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Issue 2 Cover Reveal

Broadswords and Blasters

Displaying Cover2.jpg

We’d be lying if we said we weren’t super excited that Luke Spooner/Carrion House did the cover for issue two of Broadswords and Blasters. The image you see is based on one of the stories, “Feathered Death” by Steve Cook.

We are still working on finalizing Issue 2 but plan to have it available for preorder by the end of the month and available for general order by middle of July.

In the mean time you can check out issue 1 here!

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Pulp Appeal: H. Rider Haggard

Today I talk about H. Rider Haggard and his influence on pulp fiction.

Broadswords and Blasters

06516v Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress – http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ggbain.06516/

H. Rider Haggard was not really a pulp fiction author, having been a “respectable” author of Victorian literature whose first stories were published in literary magazines in the late 1870s. He was a lawyer but paid more attention to his writing, probably for the best as he was an excellent writer. So you may ask yourself why I’m talking about a Victorian author who was published in the slicks, whose work predates the height of pulp fiction as a trend. Like Rudyard Kipling, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Edgar Allan Poe, it’s because his work had an outsized impact not only on pulp fiction, but fiction in general.

His most famous creation, the English explorer Allan Quatermain, was introduced in the 1885 novel King Solomon’s Mines. While there are earlier examples of Lost World fiction, including Journey to the Center of…

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Pulp Appeal: Jirel of Joiry

In today’s Pulp Appeal, Matt introduces Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore, one of the more famous women authors of pulp fiction.

Broadswords and Blasters

C.L. Moore, stands out as one of the godparents of sword and sorcery and science-fiction, and nowhere is this more apparent than in her creation, Jirel of Joiry. Jirel stands out for several reasons as a character of the Golden Age of Pulp. She is a female character being written by a female writer, a rarity for the time. (While there were other women writing for the pulps at the time, a large percentage of them were writing hard-boiled detective stories, not fantasy). She is a creature of her passions, frequently overcome with rage that dictate her actions. She is also placed in a historic setting, in this case medieval France[1].

Jirel is a noblewoman, to be sure, but one that is more likely to don armor and meet her foes head-on then to sit behind her castle walls and busy herself with embroidery. In the…

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Pulp Appeal: Elric of Melniboné

Today Matt shares his feelings of Elric, a character I have literally never read. I keep meaning to rectify that, but never do.

Broadswords and Blasters

Image result for elric of melnibone art by Robert Gould

I can pinpoint exactly when I first came across Elric, the doomed albino sorcerer-king of Melniboné. I was a freshman in high school, and there, among the rest of the science-fiction and fantasy books in the school library were two collections of Michael Moorcock’s most famous creation. In retrospect, that is probably the best and worst time to be exposed to that particular character.

Elric is brooding and introspective, at the same time sickened by the traditions he stems from while simultaneously a product of them. Unlike other pulp heroes, who conquer and strive for a kingdom of their own, Elric is born into nobility and abdicates that responsibility. He is the product of a decadent race in their twilight years, having gone from a world-spanning kingdom to being reduced to a single island. He spends as much time entreating sorcerous entities as he does battling…

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Issue 1 Now Available in Print

Broadswords and Blasters

Cover 1 twitterIf you have been waiting for the print version of Broadswords and Blasters, wait no longer! Right now you have two options – Amazon or Createspace. The magazine will also populate to wider distribution networks, but that may take a few weeks.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545250308/

https://www.createspace.com/7078174

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Pulp Appeal: Conan the Barbarian

In today’s Pulp Appeal Matt explores the lasting appeal of Conan.

Broadswords and Blasters

Image result for conan the barbarianTrying to pin down when I originally was exposed to Conan, the world-travelling barbarian created by Robert E. Howard, is tricky. It might have been watching edited versions of Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer when I was a kid. I clearly remember one summer in a library, devouring the paperback pastiches put out by Lin Carter and L’Sprague DeCamp and, at the time, feeling frustrated by the discontinuity between the stories.

One of the most telling features of Conan is the recurring theme of civilization versus barbarity. Reading the Conan stories, it is clear that Howard truly believed that barbarism, while not necessarily superior to civilization, would always win out in the end. Frequently, Conan is able to better more educated swordsmen through natural talent, strength and speed. Fancy swordsmanship avails his opponents naught. But even when facing against other barbarians, such as the Picts in Beyond the…

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What I Look for in a Story

Matt speaks the truth. Although this is his blog entry, when it comes to what we are looking for in submissions to Broadswords and Blasters, we are of one mind. With one exception, we have tagged the same stories as accepted or rejected before talking about those stories. And once we talked about the one exception, we were on the same page there, too.

Dark Perceptions

This week’s challenge was to write a story about the end of the journey. 1500 words. Like rolling off a log, right?

Yeah, well my first draft ended up around 2800 and it’s still sitting there in the back of my head, a bad itch that won’t go away. I’m thinking “Am I clear what the stakes are?” and “Is there more I can do to build up atmosphere?” and “Is there enough tension to keep readers interesting?” and yeah, there’s a bit there I want to tease apart, insert a bit more into.

And none of it is going here, because 3,000 words or so is a nice little sweet spot of a story to try submitting to markets. As of right now, I’ve got all of four pieces submitted for the year. So instead of fiction, you get to hear what I like to see in a story…

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Pulp Appeal: Tarzan

Tarzan!

Broadswords and Blasters

Tarzan_All_StoryStand at the edge of a cliff or tree branch, take a rope in your hands, inhale a deep breath, and then leap out, shouting out a big ululating “Ah AW EEEH AW AW EEEH AWWWW!” You probably know where I’m going with this, but just in case, you’ve just completed the Tarzan yell. You don’t need the cliff or the rope (Tarzan does), but just about everyone I know has mimicked this joyful exclamation while preparing to jump down from something, often beating their chests with their fists while shouting.

There are few characters of the golden age of pulp fiction with the range and longevity of Tarzan. Hell, there are few characters at all with Tarzan’s ubiquity.

A creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan has been around for over 100 years, and yet film-makers and writers are still mining it for new material, including last year’s The Legend…

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Issue 1 Now Available for Preorder!

Broadswords and Blasters

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That’s right folks, issue one is now available for preorder. Featuring work by Matt Spencer, R.A. Goli, Michael M. Jones,  Dusty Wallace, Nicholas Ozment, Dave D’Alessio, Josh Reynolds, and Rob Francis. Cover art by Luke Spencer of Carrion House.

Get it here!

Tell your friends, tell your lovers, tell that random stranger sitting across from you on the bus.

Help keep pulp alive!

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Juniper: Wendig Challenge

SparrowThis week’s challenge was a list of one-word titles. I chose “Juniper” and I have no idea why. Started out sort of noirish, quickly morphed into urban fantasy, and ended with more questions than it started. There’s certainly more story I could tell, but I think I’m about done looking into the world of Johnson and Juniper. At least for now.

Story after the break.

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