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Broadswords and Blasters

I’m not just covering Pulp Modern’s latest issue because Matt has a story in it. Honest. In fact, although Matt and I have been friends long enough that we started this publication together, he’s not even the reason I picked up this issue. Nope, I picked it up because I wanted to read more Adam S. Furman, Rex Weiner, and C.W. Blackwell, all of whom have graced our own pages. I’m a touch jealous, but damn if these stories don’t deserve to be read. And not just those three, but all of them.

The issue starts off with editor Alec Cizak’s foreword. Other reviews have highlighted his discussion on imagination and done so better than I would, so I’ll just leave it to them. I did want to highlight his discussion on world psychology and how we in 2019 are entering the same headspace as people a hundred years ago…

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Pulp Appeal: Switchblade #9

Posted: June 10, 2019 in Uncategorized

Broadswords and Blasters

We’ve covered Switchblade before, and editor Matthew X. Gomez even had a flash piece published in Issue Seven, but that’s not going to stop us from covering their latest, Issue 9.

We start with a poem by Willie Smith taking us down to New Orleans in Voodoo Spider which crosses that line between noir and horror with the reader guessing which side of the line it’s on.

“Lucky Fuck” by Jack Bates follows a twisting, small town tale of car accidents, revenge, bitter recriminations and regrets. You’ll be left wondering if the main character is actually lucky, or just unlucky enough to keep from dying.

“Death Letter Blues” by Mark Slade could have used another round of editing, in this editor’s humble opinion, but is a twisted little tale of a man who lives in a reality adjacent to, but not fully in synchronicity with, this world. It’s self-delusion…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Editors’ Note: Anthony Perconti lives and works in the hinterlands of New Jersey with his wife and kids. He enjoys good stories across many different genres and mediums. His articles have appeared inSwords and Sorcery MagazineandDMR Books Blog.

Cover of Chester Himes novel A Rage in Harlem

Chester Himes, an African American expat living in France, published his first crime novel in the United States in 1957 under the title of For the Love of Imabelle. This book was eventually re-named to its current moniker, A Rage in Harlem. This is the first book in what came to be known as Himes’ Harlem Cycle (alternately known as the Harlem Detectives series), that was awarded the French Grand Prix de la Litterature Policiere. The main protagonist of the book is Jackson, who resides in Harlem with Imabelle, the love of his life who he plans on marrying. He has a steady job at the local…

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Broadswords and Blasters

So we’ve talked about John
Wick
before, but with Chapter 3: Parabellum having just been released, we
figured it would be a good idea to revisit the franchise. Some spoilers will
follow.

For anyone that doesn’t know- John Wick, prior to the events of the first movie, was a retired assassin, the one you sent to kill other assassins in fact. Over the course of the films, he is brought back into the underworld of crime, only to find himself on the wrong side of well, just about everyone. The third movie picks up exactly with where the second one left off, with John tired and wounded, with an hour to go before an open bounty of fourteen million dollars is called. What with being in New York, people are coming out of the woodwork to collect.

Image result for john wick chapter 3
Yes, Keanu Reeves rides a horse in this installment. Yes, it is glorious.

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Broadswords and Blasters

The Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001) is a French language ahistorical fantastic retelling of the legend of the Beast of Gévaudan. It is what happens when French moviemakers (director/co-writer Christophe Gans and story creator/co-writer Stéphane Cabel) emulate Chinese wuxia, Gothic Horror, and a touch of the American West as seen through the eyes of Sergio Leone. It’d be reductive to merely call it French wuxia, as I’ve seen it described online, since such description misses the presence of both the spaghetti-Western ironic aesthetic and also the distinctive flair of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto or Matthew Lewis’ The Monk. The convoluted overlapping plot threads of those stalwart Gothic novels is absolutely in play in Brotherhood, as are the shifting allegiances and dramatic irony of Leone’s The Man with No Name trilogy. Also, while there is definitely wire-work involved in the fight sequences, it’s not quite as over-the-top as

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Broadswords and Blasters

Pulp Appeal: Kung-Fu Hustle

KUNG FU HUSTLE, directed, produced, written and starring Stephen Chow, is perhaps the most over-the-top, troperific, batshit insane kung fu movie to not strictly be a parody. It features dancing criminal gangs, old kung fu masters hiding out in slums, evil kung fu masters hanging out in insane asylums, musical assassins, over the top action, and even a sequence straight out of a Looney Tunes short.

