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.

Pseudopod 476: ARTEMIS RISING Women In Horror Showcase: Black Hearts

by Shannon Peavey.

Black Hearts is a PseudoPod Original.

Shannon Peavey is a writer and horse trainer from Seattle, Washington. Her stories have also appeared in Apex, Lightspeed, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Kelly Sandoval and Shannon co-edit Liminal Stories, a twice-yearly online magazine for beautiful and unsettling stories.

Your narrator – Tina Connolly is the author of the Ironskin trilogy from Tor Books, and the Seriously Wicked series, from Tor Teen. Ironskin, her first fantasy novel, was a Nebula finalist. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, as well as Escape Pod, PodCastle, and here on PseudoPod.

Her narrations have appeared in audiobooks and podcasts including all four Escape Artists podcasts, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and her Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.

Your guest audio producer – Chelsea Davis is a scholar of Gothic fiction. She’s currently at work on a dissertation about supernatural war literature. In her spare time, she produces radio, & gets a huge kick out of reading killer Pseudopod submissions as an Associate Editor.

Your guest host – Wendy N. Wagner is the author of Skinwalkers, a Pathfinder Tales novel inspired by Viking lore, and she’s also published more than thirty short stories in anthologies like Cthulhu Fhtagn! and The Way of the Wizard, and in magazines like Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Farrago’s Wainscot. She is the managing/associate editor of Nightmare and Lightspeed magazine, and served as guest editor for Nightmare’s Queers Destroy Horror! special issue.

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Alma carried the worm-fork and Lewis carried the knife. They didn’t speak and had not spoken since the morning, fifteen miles back through dry grass and bare dirt and the click-chatter of insects. Dust rose around their ankles and the sun beat hot on the napes of their necks.

When they dropped over a rise and hit bottom, Lewis stopped and nodded and Alma took the worm-fork in both hands. It was a heavy thing, its grip worn smooth by her palm. She raised it shoulder-high, breathed once, and slammed it down into the ground.

She didn’t know how Lewis decided on a place — what made that stretch of plain any better than the miles they had passed before it. Long miles, leading a horse too laden with jars and bags to ride. They were somewhere south of Nampa, days out of Boise, and she’d been gone from her home for more than a year. The land was different, here. The ground packed so hard she had to lean all her weight on the worm-fork to get it to stick.

They’d been only children at the start of Lewis’s great journey, but no one would call them such anymore.

Artemis Rising 2 Has Arrived

Artemis Rising 2 is here! It’s a special month-long event featuring stories by some of the best female and non-binary authors in genre fiction, airing across all the Escape Artists podcasts in February 2016. PodCastle for fantasy, EscapePod for science fiction, and PseudoPod for horror. Cast of Wonders will be joining the Artemis Rising event in 2017.

This year we have commissioned a special art print by legendary illustrator Galen Dara. The print will be available for purchase through Society6 until March 31, 2016. Go buy it now while you can!

Galen likes monsters, mystics, and dead things. She has created art for Uncanny Magazine, 47North publishing, Skyscape Publishing, Fantasy Flight Games, Tyche Books, Fireside Magazine, Lightspeed, Lackington’s, and Resurrection House. She has been nominated for the Hugo, the World Fantasy Award, and the Chesley Award. When Galen is not working on a project you can find her on the edge of the Sonoran Desert, climbing mountains and hanging out with an assortment of human and animal companions. Her website is www.galendara.com plus you can find her on Facebook and Twitter @galendara.

Artemis Rising 2 Logo

Purchase your print here: https://society6.com/escapeartists

Pseudopod 475: The Toad Witch

by Jessica Amanda Salmonson.

The Toad Witch originally appeared in Tales of Witchcraft in 1991.

Jessica Amanda Salmonson is a recipient of the World Fantasy Award, ReaderCon Certificate, and Lambda Award, author of THE DISFAVORED HERO and other novels, THE DEATH SONNETS and other poetry collections, and THE DEEP MUSEUM and other short story collections. Forthcoming – a giant omnibus of her works will appear from the extravagantly cool Centipede Press consisting of her Dell Books novel ANTHONY SHRIEK, a number of poems, and her Ace Books collection A SILVER THREAD OF MADNESS plus enough new and uncollected material to equal a third book in one huge volume. Her next poetry collection PETS GIVEN IN EVIDENCE OF OLD ENGLISH WITCHCRAFT AND OTHER BEWITCHED BEINGS will be issued this coming year by The Sidecar Preservation Society to coincide with Diversicon where she will be Guest of Honor. She’s presently working on a small collection THE BLIND AVIATRIX: Dream Life and Real Life, too odd for commercial publishers but she can’t help it she has to write it.

Your narrator – Sandra Espinoza is a voice actress and video/sound editor in New York with a background in publicity, research and writing. She’s provided voice over for games like Apotheon, Primordia, Combat Core, Norse Noir and Supreme League of Patriots. Sandra’s upcoming roles include Freida in Kreative Spill’s newest point-and-click adventure Norse Noir; and Ember in Combat Core. To find out more visit dustyoldroses.com or like DustyOldRoses on Facebook.

Your guest host – Kat Rocha is Associate Editor at PseudoPod, Guest Editor for the Artemis Rising Event, and Editor-in-Chief of 01Publishing. They released Whispers from the Abyss 2 in ebook in 2015 and will release it in trade paperback in early 2016. She is a longtime fan of horror and good horror stories and has made the promotion and publishing of them her career.

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I began life in 1950. Until then, everything was darkness. Afterward was suffering and beauty. How could 1 not become a masochist? By the age of four I had learned to mistrust everyone, a good philosophy. If one expects something terrible to develop out of even pleasant events, one may also expect consolations at moments of travail; and even I must delude myself from time to time, succumbing to the disease of sentiment.

People who are essentially cheerful annoy me. When they are finally bent and deaf, they are suddenly surprised. They find out their lives were pointless falsehoods; that it’s all nearly over, and for what? When in the end they are completely disillusioned they seek forgiveness from everyone, for they had always been oblivious to the obvious things, to the suffering around them. They are sorry for having insisted nothing was ever all that bad. Destined as they are to so much disappointment, they merit our sadness more than our disdain.

As for those of us daily anguished, we need not be pitied. The world constantly reinforces our perspective. We may nod our heads like true sages. We are impervious to disillusion, knowing as we do that worse is yet to come.

For Your Consideration

In our first 2016 metacast, we present the Escape Artists (EA) stories that ran in 2015, which are eligible in the upcoming Hugo nomination season.

A quick plug. For us. All four EA shows – PodCastle, Pseudopod, Escape Pod and Cast of Wonders – are themselves eligible in the SEMIPROZINE Hugo category.

Not Fancast. Not Fanzine. SEMIPROZINE. Yes, the categories are confusing and often overlap. “Fancast” is traditionally dominated by commentary shows and sketch-based audio programs.

There’s an argument that we could split the shows and compete in multiple categories to increase our chances. We don’t think that benefits anyone. The division is artificial at best, and extremely difficult (at worst) to explain, given all four of our shows have harmonised pay rates and submissions policies. It would smack of gamesmanship, which doesn’t interest us.

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVED seeing PodCastle and Escape Pod on last year’s Hugo long lists, and we’d be honoured for any one of our shows to be a finalist.

But that’s a decision that rests solely in the hands of YOU, our fans and supporters.

(And just a note, Mothership Zeta doesn’t qualify this year because they’re too new.)

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 David Steffen for his efforts. We’ll also link to our Wikia page, containing links to all the eligible Escape Artists stories.

Please listen to this MetaCast for the Escape Artists entries!