Tagged: literature

Howard Hopkins Remembered

A RETROSPECTIVE FOR HOWARD HOPKINS

This piece was arranged immediately following the announcement of the passing of Howard Hopkins, noted Pulp Writer/Editor.   It is published now as those participating have all completed their thoughts and remembrances.

From Tommy Hancock
My friendship with Howard Hopkins, and I can definitely refer to it as that, was one of emails, keyboards, and computer screens. I’d only seen Howard in the occasional image on his Facebook page, most notably that pic of him leaned against a tree. But it was also a friendship founded on mutuality. We were both writers, we had a massive jones for Pulp and genre fiction in general, and we were both fairly active in pursuing that love for that sort of thing in our own ways. From my side, there was also a basis of reverence in a sense. That may sound corny, but it’s true. There have been a handful of writers I’ve looked up to for a long time, long before I was published or a publisher myself. Authors who I recognized were working in New Pulp before it even had that name attached directly to it. It was a short list initially, mind you one that has grown over time, but of the few names that were on that initial list, Howard Hopkins was one.
As sudden as Howard’s passing was, his effect on me and, as I’ve learned, other writers and I think in the long run on the field of Pulp fiction in general, has been a gradual, ever growin
g positive one. Whether or not he was tackling a known character from the vast library of Pulp and literature, editing the work of others putting their own brand on what has come before, or crafting all new tales to terrify, tantalize, and tease from his own expansive imagination, Howard always brought something extra to what he did.
There was a vitality, a strength, an ever present energy to Howard’s work, to even his email interactions. You could sense it, it was this palpable wave of excitement, of happiness to be digging his way into this work that wasn’t just a job, but more of a life’s work for

him. Our first long extensive correspondence began a few months ago as I was considering stepping up my efforts in the Western genre and, if you didn’t know this already, one of the strongest modern voices in that field as far as I’m concerned is Howard Hopkins. As he outlined for me his thoughts on how I could accomplish that and gave me tips and hints, he also did something else that I’m not even sure he was aware of. These emails, some of them simply a few lines in response to my queries, read to me like adventures all their own. The very sense of Howard’s true passion for the craft of writing and genre work bled through in each and every word. Even though he was looking at moving away from that corner of genre a bit and really wanting to put his effort into his other work, such as the Chloe Files, I still saw the burning need to write, the childlike giddiness of being a part of this field, that Howard had. He poured into his work, into his editing, into his Facebook statuses even.
And that doesn’t even touch the actual work itself. If you’ve never read a Howard Hopkins tale, you’ll find in it all the staples of whatever genre he decided to work in, but there’s more. Howard is in everything he wrote. And I don’t just mean the way that it’s assumed writers write from their own experiences and we pour a little bit of ourselves into the narrative. It’s that energy again, that exuberance, that unbridled love for what he crafted, it’s in everything I’ve ever read that Howard wrote and it’s the reason I kept reading things by Howard after the first one I’d ever read.

Some will think this retrospective is late, that it should have been done as most others were in the days just after Howard’s passing. I don’t apologize for that, it is coming when it was right for it to come for me. Others may see this as maudlin or ‘too much’ from someone who admittedly only knew Howard via the internet and from reading his books. To them, I’ll say this-What better way to know a writer than through that which he believed he was born to write?
Howard is fondly missed and will continue to be a presence in the Pulp world, as his wife has pledged to continue his work. I actually have a small part in that as I’m the editor on a collection that will contain one of the last pieces Howard submitted for publication. In times like this, we often say that an artist’s work will continue to live even after he has passed. How long that work has life, however, depends on how much life its creator gave it at the moment of its birth. Based on that, Howard Hopkins will be around long after the rest of us are gone.
From Martin Powell-
I still cannot bring myself to talk, or write, much about this. It is a profound, unexpected tragedy. Howard and I had known each other for several years and he was like a brother to me. We shared our ups and downs, and our thrills and frustrations. I last spoke with him Wednesday evening, a day before he died. How horrible. How unfair. Howard was a tireless professional and a genuine gentleman. It was a privilege to be his friend. He was one of those rarest of men, a real “good guy”, as loyal and true as the heroes he so vividly brought to life on the page. I’ll never stop missing him.
Martin Powell

MARTHA THOMASES Catches Cat Fever

The most important story of the new year is not being covered by the lame-stream media. You won’t find it on the more popular blogs. Neither Heidi MacDonald  nor Rich Johnston has the scoop.

