Tag Archives: JJ Lee

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.

 

Literary Launch and Swordfighting Salon

It’s a party, and you’re invited!

melissaJoin us at Academie Duello this coming Sunday December 18th for a festive afternoon of readings, last-minute gift shopping, tea and swordfighting as we launch Issue 13 and celebrate the success of Something Novel!

From 2 – 6pm we’ll be filling the salle at Academie Duello’s School of Swordplay at 412 W Hastings in Vancouver with artisan tables, books, and baked goods.

Sip a cup of tea, courtesy of the Granville Island Tea Company, listen to some of our favourite authors read, and enjoy thrilling swordplay demonstrations by Academie Duello.

Artisan Fair

ragnar1

Get your last minute gift shopping done as you browse the tables at our artisan fair.

There’s something for every taste:  jewellery that ranges from sophisticated to saucy, with steampunk, gaming, and fandom flavours from CrossedPromise, Vicborgian Princess & Friends and Kristen Kahila; exquisite  hats, clothing, and accessories from authentic period pieces to pure fantasy from Dark Anachronisms,

tell-tale-2

My Tell-Tale Heart and Ragnar the Trader; books for children and adults alike from Barefoot Books, Reality Skimming Press, and our author tables; carvings, paintings, and artwork from the Carnegie Vending Cart artists, Melissa Mary Duncan, and Marika Purisima; decadent bath bombs and irreverant needlepoint from Layne Moore and Miss Stitched.

Author readings

We are thrilled to have readings from CC Humphreys, JJ Lee, Eileen Kernaghan, Sebastien de Castell, Jude Neale, Rhea Rose, Elizabeth Armerding, Graham J Darling, Daniela Elza, and Sylvia Taylor!  Books from these authors and several others will be available for sale and and signing.books

devonSwordplay Demonstrations

Devon Boorman, director of Academie Duello will take you through the history of European swordplay in three thrilling demonstrations of long sword, sword and buckler and rapier with team of expert students.

Issue 13, Winter 2017

issue-13-cover-smallAnd of course we’ll have copies of Issue 13 hot off the press.  Pick yours up along with any back issues you may be missing!  If the shipping gods are good we may even have early copies of The Writer’s Boon Companion available!boon-cover

Admission is by donation, and proceeds from the event go equally to support our non-profit organization and Academie Duello’s Youth Outreach Program.  We look forward to celebrating the season with you!

Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon
Sunday 18th December 2016, 2pm – 6pm
at Academie Duello, 412 W Hastings, Vancouver

 

 

Join us at Academie Duello

Join us to celebrate the success of our Something Novel Kickstarter campaign

We’re planning a party and you’re invited!

CC Humphreys
CC Humphreys

A Literary Launch & Swordfighting Salon
Sunday 18 December, 2pm – 6pm
at Academie Duello School for Swordplay
412 W Hastings, Vancouver BC

This will be an entertaining afternoon of swordfighting and author readings.  We have ten local authors lined up to read, including CC Humphreys, JJ Lee, Eileen Kernaghan and Sebastien de Castell!

JJ with hat
JJ Lee

Tea will be served, and there will be a selection of baked goods and afternoon delicacies.  There will also be book sales, signings, and a craft fair featuring beautiful gifts by local artisans so you can get your last minute shopping done while being entertained.

Eileen Kernaghan

Entrance is by donation.  Half the proceeds go to supporting the magazine and the other half to Academie Duello’s Youth Outreach program, helping get kids get engaged and active.

Sebastien de Castell
Sebastien de Castell

 

 

 

 

 

 

boon-coverWe’ll be launching Pulp Literature Issue 13 there and The Writer’s Boon Companion print edition as well.

You can RSVP on the Facebook invitation to let us know you’re coming to the launch.  We’d love to see you there!

Jen, Mel & Sue
Pulp Literature Press

Art Lover’s Delight

Every time we run a Kickstarter Mel generously offers to do beautiful portraits for a few lucky backers, and this year is no different.  This year there are only five Art Lover’s Delight rewards available on the Something Novel page.

Portraits by Mel
Author portraits by Mel

Art Lover’s Delight – Only 5 available! 

  • An 8.5 x 11″ pen and ink portrait of yourself or a loved one in Mel’s breathtaking renaissance style
  • A fun set of limited edtion JJ Lee paper dolls by Kris Sayer created for our first Kickstarter campaign back in 2013!
  • One of the few remaining print copies of Colouring Paradise.
  • A one-year print subscription to Pulp Literature.
  • Both novels: Stella Ryman and the Fairmount Manor Mysteries and Allaigna’s Song: Overture.
  • The Writer’s Boon Companion illustrated 30-day writing journal
  • All this plus free shipping at the $500 level!
A 2015 Backer portrait

All of Mel’s customers have been delighted with their Renaissance-themed portraits.

