Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Pro Se Productions, a cutting edge Publisher of Heroic Fiction and New Pulp, is proud to announce the perfect jumping-on point for fans of adventure – The Rook Volume One Special Edition!

Created by author Barry Reese, The Rook has become one of the most famous New Pulp heroes. Originally published by Wild Cat Books, The Rook joined Pro Se prior to the release of Volume Six. Now Pro Se begins the process of bringing books 1-5 back into print.

"I'm thrilled,” said Reese, “to have The Rook Volume One back in print. This is the book that kicks off the entire series and is really the beginning of my greater interconnected pulp universe. The work that was done on the book has left it significantly improved - the editing is much tighter now, Sean Ali knocked it out of the park on the design aspect and George Sellas brought out the big guns with his artwork. Max Davies has been living with me for nearly a decade now.. and he's never looked better!"

“It’s our honor,” stated Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se, “to not only have Barry as a major part of our lineup, but also to have the opportunity to really put our brand on the whole Rook franchise from the start.  This volume is the first of making sure that The Rook’s entire written history has a classic, uniform look.  One that will be a great literary and visual addition to any bookshelf.”

With a beautiful new cover and four interior pieces by George Sellas, The Rook Volume One Special Edition has been completely re-edited and gorgeously packaged by Pro Se designer Sean Ali.
THE ROOK VOLUME ONE SPECIAL EDITION is available at Pro Se's Createspace store by clicking HERE.

Get your copy from Amazon by clicking HERE.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Undercover Review: TARGET LANCER

By Max Allan Collins
Forge Books
305 pages
Available Nov.2012
Review by Ron Fortier

John F. Kennedy was the first American Catholic to become president back in 1960.  That was a big deal for this reviewer who was Catholic, 13 years old and entering his freshmen year at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, a parochial school in Southern New Hampshire.  Three years later, while sitting in a study hall as a junior, we were interrupted by the announcement over the public address speakers that President Kennedy had been shot while riding in a motorcade through the streets of Dallas, Texas.

As much as that news was a tragedy for the entire country, those of us too young to realize the consequences of such a murder watched the transition of power take affect just as we’d been taught in our civic classes and found comfort in that process.  Five years later, while serving in army in Vietnam, the news of Bobby Kennedy’s assignation during his own campaign for the presidency had a much deeper impact. Here we were in a strange, foreign country supposedly fighting for freedom and democracy while back home the nation’s future was being decided by an insane gunman’s bullet.  The world seemed to have gone completely mad.

The Twentieth Century certainly had its defining moments, many of them acts of violence forever imprinted on our national consciousness.  Naturally the public wanted answers and within week’s of the President’s death a government investigation was launched and came to be known as the Warren Commission.  At its conclusion, it declared that Kennedy had been slain by one lone, crazed gunman named Lee Harvey Oswald.  As all of you are well aware, Oswald was gunned down in front of the Dallas jail within days of his capture and died before ever going to trial.  His killer was the owner of a local strip joint with mob connections named Jack Ruby.

Ruby swore he acted on his own until his death in prison of cancer.  Yet to many people his silencing of Oswald seemed to be a cleverly staged killing orchestrated by Machiavellian forces that wanted the truth kept hidden; the same cabal that was actually responsible for Kennedy’s death.  As years passed, many investigators, both private and public, began to uncover mountains of damning evidence that in the end turned the Warren Commission’s finding upside down and definitively proved them to be one massive cover up foisted on the American people.

When we learned that Max Allan Collins’ newest Nathan Heller historical thriller would involve the Kennedy assassination we were naturally intrigued.  What new light could the talented Collins and his phenomenal research partner, George Hagenauer, shed on one of the most overexposed criminal events in all of history?  Having just finished reading “Target Lancer,” the answer to that question provides the basis for one of the most gripping mystery plots ever put to paper.  As usual, Collins sets a historically accurate background then superimposes his own thoughts and beliefs about its scenario via his fictional hero, Nate Heller; the owner of the A-1 Detective Agency of Chicago.  At the book’s opening, Heller is recruited by the Chicago branch of the Secret Service to help with security measures for the president’s planned visit to the Windy City.  Apparently during the Fall of 1963, Kennedy’s people had begun to organize his re-election campaign via several big city visits to include Tampa, Chicago and then Dallas.  With only one year remaining in his term, it was time to start politicking once more.

