Escape Artists

PseudoPod => About Pseudopod => Topic started by: Fenrix on August 18, 2012, 05:07:15 AM

Title: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Fenrix on August 18, 2012, 05:07:15 AM
The challenge was issued in this poll thread ( to show folks that there’s a lot more material on the other two podcasts that will appeal to the listeners who gravitate towards one. I’ve already done posts pointing EscapePod ( and Pocastle ( listeners to PseudoPod. Take a look at those and add your opinions in any of these threads as to which stories I missed, and if you think I missed the mark on some of these.

I’ll admit, I mostly swim in PseudoPod’s murky waters. However, I’ve ventured out, sometimes on my own, sometimes on recommendation, and unearthed some significant gems. For those of y’all who enjoy wandering through the blackness of Mirkwood, and don’t want to brood only on the Necromancer, I think you would benefit from listening to the following:

PC069 – The Ovelrung
This is an adventure/caper fantasy story with a seriously broken hero. The dark character study is effective.

PC093 – The Mermaid’s Tea Party
Tina Connolly’s reading adds depth and vulnerability to a character imprisoned by the Grimm sort of mermaids. No shiny cartoons with scallop-shell brassieres here. Add a flawed and tortured pirate and the mix is exquisite.

PC120 – Some Zombie Contingency Plans
This one bookends quite nicely with PP043 - Everything is Better With Zombies. Norm Sherman’s off-balance reading really makes this character study of a deeply flawed loner, and shines a light on the narcissism of the Me Generation. You might be able to see some glimmers of redemption in this one. I can’t.

PC 143 – Hurt Me
A ghost story full of warped anger.

PC 152 – The Hortlak
The happenings in a 24-hour convenience store on the edge of a chasm full of zombies.

PC 153 – The Ghosts of New York
A brutal and effective musing on the spiritual impacts of 9-11.

PC 154 – Sinners, Saints, Dragons, and Haints
An effective musing of the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans. A phenomenal reading by Laurice White captures the feel of the city, and conveys the human impact of the storm.

PC 157 – As Below, So Above
The crisis of faith of a giant squid who is sworn to protect an island fortress from invaders.

PodCastle 191: Balfour and Meriwether in The Vampire of Kabul
A solid fantasy adventure tale that pits our Victorian heroes against a dark cult.

PodCastle 214:  We Never Talk About My Brother
A brutal and moving tale about the impact of choices and familial ties.

A miniature for the list if you only have time for a little bite:
PCm50 – Cranberry Honey
This is a mood piece, but quite dark and brooding.

Then some classics, that are worth checking out, as they’re classic for a reason:
PCm – The Trouble in Leafy Green Street
Don’t go looking for undersea gods to worship. You’ll likely regret it and/or go mad.

PC 177 – The Fall of the House of Usher
If you only have time for one Poe story, make it this one. The reader did a stellar job with a really challenging, densely-layered story with multiple nested phrases.

And the other Poes:
PCm19 – The Cask of Amontillado
PCm56 - The Masque of the Red Death

EDIT: Will add links later
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Umbrageofsnow on August 22, 2012, 12:21:18 PM
I might quibble about "Cranberry Honey", but I can't second "As Below, So Above", "Mermaid's Tea Party" and "We Never Talk About My Brother" hard enough. Those are true horror pieces quite worthy of Pseudopod, but also certainly Fantasy pieces worthy of Podcastle. I might quibble with your description of "As Below" in terms of selling it to horror fans, but then I realized I don't have a better one, so fair enough.

I'd also add a bunch of recent ones, they've been on a pretty dark roll this year:
PC211: "Axiom of Choice"
PC209: "Lila the Werewolf",
PC Mini 69: Wolves,
PC 208: "Fable From a Cage" (By TIM PRATT!),
and PC198: "Urchins, While Swimming"
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: DKT on August 22, 2012, 02:43:41 PM
(Hopefully, it's cool for me to comment in here? NOT trying to threadkill!)

Fenrix, have I mentioned lately that I love you?

And Umbrageofsnow, yeah, Fable from a Cage is a great call. Pratt's done some pretty wicked stuff, actually. Quite a bit of his work has a dark edge to it - "Cup and Table" (PC20) and even "Bottom Feeding" (PC55) come to mind (from PC - there's other stuff that's been run at PP that obviously fits the bill, too).

