Cower not, fierce reader! Today we take a look at the first regular issue of another pulp action magazine(there is an issue 0). We've got contributions from authors reviewed here before, so let's take a good look at what we have.
New Rules for Rocket Nauts by Michael DeCarolois- Way to open the magazine with a bang. Yes, it's a longer story, but we've got a young cast aside adventurer, mysterious aliens that nobody can communicate with, officials who too easily believe in peace without understanding, loss, and fighting to save humanity.
Retrieving Abe by Jay Barnson- This is interesting, as it's a bit slower, but filled with tension throughout. One might argue that it's a bit strong female character in nature, but I didn't find it unbelievable. There's no Mary Sue here, she pursues out of duty to her husband, not a desire to be independent. The sense of knowledge of the work from one's youth brought in helps greatly.
The Price of Hunger by Kevyn Winkless- Oh, my. A story of greed and Indian legends. And cursed gold. Yeah, this might be a good late night read.
Protector of Newington by John M. Olsen- This steampunk superhero story has a lot of fun pieces. I did say steampunk and superhero together, right? Cause that's exactly what we have. A mysterious bad guy, child slavery, and sacrifice and redemption.
Brave Day Sunk in Hideous Night- Initially I was meh. Werewolf, PI doesn't do it for me. Throw in a time criminal and law? Ok, you've added enough to the mix that this is worth reading. Especially as the werewolf has PTSD, it's a nice touch.
Taking Control by Jon Del Arroz- Well, I for one am pleased to see my friend dabbling in Weird Westerns again. This is certainly a bit lighter than the Doomtown material was on the weird factor, but that's fine. This has some nice touches of cons, holdup artistry, and magic, and there's even a hint of possible future pieces(somewhere in that writing time, maybe).
Some Things Missing from Her Profile by David Skinner- Mars. A blind date gone bad. Martians have been conquered. A woman with less past than she should have. A segregated society. And a main character with a family history of not respecting the law.
Dream Master by Gene Moyers- Woah. Um. This felt like something out of some of the old pulps. Ripped right out, even. We've a series of mysterious deaths, strange behavior beforehand, and a psychologist trying to figure out the how and why against a secretive sinister being.
Under the Gun by David J. West- Hey, I know this guy. I know Porter Rockwell. But the story doesn't follow him, for the most part. We've a weapon that urges killing, and a newly made killer. We have an old killer who has learned to stay his hand. Fire away.
Circus to Boulogne by Mike Adamson- As one who likes to occasionally visit old war comics like Enemy Ace and Sgt. Rock, this is pretty cool. I'd say it's a touch slow here and there, but then, there's plenty of tension to help balance that.
There's a lot of pulp here, from the cover to the illustrations before each story, to the little filler bits. Variety pulp, and while there aren't serials, there's plenty of argument against too many. 8 of 10 fell deeds.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.