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Pseudopod the weekly short horror fiction podcast is celebrating its 10th Halloween and is raising funds to pay their narrators.
Pseudopod the weekly short horror fiction podcast is celebrating its 10th Halloween and is raising funds to pay their narrators.
Pseudopod the weekly short horror fiction podcast is celebrating its 10th Halloween and is raising funds to pay their narrators.
495 backers pledged $33,677 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Pseudopod: Year 10

$33,677

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Pseudopod, the world's longest running free short horror fiction podcast, is celebrating its 10th Halloween and wants to raise funds to pay their narrators. Rewards include an eBook anthology and tiki mug designed especially for us by Horror in Clay.

What horror lurks at Pseudopod

Are you new to Pseudopod? Don’t let our decade of content daunt you. We’ve assembled a list of thirteen stories that show the strength and diversity of our offerings. We’re certain that this list will provide something that will tickle the pineal gland of every horror fan.

Escape Artists is the umbrella organization that includes four weekly speculative fiction podcasts. PseudoPod produces horror, PodCastle produces fantasy, EscapePod produces science fiction, and Cast of Wonders produces young adult speculative fiction. We typically produce single-narrator readings with minimal production (no dramatic adaptations, little to no radio theater). Escape Artists has a combined unique download rate of well over a quarter million per month. We distribute under a creative commons attribution non-commercial no derivatives license. We run a mixture of new and classic fiction. 

The storied past of Pseudopod

2016 marks Pseudopod’s 10th Halloween. Just about this time in 2013, we were weeks from shutting our doors and turning the lights off. Thanks to contributors like you, we were able to not only survive, but thrive. While we have always paid our authors, last year we raised our pay for full-length original fiction to professional rates. This year we adjusted this policy to cover all original fiction. That makes us one of two regular fiction markets that exclusively runs short horror while paying SFWA professional rates, and original sales also count towards membership requirements for the HWA. Now we’re asking the listeners to help chip in so we can compensate all of our content creators.     

 We want you to have a stake in the longest running horror fiction podcast on earth. As part of this campaign, we’re going to be raising the capital to pay our narrators for a number of years; both for our bonus monthly content as well as our regular weekly episodes.    

Since the primary mission at Pseudopod.org is the promotion and preservation of the short horror fiction format, we want to assemble a companion anthology to celebrate what we’ve done over the last decade. This includes reprints of stories we’ve run as episodes of Pseudopod, as well as some original fiction from authors we’ve run a number of times. We are also working with the fine folks at Horror in Clay to produce a tiki mug that celebrates a decade with Pseudopod.

The Anthology: For Mortal Things Unsung 

This anthology is not just "A Decade of Pseudopod." In addition to reprints both familiar and new to the Pseudopod audience, the anthology will include brand new stories from Orrin Grey, Damien Angelica Walters, and A.C. Wise. We have a new Coyote Tale from Jim Bihyeh, a Tale from the White Street Society by Grady Hendrix, and a Tale of the Guru Keresh by Tim W. Burke. Editor Alex Hofelich has woven a thread of Pacific Ocean resonance throughout the anthology, to go along with our exquisite tiki mug.

Check out the full table of contents. Cover art will be provided by Hugo Award winning artist Elizabeth Leggett. Teases and reveals to come soon as updates to project backers.

The Mug: Pseudopod Tower 

The Pseudopod Tower 10th Anniversary Mug is a 9-inch tiki totem. The production edition funded by this Kickstarter campaign will be around 16-ounces, and will come in a gruesome glaze—purple as the bruises of love. No more than 1,000 will be produced of this 10th Anniversary edition mug.   

Initial Concept Sketches
Initial Concept Sketches

 

We'll let Jonathan M. Chaffin of Horror in Clay tell you more about the mug in his own words. Not-so-coincidentally, Jonathan also designed our very first logo and t-shirts:  

"The Pseudopod Tower tiki mug (as even I've started calling it) was originally called "The Eye of Kanaloa." (It was only called that in my head, and it didn't catch on.) The front depicts a Kanaloa totem, rare for a tiki mug. In the mythology of the old Hawaiian gods, Kanaloa is symbolized by the squid or by the octopus. He exists in complement to Kane, the god of creation, and guides the way to hidden springs . . . which I thought was appropriately symbolic for the dark places horror writers mine for inspiration. Unique among representations of the old god, statues of Kanaloa have round eyes. According to Kauai tradition, if you could look into the eye of Kanaloa, you would see a mystic pattern and be healed. Peering deep into the eye of OUR Kanaloa may turn out differently . . . there appears to be a fanged, tentacled and clawed beastie inside. Use your own best judgment.  