Another one that people really seemed to love/hate and accuse of Pseudopodiness was PC206: Another Word for Map is Faith, by Christopher Rowe

I'm also partial for PC164: A Hunter's Ode to His Bait, by Carrie Vaughn which I still think is a beautifully fucked up story (despite the unicorns!), even if I may have oversold that in the episode's intro.

OH! One more - PC126: Creature, by Ramsey Shehadeh (and read by Norm Sherman). We ran that one around our first Halloween month.

We do, apparently, like our fantasy like we like our chocolate: Dark. And occasionally, with red stuff in it.
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Fenrix on August 23, 2012, 02:20:22 AM
Dave, I live to serve.

I forgot about "Urchins, While Swimming". That probably should have bumped something off that list.

I appreciate the remainder of those stories, as that bumps up stuff in my queue that's been waiting from the back catalog (been consuming massive audio books recently). I've not listened to the rest of those, so thanks for the assist!

And please do quibble about "Cranberry Honey". I would put this up as a fantastic dark mood piece against just about anything from Lovecraft's Dream Cycle. Maybe some of the weird moodiness of Clark Ashton Smith. I've loved that story since it appeared in the second flash contest.
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Fenrix on August 28, 2012, 01:33:01 PM
Cleaning up my files, I ran across another version of my notes for this list. Others worth checking out:

PC110: The Alchemist's Feather
PC127: The Belated Burial
PCm41: East of Chula Vista
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Anarkey on August 28, 2012, 02:31:10 PM
In my opinion PC 26 "Black Ribbon", PC31 "Colin and Ishmael in the Dark",  PC62 "The Fiddler of Bayou Teche", PC 112 "The Somnambulist" fit the bill as horror, though the latter two do have upbeat endings so maybe that disqualifies them.  If you need the story to end poorly to make it horror, you could try PC 149 "Honing Sebastian" which is a great big serving of bleak.

Although I'd probably recommend against trying Giants as a first hearing of PodCastle's offerings, PC107 "The Behold of the Eye" was labeled horror by a number of our listeners (and it's really well done), and for a slow, creepy, evocative mood piece PC 146 "The Surgeon's Tale" can't be beat.  

Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Fenrix on September 03, 2012, 12:21:43 AM
Let's go ahead and put Tim Pratt's Secret Beach ( on this thread. I will bundle it with a less relevant to this thread but completely Pratt relevant pointer to Jubilee ( on the Drabblecast.
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Fenrix on January 25, 2013, 08:43:42 PM
PC229: The Tonsor's Son (
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Fenrix on December 10, 2014, 07:54:05 PM
PC051: In Ashes

Kinda surprised this one has yet to be mentioned in the thread. Deeply dark from beginning to end. Good use of the faithful chestnut of a monstrous child hidden away in the attic.
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Tim Tylor on November 01, 2015, 06:11:36 AM
There's some pretty heavy genre overlap to be sure.
PC 433: Underbridge. ( A university lecturer getting far too intimate with a certain Portland public artwork.
PC225 (giant episode): The Cage. ( Very definite horror. Life and death in a city subjected to a quietly nightmarish invasion.
PC125: The Whistling Room ( and PC179: The Gateway of the Monster. ( Two of W H Hodgson's classic Carnacki the Ghost-Finder stories. I love the Carnacki tales for sitting in an intriguing twilight zone between traditional ghost stories and Lovecraftian cosmic horror. The apparitions in these two stories have something uncannily dreamlike, familiar shapes turned huge and monstrous.
PC285: Dragonslayer. ( Maybe not quite horror, but a nice example of a story that seems a quixotic comedy but has a nasty second shoe waiting its cue to drop.

Really, you can find a lot of suitable stuff just by entering "dark fantasy" in the PC search box, or checking the late October entries. ;)
Title: Re: PodCastle stories for PseudoPod listeners
Post by: Tim Tylor on April 13, 2016, 03:23:28 AM
The latest story's a definite candidate
PC411: Hands of Burnished Bronze ( A tale of magic, cruelty, consequences and guilt.