Friday, January 1, 2016

Ideas Like Bullets -- The Legend Speaketh...


First, an Ideas Like Bullets Happy New Year to One and All!

Usually, my comment on years as they pass about every 365 days or so, is that the one we’re leaving was ‘interesting’ and the one we are going into is ‘full of hope.’  This year is a bit different for me.  2015…sucked. It was not just bad, did not simply have some ups and downs, it was perhaps the worst year I’ve ever experienced on several levels.  And 2016? I won’t put the burden of ‘hope’ on it, because it really doesn’t have to work hard to be better than its predecessor.  We’re only a few hours in and it’s already leaps and bounds over the entire last 12 months.

Let me explain.  My health, though in decline for a little more than two years now, took a real nosedive in 2015, particularly right around my Birthday in June when I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure.  And not just a ‘Oh, We can fix this easily’ sort but more of a ‘What You have is rare and You could die at any minute, so we need to fix things’ thing.  Then, my father passed suddenly in July, a month to the day I was diagnosed. 

Now, let me say, the grief has passed, as much as it does.  And I’ve had surgery and finally am feeling very much as I once felt, so healthy and back to the top of m y game, most likely.  But, in the midst of all that, something wonderful did happen.  And that’s what this column is really about.

Being the sort of businessman I am, I let those I work with through Pro Se and other companies know what was going on with me as soon as possible in June.  Of course, I was inundated with well wishes, statements of prayer and good vibrations, all of which were greatly appreciated.  I also received another email.  Ron Fortier, one of the partners in Airship 27 Productions and a fellow writer and editor and friend, emailed me saying that Jaime Ramos, a writer who works with both Ron and myself, had contacted Ron and his partner Rob Davis about doing something for me, some sort of benefit.  Ron and Rob jumped right on it and began recruiting writers and artists for a benefit book to help my family with some of the medical costs.

That book debuted just before Christmas.  With 60 plus writers, 30 plus artists, a few editors such, bringing the grand total of people involved in LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION, the title of this tome, to over 100.  And all of them not getting a friggin’ farthin’ out of it.  Not only that, but I was invited to submit a story to this aptly named volume, which was also a great honor.

I simply cannot, and have tried a few dozen times, explain what this action, what this book, what these people mean to me.  I am touched to the depths of my soul and tears and joy bubble up each time I think about what went into this book. What all these people, most who I have never met, not even online, did for me.  Thank You. Thank You all.

If you want to see the best in Genre Fiction, then get Your copy of LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION at Amazon today, either in print or digital.  I was also asked to write the introduction for the book, which is presented below.  Again, thank You and Happy New Year.

ANSWERING THE QUESTION FOR THE LAST TIME
An Introduction by Tommy Hancock

Being a writer and a Publisher of New Pulp, there is a question I am often asked.  Sometimes it is simply put forward as a polite query.  In other situations, it’s been almost put forth as a dare, egging me on to state an opinion someone can argue with.  Regardless, it is a question that still comes up on a regular basis and this collection is finally the answer to this recurrent interrogatory.

What is New Pulp?

Now, normally I answer it with a pretty pat definition that I and around 40 other writers mostly agreed on a few years ago.  But to me, personally, as a fan of Pulp of all types, there’s a simpler answer.

New Pulp is about Heroes.  Larger than life figures that go above and beyond the call of duty and many times go just as far beyond their own comfort zone.  People who see a problem and instead of debating a solution or whose responsibility it is, they pull together and attack it, individually and as a team when a cross over event is necessary.  Men and women of unique talents, both skilled in the specific and masters of the general enough to know a bit about everything and put it to use.  Beings that can create entire worlds, even universes with just a thought and a little work.  That is New Pulp.

And I’m not talking about the characters in the stories you’re about to read. I am speaking of the writers and artists who make up what is considered New Pulp today, a massive number of them being represented in this book.  A book put together…for me.

I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure on June 8, 2015.  Now, although CHF is not completely uncommon in this day and age, the reason for mine is a bit different.  The nerves that feed my heart electricity are essentially dead and any power that was getting to my heart was just purely accidental. This means that my heart was not only pumping out of rhythm, but it was working harder than it should have to and, like any muscle, it grew bigger the harder it worked.

If you know me, then you may realize how devastating this was for me.  Not simply the diagnosis, but the fact that the months, nearly year and a half before that I’d felt awful and couldn’t understand completely why completely disrupted my usually pattern of being me.  And to finally have a name on it, to know what it was and to hear a plan on how to fix it, that was both depressing and hopeful. 

Because of my responsibilities as a New Pulp writer and publisher, I came home from the hospital in June and wrote a letter to the multitude of writers, artists, and publishers I work with and for, simply explaining what I had learned and what the next few months might hold.  I received many more emails and well wishes than I thought I would and was touched by each one of them.  What happened, though, that I in no way predicted and that completely floored me was the discussion and immediate commencement of a benefit book.  For me, for my family, to help with medical costs and other needs.  And that is the book you’re now holding.

This collection, beyond being something that I am most thankful for and truly have no words to properly address how I feel, is potentially the penultimate gathering of the best creators New Pulp has to offer.  Stories ranging across the Genre spectrum, each accompanied with an illustration by the top artists today, all beautifully packaged within a cover by the legendary Doug Klauba.  Even if this were just another book, not a benefit, it would not be just any other book.  And the fact that this terrific assembly of imaginations came together for me…truly does leave me speechless.

I thank each and every author and artist involved from the bottom of my now better functioning heart, surgery having been completed in late September.   A special thanks goes out to Jaime Ramos, the originator of the idea, and Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 Productions, who took Jaime’s concept and molded it over months, gave their time and effort just like every author and artist in this book did, to make this anthology the best representation of New Pulp possible.

You want to know what New Pulp is?  You’re holding it in your hands right now.

Tommy Hancock
October 20, 2015