Category Archives: News

Author News: Bob Thurber

Do you like reading great fiction for only a fraction of the price? Issue 12 featured author, Bumblebee Flash Fiction judge, and all around debonair fella, Bob Thurber, has got a deal for you!

Cinderella She Was Not, winner of the 2006 Meridian Editor’s Fiction Prize, is available in the Amazon bookstore for 99¢ until April 26th.

“A fast read. Raymond, the “bad boy/lost boy” narrator is uncompromisingly honest, sometimes erudite, and occasionally charming. His observations of the well-to-do Porter family will remain in the mind long after reading. A terse, edgy, darkly humorous tale about love and marriage and infidelity…”

Intrigued? So are we, and luckily, we’ve got an excerpt to entice you even more!

Opening Excerpt of Cinderella She Was Not by Bob Thurber:

“It isn’t enough for your heart to break
because everybody’s heart is broken now.”

— Allen Ginsberg

This is a roughed up fairy tale, a sort of teaching tool for my children and yours. The year is 1999. I can’t predict the future but right now the world is an ugly mess, so don’t count on anything even resembling a happy ending.

My name is Raymond Masterson. I’m twenty-eight, married, chronically unemployed, and lucky not to be dead or rotting in some prison cell. Back when I was nineteen, I ripped off a couple of downtown Providence dope dealers, Southside boys, the kind of people who don’t forgive and never forget. It was a really stupid thing to do once, blatantly insane to do a second time. The only reason they didn’t torture and kill me was some narcotics agent shot them both dead during an undercover sting operation. Lucky me. The whole point of that anecdote being that I hardly expected to see my twenty-first birthday, and now, pushing thirty, I’ve got one kid in diapers, and another child on the way.

Lucky me again.

As pathetically mundane and unexciting as all that sounds, I’m actually doing okay. Thanks to my wife’s recently defunct old man (You may have read about the passing of Sam Porter, aka Uncle Sam, founder and CEO of Porter’s Drug Stores,) I’ve got a few bucks in the bank, so I don’t have to labor like most folks. It’s a great thing not to have to work or to worry where the money is coming from. Even so, in spite of my good fortune, most days I’m miserable, tortured by a terrible sadness. For one, I don’t know a damn thing about being a good father. So I worry about that.

Mainly, I’m frightened that despite my good intentions, given enough time, I’ll somehow screw my kids up. Most parents seem to manage that without even trying. So I worry about heredity, and the dark horrors hidden in ancestral genes. Granted, I concern myself too much with things beyond my control — about “Foreign Policy” and “U.S. Interests” and what the world will do to my children. About depravity, and disease, and war.

I once read that if parents truly loved their children there would be no more wars. That’s a hard line to swallow, though difficult to argue with. Oddly, it was written by a mystic who never went to war and never had any children.

Incidentally, there’s a war in this story, a small war, the shortest on record, but a war nonetheless. Possibly you watched it on television, and rooted for the home team. Or maybe you know someone who was there, and can describe the fireworks first hand. I’m only including this little war here because it is a semi-pertinent part of the story, but I’ve played it down as best I can.

Primarily, this is a tale meant for my children, for when they become young adults. It’s a somewhat crude but hopefully moral lesson in love and lust, if not quite a secret map to guide them and keep them forever watchful against the coldness in us all.

 So…

Once upon a time . . . 

 

Bob Thurber will be back as contest judge for Pulp Literature’s Hummingbird Contest, opening May 1st. Early bird entry fee is only $10 and ends May 10th, so make like a hummingbird and get your flashiest fiction ready!

 

Author News: Greg Brown

Pushcart Prize 2018 CoverAt Pulp Literature, we know our writers are talented, and we want the rest of the world to know too! That’s why every year we nominate six of the authors whose pieces have especially inspired us for the prestigious Pushcart Prize. Touted as “the best of small presses”, Pushcart awards honour those writers who excel at their craft. This year we are pleased to announce Pulp Literature author, Greg Brown, has been nominated by Pushcart judges for his short story, ‘Love’ (Issue 16).

