Welcome to Pseudopod!

You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. Pseudopod brings you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere.

WARNING: This is a podcast of horror fiction. The stories presented here are intended to disturb. They are likely to contain death, graphic violence, explicit sex (including sexual violence), hate crimes, blasphemy, or other themes and images that hook deep into your psyche. We do not provide ratings or content warnings. We assume by your listening that you wish to be disturbed for your entertainment. If there are any themes that you cannot deal with in fiction, that are too strongly personal to you, please do not listen.

Pseudopod is for mature audiences only. Hardly any story on Pseudopod is suitable for children. We mean this very seriously.

Please Stand By

Escape Pod has been messing around with time, and it has sent vortexes and rippled throughout the ‘verse. I tried to get a better explanation from them, but they babbled some nonsense at me, jumped in a blue box, and disappeared. I think they stole some time from us to try to rebalance some paradox wave. Or somesuch.

Episodes 453 and 454 are coming, but with slight delays. We’re trying to make sure we get them right rather than rush them out, but they’ll be here soon. Thanks for your patience!

Artemis Rising 2: Hecate Strikes Back: Open for Submissions

Artemis Rising

In 2016, Escape Artists will again celebrate ARTEMIS RISING, a special month-long event across all three Escape Artists podcasts featuring stories by some of the best female and non-binary authors in genre fiction. Pseudopod will fill the entire month with female-authored horror fiction. Payment will be $.06 per word for original fiction, and $100 for reprints. Original fiction is preferred.

Pseudopod is now open for submissions for the entire month of September.

Who Can Submit

Anyone who identifies as a woman, to whatever degree that they do. Non-binary authors are also welcome and encouraged to submit stories.

As always, we at Pseudopod strongly encourage submissions from people of backgrounds that have been historically under-represented or excluded from traditional horror fiction, including, but not limited to, people of color, LGBTQ authors, persons with disabilities, members of religious minorities, and people from outside the United States. Our goal is to publish horror that reflects the diversity of the human race, so we strongly encourage submissions from these or any other under-represented groups.

What to Submit

Send in your best horror fiction between 2,000 – 6,000 words.

You can send Pseudopod one submission for ARTEMIS RISING. If we have another story under consideration already in the general submissions queue, we’d be happy to consider an additional story for ARTEMIS RISING. One submission per portal for a total of two under consideration.

We will accept simultaneous submissions, with one exception: while you’re welcome to submit to all three ARTEMIS RISING calls (Escape Pod for science fiction and PodCastle for fantasy), please don’t send the same story to more than one ARTEMIS RISING call at a time. Wait until you receive an answer, and then feel free to submit it to another Escape Artists call, if appropriate.

Our goal is to have responses sent out by the end of October. If this changes due to the volume of submissions received, we’ll update you. While we’ll be accepting a limited number of stories for ARTEMIS RISING, all stories may be considered for filling the remainder of the Pseudopod calendar.

How to Submit

Please follow our usual submission guidelines on how to format your story, and submit through our special ARTEMIS RISING Submittable portal.

Thanks, and we look forward to reading your stories!

Pseudopod 452: Abandon All Flesh

by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

“Abandon All Flesh” first appeared in Tales of Jack the Ripper, a 2013 anthology. Silvia remembers the wax museum in Mexico City burning down in 1992, which helped to inspire this story.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s debut novel Signal to Noise has been released by Solaris. It focuses on magic, music and Mexico City. Her short stories have been collected in Love & Other Poisons and This Strange Way of Dying. This weekend she is a Special Guest at Necronomicon in Providence. You can follow her on her blog at Signal To Noise or on Twitter @silviamg

Your narrator — Pamila Payne is a Los Angeles writer and voice actor. Her noir horror, vintage crime and drama can be found at vintagevice.com. Her most recent work was included in Exiles: An Outsider Anthology She is available to hire for Audiobook narrating and all things spoken word. She recently narrated a story for Podcastle – The Chimney-Borer and the Tanner, by Thoraiya Dyer

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“The chamber of horrors. The cobwebs and the torture instruments and the lights. And Jack. She loves Jack most of all. He stands in a corner, past the mummies and the witches, in his cape and stylish top hat. Black satin. Gloves. Right hand raised, knife gleaming. He sports a wicked smile.

If you stand in front of Jack all you can see is the smile. The angle of the hat wraps the rest of his face in rich shadows. However, if you move to the side and step a bit forward, against the velvet ropes, you can look at him up close.

The quality of the wax sculptures varies. The older ones are good and the newer ones are less detailed. But Jack. Jack is not good, he is great. The one who crafted him did so with exquisite detail, labouring over the eyes and the skin, striving to approximate life as much as one can within the confines of a wax mold. The result is a face that seems alert, capable of speech, of drawing a breath. The fingers curl around the knife with true strength, the body tenses, ready to leap down from its dais.

Even the background of this exhibit is flawless. Behind Jack there is a bed, unmade, the sheets splattered with blood. The subdued lighting reveals a brick wall and a shuttered window.

Julia stands in front of Jack and touches the sleeve of his jacket. She is fourteen. During class she draws skulls and dragons in the margins of her notebooks. In the afternoons, she does her homework with more haste than effort. Twice a week she walks the wax museum, pausing before Jack and admiring him.”

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Flash Fiction Contest 4: Bloodlines

The original paraphernalia for the Flash Fiction Contest had been lost long ago, and the black box now resting on the stool had been put into use even before Old Man Stuart, the oldest man in town, was born. Mr. Lieberman spoke frequently to the forum members about making a new box, but no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box. There was a story that the present box had been made with some pieces of the box that had preceded it, the one that had been constructed when the first people settled down to make a village here.

Mr. Garrett and his oldest son, Nick, hold the black box securely on the stool until Mr. Lieberman can stir the papers thoroughly with his hand. Because so much of the ritual had been forgotten or discarded, Mr. Lieberman had been successful in having slips of paper substituted for the chips of wood that had been used for generations. Chips of wood, Mr. Lieberman had argued, had been all very well when the village was tiny, but now that the population was more than three hundred and likely to keep on growing, it was necessary to use something that would fit more easily into the black box.

The fourth incarnation of the Escape Artists Flash Fiction Contest is coming. Pseudopod is leading the charge this time. Every author may submit up to two original stories of 500 words or less for consideration. Submissions are open now until September 15. Head to our special submittable portal for the flash fiction contest to exercise your civic duty in the lottery.

The competition will begin in October. The three winning stories will be purchased and run as an episode of Pseudopod. Payment will be $30 so this will be considered a pro sale. Stories will be published on a members-only section of the forums, so first publication rights will not be expended by participating in the contest. It’s easy to be become a member. Sign up for a forum account and make a single post so we know you’re not a bot. This is a good thread to start with. From there, all the pertinent details will be posted under “The Arcade”. Visit forum.escapeartists.net for rules and details.