Within days of agreeing to help the local authorities, Heller is sent to interview a Chicago detective who he has come in contact with an irrational ex-marine who might pose a genuine threat.  From this slim lead, Heller and his partner, a black Secret Service agent named Eben Boldt, learn of a professional hit squad made of two Americans and two Cuban refugees apparently surveying the proposed route of the president’s motorcade through the city.  As each new element is uncovered, Heller starts mentally assembling a jigsaw puzzle that perfectly defines a clandestine military operation.  By the books end, he has unraveled a murderous conspiracy made up of gangland figures and corrupted government agents to eliminate Lance; the Secret Service code name for President Kennedy.

What “Target Lancer” exposes is that the there were three identical hit squads, and their duped patsies, established in all three cities prior to that fateful November in 1963.  As with all Heller books, the historical afterward Collins provides is just as informative as his fiction is captivating.  Upon finishing the book, this reviewer couldn’t help but wonder, now that most of the real principles have all died and gone to their eternal court of judgment, what it is we, as a nation can learn from such history?  Evil men do exist and that we must be ever vigilant to assure they do not usurp the rights of the many by their insidious acts of violence. 

For both students of history and lovers of suspense mysteries, “Target Lancer” is a masterful work not to be missed. Collins just keeps getting better and better.


by Chuck Miller
Pro Se Press
212 pages
Review by Greg Daniel

If Peculiar Oddfellow wasn’t already the name of an interesting New Pulp character in his own right, it would be an apt descriptor and tagline for the Black Centipede.  For the uninitiated, it is hard to describe the Black Centipede as a character without leaving the reader with slack jaw and raised eyebrow.  Chuck Miller has really created a one of a kind hero … or maybe anti-hero … heck, by the time Miller is done with the Centipede Saga, he may play two supporting roles and be the villain as well.

For starters, the Black Centipede’s adventures are presented in the first person “as told to” Chuck Miller.  The Centipede’s adventures were also chronicled back in the 1930s in his own pulp magazine by a writer who the Centipede views as an untalented hack.  In Blood of the Centipede, said hack is now serving as screenwriter for a “B” movie featuring the Centipede, directed by Fatty Arbuckle and produced by William Randolph Hearst.  This combination of multiple chroniclers, fiction within fiction, and a potentially unreliable narrator all lend a meta quality that one does not normally encounter in New Pulp, old Pulp, or any Pulp (except maybe that Tarantino movie).

The other thing that jumps out immediately and grabs the reader by the throat or eyeballs or other vital part is the voice.  As I mentioned, it is in first person, which, while not unheard of, is relatively rare in masked vigilante stories.  But it is the actual voice that makes it truly unique.  It is sardonic, sarcastic, and downright snarky.  It is not like any voice in the genre and it delivers a wild, twisting ride that touches on the action, adventure, mystery, and mysticism one comes to New Pulp to experience and delivers it in a manner that is both comforting and disorienting, like a funhouse at an amusement park.  That is if that funhouse was designed by Salvador Dali

Miller walks an amazing tightrope in this book and it is testament to his skill and the character of the Black Centipede that I enjoyed it as much as I did, For you see, this story had several elements that, in general I don’t like and yet I must admit that not only they worked, but they were necessary to the book.  I hate it when a book (or movie or television show) starts in some predicament near the climax and then tells the bulk of the story in flashback.  I hate dreams as a plot device.  I am tired of Jack the Ripper stories.  But here, these things worked.

It is hard to discuss much of the plot for fear of giving too much away.  The Black Centipede heads to Hollywood with new partner-in-action, Amelia Earhart, to investigate a mysterious threat while also serving as a consultant to the aforementioned movie.  There he discovers a familiar foe (or two) and a new nemesis, the White Centipede.  He is helped and hindered by a new costumed vigilante, the Blue Candiru.  He discovers a mystical tome of great power, has a run-in with Aleister Crowley, and is introduced to the Order of the Centipede, all while investigating a string of Jack-the-Ripper copycat killings.

