PULP REALITY No 1
Edited by Charles Millhouse
Kudos to writer/editor Charles F. Millhouse for creating as yet another pseudo/magazine devoted to New Pulp fiction. Note, PULP REALITY isn’t the first such as over the past decade or so various other outfits have tried their hands at bringing back that old style of storytelling. As with all such endeavors, this volume has its ups and downs, hits and misses. Let’s look at the good stuff first. This premier issue features seven fun stories, the majority of them well written. In fact, a few are outright pulp gems.
“Showdown on Scavenger Quay” by Bobby Nash. Lance Star and Captain Hawklin team up to battle on foes. We’ve always enjoyed stories bringing together heroes and Bobby Nash is one of the most well-established, capable writers in New Pulp today as this tale clearly demonstrates.
“Reel One for the B-Man” by Clyde Hall. An old movie house is haunted by all but forgotten matinee cliffhanger heroes. The mere concept here is wonderful and any lover of classic cinema will be smiling broadly as the young hero finds himself morphing into well-known heroes to bamboozle a group of biker thug thieves.
“Captain Hawklin and the Clockwork Buccaneer” by Brian K. Morris. A German operative steals American freighters en route to England during Lend-Lease. Though a decent story, we had the feeling the writer simply overcooked his stew with too many elements and it might have benefited with a touch more cutting.
“Testament of a Forgotten God” by Charles F. Millhouse. Captain Zane Carrington transports an aged professor to the middle of the Pacific Ocean for an appointment with Poseidon. Easily the best yarn in the book and masterfully told. Though the ending was no surprise, it was the one we hoped for. We really need to read more of his work. Going to recommend this one for the Pulp Factory Awards.
“Ace Anderson and the Curse of Doctor Atomika Part One” by Kellie Lynn Austin. Undersea adventure Ace Anderson and Huck Finn battle German agents attempting to gain the secret weapons of Atlantis. Fast-paced and oftentimes confusing, we could barely follow along as the narrative was so intent on the action it left little room for characterization. Pulp is action and adventure, but we also need to believe the characters are real.
“Prepare to be Mr. Fye” by Pete Lutz. Detective Jinx Duncan has a special occult power bestowed upon him; that that might come in handy when going after criminals in the big city. This is another of those gems we mentioned earlier and as an original tale, it is delivered smoothly making us want to see what comes next.
“Mercury Rises” by Rick Bradley. Clock repairman and part-time P.I. Jack Mercury is kidnapped into outer space and becomes the hero of his own fantastic adventure. Finally, the entire collection ends on a grand note that clearly demands lots more. Bradley knows how to write and this one was fun. To repeat, a terrific way to lower the curtain on a spectacular first issue.
Okay, so now a personal critique. Whatever the publisher’s intent, the oversized format really doesn’t work. It is an awkward shape difficult to hold, even when reclining in one’s comfortable recliner. The average reader would appreciate its size made to conform to the actual classic pulp mags.
There you have it. PULP REALITY is fresh and exciting and off to a grand start. Here’s hoping it is around for a long time to come.