Pulp Rag Review: Broadswords & Blasters

In a world of fly-by-night Literary fiction journals, who publish entire  mountain ranges of meandering shoe-gaze, where extended sentences overflow with metaphors, and vacant personifications,  Mostly committed to print by Hey-Look-at-me-Mom-and-Dad-I’m-using-my-MFA type people. Thank God PULP FICTION exists to kick that bullshit’s ass. 

The cover for the upcoming Issue 6. 

Trigger warnings ahead: this micro aggression is not completely one sided. Don’t get me wrong. Some Lit-Fic can lift off as it quickens in the imagination. Language is the virus from Outer Space after-all. With such indie journals as Pulp Modern, Switchblade, TOUGH and last but not least, Broadswords and Blasters. The English verbiage is being cut to the bone in highly satisfying ways. ECR’s following in these footsteps. Recently, Broadswords & Blasters did a promotional event for Issue #5. All of their previous issues were on sale and ECR swooped in and dropped some coin. We would like to take a moment to review our Pulp brothers.

Stay tuned for this page will get updated as we make our way through their canon. 

BS&B 1 

OVERALL BS&B1 is as good as advertised. It could easily exist alongside Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and some of the Spicy journals. It sets a tone and blazes a trail. 

SKIN DEEP: (Nicolas Ozment) A small group of warriors looking for some R&R bite off more than they can chew. As the comely lasses they are promised turn out to be harder on the eyes and even harder on their brawn.

DEAD MEN TELL TALES (Dave D'Alessio)An atmospheric sic-fi story that pops with jargon. 

THE EXECUTIONER’S DAUGHTER: (R.A. Goli) A coming of age tale about the changing social order. When the executioner’s arthritis makes it impossible to swing his axe his daughter is drafted for the job. Can she go through with the grisly task? Can she even do it better?

PENSION PLAN: (Dusty Wallace) A couple of Aliens deal with the Italian Mafia’s outer space racket one of them will come up short in this hilarious slice of sci-fi. 

SATURDAY NIGHT SCIENCE: Michael M. Jones’s quirky tale about two cosplayer’s first date is a multifaceted romp through kinky foreplay, advanced scientific technology, Lovecraftian multiverses, making out, pizza and one hell of a satisfying ending. Hands down the standout in Issue 1.

ISLAND OF SKULLS (Part One) (Matt Spencer) A vulgar mix of fantastical gobbledegook and chapter breaks. A sophomoric story that I couldn’t get enough of…can’t wait for part 2. It tries very hard to land realism to the proceedings through dialogue. However I feel like this is story is the weak link in the collection. I may live to eat those words but I’ll hold off until

WATER SO DARK: (Josh Reynolds) A journey into Lovecraft country complete with fishy atmosphere and iconography. While there are fishier versions out there this sticks to the theme and is worth a read, especially on a rainy night.

THICKER THAN WATER: (Rob Francis) This pulpy fantasy thriller is a solid way to cap off issue one. TTW takes the reader into a strange realm of intrigue, adventure, and F-bombs. The modern sensibilities don't detract from a very well paced story.*

Overall SATURDAY NIGHT SCIENCE stands out as the must read of BS&B #1. with PENSION PLAN and SKIN DEEP worthy of accolades as well.

We like this book. We like its editors...we like its cover artist. We kept reading and so should you.

Purchase your copy of Broadswords & Blasters #1 here.

*Errors & Omissions: ECR failed to report this story upon first publication of the review.

BS&B 2 

The Cover of Broadswords and Blasters #2 reveals that this issue is heavy on action and more Broadsword than Blaster...but who the hell am I? Who the hell are you? Let's get on with this review!

KAUHOA VS THE MU: (Patrick S. Baker) An absolutely wonderful howl of a opener. Grabs your attention with its atmosphere and effortless prose. An epic battle in paradise. Sets the bar high for the rest of the issue.

A WESTERN PROMISE: (Calvin Demmer) Delivers some solid western style action. The prose is lean and the sci-fi beings sneak up quieter than a warrior brave. Calvin Demmer is definitely a burgeoning voice in the pulp fiction world. 

FEATHERED DEATH: (Steve Cook) Offers readers a strange fantasia with a modern twist. The piece is full of imagery that will satisfy most fans of the fantasy genre.

SOUL PLANTATION: (Sara Cordair) A weird horrorshow of fantastical gobble-di-gook. I didn’t connect with it and the ending left a poor taste in my mouth. Which may have been the point. If so--mission accomplished. All fans of the dark stuff, should give it a read and share your thoughts. 

ISLAND OF SKULLS (part two): (Matt Spencer) This sequel/second half gets down and dirty with its conclusion, and won me over. Not for the faint of heart and definitely not the weak link in this chain. It storms off into Transgressive fiction territory. Will need to give both Parts One and Two another read. Kudos.

KANE AND GRABLE: (Michael T. Best) An Action packed and quickly paced, Virtual Reality meets slightly undercover crime-ish story. The cool tech is totally relatable. This sci-fi yarn needs to be read by all. (My wife's favorite.)

OATH BREAKER: (Grey Harlowe) a race of Builders squander the ablestones and a Heroine must make a savage choice to help the people. A dramatic telling of familiar and relatable themes. 

THE DEEP WELL: (C.R. Langille) A fast paced weird adventure that takes us deep into Robert E. Howard & H.P. Lovecraft territory. A solid read. 

THE EYE OF THE SUN: (D.J. Tryer) A vibrantly detailed yarn that pops with adventure. The action swings nicely in this well paced story and damn fine way to end their sophomore effort. 

OVERALL: A WESTERN PROMISE stood out to ECR as the must read followed closely by KAUHOA vs. THE MU, THE DEEP WELL, and THE EYE OF THE SUN.

Why don't you go ahead and put down the super cocoa mocha latte & purchase your copy of BS&B #2 here.

After I wrote this manic review I wanted a second opinion. I reread all of the Amazon reviews. They ranged from gushy love fetes (just like ECR's) to pompous nose snubbing (just like ECR's) Glad to find opinionated compatriots who took the time to read and review and help spread the word about indie lit. 

BS &B 3

coming soon

BS&B 4
Coming Soon


Coming Soon

BS&B 6

Coming Soon