I listen to a lot of podcasts. I would say that, next to the Internet itself, the podcast has the greatest effect of all the new media on my everyday life. Sorry, smart phone. The podcast has revived the traditional radio in a very big way and given it riches that the radio pioneers could scarcely have dreamed of. I listen to podcasts on food, jazz, comedy, politics, and, dare I mention it, horror.
My second favorite horror podcast shut down recently. That was Rue Morgue Radio. I used to listen to it every Saturday morning as I cleaned the kitchen. Rue Morgue still produces a podcast, but it is a sad reflection of the former beast.
Fortunately, my favorite horror podcast is still going strong. Pseudopod is a weekly horror podcast that presents stories read aloud. I don’t know how these guys do it, but they manage to find exquisite stories week after week along with fine narrators to deliver them. No other horror venue has ever been so relentlessly, toe-curling good.
Alasdair Stuart is the Rod Serling of this Twilight Zone. After each story he offers some reflections. I can’t say that any of his comments have ever failed to disappoint. One thing that any good genre ought to do is dig a little deeper into the vein of life, and Stuart does that after every chilling tale.
If you are new to the podcast, you can begin with the recent lot of offerings and then delve into their archives going back to 2006. So many of them have been delicious that I scarcely know what to recommend. I would suggest ‘Lizard foot’ which I happened to enjoy as I was driving over a swampy lake in Northern Missouri.
I think, however, that the best things they have offered are the Coyote Tales by Jim Bihyeh (Pseudopod 159, 167, and 182). Bihyeh is a White guy who grew up on a Navaho reservation. His interpretation of the traditional coyote stories are works of sheer genius. Listen to them in order. Trust me on this one: these stories will rework your soul. For the better, I hope.
I cannot recommend Pseudopod highly enough. It is as close to perfection as any production could come.