Recommended Read/Listen: “20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism” by Jon Padgett

PseudoPod 433: “20 Simple Steps to Ventriloquism”

I absolutely guarantee the last couple twists are ones you ain’t gonna see coming, dummy. 

[photo credit: “Photo booth portrait of two clowns and a ventriloquist dummy” by oakenroad is licensed under CC BY 2.0. ]

Shameless Self-Promotion: Award Eligibility 2022🚀🦑🏆

I have exactly one story published this year eligible for Nebulas, Stokers, and so on:

This Place Is Best Shunnedon Tor.com

It’s a free read for all; if you should wanna nominate it for anything, it runs ~10,000 words, and thus falls into either the “novelette” or “long fiction” categories. Enjoy!

Halloween Treats from Dave-o!!! 🍂🍁🎃👻🕯🤡🔪🥩💀

A handful of seasonally-appropriate tales:

RECOMMENDED READING/LISTENING: “Balloon Season” by Thomas Ha @PseudoPod_org

This is a “frog boil” story, and may in fact be the perfect frog boil story.  If you’re woke-ish, then it is pretty clearly a climate change story. But if you’re on the political right, it may actually seem to much more obviously be an immigration story. It could be a cautionary tale about the dangers of group think (although its up to the reader to determine of its more about anti-mask group think, QAnon group think, CRT group think) or privilege or income disparity. 

However you read it, the message is the same: It’s a warning against repeating the same old prayer that humans have repeated prior to disaster for Millenia:

I guess it’s happening, but let it happen in some other neighborhood in some other town far away, above someone else’s roof and out of my sight.

Anywhere but here. 

Anywhere else.

Also, absolutely terrific monster-of-the-week. So worth your ears and eyes: PseudoPod 819: “Balloon Season” by by Thomas Ha

RECOMMENDED VIEWING: Spiral 🌀

Holy moly is this good. I generally like horror because it deals honestly with trauma and how we cope (or fail to cope) with it. This is a occult/folk horror film that really grabs ahold of not just trauma, but intergenerational trauma—and also intergenerational mutual aid and support. 

Spiral is available on Shudder, the only streaming service worth every penny (at under $6/month).

“This Place is Best Shunned” 😱⛪️🦑

My latest dark tale, “This Place is Best Shunned,” is free to read on Tor.com RIGHT NOW!!!

Allie and Rooster are heading down to Asheville for Rooster’s new gig, a cushy stint as artist-in-residence at UNC. Rooster is more of a con artist than maker of art, but Allie doesn’t mind, because he’s good-looking, charming, and values what she is: a girl with a keen eye for abandoned places and a knack for getting into them. But when they stumble upon an old backcountry church—the perfect backdrop for Rooster’s latest project—they discover that some “abandoned” places have a knack for keeping themselves occupied.

(Amazing cover art is by David Palumbo!!!)

Flashback Friday: Halloween Edition 🎃🦇🔪

A seasonally appropriate list of creepyscarry links:

"Don't Make Me Go Back, Mommy: A Child's Book about Satanic Ritual Abuse" ritual
I’m not making this book up, and it wasn’t a joke. I cannot stress this enough. It was a real children’s book real people bought without irony, intending to use it to help them teach their children about the realities of Satanic Ritual Abuse.