I 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.
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!
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.
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!
The protagonist from KM Vaghela’s beautifully haunting ‘Poor Thing’ in issue 2 doesn’t have a name. We know her only as ‘girl’. But that doesn’t mean we don’t live, breath, and feel with her long after the story is finished.
What is your greatest fear? My mother’s stare.
On what occasion do you lie? When my mother has the stare in her eyes.
Which talent would you most like to have? Rock climbing, or better yet, tree climbing.
What is your greatest regret? Never telling Nirav that he’s my one and only crush.
How would you like to die? Old age, in my sleep.
KM Vaghela, who holds a MFA in Fiction, and teaches writing at the university of Maryland, tells us this about the story: ‘Poor Thing’ originated from a phone call. I was thirteen and my mother was habitually twirling the curly, long cord connected to the head piece while watching something on the stove. It was her voice that made me lift my head from my work and listen. There were too many exclamation marks in her breath. When she hung up, we children gathered around curiously. The story she told clung to us for weeks. It was a story we could not understand, living in America where 911 was the answer for all trouble. How could there be no 911 solution in our mother country of India? I wrote the first draft at fifteen, and it has evolved slowly into a piece which I hope will touch any who read it.
You can find ‘Poor Thing’ in the Spring 2014 issue of Pulp Literature, available as ebook or in print on our Kickstarter page: