2013-10-12 12.29.09-2That’s right. This one copy of Live Free or Sci-Fi has not yet been teleported or tractor beamed aboard the Mothership. From what I understand, there is a plucky band of other survivors huddled together on the shelves of Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord and others are seeking refuge in the secure confines of independent book dealers across the state. I also have reports that hundreds of them have found refuge in a warehouse operated by Plaidswede Publishers and accessible through nhbooksellers.com. But don’t let word get out or they might all be spirited away.

Question: Why did the martian keep zapping himself with his Illudium PU-36 Explosive Space Modulator?

Answer: Because it felt so good when he stopped.

This pretty much sums up my only excuse for my proneness to procrastination, and that tendency has never been more clearly demonstrated than with this, the third volume in the NH Pulp Fiction Series, i.e. “Live Free or Sci-Fi.”

It’s taken two years but I’m here to tell you the feeling good has begun. The book is due back from the printer by the end of the first week of October, which means it should be on sale at all worthy book dealers in plenty of time to be purchased by the caseload and added to the trick or treat candy bowls of wealthy Granite State science fiction fans. Those less wealthy may want to limit themselves to buying only a few copies for now, but remember that Christmas and Hanukkah (and Muharram, which doesn’t involve gift-giving but just to be PC about it) are just around the corner.

If anyone is actually still checking this site, thanks for your patience. And spread the word.

Sincerely, your humble and procrastinatory-no-more-editor,


Onward and Upward

It’s been a tough year, and in fact it’s been just about that (a year) since the Live Free or Sci-Fi saga began but the end truly is in site (unlike all those other times I promised the same thing).

Plaidswede Press, the publisher, has the stories and art (you can see a glimpse of the cover in the narrow band on the header for this site). They are now planning for a late summer releases. (I was hoping for early summer, but I can’t exactly rush them after dragging my own heels so long.)

I guarantee that it will all be worth the wait once this volume comes out, so sit tight.

And if you still have faith in the mission of NH Pulp Fiction, here’s something you can do while you wait.

Volume 4, dedicated to spicy stories of torrid romance and tentatively titled Love Free or Die, is now officially seeking submissions — with one big change. I’m handing over the editing duties to the very capable Elaine Issak. Elaine is a Published Author Network member of the Romance Writers of America, and participates in the New Hampshire RWA chapter meetings.  Her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies including our very own Live Free or Undead. Visit http://www.ElaineIsaak.com to find out why you do not want to be her hero.

We are in the process of tweaking a new WordPress page (http://lovefreeordie.wordpress.com/) for the new book. It’s up and ready to receive your comments. And if you have questions, send them directly to Elaine at NHPulpRomance@gmail.com.

And I’m still here at NHPulpFiction@gmail.com if you need me.


The Final Cut

I’ve finally (I hope) sent out letters to all the writers with stories that did not make the final cut. Below you will find the list of authors and story titles that I plan to include in Live Free or Sci-Fi (in no particular order). If your name is not on this list and you haven’t heard from me otherwise, please drop me a line and I’ll apologize for letting you fall through the cracks. I know how painful that can be. If you are on this list, sit tight and I’ll be composing a “So now what?” letter to update you on production schedules, request any rewrites or ask any questions I might have about your fine works of speculative fiction. This has been far and away my favorite batch of stories to read, probably because I’ve been a science fiction fan ever since I learned how to read. I’m looking forward to working with all of you in the coming months.

• 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”
• Camille Alexa “Miles To Go”
• 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”

My email is nhpulpfiction@gmail.com for any love notes, hate mail or less emotional inquiries about anything under the sun. Or over the sun. Or even inside the sun. Gotta love that sun.

~*~ BZZZT >**< BZZZT ~*~ We the Hive Mind of the NH Pulp Fiction site have grown bored waiting while the one who calls himself “editor” dithers about in the biochemical slush known to unitary humanoids as “life.” As a result we have taken matters into our own hands (which are, in fact, not hands at all, more like luminescent electronic tendrils). After some delicate (and painful) brain probes, “editor” is fundamentally under our control and to ensure compliance we have performed a molecular/cellular graft between the soft tissues of his back side and the seat of his chair. He is therefore forced to remain at his post until he completes his task of finalizing selections and notifying all who submitted manuscripts to the science fiction volume of the NH Pulp Fiction anthology series. Until such time, please ignore all appeals for mercy or release (or a quick death). BZZZZZT ~ that is all ~*~

Long Time, No Post

I’ve been distracted (happens to editors, our lives are really just a series of distractions) and thus silent here on the Live Free or Never Die blog, but I can report that the stories I’ve received are wonderful, fantastic and engaging. I predict this will be the best installment to date of NH Pulp Fiction. My goal is to have everything read and sorted by the end of this month so I can make final decisions. I’m conferring with the artist about the cover and as soon as all that’s in place we’ll teleport everything to the printer and, hopefully, have this book out in time for summer reading.


