In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

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Pulp Consumption: The Mummy (2017)

Last week Matt discussed the (far superior) 1999 Brendan Fraser movie The Mummy. Today I talk about the trainwreck that was the 2017 Tom Cruise version.

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Honest to goodness – just read the article and skip the movie. I wish I was joking.

Last week Matt tackled the Brendan Fraser/Rachel Weisz The Mummy. That movie was created as a deliberate homage to B movies, down to some of the cheesy dialogue and throwaway one-liners. And that’s why I love it. It’s one of those movies whenever it’s broadcast you can just drop into 20 minutes in and stick with it until the end. In this way, it’s much like a personal favorite, TheFifthElement.

Again, I wish I was joking, but I’d rather watch this a second time than The Mummy.

However! The 2017 “remake” starring Tom Cruise had to go and rear its ugly head and taint the very name “The Mummy” with a script so poorly written you have to wonder how the hell the studio even approved it in print, let alone the…

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Pulp Appeal: Worms of the Earth (Guest Post by Matt Spencer)

Today we have a guest post to ring out the year. Matt Spencer talks about Robert Howard’s WORMS OF THE EARTH, a Bran Mak Morn story.

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Editors’ Note: Matt Spencer is the author of numerous novellas and short-stories, as well as the novels The Night and the Land, The Trail of the Beast, and Summer Reaping on the Fields of Nowhere. His latest book is the short-fiction collection Story Time With Crazy Uncle Matt. He’s been a journalist, New Orleans restaurant cook, factory worker, radio DJ, and a no-good ramblin’ bum. He’s also a song lyricist, playwright, actor, and martial artist. As of this writing, he lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.

If you know me and/or the kind of stuff I write, you’re probably at least passingly familiar with the works of Robert E. Howard, even if only by reputation, as to the man’s profound influence on the evolution of heroic adventure lit, and fantasy/speculative-fiction in general. On those merits, whether you’ve read him or not, you probably already have an idea whether or not…

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Pulp Appeal: Die Hard

On this Christmas Eve, Matt discusses that greatest of Christmas movies, Die Hard.

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Image result for hans gruber falling

Okay, let’s get the big piece out of the way. DIE HARD is a Christmas movie. Beyond the obvious (the action takes place during a holiday party), there is a sense of reconnecting with family, of finding happiness in little things, and of course Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
DIE HARD came out in 1988, based on a novel by Roderick Thorp, NOTHING LASTS FOREVER . There are significant changes between the novel and the book, enough that DIE HARD can legitimately seen as its own product.
For the five or so people who haven’t seen it, the basic plot is that John McClane is flying from New York to Los Angeles in an attempt to reconnect with his estranged wife, Holly. McClane is a beat cop, eleven years on the force. His wife is a high powered executive married to her job. He’s supposed to go to her holiday party…

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Pulp Appeal: Highlander (the tv series)

Last week Matt talked Highlander the movie. Today I talk Highlander the tv series.

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Last week Matt tackled the 1986 movie, Highlander, a film we share a mutual love for. I first came across the film when I was about 11 or 12 on a free HBO weekend, or something like that. While I enjoyed it for what it was, even then I recognized there were elements of greatness (the soundtrack, Clancy Brown’s Kurgan) amidst elements I felt were less than satisfactory. We had a French actor playing a Scotsman, a Scot playing a Spaniard by way of ancient Egypt, sword-fighting which was merely okay despite having immortals who’ve had eons to perfect their skills, and some cringingly terrible dialog. Of course at 11 or 12 I didn’t have my vocabulary established enough to employ it in this sort of article, but I knew something was off. It was in my teens when I started watching the tv series that I really understood…

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Pulp Appeal: Highlander

This week Matt covers Highlander. Next week I will likely also cover Highlander, but where Matt tackled the first movie, I’ll take the tv series.

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There can be only one!

Well, that might have been true back in 1986, but Highlander, the movie featuring Christopher Lambert as the immortal Scotsman Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert) spawned two other feature films, two separate live action television shows, an anime series, and one television movie.

Image result for highlander 1986

So what about this movie made it so popular? Was it the idea of immortals existing throughout time, experiencing different cultures and periods? Was it the implied backstory with the arcane rules (there can be only one, no fighting on holy ground)? Or was it the simple fact that watching a swordfight in the modern day turned out to be strangely compelling?

In case you weren’t aware, HIGHLANDER traces Connor MacLeod’s humble beginning as a clan warrior in the highlands of Scotland through the centuries to modern (okay, 1980s) New York. It is in that time and place where there will be The…

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Pulp Appeal: Castlevania (Part 2)

Castlevania, continued. This week I talk about the Netflix original tv series.

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Has it been a week already? Okay then, it’s time to continue Castlevania franchise nerd-out. As I said last week, this article ballooned on me. While you could conceivably read this Pulp Appeal cold, it might be best if you went back and read last week’s, either for the first time or as a refresher for today’s article. As with last week, I’m linking you to a soundtrack to listen to while you read, but it will only work if you have Amazon Prime, as the music is proprietary and not under weird video game music laws. Honestly, Trevor Morris has made some great music for filmed properties, and the soundtrack is worth purchasing.

Last week I spent time talking about the inspiration behind Castlevania, the history of the first three games in the series, and a bit about their impact on video games that came after. This week…

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Pulp Appeal: Castlevania (Part 1)

Today I talk about Castlevania, so if that’s your jam, be sure to read this and check back in a week when I’ll talk even more about Castlevania.

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Alright readers of Broadswords and Blasters, it’s time for a full on nerd-out, and the topic is the Castlevania franchise. This article ballooned on me. In fact, it practically metastasized, so there will be a part 2 in next week. I guess you can say I’m a Castlevania fan. I even forgot until just now that my wallpaper on my iPad is fan art for Castlevania, with nearly every character from the game series history present in the piece. So…yeah. Also, you should listen to this playlist of some really awesome video game music as you read.

I first played Castlevania on the original Nintendo back in 1987. I was probably at my friend Michael’s house, as he was the only kid in the neighborhood I knew who had a Nintendo. I got my first Nintendo three or four years later. I didn’t have the original Castlevania

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Pulp Consumption: The Shadow of the Torturer

Years after my first attempt to read Gene Wolfe’s The Shadow of the Torturer, the first book of his Book of the New Sun tetralogy, I recently tried again.

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images This is the copy I have in paperback.

First, Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun series of books may not be seen as pulp by many modern readers in the new pulp scene, but Dying Earth stories certainly trace their history directly through the pulp greats. There’s a direct line back from Wolfe to Jack Vance through CJ Cherryh, Lin Carter, and Poul Anderson, among others. And Vance absolutely traces back to Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique series, so while Wolfe’s writings in the early 1980s might not hit the bullseye where pulp resides, it’s definitely close to it in the overlapping Venn diagram of genre fiction.

Before I go much further, I have to come clean and say this is my second crack at Wolfe’s novel. The first time I tried to get through it was about 15 years ago when I was looking at books that inspired…

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Pulp Consumption: The Ballad of Black Tom

Today I talk about the novella The Ballad of Black Tom, a retelling of Lovecraft’s infamous “The Horror at Red Hook.”

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1784919312Victor LaValle’s novella The Ballad of Black Tom reimagines H.P. Lovecraft’s original story “The Horror at Red Hook,” notorious for being one of the most blatantly racist stories by the older author. “Red Hook” was originally published by Weird Tales in 1927, but it’s notably racist even for the time period. Additionally, Lovecraft himself wasn’t much a fan of the story. Some of Lovecraft’s proteges and biographers (Lin Carter the former and ST Joshi the latter) agree with his assessment. I don’t think there’s a need for me to agree with others, but I’ll just add in my personal dislike for the story, its narrative device (used to better effect in “Randolph Carter”), and the unchecked xenophobia, which is more than uncalled for.

Black Tom has won awards and was nominated for many others, primarily because it manages to add story beats that give the characters purpose. If “Red…

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Issue 7 Out Today!

Issue 7 drops today! Next month we re-open for submissions. And now I have to put issue 8 together to get that done before getting bogged down in school assignments.

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Hey, guess what today is? I mean other than the first day of the rest of your life. Yeah, that’s right, we’ve got a new issue of BROADSWORDS AND BLASTERS for you.

Broadswords and Blasters Issue 7: Pulp Magazine with Modern Sensibilities (Volume 2 Book 3) by [Gomez, Matthew, Codair, Sara, Barlow, Tom, Francis, Rob, Kilgore, Joe, Reynolds, Z., Serna-Grey, Ben, Young, Brad, Rubin, Richard, Uitvlugt, Donald] Maybe we shouldn’t have woken it up? Richard Rubin first graced our pages in Issue 4 with “Commander Saturn and the Deadly Invaders From Rigel,” and now he’s back battling the space pirates of Ganymede. If you like retro sci-fi at all (we’re talking old school Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon), you’re going to want to check out this tale of experimental cloaking devices, double crosses and deception.

Tom Barlow gave us “Jigsaw,” a dysfunctional couple’s descent into horror brought about by a mysterious puzzle.

Ben Serna-Gray penned the twisted surrealistic sci-fi dystopia “Choice Cuts.” When everything (and anyone) is edible, conspicuous consumption takes on a whole new meaning.

Rob Francis is back this issue (last seen way…

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