Advertise in THE PULPSTER

 2015 Program Book, advertising, donations, Program Book, Pulpster  Comments Off on Advertise in THE PULPSTER
Apr 202015

The-Pulpster-24-coverEditor and designer Bill Lampkin is hard at work on the next issue of THE PULPSTER, the award-winning PulpFest program book. He’ll be featuring articles on Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, adventure writer and the founder of DC Comics, the Thrilling Group of pulps and comic books, and other topics. The highlight of the issue will be a round-robin article on H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES. We’re currently expecting contributions from filmmakers Andrew Leman and Sean Branney; game designer Kenneth Hite; Marvin Kaye, the current editor of WEIRD TALES and W. Paul Ganley, founder of WEIRDBOOK; authors David Drake, Cody Goodfellow, Richard Lupoff, John Pelan, Tim Powers, Darrell Schweitzer, Chet Williamson, and Gahan Wilson; pulp scholars Scott Connor, John Haefele, S. T. Joshi, Will Murray, Damon Sasser, and others. So expect a slam-bang issue from the esteemed editor of our highly popular program book. Every member of PulpFest will receive a complimentary copy of THE PULPSTER.

If you’d like to reserve advertising space in this year’s PULPSTER, you have until June 1st to do so. All advertising is sold on a first-come, first-served basis, with payment expected immediately upon reserving a space. Please realize that the cover spaces sell very quickly. Our rates are reasonable: color back cover–$190; inside color covers–$140; inside color full page–$100; inside black-and-white full page–$80; color half-page–$70; black-and-white half-page–$40; black-and-white quarter page–$30. To inquire about space availability, please write to PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at THE PULPSTER has a circulation of approximately 450 copies. You can also ask Mike about back issues of our program book.

The deadline for submitting your advertisements to THE PULPSTER #24 is June 15, 2015. Please feel free to send material as early as possible to ease production of our magazine. Submission guidelines will be provided upon receipt of your payment. Your space is not reserved until payment is received.

Another way to advertise at PulpFest is to donate material for our giveaway tables. Over the years The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Radio Archives, Stark House Press, and other organizations have donated a variety of materials that were given away free to PulpFest attendees. Your donation will be acknowledged on our website and at the convention. If you’d like to offer something for our giveaway table, please contact Mike Chomko at

(Join PulpFest 2015 in August at the beautiful Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio, beginning on Thursday, August 13th and running through Sunday, August 16th as we celebrate H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES, just a few short days before the author’s 125th birthday.)

 Posted by at 12:45 pm

SOBs #2: The Plains Of Fire

 book reviews, Gold Eagle, Men's Adventure Novels, SOBs  Comments Off on SOBs #2: The Plains Of Fire
Apr 202015

SOBs #2: The Plains Of Fire, by Jack Hild
February, 1984  Gold Eagle Books

The second volume of SOBs is much better than the first, and I’d recommend anyone new to this series to just skip Jack Canon’s first installment and start with this one, which was written by Alan Philipson, who would go on to become one of the regular authors on the series.

Philipson wisely avoids all of the

Keith Rawson’s Shelves

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Keith Rawson’s Shelves
Apr 202015
The real deal-Keith’s shelfie

What books are currently on your nightstand?
For pure pleasure: Kill Fee By Owen Laukkanen and The Heart Does Not Grow Back By Fred Venturi. For book review: Find Me By Laura and den Berg and A Head Full Of Ghosts By Paul Tremblay.
Who is your all-time favorite novelist?
This seems to change month-to-month, but right now its James Ellroy, Roberto Bolano, and Denis Johnson.
What book might we be surprised to find on your shelves?
I have a small mountain of Anne Rule true crime paperbacks. True crime is kind of like my sleazy romance novels aka my guilty pleasure.
Who is your favorite fictional hero?
Big Pete Bondurantfrom James Ellroys Underworld USA trilogy.
What book do you most often return to?
The Ecstasy Of Influence By Jonathan Lethem. Im not a huge fan of Lethems novels, but his short fiction and his critical essays knock me on my ass. Whenever Im having a little difficulty getting myself writing, I usually pop open The Ecstasy Of Influence, read an essay, and then Im usually good to go.

Keith Rawson is the author of hundreds of short stories, essays, interviews, and articles. He is a regular contributor to He lives in southern Arizona with his wife and daughter, and you can find him at his website:

Fugitive Trail – Wayne D. Dundee

 Peacemaker Awards, Wayne D. Dundee, Westerns  Comments Off on Fugitive Trail – Wayne D. Dundee
Apr 202015

Wayne D. Dundee’s novel FUGITIVE TRAIL is in the running for
a Peacemaker Award this year, and well it should be, because it’s a fine
traditional Western novel.