Set in 1940s Shanghai, the city is controlled by gangs, none more feared than the notorious Axe Gang. Sing is a low-level crook trying to get in good with the gang, and through his attempts to get in good with the criminals, he ends up creating an escalating conflict between the Axe Gang and the impoverished residents of Pig Sty Alley… which just so happens to be the home of a number of powerful martial artists, not the least…

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Broadswords and Blasters

“From days of long ago, from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend. The legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe.”

LEGO Voltron! I can’t wait for the semester to be over so I can start assembling this 2300+ brick masterpiece.

As a kid growing up in the 1980s I was naturally attached to cartoons. That’s one of the defining characteristics of late Gen-Xers/early millenials (I’ve seen us referred to as a crossover generation, but isn’t everyone really?). For me, those cartoons were GI Joe, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, and Voltron. I’m sure I’ll tackle the first two at some point in the future, but Voltron is at the forefront of my mind today because one of my best friends sent me a special birthday gift for my 40th birthday (May 4th): LEGO Voltron. (Thanks Kyle!)

Voltron is a mecha series of the…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Matt Spencer is no stranger to Broadswords and Blasters, having appeared in issues 1, 2, and 9 of our magazine, and writing the occasional article for us as well. So, when we were given the chance to read a review copy of his latest “CHANGING OF THE GUARDS,” we knew what we were getting into.

And, to be fair, Spencer isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and if by tea we mean hardcore brutal fantasy that pulls no punches. There’s very little genteel or noble in this book, with the focus instead on the kind of people that end up being heroes, and how those same people rarely fit into the society they are fighting for.

Front Cover Final rgb

The opening starts with Severen, a member of the
imperialistic Spirelight Secret Police, captured by the very bandits he was sent
out to deal with in the first place, led…

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Broadswords and Blasters

Editors’ Note: Anthony Perconti lives and works in the hinterlands of New Jersey with his wife and kids. He enjoys good stories across many different genres and mediums. His articles have appeared in Swords and Sorcery Magazine and DMR Books Blog.

Copyright text page for Moon Knight: From the Dead, with a snippet explaining how Moon Knight gained his powers. "Mercenary Marc Spector died in Egypt, under a statue of the ancient deity Khonshu. He returned to life in the shadow of the moon god, and wore his aspect to fight crime for his own redemption. He went completely insane, and disappeared. This is what happened next."

In the early years of this century, in addition to all of the mainstream comic work that was on his plate, Warren Ellis took the time to  create a line of standalone pulp inspired one shots for Avatar comics, under the heading of “Apparat.” The goal of these 4 titles was to present specific pulp subgenres (science fiction, aviation, detective and pulp vigilante) as a first issue of a series from a parallel universe where pulps made the direct translation into comic books, without the invention of the superhero. These four one shots was Ellis’ attempt to directly create new pulp stories for a modern comic reading audience, replete…

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Issue 9 is here!

Posted: April 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

Broadswords and Blasters

Issue 9 Release!

If you’ve been following us on twitter at all you know that this
day was coming. No, not tax day in the US of A (though that too), but the long awaited release
of issue 9. So what do we have in store for you this time?

R.A. Goli
returns with a tale of how far a mother will go for her daughter in the tale
“Griffon Eggs.” The first time she graced our pages was way back in issue 1, so
we’re especially happy to have her back again.

Rex Weiner, veteran writer probably best known as the
creator of Ford Fairlane, graces us with “Camera Obscura,” a noir tale of a
shady real estate developer’s fall into obsession.

Ethan Sabatella hits us with
a tale of ancient Nordic horror in “The Pole-House.”

Broadswords and Blasters Issue 9: Pulp Magazine With Modern Sensibilities (Volume 3 Book 1) by [Gomez, Matthew, Goli, R.A., Fox, Cara, Weiner, Rex, Carpini, Vince, Spencer, Matt, Blackwell, C.W., Sabatella, Ethan, Furman, Adam, Rutherford, Scotch]

Cara Fox spins a steampunk revenge tale with a twist in “The…

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