Broadswords and Blasters describes itself as “a pulp magazine with modern sensibilities.”
By pulp, I’m assuming they mean that they publish both genres, action and adventure. (I stole that line from the editor of a competing magazine, Storyhack.)
By modern sensibilities, I believe they mean stories featuring heroes who aren’t white men. I’ve tallied up the main characters of the stories I read: two men who are likely white based on the setting, one man with no information as to race, a Polynesian man, a conquistador (I’m counting him as Hispanic), a squid-alien, and two women.
Kauahoa vs the Mu by Patrick Baker. A Polynesian warrior with magical tattoos fights demons from the ocean.
A Western Promise by Calvin Demmer. A Westworld-style story.
Feathered Death by Steve Cook. The story of an old, washed-up soldier from a war between giant-hawk riders and giant-snake riders.
The Soul Plantation by Sarah Codair. A squid-alien has a plantation where human slaves raise human babies which the squids use as food and a source of “life force”. The squid-alien improbably grows affectionate towards two of the babies, while continuing to show no concern for the other babies. Well, I suppose a squid-alien’s brain could work like that.
Island of Skulls by Matt Spence. This is the second installation of a serial, so I didn’t read it. For reasons now lost to history, I decided to start reading this magazine with issue #2. I’ll probably give issue #1 a shot at some point, and come back to this.
Kane and Grable by Michael Best. I ran across this story before, in Kzine.
The Oath Breaker by Grey Harlowe. A girl is recruited into a mysterious construction guild. This story is giving me severe deja vu. I feel like I read almost this exact story decades ago, maybe by Zelazny? I can’t put my finger on it yet.
The Deep Well by CR Langille. Conquistadors run into Lovecraft-style horrors.
The Eye of the Sun by DJ Tyrer. A female assassin decides to investigate some suspicious activity.