We’re getting a new cat. You heard it here first.

In my life, I’ve only had three cats, unless you count the two on the commune where I spent 1974 and half of 1975. My first cat, Toots, came from a friend who found her on the streets of Yellow Springs, Ohio, and brought her to me in college. The second two, sisters Trixie and Midnight, were brought over from a rescue group. This time, I went to the Humane Society. They asked me what I wanted.

Using all available self-control, I did not specify a lightning-bolt marking on the right side. Neither did I specify super-strength, x-ray vision, nor the ability to fly.

Is there a more appealing concept in all of literature than the super-pet? Superman had Krypto, a super-dog, Supergirl had Streaky, a super-cat, and Comet, a super-horse. Batman had Ace, the Bat-hound. Chameleon Boy had Proty, a malleable blob.

I wanted all of them. I also wanted Beppo, the super-monkey, although I was never clear on whose pet he was.

At the time I had a dog, because at the time, I was ten years old and lived with my parents and had a yard. My dog was fairly awesome, but she couldn’t do anything Kryptonian. She couldn’t change her shape. She couldn’t even solve crimes. It seemed to me that having a pet who could take me on adventures, who could perform extraordinary feats for my amusement and, if necessary, for my protection, was the greatest thing that could happen in a person’s life.

As I said, my dog didn’t do any of those things. She did, however, love me more than anyone else. She even loved me more than my mother, who fed her.

A companion animal – a pet – is wonderful for a child. A pet won’t blab her secrets, no matter how juicy. A pet, unlike parents and teachers and even school friends, never judges her. A pet is always there, to play in the backyard or to sit in her lap watching television. A pet is always warm and soft and there when she needs a hug. For all these reasons, a pet is also wonderful for adults.

Those are pretty awesome super-powers.

Because the Humane Society has a fairly rigorous process to match animals to humans, I don’t yet have my new cat. I don’t think we’ll be naming her Streaky, because, really, I’ve never seen a cat with markings like that. I’m thinking of naming her Selina, after Selina Kyle. And also after a fairly brilliant singer-songwriter.

And I reserve the right to make her a cape.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman

PRO SE PLANS FOR PULP POETRY IN 2012!

Pro Se Productions, a Publisher known to be on the cutting edge of New Pulp, announces an ambitious new project today that, if successful in 2012, will lead to a new imprint from Pro Se in 2013.

According to Tommy Hancock, Editor-in Chief and Partner in Pro Se, “Being a Publisher of both books and magazines, Pro Se obviously gets quite a few queries.  One of the very first we got upon announcing we would be publishing Pulp magazines back in 2010 concerned whether or not we were interested in something described as ‘Pulp, but poetry instead of prose.’   At the time, we weren’t, but that hasn’t stopped the queries from coming in, at least one every week to two weeks about whether or not we’ll accept crime poetry, space poetry, fantasy poetry, and so on.   Well, after a year and a half of requests as well as research and study, Pro Se has decided to test the waters via our magazine, PRO SE PRESENTS, by having an all Pulp Poetry volume.”

When asked to define Pulp Poetry, Hancock stated, “Well, if there’s a definition out there that is clear cut as to what it is, I haven’t found it. Pulp writers, most notably Robert E. Howard, have been known for their poetry as well.  Defining Pulp is subjective often anyway and that is something it has in common with Poetry.  Basically what we’re looking for is poetry that deals with subjects and genres that are a part of Pulp.  So, action, adventure, heroes and villains, conflict, and genre.  Genre is important in determining Pulp Poetry.  Pulp is all about genre, be it western, crime, fantasy, and so on.   So, Pulp Poetry definitely has to be something that deals in a particular genre that is a part of Pulp.”

As far as other requirements for Pulp Poetry, there are no requirements that it rhyme or be a certain length. Hancock stated that submissions would be open from January 2nd to March 1st 2012 for poems to be included in this volume.

The May 2012 issue of PRO SE PRESENTS, the tenth issue of the magazine, will be an all Pulp Poetry issue, edited by newly appointed Pulp Poetry Editor for Pro Se, Megan Smith. 

