Author Topic: PseudoPod 537: A World of Bones  (Read 3666 times)


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on: April 08, 2017, 04:22:27 PM
PseudoPod 537: A World of Bones

by Brian Trent.

“A World of Bones” is a Pseudopod original. “It seems to me that so many ghost stories are minor variations on the same theme. With ‘A World of Bones,’ I wanted to try something different.”

BRIAN TRENT‘s science-fiction and dark fantasy has appeared in Escape Pod, ANALOG, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Nature, COSMOS, Daily Science Fiction, Galaxy’s Edge, and much more. He blogs at His new dark fantasy series, “Rahotep,” is available for Kindle.

This week’s reader – Setsu Uzume – spent their formative years in and out of dojos. They also trained in a monastery in rural China, studying Daoism and swordplay. They are a member of Codex and SFWA, and the assistant editor at PodCastle. While they have dabbled in many arts, only writing and martial arts seem to have stuck. Find Setsu on Twitter @KatanaPen.

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

“She awoke in the blackness thinking she was still alive, fumbling for the lipstick she’d never found. Angela Chen jerked to her feet, confused at discovering herself in this place of shadows. She had been dreaming—if dreaming was the word now—of the wet corpses along Quinyun Road. Pawing at their pockets, feeling guilty as she did. Seeking only a little tube of lipstick on that rainy night as Shanghai fell.”

Listen to this week's Pseudopod.

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


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Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 10:29:12 PM
I haven't listened in a while, and this was this first story I came back to.  I liked the story, of course, but I made an account here in order to praise the (I assume) nonbinary narrator.  I LOVE finding others like me out in the world, and especially in the places I like to hang out.  So, thanks. <3

(they/them pronouns, please)


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Reply #2 on: April 24, 2017, 07:46:46 PM
Reminded me of the terrifying afterlife in Steven King's "Revival". As an atheist this legitimately terrifies
Me. I'm happy the girl got the better of him, even though she became a monster herself. I also love stories that span history into a post-human future.

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


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Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 01:13:27 PM
I think the point of the story is that it did not matter who survived or bested another, in the end they become the same thing, monsters.  It makes one wonder if being eaten was the better thing to have done.  In Buddhism, the idea is that life is an endless cycle that can be broken out of to reach Nirvana, becoming one with the universe.  The act of not dying continues the life only for the sake of being alive.  The horror is how pointless it is to live when you don't have any real reason, you just kill and eat and continue another endless cycle until you are eaten or lose yourself in the process.


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Reply #4 on: May 05, 2017, 04:47:04 PM
In an uncaring afterlife, with no hope of rebirth or redemption, where everyone is wasting away or being eaten, is morality still relevant? She chooses to continue existing. In the absence of any "good" choices, does this make her a monster?