Tag Archives: Tais Teng

Featured Author: Tais Teng

Have you picked up our Summer 2018 issue yet?  The cover art alone is worth the price.

After the Tsunami is the fourth digital painting by Tais Teng that has graced the cover of Pulp Literature, the first three being Youth Hostels of the Faery (Summer 2014), Pesky Summer Jobs (Spring 2015) and Dieselpunk Explorers (Winter 2016).  

Not only is Tais Teng a talented and unique artist, he has also written a hundred books for both adults and children.  Readers of Pulp Literature will recall his story ‘Growing up with your Dead Sister’ in Issue 8.  You can find more of his art at taisteng.deviantart.com  and you can read more about him on his website, taisteng.atspace.com.

For a true composite of Tais’ work, enjoy this excerpt from ‘Growing up with your Dead Sister’ from Issue 8, and check out his artwork which graces Pulp Literature Issue 3, Issue 6, and Issue 9.

Growing up with your Dead Sister

by Tais Teng

After the accident, Lyra’s big sister was buried in a closed casket.  

“But I wanted to say goodbye to her!” Lyra wailed.

“It is better that you remember her the way she was,” her mother said.  “Anyway, she wouldn’t hear you. She went on. Hindela is in a better place now.”  

Lyra really tried to feel glad for her sister.  A better place? One where you ate strawberry muffins for breakfast and the sun always shone?  

It didn’t work.  She felt betrayed, abandoned.  Hindela had always been her guide, her protector, telling her essential things like “Don’t fondle that toad, or your fingers will drop off!”  Lately Hindela had been kissing boys and giggling a lot. Lyra didn’t see the use, but she was sure she would be kissing boys, too, later. And only Hindela could tell her how such things should be done.

When they sat down for dinner Lyra saw Hindela waiting in her usual place.  She wasn’t ghostly at all and none the worse for wear.

“Mama?” Lyra said.  “Why didn’t you set a place for Hindela?  She needs a plate and her own cup with the blue roses.”

“What do you mean?”

Lyra pointed.  “Hindela is sitting right there!  I bet she is as hungry as I am.” Her sister did indeed look a bit pale, with hollow cheeks.  Dying was hard work, Lyra thought. It must make you simply ravenous.

“You see her?” her mother asked.  

“She is just like my grandmother.”  Lyra’s father nodded. “It sometimes skips a generation.  Give Hindela her plate. Ghosts seldom linger longer than a fortnight.”

Read more of ‘Growing Up with your Dead Sister’ in Pulp Literature Issue 8

Spring is here!

Pulp Literature Issue 6
Pulp Literature Issue 6

Or at least the print proof of our Spring 2015 issue is.  We never get tired of that first glimpse of the book in its ink and paper glory, even if it’s an unbound proof.

Sadly for the rest of you, it will be a few weeks more before bound copies are ready to ship to your doorsteps.  However, to tide you over until then, here’s a snippet of the cover story, ‘The Inner Light’ by Raven Contest winner Krista Wallace, based on the cover painting by Dutch artist Tais Teng.

And if you haven’t ordered a copy yet, be sure to subscribe here to make sure yours will be in the mail.

The Inner Light

by Krista Wallace

“I’m trying my best,” Matilda said.

“Yes, of course I hear you.” Matilda stared into the shiny blackness.

“I know.” Matilda stroked the glossy surface.

“I’m sorry.” Matilda’s pitch rose as anxiety crept up her throat. “There is more coming, I promise.”

“No, please. Please don’t.” Fear scratched at her chest. “Please. I promise there’s more. Lots more. Just please leave Andrew alone.”

Matilda backed away, her fingertips kissing the cold sphere before finally disconnecting. Then she turned and hastened out of the lobby and into the theatre, where the cast was waiting. The stage manager had handed out scripts, and they were all seated around the table on the stage. Waiting for her. Ah. There was Andrew, at the head of the table, of course. She strode down the stairs through the seating in the house.

“Right, ladies and gentlemen.” She articulated the next word distinctly. “Macbeth!”

Predictably, the theatre erupted in the hysterical shrieks of high-strung, superstitious actors. Matilda went up the stage-right steps two at a time, while Lady Macbeth dashed down the stage-left steps and ran through the house into the lobby, likely to turn around three times and yell, “Shit!” Banquo and Duncan fled into the back hall, probably to do the same. Macduff spun around on the spot and spat on the floor to his left, while the three witches clung to each other and recited some piece of verse to chase away the evil spirits Matilda had summoned by not referring to the work as ‘The Scottish Play’ within the theatre. The rest of the actors made all sorts of noises and protestations, complaining that Matilda should have known better. The stage manager had to go and invite Lady Mac, Duncan, and Banquo back into the theatre.

“And it must follow, as the night the day / Thou canst not then be false to any man.” Lady Mac intoned the line from Hamlet to nobody in particular, thereby completing her antidote to the curse. Only Andrew — Macbeth himself — remained completely calm; he had stayed seated at the table, patiently awaiting the read-through, with only a glance and an eye roll to indicate he was aware of the panicked bustle surrounding him. Andrew’s calm was an important element of his character.

Matilda smiled to herself at the minor chaos. Fear. Anxiety. Irritation. Anger. If only she could see the sphere from here.

Read the rest in Pulp Literature Issue 6, available soon!

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