The first novel in the Allaigna’s Song trilogy by J.M. Landels, Overture, was serialized in Pulp Literature No. 1–11; and then collected into a single volume in July 2017. The second novel, Aria, began in PL No. 13, and this issue presents its third installment. The story opens with a short recap of the history and relationships of the story’s main characters. Because this is a segment of a larger piece, I found myself reviewing the recap a few times during the early pages to stay oriented. Let’s call it a sword and sorcery epic to provide a picture of Allaigna’s world quickly, but it is as much about the relationships of grandmother, mother, and daughter, each with differing agendas, each vying for control, as it is an adventure saga. The writing is strong, with a vibrant vocabulary. In this segment, for every action, there is an unequal reaction exploring its emotional impact.
“Sourdough” by Angela Post was the runner-up for the 2016 Surrey International Writer’s Conference (SiWC) Storyteller’s Award. Post is a psychologist by day and transforms her knowledge of the human heart into the story of “Sourdough’s” emotional journey from tragedy backto the land of the living. A powerful story, more literary than pulp.
Bob Thurber, the judge of the Bumblebee Flash Fiction Contest, selected Ingrid Jendrzejewski’s “Crushed Velvet” as the winner. It’s a dazzling display of Flash. The runner-up, “Kiss, Kiss, Bang Bang” by Jay Allisan, is also included. Another excellent example of short, short storytelling.
Several bizarre threads run through “The Pool Guy” by Adam Golub. The random, quirky ideas are fun and entertaining, like overhearing an intriguing conversation on the bus. But just be prepared, when it’s time to get off, you’ll have to imagine what happens next from what you’ve already heard. “Pool Guy” was a runner up in Pulp Lit’s 2016 Raven Short Story Contest.
Susan Pieters’ “Cannery Row” reads like a character study about a boy and his parents in 1970s Monterey, until its fantastical elements emerge. Pop is searching for the right conditions to farm abalone because the famous bay is fished out of everything else. Sonny busies himself taking photographs of his parents and the surrounding Cannery Row where writers like John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts once dwelt. The tale is atmospheric and subtle with enough intrigue to keep the pages turning. Pieters is the consulting editor for Pulp Literature.
Trackers rarely work in pairs, but in “A Knight at the Royal Arms” by Charity Tahmaseb, a reluctant partnership develops between two as they chase shadows through the corridors of a luxury hotel. A good, light-hearted adventure story. Tahmaseb’s stories have appeared in Futures, Fantasy Scroll Magazine, Deep Magic, and other publications.
A.M. Soto’s short story, “Pack Up Your Troubles,” alternates between the internal and external perspectives of one of Earth’s invaders. The story unfolds through the narrative’s shifts in orientation, and the twists of expectations provide enough entertainment to keep things interesting
From the Pulp Lit Pulpit: Here’s to Another Five
In This Issue
Evelyn Lau “Gone” (verse)
Evelyn Lau “Forest Edge” (verse)
Evelyn Lau “Once Upon a Time . . .” (verse)
Feature Interview: Evelyn Lau by Daniel Cowper
Evelyn Lau Selected Bibliography
Mel Anastasiou “The Seven Swans: The Mystery of the Forgotten Soldier”
Joelle Kid “Echo/Narcissus”
Michael Bracken “The Fishmonger’s Wife”
Susan Pieters “Madame Sylvie’s Three Rules on Speaking for the Dead”
Emily Lonie “A Seed in Every Womb”
Margot Spronk “Rules of Salvage”
Graham J. Darling “A Pleasant Walk, A Pleasant Talk”
Jenny Blackford “The Golden Feather”
Leslie Wibberley “Stonecold”
The Hummingbird Prize for Flash Fiction
Nicholas Christian “The Angler”
Robert Runté “Day Three”
Kris Sayer “Under Pale Flesh” (comic)
JM Landels “Allaigna’s Song: Aria” Verse 18–20
The Artists: Melissa Mary Duncan (cover), Kris Sayer, Mel Anastasiou
Hall of Fame (Patreon supporters)
Publisher: Pulp Literature Press
Managing Editor: Jennifer Landels
Acquisitions Editor: Melanie Anastasiou
Story Editor: Jessica Fabrizius
Poetry Editors: Daniel Cowper, Emily Osborne
Copy Editor/Designer: Amanda Bidnall
Proofreader: Mary Rykov
Cover Layout: Kate Landels
Pulp Literature website
Contributor copies of The Digest Enthusiast No. 9 are starting to arrive. Thanks to Michael Bracken, Josh Pachter, and Pulp Literature Managing Editor Jennifer Landels for including TDE in their recent social media posts.
We also received our first review on Amazon from Steve Alcorn, author and founder of the Writing Academy, which offers excellent online instruction on writing fiction, SF, mysteries, and nonfiction at very reasonable rates.