To paraphrase fellow Hoosier Johnny Cougar, I'll be holding on to 39 as long as I can... And then, MIDLIFE CRISIS HERE I COME! Luckily, I should be teaching at a university for the midlife crisis which will facilitate at least one of the ventures such a crisis tends to bring on (and, to be honest, I have no interest in the sports car half of the equation, so I think I'm set for a good one)...
Although I can't bring it up in their search engine yet, there is nevertheless a listing for All Due Respect at Duotrope. If any of the five authors (myself included..,) who have thus far been featured in All Due Respect read this and report their submissions at Duotrope, please report your appearance in All Due Respect so that Duotrope can have statistics.
(I got a kick out of the fact that they quoted my remark about Dr. Phil)
Garnett Elliot shows us all how it's done once again at this week's Beat to a Pulp. The story is called "First Man Falling" and it's about a boxer. As is usual with an Elliot story, the reader is placed firmly in the setting. If there really was such a thing as cinematic writing, I think Elliot's work qualifies. I'd tell him to go to Hollywood, but they'd just waste his talent on cheesy "coming of age" stories or worse...
And lest ye forget, Mr. Elliot is also featured at this month's All Due Respect.
So I've had a few chances to read some more of the new Beat to a Pulp anthology. I read the super short piece called "Boots on the Ground" by Matthew Quinn Martin. I suppose this would be called flash fiction. It's an effective story that sets its historical scene very well.
History, in fact, seems to be the theme of the stories I've chosen to read thus far. "Studio Dick" takes place in the past as does the Paul S. Powers story, "The Strange Death of Ambrose Bierce." I was curious about this one for a number of reasons. It was touted as a 'lost' story from the glory days of the pulps, so I was eager to see how it read compared to all the modern pulp fiction surrounding it. I'm also currently fascinated by Mexican history and Ambrose Bierce is one of my favorite writers. A lot of ingredients for a good story. Again, the placement in time and location is excellent. Powers tips his hat to Bierce with an Owl Creek-type of construction. What I noticed most about the story was the feel it had of having been written by someone who relied on his fiction to pay his bills. I can't explain it, just felt it.
I also read the history of the pulps by Cullen Gallagher at the end of the book. Very informative and well-researched. I was glad to see Jim Thompson mentioned. I was unaware that the pulps were considered dead by the 1940s. I guess that explains why Thompson novels are easier to find than Thompson stories.
In December I will make a collection of my speculative fiction (somewhere between horror and science fiction) available as a kindle edition on Amazon. It will include ten stories for a nice, low price.
So as I get the opportunity to read stories from the new Beat to a Pulp anthology, I will post my opinions here of the stories I like. I had some time this morning so I flipped right away to the Garnett Elliot story, "Studio Dick." Elliot is a writer I believe has description down better than just about anybody I've read in recent years. The choices he makes as a writer, what to include, what not to include, are amazing. Some writers bog their work down with too much description, others provide next to nothing, hoping the reader will do more work than necessary. I admit that I struggle with this in my own writing. Elliot doesn't seem to have this problem. "Studio Dick" is really a textbook example of how to tell a story. Garnett Elliot works in genre fiction, but I believe his sensibilities are literary in nature (and, of course, there are many who argue that 'literary' is a genre itself and I am inclined to agree). Elliot also writes in a manner fitting for traditional pulps. His stories have weight. That's not always a good thing, but, as I stated, because Elliot isn't wasting space, the reader can be assured that he or she is not wasting time. As for Round One, so far, so very good.
The new issue of All Due Respect is up and ready for reading. This month features a traditional pulp fiction story that I'm sure fans of the genre are going to love. It's called "Disability, Inc." and was written my Garnett Elliot. Mr. Elliot's work has appeared in a number of different on-line journals as well as the new Beat to a Pulp anthology. Stop by and give it a read and let Mr. Elliot know what you thought of it!
Alec Cizak is a writer and filmmaker. His work has appeared in several journals and anthologies. His most recent novel, Breaking Glass, is available from ABC Group Documentation. He is the editor of the fiction journal, Pulp Modern.
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DOWN ON THE STREET
Mr. Cizak's tender novella about a cabbie who decides to become a pimp
The most prophetic book ever written!
Mr. Cizak's classic collection of crime stories from the Golden Age of the online pulp fiction movement
Between Juarez and El Paso
Mr. Cizak's contribution to the Drifter Detective series.
The very BEST pulp fiction by the very BEST contemporary writers.