I became aware of the rag Pulp Literature shortly after their first Kickstarter campaign and was immediately intrigued by their positioning and decided I would subscribe as soon as my Ploughshares subscription died. (I only allow myself so many litrag subscriptions at a time. As it ended up, I accidentally let One Story lapse [bummer] and so I picked up Pulp Literature when I realized. When Ploughshares finally quits coming, I'll pick One Story back up.) In the meantime though, I've been following their Twitter feed, reading their blog, and generally being impressed by the brand and the women behind it.
my first issue came and I am happy with it. It's classy. Lots of white space. The illustrations are great too (though a few reproduced too lightly). Some of my favorites among the writing:
Soldier, Wake by Susanna Kearsley:
Mythic redemption, beautifully writing, pure and simple horror. Also, Scotland.
Blackthorne and Rose: Agents of DIRE by KG McAbee:
Terrific steampunk/zombie/romance/adventure novella with diction that won't let you read it out of a proper English accent. (Author's giving away a lot of her other work for free right now.)
Below the Knee by Susan Pieters:
Delicious little story mining the same vein as "The Lottery"---but more modern in a way as it ends with an emotion rather than an action. Also, the smallness of it feels appropriate for 2014, just a girl and her leg.
The Death of Me by KL Mabbs:
Time-travel stories are tricky and I'm not going to parse this sentence by sentence trying to catch the author in error. In the end, this story kept coming to mind for days and each time I reevaluated it---each time at a slightly higher valuation. It twists and it circles and it asks more than answers.
intimacy requires more by Daniela Elza:
In appearance, seems to be the sort of poetry I have very little patience for. But some of the lines are just incredible.
Granted: my primary response to Pulp Literature's tagline "Good books for the price of a beer" is to be glad I'm a teetotaler. But I'll tell you what else: the fourth issue was well worth each Canadian penny I sent them. Part of their success no doubt comes from their Kickstarter beginnings, getting enough money to pay their contributors right. As a general rule, you get what you pay for. And a publication that pays, gets offerings worth paying for.
So my recommendation is to head over to Kickstarter and subscribe now to the coming year---or pick up last year's offerings. (Some of the deals on offer seem a bit too generous.) Either way, if we can generalize from 25% of their total output so far, you'll be glad you did.
And today's their halfway point---if you subscribe via Kickstarter now, you get a free novella from the twisty time-travel author mentioned above.