Tag Archives: KG McAbee

Moliere Likes Your Page One

Small treeEvery first page is a challenge, often happily so.  We have to establish time and place, hint at the central character and establish tone and authority that lets the reader know she is in good hands.

But Moliere said, The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.

As I leaf through Issue 4 of Pulp Literature, I am struck by the excellent craft of the opening lines throughout. Here’s a challenge for you:  match these wonderful first sentences with author and story title.

  1. I’m baking myself a boyfriend, kneading him out with my hands, my elbows, my shoulders.
  2. The boy fell last.
  3. If my mother had insisted it be above the knee, I would have said something.
  4. My name is Chouko (‘butterfly gGirl’) Takeda, and I was born on August 29th, 1967, in a little town called Slocan, BC, just outside of where the old Japanese internment camp used to be.
  5. Standing on her front porch, her eyes crinkle up in that way I love, the laugh lines flowing up from her cheeks, the shadows, as the moon rises overhead, lacing her cheeks.
  6. I was taking a piss and I fell over.
  7. The fight with Carollus was the end of my formal training as a magician.
  8. There is a particular and odious smell that permeates the underworld.
  1. Soldier, Wake by Susanna Kearsley
  2. Victory Girl by Ace Baker
  3. Doughboy Lovers and the Appetites of Desire by Karlo Yeager
  4. Things to Live For by Richard Gropp
  5. Blackthorne & Rose: Agents of DIRE by KG McAbee
  6. Below the Knee by Susan Pieters
  7. The Death of Me by KL Mabbs
  8. Allaigna’s Song: Overture by JM Landels

We will send a free ebook issue of your choice if you are the first person to correctly match these first lines with their titles.  Put your answers in the comment section below.

First pages and opening lines… say, what was Moliere’s first line? I checked out the start of his most famous oeuvreTartuffe….

“Mme. Pernelle: Let’s go, Flipote, let’s go. I hate this place.”

Not bad at all, sir. Well played.

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!

Interview with an Agent of DIRE

Our next Proust Questionnaire is with the loquacious Jonathan Blackthorne, Esquire, Member in good standing of the Damocles Institute of Research and Exploration, Celebrated Illusionist, Master of Legerdemain and Sleight-of-Hand, and narrator of KG McAbee’s novella ‘Blackthorne & Rose: Agent’s of DIRE’, currently appearing in Pulp Literature Issue 4.

What is my greatest fear? As a not-unknown magician and illusionist — appearing nightly at the Egyptian Palace, with a matinee on Saturdays — I could perhaps suggest that failing in front of an audience would be the answer to this.  However, I am forced to admit it:  I have failed in front of more audiences than Her Majesty has had hot dinners.  No, the vast and faceless crowd spread before me — I did mention my nightly appearances, did I not? — is far from my worst fear.  Recall, pray, that I am also a member in good standing — well, relatively good — of the Damocles Institute of Research and Exploration.  The things I have seen would boggle the most un-boggleable mind, I do assure you.  DIRE members, other than my humble self, tend towards the adventurous, the investigative, the shall-we-poke-it-with-something-sharp-and-see-what-happens type.  I am not this type.  I prefer a  well-attended performance, followed by a cold bottle and a hot meal, ending with a long, restful sleep in my own bed.  Sadly, these things — other than the first, six evenings a week, in case I neglected to mention — seldom come my way. Blackthorne&Dire

The trait I most deplore in others is, without doubt, conceit.  After all, a fellow should be modest, unassuming, humble, even if he is lucky enough to possess rather impressive talents and abilities, don’t you think?  But some gentlemen tend to boast and brag a bit, simply because they’ve been off to other lands, done the odd bit of exploring, visited
forbidden cities at risk of imminent impalement, speak a dozen languages or so
and dealt with the odd wound and bouts with raging fever.  I mean to say, one
should not continually mention such things, should one?  It’s just not done,
even if your name is Captain R F Burton.  And pray, let us not bring up Mr Poe
or Monsieur Verne!  Poseurs, the pair of them!  Oh, certainly, they come up with
the odd notion or two, but really, some of the drivel they turn out is quite
out of bounds.

I have, upon occasion, been forced to lie. There; I have admitted it.  Can lying ever be the correct, the gentlemanly, the British thing to do?  Never!  However, sometimes it is the kind, the thoughtful and, in many ways and the merest physical sense, the safest thing to do.  For one example, one should never, at any time, point out to Lady Rose Blakeney-Barrington, my darling and frighteningly intelligent beloved, that perhaps she might be safer if she did not leap into the middle of anything and everything which interests her. And for Rose, that is, quite literally:  everything.  I recall with a shudder that she once threw herself, with every sign of delight and enjoyment, into the very center of a pile of pulsing, heaving matter only recently ejected by a many-tentacled creature.  Not to mention, we had only just run the thing to ground after an exhausting chase through the sewers of London. I mean, what can one do in such a situation, other than a series of hot baths and the burning of one’s attire, including boots and a favorite waistcoat? Rose, sadly, had other
ideas.  It is a constant burden to me to keep quiet in such situations, I do assure you.  But keep silent I do, in self-defense.

My greatest achievement is, without any shadow of a doubt, landing Rose as my fiancée.  Dear me, that does sound a bit, well, as if I caught her while salmon fishing in the Highlands, does it not?  Let me rephrase that at once, on the off chance that Rose herself might one day read these words.  My Rose, let me assure you, while the dearest girl in so many ways, is not one who suffers fools gladly.  Or, indeed, at all.  That is why I am
still quite astonishingly amazed that she has accepted my proposal of marriage.  I am not a fool, other opinions to the contrary.  But I would be the first to admit that I am as far below Rose in knowledge of such things as chemistry, biology and astronomy as it is possible to be, even were I at the bottom of a deep hole while she stood atop the Matterhorn.  And yet she has promised to be mine!  Though setting a date still appears to be quite beyond her ability … but hope springs eternal! KG McAbee

KG McAbee has had several quite readable books and short stories published. She writes  steampunk, fantasy, science fiction, pulp and such. She belongs to Horror Writers Association, International Thriller Writers and recently got honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. 

You can read the adventures of Jonathan and his fiancée Rose in ‘Blackthorne and Rose: Agents of Dire’, in the Autumn issue of Pulp Literature, available in ebook or print through our Kickstarter campaign.