Greg Brown is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He is a recipient of UBC’s Roy Daniels Memorial Essay Prize, and you can find his stories, criticism, and essays in Postscript, Paragon, The
RS500, Lenses: Perspectives on Literature, and Tate Street. His surreal short story ‘Bear’ appeared in Pulp Literature Issue 14.

We will find out if Greg’s story makes the final cut in May. Until then, we’ll give you a taste of the story that has Pushcart judges sitting up in their seats…

 

‘Love’
Greg Brown

We agreed as a family that the only thing to do was to bring Mom home for the next few months or weeks, whatever it would be. It’ll be hard, Dad said. But maybe it can be fine, too. Denisa was suspicious about the cost of it all — like the private nurse we’d have to pay for, where at the hospital it was free — although she didn’t put it like that, said that we’d be crazy to bring Mom into a place where there wasn’t any immediate care, because what if there was a problem like before, the thing with her stent that plugged up and caused some internal bleeding that almost wasn’t staunched in time?

She could’ve, Denisa said.

The oncologist had said October, and the late pale fog had come and now the
sky was mostly dimmed and gone by suppertime.

I said that I would only do it if we agreed that Pastor Karen would not come to
the house; I was not comfortable with Pastor Karen coming to the house. Jon and Dad looked at me a moment and said, Okay.

Denisa said, I don’t get what you don’t like about Pastor Karen.

And I explained why I didn’t like Pastor Karen.

And Denisa said, Well I don’t think it’s really fair to call her a liar.

And I explained why I thought it was fair to call Pastor Karen a liar.

And Denisa said, Well, by that standard they’re all liars. And then we’d all be
liars, too. The whole thing would be a lie. We don’t need lies right now.

I agreed with Denisa, especially about how we didn’t need lies right now.

Read the rest of ‘Love’ in Pulp Literature Issue 16. And check out Greg Brown’s ‘Bear’ in Issue 14, currently on sale!

 

 

 

Featured Author: John Davies

Author of ‘Tattoo’ (Issue 17), John Davies was born in Birkenhead, UK, and has had work published in Crannóg, The Manchester Review, RosebudOrbis, The Pedestal, QU Literary Magazine, Apex, and Grain. In 2016 he was runner up in the Cheshire Prize for Literature, and he won the RTÉ Guide Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition. He organizes a regular creative writing group in Navan, Ireland, which can be found on Twitter: @Bulls_Arse. And if you’re interested in what John is up to himself, check him out @Johndavies1978.

Originally published in The Honest Ulsterman, June 2017, please enjoy another poem by John Davies, ‘Tom Waits’.

Tom Waits
After Tom Waits

Has only ever owned one hat,
but repositions it on a daily basis.
He tours according to the phases of the moon.
He once brawled onstage with a two-ton upright piano–
the piano got up on a nine count that was really eleven.
The index finger of Tom’s left hand is a tuning fork.
He wrote Innocent When You Dream inside a derelict Ghost Train.
Tom was cast as one of the original Dead End Kids,
though his scenes were cut from Angels With Dirty Faces,
the negatives burnt in a wicker man
then buried in a landfill near Ghent.
He was kicked out of the Rose of Tralee contest in 1984
for lacing the judges’ tea with poitín.
For showing the Roses his favourite pictures of carnival freaks.
In his refrigerator you’ll find Keith Richards’ lug wrench,
Jesus blood in a rabbit-foot phial,
a jar of artichoke hearts.
Sitting Bull stared into the campfire once,
conjured Tom out of blue flame.
Two parts smoke to one part bourbon.
Slinky for a backbone.
His resting body shape is a question mark.
Homeless he once slept inside an active volcano.
He plays the cement mixer at Grade 7 level.
He lost a game of dominoes to The Black Rider in Singapore
and it cost him that night’s dream in which Tom
trained a pack of junkyard rottweilers to yodel Edelweiss
for the Sultan of Brunei – in town for a Sultans convention.

He once fixed Barry White’s vocal cords
with nothing but a gelding clamp
and holy water (blessed by the Dalai Lama).
The traditional way.
There have been sightings of Tom’s ghost at the Tropicana Motel–
long since a Ramada Plaza on Sunset Strip–
cooking eggs over easy with a soldering iron,
writing valentines to the residents of Hollywood Forever Cemetery,
flinging them into the stove one by one.