The microphone is a Shure 55 vintage mic similar to the one I used to borrow for narrating. 

The obverse of the mug shows one incarnation of Pseudopod Tower—from noxious catacombs beneath to soaring spires and roofs above; existing both in and between worlds. The Tower is composed of as many categories of horror as I could cram together. This mug is one of the truest examples I have ever created of the architectural confusion of pop culture references that is my brain. It is jammed with allusions and homages to horror, tiki, radio, and eldritch lore. Deep in the bowels of Pseudopod Tower, we see the ghastly-organic engines and servers (and beasties) tended by one of our dedicated Slush-masters. What horrors will be brought forth next?" 

Limited edition mugs available at the higher donor levels (We have included a limited run of 10 - one for each decade) will be the same size, but will be hand glazed in a multi-step, multi-tone process. All mugs will be high-fired ceramic, food- and alcohol-safe, and ready for you to carry through the darkest dreamscapes and murkiest dungeons.

The mug has already been designed, modeled, sculpted, and molded. We just need to know how many to make. The master sculpt is already completed, and we have designed most of the other rewards.

After funding is successful, we will place the final order for the mugs. Time from signing the paperwork to having the mugs in hand should be around 150 days, so we should begin shipping these out in May.

Enhanced Patronage

We have added a few reward levels for those of you who would like to enhance your patronage. 

Matross' Lesser Sponsor

Want to be specifically thanked in an episode endcap? Or you want someone else to be thanked in your place? We can do that, and we're ready to thank one person every week for a year.

Matross' Sponsor and Matross' Greater Sponsor
Want to include a special message before or after an episode? Birthday or anniversary wish to that special horror fan in your life? Pick the closing quote? Want to get Alasdair to recite horror limericks in his Manx accent? We can do that, too, and we're ready to have one of each every month for a year. The Greater Sponsor can place the message before the story and the regular can place it after.

Matross' Patron

Loved a story we ran way back when, but you want to take advantage of advances in audio or the narration didn't quite work for you? Thought we completely missed the point and want to redirect the story endcaps? Now that we'll be paying narrators, we'd love to work with you and re-record some of these episodes and then re-release them into our podcast feed. You select an episode and we'll work with you to acquire reprint rights and secure a new narrator. Your contribution will cover a reprint fee for the author, the narrator fee, and audio production. 

For Book Lovers

We have partnered with several of our authors and friends in publishing to bring you bundles of great books you're bound to love.

The Strix Publishing Bundle

This bundle includes two premium hard cover editions from Strix Publishing

  • The Book of Starry Wisdom: Apocrypha of Lovecraft's Cthulhu
  • Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings by Orrin Grey
  • Plus the eBook of For Mortal Things Unsung and a 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug

The Book of Starry Wisdom compiles newly edited editions of H.P. Lovecraft’s public domain cycle of Cthulhu stories, edited and produced by Simon Berman and illustrated by renowned deific and fantasy artist, Valerie Herron (The Book of the Great Queen). Accompanied by essays and musings by some of today’s premiere Lovecraftian scholars, writers, and devotees, this is a luxurious, approximately 200 page hardback tome, featuring a leather textured cover with gold foil pressed symbols of significance to the Cult of Cthulhu, and 13 interior B&W illustrations. 

Listen to "The Music of Erich Zann" as Episode 100 of Pseudopod.

 

Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings by Orrin Grey is a premium edition of a modern horror classic. First published in 2012 by Evil Eye Press, this collection put Orrin Grey on the map as an up and coming horror author of note. This new edition includes all ten stories from the original, as well as the heretofore hard-to-find "A Night for Mothing" and an all new story, "Goblins." This will be approximately 220 pages illustrated by M.S. Corley and features a beautiful 6 x 9" clothbound, foil-stamped cover, and a foreword by author Nathan Ballingrud.

The Orrin Grey Bundle

This bundle includes three volumes by Orrin Grey. Listen to "The Worm that Gnaws" as episode 155 of Pseudopod.

  • Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings (personalized and signed)
  • Painted Monsters and Other Strange Beasts
  • Monsters from the Vault
  • Plus the eBook of For Mortal Things Unsung and a 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug

 

No matter where he draws inspiration from, whether the weird tales of Lovecraft, Machen, and Poe or the films of Murnau, Corman, and Argento, the end result is inevitably fresh and new. And wonderfully monstrous. If you love monsters—the macabre, the murderous, the misunderstood; the strange, the sinister, the sympathetic; the cinematic and the literary—you will find plenty to love in Orrin Grey’s Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts.

 

Monsters from the Vault disinters a bunch of classic (or not-so-classic) vintage horror films for your delectation. Revisiting films from the earliest of the talkies (shot in two-strip Technicolor!) to Bert I. Gordon’s 1976 “masterpiece” The Food of the Gods, this volume collects more than four years of Grey’s popular Vault of Secrets column on vintage horror cinema, featuring everything from mad scientists to mole people, giant bugs to devil dolls, and more. Thrills, chills, and, of course, plenty of monsters await you within these pages. So dim the lights, grab some popcorn, and get ready for our feature presentation

The Grady Hendrix Exorcism Bundle  

This bundle includes a book and ephemera by Grady Hendrix. Listen to "Tales of the White Street Society" as episode 76 of Pseudopod, the first in the fan-favorite series.

  • My Best Friend's Exorcism (personalized and signed)
  • Rainbow unicorn stickers 
  • A very special anti-Dungeons and Dragons comic book from the Eighties
  • Plus the eBook of For Mortal Things Unsung and a 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug

Grady Hendrix writes fiction, also called "lies," and he writes non-fiction, which people sometimes accidentally pay him for. He is the author of Horrorstör, the only novel about a haunted Scandinavian furniture store you'll ever need. It has been translated into 14 languages and is being turned into a television show by Gail Berman (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), and Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl). They have never met Grady, but that is their loss. His new novel is called My Best Friend's Exorcism, about demonic possession, friendship, exorcism, and the Eighties.

 

This bundle from the author of the Tales of the White Street Society includes a personalized and signed copy of My Best Friend's Exorcism plus rainbow unicorn stickers and a very special anti-Dungeons and Dragons comic book from the Eighties.

The Pseudopod Tapes, Volume 2

Listen to last year's Halloween Parade featured on Pseudopod. 

The Pseudopod Tapes bundle includes:

  • The Pseudopod Tapes, Volume 1 eBook
  • The Pseudopod Tapes, Volume 2
  • Plus the eBook of For Mortal Things Unsung and a 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug

Alasdair Stuart, one of the UK’s most knowledgeable and passionate genre journalists has finally decided to do a sequel to his first volume of Pseudopod Tapes. In the Pseudopod Tapes, Alasdair gathers a years worth of outro’s from one of the world's leading horror podcasts and collects them all together for you in this volume. Stuart hosts Pseudopod with a sharp wit, clear insight, tremendous honesty and warm humour. It translates extremely well to the page. ‘Alasdair Stuart, host of the must-listen Pseudopod just became a must-read!’ -Steven Savile

 

Coming Soon! 

Over the course of the campaign, we’ll be releasing updates showing the anthology cover art. We’ll release the full Table of Contents. We'll include teasers from some of the new stories. We’ll release essays from our family and friends, about what Pseudopod and audio horror fiction has meant to them.

Also, we have a pile of stretch goals waiting in the wings. Coasters! Bookmarks! T-Shirts! Print editions of the book! Additional payments to the authors of the anthology! More years of narrator pay!

And who knows what else may wash up on shore in the next 30 days...

Our tentative timeline: 

November 22 - Kickstarter Closes 

December 9 - Funding clears, all collateral ordered, prototype sent for production run molding

March 15, 2017 (estimated) - production completed, mugs in transit

May 2017 (estimated) - mugs in-hand in Atlanta, ready to be shipped 

The Pseudopod Tower 10th Anniversary Mug was conceived and sketched by Jonathan M. Chaffin, an Atlanta-based graphic designer. After successfully launching five other tiki mug crowdfunding campaigns and fulfilling all of their obligations, Jonathan and his wife Allison launched and maintain www.HorrorInClay.com and www.MugCrate.com, a quarterly tiki mug and Polynesian Pop subscription box.

 

Escape Artists is the digital publisher of the speculative fiction podcasts EscapePod, Pseudopod, PodCastle and Cast of Wonders and the fun genre fiction magazine Mothership Zeta. Follow @EAPodcasts for all our episodes and news.

