Big Pulp Summer 2012

Suzie Eisfelder
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This volume is just brilliant. My Mum brought it back for me from the US last year. She had been visiting my nephew and he took her to The Book Thing. I was about to say The Book Thing is the best invention since sliced bread but I decided the metaphor was overworked, overused and underpaid. As I can’t pay the metaphor I’ve decided not to use one at all.

The Book Thing is like a library. It’s not for profit and run by volunteers. People donate books, they are stamped with The Book Thing stamp and placed on the shelves. People can then take as many books as they want. There is a limit, it’s 150,000 per day, per person. Organisations requiring large numbers are asked to contact them first.

Mum was taken to The Book Thing and picked up this book for me. There are many reasons I love this book, I need a list to get them all in:

  • It’s from The Book Thing
  • It’s a present from Mum
  • It’s pulp fiction
  • She didn’t spend much
  • The stories are awesome
  • Every single author is new to me

And onto the book. As with every pulp magazine I’ve read it is filled to the brim with top notch writing. I’m only going to mention the very first story because it loomed so big in my brain for some time after reading. It’s also the cover story but just ignore that. Called ‘The Purloined Pearl’ by James Penha.

It’s a love story, but there greed in it as well. The greed you have when you love someone so much that when you see something expensive just hanging around you don’t think about any possible danger, you just pick it up and shower your loved one with expensive things. I wasn’t quite so enamoured of it at first, as you know I’m not so excited by love stories. What changed my mind was the setting. I’m used to white stories, written by white people and set in white people’s worlds. This is an Indonesian folk tale, although told by a US writer so we could be talking about cultural appropriation right there. But it is beautifully written, and he has lived in Indonesia for 25 years. I’m really torn between the two issues.

Having said that, the other stories were on a par with this. Beautifully written, or beautifully translated. They ran the gauntlet between fantasy, mystery, adventure, horror, science fiction and romance. Just so you can tell me if you’ve read anything by any of these authors here are the names:

  • James Penha
  • James F.W. Rowe
  • Beth Cato
  • Jen Conley
  • Thomas Gunzig (Edward Gauvin, translator)
  • Anna Sykora
  • David Cybulski
  • Tony Haynes
  • Milo James Fowler
  • Shannon Schuren
  • John Davies
  • Libby Cudmore
  • Joanna M. Weston
  • Chante McCoy
  • Jason Radak
  • Bruce Golden
  • DeAnna Knippling
  • Harri B. Cradoc
  • Elizabeth Barrette
  • Jeffrey Caminsky
  • John Medaile
  • Ian D. Smith
  • Adam Miller
  • Aliya Whiteley
  • Andrew McLinden
  • Wayne Scheer

I was going to wish you luck finding a copy of this, but then I googled it. You can buy it from the Big Pulp website if you want. And if you’re looking for something to read at this time they have it in ebook format.

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