I’ve got another interview up, this time with New Pulp thanks to my buddy and fellow author, Hank Brown. This time we discussed genre fiction, both old and new, in regards to military fiction and how it is effected and evolving due to technology such as e-readers but also because of the times we live in:
HANK: Some are quick to point out that in fiction like ours, it’s all about the action. The firefights and exploding cars make or break the book, according to this logic, so why even bother with so much research and controversial backstory, anyway? After all, the reader just wants to escape, right?
JACK: Reality-based fiction can turn off some readers. I acknowledge that a certain segment of readers are simply looking for entertainment or escapism but I think most readers are looking for more. I try to respect the intelligence of my readers and write for them accordingly. Today readers are much better informed about Special Operations Forces. They know which side of an M16 has a forward assist on it; they know that Glocks don’t have thumb safeties. With the ongoing War on Terror I don’t think there has ever been so much interest in Special Operations. People are curious about the men, the mission, and of course all the “cool guy” go-to-war gear. Understanding this, you can’t really get away with all that Steven Seagal ninja stuff these days (except in parody or satire) and that’s fine with me since I’m not interested in writing that type of material.
I think this is the most interesting interview I’ve done so far, thanks to Hank asking some thought provoking questions. Read the rest over at New Pulp!
Filed under News, Writing
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Hatchet Force Journal is a new, and all to rare, voice in the world of action-adventure. I just finished my copy last night and I can say that it is certainly worth an hour or two of your time for fans of action flicks and pulp fiction novels.
The first quarter of issue one is taken up by an introduction to the new journal and the genre. Some very well written essays appear on the topic of “New Pulp” as well as providing a chronological history as to how pulp fiction has gotten to this point. Jack Badelaire also gives us a hint as to what we are in store for in future issues and where this genre is heading as a whole with the advent of electronic book readers.
My favorite part of this issue was the interview with Mack Maloney, the author of “The Pirate Hunters”. He goes in depth into the publishing industry, his career as a writer, and talks about the genesis of the books he has written. I’ve never read Maloney’s books but now I’m going to have to track a few of them down. That’s the fun in a publication like this, discovering something new and interesting.
Several well written reviews of 80’s pulp material like Mack Bolan spin off, Able Team and The Penetrator (No, seriously…) are also available, not to mention a good run down on The Hof’s humble beginnings as Knight Rider. Also included is a very articulate film review of “Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia”.
Last but not least is a good chunk from Hank Brown’s novel, “Hell and Gone”, a worthy inclusion that I hope brings this under rated book some more attention. Overall, Issue One is a solid effort and much more worthy of periodical reader’s time than what is frequently available on physical news stands. The genre intro went on a little longer than necessary, I mean, if you are reading this e-magazine you probably already know about pulps, but it gives great promise of things to come. I would recommend Hatchet Force to any fan of the genre, it is equally pleasing to those looking to recapture some nostalgia as it is to those looking for new contemporary works.
“We are entering an entirely unique period of history, one unlike any era of the past. In the near future power will be drawn from new centers of gravity, the very idea of the state quickly becoming obsolete. Old mechanisms, old systems of vertical integration give way to non-state actors. I am speaking of a complete shift in paradigm not just in the political and economic arenas but a shift in social dynamics as well. This will be a shift in energy itself. Complete deinstitutionalization will take place in the coming decades. As the state bleeds credibility and legitimacy the new centers of population will turn towards the multi-national corporate conglomeration, the guerrilla organization, the terrorist group, the privatized army, or other free agents. Crime and war will blur. Citizen and soldier alike will be thrown into direct competition with every single human being on the planet.
“While the old paradigm will persist deeper into this century, it will become increasingly irrelevant. The old powers still attempt to shape the geo-political landscape but this new energy will outpace any monopoly on state violence. While the global south continues to construct federations to stand against western influence a new type of undeclared global insurgency will rise in the place of these old powers.”
Jarogniew looked up from the podium. The participants seated around the stage were hanging on his every word, large eyes searching for insight from the world’s mapmaker.
Jean-Francois rolled the dice and lost, the two hundred round belt having been exhausted by him holding down the PKM’s trigger leaving him with nothing but a smoking barrel.
The J-10 closed in.
Cannon fire spat from the aircraft, large caliber rounds tearing up the ground and headed straight for him. The former legionnaire winced a moment before the anti-aircraft rocket smashed into the side of the fighter jet.
The impact fuse on the missile detonated the fragmentation warhead lighting up the J-10’s reserve fuel tank and separating one of the wings sending the rest of the jet into a out of control spin. Separate streams of fire flashed out in the night sky as the wreckage crashed into a hill behind the UWSA compound.
The second J-10 coming in behind tried to pull up, the pilot having seen what happened to his partner. He popped chaff just a moment to late as a second HN-5 missile snaked right up the jet’s tailpipe and exploded, blowing the aircraft out of the sky.