“I have been writing Poetry,” Smith explained, “since I was little. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy writing it or reading it.  There has always been an interest in Poetry and with the increase in the interest in Pulp in the last several years, it seems the perfect time to show the world what Pulp Poetry can be.”

Currently the only Pulp Poetry title on the Pro Se Schedule is the special magazine issue scheduled for May 2012.  Smith will serve as editor of Pulp Poetry regardless of the form it continues in, either as a continual part of the magazine format on a monthly basis or as its own line with Pulp Poetry collections in 2013.

“This,” Hancock pointed out, “is an experiment, but it’s one we have full faith in.  Pulp is known for being speculative and a field of literature where anything can happen.  The concept of Pulp Poetry fits perfectly and just wait and see what Pro Se does with it.”

Submissions for the Pulp Poetry volume can be made to Smith at pulppoetryeditor@yahoo.com or to Hancock at proseproductions@earthlink.net.  Submissions must be made by March 1, 2011.

To follow what Pro Se has coming check out www.prosepulp.com and www.pulpmachine.blogspot.com.

HANCOCK TIPS HIS HAT TO MYSTERY MEN (& WOMEN) VOLUME 2!

TIPPIN’ HANCOCK’S HAT-Reviews of All Things Pulp by Tommy Hancock
MYSTERY MEN (& WOMEN) VOLUME TWO
Written by Various Authors
Cover by Mike Fyles
Interior Art and Design by Rob Davis
Published by Airship 27 Productions
New Pulp is such an interesting creature.  It is organic, something sprouting from the past, but as it grows and blossoms, it becomes its own thing.   And there are Publishers and Writers today who continue to care for this beautiful thing we call New Pulp, making sure that it remains available, that it stands out as innovative and different, not derivative and unoriginal.    A leading Publisher in doing just that is Airship 27 Productions, a company that divides itself between New Pulp based on Public Domain pulp characters as well as new and original characters blazing trails through New Pulp. 
One of the titles that showcases the movement of original characters in Airship is their MYSTERY MEN (& WOMEN) series of books.  Four stories in the first volume introduced the idea and it has been continued in a second volume.  Overall, the book is enjoyable, a hoot to read, and wonderful to view.   Individually, the stories vary in style and quality. 
THE RED BADGE ATTACKS- by Mark Halegua and Andrew Salmon
This is not only the debut of the vigilante known as The Red Badge, but it’s also the first story published by the Badge’s creator, Mark Halegua.   The premise is simple.  A vigilante is in the city taking out the bad guys as quickly and violently as possible. Throw into that the fact that the identity of the Badge is a mystery, even up until the very end, but a mystery with a myriad of suspects.
The Red Badge has definite potential as a concept.  The path traveled by this story is well worn, but its also one that could be done with twists and turns.  Unfortunately, that’s not done nearly enough with this tale.  Yes, some of the action scenes sing like a chorus of tommy guns, but others drag like they’re falling on dead chambers.  The same with the dialogue-There’s a few solid exchanges, but overall it’s stilted and weak.   The strongest point of this story is you can see what Halegua (with help from Salmon) wants the Red Badge to be, which gives one hope he may get there in future tales.
TWO OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT
LAIR OF THE MOLE PEOPLE- by Greg Bastianelli
One of the neatest stories in Pulp is when you take a person in an occupation that isn’t cop, adventurer, spy, and you throw them into a Pulp over the top adventure tale and it works!   Bastianelli does this with his character Jack Minch, Ace Reporter in this tale and does it so well and with such skill that the story was over before I even realized it.    The premise, again like with the previous story, is straightforward.  Minch opens a message from a woman who had left it behind to be opened if she disappeared, which she did.  This action leads this spunky, two fisted typewriter jockey into a world beneath the city, as indicated by the title, and at that point, the real fun begins. 
This story crackles with solid characterization, strong dialogue, and enough jump-from-around the corner action to keep any Pulp fan enticed and most definitely wanting more!
FIVE OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT
DOCK DOYLE AND THE WANDERING CITY by Adam Lance Garcia
This story gave me fits.  Here’s why.
Dock Doyle is a great American Hero and Movie Star, legends galore attached to his name.  And this story takes him on an adventure deep into the Jungle for what is apparently another film job, but Doyle finds out far too late that things are not at all what they seem.  And the reader finds that out as well, even about the central character himself.
This is quite possibly one of the best stories I have ever read.  No kidding.    Looking at it as an avid bibliophile who reads across all genres and recognizes all the movements, nuances, and influences in literature, mainstream and otherwise, this story is one of the best examples of post modern deconstruction I have found in a long time.
Looking at it as a reviewer of Pulp….It isn’t.  It simply isn’t a Pulp Tale. 
Don’t get me wrong.  Some key elements are woven in.  Action.  Quick Pacing.  Exotic locales.  Defiance of death.  All of that is there.  Where this fails as a Pulp story is in the characters, especially the lead himself. Garcia paints vivid pictures and builds characters from the ground up.  But they’re not Pulp characters.  And trust me, I don’t feel Pulp characters have to be two dimensional or all good or all bad….but with Dock Doyle, there’s far too much gray even in the lead character…especially in the lead character…for this to be a Pulp Tale.
THREE OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT- It ain’t Pulp, but it is damned good.
A MAN CALLED MONGREL by Derrick Ferguson
One of the great things about a good author…no, about a great author, is that he/she can deliver consistently, even when they are writing characters with some similarities in the same field of literature.  And not just consistently in terms of quality, but also consistently in terms of differentiation-in making their work stand out solidly from what has come before.  
Derrick Ferguson is just such an author.  A master of the art.
Mongrel is a member of a family who essentially has a corner on the genius gene pool.   When an attempt is made on the life of a family member, Mongrel swings into action against a Family that is focused on taking down leading corporations in the world via super science.   But not while Mongrel Henderson is on the job.
This tale is raucous, over the top, and yet grounded in strong values.  Family connections, pure heroism, and the battle of intellect versus emotion are all not only clearly on display in this story, but turned up to Eleven and broadcast in every single word.  These characters, particularly Mongrel, exude excitement, action, as well as humanity.    Mongrel can take on nearly any baddie that wants to stand with him, but he still cowers when called down by his mother.  Ferguson’s strong suit in all his work is that the action is relentless, the violence is pointed and necessary, and the characters ooze the good and bad of simply being human, although the smartest, toughest, and most righteous or vile humans ever seen anywhere.  This story stands out as the best in the entire volume and likely in the entire MYSTERY MEN (& WOMEN) series to date.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT
Design and Art-Even though I said what I did about Dock Doyle’s debut story, the first image of Dock to be seen, the cover of this volume, is phenomenal.    Award winning artist Mike Fyles delivers once again and proves he understands the concept of what Pulp covers are and what they need to convey. 
Likewise the interior art and design of the book by Rob Davis does just what both of those things are supposed to.   Davis’ work supports all the stories, the images bringing out in wonderful line work and iconic imagery exact moments from the stories and the format of the book makes one feel as if they’re holding a Pulp from a news kiosk back in the Thirties.    Even the back cover design as well as the ads included add to that authentic feel.
FIVE OUT FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT
Even though every story wasn’t a grand slam and one might be better suited in another volume, MYSTERY MEN (& WOMEN) VOLUME TWO as a whole delivers.
OVERALL-FOUR OUT OF FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT!