Like a lot of Civil War veterans, Eli Cole has come home to find his world
ruined. He heads west, hoping to find a new home on the frontier, but he
carries with him a price on his head because of a shooting in which he was

The "Wake with a start and grab a gun" opening

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The "Wake with a start and grab a gun" opening
Apr 202015
Was flipping through some western paperbacks the other day and read the opening to Gun Code and started thinking about certain types of openings. In this case it was the self-explanatory “get up and grab a gun” opening. Here are some examples:

“What it was that aroused him, Joe Edison didn’t know, but he suddenly was wide awake and after a tense moment he sat up. The night was bright with stars and half a moon. He could see the homesteader’s wagon quite clearly, and near it the blanket wrapped figures of the homesteader and his young wife. Not far beyond the wagon, three horses were staked out, his horse and the team that pulled the wagon. Nothing else caught his attention, but in what he had seen, something was wrong. The three horses were pulling back, straining at the stakes that held them.

Joe Edison’s holster gun was under the blanket which had served as his pillow. He found it, tucked it in the waistband of his trousers, then pulled on his boots and stood up.” — Gun Code by Philip Ketchum

“Choc was having a quiet digestion dream of coffee and eggs when things started happening that brought the nightmarish Tulsa siege into his sleep. He woke with a frightened “Yeah!’ and gripped the automatic that his Indian Pearl shoved into his hand.” — Pretty Boy by William Cunningham

“When the woman screamed, Parker awoke and rolled off the bed. He heard the plop of a silence behind him as he rolled, and the bullet punched the pillow where his head had been.

He landed face down on the floor. His stubby, pregnant .32 was clipped to the springs under the bed like a huge black fly standing upside down, and Parker’s hand was reaching out for it before he hit the floor.” — The Outfit by Richard Stark

A Toast to Cons

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Apr 202015
What are your favorite writing conferences/conventions to attend?
The first thing to note in answering this highly personal question is the distinction between conferences and conventions. When I was new to the game, I didn’t realize the national/international Boucherconwas a convention and I was bemused by the flock of women who followed closely behind Laurie King wherever she went, chattering among themselves but seemingly attached to her by an invisible cord.
When another friend and I met Deborah Crombie at that Bouchercon (can’t recall the year, but it was in Baltimore), she was charming but seemed especially delighted that we were writers. It took me a bit to realize that she had been bombarded by eager fans for the half hour before that in the bar. (Her assumption was that I was a writer, not a fan, but that wasn’t really the case – I’m a big fan of the long-running Gemma/Duncan series, set in London.) A convention plays to the fans but fortifications are sometimes advised, and this martini glass is raised to Deb, who always chooses fancy drinks!.

I love the Left Coast Crimeconvention, partly because I seem to know everyone, or at least every author, there, and because the planners are a heroic band of crime fiction lovers who have created an ongoing festival that rotates from western city to western city but with the same band of cheerful attendees, including lots of enthusiastic fans. Blogger and salon hostess Janet Rudolph not only gets deeply involved most years, but also manages the fan-voted awards, a celebratory event that everyone looks forward to. (Yes, some year, I’d like to be a finalist!)
My first exposure to conferences, and the pivotal one for me, was the Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference, held annually in Marin County California at an influential bookstore. The first time I went, when I was tentative and apologetic at my own temerity in thinking I might write crime fiction, featured Sue Grafton, who was – and still is – so down to earth, approachable, and direct that I could stop pinching myself when I sat next to her at lunch and actually soak up a little advice and courage. I’ve been back twice since then and, in 2008, found my agent, Kimberley Cameron, there. I also met and had small classes with such accessible luminaries as Elizabeth George, Cara Black, and Jackie Winspear. Conferences are for writers because honesty, openness, and the ability to ask questions that may expose one’s weaknesses is crucial.
A new-ish conference and one I really enjoy is the California Crime Writers event (June 6-7 this year) in L.A. Sponsored and totally put together by Sisters in Crime’s and Mystery Writers of America’s southern California chapters, it’s quickly become a significant place for writers to gather, network, listen to each other, drink together, the latter being as important a part of conferences as any other aspect.

There are others, and my fellow Minds will have their own favorites. I’ll be reading theirs this week to see what further adventures I should consider. I’m guessing they’ll all have one thing in common: the party’s always at the bar! See you at CCW.

I’m No Ringo. And Neither Are You. (Unless Ringo is reading this which would be awesome!)

 Books, Film, Jeffrey Cohen, Music, Sports, Television, Writing  Comments Off on I’m No Ringo. And Neither Are You. (Unless Ringo is reading this which would be awesome!)
Apr 202015

Jeff Cohen

In 1968, when I was a wee lad, Mickey Mantle decided not to play baseball anymore. Since I was indeed a wee lad, and Mantle was my idol of the moment, this was a huge thing. 

Less than two years later, it was announced that the Beatles were disbanding, and would no longer record or perform as a group. And if you thought the Mantle thing was big, this was universe-sized. We were stunned. No Beatles? How was that even possible?

Immediately, in both cases, the speculation began: Who would be the next Mickey Mantle? Who would be the next Beatles? I recall reading an interview with Ringo Starr in Rolling Stone (back when you could trust what they said) where he was asked the question: Who's going to be the next Beatles?

