The inaugural issue of Dark Corners begins with an introduction that makes it clear that all genres are welcome as everything and anything goes in this pulp fiction reading fest. Along with fiction that goes anywhere and is often a bit surreal, there are interviews, reviews, and essays on various topics. That introduction by CT McNeely is followed by additional introductions by Emily J. McNeely and Steve Gallagher before one finally gets to the stories.
In “Company Man” by Tom Pitts, Jerry does not believe he is a serial killer. Rico would disagree and does though he does not push it as one does not push Jerry where he is gearing up for a job. All Rico wants to do is point out the guy to Jerry and be done with it, but that isn’t going to be nearly enough.
Cameron knew the creative writing instructor had to die “Short and Choppy” by Will Viharo. It wasn’t just because Sean, the writing instructor, is a condescending prick who wrote crap, got famous, and now gets paid to look down at everyone else literally and figuratively that makes the mistake of taking his class. But, that is one very good reason. There are several more.
Bump hasn’t been around Kristos very long so he didn’t know what to expect. The last couple of hours have been a real criminal education in “Columbus Day” by Alec Cizak.
Telling you parents about your addiction and rehab is tough. At least they seem supportive once the shock wears off in “Domestic Tableau” by Warren Moore.
Fiction quickly becomes reality in “The Husband Killers” by Deborah Lacy. Lilly Forrester did the actual writing, but because of the way the book came about is forced to share credit. Three authors were involved in the collaborative effort that is about to become all too real.
It is 1955 in “Cold War Cowboy” by Jenean McBrearty. Carol Simmons is real trouble and Mike had no idea the kind of ride she had in mind once they get to California.
Somebody keeps nailing dead critters to the apartment door in “Another Night in the Life of the Lonely” by Angel Luis Colón. The person hanging them on his door is probably not the old biddy downstairs who keeps calling noise complaints while Ian is at work.
When Kayla was born, things seemed to be good for Norman and his wife. When they go bad, they go very bad in “Don’t Call Me Daughter” by Thomas Kearnes.
It is very cold in Pittsburgh as “The Men in the Room” by Michael McGlade begins. Isabelle Shaw has agreed to meet Jacob Weitz in the downtown diner to hear what he has to say. He already hasn’t been doing what she told him to do to stay safe. Yet another guy who won’t listen. She meets a lot of them in her time of work.
Seven years later Collins didn’t recognize Ellen or Parker at first. “This Business of Revenge” by Joseph Goodrich explains what happens next in the Texas heat.
He had a damn good reason to stab his wife in “Adele” by Vito Racanelli. Frank Sommers is a NYPD officer in the NYPD in the 76th folks are inclined to believe the story he tells. Things are far more complicated then what he tells investigators.
These days the Baltic in downtown Vancouver is long past its prime. Ellen Teague runs the place and called in Mr. Wakeland to talk to one of the tenants in “Next to Nothing” by Sean Wiebe. Wakeland is a private detective who once knew Mr. Jacks’ son and by extension knew Mr. Jacks. Teague would much rather Wakeland handle whatever problem is going on rather than the police as they can create other issues.
Rona messes with him in every way possible in “No Rest for the Wicked” by Scott Grand. Estelle is also a problem. The man in black has a solution for everything.
“Voice of God” by Andrew Hilbert comes next where the urge to kill just keeps getting stronger. That urge begins with a bird and Geni and her husband are forever changed.
The guys have a long standing tradition on the wedding night. The one known to all as Thumper should have known what was up in “The Nantahala Kidnapping” by Gary L. Robbe. Maybe he did remember and thought it didn’t matter anymore as he doesn’t want to be called Thumper either. For a smart guy he just doesn’t get it and that is too damn bad.
John Jersey is always in the break room at 10:30 at night before his shift begins at 11. His dietary habits are just one of the issues at play in “Milk and Turpentine” by Chuck Regan.
Harper is very neurotic in “Off, Park and Up” by Martin Zeigler. His behavior is really screwing up plans for movie day.
How much it cost is calculable in “And We Bestowed Upon it The Name of Vengeance” by Ryan Sayles. It is clear the cost was huge for the volunteer and the scientists.
Clint and Cole were broke in “Pig’s Eye” by Mark Rapacz. It was a bad plan hatched by way too much alcohol and far too much desperation. Clint is lucky to be alive afterwards.
The bank has been robbed and Sheriff Henderson has a plan and urges all to be calm. He might not be so calm if he knew what really has happened in “Horse Sense” by Bruce Harris.
A man has died on the assembly line in “Witch’s Hat Trick” by William E. Wallace. Safety Officer Yuri Kuznetsov needs to make sure because just maybe he is still alive. Yuri has a gift, but it is one that can also make his life very complicated.
Part one of a novella titled “The Burning Lungs of Avalloch: A Fist and Planet Novella” by CT McNeely comes next. Logan Pike is far from home or anything he recognizes. The only thing he knows for sure is that he is no longer in California. When he intervenes in an altercation he soon makes himself an enemy of powerful local who seems to be in charge on everything and everyone. Logan Pike is a stranger in a strange land and has no idea who to trust.
Nate Gelder once was a wizard to be reckoned with in “The Wizard of Odds” by Joe Kraus. His power has weakened. Now he has made a possibly fatal mistake.
Father Pablo Martinez has been watching the lone rider approaching on horseback for almost a half an hour. Nobody comes to the old Spanish mission without making a serious effort. That is what bought Martinez there years ago in “Pups and Hounds” by Chris Leek.
The stories are followed by an interview with Chris Leek that concentrates in large part on his book Gospel of the Bullet. That leads into a review of the book by CT McNeely.
That leads into an essay on Zelmer Pulp which is a collection that includes some authors in this premier issue of Dark Corners. CT McNeeely charts the history of Zelmer Pulp and details the backgrounds of those involved.
That is followed by an interview with Mark Rapacz. Tongue-Cat Ninja is a major subject of the interview before being reviewed by CT McNeely. That leads into Ct McNeely’s reviews of Buffalo Bill in the Gallery of the Machines as well as City Kaiju both by Mark Rapacz.
Chris Rhatigan comes next with a reflective piece in “My History in the Crime Fiction Scene.”
CT McNeely is up next with a piece of “Will Viharo: Unsung Hero of the Pulps.” McNeely gives some of the background on the author who contributed “Short and Choppy” to this issue.
CT McNeely then reviews Broken Glass Waltzes by Warren Moore as well as The Last of the Independents by Sam Wiebe.
Greg Barth reviews The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. McDonald.
Dyer Wilk reviews “The Executioners” by John D. McDonald.
Short bios of the contributors bring the issue to a close. Filled with interesting and, at times, surreal stories that cross genre lines, reviews, interviews, and quite a lot more, the first issue of Dark Corners is a pot luck pulp fest. Graphic at times in terms of language and descriptions, it certainly isn’t something for all readers. If you like your tales with a bit of an edge and prefer them not to fit inside easily labeled categories, this 272 page zine might be the one for you.
Dark Corners, Volume 1, Issue 1 (Dark Corners Pulp Magazine)
Edited by CT McNeely, Emily J. McNeely and Steve Gallagher
E-Book (also available in print)
I picked this up back in August to read and review using funds in my Amazon Associate account.
Kevin R. Tipple ©2015