The plowshare’s lament is a pulp style story written by Jesse Abraham Lucas. But it’s far from what the typical person might think when the word pulp fiction is tossed around (I mean, besides the movie). How different, exactly? The main characters are weapons. No, not in a metaphorical way. The main characters are weapons in a literal way – and the story is incredibly refreshing. Just imagine Toy Story, but for battle axes and swords instead of toys.
Seeing as how The Plowshare’s Lament has enchanted medieval weaponry as its main characters, you can count yourself correct if you guessed this story falls neatly into the fantasy genre.
This story is just dripping with hilarious parody. But thanks to the unique take on the tropes of the fantasy genre, we get the usual formula for comedy flipped on its head. Normally, the world would be an exaggerated version of the typical setting while the main character would be the straight man. (A “normal” person.) However, in The Plowshare’s Lament, it’s the world that’s serious and it’s the main characters who bring the exaggeration. For example, the first character is named Rothgarner the Relentless, and his best friend is named Bloodcurdler. (To be fair, the main characters are enchanted medieval weaponry – it would be pretty difficult to play it the normal way.)
Here’s where it gets a little crazy. The plot has a very interesting flavor. I would describe it as a very short tragic comedic epic. The story is short, but it spans many years. Most of the story is filled with delightfully dark humor. The end, however, switches makes a drastic change from comedic to tragic. But it still feels organic. It feels as if something has worn off – like visiting a place you loved as a kid and realizing it’s not as great as you remember. Or kind of like when you’ve sobered up after a long night of drinking and you realize how big of a fool you acted.
I could describe this story all day, but nothing can make you appreciate the crazy ride that is The Plowshare’s Lament than its opening paragraph.
“Rothgarner the Ravenous was up to his pommel in a mortal when he caught sight of an old friend. “Bloodcurdler,” he cried. “Congratulations on your new human.” “Roth, I thought you were sundered long ago! What a fine hero you have now.” But the flow of battle took them away from each other.”
Mollison, Jon. PulpRev Sampler Anthology 2017 (Kindle Locations 288-290). Kindle Edition.