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Friday, 25 October 2013

Pulp Heroes: Anne Nicholls


Anne Nicholls' contribution to THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF PULP HEROES 2 is the adventure story, “Dragon’s Breath” anne kindly agreed to tell us a little about it, and answer a few other questions.
  
Would you like to briefly introduce yourself: what inspired your writing and when you began, and – if possible – of all of your published work could you tell me which your favourites are (and why)?
 
I first started making up stories at the age of 4, largely because I didn’t think I could draw.  Other motives were trying to keep out of trouble – and the undeniable fact that a lion in the garden is much more exciting than a cat.  I had my first story published following a New Year’s resolution not to keep hiding my work in a drawer.  Of my work, my current favourites are “By Right of the Stars”, MINDSAIL, a piece of journalism that was later included in an A Level text-book, “Dragonsbridge”, “Dragon’s Breath”… You know, I love them all.  Although not when I’m banging my head on the keyboard because I can see where I should have done them better.
 
 
Do you have a favourite genre, or sub-genre? What exactly is it that attracts you
 
In reading terms I’m pretty much an omnivore.  I love fantasy, thrillers, adventures, humour, books on painting (pictures not houses), historicals, classic SF … pretty much everything except politics and horror.  There’s already far too much of that in the real world.
 
 
Some say Pulp is a genre, others a style; which side do you come down on?
 
Good pulp is a genre, bad pulp is sloppy writing.
 
 
What was the inspiration for Dragon’s Breath?
 
Remember that ancient TV show BRING ’EM BACK ALIVE?  Also the CORRIGAN books I devoured as a child.  Real life stories told by soldiers who’d been out in the Far East.  More recently, the YOUNG SAMURAI books of Chris Bradford.  I had a big crush on heroes and the mystic Orient.  Still do.
 
 
Do you have a particular favourite author, or authors? What is it about their work which appeals to you?
 
Dick Francis, for compassion, courage and style.  Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce and Ben Aaronovich for sheer imagination and determination.  Dave Gemmell for action and heart.  Stan Nicholls for pace and originality (and not just because he’s my husband).  When I’ve got flu, Georgette Heyer because she makes me laugh.
 
 
Outside writing, what else occupies your time (assuming you have any free time left)?
 
Painting.  Socialising.  gardening.  Handicrafts.  Music.  Films.  Oh yes, and my fabulously rewarding work as a counsellor.
 
 
Is there any particular style of music – or musicians – which appeals to you
 
Eclectic, from Vivaldi to John Parr, pub singing, bluegrass, old-style R‘n’B, choral works.  Stuff with clever words and a tune.
 
 
What are you currently working on?
 
I’m brewing a novel and a short urban fantasy set in Birmingham.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Pulp Heroes: Bryn Fortey

Bryn Fortey wrote "The Flier" which appears in the soon to be published THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF PULP HEROES 2. Here he answers questions on it and the deeper meanings of life:

 
Would you like to briefly introduce yourself: what inspired your writing and when you began, and – if possible – of all of your published work could you tell me which your favourites are (and why)?
 
From childhood on it was always my intention to write, but mostly I just talked about it. Then one day I challenged myself, either do it or shut up. As it happened I sold the first story I wrote, though there have been many rejections since, but I was hooked. Personal favourites are “Shrewhampton North-East” (which virtually wrote itself and is probably as good as I get), “Playing From Memory” (which showed me I could make a fist at non-genre material), “Ithica Or Bust” (my comeback story after a period out of the loop, and the most light-hearted story I've written).
 
 
Do you have a favourite genre, or sub-genre? What exactly is it that attracts you?
 
Not being commercially/professionally minded, I write only for my own interest and look at possible markets afterwards. It is a matter of luck when something fits with a themed anthology. This being my attitude, I don't think in specific genre terms. I originally submitted to horror outlets because I usually killed off or did horrible things with/to characters. I read SF, horror, literary. I guess my favourite genre is quirky.
 
 
Some say Pulp is a genre, others a style; which side do you come down on?
 
I would say, inexpertly, that pulp is a time-related genre. The first PULP HEROES was full of different styles, as I'm sure No. 2 will be also.
 
 
What was the inspiration for “The Flier”?
 
"The Flier" could have been listed among my favourites in the first question, but I left it out to discuss it here. My late son had a big interest in all things UFO and we would often argue about the merits/demerits of individual cases. I briefly mapped out the skeleton of a story, under a different title then, which got shelved and forgotten in the aftermath of my bereavement. When PULP HEROES came out I remembered the story and felt it would have fitted. So fleshed out the original idea and gave it a more era related title for PULP HEROES 2.
 
