© 2002 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives
Edited by Alex Irvine and T. Davidsohn
Mothaxle Media Trade Summer 2002 98 "pulse pounding" pages
Review by Ernest Lilley
List price $Unknown www.mothaxle.com
"Modern Stories for Retro Brains"
"The plan is, we leave this
rock, see? We build one of those improbability drives and leave this
(Which actually comes from an ad in the zine, but I liked it, see? -ed.)
Every story in The Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives (JoPPN) deserves the accolade: "Gripping". Pulse pounding? Yes. Few collections manage to live up to the idea that foster them, but the JoPPN does. Really. This is great stuff.
The collection starts out with a short, short, ghost story, by Devon Monk. It serves notice dear reader that there will be little foreplay in these literary seductions. Or perhaps I have that backwards. These stories may be all teasing and taunting, each the telling of a tall tale with a sudden twist at the end. Just when you think you're ready to settle in and enjoy the ride your chair drops out from under you and you hit the floor with a thud. Hey. That was fun. Lets do it again! And you can.
James L. Cambias put together a different narrative for the screening of a different King Kong DVD, tracing the tragic hero's roots back through its history, alt. into it's present, imperfect.
Jeffery Ford, always a brilliant guy, steps out with a series of stories that cry out for a period, and yet, they do not cry so loudly that one actually misses one, take comfort in the sure knowledge that one will show up at the end of the page, and in doing so end the breathless rush of prose that flowed forth in pulpy extrusion of Sciffy, or Horror, or Campy Gumshoe Noir, though not to end the sense of wonder that the stories imbue, and more besides, an amalgam of plot and prose exceeds my pastiche pretense by oh, five or six orders of magnitude.
Paul Finch tells a tale of a sculptor in a neighborhood where young folks have been going missing. Folks always assume the worst about strangers, don't they?
In "Dinner With Gtoim" Wil McCarthy shows that in a time and space far far away, spacers will still hang out in bars telling tall tales of their voyages, lying amiably to their friends, and laughing till they turn blue. Or whatever. Depending on their physiology.
Gavin Grant's Tight Suits and All is a delightful, if head-scratching narrative about Japanese movie monsters, superheroes, spaceplanes and potatoes.
And who would have that the a tale of lust, betrayal and fast food could be so delicious? Probably Leslie What, who wrote "Grease and Sex at the King of Chicken".
Ever wonder if O.J. might have been innocent? Anything is possible in the land of pulp fiction, and Paul DiFilippo digs deep to come up with a wonderful and bizarre assortment of "Pulp Alibis" ranging from alien mutilations to O.J. as the green hornet...with his ever faithful companion Kato, of course.
In Lionel Fanthorpe's "The Haunted Showroom" someone's imagination is working overtime, but is it the author, the character....or your imagination?
Of Joel Jenkins "The Eel and the Adder" in Iron Monster of Death, what can I say, but three chilling words: Massive...Nazi...Robots...and hope I haven't given too much away.
But wait! There's more! I just won't tell you about it. You'll have to beg, borrow, or...buy your own copy. But whatever you do, don't forget to read Jeffery Ford's "Deep Space Adventure #32"
Why did fifteen talented writers get together and, under cover of darkness, enlist anonymous minions to create their very own book? Not for the money, since you don't seem to be able to actually buy the JoPPN anywhere (and no ISBN appears on its cover). So it must have been for love of the craft. T'was beauty killed the beast.
From: the webpage of The Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives
...the already-legendary-probably-one-off-but-possibly-continuing magazine of just plain ripping yarns, moves inexorably towards its premiere, an irresistible juggernaut of thrilling fiction.
Like concrete around a stool pigeonís ankles, the line-up of contributors has begun to solidify. The debut issue will feature stories from:
Paul DiFilippo, Jeffrey Ford, Wil McCarthy, Leslie What, Devon Monk, James L. Cambias, Lionel Fanthorpe & others.
But all will not be thrill-a-minute stories and two-fisted prose. Serious topics dealt with in this issue will include: madness, murder, deceit, revenge, alien life forms, the joys of fatherhood, the tribulations of home ownership, the walking dead, the hovering dead, the artistic process, giant robots, professional football, Nazis, celebrity scandals, the misuse of technology, vampirism, classic monster movies, salad & a cat.
* * *
You can't go to Amazon.com to buy The Journal of Pulse Pounding Narratives. But what if you were to try, anyway? Entering the title into their search engine returns, along with the apology for not having what you were looking for and among other things, these nifty Black Swirl Drawer Pulls (2pk.). for only $6.99. So? So, I have no idea what connection their search engine made between these two things...but the cover design on the journal actually happens to be a black swirl! You can't make this stuff up.
|Ernest Lilley is Editor and Publisher of SFRevu. He also writes about technology in his publication TechRevu (www.techrevu.com) as well as being a frequent contributor in online and print publications like Byte.com, Digital Camera, Pen Computing and others. He likes station wagons with stick shifts, PDA's with keyboards, and SF with ideas.|