Jan 252015
I always enjoy Earle Bergey's science fiction pulp covers. This one from the June 1950 issue of THRILLING WONDER STORIES is a good one. My old mentor Sam Merwin Jr. was the editor then, and he filled this issue with stories by Arthur C. Clarke, Raymond Z. Gallun, Mack Reynolds, Cleve Cartmill, Raymond F. Jones, and Margaret St. Clair. That's a fine bunch of authors and shows why TWS under
Jan 212015

So what’s this PulpFest thing that has so many people talking? With over two-thousand likes on Facebook and hundreds of followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

AllStory-12-10PulpFest is named for pulp magazines, periodic fiction collections named after the cheap paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE, then exploded in 1912 when ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES took hold. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough-paper format.

By the early fifties, the pulps were gone, killed by competition from paperback books, comic books, radio, and television. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in these everyday consumables of the early twentieth century kept them alive in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science-fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty souls gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture that reverberated through a wide variety of mediums—comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway articles have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2015 will take place at the beautiful Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio beginning on Thursday, August 13th. It will continue through Sunday afternoon, August 16th. Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2015 and join hundreds of pulp fiction fans at the pop-culture center of the universe! You can book a room by clicking here.

Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine.

 Posted by at 1:15 pm
Jan 182015
I haven't read that many issues of DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY, but all the ones I've read have been good. This one sports a cover by Rudolph Belarski, and the line-up of authors includes Richard Sale, Hugh B. Cave, Howard Wandrei, William R. Cox, and Cleve F. Adams. That's a top-notch group, all the way around.
Jan 172015
It's hard to beat STAR WESTERN. This issue's cover has another appearance of the familiar cowboy/girl/geezer trio, although the girl's not a redhead this time around. And inside are stories by Harry F. Olmsted, T.T. Flynn, Peter Dawson, and Gunnison Steele, four of my favorite Western pulp authors, plus yarns by Robert E. Mahaffey, John G. Pearsol, and Glenn Wichman, prolific and well-regarded
Jan 112015
Time for another Weird Menace cover, this time from one of the leading magazines in the genre, DIME MYSTERY, featuring a suitably lurid cover by Walter Baumhofer and stories by three of the top authors, Wyatt Blassingame, Hugh B. Cave, and Arthur Leo Zagat. I've given some serious thought to doing a Weird Menace anthology for Rough Edges Press, writing one of the stories myself and opening up
Jan 102015
One of those "telephone" covers you see now and then on a Western pulp. The conversations never seem to be peaceful. They're always interrupted by a gunfight. 10 STORY WESTERN was a consistently entertaining pulp. This issue features stories by Tom W. Blackburn, Giles A. Lutz, Richard Brister, Art Lawson, and several other authors I'm not familiar with. I've seen Branch Carter's name on covers
Jan 042015
Looks almost like a romance pulp, doesn't it . . . until you notice the dead body floating face-down beside them. Ah, there's always trouble in paradise, I suppose. And yes, that's none other than the famous science fiction writer Alfred Bester whose story "Treachery on Camoia" appears in this issue, along with yarns by E. Hoffmann Price, George Armin Shaftel, William O'Sullivan, and Alexander
Jan 032015
Umm, I don't know about you, but that cover strikes me as a little . . . creepy. I'm not sure if it's the crazy eyes or the giant nostrils or the fact that those horses look rather carnivorous, but my first impulse would have been to run the other way. Inside, though, you've got stories by the well-regarded Dane Coolidge, the dependable Harry Sinclair Drago, and somebody named Anson Hard,
Dec 282014
Since I seem to have a Leslie Scott theme going this weekend, here's an issue of ARGOSY containing his novelette under the A. Leslie name, "Six-Gun Railroading".  In addition to that we've got an installment of a John Solomon novel by H. Bedford-Jones (haven't read any of those yet, but I need to), part of a Radio Planet serial by Ralph Milne Farley (ditto), more serials by George W. Ogden and