But, trust me it isn’t as simple as all that.  

Blood of the Centipede is a whirling dervish, spinning wildly from childish fun to mystic ecstasy.  It is The Shadow by Hunter S. Thompson.  It is gonzo pulp.  Give it a spin.

Lest I forget, I loved the back cover by Sean Ali.  I don’t know if it is the Spy vs. Spy vibe or what, but that is one cool piece and should be a poster or t-shirt or both.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So Why Pulp: Pulp’s New Frontiers

It’s a whole new world baby!

Pulp sure has come a long way from its heydays back in the 1930s and 1940s. In that classic era, the stories were quickly written and purveyed as inexpensively as possible, via magazines printed on cheap paper, often with rough cut edges. It was pure entertainment fiction, meant to be read, enjoyed, maybe passed along, and then tossed. But something about all those pulse pounding tales resonated with the readers of that generation and those who came after as well. It still continues to fascinate us today, not only on the page, but in movies, video games, television programs, and so on. We love our fast paced action adventure stories. We adore larger-than-life characters. We like to see the good guys triumph and the bad guys get their just desserts, and to be able to tell the difference between them—especially in this day and age where everything is complex and technically challenging and you can’t even begin to guess who’s wearing the white hat.

Yep folks, pulp is here to stay. But that said, it doesn’t mean pulp can’t expand its horizons, grow up, stretch and move forward a bit. In fact it has to, because if we keep doing the same stories the same old timeworn way, we’re only going to serve the nostalgia market, which through attrition, is going to contract a little more every year. If you ask me, it’s time to pack up the old trusty knapsack, put on the hiking boots, and go out and blaze some new trails. In that grand old pulpy tradition, let’s see how far off the undiscovered territory lies, and what kind of secrets those haze covered hills and mist shrouded valleys hold. Along the way, we might even learn something about ourselves.

I believe it’s vitally important that we pulp purveyors not only understand what we’re writing but why we’re doing it, and balance those lofty ideals of what we expect to get out of this with a big dollop of reality. Being clear with yourself is only going to make it easier to get down to work. It’s no big secret that our little corner of publishing exists deep in the murky bottom of the literary world, where only the occasional ray of sunlight from above penetrates to illuminate a particular flashing body, before the roiling waters close in overhead and we’re back to business as usual.

There are a few of us supporting ourselves by writing, and I’d suspect even that is a tenuous means of making a living. The rest are obviously doing it for some other reason. We all know why—we write for the sheer joy of it! Everyone I know who pounds out a pulp tale does so because they love creating that kind of fiction. We publish it because we know others who love reading it too, and reaching readers in any way we can is far preferable to shoving things in a file and forgetting about them. Just because they aren’t big money makers, doesn’t make our books any less worth reading. And because there is no pretentiousness to fame, fortune, or grandeur down here in the underbelly of the publishing world, we’re free to create the kind of stories we truly enjoy. It may not be paying the mortgage, but since we’re all going to ‘buy the farm’ someday anyway, how much richer will my life have been if I can check out of this world knowing I wrote X- amount of books in my time?

That’s why I do it. Writing pulp is a source of pride for me, and a way of thumbing my nose at the established infrastructure of publishing which doesn’t hesitate to remind me that my name is unknown, and so my work is not weighty or salable enough to be displayed in mainstream book channels.

The hell it isn’t; because people do read, enjoy, and appreciate what I do, even when the bottom-line figures don’t exceed two zeroes. To have been published at all is far better than to have sat around waiting to be discovered by just the right people. I’d rather have my stories out there being read than to dream of what it would be like to have an audience while waiting for a rejection slip that might take six months or more to reach me.

Print-on-demand (POD) and internet sales have made a lot of new authors out of wannabes and engendered all sorts of publishing options that are springing up around it. And it’s been good for readers too, because now they have more choices than whatever Madison Avenue is currently pushing.

