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Author Topic: Pseudopod 433: 20 Simple Steps To Ventriloquism  (Read 33962 times)

Jon Padgett

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Reply #25 on: April 23, 2015, 03:15:56 PM
Just wanted to share this with PSEUDOPOD and the listeners who enjoyed my story:

The Secret of Ventriloquism by Jon Padgett.
Coming in 2016 from Dunhams Manor Press. 300 copies (200 hardback / 100 paperback). Cover and interior art by Dave Felton.
Introduction by Thomas Ligotti.

I don't have much to add to this.

Literary legend Thomas Ligotti will indeed be writing the Introduction to my first short story collection.

To say that I'm honored and thrilled would be an understatement. I'm also more than a little intimidated, but I'll do my very best not to disappoint Ligotti or the book's readers.

Thanks again for your kind and insightful responses.



Unblinking

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Reply #26 on: April 23, 2015, 09:15:29 PM
Just wanted to share this with PSEUDOPOD and the listeners who enjoyed my story:

The Secret of Ventriloquism by Jon Padgett.
Coming in 2016 from Dunhams Manor Press. 300 copies (200 hardback / 100 paperback). Cover and interior art by Dave Felton.
Introduction by Thomas Ligotti.

I don't have much to add to this.

Literary legend Thomas Ligotti will indeed be writing the Introduction to my first short story collection.

To say that I'm honored and thrilled would be an understatement. I'm also more than a little intimidated, but I'll do my very best not to disappoint Ligotti or the book's readers.

Thanks again for your kind and insightful responses.

Wow!  Congrats!  No pressure, right?  :)



kibitzer

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Reply #27 on: April 23, 2015, 11:03:06 PM
Gratz Jon, that's pretty damn awesome!!


The Snee

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Reply #28 on: May 01, 2015, 10:30:33 AM
Hello, I'm de-lurking on this one too.

I just listened to this in the car this morning. Absolutely chilling in the best possible way. The bait-and-switch on the type of horror we are seeing here was great, and the gradual escalation of weirdness crossed lines again and again, all the while assuring me it was normal. So many things had layered at the end that I was not sure which part was the worst; the body horror, the raw nihilism, the "there all along" factor, or the fact that all these things are presented as desirable. Excellent work.

Between this, The Blistering, and The Screwfly Solution, I am easily convinced to throw in and support the podcast. It's been darkening up my commutes for a while now.



kibitzer

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Reply #29 on: May 03, 2015, 10:52:05 PM
Nice to have you aboard, Snee! Thanks for stopping by.


shanehalbach

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Reply #30 on: May 06, 2015, 01:47:20 AM
Absolutely knocked this one out of the park. Lately, each episode has been better than the previous. Jon's story was fantastic, but absolutely enhanced by his calm, even, "Mr. Rogers" narration. One of my favorite episodes in a long, long time.

Quote
seems like I'm disliking more stories than usual lately

It seems Unblinking has gone crazy...

Quote
I don't actually think there's an evil version of myself living in a mirror and biding its time until I open the gateway and it can swap with me and then do horrible things while wearing my face.

...oh, well I guess he cleared that up. Not crazy after all!  :P


Unblinking

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Reply #31 on: May 06, 2015, 01:58:39 PM
Quote
I don't actually think there's an evil version of myself living in a mirror and biding its time until I open the gateway and it can swap with me and then do horrible things while wearing my face.

...oh, well I guess he cleared that up. Not crazy after all!  :P

I'm so glad I could put your mind at ease, Shane!  I think that if we would all start every conversation with a statement of "I am not insane" that would help us all get along better.  Then no one has to wonder.



shanehalbach

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Reply #32 on: May 06, 2015, 02:05:39 PM
One should start every conversation with the statement, "I don't actually think there's an evil version of myself living in a mirror and biding its time until I open the gateway and it can swap with me and then do horrible things while wearing my face."

Then, no one has to wonder.


Fenrix

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Reply #33 on: May 06, 2015, 03:27:29 PM
Do you read Sutter Cane?

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


Unblinking

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Reply #34 on: May 06, 2015, 05:21:09 PM
One should start every conversation with the statement, "I don't actually think there's an evil version of myself living in a mirror and biding its time until I open the gateway and it can swap with me and then do horrible things while wearing my face."

Then, no one has to wonder.

I'm game.  I'm assuming that this should come even before "Hello"?  Otherwise, as we're each saying "Hello" for that interminable half-second I'm only going to be anticipating what the other person will say next and tensing myself to run if they don't say what is naturally expected of any sane individual.



Unblinking

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Reply #35 on: May 06, 2015, 05:27:03 PM
Do you read Sutter Cane?

