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Author Archive

Pulp Consumption: Sharp Ends

This week we have a guest post by Steve DuBois, the author of the excellent “Monsters in Heaven,” which we published in Issue 4.

Broadswords and Blasters

[Steve DuBois was kind enough to pull this article together for our on-going PULP CONSUMPTION series of articles. Have an idea for an article? Drop us a line through our contact us box. Payment is a digital copy of the issue of your choice.]

There are people who will argue that Joe Abercrombie’s work is the diametric opposite of pulp.  Abercrombie is broadly categorized as a “Grimdark” author, and his novels—especially those of his First Law universe—do not show heroic virtue being rewarded.  To the extent that there’s a governing intelligence at work, it seems to operate according to the principle of master-manipulator Bayaz: “God smiles upon results.”  Make no mistake, Abercrombie’s work is in no sense “superversive”[1].

Abercrombie ain’t for everybody.  He’s sure as hell for me, though.  Pulp or no, the First Law novels are full of what makes pulp fun.  His plots…

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Pulp Appeal: Firefly (and Serenity)

Today I discuss the pulp appeal of Firefly/Serenity.

Broadswords and Blasters

There aren’t many self-respecting fans of science fiction who haven’t at least heard about the masterpiece Fox television show Firefly, sadly cut down in its prime by network executives without a clue. At the time of its release, I was simply too pissed off at Fox for canceling my weekly date with Jessica Alba[1] , and could read the writing on the wall. In the early 2000s, Fox had a nasty habit of airing promising sci-fi shows in the Friday night death slots. Firefly is no exception. And then Fox went and made it even worse by airing the episodes out of sequence and taking seven months between the first 11 and last 3 episodes. Fan outcry wasn’t enough to save the show—it rarely is—but creator Joss Whedon did manage to spin out a feature film, Serenity,to wrap up most of the story. Sadly, Serenity didn’t…

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Pulp Appeal: Disney/Pixar’s Up

In today’s article, I explain why Disney/Pixar’s Up is pure pulp fiction.

Broadswords and Blasters

MV5BMTk3NDE2NzI4NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzE1MzEyMTE@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,664,1000_AL_Disney’s Up is 100% pulp fiction. If this story had been written and published in Amazing Stories or Weird Tales, it could not have been any more pulp-y than it already is.

The main character takes an unusual mode of transportation and finds himself in a paradise. Here he comes across a friendly animal that leads him to the animal’s master. This master is a megalomaniacal explorer who appears to have slipped over the edge of sanity, using his mania as a means to ensure his solitude and terrorize the locals. After a brief struggle, the main character saves the friendly animal, thwarts the megalomaniacal explorer who falls to his death, and then the main character returns home via a similarly unusual mode of transportation with a new lease on life and a story few people would ever believe.

When you strip out the specifics, the names, and the fact…

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NaHaiWriMo Days 11-14

February 14 – pulling taffy

boardwalk nights
saltwater taffy
and skeeball


February 13 – the little store on the corner

summer break
pork roll, egg, and cheese
and malted milkshakes


February 12 – the button at the top of a baseball cap

swatting greenheads — ouch! baseball cap leaves a welt


February 11 – Pilsner glasses

empty Pilsner glass–clouds all day

Pulp Consumption: Get Out

Have you seen Jordan Peele’s GET OUT? You should.

Broadswords and Blasters


By now I have to imagine anyone who loves horror movies has seen Get Out, so it’s probably preaching to the choir at this point, but if for some reason you’ve skipped over this film you are doing yourself a serious disservice. Seriously, stop reading now and just go watch the movie.

Are you still here? If so, I’m going to assume you’ve watched the film, so beware spoilers below.

Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington

It would be stupid not to discuss the popularity of Jordan Peele as a comedy writer and sketch actor, especially where it comes to his frequent collaborator Keegan Michael Key (if you watched the Super Bowl, you saw Key in at least two commercial breaks, and I’m sure you recognize him from character actor roles all over the place).  If you’ve ever watched any of the Key and Peele sketch show, you have no…

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NaHaiWriMo Day 10

February 10 – Indian cotton shirts

winter storm
my cat nestled deep
in cotton t-shirts

NaHaiWriMo Day 9

February 9 – beating the heat

winter wind
the poet longs for sand
and sweet tea

NaHaiWriMo Day 8

February 8 – paintbox

phthalo blue–her eyes and the midnight ocean

NaHaiWriMo Day 7

February 7 – wrapped in a quilt, watching a meteor shower
freezing rain
headlights can be meteors
if you squint

NaHaiWriMo Day 6

February 6 – cutting the lawn

summer’s end
the hum of yellowjackets
lost to the lawnmower roar