Dead tree version of Broadswords & Blasters is now available!

Broadswords and Blasters

Cover 1 twitterIf you have been waiting for the print version of Broadswords and Blasters, wait no longer! Right now you have two options – Amazon or Createspace. The magazine will also populate to wider distribution networks, but that may take a few weeks.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1545250308/

https://www.createspace.com/7078174

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Wait, are you still reading this? After a three month hiatus? You are some kind of masochist aren’t you? Anyway, continues on from here.

(Oh, hey, almost coming up on a year of having started it).

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Pulp Appeal: Randolph Carter

Posted: April 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

Cameron tackles the Randolph Carter cycle of stories by H.P. Lovecraft.

Broadswords and Blasters

weird_tales_192502Howard Phillips Lovecraft is a polarizing figure.1 His fiction lives on for us mainly because of the anthologizing and reprinting of his stories that was done mostly by August Derleth in the years after Lovecraft’s untimely death at the age of 46. While no contemporary can touch Robert Howard in the realm of prolific, Lovecraft was nearly his equal, publishing not just scores of horror2 stories but also nonfiction, poetry, and even some science, mostly astronomy. Because of his prolific and varying works, we’ve chosen to do as we did with Howard and Burroughs, and focus in on characters and arcs rather than try to nail a whole author in one swoop.

Which brings us to today’s topic: Randolph Carter. Carter is the eponymous main character of an early Lovecraft work titled “The Statement of Randolph Carter” and followed up with “The Unnameable,” The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath,

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Print Proof Copies

Posted: April 19, 2017 in Uncategorized

Proof copies of issue 1 of Broadswords and Blasters are here, and they look gorgeous!

Broadswords and Blasters

Issue 1 Print Proof Copies Any blurriness is because of my camera, not the cover. The covers are clear and look great in person.

We have print proof copies in hand. We appear to be on track for approving the print version for sale by May 1st. We also learned a few lessons by doing this essentially backwards through Amazon (KDP then Createspace) and will be implementing that fix with Issue 2, which you should expect in July 2017.

We have also sent out acceptances for Issue 3, and contracts for those contributors will go out shortly. We anticipate re-opening for submissions sometime this summer.

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A couple of thoughts on Conan and his lasting appeal as a character.

Broadswords and Blasters

Image result for conan the barbarianTrying to pin down when I originally was exposed to Conan, the world-travelling barbarian created by Robert E. Howard, is tricky. It might have been watching edited versions of Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer when I was a kid. I clearly remember one summer in a library, devouring the paperback pastiches put out by Lin Carter and L’Sprague DeCamp and, at the time, feeling frustrated by the discontinuity between the stories.

One of the most telling features of Conan is the recurring theme of civilization versus barbarity. Reading the Conan stories, it is clear that Howard truly believed that barbarism, while not necessarily superior to civilization, would always win out in the end. Frequently, Conan is able to better more educated swordsmen through natural talent, strength and speed. Fancy swordsmanship avails his opponents naught. But even when facing against other barbarians, such as the Picts in Beyond the…

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This week’s challenge was to write a story about the end of the journey. 1500 words. Like rolling off a log, right?

Yeah, well my first draft ended up around 2800 and it’s still sitting there in the back of my head, a bad itch that won’t go away. I’m thinking “Am I clear what the stakes are?” and “Is there more I can do to build up atmosphere?” and “Is there enough tension to keep readers interesting?” and yeah, there’s a bit there I want to tease apart, insert a bit more into.

And none of it is going here, because 3,000 words or so is a nice little sweet spot of a story to try submitting to markets. As of right now, I’ve got all of four pieces submitted for the year. So instead of fiction, you get to hear what I like to see in a story. Please note this is what I’m looking for as an editor for my magazine and is solely my opinion. And as I have a co-editor, I am only speaking for myself, though I’m sure there’s a bit of overlap. Read the rest of this entry »

Pulp Appeal: Tarzan

Posted: April 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

Cameron takes on the iconic figure of Tarzan!

Broadswords and Blasters

Tarzan_All_StoryStand at the edge of a cliff or tree branch, take a rope in your hands, inhale a deep breath, and then leap out, shouting out a big ululating “Ah AW EEEH AW AW EEEH AWWWW!” You probably know where I’m going with this, but just in case, you’ve just completed the Tarzan yell. You don’t need the cliff or the rope (Tarzan does), but just about everyone I know has mimicked this joyful exclamation while preparing to jump down from something, often beating their chests with their fists while shouting.

There are few characters of the golden age of pulp fiction with the range and longevity of Tarzan. Hell, there are few characters at all with Tarzan’s ubiquity.

A creation of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan has been around for over 100 years, and yet film-makers and writers are still mining it for new material, including last year’s The Legend…

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Broadswords and Blasters

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That’s right folks, issue one is now available for preorder. Featuring work by Matt Spencer, R.A. Goli, Michael M. Jones,  Dusty Wallace, Nicholas Ozment, Dave D’Alessio, Josh Reynolds, and Rob Francis. Cover art by Luke Spencer of Carrion House.

Get it here!

Tell your friends, tell your lovers, tell that random stranger sitting across from you on the bus.

Help keep pulp alive!

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This week’s challenge, a one word title. And yeah, this is a sly tie in to some other stuff I’m working on.

Anyway, read on and leave a comment if the mood strikes you.

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Pulp Appeal: Kull

Posted: April 3, 2017 in Uncategorized

Before there was Conan, there was Kull!

Broadswords and Blasters

Kull the Conqueror.jpgKull, yet another creation of the inestimable Robert E. Howard, is easy to write off as simply a precursor to Conan when you realize that Howard worked on the stories immediately prior to debuting his more famous barbarian. It doesn’t help that the first published Conan tale was a reworked Kull story, which should be fairly obvious after you think about it. After all, he’s a barbarian who takes over a kingdom by deposing a tyrant. He’s a man of action, who likens opening Pandora boxes to birthday presents. Like Conan, he represents Howard’s philosophy of barbarism as, if not superior to civilization, then the natural state of society, with civilization being aberrant.

Kull and Conan exist within the same fictional universe, even if they are separated by thousands of years. Kull is an outcast twice-over. He is from Atlantis, here a young island nation of barbarian tribes struggling for…

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