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

Latest

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…

View original post 693 more words

Issue 1 Now Available for Preorder!

Broadswords and Blasters

Facebook page

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!

View original post

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.

Read the rest of this page »

Pulp Appeal: Kull

In today’s Pulp Appeal, Matt tackles Kull the Conqueror, Robert Howard’s other, lesser known barbarian king.

Broadswords and Blasters

Kull the Conqueror.jpgKull, yet another creation of the inestimable Robert E. Howard, is easy to write off as simply a precursor to Conan when you realize that Howard worked on the stories immediately prior to debuting his more famous barbarian. It doesn’t help that the first published Conan tale was a reworked Kull story, which should be fairly obvious after you think about it. After all, he’s a barbarian who takes over a kingdom by deposing a tyrant. He’s a man of action, who likens opening Pandora boxes to birthday presents. Like Conan, he represents Howard’s philosophy of barbarism as, if not superior to civilization, then the natural state of society, with civilization being aberrant.

Kull and Conan exist within the same fictional universe, even if they are separated by thousands of years. Kull is an outcast twice-over. He is from Atlantis, here a young island nation of barbarian tribes struggling for…

View original post 400 more words

Suzy’s Bad Day: Wendig Challenge

P0000012821S0046T2.jpgThis week’s topic was about going against authority. This story started out that way, but didn’t end up really being about that at all. I’m not even sure what I intended to do with it at first, but I sort of just followed the lead character down a spiral.

The image to the right will make sense in a minute or so.

Story after the break.

Read the rest of this page »

Pulp Appeal: Dashiell Hammett

Broadswords and Blasters

Continental Op CoverThe Continental Op from Cameron’s library

Dashiell Hammett lived the life of a hard-boiled detective before he created one of his own. His Continental Op character was one of the most popular detectives of the 1920s pulp fiction era. Hammett’s work with the Op and other characters appeared alongside such notable writers and characters as Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason and Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, among scores of others.

Unlike most of his contemporaries, or even many of the people who came after, Hammett has the distinction of having been a private detective, which lends his stories even more gravitas than his stripped down fiction and inclusion of grime and grit do alone. The Continental Op, the character he spent the most time writing about, is loosely based on his own experiences working for the Pinkerton Agency before and after the First World War. The Op is never named, nor…

View original post 748 more words

Do You Want the Sun to Rise Tomorrow? : Wendig Challenge

12607906934_674e7d4987_m

Image CC-BY Kent Schimke

This week’s challenge was to write a story dealing with a deity. The Simulation Hypothesis has been on my mind the last few days (I’d blame Black Mirror, but I think it’s more likely my current Teaching Company lecture about the mysteries of time that really started this recent train of thought rolling.) I think that’s fairly obvious like two lines into this story.

Story after the break.

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this page »

Pulp Appeal: Clark Ashton Smith

I was very much a latecomer to Clark Ashton Smith. Of course I’d read some of his stories and poems in collections of Weird Tales and other horror anthologies, but I’d never sat down to read his work in earnest until a few years ago.

Broadswords and Blasters

Image result for clark ashton smith

Bow down: I am the emperor of dreams;
I crown me with the million-colored sun
Of secret worlds incredible, and take
Their trailing skies for vestment when I soar,
Throned on the mounting zenith, and illume
The spaceward-flown horizons infinite.

-The Hashish Eater – or- The Apocalypse of Evil

No discussion of classic pulp would be complete without mentioning Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961), one of the leaders of the Weird Tales school, along with his contemporaries H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, and arguably the one whose legacy hasn’t lasted to the extent of either of the other two.

Though the three never met, they all maintained correspondence with each other during the pulp golden age of the 1930s, and Smith helped contribute to what would later be called the Cthulhu mythos. In fact, Smith would go so far as to create a family tree of sorts, where Hastur is…

View original post 500 more words

The Hemadip: Wendig Challenge

This week’s challenge was to create a monster. I’m not sure the hemadip I’ve created counts, at least not in the story here, which, let’s be honest, is not really a story so much as some sort of glorified Wikipedia entry. I had a hard time with this prompt. Next time you come across a leech in the wild, I hope this little vignette crosses your mind.

Story after the break:

Read the rest of this page »

Pulp Appeal: The Shadow

My newest Pulp Appeal column for Broadswords and Blasters.

Broadswords and Blasters

816uepmhbql“Hahahahahahaha. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Ahahahahaha. The Shadow knows.” This is how the radio play always starts before the narrator introduces the episode. “The Shadow,” the narrator says, is “a man of mystery who strikes terror in the very souls of sharpsters, lawbreakers, and criminals.”

For people of now advancing age, The Shadow had a regular appointment with their much younger selves as their families sat in the living room on Sunday evenings and tuned in to the weekly radio serial. As a character for radio, The Shadow was given the mysterious power to cloud men’s’ minds so he could appear to be invisible, a trick he learned from Far Eastern hypnotists. The time when radio was dominant is a fascinating era of human history, in that audio productions were the shared experience for families of the day and the actual imagery was left…

View original post 981 more words