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I have had a deep attraction to pulp fiction for most of my life, and in some ways, I wish I'd been able to work in an earlier era, where an author could develop a character and there were dozens of places where you could publish an ongoing series. I envy guys like Lester Dent and Robert E. Howard because there was a market for the kind of work they did, one that I would argue doesn't really exist in the same way today.
However, I've been exceptionally lucky in the last year or so, because I was able to connect with Derek Haas and Popcorn Fiction, and I've been offered a home for my own pulp hero, Commander Future. This morning, we published the third story about his adventures as chronicled by Peter Underhill, and it's my favorite of the series so far.
More than that, though, I'm just honored to be part of the Popcorn Fiction family. Haas has been picking stories every week for a few years now, and he's proven to have great taste and a broad definition of what belongs on the site. A few weeks ago, Film School Rejects editor/writer Cole Abaius published a story on the site under his alternate identity, Scott Beggs, but Haas has included a wide range of voices on the site. Guys like Rian Johnson, Charlie Huston, Mark Wheaton, Eric Heisserer, Patton Oswalt, Larry Doyle, and Eric Red have all published stories on the site, and Haas has started to develop a stable of regular authors who contribute to the site. I'm particularly taken with the work that Les Bohem has contributed. Just knowing that I've shared an outlet with Lawrence Block is enough to make me feel like this is a milestone, something I should cherish.
Even better, publishing the Commander Future stories on Popcorn Fiction still allows me to own and control the character. I haven't had to hand over any control to find an audience, and I think that's a direct result of Haas being a writer himself. I would have loved the chance to publish in "Twilight Zone: The Magazine," one of my favorite outlets of speculative fiction during my lifetime, but even there, I would have had to give up a certain amount of ownership.
I have no idea what I'll eventually end up doing with Commander Future, but I do know that I owe Popcorn Fiction and Derek Haas a debt of gratitude for helping me bring him to life, and as long as I'm working in prose, I hope to continue contributing to what I consider one of the best creative communities online.
You can read the first Commander Future story, "The Interview," here.
You can read the second story, "Moving Day," here.
And the latest story, "Singular," is available here.
ONE THING I LOVE TODAY appears here every day. Except when it doesn't.