– John Davies

 

 

John Davies can be found in Pulp Literature’s Issue 17, along with other brilliant poetry and prose.

Spring Fever Back Issue Sale!

Spring is here and the daffodils and cherry blossoms are busting out at last!  To celebrate we have pruned the prices on all our spring back issues in print format.  That includes Issue featuring JJ Lee, Issue 6 featuring Krista Wallace, Issue 10 featuring Carol Berg, and Issue 14 featuring CC Humphreys.  But hurry, this special ends March 31st!

Planes, trains, and automobiles transport us with tales from CC Humphreys, Colin Thornton, plus Joseph Stilwell and Hugh Henderson, as well as poetry from David Clink and Ian Haight. There are bears, boars, and kind-eyed villains from Greg Brown, William Charles Brock, JM Landels, and Susan Pieters, while the reaper himself makes a visit in Mel Anastasiou’s next Stella novella.  All that plus the winners of both the Raven and SiWC contests.  Jump on board … the journey’s just beginning!
Pulp Literature Issue 14, Spring 2017 $14.99  now $9.99

 

Issue 10 small

Magical murder mystery by Carol Berg; monster hunting with Gregg Chamberlain; sleuthing with Stella and Mel Anastasiou; comic by Kris Sayer; poetry by Matthew Walsh, Ev Bishop, and Ada Maria Soto; flash fiction by Andrea Lewis and Stephen Case; short stories by Sarina Bosco and Susan Pieters; Allaigna’s Song by JM Landels; and literary fiction from the 2015 Raven winners Emily Linstrom and PE Bolivar.
Pulp Literature Issue 10, Spring 2016 $14.99  now $9.99

 

 

Genre-defying fiction by  Krista Wallace, Bob Thurber, Laura Kostur, Theric Jepson, FJ Bergmann, Tobi Cogswell and more!
Pulp Literature Issue 6, Spring 2015 $14.99  now $9.99

 

 

 

 

Our second issue of good books for the price of a beer, featuring fiction and artwork by JJ Lee, Sarah Pinsker, Trevor Shikaze, Milo James Fowler, AY Dorsey,  and more!
Pulp Literature Issue 2, Spring 2014 $14.99  now $9.99

 

 

 

 

And if that’s not enough Spring for you, you can also pick up Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, hot off the presses right now!

Here’s the Buzz: The 2018 Bumblebee Shortlist

Are we getting excited yet?  The winner of the 2018 Bumblebee Shortlist will be announced at our Spring Launch party this Friday at the Cottage Bistro.   In the meantime we’re delighted to announce the shortlisted stories.

The 2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Shortlist

‘Alphabet Soup’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Breaking the Ice’ by Natalie Persoglio

‘Cinnamon Grace’ by Jude Neale

‘Crow Funeral’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ by K W George

‘Gross Motor’ by Sara Mang

‘Inciting Insight’ by Soramimi Hanarejima

‘Lullaby, Valentine, Paper Crane’ by R S Wynn

‘Special People’ by Alex Reece Abbott

‘Third Date’ by Nicole Vuong

Familiar Names

Congratulations to all these amazing authors.  The stories are judged blind, so we have no idea who the authors are until after the shortlist has been selected.  That said there are some familiar names that have come up.

Triple congratulations to Alex Reece Abbott who managed to catch our eye with three of her stories!  Regardless of the results of this contest, Alex’s piece ‘My Brother Paulie: A Domestic Space Oddyssey’ was an honourable mention for the 2017 Raven Short Story Contest and will be published in Pulp Literature Issue 19, coming out this summer.

Poet Jude Neale has been shortlisted for the Magpie Award for Poetry more than once, and her poem ‘About Light’ was published in Pulp Literature Issue 13, Winter 2017.  We’re delighted to see her short fiction also make the cut.

Soramimi Hanarejima has also been shortlisted for several our contests and his whimsical short story ‘The Theft of Confidence’ can be found in Pulp Literature Issue 17, Winter 2018.  You can pick up this and other back issues at our Friday launch.

