A couple years ago, I ran across a writing prompt to construct a pulp story inspired by the lyrics of a popular song. I’d like to say the challenge struck a chord, but that level of punnery is nigh-unforgivable. Still, there are a few songs which have always stayed with me because of a combination of musical badassery and evocative imagery, and pretty high on that playlist is the Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider.” So I set myself to turning the ideas of running and hiding, silver dollars and endless roads, into a worthy tale.
I made a good amount of headway on the story but felt like it was missing something, a piece which fell into place when I heard about an open call for a dieselpunk anthology. Dieselpunk (in case you’re not up to speed on your genres and subgenres) concerns stylized alternate history in which the aesthetics of early-mid 20th century technology mingles with science fiction. I had, if I said so myself, a decent noirish story about loners, mobsters, and highway-bound cars, but burnishing all of that with retro-futuristic weapons and accessories helped me get “The Dying Desert Moon” across the proverbial finish line.
Of course, as so often happens with me, I finished the story, sent it off to the anthology in question, and received a polite rejection. But I was undeterred and continued sending it around, until it was accepted by the fine folks at Crimson Streets.
And as part of the upside of this arrangement, you’ll be able to read the story online for free starting in one week! Click here to visit this week’s addition to the virtual pulp library of Crimson Streets, and at the end of the tale you’ll see the teaser for “The Dying Desert Moon” under the Next Week section. You can check out lots of other great stories while you’re there, and don’t forget to return to Crimson Streets in one week when my story is released!
UPDATE: It’s up! Click here to read “THE DYING DESERT MOON”!