Uncle B's Drive-In Fiction is available for sale. It's a hefty price, 19.99, but it's worth every freakin' penny. Six writers put a lot of work into crafting entertaining novellas that would have made for great drive-in flicks back when people knew how movies were supposed to be made and watched. This project took nearly two years to complete. It will provide you or anyone you know who loves to read literature that's actually interesting with hours and hours of enjoyment!
Projects like this take a lot of effort. Please demonstrate your support of independent publishing at its finest and buy this for yourself and anyone else you know will appreciate it.
So I saw Sinister last night. The film starts out with a great piece of grainy super 8mm footage of some wonderful American brutality. I got excited, thinking I was about to see a good old fashioned (as in, 1970s old fashioned) American horror film about human brutality and the horror of senseless violence, particularly in the United States.
Unfortunately, the movie eventually veered into the supernatural, asking the audience to go with it into a terrain that is entertaining, but not, ultimately, very scary. What made the great independent horror films of the 1970s work was the rooting of the horror in reality. Last House and Texas Chainsaw could very easily take place in the real world. That made them more terrifying than any American horror film before them (and some purists would argue, since).
Over the last decade, the American horror film has struggled to maintain its identity. The early part of the decade brought a flood of influence from Asian cinema. I used to hear idiots walking around insisting "The Japanese do horror better than the Americans" all the time. Usually from American filmmakers and enthusiasts. The scariest films of the decade, however, came from American filmmakers (The Strangers and Paranormal Activity). While Paranormal Activity veers into the supernatural, The Strangers proved that American filmmakers could still make very horrific, human horror films. I thought Sinister would follow in those footsteps, but alas, most American horror is still suffering the hangover from the influence of Asian horror films.
Sinister is a great example of filmmakers combining multiple elements from multiple horror films to come up with a hybrid that is both familiar and (deceptively) "new" at the same time. A great example of this from the "good old days" is The Boogeyman, which spliced together Halloween and The Exorcist and The Amityville Horror to create a very bizarre film that seemed very new at the time. Sinister takes the Asian obsession with ghosts and combines it with images of American brutality. Good for box office receipts, but not so good for the state of the American horror film.
Sinister gets points for ending on a down-note, which is essential to a good horror film. I fear that the supernatural influence, however, might hinder American horror films forever. We don't need supernatural elements in our horror films. Americans are fucking scary enough as it is!
So we're getting closer and closer to the unleashing of Uncle B's Drive-In Fiction. Here are your listening needs for my contribution, National Trust:
Rocks Off! - Rolling Stones
Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
American Woman - The Guess Who
I Want to Take You Higher - Sly and the Family Stone
Kick Out the Jams! - MC5
Down the Street - The Stooges
Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
Rocket Man - Elton John
Hey Joe - Jimi Hendrix
(insert German Oompah music for good measure)
(imagine Ennio Morricone music for mood)
PS -- The rights for these songs would dwarf the budget of any good drive-in movie back in the day...
For those of you who have submitted work for the autumn issue of Pulp Modern and have yet to receive word, fear not. My amazing assistant editor is going through submissions now. If you haven't heard anything yet, it's good news. It means your story is still under consideration.
Time for another soundtrack. David James Keaton's Tap Tap Tap (Snap Snap Snap) closes the collection and has a rather thorough soundtrack (in addition to an original rap/song recorded specifically for the novella!)
Music from the film
Tap Tap Tap (Snap Snap Snap)
“Love Removal Machine” – The Cult
“The Spotlight Kid” – Captain Beefheart
“Who’s Your Boyfriend?” – Billy Squier
“The Confessor” – Joe Walsh
“One Of Our Submarines” – Thomas Dolby
“Sure 'Nuff 'n Yes I
Do” – Captain Beefheart
“Lonely Is The Night” – Billy Squier
“On The Loose” – Saga
“Silver Shamrock Halloween Jingle” – Tommy Lee
“Emotions In Motion” – Billy Squier
“Burn Hollywood Burn” – Public Enemy
“Copperhead Road” – Steve Earl
“New Girl Now” - Honeymoon Suite
“Tropical Hot Dog Night” – Captain Beefheart
“The Big Beat” – Billy Squier
“Seasons In The Sun” – Terry Jacks
“Bat Out Of Hell” – Meat Loaf
“She’s A Runner” – Billy Squier
“Building The Perfect Beast” – Don Henley
“Clear Spot” – Captain Beefheart
“Lydia The Tattooed Lady” - Groucho Marx
“The Rap’s The
Thing (Your Blood’s Gonna Scream) – performed by Cryptozoology/lyrics by
Uncle B's Drive-In Fiction kicks off with Garnett Elliott's The Shunned Highway. I asked each writer involved to assemble a soundtrack for their stories. Here's Garnett's:
EASY LIVIN - Uriah Heep
RAMBLIN,' GAMBLIN' MAN - Bob Seger
BLACK BETTY - Ram Jam
LOST HIGHWAY - Hank Williams
I'M NO ANGEL - Greg Allman
WAR PIGS - Black Sabbath
MARS, BRINGER OF WAR - Tomita
HEAR MY TRAIN A COMIN - Jimi Hendrix
BLUE HIGHWAY - George Thorogood
Get your listening on so you got the tunes in your head when you read the novella. More soundtracks to follow...
On September 27, 2012, Pulp Modern #1 will go out of print. That means you basically have one month to get your copy before it becomes unavailable (and people start selling it for 800 dollars on Amazon!). If you haven't gotten your copy yet, I suggest you do so now.
So I really dug Stan Rutgers' story in the latest issue of Pulp Modern and I'm putting the final touches on Uncle B.'s Drive-In Fiction, which means it's time to start thinking about the next big collection I want to put out. Here it is: The Dens of Babylon. All dystopian science fiction stories. I'll put the general call out for submissions early 2013. I just wanted to get the idea going so folks start working on something right now.
Pulp Modern will open for submissions in August. I am going to be insanely busy starting in August and I want to make sure that the quality of Pulp Modern continues to go up. Therefore, I am putting the call out for an assistant editor. This job will entail reading stories and passing along the ones he or she thinks are suitable for the journal. Compensation will be the same as though he or she had contributed a story (one "share"). If you are interested or if you know someone who might be interested, please let me know.
First of all, feast your eyes on this bizzare "review".
The writer of that "review" censors any comments he doesn't like, so I've decided to reprint my response to his "criticism" here:
First of all, who are "These authors, who write like Bill and who are featured in popular crime fiction ezines across the web"? I think you should name all of "these authors" so that "these authors" may respond to your thin, unfounded (and, in your own article, unsupported) 'criticism.'
Speaking of criticism, are you aware of the difference between 'constructive' and 'destructive' criticism? You've provided us with an example of 'destructive' criticism. In short, you've said nothing helpful to readers or to the writer. Instead of turning your criticism into a personal attack (your sour grapes comment was appropriate, seeing as how you seem to have a mouthful of them), why not explain to readers and Frank Bill how the writer might improve his work (but that's not really the point of your article, is it? I refer you back to the sour grapes you must be choking on at this point).
Finally, a word about Frank Bill's book. I'll grant that it's not for everybody. Frank has his own style (something that bothered you, though you failed to pick up on the fact that it was a matter of style). You either like it or you don't. There are better ways to state it than you did. In Frank Bill's defense, I find that his writing accomplishes the establishment of a particular culture the way Jim Thompson's early novels attempted (but, unlike Frank Bill's collection) and failed (Thompson is one of my all-time favorite writers, but his first couple of novels are almost unreadable). Your failure to recognize Frank Bill's attention to a southern Indiana culture (whether made up or not doesn't matter since Frank has done such an excellent job of making this culture authentic within his work) most of us would not have the stones to go experience ourselves demonstrates that you indeed only took a glance at the work (which cancels your entire review as it is based on shoddy homework) and that you do not read closely enough to warrant the title of 'critic' in the first place.
PS-- What in the world does stamina have to do with writing a novel??? If that's what you think it takes, then it makes sense you've had to self-publish...
(Someone at the site is claiming to have removed comments for blahlahblah reason. So much for free speech, eh Sparky?)
First of all, if you haven't ordered your copy of BEAT TO A PULP: ROUND TWO, what the hell are you waiting for? My story "State Road 53" is part of the line up. It's a country song done as a short story...
Next, if you haven't ordered your copy of Grift Magazine #1, what the hell are you waiting for? It contains my story "American Chivalry," about the most accidental hero that ever was...
Finally, if you haven't ordered your copy of Indiana Crime, what the hell are you waiting for? It has my story "Dumb Shit," about idiots who don't understand economics very well...
I say all this because Uncle B. is about to unleash Pulp Modern #3 and no more than a month after that, Uncle B's Drive-In Fiction will be available.
It's here! The follow up to 2010's Beat to a Pulp: Round One. Anyone familiar with the first collection knows that the BTAP folks put together an outstanding volume of stories. The second volume is now available. You can find it here, at createspace, or here, at Amazon. I have a story in this collection and that is the very least of reasons you should get a copy and get your summer reading underway.
I'm going to be making a change to the guidelines at Pulp Modern. Beginning with issue three, there will only be one payment after six months. At that point, I will release the rights back to the authors. The book will remain available for another six months before I make it unavailable. The sales on the first two issues have not been steady so I don't see a need to send out twenty-five cents to a writer five months after the release of the journal. If anyone thinks this is problematic, I am willing to listen to arguments.