AUCTION SITE INVITES CREATORS TO PARTICIPATE TO HELP ARTIST AND WRITER!

AUCTION SITE INVITES CREATORS TO PARTICIPATE TO HELP ARTIST AND WRITER!

http://magick4terri.livejournal.com/


Beloved editor, artist and writer Terri Windling is in need, and we are asking for your help in a fundraising auction to assist her. This auction will combine donations from professionals and fans in an online sale to help Terri through a serious financial crisis.

Terri is the creator of groundbreaking fantasy and mythic art and literature over the past several decades, ranging from the influential urban fantasy series Bordertown to the online Journal of Mythic Arts. With co-editor Ellen Datlow, she changed the face of contemporary short fiction with The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror and other award-winning anthologies, including Silver Birch, Blood Moon and The Green Man: Tales from the Mythic Forest. Her remarkable Endicott Studio blog continues to bring music, poetry, art and inspiration to people all over the world.

Terri Windling and her family have been coping with health and legal issues that have drained her financial resources at a critical time. Due to the serious nature of these issues, and privacy concerns for individual family members, we can’t be more specific than that, but Terri is in need of our support. As a friend, a colleague and an inspiration, Terri has touched many, many lives over the years. She has been supremely generous in donating her own work and art to support friends and colleagues in crisis. Now, Terri is in need of some serious help from her community. Who better than her colleagues and fans to rise up to make some magick for her?

