Blog

Posts from Pumpjack Press authors and contributors about culture, books, economic and social justice topics, history and more, with the occasional poem and short story.

Falling in love: The second most terrifying thing to happen on Halloween

Celebrate #Horror Month! Twenty years ago on Oct. 31, we — Clark and Kathleen — decided to get married and start writing horror together. It was a monstrous decision. We officially became engaged on a blustery Halloween night 20 years ago. Clark was dressed as the devil on vacation. Maps in hand, horns out, leisure shirt on. Kathleen was a zombie fairy. Glitter, tutu, bloodied face.

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An interview with Lenny, our favorite vampire-killing survivalist, conspiracy theorist

Joining us today from the pages of The Cowboy and the Vampire Collection is Lenny, a survivalist and improvised weapons expert with some peculiar political views. He’s the long-time friend of Tucker and is now deeply involved in making weapons capable of dispatching the undead.

Hello Lenny, welcome. What did you bring with you today? This? It’s a reverse surveillance tracker I made out of an old cassette recorder, a GPS unit and an electric toothbrush. I want to be able to monitor whoever it is monitoring this conversation to find out where they are broadcasting from.

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Playlist: The soundtrack to horror is classic country

The soundtrack to true terror is classic country. Only classic country from the 1950s and 1960s has the raw, heartbroken emotion of bone-deep despair that makes the blood run cold. The people of LonePine, Wyoming, like in most small towns in the slowly dying American West, know about heartbreak and economic despair. And ever since the undead showed up, they know about terror too. That’s probably why every pickup truck radio, every jukebox in every saloon, and every portable radio is belting out classic country while the rest of the world has moved on.

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Werecrows: A short story

“Being a werecrow is just as pointless as being a real crow. Or a real human. The world is still full of idiots, present company excepted, of course,” I added sarcastically. “I’m still bored. And nothing we do really matters at all.” I pecked at the fence post angrily, knocking splinters loose. “It’s not like we’re werewolves or anything. Now that would be cool. They get to rip stuff up. They get respect.” #horror

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Hanford: Reflections on a visit to history’s graveyard

Hanford is located just a few hundred miles from our home in Portland, and they offer public tours throughout the summer. The tours book up quickly. Interest is high. This summer, Kathleen and I finally made it onto the list and we had the opportunity spend a day on a bus touring the Hanford Nuclear Complex. No one is allowed to take photos. Apparently, the disposal of nuclear waste is just as sensitive as the process of nuclear enrichment.

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The Highwaymen—Glamorizing police violence?

A good bit of the commentary about The Highwaymen has focused on the idea that this new film sets the story straight, transferring the hero’s mantle to the deserving law enforcement men who brought the bandits to justice.

But what really happened was far from justice. 

A little literary license to juice up a storyline isn’t particularly egregious but The Highwaymen badly misleads on three points in order to build the case that the lawmen were heroic. They weren’t. 

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