Welcome to Pseudopod!

You’ve found the world’s premier horror fiction podcast. For a decade, Pseudopod has been bringing you the best short horror in audio form, to take with you anywhere. We pay our authors professional rates for original fiction and we reach more people every week than any other short fiction horror market.

We’re celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year. For details, check out our Year10 page.

Are you new to Pseudopod? Don’t let our decade of content daunt you. We’ve assembled a list of stories that show the strength and diversity of our offerings. Check it out here (or at the “New to Pseudopod?” link on the left side of the page).

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 promise to provide ratings or specific 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 525: Cold Print

by Ramsey Campbell

“Cold Print” first appeared in TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS in 1969.

RAMSEY CAMPBELL is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. T. E. D. Klein has written that “Campbell reigns supreme in the field today,” while S. T. Joshi has said that “future generations will regard him as the leading horror writer of our generation, every bit the equal of Lovecraft or Blackwood.”

Says Campbell: “It can be argued that my timidity or at least my restraint is why I remain. I’ve never gone for broke and tried to write the most horrifying tale I can concoct, because I don’t quite see the point. To quote the critic David Aylward, as I very often do: ‘writers [of horror fiction], who used to strive for awe and achieve fear, now strive for fear and achieve only disgust’ – and it seems to me that too much straining for terror is wont to produce nothing more than a disgusting dump. If I can’t approach awe, I’d rather try for the other quality I value most in dark fiction, not exclusively in generic horror – a lingering disquiet. I may have felt that way ever since I first encountered Herman Melville’s ‘Bartleby’ in the 1957 anthology BEST HORROR STORIES and didn’t feel cheated out of any of the pocket money I’d saved up to buy the book. Soon I found the quality in work such as the novels of Thomas Hinde and Samuel Beckett, not to mention films such as Last Year in Marienbad and Los Olvidados. I see no reason why fiction packaged as horror can’t achieve these effects of disturbance and dislocation. One definition of good art is that it makes you look again at things you’ve taken for granted, and that can certainly be true of horror.” Ramsey blogs at Ramsey Campbell.com.

Your narrator – Paul S. Jenkins – runs a skeptical podcast – “Skepticule”


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


GOOD BOOKS ON THE HIGHWAY provided shelter; he closed out the lashing sleet and stood taking stock. On the shelves the current titles showed their faces while the others turned their backs. Girls were giggling over comic Christmas cards; an unshaven man was swept in on a flake-edged blast and halted, staring around uneasily. Strutt clucked his tongue; tramps shouldn’t be allowed in bookshops to soil the books. Glancing sideways to observe whether the man would bend back the covers or break the spines, Strutt moved among the shelves, but could not find what he sought. Chatting with the cashier, however, was an assistant who had praised Last Exit to Brooklyn to him when he had bought it last week, and had listened patiently to a list of Strutt’s recent reading, though he had not seemed to recognize the titles. Strutt approached him and inquired ‘Hello—any more exciting books this week?’

The man faced him, puzzled. ‘Any more—?’

‘You know, books like this?’ Strutt held up his polythene bag to show the grey Ultimate Press cover of THE CANING-MASTER by Hector Q.

‘Ah, no. I don’t think we have.’ He tapped his lip. ‘Except — Jean Genet?’

‘Who? Oh, you mean Jennet. No, thanks, he’s dull as ditch-water.’

‘Well, I’m sorry, sir, I’m afraid I can’t help you.’

‘Oh.’ Strutt felt rebuffed. The man seemed not to recognize him, or perhaps he was pretending. Strutt had met his kind before and had them mutely patronize his reading. He scanned the shelves again, but no cover caught his eye. At the door he furtively unbuttoned his shirt to protect his book still further, and a hand fell on his arm. Lined with grime, the hand slid down to his and touched his bag. Strutt shook it off angrily and confronted the tramp.

‘Wait a minute!’ the man hissed. ‘Are you after more books like that? I know where we can get some.’ ”

PseudoPod 524: Flash on The Borderlands XXXV: The Kids Are All Wrong

Bells chime, I know I gotta get away
And I know if I don’t, I’ll go out of my mind


Accident Report by Jarod Anderson

“Accident Report” first appeared in Midnight Echo Issue #11.