Through the next 18 days, we’ll be posting personal offerings from the likes of Neil Gaiman, George R.R. Martin, Wendy & Brian Froud, and many more! Besides bidding on these beautiful items, YOU can also post your own skills, services, arts, crafts, or whatever else you’d like to offer for auction! Please see our complete About Us page for FAQ about Terri, the auction process, and other ways to get involved. Thank you!


25 YEARS LATER… SCARLET IN GASLIGHT RETURNS!

Pulp 2.0 Press is pleased to announce the upcoming December release of the 25th anniversary edition of SCARLET IN GASLIGHT, the classic graphic novel starring two of literature’s immortal characters, SHERLOCK HOLMES and DRACULA. Written by Martin Powell and illustrated by Seppo Makinen this thrilling supernatural mystery-adventure has been reviewed by no less than the Washington Post who said that SCARLET IN GASLIGHT is “…more satisfyingly cinematic than many of the movies.”

This special collector’s edition features:

– remastered artwork from the artist

– a special introduction from noted pulp writer and scholar Win Scott Eckert (CROSSOVERS 1&2, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE)

– a comprehensive interview with Martin Powell on the origins of SCARLET IN GASLIGHT conducted by Michael Leal.

For more on the 25th Anniversary Edition of Scarlet In Gaslight, visit the Pulp 2.0 Press website at http://pulp2ohpress.com/scarlet-in-gaslight-the-25th-anniversary-edition-due-in-december-2011/

FORTIER TAKES ON VIKTORIANA!

ALL PULP PULP FICTION REVIEWS
By Ron Fortier
MODERN  MARVELS –Viktoriana
By Wayne Reinagel
Knight Raven Studios
440 pages
Several years ago, writer Wayne Reinagle burst upon the pulp fiction world with a self published tome that was the pulp equivalent of “Gone With the Wind.”  PULP HEROES – MORE THAN MORTAL was a giant white elephant of a clunker that was not well written and appeared to be stitched together by a fan boy who was irrevocably addicted to the classic pulp heroes of the 1930s & 40s.  Still, as badly exceuted as that book was, the poor mechanics could not disguise the genuine love and enthusiasm Reinagel possessed for these iconic heroes and how much fun he had playing with them.  You see, the audacity of the man is he put practically every single major ( & minor ) pulp hero in that one giant volume.  Here were Doc Savage, the Shadow, the Spider, the Avenger etc.etc., albeit all with new names to avoid legal repercussions from the rights holders, though readers knew exactly who each was.  Despite its literary flaws, the book is also important in that it was the beginning of Reinagel’s super saga that would invariably use every major literary hero and villain from both the 19th and 20th Centuries spread across an historical roadmap of herculean breath and girth.
Somewhere in all this Reinagel came to an unexplainable decision in regards to his pulp magnus opus; he’d inadvertently begun it in the middle.  After the subsequent release of MORE THAN MORTALS, he was plagued with plot threads that could only be rationalized by going backwards in time, rather than forward.  Thus the second book in the trilogy was actually the first chronologically: PULP HEROES – KHAN DYNASTY. It went back decades to give us the origins of the people who would ultimately sire the pulp heroes of the Great Depression.  Asserting his genuine talent, Reinagel’s prose is much improved with this book though it still suffered the same affliction as its predecessor; massive dumps of historical data were dropped helter skelter through the narrative even in the middle of some balls-out action sequences.  Again, Reinagel is not a man of moderations, he wants to give his readers ( & himself ) more and more.  Some times to the detriment of his tale.  Still KHAN DYNASTY was a major improvement and contained the portent of better things to come.
This reviewer is very happy to declare that literary promise has at long last been realized in Reinagel’s third book, MODERN MARVELS – VIKTORIANA.  Clocking in at an impressive 440 pages, it adds proof that the guy simply cannot write a short piece but it also loudly proclaims his arrival as a sophisticated storyteller.  This is the work of a craftsman who judiciously balances both action and characterizations and even though there are still many researched historical facts, they are kept concise and only used when propelling the action forward.  That this is the writer’s fastest paced, most colorful and grandiose book is blatantly obvious from the first page to last.
Once again, the author propels us backward to lay the foundation of heroic fiction in a brilliant twist that is pure nectar of the gods to any reader who grew up enjoying the fantastic literature of the 19th Century.  The heroes of this volume are the writers who produced those amazing works all of us encountered along the road to maturity and adulthood; the English classics with a few mongrel relatives thrown in for good measure.
The plot is simple enough.  The planet’s are about to align in a unique positioning only witnessed every thousand years and two insidious fiends, Varney the Vampire and his stooge, a teenage Aleister Crowley, plan to use the stellar phenomenon to their own twisted ends.  They wish to open a hole to another dimension; one filled with demons eager to crossover and destroy the earth.  But to do so, Varney requires nine special magical tablets or else his insane plot will fail.
Guarding those arcane items are the most famous and courageous souls of their times; H.R. Haggard, Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Nikola Tesla, and an aged Edgar Allen Poe accompanied by a teenage magician named Harry Houdini. They are led by an enigmatic, seemingly immortal beauty, Mary Shelly.   Now if that isn’t a Who’s Who list of the most influential writers in English Literature during the late 19th Century, then I’d be at a loss to compile another.  The exuberant bravado of Reinagel is his fearlessness in employing this stellar cast and bringing them to wonderful life in his glorious adventure.  Their interaction amongst themselves, the romance between Haggard and the ever dangerous lovely Miss Shelley, the good-old-boys camaraderie between Doyle and Stoker is simply endearing and believable.
Wayne Reinagel clearly possesses one of the grandest imaginations ever unleashed on the printed page. His dreams and his fiction know no bounds when after adventure of the highest order and he delivers it beyond measure in this book.  Every one of his books is an experience with so many surprises in store for the reader but none have so entertained and delighted this reviewer as MODERN MARVELS VIKTORIANA.  Mark my words, pulp fans, your lives will be enriched for the better after reading this pure pulp odyssey by a truly one of a kind maser storyteller.  Bravo, Wayne Reinagel, bravo!

