, his protégé Andrew, and Jimmy to help with the lifting.

Beneath the harsh battery-powered lights, they began. Able to tell at a glance that nothing in the tangle of bone and fiber was worth saving, Mischa and Andrew broke out scalpels and began the process of removing the tattered arm, tying off what veins they could and cauterizing the rest with a hot iron. Taking one handle each, they used a set of bolt cutters to shear through the protruding bone with a sound like a tree being limbed.