The Best of Pseudopod 2016

written by David Steffen

Pseudopod, the weekly horror podcast edited by Shawn Garrett and Alex Hofelich, has now been running for more than ten years, an incredible feat for a podcast, which often fade away after a year or two. 2016 marked some major moments in the podcast’s history–they increased their pay rate for flash stories, which I believe should have started their one-year timer for eligibility to become a SFWA-qualifying market, they ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the paying of narrators for the podcast, and also launched an anthology (which includes, among many others, my flash fiction horror story “What Makes You Tick”).

In February Pseudopod once again participated in the Artemis Rising theme across the Escape Artists podcasts, publishing horror stories by women (including some originals picked out from a special slushpile just for this purpose).

Pseudopod publishes episodes weekly, with occasional Flash on the Borderlands episodes that collect 3 similar-themed flash stories for a single episode, for a total of 63 stories published in 2016.

Stories that are eligible for this year’s Hugo and Nebula Awards are marked with an asterisk (*).

The List

1. “Like Dolls” by J. Lily Corbie*
When the story begins, the protagonist is already dead, and pretty much content to be so.  But her betrothed digs her up, disturbing her restful state, dragging her back to the land of the living.

2. “The Christmas Spirits, a Tale of the White Street Society” by Grady Hendrix
One of a series of stories in a series about the White Street Society.  The series is hard to describe without reading it, speculative stories based around a sort of “old boys club” in New England, sort of comedies based around how horrible the worldview of the members of this society are.

3. “Night Games” by Aeryn Rudel
I don’t really like baseball.  I’m kindof tired of vampires. But somehow, to my great surprise, this vampire baseball story totally works for me.

4. “The Fisher Queen” by Alyssa Wong
This is the story of Lily, who works on her father’s fishing boat whose primary catch is mermaids.  Mermaids are prized as an exotic catch, and one day in the hold, one of the mermaids talks to her.

5. “Cold Spots” by Lena Coakley*
A love story between someone who is still alive, trying to recapture the memory or the ghost of their dead love.

6. “Falling Under, Through the Dark” by Damien Angelica Walters
A story of living through the deepest of grief after the most tragic of loss.

Honorable Mentions

“Mr. Hill’s Death” by S.L. Gilbow

“The Show” by Priya Sharma

“The Masters” by Theodore Cogswell













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