Posts Tagged ‘noir’

Pseudopod 360: Anasazi Skin

by Matt Wallace.

“Anasazi Skin” is available on AMAZON here.

MATT WALLACE is the author of THE FAILED CITIES MONOLOGUES and previously authored the very popular episode “Sundae” for Podcastle, as well as having appeared on Pseudopod 3 times (Episode 11 – “Killing Jars”, Episode 47 – “Akropolis” & Episode 87 – “A Place Of Snow Angels”) and recently on Escape Pod with “Knowing”. His website, Matt, is at the link and his blog is Matt Wallace

Your reader this week – Lance Roger Axt – is the co-founder and co-producer of AudioComics, a production company that produces and distributes professional, full-cast “audio movies” inspired by stories from comic books, graphic novels and genre fiction. Their work can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Audible, and through their website at Currently available from AudioComics: Gamadin: Word Of Honor from the young adults sci-fi novel, the all-ages adventure Molly Danger from comics superstar Jamal Igle, and coming soon: Todd and Craig’s The Perhapanauts from the Image Comics series. You can also find his writing in the new Lovecraftian short story anthology WHISPERS IN THE ABYSS, now available for the Kindle!


“The first chemical rains fell in carpet-thick sheets a million different colors.

They fell over the Equator, over the Tropic of Cancer, moving and swelling and moving and swelling as they contracted farther north. Across the Western Hemisphere sacks of sludge dropped like bombs, potent enough in their acidity to dissolve the top floors of brick buildings. In Brazil a little boy felt his mother’s flesh run over him like sour molasses as the woman curled herself around her son, pressing the boy protectively against the womb that could no longer keep him safe. At a cliff’s edge on an island south of Tierra del Fuego, two lovers clutched each other as their flesh dissolved around their embrace.

In dozens of countries the young and the old died. The rest who were caught out in the rain watched their skin bubble and then shed itself in foaming, necrotic strips. They transformed into raw, red creatures with bared teeth.

Soon they were stacking oxygen tanks high and tight and renting them at monthly rates. Soon there were warehouse farms seeded with row upon row of plastic bubble tents. Soon the sidewalks and parks were filled with mummies wrapped in manuka-honeyed anti-burn bandages. Soon the chemically flayed outnumbered the smooth and unspoiled two-to-one.

It was an accident. Just an accident, the spokesman for Nevaeh-Vas Eco Technologies claimed at the first of many press conferences. Nevaeh-Vas, the corporation contracted to repair Earth’s depleted ozone layer. Nevaeh-Vas, who stabbed the heavens with God’s own syringe and injected a chemical curse that rotted the clouds.

Nevaeh-Vas, who murdered an industry and ecology with one mortal stroke and gave rise to what would replace both.”


Pseudopod 318: Venice Burning

by A.C. Wise.

“Venice Burning” originally appeared in FUTURE LOVECRAFT, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles, and published by Innsmouth Press. The book has since been reissued as a trade paperback by Prime Books, and is available in many major bookstores. It was actually written in Venice, and the character of Josie is inspired by a real jazz singer the author saw performing at a restaurant there.

The website of A.C. WISE can be found by clicking the link under her name in the by line above. She also co-edits the Journal of Unlikely Entomology.

Your reader this week is Ben Phillips – and enjoy his reading of this story because that’s gonna be all you hear for a while from him…


“A floating city, a sinking city, a drowned city; there isn’t much difference, really.

When R’lyeh rose, it rose everywhere, _everywhen_. Threads spiral out, stitching past to present to future. There are ways to walk between, if you’re willing to lose a part of yourself. Most people aren’t; it’s my specialty.

I stand on a pier, eyes shaded against the water’s glare. It’s 2015, by the smell – diesel and cooked meat, early enough that such things still exist. It might as well be 2017, or 3051. But this year is where my client is, so I wait, sweating inside a black, leather jacket, watching slick weeds stir below lapping waves.”

Pseudopod 310: Unfeeling

by J.D. Brink

This is its first appearance anywhere. This story will be one of four dark fantasy/crime-noir tales featured in the e-book A LONG WALK DOWN A DARK ALLEY, to be published on and (and others) in late 2012.

J. D. Brink has been in the Navy a long time, first as an enlisted intelligence collector and later as a nurse corps officer, with a few years as a wandering civilian in between. His adventures have taken him around the Pacific on a warship, living all over the States and in Japan for a couple years, and had him deployed to an Army hospital in the deserts of Kuwait. Today he and his family live in south Texas (almost as hot as Kuwait) where he serves as a corps school instructor. What little bit of his life the Navy doesn’t own he leases from his family; fortunately, they let him write. He has two blogs: BRINK’S CHAOS THEORY can be found at the link under his by line above, and also check out FUGITIVES OF PURGATORY.

Your reader this week is W. Ralph Walters, whose FREQUENCY OF FEAR website hasn’t been updated in a while but still has treasures to be plundered. He read the extremely popular “What Makes You Tick” in Pseudopod 228: Flash On The Borderlands VII – Tableaux & Displays.


“The pecking order in the car is standard: George drives, the boss rides shotgun, and Shovel and Byrd ride in the back. The valet brings the Caddie around and everyone starts to climb in, but August takes Byrd’s seat and tells him to sit in the front. There’s a moment of confusion at this sudden change in protocol, but they’re soon on their way. Byrd runs the music too loud to talk, which is fine; the boss isn’t in the habit of explaining himself anyway and no one wants to ask. About halfway back to the house, August grabs Shovel’s idle hand and gives it a squeeze, kind of a _you’re my main man_ gesture. Shovel, as expressionless as ever, just gives the boss a single nod. Once they’re back at the house, he finds out why.

‘I don’t trust them anymore,’ August tells him. They’re in the master bedroom, which is about as big as Shovel’s whole damn apartment. George and Byrd are downstairs, checking out the car and getting everyone something to eat, respectively, as instructed. August is standing in the middle of his closet holding up various neckties in the mirror. ‘You’re the only one I can trust with her. Shovel the Unfeeling, the human instrument, a man with no emotion, no fear, no regret. Your reputation made your career, and mine. You’re solid as a rock. But those other two…’ He decides on a cobalt blue tie, silk. ‘Good with my eyes, eh?’ he says, knowing he’ll get no reply. ‘Those other two, they might get jealous. Can’t have that. That’s why I need it to be just you and me from now on. You’ll manage the other crews but keep them at a distance. You, me, and her, from now on.’

‘I don’t think I understand,’ Shovel says.

‘Get rid of them.’

Shovel gives August a look, one that only he and George can get away with. ‘Boss… Byrd’s just a splatter on the windshield, I don’t mind giving him the heave-ho and busting his beak for good measure, but George has been with you a long time. Longer than me. He’s as loyal—’

‘As loyal as a dog,’ August snarls. ‘And as soon as the right bitch comes in heat, he’ll turn on me and try to take her for himself. No. Things are changing.’

‘Maybe you should take the night to think about this, August. Don’t see what’s-her-name tonight, just have a sandwich and a drink and get some sleep.’


That famous icy glare returns with cold fire behind it. August’s finger rises an inch from Shovel’s flat nose. ‘Don’t you back talk me. You get your ass downstairs and do your fucking job. Get rid of them, before they get rid of me. And I don’t want them coming back for me later, you hear? _Get rid of them._'”