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Posts Tagged ‘Pulp’

My first audiobook is available for download from Audible.com (and soon from other places). You can get it HERE.

It’s a short(ish) story (about half an hour long – so sort of like a radio play in length) about a grubby, disheveled and broadly disliked London detective who’s given a shit case that leads to an interesting place.

This appears to mean that my setup is now good enough for recording audiobooks and voiceovers. So if anyone needs that kind of work done, let me know!

Art for Stain by the lovely Rowena Aitken.

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camgirl4n-1-webNB: Before I say anything else, because I know assumptions will be made, Nazi uniforms aren’t a fetish I share. If I want to see someone sexy in a tight black uniform I’ll Google Adrianne Curry’s Imperial Officer. I do, however, have an interest in obscure cinema and pulp magazines which informs this article.

As reported on by various news outlets, including The Young Turks, a cam model on Myfreecams.com – named Sunny Olivia – engaged in a controversial cam show where she dressed up in an SS uniform and performed in front of a Nazi flag. The show earned $30,000 in tips before the show was pulled by the site operators and in the aftermath there was fighting online both in defence of her and against her with other models donating funds to Jewish charities and so on.

Ilsa-She-Wolf-of-the-SSSo this is an issue worthy of examination and consideration and it stands out because this is censorship (yes, censorship, despite being a private company) within the adult industry, an area of private enterprise traditionally very much for free expression.

Adult industries are very much the ‘canary in the coalmine’ of free expression and have been very effective free expression campaigners in the past. So to see something, anything, that is still legal, being removed sets off alarm bells.

Myfreecams.com is already transgressive, many people are already disgusted that anyone should pay for pornography, or that anyone should want to perform on camera for money. Further you will find gay, transsexual and other performers on the site outside the norm, which would offend more people. You’ll find BDSM and you’ll find sex acts that are currently illegal to perform on Camera in my country – something that is putting independent female pornographers potentially out of business.

Yet dressing up in a particular uniform is beyond the pale?

Where do you draw the line?

This is further complicated by the fact that Myfreecams.com is a platform, and an adult platform. A platform upon which a performer might reasonably expect that they can perform as they wish within the bounds of legality and their own discretion.

camgirl4n-2-webSo should it have been censored? It seems strange, given that uniform fetish is so common and is there really any difference between Tom Cruise dressing up as Colonel Von Stauffenberg for our entertainment and Sunny Olivia dressing up as a Nazi pin-up for people to wank to?

Private censorship creeping into adult sites is definitely concerning and an advancement of ‘battle front’ into concerning places.

It’s not as though this stuff doesn’t go back a long way.

Ultimately, dressing up as a Nazi, or a Commissar, or anything else doesn’t actually hurt or harm anyone, and it’s not as though those who are offended are forced to watch. So this just seems like – yet more – posturing and faux-outrage.

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A compilation of my existing pulp stories in one volume, with the added bonus of an extra story ‘One Man McCann’ – a war story of British pluck and heroism against the evils of Nazi wonder weapons, all on the eve of D-Day!

Other stories include:

Cichol’s Children: Genealogy can take one to strange places indeed as is about to be discovered. A ‘mythos’ tale in homage to HP Lovecraft.
Stain: As with hard boiled eggs, hard boiled detectives can go off as well. Stane is a washed up detective who no longer cares, the perfect patsy for a case that nobody wants.
Shanks: An English gentleman walks the dusty trails of the old west, but do not mistake a gentleman for a sissy and don’t think grit is enough to deal with an Englishman when his dander’s up.
The Black Rat: The 1970s, a time a plaid, three day weeks, power outages and only three television channels. Dark times that call for a dark vigilante who sets his sights on police corruption and violence.
The Dastard: Howard’s Conan started out as a thief, The Dastard starts as one and remains as one. A viciously selfish antihero, cast out of paradise and making do in the barbaric world far from his home. One big score might buy him the luxury he seeks.
Wild: The jungles of Africa, the Amazon and Australia still hold mysteries to be discovered, amongst them a strange woman, white as snow, deadly as a panther and a holder of ancient African secrets.
Rink Rash: After the world comes to an end, a sport remains. Rollerbrawl.
Mimsy Burogrove: Expand your consciousness and solve mysteries with the world’s only psychedelic detective.
Doc Osmium: Two-fisted man of science, Doc Osmium teaches physics with pugilism.
Tessa Coyle: In a future world, a fever dream from the 1940s, the Science Police act as a board of ethical oversight – with extreme prejudice.
Ace Slamm: The world of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, but through a distorted lens. After interplanetary war Ace tries to find a way to drink himself to death in peace, but the old war keeps coming back to haunt him.You can get the ebook at:

Drivethrufiction

Smashwords

Lulu

You can also snag a PoD hardcopy HERE.