As Mel says, “Like the Renaissance painters who are my first inspirations, I try to give good value, and at the $500 level I include intricate backgrounds and favourite themes in an intriguing composition.”mel-bubbly

Update! There are now only four of these rewards left on the Kickstarter.  Here’s where to get a one for yourself along with other great rewards:  Pulp Literature Press, Something Novel.

 

art-lovers-delight

Issue 8 available at VCON

Hot off the presses!  Issue 8 will be available at VCON, the Vancouver Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention, this weekend October 2-4.

Come and pick your copy up from Jen or Sue in the Vendor Hall … and get it signed by at least three of the authors.  You’ll also be able to hear dvsduncan read from his steampunk story set in New Westminster, ‘Cropper’s Ball’ on the Friday evening multi-book launch.

While you’re at it track down Issue 1 and 5 cover artist Melissa Mary Duncan in the Artists’ Hall, hear Issue 5 feature author Eileen Kernaghan read from her captivating books, and listen to Issue 1 feature author CC Humphreys talk about writing the past.Autumn harvest

We haven’t heard whether feature author JJ Lee will be able to attend, but keep your eyes out in case you spot him … or perhaps the Man in the Long Black Coat!

See you there!

VCON #40
Friday – Sunday, October 2-4
Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel
7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond

 

A Branch and a Turning Point

poorthingnogreyI love the story “Poor Thing” by KM Vaghela. Fellow editor Jen Landels suggested that I draw the branch that the story turns on. I hoped to show the turning by pointing branches towards each possible outcome: up or down. A detail from a Filippo Lippi painting was most helpful.

You can read ‘Poor Thing’ in Issue 2 of Pulp Literature, along with gripping tales and poetry, beautifully written by JJ Lee, Mary H Auerbach Rykov, Milo James Fowler, Sarah Pinsker, Kris Sayer and other terrific storytellers and artists.

Issue 2, Spring 2014
Issue 2, Spring 2014

We think you will love this issue so much that we are making it the first milestone reward on our Patreon page. When we reach $200 a month we’ll give Issue 2 to all our patrons for free! 

Award Season!

We are pleased as punch to announce our nominations for the Pushcart Prize.  How did we pick them?  It was hard.  Have you even looked at a fantastic menu and couldn’t decide what to order?  Twice Sue’s had the pleasure of dining at renowned Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver.  Both times she asked the owner which dish he’d recommend, and his reply was the same:  how can a parent choose his favourite child?  As publishers, we find ourselves in a similarly impossible position trying to pick favourites, but by studying the inclinations of each prize, we recommend the stories we think stand the best chance of winning each competition.  The Pushcarts are geared to literary fiction, which we have in each issue, but we proved our cross-genre dedication by nominating a literary vampire story. (Think they’ll notice?) The competition is fierce for these awards, but we know these stories are gems. And win or lose, we trust the authors of these stories will feel how much we value them in our magazine.

Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2015:Victorygirlbutterfly

We have also have suggested the following stories for Imaginarium 4, an anthology of Canadian Spec Fic by Chizine.

In addition, ‘Blackthorne & Rose: Agents of DIRE’ by KG McAbee has been submitted for a Bram Stoker Award.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our Journey Prize nominations.  And hey, all you members of the SFWA, now’s your chance to be a hero and nominate a favourite fantasy or science fiction story for a Nebula Award!  If you’d like a complete list of our stories in that genre, just let us know.  We’d also like to hear from you if there is one or more of our stories you think ought to be submitted for other prizes.

Finally, the estimable CC Humphreys has finished judging our very own Raven Cover Story Contest  and we’ll be announcing the winners on Monday.  To whet your appetite, here, in no particular order, is the list of finalists:

  • ‘The Hemisphere Stone’ by Mike Glyde
  • ‘Dear Louis’ by Sara Cedeno
  • ‘Claws In’ by Ace Baker
  • ‘Odd Jobs’ by KL Mabbs
  • ‘Family Relics’ by Katherine Wagner
  • ‘The Ravens’ by Anna Belkine
  • ‘The Inner Light’  by Krista Wallace
  • ‘The Jealous Valley’ by Kiril Lavarevski

Congratulations to all these authors and best of luck in the final judgment!

Join us at VCon

Issue 4 coverWe’ll be launching our Autumn issue at VCon 39, Vancouver’s own Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention.  The booklaunch takes place this Friday October 3rd at 7pm at the Sheraton in Surrey BC  on 15269 104th Avenue.  Pulp Literature authors and artists in attendance will include Eileen Kernaghan, JJ Lee, Ace Baker, JM Landels, Susan Pieters the Canvention 34 Artist Guest-of-Honour Melissa Mary Duncan!

Ours are not the only books on offer.  Other authors include Jennifer Lott, Lynda Williams, Roxanne Barbour, Casey Wolf, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, T.S. Bazelli, Lorna Suzuki, and Randy McCharles.  Plus there will be readings from David Weber,  Marty Chan, Linda DeMeulemeester, Tony Stark, Virginia Stark, Bruce Heard, Julie McGalliard, Joseph Picard, Katrina Archer, Danika Dinsmore, Graham Darling, dvs Duncan, and JA McLachlan.

