Pulp Fiction is Meant to be Cheaper than a Magazine
Well for starters I don’t mean the movie by Tarantino, as good as it is it’s not the subject of this post. Pulp Fiction is a type of short novel, or series short stories, in a book made of wood pulp paper. And western horror pulp fiction would be the melding of the western and horror genre in a pulp fiction book. They had rules. Like, they needed to be cheaper than a magazine. They had to be written in one go with minimal editing. That is, they had a plot, then the story was written and attempted to stick to it – buuut that wasn’t essential if it prevented the main godlike character from fulfilling his mission. I say godlike because they were usually the cleverest, strongest, fastest, most dashing, daring, and solution finding character possible. Of course their arch nemesis was equally clever, if more devious, dastardly, and down right wicked.
The writers where given a one off payment and got no royalties – that was how the publishers kept the prices so low! But it’s not a bad start to get people reading your work – if you can pull off the minimal editing thing.
And there is a new uprising of pulp fiction type reading material on-line from the likes of James Patterson and his Book Shots, and Kindle Singles.
Western Pulp Fiction was rife
Cowboys were a popular subject for pulp fictions, stories of the old west and heroes riding into town on the best horses with enough ammo to deal with whatever needed dealing with. There were also spy, romance, and horror pulp fiction books available. I’m pretty sure I have more than my fair share of cowboy pulp fictions in my ridiculous library of books (it’s not an actual library, more like one floor to ceiling shelf chocka full and with no discernible order, then a whole bunch of recently discovered books in boxes in the loft -the majority of which are westerns)
Western Horror Pulp Fiction
Naturally I immediately wondered whether there were any Western Horror books. I couldn’t remember any off the top of my head but I wouldn’t be even slightly surprised if I had one or two somewhere. Yes, I accept that I may have more books in my tiny little house than my local library. It’s not my fault, I can’t swap books with people and not expect to return them, or lend them to people and be happy with not getting them back. They’re my books god-damn it! I didn’t lend them to you for you to pass on to someone else, I leant it to you because I thought it was a particularly good book that I knew -just knew- you would enjoy. AND I WANT IT BACK! I lost an early edition Harry Potter in similar circumstances.
Oh right back to the point…
Western Horror is becoming somewhat of an obsession for me. It ungraciously mashes two of my favourite things into one, how can I not become obsessed? The trouble is the amount of digging that has to be done to find it. Occasionally the titles are enfolded in the Weird West Sub-Genre – which usually marries the Western with either horror, fantasy, sci-fi or occult. Giving us a kind of western horror pulp fiction I was looking for. I found these beauties whilst I was digging around on line:
Weird West (or Western Horror Pulp Fiction)
Dead in the West by Joe R. Lansdale was published in 1986. A reverend fighting a Zombie horde in Texas with the help of the local doc and a few of the towns inhabitants.
The Hawkline Monster by Richard Brautigan is set in 1902 and about a pair of gunmen and a monster living in the ice caves below the house of twin sisters.
A Quarterly magazine on Pulp Fiction
While this edition is not entirely western horror (or weird west) pulp fiction it is included. Available in paperback, there are other editions in both paperback and kindle variations. The cover is amazing and with colour images inside it promises to be a feast for the eyes. With Eight stories from great authors (some of which I have on my shelves already) I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You can get your copy from Bold Venture but bare in mind this is a quarterly and whilst on Kindle it’s cheaper than a magazine, if you want the paperback it will cost a little more -and then there’s shipping. The original pulp fiction stories in their original forms were probably cheaper than a magazine – just saying.
I want knew stuff, new stories, new writers, and new monthlies. And whilst I’m aware of Skinwalker and The Dark Tower it’s not enough. I want new heroes that tie me to the back of their horse and drag me through town as they deal with the monsters! Sometimes I don’t want there to be pages of back story, endless characters side stories, or characters that can’t hold their own. Books that have great heroes who can do anything are great sources of inspiration and make you feel like you conquered their world with them – now you can go conquer yours!
There is a Western Horror Sub-Genre on Kindle (that’s not necessarily pulp fiction) that you get to through westerns -not horror (which might explain why it’s taken me so god-damned long to find it). But now that I’ve found it (by putting western horror into Amazon) I’ve got a lot of reading to do.
Which Western Horror Pulp Fiction books do you recommend? Have you written one?