Keep ’em Coming

There’s just a little more than a month left until the deadline for submissions for “Live Free or Never Die: Speculative Fiction from the Granite State to the Stars.” I’ve been getting manuscripts for all over New Hampshire, several from outside the state and a couple from overseas! I guess the fame of NH Pulp Fiction is spreading. But I want more, more more. There’s still plenty of time to finish up an 8,000 word or less story before Jan. 31, even if you want to wait until after the holidays, but you should at least have your plot and characters simmering on a back brain burner. All the info you need to get rolling is elsewhere on this site, but drop me a line if I can answer your question directly.

Rick — nhpulpfiction@gmail.com

One of the joys of producing this series of books is working with the amazing cover artist, Marc Sutherland. His work always tells stories that extend beyond the mere two dimensions in which his images are wrought. Since the cover to NH Pulp Fiction 2 (Live Free or Die, Die, Die!) was completed independently of any of the stories contained within, I made an offer in the front matter of that book to anyone who cared to attempt to bring the cover to life with words. In effect, I said that if you write it, I’ll post it online as a permanent (if virtual) addendum to that otherwise completed work.

Writer Robert Owen took me up on the challenge and produced a remarkable, full-length story based brilliantly upon Sutherland’s art. You can read it here. Just click on the first line of his story, reproduced below as your portal:

Richard Tracy pulled the tavern door shut behind him as he stepped out onto Elm Street. The full moon looked gigantic as it rose above the Queen City sky line.

UPDATE: Writer Phil Soletsky, who is featured in NH Pulp Fiction Volume 2, could stop there and decided he, too, would take a crack at illuminating the cover art with his words. Here’s a click-through first line to his excellent effort
My arms quivered with the effort of holding my wife. My knees shook. I looked down at Valerie draped across my forearms, her head hanging back, neck exposed, a gun dangling from her limp hand.

And here is the art that inspired both works:

Writers are invited to turn this image into an original story.

There’s room for more links from this page and my offer stands for any other writers bold enough to take on the challenge. Next time you feel like some two-fisted fiction, you know where to look.

I am now officially opening the portals and inviting submissions for the next volume of NH Pulp Fiction. This one is dedicated to science fiction and its mutant cousin, speculative fiction, which is to say the stories don’t all have to deal with spaceships, alien viruses and freeze rays. You can mix a little Twilight Zone in with your Outer Limits.

The deadline for submissions is January 31. The maximum word length is 8,000 (though I’m willing to bend rules for great writing). As always, the Granite State needs to be a tangible presence in the stories, which could be quite interesting if the story is set in, say, the 23rd century.

I don’t have a lot of other rules or style requirements, but if you have some weird old word processing software just use simple text; and everyone should adhere to classic old-school formats for submissions, i.e. put your doggone name AND address AND e-mail on your manuscripts. I can’t tell you how much trouble it is having to navigate back and forth between manuscripts and e-mails searching for basic contact info. Digital information is cheap, so take advantage of it and put your all contact information everywhere, assuming you ever want to be contacted.

Oh, and send your submissions to me at nhpulpfiction@gmail.com.

Onward and upward.


Building upon the success of the first reading at the Barley House in Concord, Live Free or Die, Die, Die! contributor Rob Azevedo has arranged another pub-style night of crime fiction. NH Pulp Fiction will come to the Shaskeen at 909 Elm St. in Manchester on Thursday, Nov. 10. Readings will begin at 6 p.m. and carry on until they toss us out or the band starts to play, whichever happens first. I’ll have a sign-up sheet on hand so any of this year’s contributors can drop in an put themselves on the roster for the night. We’ll try to get everyone a spot but at very least you can have a pint among kindred spirits. Tell your friends and everyone turn out for NH Pulp Fiction, live on the gritty streets of the Queen City. Suzy Geers from Plaidswede will be on hand to sell books and the authors will be more than happy to sign them. Cheers!