Category Archives: Authors

Featured Author: JJ Lee

It’s December, and Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018 is here! Featured author JJ Lee’s ‘Desdemone’ opens our winter issue with an exquisite Edwardian haunting of a most personal kind.

Multiple-award-nominated memoirist JJ Lee is author of The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit.  Every year, following in the footsteps of ‘Fireside Al’ Maitland, he  presents a Christmas ghost story on CBC Radio in British Columbia, and ‘Desdemone’ was his Christmas 2016 oeuvre.

Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018

We’re delighted to be able to bring this story to a print audience.  This is JJ’s third short story for Pulp Literature, the first being the dystopian Spec Fic piece ‘Built to Love’ in Issue 2 and the Yuletide Lovecraft, Moorcook, Nazi mashup ‘The Man in the Long Black Coat’ in Issue 8.

You can save $2 by pre-ordering our Winter 2018 issue here … and then get JJ to sign it for you when you pick it up at the Winter Launch Party, Monday Dec 11th from 5:00 – 7:00pm at the Cottage Bistro on Main St.

To get you in the JJ mood, here’s an excerpt from Issue 8’s ‘The Man in the Long Black Coat’, a holiday story with a Lovecraftian twist:

 

The Man in the Long Black Coat

A Chthonic Christmas Tale by JJ Lee

Silesia
December 1944

I don’t remember if Mother’s eyes said it or if she spoke the words, “He’s just a boy.” I do remember feeling anger and burning shame.  I was eleven years old, the eldest. Father had been gone for years.  The weekly newsreel Die Deutsche Wochenschau showed boys my age working in factories, making shells and gun parts.  In school we were told to be “slim and strong, swift as greyhounds, tough as leather, and hard as Krupp steel.”  I thought I was until I saw Mother’s eyes that night in the winter of 1944.

Herr Mundt didn’t care.  He had arrived from the larger, Lower Silesian town of G______ in search of what he called ‘recruits.’  He dressed in the makeshift manner of the Volkssturm, the People’s Army.  He wore scuffed and muddy railroad boots, brown breeches, and an armband over his grey coat sleeve.  On his collar, Herr Mundt had pinned officer pips.  He topped his head with the kind of hat a butcher would wear.  His attire was theatrical, ersatz, outlandish, wildly officious, and, because he seemed so out of control, menacing.  From his gaze I wanted to hide.

“He has five minutes to gather warm clothes and boots, if he has any,” said Herr Mundt.

He stepped back into the snow and shadows and strode off in the direction of the neighbours.  Mother shut the door.  My legs trembled as I climbed up the stairs and went into the bedroom.  I took off my pyjamas and folded them.  I tucked them under my pillow.  I began to put on as much clothes as I could.  I stuffed more warm things into a canvas bag.  I went to the other side of the bed and leaned down to kiss Lena, my sister, on her forehead.  Her eyes opened.

“You should be asleep,” I said.

“Where are you going?”

“I don’t know.”

“Take this.”

She pulled from under the covers a tin soldier, my oldest, most treasured toy.

“Where did you find it?”  I fought the urge to snatch it from her and I held out my hand.  She put it in my palm.  I saw the chipped paint on its shako, the blue on its tunic nearly worn through from play, the bent rifle, and the blankness of its face.  It made me think of Father.

“Keep it until I come back.”

I tucked her in, kissed her again, and went downstairs.  Mother said, “You can hide in the forest.”

“I don’t think they will let me.”

A pistol cracked.  A woman’s wail cut through the night.  A minute later, Herr Mundt thumped on our door.  “Frau Steiner.”

Mother clambered into the cellar and came back up holding hunting boots.  “They’re still too big,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter.  You need boots.”

“Frau Steiner.”  Herr Mundt hammered on the door.  I put them on.  I didn’t have time to say goodbye to Mother.

I stumbled after Herr Mundt to a small truck idling in front of the church.  He opened the back and waved his pistol.  I climbed in.  Three other boys from the village — Jens, Rudy, and Zeydl — sat shivering on the side benches.

