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.
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.
This is a PseudoPod Original. This story takes its inspiration from the phenomenon of the “rat king”: a group of rats whose tails have gotten knotted and stuck, so that the rats all live and die together in a big tangled, biting mass.
Lia Swope Mitchell is a PhD student in French literature at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. She studies visual media and speculative fiction in the nineteenth century, teaches grammar, and writes fiction on the sly.
Your narrator – Rish Outfield can be found regularly at The Dunesteef podcast, which he produces with Big Anklevich, and you can hear him pretty much everywhere in the genre story pod-o-sphere. And for good reason!
Listen. This is just a free consultation. We’re just two men in a bar, you and I. Respectably dressed with respectable drinks, talking business, like everyone else. But I can see it on your face, written underneath your eyes. I can smell it. Underneath the bourbon, underneath the cigarettes and lies. Something’s in there, crawling around inside. You’ve got a secret. And you want to do business, I can tell.
David Murphy’s latest book Walking on Ripples was published by the Liffey Press in Dublin, Ireland, in 2014. His previous books includes a contemporary fantasy novella Bird of Prey (2011), Arkon Chronicles (also a novella, 2003) and the well received novel Longevity City (2005), each of which was published in the USA. His award-winning short fiction has been published and translated worldwide; over one hundred appearances including magazines and anthologies, two chapbooks and a short story collection brought out first in Dublin in 2004 and re-issued in 2013. The title story of that collection, Lost Notes, won the inaugural Maurice Walsh Award for short stories.
Your narrator – Siobhan Gallichan, is a voice-over artist available for work at macfadyan-at-gmail.com. Listen to Siobhan’s podcast at The Flashing Blade or watch the show on YouTube.
Incisions are made within the clinical white surrounds of the operating lab; incisions in space and time in the operating theatre itself – and incisions into the flesh of the patient. These cuts and alterations take place in a lab so pristine that ceiling, walls and floor blend in a haze that fuses dimensions of distance, height and depth; a shining cleanliness so all-pervasive that light and surface intermingle, making it difficult to distinguish what is vertical from what is horizontal. Concentration and precision are of vital importance in this facility. All tables are smooth, all medical equipment sharp. Follow the instruction manual carefully. Do not – repeat: do not – attempt any ancillary procedures beyond those outlined in this manual.
This story originally appeared in PERSONAL DEMONS in 1998.
Author: Christopher Fowler is the award-winning author of many novels and short story collections, and the Bryant & May mystery novels, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives investigating impossible London crimes. His latest books are the Dubai-set thriller ‘The Sand Men’ and the Bryant & May novel ‘Strange Tide’. Other recent work includes a graphic novel, ‘The Casebook of Bryant & May’, and a Hammer horror radio play under the Hammer Chillers label.
Your narrator is Jon Grilz. Jon is mystery writer as well as the creator of the Small Town Horror podcast who isn’t entirely sure which day of the week it is, but is pretty happy every time the sun rises. Most of the time you can find him wandering somewhere between the line dividing reality and wherever that laughter is coming from.
‘Look,’ said Albert, ‘they’re beating up Mrs Tremayne.’
‘She’s not done anything wrong, has she?’ asked Dr Figgis. ‘No. Perhaps that’s why they’re beating her up.’
‘Doesn’t follow, does it? God, she’s making a lot of noise.’ He shouted through the bars. ‘Hey, keep it down!’
‘This thing’s hard on my arse.’ Albert fidgeted on the rungs. After a few hours they cut into your buttocks and forced you to change position. At least, that was the effect they had on Albert. He noticed that many of the others never seemed to move at all.
Your guest host this week is Associate Editor Dagny Paul. Dagny is an 8th-grade English teacher who lives in Baton Rouge with her husband and four-year-old son. She has an unhealthy (but entertaining) obsession with comic books and horror movies. There’s a small but nonzero chance she was sent here from the future to stave off the awakening of an AI.
“A Bit Of The Dark World” originally appeared in Fantastic Stories of Imagination, February 1962. It is presented here as the 7th part of our 10 episode “A CENTURY OF HORROR” celebration – with 9 other episodes made available only to subscribers!
FRITZ REUTER LEIBER JR. (1910-1992) was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a poet, actor in theater and films, playwright and chess expert. With writers such as Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, Leiber can be regarded as one of the fathers of sword and sorcery fantasy, having in fact created the term. Leiber was heavily influenced by H. P. Lovecraft and Robert Graves in the first two decades of his career. Beginning in the late 1950s, he was increasingly influenced by the works of Carl Jung, particularly by the concepts of the anima and the shadow. From the mid-1960s onwards, he began incorporating elements of Joseph Campbell’s THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES into his work.
Your Reader – Norm Sherman – did a heroic reading job for this extra-long story! Give him a hand!
