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Skyracos: The Mining Mess
by Nichole G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/05/2013 01:37:56

The Skyracos are called for disaster relief at an Eternum mine on the planet Claous. Eternium is a highly sought mineral promising the lure of immortality to those who can pay the price. Its production is halted when a strange disease overtakes the serf-like miners and infects their colony.

The author has a way of breeding suspense and creating multifaceted characters through layers of frustrations and sharp curves. The story employs a sudden unstable suspense using countdowns and other diversions. I would recommend it to people who like their pulp studded with Brazil-like floors of ignorant bureaucracy and heroes that have no choice but to go against the code for the cause. Which code of conduct will be up to you, the reader, to observe and figure out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Skyracos: The Mining Mess
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ePulp Sampler Vol 1
by Nor S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/04/2013 01:38:50

More Good Stuff

This anthology takes a looks at classic pulp and comic book archetypes from five different perspectives. Each character defines their space in the book and each story can stand alone.

Rurik is a giant bronze age Barbarian who roams the wastelands where Conan could have dwelled. The descriptions are visceral and gritty.

Dead Reckoner is a disembodied spirit who arrives in WWI and looks into the shadows where Weird, Creepy or Eerie magazines once lurked. It has a poetic quality to it.

Wild Marjoram is a blond haired blue eyed mechanic trying to fix things with Chicago gangsters in an alternate timeline of WWII. There is a lot of clever character interplay.

Pandora Driver is a Batgirl gone bad and running down villains on the streets of a Noir City. The plot reveals keep this story moving.

Skyracos looks into the far reach of space to spot a pair of armored Rocketeers or 1940s Ironmen fighting alien insects. This story is all action and blood flies.

This anthology is hosted by a presence named Kilroy. He is a cross between Stan Lee's soapbox and Rod Serling of Twlight Zone Fame. His tidbits are practically a sixth story and very light in contrast to the others.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ePulp Sampler Vol 1
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Dieselpunk Epulp Showcase
by Nichole G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/01/2013 02:28:11

I stumbled onto this anthology by happy accident. The four adventures in this tome cover what is a Dantesque reading of the genre of Dieselpunk. Each story will get its own section here. I also know that The Divine Comedy only has three parts, but let me explain this as I go.

1) That Sort of World -- A good solid introduction to the world of dieselpunk fiction. It all begins and ends with a hat or lack of one. A story builds up around this premise that embodies the essence of what the future holds. This would be the outside of the world, before moving into the Inferno, a land of guns and philosophy.

2) Pandora Driver -- The momentum continues as Pandora Driver motors into a city run by crime lords that is attacking the average Joe. It weaves between the past and present, revealing the noises and sparks of the super heroine and the Fate of the ones she conquers. There is even a reference to the Inferno at the end of this one, keep your eyes peeled! This one is all action, action, action, kids!

3) The Troubleshooter -- The Purgatory of the Showcase, The Troubleshooter, storms about town with a mix of cleverness and noir. This is where my favorite line, "Serious as a sin sandwich" is from, but there are many other lines I enjoy. It features Elvira, as a non-typical moll, which I liked, and it seamlessly brings in a dollop of sci-fi to the party.

4) The World of Mañana -- At last, we get to Paradise, or so we think. Even I, at the mere mention of the word "parrotpunk" wanted to sigh. This is no Cheeseburger in Paradise, my friends. No hearty Casablanca. This is a world of spirits and eating of the God's Eye. I valued this one as taking Dieselpunk into a native spiritual realm.

Overall, these stories blended well. A few had old-timey type adverts that appealed to my serial side. Two of them had logos as well, making me want to seek out the origin books. It is a great place to start if you are curious about Dieselpunk fiction.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dieselpunk Epulp Showcase
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ePulp Sampler Vol 1
by Ann D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2013 15:31:07

This ePulp Sampler rapidly transports us from the gladiatorial arenas of a fantasy wasteland to the blood-red seas of the distant planet Claous, but it makes the journey feel almost effortless. In passing, it touches down on the battlefields of World War One, pauses momentary on the mean streets of an alternative Chicago and makes a swift whistle stop in Citadel City.