That said, even amongst pulp lovers, we have our own nay-saying, bluestocking critics. I find that kind of ironic because while there are some definite clunkers amongst the books we put out, Classic Pulp had more than its share too, and I’m sure it was just as blithely panned in its day. A reality check says pulp of any kind is meant to be pure entertainment, and that indie publishing on a small scale means a lot of volunteer work by folks who have day jobs and other demands on their writing and editing time. The majority of us are doing some editing and promotional work along with writing, since there are no budgets for hiring pros. I’d love to say we are turning out 100% clean copy, but I’d be a liar. We all work hard and learn as we go, doing the best to make the books we produce entertaining, coherent, and readable.

Yeah, things do get past us, and it’s an ongoing process to improve. So for those in-house critics, let’s think a minute about why we call what we do ‘New Pulp’. It’s primarily to distinguish what’s being written today from what was done in the golden age past. Oh, there are homage pieces and pastiches galore, but there are also a lot of original plots and brand new characters amongst today’s offerings. I don’t think our predecessors worried too much about whom or what they were paying tribute to. As long as readers were buying the magazines, they kept filling them with stories.

If anything, the pulp field has expanded over the years to bring in many more genres and ideas, and that’s good because it broadens the potential audience. If something about that ‘dilutes’ what you feel is classic pulp, well I guess that’s too bad. I’m perfectly happy to bring in new readers. I don’t live in the past, and I’m definitely not trying to write something akin to Macbeth or War and Peace. Nor am I attempting to recreate the writing of Dent, Burroughs, Lovecraft, or Howard. All I want is to recapture that similar feeling of breathless anticipation a reader gets when perusing a page turning, heart thumping storyline.

And I have to do that with today’s audience in mind, understanding that this a different time in history than when the classics were written. I know my readers, and they want characters they can care about, doing things they wish they had the guts to try. If my stories don’t exactly emulate what went before, if they aren’t using the same settings and formula, that’s on purpose. My predecessors were working authors trying to support themselves and they got paid by the word, so they wrote what their publishers thought would sell. While I have to give my publishers the same consideration, I only get paid when they’ve recovered printing costs, and so I have less incentive to pad a story and more freedom to experiment with settings and the complexity of characterization. I’m not churning my stuff out as fast as I can do it, because feeding the family and keeping a roof over our heads is not the focus of my writing. I know modern pulpsters who do that, and I salute them! But what I write, I do because I love creating it. It qualifies as pulp because of the pacing, but it’s not anything you’ve seen before and it’s written for people who are living in this day and age. The themes, settings, and some of the styling might be classic, but the storylines are all shiny and new. It seems to work for me…

There are so many options out there for how we present our writing. Besides the POD books you can order online or buy at conventions and author signings, pulp publishing has moved into downloadable paperless E-books, audio books, and I predict we’ll be doing chapters by subscription somewhere down the pike. In the heydays of classic pulp, magazines filled with various stories shared space on news racks all over the place, and so covers were lurid and vividly colored to attract attention.

Today we print more novels and yearly anthologies. While the artwork is just as riveting, it’s not as affordable because artists are more independent, so they need and deserve to be paid up front, and there’s no house staff in our small companies. The news racks of yesteryear have gone by the wayside and their decedents, the drug and convenience store spinner racks, are quickly following them into extinction. None of the small publishers have much of an advertising budget, and whatever brick and mortar bookstores that are left out there are either big box chains, small independents, or used booksellers. The little guys might accept books on consignment, but they don’t have much shelf room. The big guns generally stock only books the main company gets from wholesalers. So us indies are usually left with online sales and lots of self-promotion to do. Getting the word out is the hardest part, and we are just starting to open some additional avenues for that.

Besides the pricey costs of attending and setting up at conventions, or the small venue local book signings, most of those options involve the internet in one form or another. Social networking sites have the potential to reach hundreds if not thousands of potential readers, because every Friend or person in your Circles has several followers who might be interested in reading your Tweet or status update. Some online sectors are now evolving into business promotion through professional networks, audio podcasts, site linking, online advertising trailers, video conferences, and virtual conventions. There are all sorts of nifty new ways to reach the public.

Product advertisement online is an area which is growing very rapidly with the expansion of internet capability into more portable wireless network devices. So it’s a brave new world out there for us pulpsters, where a reader can hear about your book via a Youtube link posted on Facebook, buy a copy and upload it to their phone or E-reader with a few clicks, go back and browse your author page, blog, and website to see what else you have to offer, and then write a review on the same device. You can go to a convention or bookstore that has an Espresso printing machine (we have one in my state now), browse the catalog for something to buy, and watch your book of choice be printed on the spot.

