Pulp Ink by Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan, Editors

Pulp Ink by Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan, EditorsEdited by Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan, Pulp Ink is a blistering collection of 24 deliciously dark tales, each inspired by a song from the Pulp Fiction movie soundtrack. Murder and madness, sex and seduction, revenge and redemption, Pulp Ink has a little bit of everything going on. A few of my favorites:

“Requiem For A Spider” finds Reed Farrel Coleman’s well-known and much loved character Moe Prager roped into acting as combination backup/security blanket for an old friend at a meeting with a potential business partner…in the Russian Mafia. Proving that no good deed goes unpunished and people aren’t always who they seem to be, things go seriously sideways.

With their infant son in tow, Junior and his wife, Nina, travel the country in Matthew C. Funk’s “You Can Never Tell” systematically tracking down – and eliminating – all the old associates of Junior’s father in order to determine which one betrayed and killed him. Always one to push a story places you’re not quite expecting it to go, Funk takes the age-old concept of revenge and redemption and gives it a startling twist.

“Clouds in a Bunker” by David Cranmer finds the Spauldings in sad shape. His wife in full-blown dementia, WWI Veteran Ian decides to take her, hole up in their bomb shelter, and go out on their own terms when his own diagnosis of dementia threatens to tear the couple apart. Not convinced the old man is capable of actually causing harm to himself or his wife – he keeps interrupting negotiations to check the teakettle for goodness sake – the police find the situation more annoying than threatening. Cranmer gives both the police and the reader quite the eye-opener.

“A Corpse by Any Other Name” by Naomi Johnson. “I was wrong to think that if I just gave you an opportunity, you two could pull off a simple job without turning it into a fucking Keystone Kops movie.” Wickedly dark humor abounds in this cautionary tale of how deadly a combination WhitePages.com, MapQuest, and two criminals with IQs on the wrong side of the Bell Curve can be.

“Zed’s Dead, Baby” by Eric Beetner. What’s a well intentioned enforcer to do when he’s sent out on a little tune-up job only to find everyone keeps telling him the target, Zed, is dead? Convinced Zed’s putting one over on everyone, including him, the intrepid enforcer commandeers the “dead” Zed’s car and begins cutting a path of destruction through his known associates in effort to prove it.

“A Night At The Royale” by Chris F. Holm. “They should have known better than to talk during a movie.” Wonderfully understated, this one brings to life a fantasy I’m sure more than a few have played out in their minds regarding annoying people in theaters, as “the man in black” uses his special skills to educate two obnoxious patrons on proper movie viewing etiquette.

You’ll also find outstanding entries from other crime fiction heavy hitters, including Allan Guthrie, Hilary Davidson, Paul D. Brazill, AJ Hayes, Richard Godwin, Patti Abbott, Jason Duke, Ian Ayris, Chris Rhatigan, Nigel Bird and many others.

Pulp Ink is available from Needle Publishing on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords for $2.99.

Editor Nigel Bird was the winner of the Watery Grave Invitational Competition in 2010 and his story “Beat on the Brat” was nominated for the Best Story Online category in this year’s Spinetingler Awards. He is the author of Beat on the Brat (and other stories) and Dirty Old Town. Visit his website, Sea Minor. Co-editor Chris Rhatigan’s short fiction has appeared at The Flash Fiction Offensive and Shotgun Honey, among other places. You can catch Chris talking short fiction at his blog, Death by Killing.


  • AJ Hayes

    September 21, 2011 - 6:43 PM

    Thanks for the props Elizabeth. It’s a good collection. Chris and Nigel worked hard at it.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 23, 2011 - 3:15 PM

      It was my pleasure to read and review it. Not a clunker in the bunch, and it was very hard to limit myself to only spotlighting a few.

  • nigel

    September 21, 2011 - 4:13 AM

    Wouldn’t it be lovely. I think Boucheron is becoming a fantasy of mine that won’t go away, an itch that must be scratched (one day). I’d especially have liked to go this year for Crimespree Jon’s; he’s a big star in my books – as is the whole Jordan family.
    And it’s a lovely review, thanks. The ‘talking through the movie’ scene extends my own private fantasies from when I used to live on cinema seats as a kind of a movie migrant. Top stuff.


    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 21, 2011 - 10:57 AM

      Yes, the Jordans are definitely aces. As is Pulp Ink. 😉

  • Chris Rhatigan

    September 20, 2011 - 10:08 PM

    What a splendid review! Thank you so much Elizabeth.

  • Sabrina Ogden

    September 20, 2011 - 2:11 PM

    Excellent review, Elizabeth. I’m really looking forward to reading this. And you were highly spoken of often and truly missed at B’con!

    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 20, 2011 - 4:32 PM

      Ah, but was I “Elizabeth” or “Monkey” when talked about? 😉

  • Chris

    September 20, 2011 - 2:06 PM

    As ever, Elizabeth, you’re too kind. Thanks so much for the mention.

  • Naomi Johnson

    September 20, 2011 - 1:57 PM

    Agh! I missed you at B’con??? I am so sorry. Thank you for the kind words, and I hope I can rectify my lapse at a future B’con.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 20, 2011 - 4:31 PM

      Nope, you didn’t miss me. Wasn’t there, unfortunately. Maybe next year.

  • Patti Abbott

    September 20, 2011 - 1:23 PM

    Sorry I didn’t get to meet you at B’Con. I hear so many nice things about you.

    • Elizabeth A. White

      September 20, 2011 - 1:45 PM

      Ah, then the bribes are paying off. 😛 Seriously though, thank you. I certainly hope to get to one in the future to meet all the great people in the crime fiction community, like you. 🙂

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