Howdy, pardners. This stagecoach may have gone off the trail and wound up in a dry gulch for a spell, but by reverse engineering some alien technologies it looks like we can make the necessary repairs and get back on the road. You better hold on tight, though. We may encounter some turbulence between Concord, NH and the frontiers of your imagination.

Since we’ve stepped up the pace of the pulp fiction flow this year, co-editor Elaine Isaak and I have decided to extend the deadline until the end of February. We’ve had a lot of attention just recently and this will give any new writers who have just climbed aboard the NH Pulp Fiction bandwagon (or, in this case, stagecoach) enough time to conceive their own Granite State Western. This also gives you slow pokes who have been just sitting around the campfire whittling on your pencils a little more time to start spinning your yarns. But don’t let the cry of the lonesome coyote lull you to sleep. Get those stories in to livefreeorridefiction@gmail.com before Feb. 28 or you’ll be eating trail dust.

Reading Reminder

Live Free or Sci-Fi will be the featured book on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Littleton Village Book Store and Cafe at 81 Main St., Littleton. A handful of our pulp fiction authors will be reading there starting at 3 p.m. and there’s a contest for the best mask or headgear representing a Sci-Fi character (or theme).

The readers who will be there (along with Editor Rick Broussard) will be

Elaine Isaak reading from Merge
Clay Wirestone reading from First in the Galaxy
S.J. Cahill reading from Touchdown
Alex Caldwell reading from The Wormhole of Wilson, NH
Gregory Norris reading from The Moths

This is a wonderful roster of readers and stories. If you can make it, you should.

See you there.

WNTK Presents the Pulp

Just had a great interview with WNTK Talk Radio. Thanks Abby Peel! Forgot to mention the reading in Littleton at the Village Book Store and Cafe on January 12 at 3 p.m. so I encourage all WNTK listeners to check it out.

The excellent NH Public Radio program “Word of Mouth,” hosted by intergalactic priestess of cool Virginia Prescott, broadcast an interview today with the editor of the NH Pulp Fiction series talking about Live Free or Sci-Fi. No problem if you missed it, since they post the show online. Check it out at the friendly attached link.

Live Free or Sci-Fi will be the featured book on Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Littleton Village Book Store and Cafe at 81 Main St., Littleton. A handful of our pulp fiction authors will be reading there starting at 3 p.m.

Just to prove that quaint Littleton is not immune to the quest-into-the-unknown DIY mindset of pulp fiction, the store is planning a cool event to tie into the current volume:

“Getting into the sci-fi spirit, the Village Bookstore is running a contest: At least one complimentary, and signed, copy of the anthology will be awarded to the most creative–and original−sci-fi-inspired head gear or above-the-shoulder mask to be worn by a patron during this Sunday afternoon reading.”

So, start preparing your headgear and roll out your star charts. Littleton is a bit of a drive for those in the Southern tier, but as one who has made the trip many times with less incentive than this, I can tell you it’s worth it. I call it the Shangri La of NH. Once you get there you won’t want to leave.

*In the event of snow, this program will be scheduled for the following Sunday, January 19.

The Media Responds!

Here’s a great Concord Monitor story by Melanie Plenda on the NH Pulp Fiction series (particularly “Live Free or Sci-Fi”) with some great quotes from contributor Alex Caldwell. http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/9430125-95/pulp-fiction-rooted-in-nh-back-for-a-third-round

(This is actually a letter I just sent out to the many contributors to the NH Pulp Fiction Series. Being a lazy man, I’ve chosen to repurpose it as a blog post.)

Dear Diverse Hands,

The first reading of the third volume of the one and only New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series is scheduled for this coming Saturday (Nov. 23), 7 p.m. at Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 S. Main St. in Concord. This note is going out to anyone who is on my list and has been involved with the series, so even if you can’t make it or don’t know what I’m talking about, I want you to feel invited.

Here are the Live Free or Sci-Fi readers, so far:

David O’Keefe
Nathan Wyckoff
Steven Cahill
Clay Wirestone
Susan Nye
Alex Caldwell

Jim Kelly sent his regrets. He’s in NYC. Joyce Wagner is also out of reach and Suzanne Sykora, who wrote a fabulous piece for Live Free or Sci-Fi has the best excuse of all as she lives in Germany.

The six readers (did I miss anyone?) are probably plenty to fill our time and if the crowd is chanting for more I can read them some of my introduction which, like Vogon poetry, will make their ears bleed and have them lunging through the plate glass to escape. That’s what you call a finale.

By the way, there will be some kind of a write up on the latest book (and on the series) in the Concord Monitor on Thursday, so keep an eye out. Be sure to put it back, though. They squish if they roll on the floor and get stepped upon. Media coverage might bring us a few more earballs to delight, but the best way to ensure an audience for these readings is to bring one, so don’t forget to compel your significant other or your insignificant brother or some hapless bystander to join you.

See some of you there. Maybe the next reading will be in Hanover, Germany and we can all crash at Suzanne’s place afterwards.