While that’s not the corner news rack or neighborhood book store of the classic pulp years, it’s also not tied to any one place or time. As long as I can access the internet in my house here in Northeast Connecticut, I can buy your book written in Sidney Australia, published in London, and sold on Lulu, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble online, Alibris, or Smashwords (and many more online retailers I haven’t mentioned). That’s the kind of global effect we can have now, something our pulp predecessors never would have envisioned outside the pages of a science fiction story. Who knows what else lies on our ever-widening pulp frontier?

The point here is, we have got to expand our offerings and change our thinking about how and why we write and publish to reflect the times we’re in. We’re no longer sitting in some smoky backroom office banging on a manual typewriter and handing copy off to the editor to be red- penciled. The stories we write still need to find that beloved status in the minds and hearts of the readers, but we have to go where those minds and hearts are. And that might just mean leaving the comfort zone of where pulp has already been and striking out for new territory. In the spirit of pulp, it’s time for new adventures to unfold. So shoulder your gear, grab your walking stick, and let’s go find out what lies beyond the horizon. I hope to see you out there!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PRESS RELEASE- Pro Se Open Updated and New Anthologies Added!

Find the Pro Se Open at its own page now! http://pulpmachine.blogspot.com/p/pro-se-open.html

The Pro Se Open is a list of Anthologies that Pro Se Productions, a leading publisher of Heroic Fiction and New Pulp plans to do in the future. This is an open call on all the books listed in the Open, that is anyone can submit a story for any of the books in the list. For some of the anthologies, there is no deadline essentially, that is until all the slots open in any given book are filled. However, some will have deadlines attached and these will be noted by each individual title.

The Process will be as follows-
1. An upcoming Anthology is listed in the Pro Se Open.
2. Submissions are accepted (a 2-3 paragraph proposal for the story and at least a two page writing sample if you are a new writer submitting to Pro Se)
3. When the slots for the collection are all filled, a deadline for story completion will be set of approximately ninety days from the closing of the anthology. This will give writers time to complete their tales, artists time to do covers, etc.
4. The book will be published within approximately 30 days following the passing of the deadline.

 Even though the deadline will be 2-3 months out once a book is closed, Editors assigned to these projects will follow up, monitor, and make sure work is being done. Steps will be taken to move the anthology along as planned if work is not being done in a timely manner.  This means, however, that until all the slots are filled on an anthology in The Pro Se Open, it will remain open, but it is Pro Se's commitment that once all the works are in for a particular collection, that that collection move into high gear toward publication, regardless of current publishing schedule.

The Pro Se Open will be updated periodically as to adding new collections and removing ones that have been filled.

New Anthologies to the Open as of 10/18/12 are As Follows-

TALL PULP- Although every country has its mythologies, none quite have the same flavor as that of that infant of a nation, The Good Ol' US of A.   Instead of Gods and such, a whole crop of larger than life type heroes and characters have popped up throughout American history, collectively known as 'Tall Tales'...   TALL PULP (tentative title) will focus on characters who populate American Folklore, such as Paul Bunyan, Mike Fink, Pecos Bill, and more!  These stories, each 10,000 words in length, will be Pulp minded tales that focus on one Tall Tale figure (either completely fictional or the tall tale version of a real person, such as Davy Crockett).  These stories may either be retellings of the original legends with a Pulp flavor, set in the original time period of the characters themselves, or can be completely new updatings of these characters into other settings (John Henry in 1930s Chicago for instance)  Three stories, 10,000 word stories

COVERT OPS: GEMINI- Not all spies are actors, models, or...spies in their off mission time.  Under a particular program in the United States, active since the 1950s, hundreds, maybe even thousands of America's top secret operatives live the majority of their lives as housewives, plumbers, teachers, garbagemen, and other ordinary, even mundane existences.  But when they receive a message with their own personal codename followed by a single word- Gemini- then they leave suburbia or the rat race and become America's only hope for survival.  Outside of their 'real' lives, these spies show skills and talents not ever apparent in their daily existence.  Guided by a voice known only as 'Officer James', C.O.G. Team Leaders stand ready to pull the best and most devious spies available to the US out of the humdrum and plunge them straight into danger.  Three stories, 10,000 words each (If interested, request bible).