Tree of Life

tree-of-life-300x358-4860061The story goes that in Stamford CT, so many people walked out of Tree of Life and demanded their money back that the management had to post a sign explaining the movie was not your traditional story and that no more refunds would be issued. On the one hand, it says people pick movies indiscriminately and it also says without being prepared, more thoughtful works can be poorly received.

Director Terrence Malick is an artist with film, turning the moving picture into portraiture. Since his first film, Badlands, the cinematography alone is a reason to seek out his films. There’s usually a long wait between his movies because he takes his time conceiving, making and editing each one, building up anticipation from his fans and the actors who love to work with him. Few get to do it twice although the current movie does feature Sean Penn for a second effort. Recently, though, he has bad mouthed the film, wondering what he was doing in it and yes, Tree of Life can be a real headscratching experience.

But, Malick gets credit for tackling the big issues of life, the universe, and everything. He focuses on a single nuclear family, seemingly set in the 1950s, but all the themes are large ones. So large, in fact, that when there’s a fissure, everything cracks apart. And when that occurs, Malick takes us back to the beginning, and I mean the beginning. We’re talking the Big Bang, a cooling planet and the beginning of life. The lush origins of our world through the early days of the dinosaur is a wonder to watch and it transfers brilliantly to the home screen in the Blu-ray edition coming this Tuesday from 20th Century Home Entertainment.

Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain are a happily married couple, raising three boys in an idyllic American suburb. Most of the film follows their development through those pivotal childhood years and like a work of literature, says more through what is not spoken than is conveyed in dialogue.By setting this in the past, it automatically evokes a sense of longing in the audience. Curiously, this is a past without much in the way of technology: no radio or television, just a phonograph. (more…)

PULP EMPIRE BRINGS ALL PULP PIRATE PULP FICTION AND INTERVIEWS!

PULP EMPIRE BRINGS ALL PULP PIRATE PULP FICTION AND INTERVIEWS!

To celebrate “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, PulpEmpire.com is proud to offer our newest anthology Pirates & Swashbucklers, a seventeen story collection of great pirate pulp fiction! Pirates & Swashbucklers author Kameron W. Franklin interviewed his fellow writers of the new Pulp Empire anthology out now!


Today he sits down with Jason Kahn, author of “Voyage of the Hangman”.