I do not, but sometimes I wonder if my mirror-double does.  

Sometimes I wake up in strange places with one of his books in my hand.

There is a character in a Sutter Cane novel with my exact name and description.

I've never heard of him.



Metalsludge

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Reply #36 on: May 11, 2015, 11:30:44 PM
Nice to hear a story that finally has clear and faith affirming statements about the existence of a higher power and how it affects all our lives.  :D

Seriously though, it's an impressive thing to pull off horror that feels new in dealing with the familiar theme of ventriloquism. I was annoyed at the static sound at first, until I realized it indicated an old recording of instructions, and then it all fit together wonderfully. As others have noted, the mirror sequences were quite creepy.

Coincidentally, just recently finished reading an article about how exercises while observing one's self in a mirror have been very helpful to people with certain neurological problems, as it's a way to perceive the connections between the brain and the working of one's limbs such that that very perception can straighten out confused nerve impulses. I won't be looking at any mirrors while in the dark for a while though after hearing this story.   




CogShoggoth

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Reply #37 on: May 27, 2015, 10:23:33 PM
I hate the fact that I understand just enough to see the strings. Clamping down the reactive behaviors drives just me, mad as hell, yet going with the pull that is ever so delayed gives me perverse pleasure. Yank the string from the subconscious. Better to gain the respect of the collective unconscious puppeteer than its apathy.



Moritz

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Reply #38 on: September 13, 2015, 01:08:39 PM
I am still catching up with some Pseodopod stories... this one was sooo creepy, I had to stop twice. I was so afraid of some subliminal messages/ dummy laughing/ screams in that static sound (especially because it's kind of foreshadowed) that I listened to the last half with only one headphone and the sound turned down. It didn't help that I listened to most of the story while hanging up the clothes in that scary attic of ours that is connected via an unlocked door to the neighbouring, empty (or is it?) house.



South of No North

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Reply #39 on: September 17, 2015, 04:09:02 AM
I'm not insane.
I know the man in the mirror isn't waiting to come thru to take over and do things wearing my face, because I beat him (Just not sure which side of the mirror I landed on)

I've been a lurker for a while. Thuroughly enjoying the stories and Alasdair's intro/outros but not having an account. I got an account so I could enter the Flash contest and this has allowed me to now acknowledge the great work all around that is done here.
This story was nicely creepy, a crawling threat that is larger than anything one can comprehend and will probably destroy you even if you become a part of it

I did like how the early steps had example sentences that were just a little off, but not anything too loud about it. "Melting the wino"(not exactly right) I caught it and thought of" the tephen King story where a character thought he saw the cop car decal read "To pummel and sever." Instead of protect and serve, but Nah, prolly meant nothing.
Just well written disturbing fun, well read.






I did like how the early steps had example sentences that were just a little off, but not anything too loud about it. "Melting the wino"(not exactly right) I caught it and thought of" the Stephen King story where a character thought he noticed the cop car decal read

"Yes, of course I can blame you. Without them, where would all of us outlaws be? What would we have? Only a lawless paradise...and paradise is a bore. Violence without violation is only noise heard by no one, the most horrendous sound in the universe." --The Chymist by Thomas Ligotti


Ryan H

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Reply #40 on: September 24, 2015, 05:12:58 PM
Not much to add except my mind has returned time and again to the repeated phrasing in this story, and the way that it's used innocuously (or even nonsensically) at first only to become horrific later, i.e.: the rummy dummy, the sound of a plane. Excellent.

Congrats on the book (and the Thomas Ligotti intro!!!!), I'll be picking up a copy.



ciristhan

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Reply #41 on: October 15, 2015, 10:56:54 PM
This is the most unsettling story I have had the privilege of listening to in a very, very long time. Eagerly awaiting Jon Padgett's book!



katcopter

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Reply #42 on: November 07, 2015, 05:01:55 AM
Congratulations Jon!

And this story was the reason I created my forum account. I've commented elsewhere first, but I noticed that the author/reader commented here before I did, and I became intimidated (Eep!)

However, it would be a shame if I didn't say  how much I absolutely LOVE this podcast. This has got to be my favorite Pseudopod ep of 2015, very possibly of all time, and I've listened to all of them, even the late and great Eugie Foster's. I love her work, but what the author/reader has created here is a bonafied miracle of story+narration synergy. The story is FANTASTIC, very slowly edging into creepy and finally bursting into it full-force, and it's made even more terrifying by the masterful narration. I can't say enough good things about this story. I have listened to it, by my ipod's count, 53 times so far. When I can't sleep, I listen to this podcast. That means I'm usually awake for another 40  minutes, but after it's over, I sleep like the dead. The story is perfect, and I can easily believe that the author has taken so  many years to get it to this point. I wouldn't change a single word. Or a single nuance of the reading. Beautifully done in every aspect.