 
Do you have a particular favourite author, or authors? What is it about their work which appeals to you?
 
Jack Kerouac, whose flowing tip-of-the-tongue prose never fails to excite. JG Ballard, personified all I liked in the New Wave SF that grew up around Moorcock's NEW WORLDS magazine. William Burroughs for his strangeness. Chuck Palahniuk for FIGHT CLUB if nothing else. I could go on, but my answers are too wordy by far.
 
 
Outside writing, what else occupies your time (assuming you have any free time left)?
 
Listening to music and the company of good friends.
 
 
Is there any particular style of music – or musicians – which appeals to you?
 
Blues, jazz, swing, ballads, rock. Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, Shirley Bassey, Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Oscar Peterson. I could go on and on.
 
 
What are you currently working on?
 
My debut collection: MERRY-GO-ROUND & OTHER STORIES: The Best of Bryn Fortey, to be published in 2014 by The Alchemy Press.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pulp Heroes: Mike Resnick

Author of "The Incarceration of Captain Nebula" from THE ALCHEMY PRESS BOOK OF PULP HEROES 2, Mike Resnick answers a few pertinent (and impertinent) questions:
 
Would you like to briefly introduce yourself: what inspired your writing and when you began, and – if possible – of all of your published work could you tell me which your favourites are (and why)?
 
I’m Mike Resnick, I’ve written a batch of books and stories and won a batch of Hugos. I sold my first article at 15 (in 1957), my first poem at 16, my first short story at 17, and my first book at 20 (but it didn’t come out until I was 22). None, I should add, were science fiction.
 
My favourites? SANTIAGO, because it was my greatest seller and paid for our house and a few safaris; KIRINYAGA, because it was my most-honoured (67 major and minor awards and nominations to date);  and THE OUTPOST, because it was far and away the most fun to write. My favourites of my continuing characters are Lucifer Jones and Harry the Book, both humorous; Lucifer is a parody of every bad pulp story or B-movie I ever saw, and Harry is what Damon Runyon would be writing if he were around today and doing fantasy.
 
Do you have a favourite genre, or sub-genre? What exactly is it that attracts you?
 
Probably science fiction, which gives me all time and space to tell my stories, and can accommodate anything from humour to tragedy to adventure.
 
Some say Pulp is a genre, others a style; which side do you come down on?
 
It’s a genre which is primarily defined by its style and its subject matter.
 
What was the inspiration for “The Incarceration of Captain Nebula”?
 
I’ve occasionally used the device of the Unreliable Narrator. I thought it might be interesting to write a story with multiple narrators, each of whom is unreliable. 
 
Do you have a particular favourite author, or authors? What is it about their work which appeals to you?
 
In science fiction: CL Moore, Robert Sheckley, and Barry Malzberg. In each case, it’s that they excel at certain things: in Moore’s case, emotion and an evocation of the Sense of Wonder; in Sheckley’s, a cerebral form of humour (in the 1960’s, anyway) that only works as science fiction; and in Malzberg’s, an ability to evoke, in his considerable body of recursive science fiction, the milieu in which we work.
 
Outside writing, what else occupies your time (assuming you have any free time left)?
 
My passions are the musical theatre, horse racing (I don’t bet, but I wrote a weekly column on it for 15 years); Africa; and collies (we bred and exhibited 23 champions, most of which we named after science fiction titles and characters.
 
Is there any particular style of music – or musicians  which appeals to you?
 
Show music. Over a 50-year career, I think I’ve probably written 90% of my output with some cast album/CD playing in the background. My favourites: the team of Tom Jones & Harvey Schmidt, Stephen Sondheim, William Finn, and Michel Legrand.
 
What are you currently working on?
 
Still coming out this year: THE WORLDS OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS, co-edited with Bob Garcia (Baen, October), and THE DOCTOR AND THE DINOSAURS (Pyr, December). In progress for next year: CAT ON A COLD TIN ROOF, a mystery, 3rd in the series that began with DOG IN THE MANGER and this June’s THE TROJAN COLT (Seventh Street, August); I.N.C.I. (title tentative), a team-up with Tina Gower (Stellar Guild books, date not yet set); THE FORTRESS IN ORION (Pyr, December), and an-as-yet untitled Stellar Guild team-up with Lezli Robyn. I’ve got a story – a collaboration with Ken Liu – in press at ASIMOV’S, something like 7 other stories in upcoming anthologies and magazines, Harry Kloor and I just completed what we hope is the final draft of a screenplay titled SOME HEROES DIE, and I’m editing the Stellar Guild line of books and GALAXY’S EDGE bi-monthly magazine. In my spare time, I sleep.