John Picha


Dieselpunk ePulp Showcase 2
Price: Free! Words: 83,900. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
This sci-fi smorgasbord serves up 9 retro tales inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1920s - 1940s. It drops you into the deco chiseled cities of alternate Americana, airlifts you to exotic locales, then rockets you to the farthest reaches of yesterday’s tomorrows! Retro adventure awaits fans of dieselpunk, sci-fi, ray-gun gothic, and pulp magazines. Download if you dare!
ePulp Sampler Vol 1
Price: Free! Words: 37,910. Language: English. Published: July 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Science fiction » Steampunk & retropunk
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
This action packed ePulp anthology unleashes 5 new tales inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1920s - 1940s. They are not for the faint of heart. Things will get intense and stuff on these pages can't be unread. But whether you're a nostalgian, dieselpunk, pulp fan, fantasy and sci-fi aficionado, or ebook spelunker, there's something in this collection for you to explore. Sample them all.
The Skyracos Dicta
Price: Free! Words: 6,430. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
This genuine sci-fi artifact comes from another world and is a companion piece to the Skyraco ePulps. This souvenir collectable is a must-download for any Skyraco fan across the Earth.
Skyracos: The Mining Mess
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 29,250. Language: English. Published: April 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00 from 1 review)
"Skyracos: The Mining Mess" is a fast-paced retro Sci-Fi adventure tale of streamlined spaceships, flight packs, flying men who encounter a plague outbreak on a strange alien world. It ain't Shakespeare. It's pure Pulp!
Pandora Driver: The Origin
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 50,120. Language: English. Published: February 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
It was the 1930s. The avarice of the elite had plunged the country into the Great Depression. Class warfare was being waged, and someone was about to snap! Pandora Driver: The Origin, summons the spirits of pulps past and adds dieselpunk hardware. This retro-hero tale is for mature readers. It ain't Shakespeare. It's pure Pulp!
Dieselpunk ePulp Showcase
Price: Free! Words: 30,580. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author, Fiction » Adventure » Action
(4.67 from 6 reviews)
This action-packed ePulp Anthology unleashes four new noir tales inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1930s and 1940s. Blazing brawls and gritty adventure awaits dieselpunks, nostalgians, die hard or pulp-curious fans. Hope you can take a punch, because these two-fisted tales hit hard! Download if you dare!

John Picha's tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by John Picha

  • Forever Material on March 04, 2013

    Love is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. Barbara Whitehall, founder of DateSmart, believes she has formulated the perfect approach to successful coupling. But after an awkward introduction to Jake Mancini a martial arts instructor, biology begins breaking down barriers to edge out Barbara's common sense approach to courtship. Forever Material is a light hearted romantic comedy on the surface but it has rich layering that you may not expect from the genre. It cleverly explores the psychology of attraction. By the end you understand why the characters are the way they are. And the mental and physical seduction percolating between the lines is delicious. The story is laced with flirty banter and although it's set in the present, it has a timeless feel. If you enjoy movies like, His Girl Friday, Serendipity, He's Just Not That Into You and The Proposal, or if you like books like Sohpie Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic, Gemma Townley `s Learning Curves, Wendy Markham's Slightly Engaged, or Zoe Rice's Pick Me Up, I suspect you'll enjoy Athena Grayson's Relationship Material. Oh and did I mention a dessert description in the story actually made my mouth water?
  • Genesis Code on March 19, 2013

    Becoming human review Insightful, and intriguing tour of the future. After poisoning the Earth, humanity packs up it's societal baggage and takes off for the stars. "Becoming Human" explores the middle history of humanity's future in a "grass is always greener in space" tale told from two planet's points of view. On Earth, characters go about their daily business while living in an ecological crisis. On Exilon 5, colonist of a New World Order attempt to make the environment more habitable for themselves, while forcing the indigenous life to adapt to people. It's kind of a warning from the future to get our act together in the present with an espionage arch across the tale. If you're a fan of Phillip K Dick you might appreciate the "who's watching who" paranoia coil that winds through it. If you like a lot of technical information about imagined words as you explore them, or if you like the themes explored in "Day After Tomorrow" or "When Worlds Collide", and if enjoy "Star Trek the Next Generation" style of characterization in your sci-fi, you’ll probably enjoy "Becoming Human." It's worth the trip.
  • A Gift in the Dark on March 20, 2013

