Review: The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes
If there was one person who would be up to this task, then it would be Mike Chinn, author of the fantastic The Paladin Mandates the brilliant Robot Kid. Over the course of the stories held within the pages of this hugely entertaining volume, Mike Chinn covers practically every single base of pulp fiction. From the opening story Origins by Mike Resnick, which in true Pulp fashion tells the origin story of one of the genres greatest heroes.
Eyes of Day, Eyes of Night perfectly captures the feel of those classic Saturday Matinee films, bursting to the seams with scoundrelous villains, square jawed heroes, piranhas and the search for some ancient relic, this story cannot help but be fabulous.
Ripples In The Ether by William Meikle, is another one of his excellent Professor Challenger stories. This time our intrepid hero is tackling an otherworldly menace that is drawn to our plane of existence by the power of broadcasting. Meikle perfectly captures the essence of Challanger in this fast paced short story.
Ivy’s Secret Origin by Bracken Macleod is a refreshing take on the super hero origin story. Where Ivy’s rise to her own personal super hero is told in wonderful style
Currier Dread and The Hair of Destruction by Ian Gregory is a brilliantly funny tale about a special kind of super villain and there slightly crazy plan.
What anthology about pulp would be complete with out a tale about a down beat fighter trying to make good. No Way, But The Hard Way by Michael Haynes, takes this genre standard and transports it to a gritty future world, where off world miner Leon is just trying to make enough money for the return trip home. Haynes captures the fight scenes and the motivation of Haynes perfectly, transforming this well used story into a one, two three, knockout punch.
The Vogue Prince by Adrian Cole is perhaps my favourite story in this excellent collection, with shades of Dr Strange, The Shadow, and Sam Spade. Cole’s story in my opinion captures the true essence of pulp, shady streets, shady gangsters, and the supernatural all mix together to create a truly satisfying read.
The final honorable mention must go to Joel Lane’s Upon a Granite Wind. This story is the perfect example of why Pulp is not a four letter word, while the story remains true to the genre, Joel’s brilliant writing shows that Pulp is a genre and not a indication of the standard of writing involved.
The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes is a spectacularly brilliant read, Mike Chinn, has brought together some great writers in this anthology. He has also shown that the Pulp genre can be as diverse, satisfying and just as well written as any other genre out there. Don’t be ashamed folks, go out and get yourself a copy of this book, and prepare to be entertained to the max.