 

 

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Stain is your stereotypical washed-up cop. He’s good for nothing, surfing a life of indolence and drunkenness on past glories until he can get to retirement. Then, weirdly, he gets given a serious and important case and may have to reassess his life and career.

Stain is one of a series of ‘neopulp’ short stories I have written, updating the pulp tropes of the 20s-40s with a more modern sensibility, though not necessarily a more modern setting.

You can buy Stain HERE.

It is also bundled with my other short stories HERE

It will be available on other vendors (Lulu, Kindle etc, soon).

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A jolly Wild West tale, just in time for ‘Good Riddance Day’.

An Englishman abroad in the Wild West will find himself hard-pressed to remain a gentleman. Still, there’s a steel in such men that formed an Empire and the cattlemen of the new frontier should know better than to tangle with an Englishman when his dander’s up.

DrivethruFiction

Smashwords

Lulu

And coming soon(ish) to Amazon and other eBook stores for your devices.

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The next in my line of neo-pulp stories.

Wild explores the theme of the jungle hero, but from a different perspective than you might be used to.

The jungle still holds secrets. Some of them are dangerous, even deadly. Some of them defy our modern understanding. Some of them, like the pale, ghostly girl who runs through the trees, can save your life.

Lulu

Smashwords

DrivethruFiction

Coming to Amazon and other outlets within the next 24 hours or so. Search for my name or the title.

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Rink Rash-colourAfter the a-bombs dropped at the end of WWII the world was shattered. A rock-and-roll post-apocalypse emerges from the glowing ashes and with it a new sport, a violent version of roller derby. Across the radioactive desert lies The Kingdom of Vegas and the Roller Ball final. Hel’s Belles are on their way to the final but someone wants to stop them…

A post-apocalyptic short story in the style of the, rather coy, pulp ‘lezploitation’ magazines.

Drivethrufiction

Lulu

Smashwords

Amazon

Coming soon to iBookstore etc.

Also available with my other pulps in a BUNDLE.

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Here’s my latest pulp short story in edited, amended and shiny form for you to purchase. Perfect for a commuting read. This whole series of short stories are based around a more modern-ish, knowing wink at the pulps.

The Dastard is a thief and an outcast, he cares for nobody but himself. To pull off this job, however, he’s going to need friends – and permission. Neither of which he’s used to dealing with. Then the treasure may not be entirely what he expected either…

Amazon

Smashwords

DrivethruFiction

Lulu

This is, roughly, a halfway point in my pulp short story project, there will be a compilation at the end of all this. You can get every short story so far in a single lump from DrivethruFiction HERE.

If you run a pulp-friendly blog, podcast or other review thingy, please get in touch and I shall shower you with freebies in exchange for publicity.

Art by the world’s most fantastic cat-mum, Rowena Aitken (with assistance from Pixel the cat).

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I completed a set of short stories and my first novel this year. Not all of them are up for sale yet but some are and they might make good stocking-stuffers for people you know with kindles, tablets and all that mularky.

Perfect for reading on the train, at lunch or anywhere else you can grab a few spare minutes to plunge into the imagination.

https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51klgn%2BocCL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-58,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpgAce Slamm: Space Bastard

Years after World War 2 was interrupted by a space invasion, rocket pilot Ace Slamm finds himself approached by three strange individuals. They want to buy a ride on his ship to Dyzan, the counter-Earth. The scientist, the feisty beauty and the sportsman are hell bent on getting to that blasted planet, but their steps are being dogged my a mysterious man in a shining metal mask.