BADGE CITY-  This collection is all Police Procedural, but with a slight twist.   Set in an unnamed metropolis, referred to by the local cops and even crooks as Badge City due to the tenacity of the police force, the three stories in this collection will be set in three different time periods and each story will focus on a member of the Connors Family, each one serving on the Police force in some capacity.   Starting in the 1930s-50s, then moving onto the 1960s-80s, and ending in the 1990s-now, three writers get the opportunity to write true police procedurals as written in the eras covered while building the history of a family and a city! Think Dragnet meets 87th Precinct meets Blue Bloods.   Three stories, 10,000 words each (If interested, request bible.)

Anthologies previously listed in the Pro Se Open  and their status are as follows- 

PULPOLOGY- It has been said often that Pulp has its origins in ancient tales, legends, the mythologies of many lands. Taking this to heart, this anthology will feature stories starring characters from mythologies around the world! Actual mythological characters in new adventures set in their own era, the ancient world of heroes and monsters, or updated takes on classic myths (Jason and The Argonauts in the Old West, for example). Either way, these stories will spotlight the characters and strengths of mythologies world wide and put a two fisted, high octane Pulp spin on the legends themselves! 3 Stories, 10,000 words each. VOLUME ONE OF THIS ANTHOLOGY IS CLOSED PENDING ACCEPTED STORIES BEING TURNED IN, ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR VOLUME TWO

SIX GUNS AND SPACESHIPS- This is a wide open, do it as you want Space Western Anthology. The requirements- It's got to be a mash up between classic westerns and space opera (Firefly, Outland, Bravestarr, just a few examples). It doesn't take place on Earth at all, has to be off planet, but time period and location beyond that are up to the writer! Three Stories, 10,000 word stories VOLUME ONE OF THIS ANTHOLOGY IS CLOSED PENDING ACCEPTED STORIES BEING TURNED IN, ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR VOLUME TWO

TO LOVE AND DIE- Pulp Romance is back! And its deadlier than ever! These stories will be set in any time period up until modern day and must feature two things-Romance...and Treachery. These stories may be mysteries, horror tales, adventure yarns, whatever, but there must be a strong core of romance mixed with danger throughout. Three Open Slots, 10,000 word stories- VOLUME ONE OF THIS ANTHOLOGY IS CLOSED PENDING ACCEPTED STORIES BEING TURNED IN. ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR VOLUME TWO

THE BLACK FEDORA-A BOOK OF VILLAINS- This is just what it says it is, an anthology dedicated to stories about the bad guys we love to hate. These stories will focus on original villains and of course the heroes they face, these tales similar in style to the FU MANCHU stories of the past. But this isn't only for yellow perils!! Any type of villain that populates pulp is welcome to try on THE BLACK FEDORA! VOLUME ONE OF THIS ANTHOLOGY IS CLOSED PENDING ACCEPTED STORIES BEING TURNED IN, ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR VOLUME TWO

NEWSHOUNDS! - Dogged reporters, crusty editors, copyboys and cub photographers with dreams of grandeur, Pressmen who know the city lives and breathes by what they print! One of the most fertile grounds for action packed pulp has always been the newspaper office. And all those wonderful character types and more all work for The Partisan, a 1950s paper partial to the common man, to righting the wrongs done against the innocent and the weak! And this gaggle of hard bitten, hard fighitng men and women are known near and far to those who love them and those who wish to see them dead! Do No Wrong in Their City unless you want it covered by the Newshounds! 3 Stories, 10,000 word stories) If Interested, request Bible.  THREE SLOTS STILL OPEN

