Awash in Stories: PSbM 7
Escape Pod: Man, most of these stories did not catch my fancy. I didn’t hate any of them, but really only one caught my fancy. There was a poem that was pretty fun “Making Monsters” which seeks to explain why things like clowns and dolls are scary now and where all the monsters have gone, but I didn’t want to give the standout to a poem as much as I like it. Besides, there was one good story!
Standout Story: “Your Corporate Network and the Forces of Darkness” is written like a news report or magazine article about corporations using things like necromancy, cybermancy, and other eldritch things for networking. There’s a shoutout to Miskatonic University and it’s all rather calm for something that is infusing workplaces with perils to body and soul. The ending sort of peters out but it made me giggle and the various situations were fun to hear about.
Pseudopod: This was a rare Pseudopod month with 5 stories! This month also had the show’s first vampire story - shame it wasn’t that engaging. J C Hutchins is back as a reader, but the story was not as good as his previous appearance. Another fun thing is the story “Lorna” which is by Alasdair Stuart. It’s fun because, as someone who has listened to future episodes, I know he’ll be the host someday and a reader too. I love his voice. Almost my favorite of the month “Seller’s Market” involves sacrifice, mistrust, and the housing market. It had a really solid reading that captured the rage the narrator was feeling. But…
Standout Story: ”Light Like Knives Dragged Across the Skin” which was a surreal take on card games like Magic The Gathering, but where you actually change with what cards you’re using. Personalities and actual physical forms shift as do the mental states and relationships between the players. There’s a murder that’s going to happen, the question is just who and why. It’s weird, intriguing.
Podcastle: There are some cute stories in here, and gross ones (since it’s October). There’s a really solid reading of “The Cask of Amontillado” for Halloween proper. There’s a retelling of Medusa’s end and a prisoner in the dark getting revenge. Also this month is the first story that this run has had me listen to that is read by the above mentioned Alasdair Stuart “All Flee the Vocab Quiz.” I’d give it a prize for the best title of the month if I gave out prizes for that.
Standout Story: "Scar Stories" which is a short piece about a party where people begin to tell stories about scars. Not all scars are physical and it’s not just the human guests who tell their stories - when a punchbowl claims no scars at all the situation is remedied by the party goers. The ending is a mixture of horror and joy as people work on making new scar stories and the dead show up for drinks.