- File Size: 3305 KB
- Print Length: 96 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1545250308
- Publisher: Broadswords and Blasters (April 14, 2017)
- Publication Date: April 14, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06Y4FFDH4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #644,953 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$6.99|
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Broadswords and Blasters Issue 1: Pulp Magazine with Modern Sensibilities (Volume 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 96 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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While not every story in it was brilliant, there was a lot of great stuff, more than enough that I'm going to come back for the next issue. I think as more people learn of this magazine's existence, the quality will quickly shoot up. Hopefully, Broadswords and Blasters will catch on with reader and writers alike.
I have been getting into a number of anthology magazines in the last couple of years - and I truly hope they all prosper and thrive. What I love about them is the exposure to a range of different authors, as well as the bite-sized stories, which are so perfect for commuting trips or other short chunks of time.
This collection was somewhat outside of my normal reading zone, being fairly weighted towards fantasy, however I do enjoy sci-fi as a genre, so it wasn't too much of a stretch. And there was even a sci-fi take on a PI story here (my usual genre) - loved that one by Dave D'Alessio. And this is why it's so great to wander out of one's normal comfort zone - because this selection are all excellent pieces of writing. Heaps of action, solid characterisation, and some delicious twists. And did I mention excellent writing? Damned good, all of them.
So, despite not being my usual zone, I enjoyed this collection so much I now have Issue # 2 lined up on my TBR pile. And I'm going to keep reading it, as a regular addition to my anthology enjoyment.
That's how I felt about each story.
To all my friends who enjoy fantasy, detectives, and science fiction, this is a must read.
To my friends who write such things, please be aware of this publication.
The editors, and the range of authors and stories they selected have, to put it simply, nailed it.
In this first volume, some standouts have been "Dead Men Tell Tales," by Dave D'Allessio, a credible take on the Private Eye trope painted against an intergalactic backdrop...and "Saturday Night Science" by Michael M. Jones, which had me giggling so hard I nearly snorted my coffee. Also good: the quietly creepy "The Waters so Dark" by Josh Reynolds.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the mix of fantasy and scifi plays out in future issues!
So far, so good. People familiar with me have already heard my rants on period pulp's reader demographics, gender representation, and so on. But, considering I'm unorthodox, I'm quite happy to take this as a starting point, and work from there. So far, that sounds fine. I'm all for mature, sensible representations of these themes in my adventure fiction.
Unfortunately, given these stories, I don't think Gomez and Mount meant there would be maturity; they seem to have meant that, by discarding the stigma on sexuality, they were free to go wild.
Dusty Wallace's "Pension Plan"--a story without a real beginning, middle, or end--is almost exclusively concerned with dick jokes, and centers its entire final third around a particularly gory example thereof. "Skin Deep" rewards the main characters with sex, because they decided to be good guys. Matt Spenser's "Island of Skulls" has more bad-joke commentary on genitals, sex, breasts, and the like than anything else.
This adolescent way of treating sex drags the entire issue down.
Michael M. Jones' "Saturday Night Science" is also particularly sex focused, but Jones wisely makes that focus work for him, coloring in the beginning of the relationship. It's an expression of his characters, and an expression of his characters that works within the tone and the plot. It is also an expression of the characters in "Island of Skulls"; but in that case, the constant stream of bad-joke sex references spoils any sense of mystery or tension the story should have.
There are, however, some gems in this collect:
Josh Reynolds' "The Water So Dark" benefits from his usual smooth, confident flow. It's one of the better depictions of Deep Ones, post Lovecraft, and manages the rare feat of keeping the horror intense in the middle of an action sequence. I'd love to read more stories featuring this character.
Rob Francis' "Thicker Than Water" has an abrupt ending, but features such engaging character work, interesting worldbuilding, and smooth, well-paced flow that I can't be mad at it. It's a great story, and I'd love to read more of Francis' stories.
R.A. Goli's "The Executioner's Daughter" is an interesting premise, well-told, with twists and developments I genuinely didn't expect. She's a talent to watch. I do have one word of advice for future stories: work on your dialogue. Right now, it's a little too precise, a little robotic. But I think, with some focus on that, you can be writing some first-rate, impressive stories. Goli is an author to watch.
Dave D'Alessio's "Dead Men Tell Tales" has some very good worldbuilding, as well as a unique resolution to the plot (if I understood it correctly).It's a pretty good space noir story.
Overall, I think Broadswords and Blasters is a magazine to watch. And that, with the above caveats, Broadswords and Blasters #1 is worth your time to read.
I received a free copy in return for an honest review.