“Stay in here until we let you out.  If any of you try to run, you will wish you hadn’t.”  Herr Mundt shut us in and we rode without speaking.  At first I could hardly see, but my eyes adjusted to the dimness.  The walls were wood slats with no space between them.  A tarpaulin covered the top.  In one corner, there was a small tear that flapped in the wind.  Through it fell the palest light from the night sky …

Read the rest of the story in Pulp Literature Issue 8, Autumn 2015.

 

Author News: Anat Rabkin

We love the eclectic nature of our magazine. Literary fiction, poetry, Sci-fi, short comics, and so much more come together in each issue to offer a wide variety for the diverse palettes we are serving.  Sometimes, the appearance of comics in a literary magazine can come  as a shock, but we believe that when words and images come together, another layer of depth is added to the story.

Anat Rabkin

Anat Rabkin is one talented artist and writer whose work has been featured in Issue 9 with ‘Forbidden Fruit’ and Issue 13 with ‘It Rained Then, Too’. Click here to browse back issues… 

She is also the author and illustrator of the webcomic Seraphim: Tales of Love and Courage, set to return from hiatus before the end of 2017!

Currently, Anat is hard at work on a Kickstarter campaing with Cloudscape Comics.  Her comic, ‘Soundblind’, is set to appear in their anthology, Swan Song, a massive, 12×12 anthology of comics about music, and life, and changing the world.

Find the full line-up and run-down of the campaign here

Anat Rabkin returns to Pulp Literature in the upcoming Issue 17, Winter 2018 with her first prose-only short story, ‘For the Love of Grey.’  It’s take on what awaits us in perdition, and one woman’s determination to remain positive.  You can pre-order issue 17 with a $2 discount until December 10th.

Meet Anat at the Winter Launch

Join us to launch Issue 17 at the Cottage Bistro on Main Street.  Anat will be reading from ‘For the Love of Grey’, and there will also be readings from JJ Lee, Emily Osborne, Misha Handman and the winners of the 2017 Cedric prize.

Winter Book Launch
Monday 11 December, 5:00 – 7:00pm
The Cottage Bistro
4470 Main Street, Vancouver BC

Free!  RSVP here

 

 

 

Nicholas Christian, ‘A Wassail in Ink’

We are delighted to publish Nicholas Christian’s poem ‘A Wassail in Ink’ in Issue 15 of Pulp Literature.  We are even more delighted that he has provided another version of the poem, which he has agreed to publish here on the website.

A Wassail in Ink

by Nicholas Christian

Here is one beginning: an Ocean of Vietnam;
bottom rim stiff with starch grinding like rough glass
against an old belt buckle, eyes sweeping and moving
in rhythm through the dark of a stone spiral street.

And there the cavalier waited, iron-red mouth brushing
your waist and Avery Colt laughed into beer with October
promises before the night church of Kansas knew even spoiled honey
is sweet in black heels high under sconces of electric tallow.

Our canoe was carved for sinking, certain your wet shoes remember
how to walk into the dusk of an old stranger’s bread, and gun-fire
has come to mean tasting the vanilla whorl of water lilies.

And some braveries are the old tears stranded and hungry
given to island sand, words taken by the wind returned possessions
with the rain, grown thick and resonant as stretching pelicans—
we’ve landed on Bluebeard’s birch table, sure in opening one more door

the joys of hearing Rumi ask what have I ever lost by dying?
What choice but to sentence shining with fat our piles of bones

to the burning wood; now there is space for the tapestry of your back
to fit into my hand—this learning language through the body
sits so close to the future there is only the dance of it.

Which is all to say: these places are maps black from all this spilled ink
collecting in my cup full of little crows I’ve brought to your lips,
meaning nothing more than we are seven words written when not looking.

We think the poem is superb in both its forms.  What do you think?  You can find Issue 15 here if you don’t already have it.  We’d love to hear from you.

Nicholas Christian’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in TAB, The Lindenwood Review, Cobalt Review, Rat’s Ass Review, Off the Coast, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry City, USA, and elsewhere. His work explores the significance of world mythology and initiatory rites, and further what it means to live in a modern place and age where they are sorely needed while frequently absent.  He will be travelling to Goa, India in February 2018 to take part in a panel on South American mythology for Roots, a celebration of Portuguese language and literature.

