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Pulp Consumption: “A Parallel Life” and “The Intersection” by Edmund Lester

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A Parallel Life” and “The Intersection” are two short novels by Edmund Lester. Both share similar themes and even characters, almost as if they are slices of alternate universes where the action takes place.

A Parallel Life: Ben Williamson by [Lester, Edmund]
Cover for “A Parallel Life”

“A Parallel Life” follows Ben Williamson, accountant, who chances upon the fact that a man sharing his name has been recently killed. The dead man happened to be a musician in a glam rock band, and Ben-the-accountant slowly starts to take on the aspect of his dead doppelgangers life. It starts small at first- finding YouTube videos online of performances, tracking down memorabilia, picking up the guitar and playing again. It snowballs quickly, however, with Ben deciding to attend the estate auction and blowing through what reserve funds he has, much more than he was originally planning to spend. His obsession with adapting to his new life…

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Pulp Appeal: Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo (guest post by Anthony Perconti)

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In 1993, editor Karen Berger at DC Comics forged a new imprint that focused on stories geared at a more mature audience and creator owned works as well. The end result was the creation of Vertigo Comics. Such early titles included, naturally enough, a transfer of already established titles such as Shade the Changing Man, The Sandman,[1] Swamp Thing, Hellblazer,[2] Animal Man and Doom Patrol. Soon after, new titles, both ongoing and limited premiered under this imprint including Neil Gaiman’s Death: the High Cost of Living, the Matt Wagner-helmed Sandman: Mystery Theatre and Peter Milligan’s Enigma. The summer of 1993 re-introduced readers to a preexisting DC character, who was inactive for a considerable amount of time; this figure received a Vertigo Comics makeover of sorts, with a five issue limited series. Written by veteran crime and horror writer, Joe R. Lansdale, and illustrated by the…

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Pulp Appeal: THE GETAWAY by Jim Thompson (Guest Post by Matt Spencer)

I am almost positive I’ve seen the 1994 movie, but I don’t think I was even aware it was a book first. Matt Spencer’s guest post makes me want to find this to read.

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Editors’ Note: Matt Spencer is the author of numerous novellas and short-stories, as well as the novelsThe Night and the Land,The Trail of the Beast,andSummer Reaping on the Fields of Nowhere. His latest book is the short-fiction collectionStory Time With Crazy Uncle Matt. He’sbeen 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.

Among the genre-defining noir writers of the 40s and 50s, Jim Thompson stands out for his brutal subversiveness. Rather than following a hard-nosed detective through a criminal underworld (where our protagonist may be morally ambiguous, but remains, in essence, a clear-cut good guy up against clear-cut bad guys), Thompson was among the first major writers to explore stories from the point of view of…

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Pulp Appeal: “The Garden of Adompha” by Clark Ashton Smith (guest post by Anthony Perconti)

I’ve been bad about reblogging of late. In any case, here’s a guest post about Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Garden of Adompha.”

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Cover of Weird Tales April 1938

Editors’ Note: Anthony Perconti lives and works in the hinterlands of New Jersey with his wife and kids. He enjoys good stories across many different genres and mediums. His articles have appeared inSwords and Sorcery MagazineandDMR Books Blog.If you’d like to submit an article, send us a pitch. Payment is one digital copy of your choice of any issue ofBroadswords and Blasters.

“The Garden of Adompha” was published in the April 1938 issue of Weird Tales. King Adompha, ruler of the eastern isle of Sotar’s life is filled with a constant sense of ennui. In order to relieve himself of this boredom, Adompha has enlisted the aid of the court magician, Dwerulas, in the upkeep and maintenance of a secret garden. This is no typical, run of the mill garden. A person of Adompha’s station is above these…

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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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