COLLABORATORS 

First of all, thank you for backing! Here's a backer icon for your use!

This mug couldn't have gotten as far as it has without the hard work of some very talented collaborators. 

Thanks to:

  • Jonathan M. Chaffin and Horror in Clay
  • The team at Munktiki Imports who helped with translating the design into the prototype featured here; Munktiki Imports will shepherd the mug through the overseas production process
  • Our bookish friends Orrin Grey, Grady Hendrix, Alasdair Stuart, and the fine folks at Strix Publishing
  • All our essayists including Ian Stuart, Orrin Grey, Jon Padgett, Matt Wallace, A.C. Wise, Karen Bovenmyer, Sandra M. Odell, Mur Lafferty, Ben Phillips, Alice M. Phillips, Moaner T. Lawrence, and many more to come.
  • All our anthology authors. Check out the table of contents!
  • Melissa Hofelich for her tireless copyediting
  • The incredibly supportive Escape Artists Staff, with extra thanks to The Keeper of the Big Red Button, Alasdair Stuart, and the Chief Cat Herder, Marguerite Kenner.
  • All of the Pseudopod staff who kept things running while we were distracted putting this together, with extra thanks to co-editor Shawn Garrett 
  • Anders Manga for providing us kick ass theme music for the last decade. Also their soundtrack Hexed which assisted with editing this campaign.
  • The BookHouse Pub, SOS Tiki Bar, Trader Vic’s and anywhere else that still serves tiki drinks the right way: in a frosty ceramic mug
  • Tad Callin, Allison Chaffin, Jonathan Chaffin, Melissa Hofelich, Becca Howie, Marguerite Kenner, Brian Lieberman, Sandra M. Odell, Ben Phillips, Jesse Scherer, Alasdair Stuart, KazCo - the manufacturers of Zom-B-Gone, the Suspiria soundtrack by Goblin, and the tireless crew who helped me spot errors and to polish this campaign.
Our 2013 Parsec Award hanging out at Trader Vics. Possible Werewolf sighting (not pictured).
Our 2013 Parsec Award hanging out at Trader Vics. Possible Werewolf sighting (not pictured).

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

• We reserve the right to refuse to run any message (Matross' Sponsors) or re-record any episode (Matross' Patron). In this case we will offer the backer the option of providing an alternate at least once. We're willing to work with you, but we're also protective of our brand.

• An author may not respond affirmatively to our request to reprint a story (Matross' Patron).

• Lead time could go long due to monstrous intervention (Kaiju rising from the ocean, etc); however, we are being advised by Horror in Clay (who has successfully funded five crowdfunded campaigns before and has been consistently asked to speak on crowdfunding panels at conventions) and we will provide constant updates.

• What about shipping? We go overboard with shipping: lots of peanuts and a large box. As mug collectors, we’ve suffered the agony of unwrapping a shoebox full of dust from a long-anticipated mug—we do not want that to happen to you. Alasdair has received three mugs successfully shipped from Atlanta to the UK.

• Will my mug look just like the one in the picture? The wiped-off glaze will vary slightly for each mug. The pictures above show generally what the glaze effect will look like: washed purple in the lower areas, bone/natural in the high places. As the limited edition mugs are completed, we will post pictures.

• In order of percentage, funds will be used for:

Mold, glaze, production fees for production run of mugs

Shipping, postage, and packing materials

Paying the authors, cover artist, and copyeditor who contributed to the anthology

Kickstarter fees and taxes

Paying narrators for one year

Glaze, firing, and shipping fees for domestic limited-edition mugs

Cost of rewards (and any stretch goals attained)

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  1. Select this reward

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    Palmer

    A digital copy of For Mortal Things Unsung in DRM-free ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats.

    Gentle digital hugs from the tentacles of Pseudopod by listing You on the website.

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    Gentle digital hugs from the tentacles of Pseudopod by listing You on the website.

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    Gentle digital hugs from the tentacles of Pseudopod by listing You on the website

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    Lochage - Pseudopod Tapes Bundle

    Preorder a copy of The Pseudopod Tapes, Volume 2 by Alasdair Stuart. Receive an eBook copy of The Pseudopod Tapes Volume 1 as soon as the project funds.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

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    A critique from A.C. Wise of either a short story or a novel excerpt up to 8,000 words.

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    Melissa Hofelich (Copyeditor for Nightmare Magazine) or Dagny Paul (Associate Editor of Pseudopod) will proofread and copy edit a short story up to 7500 words.

