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Tag: pseudopod

Short story: “Beyond the Dead Reef”

“Beyond the Dead Reef,” by James Tiptree, Jr.

Appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, January 1983; won a 1983 Locus Award for best short story; collected in Tales of the Quintana Roo (Arkham House, 1986), which won a 1987 World Fantasy Award for best collection); appeared in PseudoPod 603, July 13th, 2018 (though not reprinted as text—perhaps there was a problem getting the rights)

A few thousand words

Interesting, but the initial buildup strikes me as long and not closely related to the main story (even though I love the murder plot), the monster is silly, and the moral at least borders on heavy-handed. Perhaps I’m reading it from the wrong era.

The framing comments on how unreliable the narrator is ought to undermine the story, it seems to me, but don’t. Is that typically the case? Are we wired to enjoy a good story regardless of what we think about the storyteller?

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Short story: “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

“Love Will Tear Us Apart,” by Alaya Dawn Johnson

First published in Zombies vs. Unicorns (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2010); appeared in PseudoPod 581, February 9th, 2018, and replayed July 20th

7.075 words

(Heavy spoilers.) I was hooked from the first few lines. Talking mac and cheese, indeed.

I don’t quite believe Jack would invite Grayson to feed on his father’s body, at least not at the drop of a hat.

Short story: “The Plutonian Drug”

“The Plutonian Drug,” by Clark Ashton Smith

First published in Amazing Stories, September 1934; appeared in PseudoPod 591, April 20th, 2018, and replayed July 27th of the same year; also online here

4,072 words

Clever. The initial dialogue infodump is a bit clumsy, but maybe that was a common convention at the time. (Or does it count as infodump if it’s mainly for worldbuilding rather than having much effect on the plot?)

Short story: “Moon-Face”

“Moon-Face: A Story of Mortal Antipathy,” by Jack London

Appeared in the newspaper The Argonaut July 21st in either 1902 or 1906; read as part of PseudoPod 589: Flash On The Borderlands XLII: Misanthropes, April 6th, 2018; also online here

2,253 words

A good creepy yarn. Reminds me of Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart,” where the narrator wants to kill the old man for no reason except that there’s something about his eye.

Short story: “The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls”

“The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls,” by Izzy Wasserstein

Read by Tatiana Grey for PseudoPod 588 as part of ARTEMIS RISING 4, March 30th, 2018

3,536 words

A good creepy story.

I like the way Grey gives each of the girls a distinct voice.

Short story: “Emperor All”

“Emperor All,” by Evan Marcroft

Read by Kris Straub for PseudoPod 590, April 13th, 2018

4,336 words

A fine dark tale. The main character is unlikable, but you keep listening/reading to find out what happens next.

Short story: “The Ninth Skeleton”

“The Ninth Skeleton,” by Clark Ashton Smith

Appeared in Weird Tales, Volume 12, Issue 3, September 1928; collected in The End of the Story (Night Shade Books); featured in Pseudopod 331, April 26th, 2013; online here at The Eldritch Dark and here on Wikisource

1,865 words

I didn’t really get this story, and I don’t think there’s much to get. On the forums, readers suggest that it’s about the main character’s girlfriend’s pregnancy and/or their future together, but it ends a bit open-endedly for me. Perhaps the end means the couple is infertile and Guenevere will take him with her to the grave childless.

Short story: “Toward the Banner of the King”

“Toward the Banner of the King,” by T. R. North

Featured in PseudoPod 558, September 1st, 2017

4,287 words

A good PseudoPod episode. Authentic period voice. The reading by Justine Eyre is excellent.

I was surprised by the heavy allusions to The King in Yellow, but I suppose it’s sufficiently well known to horror readers that it needs no explanation. This story fits neatly into Chambers’ short story collection by that title.

 

Short story: “A Doll Full of Nails”

“A Doll Full of Nails,” by Ville Meriläinen

Featured in PseudoPod 554, August 4th, 2017

Maybe 3,000 words? Not sure 2,918 words—I was pretty close

Creepy doll stories are always good. I like how the doll’s stories increasingly shed light on the dollmaker’s past, but never quite reliably.

Also the title is great.

Short story: “The Magician’s Apprentice”

“The Magician’s Apprentice,” by Tamsyn Muir

First appeared in Weird Tales, Issue #358 or #359 (Volume 66, No. 3, Winter 2012), edited by Ann VanderMeer; reprinted here in Weird Fiction Review, July 3rd, 2012; reprinted in The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2013, edited by Rich Horton; reprinted in The Best Horror of the Year: Volume Five, edited by Ellen Datlow; featured in PseudoPod 515, November 4th, 2016; reprinted in Lightspeed Magazine issue 88 (September 2017), online here

4,860 words, says Lightspeed

(Spoilers.) I love the reference to Lolita, and Mr. Hollis’s analysis of it, and this line: “You see, I’ve got nowhere else to go.” He evidently gave her the book as a hint about what he’s really up to. I’m not totally convinced that John/Mr. Hollis has eaten Cherry’s childhood, though, despite her food name, despite the ending. His relationship with her doesn’t strike me as all that sick up until the secret he reveals—the secret of what it really means to be a magician. It’s more as though he’s eaten her adulthood. She’ll never be the same after this.

Did he train her, selfishly, in order to soothe his loneliness? It must be lonely to be a magician, devouring without end.

Mr. Hollis’s comment about “dead joggers” is great. The last line is also great.