Pencils for page 5 of 'The Wolf'

The VCon Booklaunch evening is open to the public, so bring some friends, enjoy the readings and do some early gift shopping amid the wonderful selection of books.

The Aurora Awards are also that evening, and our two-time cover artist Melissa Mary Duncan is up for one, as is our issue 7 feature author, Robert J Sawyer.  As well there are dozens of other readings, panels and workshops throughout the weekend.  Come and visit us in Artists’ Alley where original pages of “The Wolf” will be on display, and see Melissa’s beautiful art in person at the Art Show.

See you there!

'Fondly Remembered Magic' by Melissa Mary Duncan
‘Fondly Remembered Magic’ by Melissa Mary Duncan

The 2014 Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction

For the past few weeks author, raconteur, and stylish man-about-town JJ Lee has been reading through the longlist of flash fiction stories for the Hummingbird Prize.  That list, compiled by a panel of three readers was:

  • ‘WFF – Worst Friends Forever’ by  Ace Baker
  • ‘The Importance of Documentation’ by  William Masters
  • ‘Beauty Takes Care of Itself’ by  Bob Thurber
  • ‘Mermaid Hunt’ by  Holly Walrath
  • ‘Waiting for Twilight ‘ by  Daniela Elza
  • ‘Testing the Waters’ by  Ryan Seifert
  • ‘Last Train to Strasbourg’ by  Alexis Larkin
  • ‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’ by  Rob Taylor
  • ‘Canoeing in the Tropics’ by  Hannah van Didde
  • ‘The Fundamental Clarity of Light’ by  Michael Patrick Eltrich
  • ‘Not All Magic is Nice’ by  Ev Bishop
  • ‘3D Monarch’ by  Katherine Wagner

Of the finalists, contest judge JJ had this to say:

“Short short stories demand much of writers: concision; commitment to a single, sometimes simple, idea or image that can resonate in a reader long after reading is done; and a willingness to somehow find space to bow the arc of narrative in the tightest of spaces. It is hard to get it right. The form is unforgiving.  So congratulations to all the finalists for their stories.”

Editors’ Choice

The variety of tone, genre and style in all these well-written stories makes picking favourites like choosing between apples and helicopters.  Once we editors read all the finalists we realized we wanted to publish more than two, so we each picked an honourable mention from the remainder of the longlist that we would like to place in a future issue of Pulp Literature  at our regular rates.  We’ll be contacting these authors directly.  The editors’ picks in no particular order are:

  • ‘WFF – Worst Friends Forever’ by  Ace Baker
  • ‘Beauty Takes Care of Itself’ by  Bob Thurber
  • ‘Mermaid Hunt’ by  Holly Walrath

Runner-up

‘Waiting for Twilight ‘ by  Daniela Elza
These contests are judged blind, so JJ had no way of knowing that the author of his runner up for the Hummingbird was also runner up for the Magpie Award.  Daniela will receive $75 for her story, which will be published in our Winter 2015 issue.

Hummingbird Prize Winner

‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’ by  Rob Taylor
Rob wins the $300 prize and publication in the Winter 2015 issue of Pulp Literature.  Here’s what judge JJ Lee has to say about this poignant story:

“On the strength of its setting, naturalism, and the pleasure it takes in the search for language, ‘Here I Lay Down My Heart’ wins the Hummingbird Flash Fiction contest.  Its author has created a small gem about a nighttime boat trip and a missing child. The author avoids sloppy dialogue and needless back story and, in less than 600 words, crafts a compelling tale which readers will rush to reach to the end.”

Congratulations to all the contestants who made the job of judging so difficult, but of reading so enjoyable!

The Raven Cover Story Contest opens today, so sharpen your quills and delight us with more of your work!

To read some of JJ Lee’s own short fiction, pick up issue 2 of Pulp Literature, featuring ‘Built to Love’, the story of a girl her bear, and the rise of the appliances.

Head to Toe

JJ with hatJJ Lee, our brilliant Issue 2 author of “Built to Love”, is launching a new CBC radio show this morning! The topic is fashion, but fashion with the kind of insightful commentary only JJ can provide. As readers of Measure of a Man know, JJ goes beyond what you wear to reveal the message behind the material. Deny it as we might, it is true that what we wear expresses who we are. (Yes, even as rebellious as I try to be right now, typing this blog post in $9 shorts and a well-worn shirt, I can see the story behind each item, and I would trust no one but JJ to decipher the message!)

But wait! Before you rush off to tune in to JJ’s show, writers should note that JJ has graciously agreed to judge our summer literary contest. Get your pens ready! The First Annual Hummingbird Award for flash fiction opens July 1st. Only 300 entries accepted! You’ve been given fair warning! (Details on our contest page.)

Okay, NOW you can go and tune in to JJ’s show on CBC Radio 1,  airing Tuesday mornings at 11:30 and Thursday evenings at 11:00.