East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


50 New Pulp Movies To Get You Started

In case you need a movie or four for these hot summer nights, here’s a great list from Derrick Ferguson.

The Ferguson Theater


So after stirring up more than enough trouble with my “50 New Pulp Books To Get You Started” why then would I go ahead and go ahead and dive into making up a list of New Pulp movies. And how can there be New Pulp movies in the first place when New Pulp has been barely recognized as a genre in the first place?

Simple: I think there should be a way for people unfamiliar with what I and a whole bunch of other writers/editors/similarly minded creative folk term “The New Pulp Movement” to get into it and movies are a terrific way of doing that. First of all, what is New Pulp? Broken down to the simplest of elements it is fiction written in the mold and sensibilities of the style of Classic Pulp of the 1930s and 40s. Linear storytelling, creative use of words and phrasing, larger than…

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An unusual writer’s resource – QI

qi-logoIt started because I wanted to dust off my English – because reading and writing is all right, but you need to keep your ear trained for the spoken language.
So I went for a few BBC programs available on Youtube. People talking, with a variety of accents.
Talk shows, comedy shows, and panel shows.

Now, panel shows are something that does not exist in my country.
Basically it is a bunch of guys and girls – usually TV personalities, stand up comedians and actors – sitting around and talking about some kind of subject, following some kind of loose TV game show format.
It was as I was looking for these shows that I discovered one of the best – and most idiosincratic – writer resources on the web.
It’s a show called QI (short for Quite Interesting) and it’s simply great. Continue reading


You’ll never make it

Today, on a friend’s Facebook profile, my friend Marina wrote a reply to my comment:

Anansi said “Anger gets shit done” but I guess spite is a great motivator too.

Yes it is.
The subject was those characters we often meet and have no compunction in telling us we’ll never make it. We can’t make it. Not worth the bother.
I’ve met people like this all my life.
Oh, mind you, I was pretty good at school – top marks in every subject but Maths.
But they told me I would not make it. Bad attitude, you see – reading strange books and not being “a good team player”. Continue reading


Other people’s pulps: Roco Vargas

I mentioned The Adventures of Roco Vargas as one of my influences in a post back in 2013, a post I closed saying I’d have to write something about the series.
Well, better late than never, right?

Spanish comic book artist Daniel Torres started writing Roco Vargas in 1983. A specialist in “retrofuturist” settings and stories, Torres referenced streamlined design, Bell Geddes architecture and 1940s-1950s style in his stories.


Roco Vargas, the star of the eponymous series, is a science fiction writer, night-club owner, former space pilot and ladies’ man based in the city of Puerto Bahia. Modeled on classic pulp adventurers, Vargas has a mysterious past, snippets of which we discover throughout the series: he was part of a team of science adventurers, together with Saxxon and Panama Kid, working for professor Kowalski, and they were known as the Space Kids. Continue reading

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Raygun Gothic

So, I did a piece about Raygun Gothic for my Italian blog – why not do another here for Karavansara?

Now, I am not too hot on tags and labels and subgenres.
All the various “-punks” that came after cyberpunksteampunk, dieselpunk, atompunk
OK, they can make itr easier to find a book on a shelf, and make for great parlor games, but obsessing about such stuff is dangerous.

So, if dieselpunk is just pulp misspelled, then raygun gothic is basically atompunk without the rust. Continue reading


Back from the con (and two-fisted art!)

So we (my brother and me, that is) went to the Casale Comics & Games convention, and it was a lot of fun.
Really a lot of fun.
Let me tell you a little story, in order to share part of the fun with you.

We arrived at the wonderful Citadel of Casale, on Saturday morning, and we soon found out that, due to a technical glitch (Google as usual deciding that some mail is spam) Acheron Books did not have a table in the vendors area.
Ouch! Continue reading