“… and then one of the last rays of the sun must have struck a mirror-surface in the summit-crag, perhaps an outcropping of quartz, for it struck back at me like a golden rapier, making me blink, and then for an instant the beam was glitteringly black and I thought I saw (though nothing as clearly as I’d seen the black all-knowing spider-centipede on the pinnacle) a black shape — black with the queer churning blackness you see only at night with your eyes dosed. The shape coiled rapidly down the crag, into the cavern gullies and around the rocks and finally and utterly into the undergrowth above the fold and disappeared.”
“The Tooth Fairy” is a PseudoPod Original. “I hope the story works on its own without needing to know too much. But I’ve always been fascinated by the fascination that people have with serial killers, and how our perception is affected by both the fiction and the mythologizing of fact. To say much more would of course be to give away some of the story. Its also an unusual piece for me in that its one of very few stories I’ve written set in the US. I’ve always wanted to write more US based fiction as that is mostly what I read, although I’m known for writing about Scotland and, more generally, the city of Dundee. It was refreshing to be able to write about a subject matter and location that was new to me, and the enthusiasm of Pseudopod for the story has been a great reward for taking that risk.”
RUSSEL MCLEAN is the author of five novels featuring Scottish private investigator J McNee. His debut, THE GOOD SON, was shortlisted for a Shamus Award for Best First Novel by the Private Eye Writers Association of America. Russel’s short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and magazines including Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and the recent anthology, THE ADVENTURES OF MORIARTY. He spent over a decade as a bookseller before writing full time. His reviews and interviews with writers have appeared in The Herald, The Independent on Sunday, The Skinny and the TLS, and he frequently interviews writers for literary festivals and library events. When not writing his own fiction, he also works as a freelance editor. He lives in Glasgow with his partner and three cats: Moriarty, Mycroft and Magwitch. His latest book out in the UK and US from Severn House is CRY UNCLE, the fifth in the J McNee series.
Jon Padgett lives in New Orleans with his spouse, their daughter, and two cats. Padgett has work out or forthcoming in Pseudopod, The Lovecraft eZine and Xnoybis. Padgett’s chapbook, THE INFUSORIUM, was released in spring of 2015, and his first short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, is forthcoming from Dunhams Manor Press, Autumn 2016. Also later in 2016, Padgett–along with a team of editors and the artistic wizardry of Dave Felton–will be releasing the first issue of Vastarien: a source of critical study and creative response to the corpus of Thomas Ligotti and the authors who influenced and are influenced by him.
“The package, when it arrives, is innocuous. Plain envelope. Bubble wrap. A little box inside. Black cardboard. Red ribbon.
Could be anything.
Anything at all.
It comes standard delivery. Anything else would provoke suspicion. Signing for packages, someone, somewhere has to say what’s inside.
How would you explain the contents of that black box?
I sit it, for a while, on the black onyx stone of the kitchen worktop. I look at it. I anticipate opening the box. Think of Schrodinger’s Cat.
“The Only Ending We Have” was first printed in Psycho-Mania! in October 2013, edited by Stephen Jones, then in a Year’s Best edited by Ellen Datlow. Have a biscuit (US: cookie) every time you clock a reference to an Alfred Hitchcock title.
Kim Newman is a novelist, critic and broadcaster. His fiction includes the Anno Dracula series, Life’s Lottery, Professor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’Urbervilles and An English Ghost Story; his non-fiction includes Nightmare Movies and BFI Classics studies of Cat People, Doctor Who and Quatermass and the Pit. He co-wrote the comic miniseries Witchfinder: Mysteries of Unland and the plays The Hallowe’en Sessions and The Ghost Train Doesn’t Stop Here Any More. He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines. His latest novel is The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School. He is on Twitter as @AnnoDracula.
Your narrator – Christiana Ellis is an award-winning writer and podcaster, currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her podcast novel, Nina Kimberly the Merciless was both an inaugural nominee for the 2006 Parsec Award for Best Speculative Fiction: Long Form, as well as a finalist for a 2006 Podcast Peer Award. Nina Kimberly the Merciless is available in print from Dragon Moon Press. Christiana is also the writer, producer and star of Space Casey, a 10-part audiodrama miniseries which won the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Production by the American Society for Science Fiction Audio and the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Science Fiction Audio Drama. In between major projects, Christiana is also the creator and talent of many other podcast productions including Talking About Survivor; Hey, Want to Watch a Movie? and Christiana’s Shallow Thoughts.
“The windshield wipers squeaked … like shrilling fiddles, scraped nerves, the ring of an unanswered phone. Another reason to trade in her ‘57 Ford Custom. For 1960, she’d like something with fins. Not that she could afford next year’s showroom model.
Unless Hitch coughed up the ransom.
For the thing it was all about. The mcguffin.
The thing the audience doesn’t care about, but the characters do.
‘Good eeeev-ning,’ Hitch said, every goddamn morning … like in his TV show with that nursery/graveyard tune burbling in the background. ‘Funeral March of the Marionettes’. Dump-da- dumpity-dump- da-dump…”