Amazon

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51wdzMkL18L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-58,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpgMimsy Burogrove: Psychedelic Detective

In swinging London, consulting for the police on strange cases, Mimsy operates out of her trendy flat. A heady concoction of mysticism, psi and LSD gives her access to the psycheverse, a spirit-dimension There are things in the psycheverse that long to gain access to the real world as well and Mimsy may well find herself a conduit for evil spirits like Mean Mr Mustard.

Amazon

https://i2.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51GWRKQ7oqL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-58,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpgThe Black Rat

The 1970s are a grim time in Britain. Power outages, the three-day-week and rife with police corruption and right wing violence. The Black Rat, a sort of ‘working class Batman’ takes to the streets to try and bring a little vigilante justice and payback for those the police have wronged.

Amazon

https://i0.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51crqHB5aZL.Image._.jpgDoc Osmium: Synchronius Maximus

Two-fisted genetic superman, Doc Osmium, finds himself inexorably drawn into a series of inexplicable and seemingly unconnected events. There’s more to it though and he and his new companion must find a way to navigate the strands of fate and probability and to overcome the odds.

Amazon

https://i1.wp.com/ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51NP%2BajE0NL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-59,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_.jpgTessa Coyle: The Obsolete Prometheus

After the atom wars there were few places left where there was true civilisation. Science City is one and it depends on its bleeding edge technology to survive. This super-science transcends ethics, physics and even reality and can only be constrained by The Science Police. When experiments start going wrong, electropunk heroine Tessa and her companion Robur are on the case.

Amazon

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Shanks didn’t waste much time after the wagon had rolled and the gang had ridden out. He got a watered whisky from the bar and watched them go until the dust was a fading column in the far distance. He didn’t say a word to anyone else and when Elaine tried to coax something out of him he hushed her with a raised finger and went to get his things.

When he came back down the stairs, weighed down by his bags and properly dressed the barman and the saloon girl were waiting on him, standing between him and the door with a look very much like concern. He sighed and shifted his bag on his shoulder, arching an eyebrow at them. “Yes?”

“You goin’ after ’em?” the barkeep looked less drunk than usual. Not that this was a hard thing to do by any stretch.

“Yes Sir, I believe I am.”

“On foot?” Elaine spoke up, pursing her lips and twisting her mouth to the side of her face disapprovingly.

“Yes.”

“I got a horse you can take. You’d catch ’em if they’re keepin’ pace with the wagon.” the barkeep spat to the side, onto the boards.

Shanks smiled and shook his head. “Gracious of you, but I believe I’ll stay on foot. They think I know something and I think their guilt is going to lead me there. A horse is going to kick up dust. I’ll be better on foot.”

“You could walk it slow, at least then you’d be fresh when you catch up to ’em.” Elaine took a step forward, hands towards him imploring.

“Madam, me and horses don’t get on. The first one I mounted bit me, the last one I mounted died. I’ll stick to my feet.” Shanks smiled again, tipped his hat to the lady and stepped around her. Pacing back out into the light and onto the trail.

The shallow ruts lead up the gentle, slope away to the north and east, crowded with hoof marks. The town didn’t get much traffic at the best of times and these newer tracks stood out like a sore thumb to even an amateur tracker. It certainly wasn’t anything like trying to chase down a fox with the Berkshire Hunt. Shanks re-shouldered his bag and set off, teeth gritted, in slow, steady, dogged pursuit.

***

Voices carry a long way when there’s little to stand in their way and in the bright light of day you can see for miles over the oceans of scrub and grass. Here, there, dotted, standing out on the horizon were lumps and bumps, a nest, a ‘herd’ of rocks lost in the ocean of brown and green.

Shanks paused and hunkered down as the wind turned and carried distant voices to him. Even on his belly he was only barely beneath the level of the grass. Getting up to where they seemed to be was going to take guile and cunning. Not for the first time Shanks wished he had a rifle, but most of the time I paid to seem less dangerous.

A deep, calming breath and he tugged his bowler down to his brow, casting about for anything that might give him a way to get closer and he was struck, suddenly, by the sight of a single buffalo, perhaps three hundred yards away. A great, shaggy beast that just seemed to be standing there, in the middle of nowhere. A beast out of its proper place, just like he was. Divine providence? He wasn’t the sort to put much credit in that sort of thing but it might serve.