We hope you’ll join us this Friday for the public announcement judge Bob Thurber’s pick for best flash fiction!

Pulp Literature Spring Launch

Friday 16 March, 6 – 8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver
FREE, but please RSVP on Eventbrite

 

Pre-order your copy of Issue 18 and save $2.
If you are picking your copy up in person, use the code LAUNCH to avoid shipping charges.

 

 

 

 

Featured Author: Genni Gunn

If you look closely, hints of spring are all around us, from barely there tree buds, to coat shedding temperatures. But no sign is clearer than the launch of our Spring 2018 issue! To celebrate Pulp Literature Issue 18, Spring 2018, Pulp is hosting a launch at Cottage Bistro, complete with readings from local Pulp Literature authors, like Issue 18 featured author, Genni Gunn.

Genni Gunn’s eight books include novels, short fiction, poetry, and memoir. She has also written the libretto for the opera Alternate Visions, produced in Montreal in 2007, and has translated three collections of poetry from Italian. Her novel Tracing Iris was made into a film, and her novel Solitaria was longlisted for the  2011 Giller Prize. She lives in Vancouver and can be found at gennigunn.com.

Genni Gunn, is our featured author in Issue 18 with her short story, ‘Stones’.  Be the first to read an exclusive interview with Genni, as well as other hand-picked short stories, poems, a comic, and the winners of Pulp Literature’s 2017 Raven Short Story Contest when you get a hot-off-the-press copy at our Spring Launch.

Pulp Literature Spring 2018 Launch
Friday 16th March, 6-8pm
The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main St, Vancouver
Free to attend, but please RSVP

RSVP here

Until March 15th you can save $2 on pre-orders of Issue 17 print or ebook versions.  Reserve your copy now!

 

Featured Author: AJ Odasso

Part of Pulp Literature‘s mission is to showcase work that challenges us and delights us by new and established writers from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. Pulp Literature author AJ Odasso weaves words as an established queer-identifying poet who occasionally dabbles in well-crafted short-narratives.

Odasso is the author of three award-nominated poetry collections (Lost Books and The Dishonesty of Dreams, from Flipped-Eye Publishing; Things Being What They Are, unpublished and shortlisted for the Sexton Prize) as well as a handful of short stories.  She serves as Senior Poetry Editor at Strange Horizons magazine.  You can find her at twitter.com/ajodasso.

AJ left us hanging with Part 1 of ‘We Come Back Different’ in Issue 17, and while we’re patiently waiting for Part 2 in Pulp Literture Issue 18, here’s a refresher:

 

We Come Back Different
AJ Odasso

3 June 18—
St George’s, Bermuda


My dearest Tess,

In spite of the disagreeable circumstances under which we last parted, I hope that this letter finds you well.  It will cheer you to know that your father’s health is much improved since you left for Scotland this spring.  He delights in your single-minded love of study, and  his desire is that you should make as fine a scholar as your mother.  But I must caution you, my love, to remember that there are pleasures in this world that do not concern anatomy, chemistry, or engineering.  My ever-troublesome charge — Trevor is growing! — has found an expedient use for your old laboratory goggles.  Your brother has taken to packing them for our jaunts to Horseshoe Bay.  He has mastered the art of holding his breath underwater, during which time he is content, from behind glass through which you once squinted at dissections, to observe parrot fish the size of soup tureens.

Regarding our falling-out, I am not inclined to continue in such unseemly avoidance — for you have said that what you admire most is my forthrightness, and I hope I have not been foolish in treasuring your honesty.  Do not take your wealth for granted:  had my mother been rich, she would have wished for me an education as fine as yours.  I understand that the completion of your degree is essential; I want nothing more than for you to perfect your skill in the sciences.  All I ask in return is that you do not write off my fancies, for poetry and politics are equal to the task of improving humankind.  Furthermore, I remain steadfast in my opinion that you have done poorly by Trevor.  His musical talent continues to flourish, and although you set little stock by the performance he had so carefully prepared for your departure, he believes firmly that you are the cleverest, kindest creature ever to walk the earth.  Write to him, Tess.  He misses you.

