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 on: Yesterday at 01:48:31 PM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by Bdoomed
PseudoPod 544: Under the Rubble

by John Wiswell.

“Under the Rubble” is a Pseudopod Original. “This story is dedicated to Takeo Murata, Ishiro Honda, and Rod Serling.”

JOHN WISWELL is a writer who lives where New York keeps all its trees. His stories have appeared at Podcastle, Fireside Fiction, and Flash Fiction Online. He is chronically ill, and was inspired to write this story during a period of being bedridden alone. He believes that Horror always keeps you company. He can be found on Twitter at @WISWELL and on his blog,

The horror of an earthquake is something you’d never wish on anyone. In 2015, in the span of three weeks, two severe earthquakes struck the nation of Nepal. The damage was so great that much still hasn’t been rebuilt. If you’re moved by this story, please consider a donation to relief efforts. More can be found at

This week’s reader – Marguerite Kenner is a native Californian who has forsaken sunny paradise to be with her true love and live in Merrye Olde England. She frequently wears so many hats that she needs two heads. When she’s not grappling with legal conundrums as a trainee solicitor or editing Cast of Wonders, she can be found narrating audio fiction, studying popular culture (i.e. going to movies and playing video games) with her partner Alasdair Stuart, or curling up with a really good book. You can follow her at her personal blog, Project Valkyrie, or on Twitter via @LegalValkyrie.

Shawn Garrett composed the soundbed for this episode, which he dedicates to master Godzilla composer Akira Ifukube and the german industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. A list of links to sounds used from appears at the bottom of this post.

Go check out A River of Teeth by Sarah Gailey and Greedy Pigs by Matt fn Wallace.

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

The world trembled until Samantha opened her eyes. She groaned, then coughed and spat dust. Every hitch of her chest made breathing harder, and there was something on top of her, crushing her left breast. She looked at it, but the air was too dark to see anything, so she tried pushing it away and found her arms could barely move. It felt like a metal bar pinning across her chest and biceps, digging into her skin, so she braced her elbows against the floor and heaved. The bar budged just an inch, but the inch was all it took for her to take the deepest breath of her life.

Soundbed Sources

Ambulance Siren
FIRE ENGINE long approach and drive away
Metal Sounds » Door_Metal_Groans_Ext.wav
Towson EMF 366»creakingmetalchair.wav
Heatpress squeaking and creaking.wav
Drones » Metal Creaks_Groans.wav
remix of 108732__klankbeeld__creaking_metal_spokes_of_the_bicycle_wheel_06.flac
furnace creaks.wav
Creaking attic door. » Attic door creaking 2
Ambiance and Background » Creaking Metal Soundscape 2
Cracking Earthquake (cracking soil, cracking stone)
Disaster » Earthquake_Interior_MetalRattling_2.wav
Large Earthquake
Earthquake » Quake1.wav
Rumble Bass 2.wav
Rumble Bass.wav
TEC Machine/Complex Sounds » Low Rumble.wav
Cinematic Deep Bass Rumble
Staircase metal rumble.wav
Monster Pack » Monster Low Rumble 1.wav
Rumble » Rumble · fade in 10s

Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

 on: Yesterday at 01:22:03 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by h4tt3n

Cheers everybody, first time poster here!

Realizing that I'm a bit past fashionably late for the party, I still would like to give the chef a heartfelt compliment for the excellent course. I just loved the batshit insane, absurd humour served in this story. Being a long-time listener, this kind of story is exactly what I would like to hear more often. The scene where Griselda explains how she *hiccup* mixed a perfect Bordeaux from brown sugar, nail polish remover, and anti-freeze among other things had me laughing out loud. Also, I fount the narration just right for the story, and you could tell that a lot more work was put into it than the average narration - this was closer to a radio play. I would like to encourage the author to write more in this style!

Cheers, Mike

 on: Yesterday at 10:48:33 AM 
Started by danooli - Last post by Kaa
Incidentally, I ended up having to listen to it on the website because no matter what I did, the file I downloaded always had those glitches. Again, it must be something on MY end since no one else is complaining, but it's very odd. Loved the story. Smiley

 on: Yesterday at 09:54:42 AM 
Started by Ocicat - Last post by danooli
Was this too creepy for PodCastle listeners?

 on: Yesterday at 06:29:17 AM 
Started by danooli - Last post by statisticus
Is the narrator just mispronouncing "mausoleum" or is that actually a totally different word?

Oops.  This is what comes of reading aloud a word that doesn't get used much in everyday conversation. 

Sorry guys.

 on: Yesterday at 06:26:11 AM 
Started by danooli - Last post by statisticus
Very much enjoyed this story.  The set up with a man setting out to fulfil prophecies that don't *quite* mean the things that everyone thinks they mean, and the way that the protagonist then has to come to terms with a result so very, very different to what he had expected was masterfully done.

I have two gripes, however.  First, the audio.  Alasdair does his usual masterful job of narrating the story, right up until the very end where he drops the volume and whispers the last critical word.  I had to rewind and pump the volume up to try and hear what he said, and when that failed I had to look up the text of the story online before I got it.  Which leads to the second gripe.  Chastity does not mean not having sex at all, it means not having extramarital sex, so that the Chosen One being a Bastion of Chastity in no way rules out her (or him) from marrying and having a regular family life.  The word the author meant to use, I think, was "celibacy".

That said, my gripes are minor and easily overlooked beside the humour and cleverness of the story as a whole.

 on: May 26, 2017, 08:19:02 PM 
Started by Ocicat - Last post by Ocicat
PodCastle Miniature 98: Traveling Mercies

by Rachael K Jones
read by Khaalidah Muhammed-Ali
First published in Strange Horizons.

Rated PG.

In the old stories, strangers at the door could be disguised gods, so you had to invite them in. It was a sin to turn away a guest.

Atithi devo bhava. Sanskrit: the guest is God.

I am not God, though I am old.

Click here to read more

Rachael K. Jones is a science fiction and fantasy writer living in Athens, Georgia. Her work has appeared in dozens of venues, including Lightspeed, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Shimmer. She is a SFWA member, an editor, and a secret android. Follow her on Twitter @RachaelKJones.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!

 on: May 26, 2017, 02:33:45 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by Jethro's belt
It could have happened.
A fine tale is was, and I especially liked the book-ends of ambiguity; both the deed's provenance and the results of the game of chance even though we all know who won the moon.

 on: May 25, 2017, 03:26:17 PM 
Started by eytanz - Last post by acpracht
Superb story. Living a parallel time at the same time and being happy even though you are stuck in the saddest one.
The reading was sublime, perfect voice for the story.
A bit vague on why the alien( ?)craft is there though.
I believe the alien craft arrived from the planet MacGuffin...

 on: May 25, 2017, 07:49:35 AM 
Started by Bdoomed - Last post by Scuba Man
I knew something was different about the infant. I was pleased that the mom was happy to look after the child.  This story was DEFINITELY a product of the times (underground nuclear testing sites; the eventual hot-war that lead from 1945).  Horrific? Not for me. Just sad.

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