 

 

Monsters in the Classroom with Adam Golub

Congratulations to Adam Golub on the release of Monsters in the Classroom: Essays on Teaching What Scares Us (McFarland 2017). Adam, with Heather Richardson Hayton, is  co-editor. “The contributors discuss the implications of inviting fearsome creatures into the classroom, showing how they work to create compelling narratives and provide students a framework for analyzing history, culture, and everyday life.” More here.

Adam’s short story ‘The Pool Guy’ was  Brenda Carre’s choice as first runner up in Pulp Literature’s  2016 Raven Short Story Contest. Here’s a taste …

The Pool Guy
by Adam Golub

Ty took a break from sexting Maddie to ask the pool guy about the leaf blower guy.

“I heard someone attacked him with a golf club,” said Ty.

“That’s right,” said the pool guy.  “Someone just walked up and cracked him, Goodfellas style.  Jesús tried to fight back with the leaf blower, and supposedly there was a duel for a few seconds, all King Arthur and shit, but police say this maniac was on a mission, he was hulking, all Rage-Virused out.  Jesús never stood a chance.  He’s got a skull fracture, man.  Lacerations on his arms.  Teeth are all busted up.”

“That’s terrible,” Ty said as his phone chimed.

And then I climb on top of you like a jockey on his favourite horse.  

Maddie was a simile sexter.

…  Read the rest in Pulp Literature Issue 15

Adam Golub with Zombies, in the News

Monsters in the Classroom: Teaching Can Be a Scream, CSUF News Service, August 1, 2017.

“Got a monstrous concept to teach next semester?

There’s a zombie for that.

Inviting creatures into the classroom helps students analyze history, culture and everyday life…” more here

Zombies and the Professor Who Teaches Them, Yes Weekly, June 27, 2017.

At Guilford College, the walking dead have been feasting on students who don’t cooperate to defend themselves. This is not a game or a Halloween zombie walk, the blood-splattered mayhem is a serious academic exercise requiring problem-solving, critical thinking and trust. More here…

About Adam Golub

Adam Golub is an American Studies professor who teaches courses on literature, childhood, popular culture, and monsters at California State University, Fullerton. His stories have appeared in The Bookends Review, 101 Fiction, The Sirens Call, and Winamop.

 

FJ Bergmann, Winner of the Gold Line Press Chapbook Contest

Congratulations to poet and short fiction author FJ Bergmann, winner of the 2017 Gold Line Press chapbook contest for her collection A Catalog of the Further Suns.

Judge Sarah Vap had the following to say about the winning manuscript:  “As I moved through A Catalog of the Further Suns I found myself, as a member of the human species, alien-ized. I found myself alien-ating. I found myself in a labyrinth of mirrors that reflected back and forth among the histories of colonization and mass extinction, and the futures of colonization and mass extinction. While reading these poems I slipped, for fractions of fractions of moments, just the tiniest distance outside of my human brain… Read more here .

FJ Bergmann is the author of  the intriguing short stories ‘Opening Doors’, Issue 6, ‘How to Lose a Week’, Issue 13, and ‘For your Convenience,’ upcoming in Issue 16.

How to Lose a Week

From Issue 13, a taste of FJ Bergmann’s storytelling flair:

After accidentally pouring reconstituted orange juice instead of milk into the remaining half-cup of coffee, you make a snap decision that it’s okay to go to the art museum instead of work, since you are late to work anyway. When your car won’t start because someone who shall not be named left the interior light on, you decide to hitchhike downtown. The eighteen-wheeler that picks you up is going to Florida; you decide that’s even more okay. You spend the rest of the day travelling south and taking notes for future use in a roman-à-clef while the trucker tells you his very interesting life story. He talks a lot faster than you are used to.

Tuesday
In the wee hours, somewhere near Atlanta, Georgia, the trucker, who has become progressively more wild-eyed and chatty and for some reason hasn’t needed to stop for anything but gas, informs you that an alien spaceship is landing on the road ahead 

Find the rest of Issue 13 here.