For my part, I pass endless days in pursuit of Trevor and in seeing to your father’s welfare.  Although he is more sanguine than you will remember, his memory declines.  For each time that he recognizes me, he supposes me to be your mother at least twice.  I cannot persist in this sad affair without reassurance of your support — surely you may find the time to write more than once a month, so that my spirits might be lifted!  I can take only so much solace in Trevor’s compositions and in discovering which of your father’s favourite strays has lately hidden her kittens amidst the banana trees and knee-high weeds in the garden.  Artemis has dropped her first litter.

This corner of the world is monotonous, my darling.  Be brilliant, and be well.

Ever yours,
Amelia

* * *

12 June 18—
St Andrews,  Scotland

Sweet Amelia,

This correspondence may reach your shores by sea rather than by air, much to my annoyance.  The pilots’ strike cannot continue indefinitely, so why not apply your political acumen to that when next you submit a column to The Trans-Atlantic Weekly?  Several of the faculty here are ardent followers of your rambling yet sagacious wit.  Perhaps it will earn you a scholarship.

Please do not think that I have not taken to heart the contents of your letter, but I must report a strange occurrence that has lately beset my corner of the world.  Lansdowne, my tutor, has been ardently in favour of my chosen discipline — that is, the repair and replacement of organs and other such vital tissue through methods of hermetically sealed replacements, etc.  I will not attempt another description of these devices’ components, nor of the fusion by which they run in perpetuity.  You, lively and insightful, must populate this world with wonders, whereas I, eternally brooding, must endeavour to unlock the causes of its unhappiest misfortunes and to repair them if I am able.

The occurrence of which I speak centres on one such misfortune, Amelia — the gravest of them all, I fear, to which none of us are immune.  The body of a young woman washed ashore on the West Sands just over a week ago …  

Read the rest of part of ‘We Come Back Different’
right now in Issue 17….

… and save $2 when you pre-order Issue 18 featuring the conclusion of the story, due out in April.

The Bumblebee Flash Fiction Longlist

A swarm of flash fiction stories is still buzzing in our heads, but the preliminary decisions have been made. Presented alphabetically by author first name, we are pleased to present the longlist for the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest.

2018 Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest Longlist

Note: if a name appears twice, that means two stories by the same author have made the list.  Double congratulations!

Alex Reece Abbott
Alex Reece Abbott
Alex Reece Abbott
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Amy Gavin
Katie Gray
Amy Soscia Paloski
Anneliese Schultz
C.W. Accetta
Catherine Raphael
David Wiseman
Emily Lonie
Jake Teeny
Jake Teeny
Jeanine Manji
Jessica Lampard
Jude Neale

Krista Wallace
Leslie Wibberley
Louise Burch
Lucy Stone
Lucy Stone
Lynne MacLean
Martin Brodsky
Mary Steer
Natalie Persoglio
Patricia Sandberg
Ron Lavalette
Sabella Forde
Tracey White
Victoria Richards

Thank you to everyone who submitted! Stay tuned for the short list.  The final winner will be notified on March 15th, and we will publicly announce Judge Bob Thurber’s choice for most buzz-worthy flash fiction piece at our Spring Launch on March 16th at the Cottage Bistro!

PS: Poets, don’t forget that the Magpie Award is now open for earlybird entries!

 

 

Author News: Kelli Allen and Nicholas Christian

Bon voyage to Pulp Literature poets, Kelli Allen and Nicholas Christian! The pair will be moving to Changchun, China on the 25th of February for a wonderful opportunity as visiting Professor and T.A. at Northeast Normal University.

Kelli and Nick frequently travel the globe looking for and encouraging adventure.  Doubtless this move comes with great excitement (and some trepidation), so to Kelli and Nick: best of luck, and may you embrace the uncertainties before you as a chance to forge deeper connections and inspire creativity!

Kelli Allen is the poet behind ‘You Don’t Know Your Life Anyway’ (Issue 17), which is a response poem to Nicholas Christian’s ‘Wassail in Ink,’ (Issue 15 ).