    Horror theater for the short-attention-span afflicted. This bite-sized smattering of atmospheric horror stories is perfect for people on the go who want to be tantalized and teased with terror on the train, to be speckled by goosebumps between appointments, or to have their hair raised throughout the day. The 23 tales sealed within "A Gift in the Dark" make up a morgue of ghastly vignettes. If you are brave enough to creak open its cover you will encounter… A haunted mine in Cornwall. A comicbook that conjures the real world. Lavatory mores breeched by a toilet terror. A day in the life of death. A spiritual sailor voyaging through the dreams of the living. Empathy becoming a weapon against domestic abuse. An eccentric artist's gruesome witching hour creations. An unanswered prayer. A mythographer in search of hokum who hikes into Celtic curse. A re-visitation of All Hallows' Eve. A clever collision of children's classic and modern world requiring two types of tolls. Monty Hall doing a double take as Dante rolls in his grave over a demonic gameshow. A working class hero going to extremes not to get demoted. A serosanguineous self portrait. Drunken mage on a reality bender. An ironic twist of a phrase at a wedding reception. A n-stage sprit waiting for a changing of the guard. A chilling poem from the grave. A ghostly parade. A panacea with Lovecraftian side effects. A date to haunted mansion interrupted by a possessive sister. A body swapped red riding hood. An Edgar Cayce-esk plagiarist poaching prose. A Columbo reference. And a strange pattern of unsettling dental descriptions. If you're a follower of "Creepshow", "Tales from the Crypt" or "House of Mystery", if you are bewitched by Stephen King or Neil Gaiman, if you crave re-imagined folklore like "The Brothers Grimm" or ABCs "Once Upon a Time", there is something waiting for you inside this gift from the dark. Maybe you'd better read it with the lights on.
  • Kinky Mom: The Substitute on July 26, 2013

    50 Shades of Peyton Place Molly Prude, a victim of the economic crisis, is forced to pack up her three beautiful daughters and move to Serenade Springs in search of a job. On the surface it looks like Sleepy-Town USA, but though the keyholes, many unsavory secrets of this naughtily little locale are revealed. As they settle in, Molly becomes a "Peeping Thomasina" by circumstance, but soon acquires a voyeuristic taste, which leads her on a path to self-discovery in a hedonist haven. Eventually she applies for a job as substitute teacher, in a school with a bureaucratic twist, a carnal curriculum and an unconventional application process. This story struck me as contemporary re-telling of a Peyton type of Place, but hotter. There is also a fun "what's wrong with this town", "Village of the Damned" vibe. This tale is told with slow-burn erotic imagery, that's sure to make you sweat. Make no mistake, this is adult material, and If you're curious for a peak, download the free preview. If it you like what you see, keep going. It won't bite very hard. Welcome to Serenade Springs.
  • Slave to Marshmallows on Aug. 03, 2013