With the back end taken out the aircraft folded on itself, wings blazing, the fuselage engulfed in flames. The pilot never had the chance to eject as the enormous g-forces hurled him back and forth before the entire jet separated and fell to the jungle below like miniature meteorites.
JF set the machine gun down, remembering to breath.
Turning from the scene, one of the supposedly dead Burmese suddenly launched at Korgan, the triangular shaped bayonet under the AK-47 narrowly missing his abdomen as the Sergeant Major twisted at the hips to avoid it. Undeterred the militia man sprang on the Kazakh pushing him into a nearby table, metal tools rolling off the edge and paper schematics flying into the air.
Momentarily stunned Korgan lost his grip of the fore guard of his rifle. Seeing an opportunity, the Burmese decided to grab at his AK and wrestle him for it, his own apparently out of ammunition or jammed. Reaching out with his weak hand Korgan grasped something on the table and swung it as hard as he could.
The solid steel billet caught the UWSA gunmen just above the eyebrow splitting the skin. The militiaman collapsed to the cement floor like a empty coat, dead from a fractured skull. Korgan looked at the billet in his hand, blood and skin coating the corner of it.
Shrugging his shoulders the squad looked on with nervous laughs.
Tossing the billet aside, it struck the ground just as the factory’s windows imploded sending triangular shaped pieces of glass everywhere under a torrent of gunfire.
“What do you do different?”
“I keep my money in banks. The right banks,” he replied exhaling a cloud of smoke.
“You give the bankers a cut for laundering your cartel’s money.”
“Of course, this is how it has always worked. Haven’t you ever wondered why some cartels in Mexico get a free pass while others have the entire Mexican army deployed against them? Unlike in the US the border is tightly controlled on the Mexican side to protect the corridors. It is much the same for us. If you know you’re place you will be allowed to operate. This is the price of doing business.”
It was a long shot but with the information Deckard had given him and what he had uncovered on his own Adam intended to follow the money.
“What are the right banks?”
“The gringo kind,” Edwardo laughed.
Offering his hand Kurt helped the next Kazakh up the slope preventing him from sliding back down. Grabbing him by the belt the German’s bicep flared as he lifted and flung him onto the embankment. The Kazakh stood up dusting himself off when the hand of god seemed to swat the mercenary right out of the air, literally tearing him to pieces.
With his face now splattered with his comrade’s blood Kurt rolled out of the way as large caliber rounds tore apart the ground he had occupied a fraction of a second before, churning up a cloud of dust in their wake.
The noise was deafening, the twin barrels chewing apart everything in their line of fire. What had become sporadic PKM bursts now ceased completely, the assault’s momentum now lost.
Shifting his weight Deckard reached out, grabbing the Makarov by the slide and pushing it to one side as he pounded another blow into the man’s face. The terrorist was stunned but refused to go down. Reaching under the palm of his gun hand and grabbing the grip of the pistol he twisted the Russian made handgun out of his grasp, breaking his trigger finger in the process.
Sputtering blood from between his lips the man lashed out with a weak side hay maker that missed Deckard by a mile. Reaching for the steak knife tucked into his belt under his shirt the former Special Operations soldier yanked it free.
Chapter five and six kick off soon with a afghan campaign
Looking up from the brochure Deckard found himself looking at a Iveco Light Multirole Vehicle modified by a third party, a UK based company, as an assault vehicle. He seen the standard model which was built on the same frame as the Zubr but was instantly impressed by the assault variant.
It didn’t float like the VBL but did damn near everything else. It featured armor plating and a V hull like the Zubr and had a operational range of five hundred kilometers. Scrutinizing further he saw that run flat tires and the winch came standard. It also had a gun ring for a machine gun or grenade launcher but what interested him the most was the assault variant package he was currently looking at.
The back of the vehicle had been lopped off and in its place were eight seats sitting back to back, four on each side behind the gun ring where assaulters sat facing out. Arriving on the objective they would simply push off their seats and onto the ground. While in transit they could return fire with their rifles or make use of several pivot mounts to place light machine guns on.
“I want one,” Deckard said smiling. “Actually, I want sixty.”
Update: Chapter four in the works. Five and six are written and should be edited fairly soon after I get four uploaded.
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The Serb sneered at Deckard, clearly the conversation was not going as he had expected.
Now he also understood his irrational argument for the Bulgaria deal. He could only be this passionate about such a non-issue if he was getting kickbacks from the manufacturer.
“You had better watch yourself,” Serbedzija said turning on his heel and skulking off.
He knew the Corporate offices would never let him fire the Serb, he was clearly a plant put inside Samruk by the old men at the Grove to keep tabs on Deckard and what he was up to.
No, he couldn’t fire him, but he could sure as hell arrange a friendly fire incident.