Saturday, January 19, 2013

Detectives Beyond Borders tries some "Blood and Tacos"

Let's keep this pulp thing going a while longer, only with a twenty-first-century nod to a 1970s successors to pulp magazines.

I've just read Gary Phillips' "The Silencer," the first story in Blood & Tacos #1, and here's why I think I'll like this quarterly digest of short crime fiction,  whose fourth issue should be out soon:

  • Phillips' title character, a Vietnam veteran, used to run an auto-repair and customizing shop called Danang Drag Motor Specialists.
  • The "former petty street thug Ronnie Brownlee, who now went by Rahim Katanga."
  • Katanga's group, with its "Ministers of Praxis, MPs for short."
  • "Y'all say four kids went missing after they attended your propaganda class."

    "After school program, policeman," a tall MP emphasized. "We help them with their math and reading skills."
  • Any story that makes both a self-styled revolutionary group and The Wild, Wild West part of its literary arsenal has got lots going for it.
That sort of thing makes me wish I'd been around in the 1970s.

Wait a minute, I was around in the 1970s, and it's a hell of a lot of fun to see the era evoked even as a story pokes fun at its excesses and its self-seriousness. I like these guys' attitude.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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15 Comments:

Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

Why tacos?mWhen I read the title, I thought it might be pulp with a Mexican bent.

January 19, 2013  
Blogger Kelly Robinson said...

Hmmm, why the mysterious floating 'm' in my comment?

January 19, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Here's part of the preface to the first issue, from Johnny Shaw, who runs the magazine:

"Here's how it all began. I wrote a story inspired by 1970s men's action serial paperbacks titled— you guessed it—`Blood and Tacos.' I was going to write a blog about it and pass it off as a chapter of a book I found in my garage and then every once in a while "discover" new paperbacks. Not really a hoax, but an opportunity to write in a unique voice and have some fun."

Of course, that does not explain why he called his story "Blood and Tacos." But I promise to keep you posted if I find anything out as I read more.

January 19, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mmmm, I don't know.

January 19, 2013  
Blogger R.T. said...

The 70s was a forgettable decade. Rather, I wish I could remember most of what happened in the 70s. But the reasons for both of those sentences are better left without further comment.

WRT Blood and Tacos, are these stories written in the 70s or written now and set in the 70s? In either case, I am not sure I could bring myself to revisit that decade. So much would be familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. For the reasons behind that paradox, see the above comment.

January 20, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The stories are new but written in the style of men's adventure paperbacks of the 1970s. The conceit for all of them seems to be that each author invents an alter ego author of such books who purportedly wrote during the 1970s. It's gimmicky, but it seems to work so far.

January 20, 2013  
Blogger R.T. said...

Well, as the conceit for your blog is "beyond borders," I would respond by saying that I have put "borders" around the 70s, and I will not (and cannot) cross those borders again. Yeah, the 70s were so good, bad, and ugly for me that those "borders" are there for very good reasons. I cannot imagine reading stories that serve as reminders of bell-bottoms, disco, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and Love Story.

January 20, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've read just one of the stories so far, and it takes the piss out of that era quite nicely, I'd say. You just might enjoy it.

January 20, 2013  
OpenID erikarneson said...

I love B&T. All three issues published so far have featured some wildly entertaining stories. And they're available free at the B&T website for anyone who wants to sample before splurging on the 99-cent ebooks.

January 20, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It's always a pleasure to welcome a visitor from the great state of Pennsylvania.

I knew Blood and Tacos was available for cheap! but I didn't know free. And I'd already paid for Nos. 2 &3.

January 20, 2013  
Blogger Chris said...

I love it too, and that's not just because I have a story in #3. I loved the concept before I'd ever read a word, and Johnny Shaw, as the editor, is fantastic to deal with.

January 22, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

So, when does #4 see the light of day?

January 22, 2013  
Blogger Johnny Shaw said...

There's still a chance I'll get #4 done by February 1st. The lateness is entirely on me (new novel & current screenplay assignment take precedent). I have some editing to do, but most of it is finished. My wife (who paints all the covers) has painted a doozy for the new issue. So, the short answer is soon.

January 23, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kelly, the story that lent its name to the collection does indeed have a Mexican bent.

January 23, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Johnny: Good. I look forward to more. "World's Deadliest Mexican" is one of the better character sobriquets I have come across in my life.

January 23, 2013  

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