I want the author to know that I am incomparably moved. I've read King since I was 10, Straub since I was 12, everyone else starting at 14, and never have I found a piece that resonates so strongly with me. This is amazing work, and it deserves every piece of good reviews that it's gotten from any source. I really hope you're proud of it, because you deserve to be :)

/gushing
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 07:17:58 AM by katcopter »



Jon Padgett

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Reply #43 on: September 08, 2016, 05:46:01 PM
I wanted to keep you all in the loop about my short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, which at long last will be released next month.  "20 Simple Steps" is, of course, included and acts sort of as the hub that the rest of the pieces revolve around.

The cover art by Dave Felton was just completed (with typesetting and layout by Anna Trueman):



Lastly, I wanted to thank Pseudopod and you listeners for your encouragement, kind words and constructive feedback since Episode 433 was released.  The collection very well may not have happened without you.



kibitzer

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Reply #44 on: September 08, 2016, 10:37:34 PM
The cover art is fabulous!


dagny

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Reply #45 on: September 09, 2016, 11:08:31 AM
I wanted to keep you all in the loop about my short story collection, The Secret of Ventriloquism, which at long last will be released next month.  "20 Simple Steps" is, of course, included and acts sort of as the hub that the rest of the pieces revolve around.

The cover art by Dave Felton was just completed (with typesetting and layout by Anna Trueman):



Lastly, I wanted to thank Pseudopod and you listeners for your encouragement, kind words and constructive feedback since Episode 433 was released.  The collection very well may not have happened without you.

Yay!

The cover art is fabulous!

If by "fabulous" you mean "will haunt me in my sleep," I feel the same way! :)
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 11:06:27 AM by dagny »

"Wolfman's got nards!"


Jon Padgett

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Reply #46 on: September 19, 2016, 07:52:54 PM
"Padgett... proves with his stunning  debut collection [to be] a worthy successor to the master [Thomas  Ligotti]. There's no gristle, no bone, no dilly-dallying here: only pure  meat whose terrors seamlessly grow into the metaphysical... this volume  is jam-packed with the stuff that nightmares are made of."
- Dejan  Ognjanovic, Rue Morgue Magazine

"...a voice that lodges in the reader’s mind with colossal force and intensity, marking... this book as unforgettable."
 - Matt Cardin, from the Introduction

"The Secret of Ventriloquism is horror with a capital H. Some of  Padgett's lines raised the hair on my neck."  
-Laird Barron, author of  Swift to Chase

Limited Edition Hardcover
150 copies
Cover and interior art by Dave Felton

With themes reminiscent of Shirley Jackson, Thomas Ligotti, and Bruno  Shulz, but with a strikingly unique vision, Jon Padgett's The Secret of  Ventriloquism heralds the arrival of a significant new literary talent.  Padgett’s work explores the mystery of human suffering, the agony of  personal existence, and the ghastly means by which someone might achieve  salvation from both. A bullied child who seeks vengeance within a bed’s  hollow box spring; a lucid dreamer haunted by an impossible house; a  dummy that reveals its own anatomy in 20 simple steps; a stuttering  librarian who holds the key to a mill town's unspeakable secrets; a  commuter whose worldview is shattered by two words printed on a  cardboard sign; an aspiring ventriloquist who spends a little too much  time looking at himself in a mirror.  And the presence that speaks  through them all.

Contents:
Introduction by Matt Cardin
The Mindfulness of Horror Practice
Murmurs of a Voice Foreknown
The Indoor Swamp
Origami Dreams
20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism
Infusorium
Organ Void
The Secret of Ventriloquism

Ships in October.

Click here to Pre-Order.

Only 67 of 150 copies are available as of this post.

Thanks, everyone!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 10:08:54 PM by kibitzer »



dagny

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Reply #47 on: September 19, 2016, 10:51:09 PM
This is still the only Pseudopod story my husband, an avid horror fan (and not in any way a scaredy-cat), has ever told me to turn off because it was scaring him too badly. :)

"Wolfman's got nards!"


Bdoomed

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Reply #48 on: September 20, 2016, 03:55:20 AM
totally pre-ordered :)

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


davidthygod

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Reply #49 on: September 20, 2016, 03:43:10 PM
I am really happy to see this story still drawing interest.  I judge stories in a large way by how they stick with you after reading, and I still remember this one vividly months later.  Great storytelling, great narration, weird and unsettling premise.  This is good horror.

The man is clear in his mind, but his soul is mad.