Tag Archives: KL Mabbs

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.

And the Raven Contest Winner Is…

Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng
Pesky Summer Jobs by Tais Teng

Our third contest was a tough one: write a story to go with the intriguing and detailed cover painting, ‘Pesky Summer Jobs’ by Dutch artist Taïs Teng.  Some of the stories submitted merely touched peripherally on the theme of ravens or the ancient artifacts, while others made full use of the visual images, but all of the finalists had something, whether in the theme, the writing, or cleverness of the plot, that caught our eye.

We congratulate once more our 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

From this list the editors would like to make special mention of ‘Odd Jobs’ by KL Mabbs, which was a witty encounter with Babylonian mythology, and ‘Family Relics’ by Katherine Wagner, which managed to encorporate almost all the elements of the painting in an excellent story.

The winner and runner up were both so good that we have decided we will publish both stories in Issue 6, with the runner up receiving our regular per word rate.  We would love to be able to award first prize to both of these, but a favourite must be chosen.  The Runner up in the 2014 Raven Cover Story Contest is

  • ‘The Ravens’ by Anna Belkine.

And the winner is …

  • ‘The Inner Light’ by Krista Wallace!

Actor, author and swordsman CC Humphreys took time out of his busy speaking and writing schedule to choose our winner, and he had this to say:

“The subtlety of Inner Light won me over.  I loved the total immersion in a clearly realized world.  Of course I am an actor and I get the references.  But the story works on many levels other than the theatrical. The writing is clear, precise from the beginning. The unease is there, but subtly, making me want to read on. In such a short piece, the several characters are distinct.  Matilda is nicely nuanced, the arrogance of an award winning director, the fear of someone dealing with forces beyond control.  There’s a distinct sense that the characters will go on – except perhaps for one who won’t!  Sacrifices must be made for art. For success.  As Macbeth discovers. Bravo!”

Our congratulations to Krista Wallace for writing the winning story — and even more for garnering such praise from the brilliant CC Humphreys!

Krista Wallace will be the featured author for Issue 6 of Pulp Literature.  Along with publication and her name in large font on the cover she will receive a prize of $500.00. We are so pleased!

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who took the time to write such wonderful stories for our contest.

From Jen, Sue and Mel

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!

Canvention Congratulations!

Issue 5
Issue 5

Congratulations to next issue’s feature author, Eileen Kernaghan, who netted an Aurora Award for her poem “Night Journey: West Coast” published in Tesseracts Seventeen by EDGE Publishing!

The Aurora’s were presented last weekend at VCon 39 / Canvention 34 in Surrey, and it was a great weekend for Pulp Lit.   Not only did we launch issue 4 with authors KL Mabbs and Ace Baker, our issue 1 and 5 cover artist, the supremely talented Melissa Mary Duncan was an Artist Guest of Honour and an Aurora nominee.   The fact that another Pulp Lit author, David Clink (‘The Lady in White’, ‘Death Smile’, Pulp Literature Issue 2) took second place in the poem category was icing on the cake.  And to top it all off, issue 7 feature author Robert J Sawyer was one of the eight inaugural inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.  Congratulations all!

Beer Fairie by Melissa Mary Duncan
Beer Fairie by Melissa Mary Duncan

It wasn’t all books and writing of course.  If you dropped into the Academie Duello demo on Saturday afternoon you would have seen the authors of ‘The Wolf’, Kimberleigh Roseblade and JM Landels, in a friendly sword and buckler match, while Susan Pieters (‘Glass Curtain’, ‘Capture of the Muse’, ‘Invisible’, ‘Below the Knee’) chatted with Stormtroopers, angels and inquisitors at the Pulp Lit table.

Rapier with JM Landels & Gareth Antle
Rapiers at noon with JM Landels & Gareth Antle

 

We had a fabulous time at VCon, and we hope to see you again their next year.  Be sure to subscribe, either here on the website or through our Kickstarter campaign, so as not to miss Eileen Kernaghan’s and Robert J Sawyer’s stories in upcoming issues!