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    Lochage - Grady Hendrix Exorcism Bundle

    A personalized, signed copy of My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. Includes Rainbow Unicorn Stickers
    and a very special anti-Dungeons and Dragons comic book from the Eighties.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

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    A personalized, signed copy of the premium edition of Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings, plus copies of Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts and Monsters from the Vault.

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    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
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    A personalized, signed copy of The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories, plus copies of The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again and Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix.

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    Includes a copy of the premium hardcover edition of The Book of Starry Wisdom as well as Never Bet the Devil & Other Warnings, both released by Strix Publishing.

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    Matross' Critique

    A critique from A.C. Wise of either a short story or a novel excerpt up to 8,000 words.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • A.C. Wise Critique
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    Matross' Sponsor

    We'll let you run a mutually agreed upon brief message after the story. Twelve available (one for each month of the year).

    Includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Message after an episode of Pseudopod
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    Limited 4 backers
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    Matross' Greater Sponsor

    We'll let you run a mutually agreed upon brief message before the story. Twelve available (one for each month of the year).

    Includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Message before an episode of Pseudopod
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
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    Hipparch - Book Lover

    You love books and want them all 13 of them. This includes all the books included in the campaign, plus a Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod Tapes Volume 1 eBook
    • Pseudopod Tapes Volume 2
    • The Long List Anthology, Volume 1 eBook
    • The Long List Anthology, Volume 2 eBook
    • Grady Hendrix Bundle
    • Monsters from the Vault by Orrin Grey
    • Painted Monsters & Other Strange Beasts by Orrin Grey
    • Strix - Never Bet the Devil and Other Warnings: Premium Edition
    • Strix - Book of Starry Wisdom: Premium Edition
    • The Kissing Booth Girl and Other Stories
    • The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again
    • Clowns: The Unlikely Coulrophobia Remix
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
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    Limited 6 backers
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    Palmer's Fireside Chat

    One hour on Skype or Google Hangouts with a member or two of Escape Artists Management or Pseudopod Editorial Staff to discuss topics of your choosing.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Palmer level.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Fireside Chat
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    Matross' Patron

    Re-record an old episode (of your choice) to be released as a bonus in our podcast feed. Pay the author reprint fee and the narrator fee. We will record new endcaps. Twelve available (one for each month of the year). We'll give you special credit in the re-released episode and include a mutually agreed upon brief message after the story.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Republish an old episode of Pseudopod
    • Encap thanks in an episode of Pseudopod
    • Message after an episode of Pseudopod
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    Limited 0 backers
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    Glorious gifter

    Be a hero to your friends and the best gift-giver by buying a pack of six books and six mugs.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
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    Hipparch - Mug Lover

    Limited Edition Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug - multitone mug limited to a series of 10

    Plus includes all rewards granted to the Matross level.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
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    Hipparch's Lesser Patron

    Guest host an episode of Pseudopod.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Hipparch level including a Series 2 limited edition mug.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug
    • Guest Host Session
    • Encap thanks in an episode of Pseudopod
    • Message after an episode of Pseudopod
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Hipparch's Patron

    Select a story for reprint as an episode of Pseudopod. Pay an author for a reprint fee and a narrator fee.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Hipparch level including a Series 2 limited edition mug.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug
    • Editor for a day
    • Encap thanks in an episode of Pseudopod
    • Message after an episode of Pseudopod
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    Limited 0 backers
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    Hipparch's Reveler

    Co-editor Alex Hofelich and mug designer Jonathan Chaffin will take you to dinner at Trader Vic's Atlanta, SOS Tiki Bar, or Bookhouse Pub (Travel expenses not included.)

    Includes all rewards granted to the Hipparch level including a Series 2 limited edition mug.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug
    • Encap thanks in an episode of Pseudopod
    • Tasty Tiki Tidbits
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    Hipparch's Greater Patron

    Lead a direct solicitation for an original story to be run as an episode of Pseudopod.

    Includes all rewards granted to the Hipparch level including a Series 2 limited edition mug.

    Includes:
    • Gentle digital hugs
    • For Mortal Things Unsung eBook
    • Pseudopod 10th Anniversary Mug
    • Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Pseudopod Mug
    • Editor for a day
    • Encap thanks in an episode of Pseudopod
    • Message after an episode of Pseudopod
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
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Funding period

- (28 days)