Posts Tagged ‘noir’

PseudoPod 360: Anasazi Skin

Anasazi Skin

by Matt Wallace

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

Venice Burning

by A.C. Wise

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

Show Notes

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.


by J.D. Brink

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. (Continue Reading…)