I cracked open this Sampler in search of more of John Picha's Pandora Driver series, with its crusading, worker's heroine, but I enjoyed my detours to Russ Bopp's Robert E. Howard-inspired Rurik fantasy, N.R. Grabe's post-gender gangster tale and Mathew Davies' time-hopping journey into the trenches. Thrown in for good measure, is tale from John's Skyracos rocketeer adventures, an always welcome diversion.

Volume 1 of this EPulp Sampler is a pleasant throwback to the golden days Weird Tales, and brings back fond memories of reading under the covers by flashlight, trying to squeeze in just one last page... Keep up the good work!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ePulp Sampler Vol 1
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Dieselpunk Epulp Showcase
by matthew d. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/10/2013 18:20:05

The Diesel Punk e-Book showcase is a fantastical collection of four stories rooted in the gritty reality of the pulp tradition. Drawing inspiration from the hard-boiled suspense tales of that era, these sagas mix a retro flavor with depictions of dystopian societies mirroring our own turbulent present. As art imitates life, and as history repeats itself, so does pulp rise again to titillate our darker natures with graphic depictions of vice and graft, not from the dime novels of yesteryear, but from the depths of the internet.

In the first offering in the showcase, "Tales of the Aether Age", the USA has disintegrated into rival factions, the Union is broken, Prohibition is fueling gangsterism, and wise guys everywhere are looking to score. Jaded and world-weary, but looking to make a name for themselves, two crooks take on a big job. They are guarded street toughs, and constantly challenged to think three steps ahead of the game to sift through the layered hierarchies of allegiances and machinations of power.

"Pandora Driver" harkens back to a pre-WW2 America populated by colorful immigrants chasing the American dream. One unlucky shopkeep draws the attention of a ruthless gangster looking to muscle his way into some prime real-estate, only to draw the ire of a idealistic vigilante bent on protecting the powerless from exploitation. With her strange car, stunning physical prowess and commitment to dispensing street justice as she sees fit, Pandora Driver is a pulp heroine with a dark side of her own.

The waters of justice are further muddied in the third offering, "The Troubleshooter". Neo-feudalism produces a brand of slippery characters known as "Troubleshooters" after the disintegration of society in a great Cataclysm. Operating outside the law, the torch from one to the next is about to be passed, but not without some twists and ambiguity. Gritty noir and futuristic technology drive the tale of Mick Trubble through this tale of shaky allegiances and pliable morality.

In the "World of Manana" stark power play and spiritual psychedelics are just part of the amalgam of swirling archetypes and juxtaposed cultural constructs. Part Aurthurian grandeur, part Castenadian psycho-spiritual intrigue, this genre bending tale pans the landscape of human experience. Yearning for a purpose higher than himself, a young man searches for his place in dystopia. From the subjectivity of family to the intertwined yin-yang of good and evil, "Manana" has something to scratch every pulp itch.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Dieselpunk Epulp Showcase
by Gavin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/20/2013 14:04:48

A grand collection of dieselpunk inspired stories that really encapsulate the era and ideals of dieslpunk. If you like early to mid 20th century history but spun off in a slightly differnt direction, then this is for you. Neatly and compellingly written, the tales are well researched, cleverly put together and intriguingly different.

Each of the authors who has added a story to the collection brings a different style, all of them wonderful. A grand melange of history, pulp, alt. history, thriller, science fiction, gritty action and humour, the authors have produced a dieselpunkfest guaranteed to delight fans of the genre.

Four grand stories pit the age of jazz, the private dick, Sam Spade, and the tommy gun toting mean streets of America's tough cities against alternative history and the authors varied and wonderful imaginations. Nanobots and fedoras, androids and jewish bakeries, bullet-proof women and hired muscle, Model T Fords and dystopian alternative futures, it's a veritable festival of dieselpunk.

Great characters, great scenarios, great dialogue and great writing, all punked. What more could you ask for?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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