2. Pulp Modern is temporarily closed to submissions. Look for the door to open again around August of this year.
Lately I've noticed a trend where I pass on a story and the author writes back to tell me he or she wants to remove his or her story from consideration. Any other editors out there experienced this? Just wondering.
How Elizabeth A. White can read as much as she does is amazing. How she can write reviews about all those books is even more amazing. She was kind enough to find time to review the latest issue of Pulp Modern. Please give her review a read and let her know what you think. If you haven't purchased your copy of issue two yet, please do so. You want to be appropriately prepared for issue three, don't you? Yes, of course. Of course you do.
John Kenyon's magazine, Grift, is now available for sale. In addition to my short story "American Chivalry," you will find work by Matthew C. Funk, Keith Rawson, Chris F. Holm, Court Merrigan, a piece of non-fiction from the great Lawrence Block, and much, much more. Congratulations to Mr. Kenyon for putting this together!
So here's what Uncle B. is cooking up for the months that are actually supposed to be warm:
Issue three of Pulp Modern will be available in late April. To answer the question already brewing in your mind: Yes, Pulp Modern makes for an excellent graduation gift. Your son, daughter, nephew, niece, whatever, does NOT want a car. He or she wants a copy of Pulp Modern. Look for the line up in late March.
There will be no summer issue of Pulp Modern. To answer the question already brewing in your mind: On July 4, look for a big, fat volume called Drive In Fiction. Six low-budget novellas by myself, Garnett Elliott, Matt Funk, Jimmy Callaway, David James Keaton, and C.J. Edwards. For the full effect, please read in your motor vehicle, under a country sky filled with stars.
First of all, I am proud to be a part of Beat to a Pulp: Round Two. I cannot wait to see what the new collection looks like. If it's half as good as Round One, I'm sure it will be amazng.
The Drive-In Fiction project is coming along great. The other writers involved have been much more diligent than myself. Look for this monster some time this summer.
Finally, I am slowly learning how to format stuff for kindle. Pulp Modern #2 should be out on kindle in the next few months.
Also, Jeremy Selzer, the awesome artist responsible for the first two covers to Pulp Modern is busy with an addition to his family, as in, his wife is having a baby. I'm sure we all wish Mr. Selzer and his wife and their new baby the best. The man is obviously going to be busy for some time. As a result, I've had to find a new cover artist and I think I found someone worthy of the challenge. Look for the spring issue of Pulp Modern in late March.
Oh yeah, one more thing--Anyone going to AWP in Chicago next week, let me know so we can hang out and bully the snooty "literary" folks!
Pulp Modern will no longer be accepting reprints. The only reprints that will run in the journal will be classic stories (such as the reprint you saw in issue one), stories requested specifically by me, and older stories that are in the public domain (such the reprint you saw in issue two).
While the rest of the world prepares for doomsday, I'm going to continue writing and trying to pay my bills. Some places you can look for my own fiction this year:
Beat to a Pulp: Round Two. If this collection is anything like Round One, it's going to be a hell of an honor to be included in it. My story is part of the Haggard, Indiana cycle that began at Thuglit with "My Kind of Town" (a story that needs a revision, I see now...)
Indiana Crime. Poetry, fiction, and photos by writers from Indiana (obviously) or with some sort of Indiana connection. I've been trying for years to respond to some people I hung out with back in my more self-destructive days. They were roofers who blamed Mexicans for contractors selling them out. Hopefully I've made my point with my story "Dumb Shit," which is included in this collection.
Drive In Fiction. This is a collection of novellas I'm putting together with some other writers. The idea is to tell a story that would have made a good drive in movie back when drive in movies were made by people whose last names weren't Spielberg, Lucas, or Bay. For now, I am keeping my story 'under wraps' because I don't want to tempt the universe to give someone else the idea...
And of course I will continue producing Pulp Modern.
With little fanfare, yesterday I handed over the keys to ALL DUE RESPECT to its new editor, Chris Rhatigan. Chris will edit the last couple of stories I chose, and by April or May, the whole thing will be his show. He's made some changes to the guidelines, which you can check out at the site, and he's opened submissions in effort to fill out the rest of the year. The biggest, and, in my opinion, best change, is that ADR will now feature stories twice a month instead of just once. Writers still get their due respect (for two weeks) while readers get two stories instead of one.
Writers, conjure up your worst instincts, put them in a story, and send them to Mr. Rhatigan for consideration:
Alec Cizak is a writer and filmmaker. His work has appeared in several journals and anthologies. His most recent novel, Cool It Down, will be available from ABC Group Documentation in 2021. He is the editor of the fiction journal, Pulp Modern.
Mr. Cizak's first collection of weird fiction/horror stories. Available now from ABC Group Documentation.
Follow Chelsea Farmer's journey out of hell!
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.