Jarod K. Anderson is a fan of comic books, tattoos, pulp detective novels, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, video games, and all things sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. Jarod’s work has appeared in numerous online and print publications including Escape PodDaily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Fantasy Scroll, and elsewhere. His bestselling books of speculative fiction writing prompts (co-written with Leslie J. Anderson) include: Inklings: 300 Starts, Plots, and Challenges to Inspire Your Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy and 100 Prompts for Science Fiction Writers. Find Jarod online at: jarodkanderson.com.   

Your narrator – Jeremy Moran is a writer, filmmaker, and actor based in Austin Tx. You can usually catch him doing improv around the city. Check out his writings and films at www.jeremymoran.com. Follow his happenings at @moranicjeremy on Twitter.

I remember being worried about the cost of another citation. That’s why I made a complete stop at the corner of Deer Run and Milner Roads. My last ticket was over $300, and I was fresh out of second chances. Not just from the DMV.

If I had skipped that stop sign altogether, like I used to, or even settled for a rolling stop, maybe I wouldn’t have given the Devil a chance to get into the car.


What the Dollhouse Said by Karen Bovenmyer

“What the Dollhouse Said” was originally published in Devilfish Review, Issue Ten, July 24, 2014 and it will be reprinted in a forthcoming issue of Jennifer Brozek’s Evil Girlfriend Media Shorts. This story was also accepted for illustration in Bonnie Stufflebeam’s 2015 Art & Words Show.

Karen Bovenmyer earned an MFA in Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program in 2013, and she was awarded the 2016 Mary Shelley Scholarship by the Horror Writers Association.

She spent many hours as a kid among beaten earth and bare roots avoiding predators and whispering to imaginary people of various moralities. She never had a pet rabbit, but she did have a hamster named Chucky Cheeks who wanted to be an astronaut. This story is dedicated to everyone who found animals and inanimate objects easier to communicate with than fellow homo sapiens. Karen is the Nonfiction Assistant Editor for Mothership Zeta, Escape Artists’ new e-zine and has been having a spectacular time helping set up the first issue. Check out book, short story, and movie reviews, a “Story Doctor” article from award-winning science fiction author James Patrick Kelly, and a science column from a real astronomer—as well as plenty of fabulous fresh stories from amazing authors both new and experienced.

Your narrator – Heather Simmons grew up in South Africa and has made her home in the United States. She is an active participant in community theatre with radio experience and can be reached for narration requests at heatheresimmons at gmail

She cries more than I think anyone can, at first, but she is the only kid who visits the dollhouse. I don’t know how it got there. It looks like it grew by accident in the root knuckles of a wide old apple tree on the edge of the playground. It smells strongly of cats, like my aunt’s house, and is white as antlers. It twists like grandma’s fingers, but the spines and knobs come together to make something that looks like a dollhouse just the same, with an open door, windows, and a steeple roof. There is always a small animal rotting there, tufts of fur missing.


MeetWorks Daycare by Michael M. Rader

This is a PseudoPod Original.

Michael M. Rader is an electrical engineer and busy father who writes horror and science fiction stories in the slivers of time found between those responsibilities. His other works can be found in Fiction Vortex magazine and World Weaver Press’ Corvidae anthology.

Your narrator – Troy Volin is a fan of all science fiction. He lives in Chapel Hill, NC where he raises children, develops software, and develops other software developers.

We leave the children at the abattoir because it’s the only daycare center in Custer County. This is very convenient for the slaughterhouse-men in their white suits but less so for us. We leave, expecting the children to be skinned and slaughtered in our absence because we are pragmatic fatalists. This is the fear every parent has. You’ll understand when you have children.

PseudoPod 523: Kashrut, or, the Ortolan

by Andrew Paul

 

Kashrut, or, the Ortolan is a Pseudopod Original.

Andrew Paul’s recent fiction work is included in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, as well as the anthologies, “Mississippi Noir,” published by Akashic Books, and “Thuglit: Last Writes.” His nonfiction has been featured in numerous online and print publications, including Virginia Quarterly Review, Oxford American, Hazlitt, VICE Media, The A.V. Club, and Tablet. He currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, and online at www.andrewpaulwrites.com and @anandypaul.