More about FJ Bergmann

FJ is a member of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets who also writes speculative fiction and is a web designer and artist.  She maintains madpoetry.org, a local poetry website, as well as the WFoP site, bookthatpoet.com, and others.  Her personal site is fibitz.com. She also offers a poetry submission service, PoemFactotum.com. She has had poems in the Beloit Poetry Journal, North American Review, Rosebud, Southern Poetry Review, Tattoo Highway, and Weird Tales… Read more here  

We look forward to reading A Catalog of Further Suns when it comes off the press.

 

 

 

Mary Rykov’s Poetry to be Published in 2019

Congratulations to Issue 2 and Issue 9 poet, essayist, and fiction writer, Mary H. Auerbach Rykov, poet.  Mary recently signed with Inanna Publications and Education to launch her debut poetry collection, *some conditions apply*.  A Fall 2019 release is planned for this book.  The acceptance follows hard on the heels of the publication of several of her essays, as well as exciting forays into flash fiction.

On her website Mary writes encouraging words for poets everywhere:

Just Keep Writing and Sending Them Out

When the prolific poet, David W. McFadden, won the 2014 Giller Prize for Excellence in Poetry for What’s the Score? (Mansfield, 2013), my first poetry manuscript was still seeking a literary home.

“David,” I asked, “what advice can you give me?”

“Just keep writing and sending them out.”

David was right. I kept writing and sending them out. Eventually I scored. Seven years, twelve manuscript submissions (six full manuscripts, six manuscript excepts), and three title changes later, my debut poetry collection, some conditions apply, will hatch with Inanna Publications and Education Inc. in 2019. Thank you, Luciana Ricciutelli, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. What seems like a long two-year wait is the necessary production schedule of most small presses that work with minimal staff on shoestring budgets for the love of literature. After seven long years wafting in the ethers of Submissionland, these two years will pass quickly.

I share with you what I learned… Read more here

My First Job

Mary’s funny and beautiful essay “My First Job” appears in Numero Cinq Magazine

By the time I was seventeen, I was a singer-songwriter—a tumbleweed riding the wind, barely making ends meet. I sang a lunch set at the Penny Farthing coffee house for my lunch and dinner. And I lived in a downtown Toronto rooming house across the hall from Murray the Speed Freak who, according to the Addiction and Research Foundation, should have been dead six months ago… Read more

About the author:

Puerto Rico-born Mary Rykov is a Toronto music therapist-researcher, editor, educator, and writer.  She holds a PhD in Adult Education (OISE/UT, 2006) and an MA in Music Therapy (NYU, 1995).  Her songs, fiction, poetry, and nonfiction appear in various venues.  She freelances as a writing mentor and editor in multiple genres and serves as proofreader for Pulp Literature Press.

 

The Winner, The Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize

We are happy to announce the winner of the Hummingbird Flash Fiction Prize!

The winning story is ‘Just Down the Hall’ by Jeanette Topar.

Our final judge, Bob Thurber, enjoyed reading all of the finalists several times before deciding that ‘Just Down the Hall‘  “had qualities that glowed in the dark atmosphere and sense of dread the story presents. Nicely done.”

Congratulations to our winner!

Here’s a taste of  Jeanette Topar’s winning story.

Truth was, Mrs. Cole had become a little afraid of 902. Late in the evenings she’d hear 902’s footsteps slide across the tiled hallway, hesitating outside her door. “Is this my place?” her neighbour would ask.  Mrs. Cole would mute the volume on her TV and hold her breath as she sat quietly in her tidy living room waiting for the woman to shuffle away.  The last few times Mrs. Cole had encountered her, 902 was wearing nothing but a gray slip that blended with the color of her skin and matched her hair…

Jeanette Topar receives $300 and publication of her haunting tale in Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018.

The Editor’s Choice

For the Editor’s Choice, we had to think very hard before selecting from the titles in the Hummingbird Prize long list.  But we were united at last in selecting the moving story ‘The Bruised Peach’ by William Kaufmann.  This story will also appear in Issue 17 of Pulp Literature, Winter 2018.

Congratulations to our winners.  And a big thanks to our fine entrants.  Our deep appreciation goes to final judge Bob Thurber and his keen judgement of flash fiction. Bob Thurber is known throughout the flash fiction universe for his intense, no-holds-barred storytelling, and is the author of Nickel Fictions: 50 Exceedingly Brief Stories, Paperboy: A Dysfunctional Novel, and Nothing But Trouble.

