Gary Budgen on Alchemy Press book of Pulp Heroes 3

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A week in New Prague City. On Monday a man robbed a bank using a jet pack to escape. Tuesday a woman’s necklace was stolen by someone dressed as a rat. I hate masked crazies for personal reasons, so on Wednesday it was a relief to get something – if not routine – at least by a perp we were used to. Although Kid Kafka hadn’t pulled one of these for a while.

Gary Budgen’s contribution to Pulp Heroes 3 is masked adventurer story “Kid Kafka and Doctor Pulp.” Under torture, he agreed to answer the most probing and intimate questions.

Writing is a notoriously solitary business. What keeps you at it? The fame that constantly eludes you? Getting a lie in mornings? The rubber?

It’s more of a compulsion than a choice for me. Something I just couldn’t choose not to do. Oh and the fame that constantly eludes me.

What was it that inspired “Kid Kafka and Doctor Pulp”?ph3

The covers of old Black Mask magazines, Maxwell Grant’s The Shadow and, of course, Kafka. Kafka is always there somewhere.

There seems to have been a shift in appreciation of Pulp Fiction. There is the so called New Pulp, but did Old Pulp ever really go away?

Well Pulp was a pejorative term once but I’ve always found it fascinating. I remember reading Steranko’s History of Comics as a kid and the first chapter is all about the Pulps. A dark fascinating world; and that’s always there isn’t it?

What sort of fiction do you prefer to read? Which are your favourite TV shows and movies?

I try not to stick to a type. I like slipstream, fantasy and science fiction but don’t read exclusively in those genres. It’s more that I have a mental chain of books stretching into the future but I can only see the next few books ahead as one leads to another. TV shows? I loved Sapphire and Steel and recently re-watched it; still fantastic. Films? I’m a lot more easily pleased with films than with fiction, something about the power of the medium I suppose, the power of visual imagery. I like Dark City for that. Also like the films of Jan Švankmajer that I’ve seen.

What can you tell us about future projects?

There’s lots of short fiction coming out in the near future, and I’ve got details of that on my website. I have some recurring characters in my head at the moment but stories come as they come. I thought of bringing Brandy Corrigan back with some more stories about New Prague, but we’ll see.

Tell us something about yourself no one knows (don’t worry – no one is ever actually going to read this).

I once had to chop onions for six hours.


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