THE ADVENTURES OF MOOSE AND SKWIRL, TROUBLETAKERS- Trouble happens everywhere in the universe. Any time. Any place. And to make sure whatever cockeyed balance there is is kept, the universe takes care of itself, assigning special individuals to the unpredictable, unrewarding, and usually life threatening task of just being in the completely wrong places at the totally right times to hopefully keep everyone...or most everyone from dying. But the universe doesn't trust just one person to do this, no it works in groups of two. Moose-Stocky, barrel chested, two fisted, sarcastic, and ready to deliver a soliloquy over the bodies of whoever stands in his way... And Skwirl-Seductive, sexy, and with a sense of humor that could kill....literally. These two 'Trouble Takers' travel space and time very much at random, figuring out whatever issue they are thrown into and then fixing it. In their own unique, usually very destructive, bloody way. Three stories, 10,000 word stories ( If interested, request short bible for this one). TWO STORIES APPROVED, ONE SLOT REMAININGTHE 

NINTH CIRCLE-VOLUME ONE, This collection centers around a crime ridden precinct and borough in a city that shuffles its misbegotten and forgotten to THE NINTH CIRCLE. Three Slots-10,000 word stories (If interested, request short bible for this one) TWO SLOTS OPEN, 12,500 WORD STORIES

HIGH ADVENTURE HISTORY-Ever wanted a chance to write a masked man enforcing justice in ancient Egypt? Or a larger than life genius and his team of heroes righting wrongs in renaissance Italy? Or mad scientists terrorizing the Arizona desert towns of the Old West? Then here's your chance! HIGH ADVENTURE HISTORY will include stories of traditional pulp concepts and tropes plopped into our very own past, pre 1900! Take your favorite pulp stereotype and wrap it up in ancient or not so ancient places and people and join us in HIGH ADVENTURE HISTORY! Three stories, 10,000 word stories- TWO SLOTS OPEN

THE SHAMUS DIRECTIVE is a project actually founded in historical context. Just prior to and all during World War Two, The United States government via the FBI as well as members of the Armed Forces, developed dossiers on all licensed Private Investigators in the country. A list was then comprised of the ones deemed appropriate and 'good' and they were then considered to be 'cleared' to be used in espionage missions, mostly on the homefront, or missions that regular forces just could not deal with for various reasons. THE SHAMUS DIRECTIVE poses the theory that not only was this list compiled, but the people on it were truly the world's greatest detectives and they were formed into sort of a team to handle major issues in conjunction, even maybe saving major parcels of land and people in the process. Six stories , 10,000 word stories (If interested, request short bible for this one) TWO SLOTS OPEN 

If you're a writer or artist and are interested in these anthologies or have questions, email Editor in Chief Tommy Hancock at proseproductions@earthlink.net! And check out Pro Se at www.prosepulp.com and www.pulpmachine.blogspot.com.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Airship 27 Productions has announced that volume 4 of the publisher’s
Secret Agent X anthology series is now available for purchase.

Press Release:


Airship 27 Productions is thrilled to announce the release of the
fourth volume in their best selling pulp series; Secret Agent X – Man
of a Thousand Faces.

The greatest pulp spy of them all, Secret Agent X returns in four
brand new adventures. Continuing the excitement and thrills generated
by the previous three volumes in this series, the Man of a Thousand
Faces is back in four daring adventures written by today’s most
talented pulp writers.

“Since starting Airship 27, Secret Agent X has been our flagship
series,” explains Managing Editor Ron Fortier. “Pulp fans just love
this golden age spy and every time we put out a new book they not only
rush to get a copy but they instantly begin clamoring for more of his
exciting new adventures. Pulps fans just can’t get enough of Secret
Agent X and we’re only too happy to provide them with more.”

Deep in mountains of central Europe, Bobby Nash pits X against a
deadly beast-man with a special agenda while Jarrod Courtemanche has
the master spy confronting a scientist who controls fears. In a one of
a kind cross-over, Agent X confronts one of the most nefarious pulp
villains of them all, Fantamos, courtesy of Kevin Noel Olson and
finally Frank Schildiner chronicles one of our hero’s earliest
missions alongside the famed Sir Lawrence of Arabia in the burning
sands of the Sahara.

“This is by far the most eclectic collection we’ve released thus far,”
added Fortier. The book features twelve interior illustrations by Art
Director & Company Designer Rob Davis with a terrific cover by Davis
and Shane Evans. It is their second artistic collaboration on this
highly popular series.