Our next contest, The Raven Short Story Contest, opens September 1st.  Stay on top of all our contests by subscribing to our free newsletter.

A New Fantasy Novel from Rebecca Gomez Farrell

Congratulations Rebecca Gomez Farrell, author of ‘Thlush-a-lum’ in Pulp Literature Issue 5, on her new book out with Meerkat Press.  Her fantasy novel Wings Unseen is available for preorder.  Here’s a taste of what lies in store for her readers.

To end a civil war, Lansera’s King Turyn relinquished a quarter of his kingdom to create Medua, exiling all who would honor greed over valor to this new realm on the other side of the mountains. The Meduans and Lanserim have maintained an uneasy truce for two generations, but their ways of life are as compatible as oil and water.  … more here.

 

Rebecca Gomez Farrell writes all the speculative fiction genres she can conjure up.  An associate member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Becca’s shorter works have been published by the Future Fire, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Typehouse Literary Magazine, and Pulp Literature, among other outlets. She is thrilled to have Meerkat Press publish her debut fantasy novel, Wings Unseen, in August 2017.

Thlush-a-Lum

excerpted from Pulp Literature Issue 5, Winter 2015

Markella’s earliest memories are of the sounds outside her window.  At hours when no men moved, rustling branches and shuffling grass woke her.  A beating pulse like slower, fleshier helicopter blades banished sleep:  thlush-a-lum thlush-a-lum.  In summers, the heat in her attic bedroom hot enough to incubate, Markella pushed the window open and dozed to the endless static drone of cicadas.  In winters, choking radiator warmth wrapped tight around her, she cracked the window and the low, deep hoots of an owl drifted in with the freezing breeze.    … read more in Issue 5.

 

Congratulating Andrea Lewis, Issue 10 Author

What My Last Man DidAndrea Lewis, the Issue 10 author of Vellum, has a new book out with Indiana University Press. It is a collection of linked stories, called What My Last Man Did.

“Following generations of one family across nearly a century, each of Andrea Lewis’s intertwined, engaging short stories evokes an intense sense of place and time, from New Orleans in 1895 to Grand Isle, Louisiana, during the hurricane of 1901 and on to London during the Olympic Games of 1948. The people in these ten vivid tales face tragedy and real-world catastrophic events—war, hurricanes, the Great Depression, racial tension—in their pursuit of love, family, and belonging.” –Indiana University Press.

 One reviewer wrote “Andrea Lewis’s linked stories about Hannah Delgado and her family’s “frayed skein of love” may make you fall in love with both a new writer and the fictional family she’s created.”

Andrea Lewis’s stories, essays and prose poems have appeared in Prairie SchoonerCatamaran Literary ReaderCutthroat, and many other literary journals. She lives with her husband, Wendell Tangborn, on Vashon Island, Washington. She is a founding member of Richard Hugo House, a place for writers in Seattle.

Congratulations, Andrea!

Get “What My Last Man Did” here.

Pulp Literature Issue 10, Spring 2017

If you’re still hungry for more of Andrea’s wonderful prose you can read her short story ‘Vellum’ in Pulp Literature Issue 10, Spring 2016.

Poet Daniel Cowper, Chapbook Contest Winner

Congratulations to poet Daniel Cowper. He is a co-winner of Frog Hollow Press’s second Chapbook Contest. The God of Doors is out now, and you can order your copy here.

Daniel has been our expert and valued poetry editor since the inception of Pulp Literature Press in July 2013.  Like Pulp Literature, he is from Bowen Island, BC.  After studying mediaeval literature, philosophy, and law in Vancouver, Manhattan, and Toronto, Daniel returned to Bowen Island, where he is finishing his cabin with an eye to his wife’s comfort.

Daniel’s poetry has appeared in Arc Poetry, the Literary Review of Canada, Prairie Fire, Vallum, CV2, Dalhousie Review, Freefall, the Hart House Review, and is forthcoming in Noise Anthology. His non-fiction has appeared at the Puritan’s Town Crier, and you can read his article on conceptual poetry here.