Space pirates and superspies, ghostly singers and half-orc bards, lost cities and deals with the devil . . . all this awaits and more in Pulp Rock: Twelve musically inspired tales of adventure, excitement, and horror by some of the most exciting voices in science-fiction and fantasy. Come explore the nexus between music and the written word, and get ready to rock.
Now you’ll find short blurbs for each story on the Amazon page, but I highly recommend buying the book without reading those, and just enjoying the surprises of discovery.
There isn’t a weak story in the bunch and, unlike with some other anthologies I’ve read, I suffered no temptations to skip! It reminded me of listening to an album the old school way - straight through.
The authors have got a ton of variety in here - adventure, fear, despair, joy, mystery, violence, metaphysics, wonder, transcendence, and of course the love of music. Backing the book was a given for me, since most of my own work is heavily inspired by the music I listen to. It was a lovely treat for me to see how these talented authors manifest rock-infused prose and plot in their own styles.
The stand-out story to me was Entomocronicity by Alexandru Constantine. I hadn’t read anything by him before but I did expect his piece to be the most litfic, and it was. There’s a ghostly kind of horror, touches of madness, and even some sci-fi-ish metaphysical stuff. Trust me when I say it’ll take you places you didn’t expect and dig a knife into your heart.
My favorite world of the bunch was the one depicted in Keep It Burning Bright by the anthology’s creator and editor, Alexander Hellene. It really feels like a tiny (but important) corner of a much larger world. The interaction with transcendence at the story’s climax is absolutely my kind of fantasy.
And my favorite character was Drummerbot from David V. Stewart’s Farewell to Once and Future Kings. This isn’t surprising to anyone who knows me because I love friendly robots, AI, and I myself am a drummer. He was just such a great addition to an already great spy story. Also of note in this piece is Stewart’s clear knowledge of music composition, which was woven into the conflict in an interesting way. Oh, and he also has best girl.
There’s so much other great stuff in here I could hit, but honestly the best way to discover it is to just dive in and enjoy. Let’s wish a great launch to this killer anthology, so we can all look forward to a volume two!