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
Much of “The Seven Swans, Book Four: The Highwayman’s Deception” by Mel Anastasiou is a self-contained adventure/romance set in olde England. Three chapters frame the tale of Spencer Stevens’ past life, while eight immerse the reader in his captivating adventure there as he courts the life of the highwayman and his teacher, the provocative Charlotte. Anastasiou is the acquisitions editor for Pulp Literature, and her stories appear regularly in the magazine.
Stories from Pulp Literature No. 15 Summer 2017:
“Gret” by Brenda Carre sets the issue’s opening bar high. It’s the first chapter of a forthcoming novel of the same name, so beautifully written it overshadows any hesitation of reading an excerpt, so don’t miss out. Gret’s world is harsh and dangerous, filled with magic and intrigue. Carre’s skill with dialect in narration and dialogue transports you to Gret’s world at once. “I grabbed Isk’s meat knife and a bannock or two for my tattered pockets and I was out that windee and into the shore mist faster than a clam can fart.” A three-page interview with Carre follows her novel’s chapter.