Monday, October 10, 2011
Pulp Modern Autumn 2011 by Alec Cizak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I got a dog in this fight but hear what I gotta say...
This is a crosscut of some of the best new pulp today, in the new golden age of short genre fiction. Beginning with a cold lesson in hardboiled from grandmaster Lawrence Block, this journey through darkest crime, thrilling adventure, bizarre and whimsical fantasies and science fiction, and gritty, gripping westerns collects a wild variety of tales that define the new era of pulp.
Glenn Gray will make you squirm and laugh out loud; Copper Smith has something for the film buffs; Yarrow Paisley will disturb you with the incredible edible egg. Two cold as hell crime tales by John Kenyon and David James Keaton. Garnett Elliott gives us a samurai noir mystery from the Edo Period of Japan. James Duncan and Stephen Rogers remind us not to count out the old folks when it comes to crime and noir.
I recently called Edward Grainger's Cash Laramie tales the new frontier of Western pulp, and he proves it again with "The Wicked," the finisher for this excellent collection, just one of a pack of excellent westerns with Jimmy Callaway telling the tale of the OK Corral from the other side, Matt Pizzolato giving us a bad man's mea culpa, Sandra Seamans telling a true frontier noir tale with a schoolmarm, a mountain man, a sheriff and a whore dealing with a grizzly on the prowl. And Melissa Embry gives us a rodeo tale with an Indian and an Indian that you won't soon forget.
C.J. Edwards gives us a chilling space opera that Firefly fans will love; Chris La Tray gives us a pulp adventure set in Anasazi territory that would have improved the last Indiana Jones film, and that is not to damn with faint praise.
Every story was memorable and I'm proud to be a part of this collection. My own story is a personal favorite starring Denny the Dent, a hulking giant who seems simple but knows right from wrong... and has a brutal talent for setting things right in his own twisted way. If you liked Denny in Crimespree #43, make sure you read his origin story here.
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