Tuesday, October 19, 2010
BEAT to a PULP: Round One - The Flip Side
James O’Barr’s outstanding cover for this book has been appearing all over the Internet, so I thought I’d show you what’s on the back - and on the spine. And while I’m at it, a BIG picture of the front cover too (way below). What I couldn’t tell from looking at thumbnails is that the wraparound cover is designed to look like the frayed and torn dust jacket of an old hardback.
I knew this collection featured 27 stories from a variety of genres, but had seen no list of what’s what. So I figured as soon as my copy arrived I’d take a quick look and identify each story by genre. Well! That proved too tall an order.
Several of these tales, you see, seem to defy genre. So rather than risk applying erroneous tags, I’ll just attempt a general breakdown.
I’m pretty confident in saying there are three westerns and two pirate yarns. There appear to be two detective stories, three war stories and one I’d call science fiction. Then things get more iffy. Two might be called adventure. Two more seem to have elements of horror, and one just might border on fantasy. The rest - comprising roughly half of the 27 - seem to fall under the broad umbrella of crime/noir/thrillers.
Based on my quick squint, they all look great. It was mighty tough forcing myself to skim, because every time I read a first paragraph I wanted to keep going. It’ll be a joy to sit down and spend time with this baby.
My own contribution, I was both pleased and alarmed to discover, falls right between those of Ed Gorman and Paul S. Powers. While it’s an honor to be brushing elbows with those gents, it’s also intimidating. I suppose I can comfort myself with the thought that folks will be so pumped after reading Ed’s story they’ll want to race through mine in their haste to get to Paul’s.
I was also happy to see three of my fellow writers from A Fistful of Legends - Nik Morton, I.J. Parnham and Edward A. Grainger. And two fellow members of the western apa OWLHOOT, James Reasoner and Bill Crider (author of the Foreward).
Editors David Cranmer and Elaine Ash have done an amazing job here, and I’m hoping this series goes at least 11 more rounds.
1. Maker’s and Coke - Jake Hinkson
2. A Free Man - Charles Ardai
3. Fangataufa - Sophie Littlefield
4. You Don’t Get Three Mistakes - Scott D. Parker
5. Insatiable - Hilary Davidson
6. Boots on the Ground - Matthew Quinn Martin
7. Studio Dick - Garnett Elliott
8. Killing Kate - Ed Gorman
9. The Ghost Ship - Evan Lewis
10. The Strange Death of Ambrose Bierce - Paul S. Powers
11. Heliotrope - James Reasoner
12. The Wind Scorpion - Edward A. Grainger
13. Hard Bite - Anonymous-9
14. Crap is King - Robert J. Randisi
15. The All-Weather Phantom - Mike Sheeter
16. Pripet Marsh - Stephen D. Rogers
17. Ghostscapes - Patricia Abbott
18. Off Rock - Kieran Shea
19. At Long Last - Nolan Knight
20. A Native Problem - Chris F. Holm
21. Spend it Now, Pay Later - Nik Morton
22. Spot Marks the X - I.J. Parnham
23. Hoosier Daddy - Jedidiah Ayres
24. Anarchy Among Friends: A Love Story - Andy Henion
25. Cannulation - Glenn Gray
26. The Unreal Jesse James - Chap O’Keefe
27. Acting Out - Frank Bill
Bonus: A History of Pulp - Cullen Gallagher