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

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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.

Broadswords and Blasters

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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Pulp Consumption: The Black Company

Today, a brief discussion on The Black Company by Glen Cook, with a sizable aside about grimdark.

Broadswords and Blasters

220px-The_Black_CompanyI first read Glen Cook’s The Black Company and its sequels about 15 years ago, but the first book was recently on sale as a Kindle book, so I picked it up to read again as my paperbacks are stored away in a tote somewhere and I didn’t want to dig around to find them.

As the name implies, the Black Company is a mercenary company made up of villains and black magicians who were simply looking for a place to put their skills to better use. Some of them joined up out of debts, some for brotherhood, and a few, of which the main character, Croaker, may be part, for atonement for past sins. The Company has sold its services to the side of dark overlords for a long time, partly because in this universe it’s the bad guys who won a war hundreds of years ago and established…

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Pulp Appeal : Clash of the Titans (1981)

Broadswords and Blasters

(Editors’ Note: R.A. Goli is an Australian writer of horror, fantasy, erotic, and speculative short stories. In addition to writing, her interests include reading, gaming, the occasional walk, and annoying her dog, two cats, and husband. Her short story collection Unfettered is currently available at Lulu. Her fantasy novella, The Eighth Dwarf is available at Amazon and Fantasia Divinity MagazineCheck out her numerous short story publications at her  website https://ragoliauthor.wordpress.com/ or stalk her on Facebook)

Clash of the Titans is an epic tale of Olympian gods, mythological monsters and heroic mortals. Released in 1981, it stars Laurence Olivier as Zeus (Spartacus, 1960), Harry Hamlin as Perseus, (who later goes on to star in LA LAW), Maggie Smith as Thetis (Downton Abbey), and Ursula Andress as Aphrodite (who only has one line).

The movie opens with Acrisius, King of Argos, condemning his daughter, Danae and her infant son…

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Pulp Consumption: Strange Economics

Today I talk about a new anthology of speculative fiction, Strange Economics.

Broadswords and Blasters

41XhWcD-mDLAbout a year ago, before we published David F. Shultz’s story “Jerold’s Stand” in Issue 5, Shultz ran a Kickstarter for a collection of science fiction and fantasy called Strange Economics. The concept of the collection was to marry the sf/f genres to explicit examinations of economic principles, and then to couple those stories with examinations by real world economists and discussion questions that readers could use as jumping off points to talk about economics with others. The collection was successfully funded and the fruits of that Kickstarter finally hit the presses after a small delay.[1]

The collection contains 23 stories of varying genres that have economic principles as major plot points, an afterword that examines economics in science fiction, and a selection of probing, open-ended questions about the included stories.

Each story is its own self-contained world, exploring one quirk or another about the current economic systems…

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Pulp Consumption: The Dark Crystal

This week I touch upon The Dark Crystal, a movie I love.

Broadswords and Blasters

3730957_sa.jpg This is the DVD cover for the version I own.

A race of godlike beings is shattered into two separate, disparate species when a crystal is broken. As each of the creatures ages and dies, its counterpart in the other species also ages and dies, leaving a power vacuum. The gentler Mystics pass over power by singing their lamentations. The more malevolent Skeskis engage in ritual combat to establish control. In an effort to keep themselves from aging, the Skeksis also capture creatures and drain their life essences, including the clan of the main character, a male Gelfling named Jen. Jen is an orphan being raised by the Mystics, and as his Master dies, he is told he must find the broken piece of the crystal and reunite it before a cosmic congregation or else the two races will continue to degrade, leaving the Skeksis in control of the world.

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Pulp Appeal: John Carpenter’s They Live

Today I talk about one of my favorite cheesy 80s movies: They Live

Broadswords and Blasters

They LiveA pair of mysterious sunglasses, secret messages hiding in advertising, a weird religious cult preaching about the overthrow of a government, and aliens? That’s John Carpenter’s They Live at its core.

The film, starring former WWE superstar “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and character actor par excellence Keith David, is apparently loosely based on a 1960s short story called “Eight O’Clock in the Morning,” though I confess I wasn’t aware of this until doing research for this article. If you read the story, you can see where Carpenter cribbed the basic concept of aliens masquerading as humans in power, but the details in the film veer quite far from the source material.