With kindest regards from your humble and obedient editor,


Rick's SCI-FI coverC
I know, it’s not really that exciting, but the pulp fiction genre dictates putting an exclamation point at the end every title. On the other hand, it is handy to have an official statement to spread around. Feel free to cut and paste this and send it to your local paper or radio station or Patch. And remember to help promote the reading at Gibson’s on Nov. 23. at 7 p.m.

For Immediate Release: 11/16/13

For more information contact Rick Broussard: 603-491-4808 or visit http://www.nhpulpfiction.com

It’s Time to Live Free or Sci-Fi!

With a third volume now available and two more in the works, the New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series turning into a local publishing phenomenon. Readings for “Live Free or Sci-Fi” scheduled for Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord, Nov. 23.

What began several years ago as an offbeat idea to encourage local writers and to help preserve both the pulp fiction genres and the short story format in the 21st century has turned into a passion for local book company Plaidswede Publishing. The first in its “New Hampshire Pulp Fiction Series,” edited by New Hampshire Magazine’s Rick Broussard, was the aptly titled collection of horror stories, “Live Free or Undead,” featuring 20 writers, mostly from NH and mostly seeing themselves in print for the first time. A year later Broussard and Plaidswede teamed up again for a volume of mystery and murder fiction, all based in the Granite State, titled “Live Free or Die, Die, Die!”

The third volume, “Live Free or Sci-Fi,” available now in independent bookstores across the state and online from nhbooksellers.com, includes 23 tales of “mind bending speculative fiction taking readers from the Granite State to the stars” — so reads the colorful book jacket, which also features a psychedelic nightmare image of Market Square in Portsmouth apparently under cosmic attack by giant space fleas.

“I see this series as something of a legacy,” says publisher George Geers. “I created Plaidswede as a showcase for great local writing talent, and to have a series that both taps into that pool and also enlarges it, giving brand new writers a chance, well, I take a lot of pride in that.”

Broussard says the series is popular because, “… pulp fiction is really timeless. It speaks to the urge for fantasy and adventure in the human soul.” He says the idea of focusing the various genres of pulp literature on the people and places of New Hampshire came naturally to him. “I focus on the state for my day job,” says Broussard, “and I know it’s the perfect back lot for the imagination. We have virtually every kind of environment, natural and cultural, so close at hand. It’s fun to set writers loose in the state, give them some basic rules and let them go berserk.”

Two more volumes of NH Pulp Fiction are due out in 2014. “Love Free or Die,” an anthology of romance stories is scheduled for a February release, and “Live Free or Ride,” an anthology of all the pulp genres using the Concord Stage Coach as a common character, is planned for fall 2014.

Readings from the current volume are already on track for the coming months. The first chance to hear the authors of these flights of fancy through time, space, and New Hampshire read aloud from their own works is at Gibson’s Bookstore at 45 S. Main St. in Concord on Saturday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m.

Below is a list of authors and stories in the current book, which includes such notables as Brendan DuBois and Hugo Award-winning writer James Patrick Kelly.

• Geoffrey James “The Singularity”
• Chris Dahlen “We Are Ted Tuscadero For President”
• Brendan DuBois “Doing It Right”
• Clay Wirestone “First in the Galaxy”
• Sandra McDonald “End of the Road”
• Elaine Isaak “Merge”
• Jeffrey R. DeRego “Mighty”
• Joyce Wagner “Of Two Minds”
• James Patrick Kelly “Pogrom”
• Susan Nye “Northern Lights”
• Brian A. Dixon “The Rejuvenated Lojeski”
• Liz Penney “Blame it on the Aliens”
• Harold L. Drake “Ice Cream”
• Suzanne Sykora “Next Year in New Hampshire”
• Michael J. DeLuca “Starlings”
• Gregory L. Norris “The Moths”
• David O’Keefe “The Universal Solution”
• S.J.Cahill “Touchdown”
• Eric Pinder “The Time Machine Next Door”
• Tincan Caldwell “The Wormhole of Wilson, NH”
• Nathan Wyckoff “Island on the River”
• Rebecca Leeb “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”

Many have pondered the meaning of the opening lyrics to Devo’s “Whip It,” but I think it simply alludes to the well-known fact that the conservation of the vector of momentum that takes place in the final moments of the cracking of a leather whip results not only in a tiny sonic boom, but also a brief but powerful chronosynclastic infundibulum that launches the whipper precisely one nanosecond into the future.

Feel free to use this fact in your submissions for our next (and fifth) volume of NH Pulp Fiction, due out in Autumn 2014, to be titled “Live Free or Ride!”

Any series of pulp fiction genres has to at least give a nod to a Western theme. We struggled a bit with how to set NH Pulp Fiction in the Wild West and finally realized the vehicle for such a mash up was hidden in plain sight. The Concord Coach, made in Concord, NH, is as iconic as Gabby Hayes (though he preferred to hang around the chuck wagon) and it offers a moveable feast of opportunities for storytelling in any genre you can imagine.

I’m posting the guidelines to this new endeavor, but feel free to spread the word to any writer groups or newsletters you associate with.

And get crackin’