Since 2011, PulpFest has hosted FarmerCon, a convention within a convention. FarmerCon began in Peoria, Illinois, the hometown of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Originally a gathering of Farmer fans figuratively, and literally, right outside Phil’s back door, FarmerCon offered presentations, dinners, and even picnics at the author’s house.
After the passing of Phil and Bette Farmer in 2009, it was decided to take FarmerCon on the road to broaden its horizons. By holding the convention alongside events like PulpFest, Farmer fans get a variety of programming and a room full of pulp and book dealers to enjoy. This year, PulpFest is once again pleased to welcome FarmerCon VIII to the Hyatt Regency Columbus.
As it has every year since 2011, FarmerCon will provide some of PulpFest’s evening programming. On Friday, July 26th, at 7:30 PM, our FarmerCon friends turn their attention toward the Grand Master‘s work related to Doc Savage with a panel entitled His Apocalyptic Life, Escape from Loki, and The Mad Goblin.
The earliest of the three works, The Mad Goblin, was first published in 1970, paired with The Lord of the Trees as half of an Ace Double. Both novels were sequels to an earlier work, A Feast Unknown, that introduced Lord Grandrith, a thinly disguised Tarzan, and a “man of bronze” known as Doc Caliban. In Feast, Grandrith and Caliban learn that a powerful secret society known as The Nine has manipulated their lives. The two heroes go to war against their tormentors: The Mad Goblin tells the story from the point of view of Doc Caliban, while The Lord of the Trees presents Lord Grandrith’s version.
Although he published over fifty novels and 100 short stories during his career, Philip José Farmer may be remembered best for his Wold Newton Family. According to the author, the radiation from a meteorite that landed near the village of Wold Newton caused mutations in the villagers’ descendants, making them smarter, stronger, and more driven than most. Including among the offspring was Lord Greystoke, Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, Fu Manchu, and Dr. James Clarke Wildman, Jr., best known as Doc Savage. Much of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, first published by Doubleday in 1973, is devoted to this idea.
The last of Farmer’s works of bronze was Escape from Loki, published by Bantam Books in 1991. Shot down behind enemy lines during World War I, sixteen-year-old Clark Savage, Jr. finds himself in a German baron’s notorious escape-proof prison. Here Doc and his future aids come together to match wits and derring-do against the sinister baron, who Doc believes is intent on wielding a weapon of mass destruction that could very well mean the end of freedom and victory for the Kaiser.
Moderator Art Sippo, author of Sun Koh: Heir of Atlantis, a 2010 Pulp Factory Award nominee for Best Pulp Novel, and his panelists will dissect and analyze the Grand Master‘s contributions to the Doc Savage mythos. Joining Art will be Christopher Paul Carey, the co-author with Philip José Farmer of Gods of Opar: Tales of Lost Khokarsa, and the author of Exiles of Kho, a prelude to the Khokarsa series; Rick Lai, well known for his articles expanding on Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe concepts, recently collected into four volumes by Altus Press; Win Scott Eckert, the co-author with Philip José Farmer of The Evil in Pemberley House, and the author of its forthcoming sequel, The Scarlet Jaguar, featuring Doc Wildman’s daughter Pat; and John Allen Small, an award-winning journalist, columnist, and fiction writer whose work includes “The Bright Heart of Eternity,” a tribute to Edgar Rice Burroughs and Philip José Farmer, and “Into Time’s Abyss,” anthologized in The Worlds Of Philip José Farmer 2: Of Dust And Souls.
Meteor House will be premiering a new, expanded edition of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life at PulpFest 2013. Featuring dust jacket art by Joe DeVito (pictured above) and essays by Win Scott Eckert, John Allen Small, Keith Howell, Rick Lai, Art Sippo, Christopher Paul Carey, and current Doc Savage writer Will Murray, it will be available as a deluxe hardcover. Altus Press will be publishing the softcover edition. It will be available at PulpFest through Mike Chomko, Books.