Tag Archives: Issue 5

Interview with a Saint

Next up in Proust Questionnaire lineup is St Polycarp, of Stephen Case‘s ‘Polycarp on the Sea’.  This surreal mash-up of the life of St Polycarp and an episode from the Aenied will be out in Issue 5 of Pulp Literature.  In the meantime St Polycarp’s strange and haunting responses will whet your appetite for the full story.polycarp

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?  A fair sea with a brisk wind at my back. Being alone in the sail’s shadow, watching the slow swing of the stars.
  2. What is your greatest fear?  To be lost on that same sea. The waves that roll up like mountains, the water grey as stone.
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  The selfishness that sits in the bottom of my soul like a weight.
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  I grind the palm of my hand against my eye, trying to dislodge the plank.  Through the pain, I can see nothing.
  5. What do you most dislike about your appearance?  Once I was vain about the angles of my face.
  6. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  The liturgy is still rough and new. I stumble on many of the words.
  7. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  We pushed the boats into the surf, and I heard the scratch of the sand on the wooden planks.  We left the land.
  8. What is your greatest regret?  To see the sea only once, for all the lifetime I have sailed upon it.
  9. How would you like to die?  I have answered this once before. I told them that my body was wheat to be ground on the teeth of the beasts or the breakers of the sea so that I might become true bread.
  10. What is your motto?  Soli Deo gloria.
  11. What is something we’d never glean about you from ‘Polycarp on the Sea?’ I never existed.

Stephen CaseStephen Case gets paid for teaching people about space, which is pretty much the coolest thing ever. He also occasionally gets paid for writing stories about space (and other things), which have appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show and several other publications. His first anthology, Trees and Other Wonders, is available on Kindle. His novel, First Fleet, is being serialized by Retrofit Publishing. Stephen holds a PhD in the history and philosophy of science from the University of Notre Dame and will talk for inordinate amounts of time about nineteenth-century British astronomy.  He lives with his wife, four children, and three chickens in an undisclosed suburb of Chicago that has not yet legalized backyard chickens.

Pulp Literature Issue 5, Wintere 2015 will be out in December.  You can pre-order it through our Kickstarter campaign.

Interview with a Father

This next Proust Questionnaire is a bit of a teaser, since Rob Taylor’s Hummingbird Prize-winning story “Here I Lay Down my Heart” will not be published until Issue 5.   We’re sorry to leave you in anticipation, but believe us, it’s worth the wait!

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? The past.
  2. What is your greatest fear? He pulled Mima tight and brought in only air. He reached and reached.”
  3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? “My child, he wanted to say, but the word wouldn’t come.”
  4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.
  5. On what occasion do you lie? Whenever necessary. Too often.
  6. What do you most dislike about your appearance? How little I can change it.
  7. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Bo’ee elay.
  8. When and where were you happiest? Those few weeks when Mima had gone to preschool and life had felt normal and the word normal had plumped with meaning.”
  9. Which talent would you most like to have? Invisibility.
  10. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Getting here.
  11. What is your most treasured possession? My dove.
  12. What is your most marked characteristic? Fear.
  13. Who are your favourite writers? Italo Calvino. Yehuda Amichai. Michael Chabon. Ernest Hemingway. Ngugi wa Thiong’o.
  14. What is your greatest regret? Oh to choose only one!
  15. How would you like to die? How matters less than that it is a long time from now.
  16. What is your motto? “Samaki, kuku, mbuzi!”
  17. What is something we’d never glean about you from Here I Lay Down My Heart? Almost everything.Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor’s  first book of poetry, The Other Side of Ourselves, won the 2010 Alfred G. Bailey Prize.  He has also published four chapbooks of poems: splattered earth (2006), Child of Saturday (2008), Lyric (2010)and Smoothing the Holy Surfaces (2012).

“Here I Lay down my Heart was the first place winner in our inaugural Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction, and the story will appear in Pulp Literature Issue 5, Winter 2015.  You can purchase a copy or subscribe on our Kickstarter page: