Archive for October, 2018

The only reason Cameron wrote this and not me is because he was up in the rotation. If you are a cosmic horror fan and haven’t read this, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Broadswords and Blasters

1784919312Victor LaValle’s novella The Ballad of Black Tom reimagines H.P. Lovecraft’s original story “The Horror at Red Hook,” notorious for being one of the most blatantly racist stories by the older author. “Red Hook” was originally published by Weird Tales in 1927, but it’s notably racist even for the time period. Additionally, Lovecraft himself wasn’t much a fan of the story. Some of Lovecraft’s proteges and biographers (Lin Carter the former and ST Joshi the latter) agree with his assessment. I don’t think there’s a need for me to agree with others, but I’ll just add in my personal dislike for the story, its narrative device (used to better effect in “Randolph Carter”), and the unchecked xenophobia, which is more than uncalled for.

Black Tom has won awards and was nominated for many others, primarily because it manages to add story beats that give the characters purpose. If “Red…

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Issue 7 Out Today!

Posted: October 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Issue 7(!) releases today. Plus there’s a sale on all of the other issues.

Broadswords and Blasters

Hey, guess what today is? I mean other than the first day of the rest of your life. Yeah, that’s right, we’ve got a new issue of BROADSWORDS AND BLASTERS for you.

Broadswords and Blasters Issue 7: Pulp Magazine with Modern Sensibilities (Volume 2 Book 3) by [Gomez, Matthew, Codair, Sara, Barlow, Tom, Francis, Rob, Kilgore, Joe, Reynolds, Z., Serna-Grey, Ben, Young, Brad, Rubin, Richard, Uitvlugt, Donald] Maybe we shouldn’t have woken it up? Richard Rubin first graced our pages in Issue 4 with “Commander Saturn and the Deadly Invaders From Rigel,” and now he’s back battling the space pirates of Ganymede. If you like retro sci-fi at all (we’re talking old school Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon), you’re going to want to check out this tale of experimental cloaking devices, double crosses and deception.

Tom Barlow gave us “Jigsaw,” a dysfunctional couple’s descent into horror brought about by a mysterious puzzle.

Ben Serna-Gray penned the twisted surrealistic sci-fi dystopia “Choice Cuts.” When everything (and anyone) is edible, conspicuous consumption takes on a whole new meaning.

Rob Francis is back this issue (last seen way…

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1st Ave Coffee Conversation

Posted: October 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

(Written *mumble mumble years ago.) Posted for National Poetry Day.

1st Ave Coffee Conversation

Smoke from my coffee slides across the glass

of a 1st Ave coffee shop as you rattle off

(I keep thinking of sewing machines)

about who you ran into recently

that you wished had faded forgotten

–a bad dream.


Fake smiles plastered on (the only cheap

jewelry you wear) that never touch

corrupt your smirking, cynical cat’s eyes

— Social civility too automatic by now

for you to be any different—

And as you slide on talking I sip

slowly from words and bitter drink

and slip through your stories

easy laughter escaping our lips.


Our friendship is too tested to be

strained – boundaries had already been pushed as far as you dared –

You’re brave in other ways and I

stare at tattoos slipping through

power suits, cellphones, and expensive cigars

on 1st Ave and smile crooked and kind

at coffee shop guy talking

about making money off used ripped jeans

(too bad I tossed mine).


But we’re talking Jim Carroll poety

and the power of a city where I am no longer

–no smoke pressed against coffee shop glass—

and your voice only comes sliding

at the detached speed of light—

but your image is burned on my retina.


I can still hear your voice

in the sound of coffee, poetry, and graveyards

–things we always shared

damn the distance –

and whenever our voices curl around the other

loose strands from before are woven

and our partings are left open-ended

on the off chance we see a reason

to pick up threads of thought

that slide through the air

against the glass of a coffee shop in 1st Ave

where you rattle on and I sit

–with you and the city captured

in a scent of what was.

Pulp Appeal: Switchblade Sixx

Posted: October 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

I cover issue six of the noir/crime mag Switchblade.

Broadswords and Blasters

Switchblade continues its run as an excellent venue for short noir and crime fiction and issue six is no exception. These stories read like a lone saxophone playing in the night, following people with bad luck, who’ve made bad decisions, and who took the easy way much to their regret. My hat’s off to Scotch Rutherford for curating another excellent batch of stories. I know I’ve said it before, but anyone who thinks the short story form is old and tired hasn’t been paying attention to what’s going on out there. There is a tremendous amount of talent that is going unnoticed and unremarked. So do yourself a favor, pick up an issue. Give it a read. See what you’ve been missing.

Switchblade (Issue Sixx) by [Barnes, Rusty , Weiner, Rex , Barlow, Tom , Richardson, Travis, Sweetman, E.F., Carpenter, Scot, Thorn, Aidan , Payne, Mike, Deshane, Evelyn, Soldan, William R.] You wished your covers looked half this good. I also appreciate the artwork that Rutherford peppers the interior with, be it black and white street photos, vintage ads…

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