Shanks stayed low, tutting at the dusting his suit was getting as he scrambled across he ground, closer to the buffalo. Two-hundred yards… one-hundred… that great horned head turned towards him and doleful brown eyes stared at him, but the beast just stood there, listlessly, ignoring him, even as he stalked it.

Another few scrambled, crawling steps and Shanks’ fingers hit something taut and dusty like a drumskin, it snapped and crackled under his weight and he pitched over onto his side, sending up a small puff of dust from the tinder-dry grass and stifling a cry of alarm. He twisted his head and looked and suddenly things made an odd sort of sense. There were bones and dry skin everywhere, skulls and ribs and hooves. A graveyard of buffalo of which this one remaining beast must be the only survivor.

Shanks sat a moment, shaking his head, the sheer waste of it all would give even a hard-bitten man pause. They’d just been left to the buzzards. Shot and left. Not even used. It didn’t seem… thrifty.

“Well old boy…” he ducked his head a moment “old girl, I think I know who might have done this so how about giving me a little bit of a hand eh?” He slid up, hunched over, next to the warm, sweaty stink of the husky beast and gave her a pat on the flank.

The old girl was a stubborn beast, but solid and shaggy. Concealed behind her and moving her along with pats and sweet nothings murmured into the creature’s ear. Closer and closer to the stony mounds that rose from the plains. It was painfully slow going, but it was going.

The voices got clearer as they skirted past the horses. Shanks cocked an ear to hear what the deuce they were on about.

“Ain’t nobody been here Dan.”

“He knew though, he knew what was up. The only way he could know is if he came through here.”

“How’s your hand Dan?” there was some laughter at that.

“Shut your goddamn mouth Jack, and this time you can go down there and check, again. He must have left some sign down there.”

“Aw shit…”

“And the rest of you idiots can get a fire goin’ and brew some goddamn coffee.”

Shanks risked a glance around the buffalo. That fellow there must be Jack, parting from the group and trudging reluctantly towards one of the big boulders that rose from the grass. Shanks picked his moment and darted after him, breaking free of the buffalo and darting into the crack in the rock the man had slipped into, following the fading glimmer of a lit match, the only light.

It was a wide crack, worn smooth either side, two or three men could have climbed into it. It was smooth, slippery, cool, damp even in the daytime sun and in the stirred air from the passage of the man before him there was a foul and rancid stench that almost made him cough, but that would have been a bad idea.

The light went out and then was struck again, a fresh match in the darkness. Shanks was right behind him. The light from the match shimmered on water and gleamed from the walls as this man, Jack, covered his mouth with his neckerchief and crouched over the pool at the base of the cave. It was water, but it was also a foul, soupy mess. The cadaver of a bloated cow carcass floated, blown up like an obscene balloon and seeping foulness into the water.

“Nobody’s been down here fer crissakes…” Jack set his matches aside and pulled his pistol from his hip and prodded at the floating carcass. It made a darkly comic sight, bobbing around, hooves in the air like the masts of a ship.

“Not until now anyway,” Shanks murmured, right behind the poor man who jumped, swayed and nearly fell in. Then did fall in after a sharp crack to the back of the head with a rock. “One down, four to go, but first…”

Shanks lit a fresh match from the man’s pack and propped it up on the rocks. He carefully stripped off his jacket and shirt, took off his hat and set it all aside, thrusting his pistols into his trouser pockets as he strained and pulled and heaved to take both the unconscious man and the rotting cow out of the water. By the time he was done he was drenched with sweat and foul with the muck that seeped off the cow. It wouldn’t make things better right away, but all in good time.

Now it was just a matter of dealing with the bastards back upstairs. The kind of chaps that would poison the water, just for a tiny bit more land on a seemingly endless plain, they didn’t deserve any quarter. Shanks cricked his neck side to side and held the unconscious man’s head under the water until the bubbles stopped coming, then shoved him next to the rotting cow, which was farting and bubbling as gas escaped from its rotten innards.

He grasped his pistols in his hands and shook the chains loose, feeling his way up in the dark as the match guttered and went out, up towards the light.

Shanks emerged into the bright light of day and the presence of another one of the ranchers. A fat looking man with a greasy beard, chin-string lost in a double chin. “Jack, you sure took your sweet fucking time!”

