Nov 162014
A fight on top of a moving train! If you've read much of my fiction, you know I like to write scenes like that myself, so it's no surprise I like this Emmett Watson cover on an issue of the long-running RAILROAD STORIES. I don't recognize the names of any of the authors in this issue, since I'm not that familiar with railroad fiction except as it applies to Westerns. But I'll bet there's a lot
Nov 152014
Hard to go wrong with a Walter Baumhofer cover and a line-up of Western pulpsters that includes William Colt MacDonald, Lawrence A. Keating, Claude Rister, Clee Woods, and Russell Bankson. My favorite thing about this pulp, though...that line "A Magazine of Hair-Trigger Hombres". I want to be a Hair-Trigger Hombre, too!
Nov 092014
The Fiction House pulps always had great covers, and PLANET STORIES was no exception. This one is by Jerome Rozen, and it's a fine example of swashbuckling science fiction adventure. Among the authors inside are Leigh Brackett, Ross Rocklynne, Hannes Bok, and H.L. Gold. A lot of modern SF fans might turn their noses up at this stuff, but it's wonderful to me.
Nov 082014
Oscar J. Friend is probably best remembered as an agent and editor in the science fiction field, but he wrote a number of Western novels, too, and the ones I've read have been pretty good. His novel HELL ON THE HALF-MOON is the only piece of fiction in this issue of BLUE RIBBON WESTERN, with only a couple of short features to round out the table of contents. I haven't read it and don't have
Nov 022014
ARGOSY usually had great covers, and here's another one, this time heralding the beginning of a long historical serial by George Challis, who was, of course, Frederick Faust, better known as Max Brand. Much, if not all, of Faust's Western fiction has been reprinted at one time or another, but I wish somebody would reprint more of his historical fiction. What little I've read of it was
Nov 012014
(This post originally appeared in different form on November 21, 2005.) I like this one because instead of the clean-cut hero you usually find on Western pulps, this guy is one ugly, mean-looking son of a gun. A good line-up of authors, too, with Tom Roan and Cliff Farrell heading the list. The "Gipson" listed lower on the cover is Fred Gipson, author of OLD YELLER. Many of his stories
Oct 262014
This cover by Franklin Wittmack is on the mild side for WEIRD TALES, but what a fine issue this is. I read it a number of years ago and still recall most of the stories. In addition to Robert Bloch's classic "Yours Truly--Jack the Ripper", there are tales by H. Bedford-Jones, Ray Bradbury, Otis Adelbert Kline and Frank Belknap Long, Frank Owen, Allison V. Harding, and the underrated Harold
Oct 192014
I don't know much about the gang pulps and haven't read many stories from them, but this one has a nice cover and the first three authors in the table of contents are E. Hoffmann Price (misspelled on the cover), Norman Daniels, and G.T. Fleming-Roberts. With a line-up like that, I suspect this issue was worth reading.
Oct 182014
The Angry Redhead makes a return appearance on this vivid cover by Tom Lovell. This looks like a good issue, with stories by some of my favorites like Harry F. Olmsted, Walt Coburn, and Gunnison Steele. Popular Publications had not only some of the best covers on Western pulps, but some of the best titles, too. I mean, how can you not want to read "Legion of the Lost Frontier" or "The Derelict