Your Narrator – Brian Lieberman is an associate editor of Pseudopod. By day, he’s a froody copywriter who always remembers his towel. By night, he fights various evils with his friends. He lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, a brooding rat, a roommate, a school of fish, and a cat with no patience for his tomfoolery. He asks that if you’re feeling particularly generous, you donate to a small project he’s quite fond of. You might have heard of it, it’s called Pseudopod.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


“Compassion is what’s most important here,” Schulman tells his son.  

He shows him the sakin, turning it over in his hand, highlighting each angle.  

“The blade is sharpened again and again. There cannot be a single imperfection. Do you see?” Schulman asks.  

He lightly guides his youngest’s fingers across the metal edge. Jacob’s hesitance ebbs when he sees in his father’s care that there is no room for error, no chance of injury.  

“The sakin‘s edge is straight, not serrated. There can be no unnecessary tearing, just one precise and deliberate cut.”

Schulman motions to the heifer’s neck, pausing at every essential location along the knife’s route.  

“Esophagus. Trachea. Jugular. Carotids. Vagus,” he lists.  

Jacob swallows instinctively. Schulman nods. 

“It may seem excessive. But this ensures the slaughter to be as painless as possible. Compassion. That’s what’s most important.”

PseudoPod 522: The Christmas Spirits – A Tale of the White Street Society

by Grady Hendrix

The Christmas Spirits was first published in “Tales of the White Street Society” in December 2012.

Grady Hendrix writes fiction, also called “lies,” and he writes non-fiction, which people sometimes accidentally pay him for. This includes the Freaky Friday column at Tor.com, which is a must-read for horror fans looking for books to avoid. He is the author of Horrorstör, the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture store you’ll ever need. It has been translated into 14 languages and is being turned into a television show by Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl). They have never met Grady, but that is their loss. His new novel is called My Best Friend’s Exorcism, about demonic possession, friendship, exorcism, and the Eighties. Take some of those gift cards you’re bound to get and pop over to Quirk Books and pick both novels up. Horrorstör is especially worthwhile in hard copy, because as ephemera, it brilliantly skewers the ubiquitous IKEA catalog.

While you’re perusing their shop, go download the coloring book for My Best Friend’s Exorcism.

Your narrator this week is the Supreme Mugwump and Keeper of the Big Red Button. He was briefly employed as a circus geek until an unfortunate mix-up involving a prize-winning fighting cock. Its owner had ties not only to the carnival, but also to the Russian mob, so now he writes supplements for role playing games, where he exercises his superpower to make you appreciate the Sixth Doctor. He has played for the national rugby team after defeating the monstrous four-horned sheep across his home island. He is a regular contributor to Tor.com, and he owns a bunch of awesome podcasts.


Another true horror story of the season mentioned in the intro can be found here.


Info on Anders Manga’s album (they do our theme music!) can be found here.


“You can have your Paris, your London, your Vienna, your Rome; for this good Christian there is no city more sublime than New York at Christmastime. As I walked to the White Street Society clubhouse I sucked in great gulps of cold Yuletide air until my lungs froze solid with Christmas cheer. My feet were numbed with holiday spirit as they tramped the icy streets. My face and whiskers were chapped with all the joy of the season. Six carolers raced past me in the opposite direction, screaming, their exposed skin red and blistered with burns, their wet clothes steaming, flesh hanging from one of their faces in sheets. I smiled to myself a secret Christmas smile, for this meant that my good friend Augustus Mortimer was home.

‘God rest you, merry gentleman!’ I shouted in gay spirits, as I pounded on his front door. ‘Augustus? It is William! Come a’wassailing this December eve! Augustus?’

I felt something poking me in the midsection and directed my gaze downwards to behold the blade of a saber protruding from the mail slot and halfheartedly prodding me. It was sharpened to a murderous gleam, but as I was wrapped in many cloaks, and carpets, and coats, and shawls to protect myself against the Christmas chill, I felt only a gentle massaging about my tummy.

‘Augustus!’ I smiled, squatting down and peering through the mail slot. ‘Is stabbing any way to greet a visitor on this fifth night of Advent?’ “