Shanks didn’t give him the time to realise his mistake, he raised his stubby pistol and there was a thunderous bang as the heavy bullet took the fat man in the chest and hurled him back, bursting his over-stretched heart like an over-ripe watermelon.

Three left.

The others would be warned now, though they’d be shocked for a moment. It was important to move fast. Shanks jumped up onto the side of the boulder and sprang up to the top. Their little fire showed where they were and the horses were stirring now, scared by the gunshot and from up here Shanks could see them all. Two sat dumb around the fire, Dan, good old Dan with the crippled hand, running for the horses.

One of them looked up, saw him, got as far as “L…” before his pistols boomed. Red wounds burst open on the man’s chest and the massive rounds blew through his back, lung matter and shattered ribs spraying the fire, hissing in the flames, bone fragments rattling against the coffee pot before his twitching body fell back onto the lot of it, smothering the flames as he futilely tried to breathe.

Two left.

The other man at the fire had gotten his gun free and fanned the hammer, spraying the air with bullets. Shanks gave a “Damn!” and tucked forward into a roll, splinters of stone and fragmented bullets stinging his bare back like wasps. Off balance he came back up on one knee and fired, before he was ready.

The man by the fire was clicking on empty chambers as Shanks fired, walking one, two, three bullets up the man. His knee exploded into fragments and his leg twisted around on a frayed, fleshy rope before the second hit punched through his stomach and the third took him under the chin and blew out the top of his hat.

Sloppy.

One left.

Dan had reached the horses as Shanks stood up, clumsily holding a borrowed pistol in his left hand he put it to the head of one of the horses and fired. The others scattered, their dead friend falling as though its strings had been cut. Dan fell in behind it, cover, waving his pistol over the top.

“Back the fuck off you crazy shitheel!”

Shanks scrambled flat, below the line of the twitching corpse of the man he’d shot through the hat. It was no horse, but it might stop a bullet or two.

“I don’t even bloody like horses and I thought that was a bit much you callous arse!”

“Like I give a good god damn!” Dan lunged over the corpse of the horse and fired with his shaking hand. It went wide, sending up a puff of dirt yards from Shank’s side.

“You couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn Daniel. Even with your good hand. You know I can shoot you at my leisure. So why not die with a little dignity, on your feet?” Shanks clicked open his revolvers, more than enough bullets left, between them.

“Fuck you you fucking fuck!” Another shot, and another, no chance, they weren’t coming anywhere near him. The stupid bastard only had two left and he wasn’t going to have time to reload.

“Blast it to hell…” Shanks got up, raised his guns and walked slowly, calmly towards the corpse of the horse. He could see Dan’s wide eyes staring over its flank as he tried to steady the pistol in his trembling fist, stabilising it with his injured hand.

It wasn’t enough.

He thumbed back the hammer and fired. It went wide.

Shanks fixed him with a stony stare and kept on coming, yards away only, another bang like a punch in the ears and he stopped, guns raised either side, turning this way and that, lean bare body streaked with sweat, fingers blackened with powder.

“Shot your bolt Daniel. Nothing left,” his eyes narrowed as he sighted down the stubby barrel of one pistol.

“You’d kill a man in cold blood?” Dan tossed his gun and his belt away, raised his hands and licked his cracked lips.

“No,” Shanks lowered his aim and fired, a cloud of smoke and a fleshy ‘thump’ in the moment after it. The round took Dan through the stomach and blood began to drain from him, spilling over the dirt as he swore and writhed, a ball of agony around the wound. “I’ll do worse. Especially to a man of such cruelty and disregard. That wound’s going to kill you. I believe I’ll leave you to it.”

Shanks put his guns away, went back into the cave to get his things and dressed up in the sunlight, ignoring the swearing, grunting man, pathetically trying to crawl to where he’d tossed his gun, a snail trail of blood and guts behind him.

Shanks brushed his shoulders with his hand and took back to the road, shouldering his bag, the man’s swearing and cursing left behind while the placid buffalo ripped at the grass around the dead men. He paused, a moment, to tip his hat to the grand dam of the plains respectfully and then was on his merry way.

It didn’t take long before Dan’s cries and moans were lost in the rising wind.

But the, eventual, single gunshot….

That he heard.

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