Subliminal advertising had been discussed for decades by the time They Live came to theaters in 1988, but the idea of widespread messages hiding in mass media touched upon significant fears of 1980s America. Carpenter is no fan…

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Pulp Consumption: Jules de Grandin

Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin – a racist French Sherlock Holmes living in New Jersey and investigating the occult.

Broadswords and Blasters

51721TMPfuL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Last month Horror on the Links, a collection of Seabury Quinn’s detective stories featuring Jules de Grandin, went on sale on Amazon for an amazingly low price. As a fan of Weird Tales and pulp fiction in general, of course I’d heard of Quinn, but his works are hard to find and have been out of print for awhile. The book starts with a little essay, as most of these collections do, which goes over the history of Quinn’s works and the rationale for why they’ve fallen out of favor while Howard and Lovecraft saw their fame grow. The fact is Quinn was more in demand at the time of the pulp heyday, and more of the magazine covers featured his works than either of his more famous contemporaries.

For those not familiar with the character, as I was not until reading this book, Jules de Grandin is a…

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Issue 6 is Now Available!

Issue 6 was just published and it has some great stories! Check out this summary and then go buy it. Support your indie publishers!

Broadswords and Blasters

Issue 6 is out now!

Broadswords and Blasters Issue 6: Pulp Magazine with Modern Sensibilities (Volume 2) by [Gomez, Matthew X., Walton, Robert, Rose, Rie Sheridan, Furman, Adam S., Hansson, Marcus, Cole, Catherine J., Graves, J.D., Mason, Jared]

Okay, so if all you do is follow the blog, you might think once a week articles on pulp (and pulp adjacent) properties might be all we do. Not the case though! We also put out a quarterly magazine, featuring at least seven stories of action and adventure and running the gamut of genres.

Issue 6 (currently available on Amazon in both digital and dead tree format), dropped this past Friday and features some of the best writing you can find anywhere.

“The Ogre’s Secret” by Robert Walton gets us kicked off in the right way with a nail biting mountain-climbing excursion. Definitely a different sort of Viking tale, but one that will have you holding your breath… and maybe laughing a bit as well.

“Marshal Marshall Meets the Mechanical Marauder” is an Old West Steampunk tale of a robber in search of one…

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Pulp Consumption: Playback

Broadswords and Blasters

RaymondChandler_Playback

Raymond Chandler is one of the foundational authors of noir. His Philip Marlowe is the quintessential hardboiled private investigator, a character Chandler rode until Marlowe seemed to become a pastiche of himself. This is not to say the acclaim Chandler derived in his career was unwarranted, but the pressure took its toll the author, and in his later years he became cantankerous and hard to work with, partly because he’d been taken advantage of (or so he felt) by the film industry and partly because he was a sour, curmudgeonly man. It didn’t help that he was also an alcoholic.

All of his novels, bar one, were filmed in one incarnation or another. The Big Sleep is the most famous as it established him on the pulp fiction scene, and the film version with Humphrey Bogart is as iconic as Bogart’s turn as Sam Spade, the PI creation of Dashiell…

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Pulp Consumption: Fletch

If you’ve seen Fletch, but never thought about it in the context of neo-noir pulp, then I urge you to read this, re-watch, and re-consider.

Broadswords and Blasters

Fletch DVD Cover This is the cover on my DVD. The original movie poster is much better.

We talk a lot about movies and tv shows here, and you might think we don’t read much pulp, but we do and are. Both Matt and I recently picked up a collection of Seabury Quinn’s Jules de Grandin stories and I bought a new collection of Hap and Leonard by Joe R. Lansdale (RIP the tv series after three seasons), so we’ll get back to written pulp in a week or two. However, I wanted to explain why so many of the Pulp Appeals and Consumptions seem focused on visual media.[1]

2018-06-22 This is a very young Geena Davis in only her second movie role.

In between the fall of the pulp greats and the rise of new pulp magazines in the last ten years, much of what we would consider to be pulp fiction…

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