Tag Archives: Horror

Visit to Pseudopod Tower

For Escape Artists’ annual Artemis Rising event, I had the pleasure of guest-hosting The Lady With the Light by Mel Kassel at Pseudopod.

Pseudopod is a short-fiction horror podcast, and they’ve been going strong for over a decade. If you’re new to horror, podcasting, short fiction, or any combination of those things — check out this list of thirteen stories that show the strength and diversity of their offerings.


Fear the Children – New Pseudopod Podcast!

Flash On The Borderlands XXVII: What’s The Matter With Kids Today? just dropped, featuring three pieces of flash fiction read by…

  • the indomitable, Andrea Subissati, who co-hosts of the Faculty of Horror podcast, a monthly show examining the academic side of horror movies
  • the incorrigible Big Anklevich who co-hosts at the Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine
  • and the irascible me, who lives here, and needs no introduction.

I sent two versions of this recording to Pseudopod, one that played the letter as perfectly normal, and another that cranked up the obsessive, manic pride of motherhood. They went with the second version.

Head over to Pseudopod, and ignore that thing scratching at the window.

League of Extraordinary Bastards

I’m in the process of doing final edits on my fantasy novel before I ship it back to my agent. It’s been challenging, because I’m also working on the first draft of a steam-ish scifi story as well. I’ve been reading a lot about the trend, its love of fashion and deep appreciation for detailed custom-craftsmanship.

My research brought me to the door of my new friend, the dementedly talented Dmitri Arbacauskas — who has fascinating wares for both steampunk and horror lovers.

His descriptions are really funny. I also got some stickers for the other writers in my group, and I love his poster about fear.

I ordered a hoodie from him, and it arrived today!  It’s thinner than I expected, but really soft and super-warm. Probably much warmer than I’ll ever need, as it doesn’t snow here. Check out his store, Tormented Artifacts, to see if something strikes your fancy.



“League of Extraordinary Bastards”

The best evil is close to home

I’ve seen several memes floating about regarding character death.  All of them begin with a picture of J.K. Rowling saying “It’s hard killing off so many characters.”  On the lower half was a photo of another writer and their response.

George R.R. Martin:  “You’re adorable.”
Joss Whedon: “You’re new here, aren’t you.”
Stephen King:  “I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of my characters’ screaming.”

This is a joke (as most internet memes are) and the responses are of course fictitious.  What I’m driving at here is that stories are driven by conflict.  Great achievement must come at great sacrifice — such as a dead protagonist.  Sacrifice comes through conflict, and conflict cannot exist without evil. 

Evil doesn’t always result in death. The worst evil is slow and subtle, and destroys your soul long before your body.

I advise every writer who reads this to dig inside themselves and find a shard of evil.  I don’t mean maniacal overlord evil, I mean preacher evil.  I mean schoolyard bully evil.  I mean passive-aggressive-boss evil.  Something that not only exists and walks in this world; but something that knows, deep down, the pain it inflicts is just and fair.

Writing and reading is a form of escape.  We live vicariously through the people and worlds we create.  It’s important every now and then to open the trap door, walk down into the basement, and say hello to the creature you’ve kept locked in the psychic cage.  Some of them are abstract — from children, to purring liars, to twitching monstrosities that drool acid and hiss obscene desires directly into your brain.  Imagine the same spirit in a housewife.  In a friend.  In a colleague.  They all believe they’re right.  Let them show you why.

Maybe the hero will believe them, and then make the wrong choice.

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.”
– H.L. Mencken

Hell is paved with good Samaritans.”
– William M. Holden