Pseudopod: Year 10–Support this Lil Engine that Can and Does

In celebration of their 10th anniversary Pseudopod—a consistently solid horror fiction podcast—is running a kickstarter:

Pseudopod has an excellent track record—both in terms of delivering the goods and doing right by their contributors—and impressive longevity (10 years of weekly operation publishing fiction for free is hard going; I know from experience).  Their goal is to raise funds to increase what they pay artists and ensure their longevity.  These are Good Things™

Kick in a few bucks; the 21st Century is nuts, and perhaps the nutsiest thing is the jaw-dropping array of free arts & letters we each enjoy every day—but it can only be free on the daily if we all kick in now and again.  This is one of those moments.

Add bonus
: there are some really nifty backer premiums, including this rad-as-hell mug and their first ever anthology, For Mortal Things Unsung—which features both reprints of pieces they

Pseudopod Horror in Clay limited-edition tiki mug
a mug of unspeakable horror

bought for the podcast (including mine), as well as new work A.C. Wise, Jim Bihyeh, and others.

Free Fiction Friday: Halloween Edition

For your seasonally appropriate reading:


I Want to Thank Donald J. Trump… [UPDATED]

… for being a good role model to boys—or, more precisely, an excellent cautionary tale.

art by DonkeyHotey
(art by DonkeyHotey)

I watched most of the debate with my 10-year-old son last night (he bugged out ~20 minutes from the end because “it’s getting boring and just repeating itself.”)  Overall, he was baffled and appalled, and more than a little embarrassed.

I think we all saw the embarrassment coming (including the good folks who advised not letting children watch): Talk of the #TrumpTape had my kid covering his head with a blanket (in part this owes to the boy being a tad non-neurotypical; the concept that someone might purposefully touch someone who didn’t want to be touched is sort of existentially dreadful to him).

As for the bafflement, my kid just couldn’t get his head around anyone wanting anything to do with Trump, based on what he was seeing on the screen, let alone thinking the man would make a good president.

And the idea that he might ever be considered to anything like that man?  That appalled him.  In his own words, Trump was “not responsible, reliable, or trustworthy.”

So, if nothing else, we’ve at least got a new and effective bogeyman, a debased, debasing bad-touching Struwwelpeter of the soul:

“Dammit, kid: Wash your hands, do your chores, then help the lady next door by shoveling her walk—or else you’ll turn out like Donald J. Trump!”

UPDATE Oct 11, 2016: Another debate nugget that just came to mind: When the issue of Trumps “ban on all Muslims entering the country” was raised, my kid shot up, aghast, and shouted “But that violates core democratic values!”  (He has a class at school called “Core Democratic Values”—which is basically, content wise, the class we called “Civics,” but that clunky phrase, latched to his very real and visceral distress, really cracked me up, so I thought I’d share.)

“That’s Democracy!” (a short film about you and me, America)

I don’t know what to think of this. It starts out feeling pretty cheap and emotionally manipulative, but I think it’s ultimately a sort of spot-on indictment of how we all—as Americans, left, right, and center—deeply buy into the Murder Business. 

Continue reading ““That’s Democracy!” (a short film about you and me, America)”

Even George W. Bush Had His Moments

Imma level with you: That dude was not a PotUS I dug in the least—I spent almost his entire two terms on a travel watch list, bought a house that lost much of its value in the economy he destroyed, watched civilizations crumble and collapse in response to his foreign adventures—but I was still moved to tears of gratitude one night, driving home from the grocery and listening to NPR, when I heard him stand up for American Muslims following 9/11.  He was not a good President, and I have every reason to believe he is not a particularly good person, but he still had his moments.

‘course, by contrast to where we’re at now, GWB was a fucking statesman nonpareil:


… and on and on and on.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been on the right side of every issue since November of 1999—if you’ve voted right and protested right and written the right letters to the right reps and given the right donations to the right charities to do the right things for the right people.  

This, here, today is still the country that we have all made, together, for better or worse.  Like it or not, GWB was my president, and Obama is my president, and whoever—or whatever comes next—will be my president, too.  God have mercy on my soul.

Free Fiction Friday: “Do Me a Little Favor?” (an interactive fiction)

Hey All:

Been getting some interesting feedback on some of the new, totally unmarketable stuff I’ve been sharing with my e-mail list (basically monthly-ish emails; join here), so I thought I’d share another:

Enjoy! If you happen dig it, please do pass the link around.  As ever, if you’ve got something to say, I’m interested in hearing it.