Dedicated to the protection of his country, the master of disguises,
America’s top secret agent is in wavering his loyalty and courage as
he once against takes on villainy in all its myriad forms. He is the
one and only Secret Agent X!

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – Pulp Fiction for a New Generation!

Available now from CreateSpace (https://www.createspace.com/4020313
AND as a Digital Download
And within the next two weeks from Amazon
(http://www.amazon.com/Airship-27-Books/lm/R38REMAQTGV0WS), Kindle,
and Indy Planet (http://www.IndyPlanet.com)

Secret Agent X volumes 1, 2, and 3 are still available as well.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Undercover Review:

By Charles Beckman Jr.
Von Boeckman Fiction Factory Publications
ISBN # 9781479238736
265 pgs.
 Review by Ron Fortier

Several months ago I received an e-mail from a woman named Patti Boeckman. She told me her husband, Charles Boeckman, for most of his life had been a professional pulp writer working in the 40s and 50s under the name of Charles Beckmen.  Between 1945 through to 1975 his short crime stories had appeared in such pulp magazines as Dime Detective, All-Story Detective, Manhunt, Detective Tales to name just a few leading up to many sales in 60s and 70s to Alfred Hitchock’s Mystery Magazine.

A native of Texas, raised during the Great Depression, Charles had two loves; writing and music.  He became a success in both fields.  He taught himself to play saxophone and clarinet and during his travels throughout the south from Texas to Florida he often played with many reputable jazz bands until he formed his own.  In 1990, he earned a star in the South Texas Music Walk of Fame and his band to this day still plays in October Texas Jazz Festival.

What Charles and Patti were unaware of until recently was the resurgence in pulp fiction brought about via the internet which allowed life-long fans and newcomers to come together and begin creating forums to share their love of this escapist literary genre.  Patti, a former school teacher, discovered all this accidently while surfing the web and began to dig deeper into this wonderful phenomenon which invariable led her to the New Pulp Fiction movement.  A smart lady, she jotted down names and e-mail addresses and methodically reached out to many of these “new” pulp enthusiasts and that was how her letter of introduction popped up in my e-mail box.

At that time Patti and Charles were considering collecting many of his crime stories and self-publishing a book.  Hearing this, I, and many of my colleagues, encouraged them to pursue this plan.  The idea of a new collection of authentic pulp tales produced by the actual writer was too good a dream to let slip away.  Then after a few months, Patti wrote again.  This time with the news that they had gone and achieved their objective and the result was this book, “Supsense, Suspicions & Shockers,” by Charles Beckman Jr.  She asked if I would like a copy to review.  That had to be the easiest question I’ve ever answered in my life.

This book, which sports a truly gorgeous cover by amazing Laura Givens, is crammed with twenty-four stories; every single one of them a dazzling display of originality and deft story-telling technique.  Like the finest writers of the pulp era, Beckman had a keen, unerring grasp of human psychology and he employed it like a skillful surgeon carving up plot twists that turn on a time and more often than not, leave the reader both surprised and delighted.  No easy feat.  At the same time, because the book is so packed with stories, a true sense of the times emerges from the pages enveloping the reader taking them on a nostalgic journey back to an American landscape that can only be remembered in such pieces.  And throughout, Beckman’s background in music, especially the vibrancy of New Orleans jazz, is often the spiritual background to his cautionary yarns about desperate men and women struggling to survive in a bleak and desolate world.

Here is a sniveling coward bitten by a rattlesnake facing his own demise with joy, a walking dead man with a hole in his head, a musician being hunted by death itself, a cop after the punk who killed his wife and a husband who believes his devoted wife is about to murder him for absolutely no other reason than to simply do him in.  These are a small sampling of the unique characters that populate Charles Beckman’s fiction and once you’ve met them, I doubt seriously you will ever forget them.  There is a true humanity to these tales that seeks to uncover the good in even the worst of people and thus leaves the reader with a poignant optimistic hope for the future.  

“Suspense, Suspicion & Shockers,” is a genuine treasure trove of great pulp fiction by one of the best writers to ever tap his fingers over the keys of a mechanical typewriter.  There was magic in those fingers and it awaits you in this book.

PS – My copy arrived autographed.