Wednesday, March 7, 2012

PULPTACULAR | PulpWork




I’m primarily aware of PulpWork through Derrick Ferguson’s Dillon novels. Ferguson is a recurring member of the Pulped! podcast, so though I haven’t yet read one of his books, they’re one of the things I want to try first when I finish this overview of New Pulp publishers and actually start reading. There are currently three books in the series: Dillon and the Voice of Odin, Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell, and Four Bullets for Dillon. I’m a start-at-the-beginning kind of reader, so Dillon and the Voice of Odin would be going on my reading pile first even if it wasn’t available for free on Ferguson’s website. He’s currently working on a fourth book with the promising title, Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira.

Speaking of pirates (as I love to do) and looking at the rest of PulpWork’s catalog, Joel Jenkins’ The Pirates of Mirror Land has a great Toy Story meets Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland sound to it. And with John Carter firmly on everyone’s minds, now also seems like a good time to check out Jenkins’ Burroughs-esque Dire Planet series. And finally – only because I can’t read everything at once and need to stop this list somewhere – I’m going to need to check out Jenkins’ The Sea Witch, just because I love that title.

That’s plenty to keep me busy for a while, but as usual I also wanted to talk to someone at PulpWork about the company and its contribution to the New Pulp landscape. Jenkins was kind enough to answer my questions.

Michael May: Joel, what’s the short history of PulpWork? What was missing in the publishing world that you wanted to provide?

Joel Jenkins: After the dissolution of Frontier Publications, Josh [Reynolds, another PulpWork author], Derrick, and I had developed a few characters and concepts, as well as some full length novels, and were looking for a venue for pulp-inspired writings. We did find some publishers, and some of our work was published through them, but there were a number of difficulties that led us to conclude that we could form our own publishing cooperative to make our work available to anyone who might be disposed toward our peculiar niche of fantastic fiction.

Michael: Can you tell me more about Frontier? What was that and - as much as you feel comfortable talking about - how did it dissolve?

Joel: Frontier was a web-based publication that published serialized fiction on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. I wasn't privy to the inner-workings of Frontier, but I suspect it dissolved due to creative differences, or perhaps the demands of maintaining and updating such an ambitious endeavor became too much.

Michael: What differentiates PulpWork’s books from those of other pulp-inspired publishers?

Joel: Though we’re not opposed to using public domain characters (exhibit A: Josh Reynolds' Dracula novel), the main thrust of our efforts is to provide original characters and original pulp-inspired fiction. Also, two major differentiating factors are that we have the formidable talents and deadly quills of both Josh Reynolds and Derrick Ferguson at our disposal!

Michael: Where did the name PulpWork come from?

Joel: Pulp is a reference to the imaginative, ubiquitous, and action-packed fiction of the 1930s that was printed on cheap paper that actually had pulp flecks in it. Our trio of founders finds great inspiration in that style of writing. Work...well, it takes a lot of work to write a novel and get it to market.

Michael: Is there a PulpWork book that you’d recommend to someone who’s never read one of your books? Where's the perfect place for new readers to start in your catalog that will let them know what PulpWork is all about?

Joel: For just a taste try out our PulpWork Christmas Special, available for Kindle at just 99 cents. It features a horror tale by Josh Reynolds and a Christmas Eve assassination attempt written by myself. For more filling fare – and a “James Bond meets Cthulhu” vibe – check out Dillon and the Golden Bell. For horror, check out Dracula Lives or Devil Take the Hindmost. For Edgar Rice Burroughs-style, Martian adventure try the Dire Planet series. Fans of globetrotting adventure may want to check out the upcoming Dragon Kings of the Orient.

Michael: Let’s say someone has somehow enjoyed every PulpWork title available and is still craving more like it. What classic literature would you suggest he or she read that would be comparable to yours?

Joel: The reason we slave over our word processors is to feed that craving. We'll be supplying more shortly! However, there is no dearth of great classic fiction by Robert E. Howard (Conan and Solomon Kane), Edgar Rice Burroughs (Warlord of Mars, Tarzan), HP Lovecraft (horrific horror), Lester Dent (Doc Savage), Dashiell Hammett (hardboiled detective), Dumas (The Three Musketeers) and others.

Michael: Thank you for talking with me!

2 comments:

  1. Being one of the founding members of FRONTIER and being privy to the inner workings of the site I can state with absolute certainty that the reason for us closing down the site was not due to creative differences. Matter of fact, at the time the decision was made to call it a wrap, we were having mainstream writers such as Danny Souder and Kevin McGowin, the author of the social satires collectively known as "The Benny Poda Trilogy" coming to us. FRONTIER had the distinction of serializing Mr. McGowin's last novel, "Flies In the Buttermilk"

    So why did we cease? We simply decided it was best to go out on a high note. At that point FRONTIER had been active for five years, turning out monthly serialized fiction, mostly pulp, action adventure, horror and science fiction. It was a good experience and one of my favorites to recall, both professionally and personally as most of the writers at Frontier still remain good friends of mine.

    If anybody is interested in seeing what we were all about and what we did back in the day, you can go to the Links page on my DILLON blog and you'll find a link to the FRONTIER PUBLISHING ARCHIVE

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    1. There you go. The inside scoop on the shut down of Frontier from someone who knows!

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