A number of publishers will be using PulpFest 2013 to roll out new publications for your reading pleasure. One that has caused a substantial stir is Brian Ritt’s Paperback Confidential: Crime Writers of the Paperback Era. Debuting from Stark House Press, this reference work features 132 profiles of the men and women who wrote the books that became the backbone of the pulp and paperback era from the 1930s through the 1960s. Paperback Confidential will be available from Mike Chomko, Books, whose tables will be along the wall, right across from the PulpFest registration desk.
Our friends from FarmerCon will also premier a pair of books, both published by Meteor House. First up will be a new, deluxe hardcover edition of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Philip José Farmer’s biography of the bronze crusader who fought almost 200 separate battles against the forces of evil. The Meteor House edition will include a brand new foreword by Farmer expert Win Scott Eckert; tributes by other Farmer and Doc experts, including current Doc Savage writer Will Murray; and other bonus materials not seen in previous editions, all wrapped up with jacket art by Joe DeVito. Mike Chomko, Books, the representative of Altus Press at most pulp conventions, will have softcovers of the revised edition on hand.
Meteor House will also be releasing the sequel to Philip José Farmer and Win Scott Eckert’s Wold Newton novel, The Evil in Pemberley House, the story of Patricia Wildman, daughter of one of the greatest heroes of our time–Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. The new book, a limited edition, signed novella by Eckert, is entitled The Scarlet Jaguar, the first in a planned series featuring Pat Wildman & Co.
On Friday, Win will be signing the entire print run of The Scarlet Jaguar in the PulpFest dealers’ room. He will also be available to sign any other books people might want to bring up to him. Additional details will be announced at the convention.
Ed Hulse of Murania Press is hoping to have a new issue of Blood ‘n’ Thunder on hand. Of course, everyone knows that BnT is THE journal for aficionados of adventure, mystery, and melodrama in American popular culture of the early 20th century. Ed has a Lamont Award to prove it! Ed also hopes to release the new Blood ‘n’ Thunder Guide to Pulp Fiction at the convention. A newly revised and greatly expanded version of The Blood ‘n’ Thunder Guide to Collecting Pulps, the new edition will significantly augment the original text with new chapters on genres not previously represented as well as other additions.
Doc Savage author and noted pulp scholar Will Murray will be selling softcover copies of Wordslingers: An Epitaph for the Western at his table. Murray’s Wordslingers is not only the first in-depth history of the Western pulps, it’s one of the best and most important books on the pulps ever written, perfectly capturing the era, the magazines, and the writers, editors, and agents who helped fill their pages.
Laurie Powers, the granddaughter of Western pulp scribe Paul Powers and creator of the popular Laurie’s Wild West blog, will be selling copies of Hidden Ghosts–a collection of atypical fiction written by her grandfather. Best known for creating the Sonny Tabor and Kid Wolf characters for Wild West Weekly, Paul Powers also wrote in other genres, including horror, historical, noir, romance, and animal stories. A collection of fourteen tales, including four that were previously unpublished, Hidden Ghosts is being released in softcover by Altus Press. Laurie will be glad to sign your copy at the table she will be sharing with PulpFest guest Will Murray.
An award-winning journalist and columnist, FarmerCon attendee John Allen Small will be offering three unique titles at PulpFest. He will have copies of his books, Days Gone By and Something In The Air, both of which contain stories that should be of interest to pulp fans. He will also be selling the recent edition of Pharaoh’s Broker, to which he contributed the Preface. A portion of the proceeds earned on this title will go toward literacy education. For those not familiar with Pharaoh’s Broker, it is an 1899 novel that has been cited as possibly inspiring Edgar Rice Burroughs when he sat down to write Under the Moons of Mars. John will be selling these books at the Meteor House/FarmerCon tables.
From their temporary hangar in the PulpFest dealers’ room, Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 will be offering a brand new premium free to anyone who buys two of their books–the beautiful Airship 27 crew patches. They’ll also be releasing the latest issue of All-Star Pulp Comics, featuring the Black Bat, Domino Lady, Ki-Gor, Lance Star and other exciting characters.
Additionally, on Saturday, July 27th, Fortier and Davis will have a couple of author signings at their tables. Frank Schildiner, who has written Black Bat, Ravenwood, and Secret Agent X stories for Airship 27 will be there from 11 AM until noon. Taking over from 2 to 3 PM will by Jim Beard, author of Captain Action: Riddle of the Glowing Men, Sgt. Janus, Spirit-Breaker, and other works. Captain Action will be available at 1/3 off the normal price.
Of course, there will be plenty of other great exhibitors in the PulpFest 2013 dealers’ room who will also be selling exceptional materials. You can learn more about them by visiting Our Dealers‘ page on the PulpFest website. And when you are in Columbus from July 25 -28, be sure to visit them all in the Regency Ballroom on the third floor of the Hyatt Regency. Our dealers’ room will be open from 9 AM to 5 PM on Friday and Saturday and from 9 AM until 2 PM on Sunday.
Happy Holidays from Stark House Press!
Earlier in the season we offered our first ever Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale to our newsletter subscribers. In an effort to reach out to all our readers, however, we're now making a similar buy 2 get 1 free sale on all in-stock titles from now until midnight on Christmas Day, 2012. And did we mention the FREE SHIPPING?
Details and a complete book listing are available here. Happy Holidays, everyone!
Orrie Hitt was pretty much deemed to obscurity in the 1980's and 1990's, but there were some mentions of his name here and there, for example in Lee Server's book on old paperbacks. It seems his star is on the rise - has actually been awhile -, mainly due to the blogs dedicated to the pulp school of writing and vintage sleaze. Stark House did recently a great double volume of his work, with two long-lost titles The Cheaters and Dial "M" for Man. It's a great read and I recommend it highly.
The Cheaters (Midwood 1960) tells about a young man, pretty much down on his luck, taking a job as a bartender in a seedy bar. The guy falls in love with the gorgeous wife of the bar's fat and obnoxious owner, who wants the guy to take over the bar. Dial "M" for Man (Beacon 1962) is about a TV repair man running his own business in a small town. He also falls in love with the gorgeous wife of the town's big man who in his turn tries to run the TV man down in every way he can.
Both books, published originally as cheap and cheap-looking paperbacks, are about ordinary men in bad situations. They just end up in them, even though they try to shy away from bad stuff. It just happens. They fall in love and start to scheme killing a man, albeit rather reluctantly. This is classic noir stuff, exemplified by this quote from Dial "M" for Man: "Here I was, just a little guy with everything to lose - everything that I had not already lost, that is." You care for these guys, that's why these two little books (Dial "M" for Man is just over 100 pages) have stayed alive.
The other reason for their vitality is Hitt's narrative drive. Even though nothing much happens and the prose isn't very refined or stylish, Hitt really knows how to keep the story moving. You keep flipping the pages, though, as I said, nothing much happens. In this Hitt reminds me of Jason Starr, one of my favourite new noir writers, who also writes about ordinary people and in whose books nothing much happens. Especially in Dial "M" for Man Hitt really keeps the shit piling up on his protagonist.
The endings in both books are bad, though, like Hitt didn't really know how to keep up the dark pessimism of the earlier pages.