    What if Stalin was the Dictator of Candyland? This weird and whimsical tale toggles between cutesy and creepy like; a Steampunk Strawberry Shortcake baking in a sweatshop, or My Little Ponies yoked and pulling carts of lumber, or Smurfs caste as indentured servants. Slave to Marshmellows is told in a stream-of-consciousness "Alice in Wonderland"-esque style. The story revolves around Pumpkin, an oppressed line-operation in a candy factory. She is surrounded all day by delicious confections but the job kind of sucks as she is forced to meet production quotas under the crack of a whip. In a way it's kind of a "I hate my job" escapist fantasy crafted for those disillusioned upon discovering a dream job isn't what they imagined, with a creamy satirical center adding flavor to each bite. Eventually Pumpkin escapes and assembles a band of misfits who go on an airship adventure. They are searching for a magical solution to heal their poisoned ideals. Along the way they encounter many colorful characters as they explore a Pepperland-like dreamscape of discovery. They find; Witches, Magic Potions, Flying Trains, an Annie Oakley-like Crack-shot, Fire Breathing Camels, Berries and Blowtorches, A Kitchen Sink, Synthetic Trees and Exotic Animals, Robots, Lumberjacks, Inventors, Chemists, and a Chocolate Gun. There are many "out of the frying pan into the fire" moments including a surly sea monster attack and an intense and poignant supernatural finale. If you enjoyed "Edward Scissorhands", "Twice Upon A Time", Shane Ackers' "9" or "Yellowsubmarine" you may want to a taste of this delicious steampunk marshmallow treat. Just remember, it's made with sugar, spice and everything up to 23 child labor law violations.
  • Charles Boeckman Presents: Johnny Nickle on Aug. 04, 2013

    Nickle, Brass and Murder Johnny Nickel is an aging trumpeter in a band called the Daybreakers. They travel Southern California from gig to gig in the smokey jazz lounges of the 1950s. Apparently, whenever Johnny is minding his own business, trouble comes looking for him. This pulp is broken into two tales. In "Notes in the Fog", a girl walks into a bar with a bunch of metaphoric baggage, and drops it at Johnny's feet. She's also toting a mysterious key that unlocks a murder mystery and lands Johnny in the hot set with the cops. He quickly realizes he must solve the crime before it gets pinned on him. In "The Devil you Know" Jonny is at the top of his musical game, but his band is a guitarist short. He's in a pinch, until a fast talking music agent with a hidden agenda steps in to railroads a green talent into the group. The hasty decision comes with strife and a supernatural twist on a well known folk tale about a musician at a crossroad. A suspicious death draws in a series of unsavory characters looking for a piece of the postmortem profits. Both stories are woven with era centric details, noir styling and archetypal pulp character and intrigue. If you enjoy characters like Sam Space, Mike Hammer, or Easy Rawlins, I suspect Johnny Nickles will leave you on a happy note.
  • Rurik of the Demonwatch: Rite of Passage on Dec. 20, 2013

    Slice and Dice the Demons Rurik is a giant of a man, who survived a Spartan-esque, Celtic upbringing in the hinterlands, with the types of pop-quizzes that leave the bloody bodies of boys lying in the snow. He became a hero of legend. In this tale, he, and two barbarian cohorts, are on a mission to eviscerate an evil that has soiled the land where the men of the Demonwatch raise their children. They strive to return their world to better days, one monster-hide at a time. They carve their way to the maniacal presence hiding and guiding the waves of writhing creatures, but it has no intention of abandoning a mission of it's own. If you enjoy the tales of Conan, Kull, or Solomon Kane, if you're an admirer of the work of Frank Frazetta, if you enjoy sword and sorcery movies like "Fire and Ice", or if you just like to hack and slash your way through games, you may want to explore the dark realm of Rurik of the Demonwatch. But beware, the visceral descriptions in this tale will make you feel dirty, and I don't mean in the good way...
  • Tazia Fahn on Jan. 10, 2017

    A Journey of Independence Tazia Fahn is a down-on-her-luck heroine, struggling to find her footing, and the inner strength, to carve out a home, in a world with rules stacked against her. Teaming-up with a mechanically inclined sensei, this waitress-turned-adventurer and partner peel back the layers of systemic corruption, festering in a post World War 2 America. The unlikely duo cleave their way through villains and hardships which culminate in a pulse pounding, pulp climax. Colorful characters and era specific details, pepper this adventure, adding authentic flavor to the staples of the dieselpunk diet, like zeppelins, corsets, hard boiled gun play. Also, this retro adventure features one of the most unique apartments I've encountered. If you enjoyed the Rocketeer, Crazy Taylor, Pulp Magazines or Film Noir, I suspect you'll want to stand beside Tazia Fahn. This could be the start of something big!