Big Pulp: Interrogate My Heart Instead by Bill Olver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As per usual for anthologies, a collection of my status updates:
“Interrogate my Heart Instead” – an interrogation in a fascist regime that goes to some interesting places because of its brevity and the look inside the interrogator’s head.
“What Blooms in Winter” – HOLY MOLY! Now, that’s a poem.
“Double Prints” – BAM. Raw, raw poetry!
“Tears in the River” – Some kind of deal with devil for guitar playing skills in the 40s in Germany. Very interesting tone, scenery, and characters.
“The Cinnamon Forest” – a very cute fairytale. Brought me back to my childhood days of hearing European fairytales.
“Gregory finds his way” – That was pretty trippy.
“Voice of the Witch” – Ha, a poem about Hansel and Gretel.
“The Daimyo’s Harigata” – I had no idea what a harigata was before reading this. I did a google define search and…well. Let’s just say that the author puts this to good use in a plot I didn’t see coming at all. It’s also full of great dark humor.
“A Thug Like Me” – a great story; worth of neo-pulp status. I really, really enjoyed it. Every bit, including the slight 4th wall breakage near the end.
“Watching You” – fun poem
“Woman in White” – Another great example of neo-pulp. Very dark & tailored to the base senses. Also, good, surprise ending.
“Beauty and the Punchline” – mystery that’s also somewhat urban fantasy? At least that’s what I think from the ending. Despite the weird ending that I’m not 100% sure about, I think the reveal is pretty good and only just barely saw it coming at the last minute.
“The Battle of Hutchinson’s Crossroads” – that was such a great ending. And so good at showing the emotion of war.
“In the nick of Mime” – a pretty funny take on the spy thriller short story.
“Daddy’s Little Girl” – a neat story about a paparazzi and his mark. It didn’t go where I thought it would, but I’m glad. It was a good story.
A series of gruesome poems
“Last of the Irish Rover” – a sailor’s tale
“Murder Knife” – a creepy story told in a reverse chronology.
“Knock-Knock” – Pretty hilarious deconstruction and reconstruction of the Christian afterlife
“Meat Bag” – That was a surprise given the title. Somewhat scary considering it’s something that could truly happen. But scary in the sense that humanity can be all about the money sometimes instead of compassion.
“Influx Capacitor” – Hilarious take on time travel paradox
Some funny poems
“Live today, forget tomorrow” – super short story, but GREAT twist!
“Saturday Station” – neat dystopian story