For those that don't know, Beat to a Pulp is the brainchild of David Cranmer, the blogger behind The Education of a Pulp Writer. Late in 2008, David launched Beat to a Pulp, an ezine devoted to stories and adventures you'd likely find in a pulp magazine back in the 30s. To date, most of the stories have been hard-boiled tales of crime or horror or westerns. My first published story, a western (go figure) was published at Beat to a Pulp in April. Science fiction hasn't had a big part--yet--mainly, I think, because not many folks have sent in stories. Many SF readers forget the genre's pulp origins. I've read very little pre-1950s SF, something I'm rectifying starting this summer. I have read the only SF story in the archives, Sandra Seamans' wonderful "Brother Justice."
That ends today.
Chad Eagleton's "Six Bullets for John Carter" is Beat to a Pulp's second SF tale and, man, I have to tell you, it's fantastic. The title alone should make all true SF die-hards rush to read it. Evoking one of the classic names in all of SF, "John Carter" is, at once, an homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs and a brand-new story looking forward.
I don't want to say much more because you really just have to read the story. I've lamented recently about the lack of short SF books on the market. Too often, the world building eats up huge chunks of a novel that, parceled out more judiciously, would make quicker, more enjoyable reads. Eagleton world-builds in just a short story. You really get the sense that there is a greater, wider universe where the events of this story take place. And it's got one of the greatest locales in all of SF: Mars.
Read this story. You won't be disappointed. And you SF writers out there: head on over to the Guidelines section of Beat to a Pulp and read up on what David would like. Send in some stories. Join in on one of the most exciting places for fiction on the Internet. Beat to a Pulp is now one of my weekly fixes. Make it one of yours, too.