Spicy Slipstream Stories was born of two things - a burning desire to make fun of all things 'slipstream', and a love of the occasional brilliant line that bubbled out of the classic pulp tales of the first part of the last century. pg 10
See, John Bowker's "Heroes Welcome" opens as an obnoxious pulp story with a hyper-masculine James Carter having a post-coital cigarette in the breeze of the open door of a plane. When the woman wakes and tells him no man ever made her feel like that before, Carter quickly puts a parachute on her and pushes her out of the plane.
My disgust was evident from the start. So, like I said, I had to remind myself of what I only hoped Bowker was doing here. The story opens with all sorts of pulp absurdity like Carter saving the plane as it crashes, having sex with all sorts of women who are also on randomly deserted island, and all in all talking serious hero smack.
Then the story turns with the introduction of an independant woman named Rose who doesn't think the world revolves around Carter and has her own ideas as to how to get off the island. It's not that things get better for Rose, but things get progressively worse for Carter as the hero-worship wears thin.
I don't know. Intellectually (or, as intellectual as I get), I like what Bowker does with "Heroes Welcome" and how he turns the whole thing on Carter and gives the man comeuppance. That's great.
I never could exactly get past my opening disgust even though I knew, more or less, where the story was going. I should be able to accept the absurdity of the story and and there was no chance Mamatas and Lake would have bought a straight pulp tale that doesn't turn the conventions of pulp tales, but "Heroes Welcome" still doesn't work for me. I understand what the story is doing and why. It just wasn't enough.
"Heroes Welcome" isn't my kind of story.