When did you first realize you were a writer?
It changes depending on my mood. Sometimes I think it was when I sold my first short story. Sometimes I think it was my first (and thus far only) professional short story sale. Sometimes I don’t really consider myself a writer at all because I don’t write fiction for a living. Sometimes I think that’s ridiculous because I do make a living writing and editing, just not fiction. Then there are other times when I think that if and when I have an actual novel published, like I hopefully will with the one I just finished writing, I can then honestly look in the mirror and say, Chum, you’re a writer, you are.


What authors influence or inspire you?
Early on, I would say authors like Raymond Feist and David Eddings influenced me the most as I tried to write fantasy-adventures, but lately, much more James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, Joseph Wambaugh, and Donald Westlake as I’ve been writing more noir crime fiction. I read several detective fiction authors as I worked on some of my recent pieces. Raymond Chandler, Peter Lovesey, and then I read Ellroy. The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential, and many more. I wasn’t prepared, my mind exploded. I could not put them down.


Do you consider yourself a “pulp” writer? Why? Is there another genre you like to write?
Some of the writing projects I’m involved with currently are very pulp-ish, noir detective type stuff, so at the moment I definitely feel that way. But I also write fantasy and hard scifi, so it varies. Basically I just like to write a good story. Whatever style fits is okay with me.


What book(s) have you read more than once? What drew you back?
The first book I remember reading more than once was A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. I read it when I was a boy, and it was my first real introduction to fantasy literature. Quite a primer, right? I re-read it constantly, the language, the world-building, the characters. It was all there.


In 25 words or less, how would you define “pulp” as a genre?
Pulp as a genre takes me back to the old serials: over the top heroes and villains, nonstop thrill-ride action. That’s only 20!


What made you decide to submit a story for the Pirates & Swashbucklers anthology?
I always wanted to write a sword-and-sorcery adventure on the high seas with people who go “argh!” This was the perfect opportunity.



Read more of Kameron’s interviews at PensAndSwords.com.




Pulp Empire Presents: Pirates & Swashbucklers is now available at Pulp Empire.com. Until October 10th, use the code “62QUSQGC” at our CreateSpace bookstore to receive 15% off on the book!

Michael S. Hart, eBook Pioneer, 1947-2011

The godfather of eBooks has passed away. Michael Stern Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, died on September 6, 2011 in his home in Urbana, Illinois, at the age of 64.

Hart was best known for his 1971 invention of electronic books, or eBooks. He founded Project Gutenberg, which is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects. He often told this story of how he had the idea for eBooks: He had been granted access to significant computing power at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. On July 4 1971, after being inspired by a free printed copy of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, he decided to type the text into a computer, and to transmit it to other users on the computer network. From this beginning, the digitization and distribution of literature was to be Hart’s life’s work, spanning over 40 years. By the time of his death Project Gutenberg hosted over 36,000 items in its collection in 60 different languages, and was frequently highlighted as one of the best Internet-based resources.

Hart was an ardent technologist and futurist. One of his favorite speculations was that someday, everyone would be able to have their own copy of the Project Gutenberg collection or whatever subset desired. This vision came true, thanks to the advent of large inexpensive computer disk drives, cheap bandwidth, and to the ubiquity of portable mobile devices, such as cell phones.

Michael S. Hart left a major mark on the world, and everyone who has ever toiled in electronic publishing, or who enjoys reading anything off of a computer screen, text or comics, owes Michael a great debt. The invention of eBooks was not simply a technological innovation or precursor to the modern information environment. A more correct understanding is that eBooks are an efficient and effective way of unlimited free distribution of literature. Access to eBooks can thus provide opportunity for increased literacy. Literacy, the ideas contained in literature, creates opportunity.

Michael and I corresponded back in the early 90’s, when I was trying to build a commerce system so people who wanted to could sell books online. Michael was always supportive, even though he worked with public domain works and I tried to make a system where authors could be paid, because he knew more eBooks to read, of any kind, was always a good thing for the world.

In July 2011, Michael wrote these words, which summarize his goals and his lasting legacy: “One thing about eBooks that most people haven’t thought much is that eBooks are the very first thing that we’re all able to have as much as we want other than air. Think about that for a moment and you realize we are in the right job.” He had this advice for those seeking to make literature available to all people, especially children: “Learning is its own reward. Nothing I can say is better than that.”

His is survived by his mother, Alice, and brother, Bennett.

Special thanks to Dr. Gregory B. Newby for portions of this obituary.