Ringo was diplomatic about it, as ever, and even suggested a few people (I think Elton John was among the names mentioned), but he knew the truth, and pretty much said so:

There is no Next Beatles. There is no Next Mantle.

What there will be is someone who is who they are. Is that too oblique? There's no point in trying to duplicate something that moves you. It can't happen the same way twice. 

There never was a Casablanca II but there was Star Wars. There never was Back With the Wind but there was To Kill a Mockingbird. No new Peanuts but Doonesbury and Calvin and Hobbes. Nobody ever managed to recreate I Love Lucy, but instead we got The Dick Van Dyke Show. Which, I'm sorry, was better.

So when writers try to emulate or piggyback on the enormous success of some phenomenon, when they try to be the next Harry Potter or the next James Patterson or the next Gone Girl, they're asking for trouble. Is is possible to achieve some popular success based on something that has been immensely lucrative before? Certainly. Remember that 50 Shades of Grey allegedly began as Twilight fan fiction.

But can a writer really take something that preceded his/her work and create a new phenomenon? Particularly, one that has the same emotional and societal impact as what came before? It's unlikely, because writing something that isn't what you chose to write, what moved you enough to sit in that chair and type all those words, is a losing proposition.

Instead of a new Mantle, there came (only 30 years later) Derek Jeter. A totally different type of player, but a wonderful one in his own way

Instead of the Next Beatles, we got Elton John and Michael Jackson and Carole King and Fleetwood Mac and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and Adele. Depending on your taste, you got NWO or Eminem or Wu Tang Clan or Josh Groban or Justin Bieber, if he's your thing. There is no Next Beatles, but there are people expressing themselves whose work you might take to your heart.

If you're writing, write for yourself first but keep an audience in mind. Don't write something because that's what publishers are looking for now or because some great big huge phenomenon just hit and you think you can change a few details around and make it something new. Write what you would write even if nobody was going to read it. ESPECIALLY write what you'd write if nobody was going to read it.

Writing is an art form, a craft and a job. But before anything else, it's a form of expression. What's the point of expressing someone else's thought, particularly when they've done that already?

There is no Next Beatles. Be you.

Mystery Review: WADE MILLER – Calamity Fair.

 Reviews  Comments Off on Mystery Review: WADE MILLER – Calamity Fair.
Apr 202015

WADE MILLER – Calamity Fair. Farrar Straus & Co., hardcover, 1950. Signet #843, paperback, January 1951; Signet #1270; 2nd printing 1956. Harper Perennial, trade paperback, 1993.

   I was prepared to like this one more than I did, even in spite of Chapter One which is essentially a prologue, and as such essentially unnecessary. Sometimes they work, more often they don’t, and this is one in the latter category.

   The PI in this book is Max Thursday, the fourth of six recorded adventures. The scene is San Diego, which is described in enough detail to make the reader (me) feel at home there. The crime: an organized gang of blackmailers. Thursday’s client: Irene Whitney, she says, meeting him in a house which is not hers, and what she wants him to do is get back a stack of gambling IOU’s before her husband finds out.

   And once on the case, that is Thursday’s only concern. Very little of his personal life is brought up. In fact, he may as well have none. He is on the go from page one and does not stop until page 160 of the Signet paperback edition.

   Problems, as I saw them: In the course of events Thursday meets a lot of people, some of them women and most of those are very seductive. Some more than others. Combined with the intense pace throughout the book, it is often difficult to keep them straight, as many of them, those who aren’t killed early on, pop up again later, sometimes quite unexpectedly.

   But what bothered me more is the tenuous way that the primary villain, as he (or she) turns out to be, is brought into the case. Very strange, I thought at the time, and as I finished the book, I thought, even stranger. But how else could he (or she) have been brought into it? I have no answer for that.

    Although he makes a point of not carrying a gun, at least in this book, Max Thursday is a tough guy through and through, tough and tenacious. He’s also rather smart at putting two and two together, too, though when I got four, Thursday sometimes got five. Or in other words, he was slightly ahead of me for much of the way.

   All in all, though, I’d rather a book read that way than the other way around. Not quite as good as I expected, but still good.

 Posted by at 2:43 am

Ken Levine on on “Highway Patrol” and other stuff oldsters’ll remember

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Apr 192015
Ken Levine:
Here’s another example: I grew up in Woodland Hills, a suburb of the San Fernando Valley. About ten years ago I’m watching a rerun of an old ‘50s action/crime show called HIGHWAY PATROL. This starred Broderick Crawford, an overweight middle-aged balding alcoholic as the head of the CHP. (Imagine getting that guy through network casting today? Now the same part would be played by Elizabeth Mitchell.) 
Quick side note: Crawford really was an alcoholic. In fact, he had so many DUI’s that his drivers’ license had been permanently revoked. This caused a big problem because how can the head of the Highway Patrol not be able to drive? So a concession was reached. Crawford was allowed to drive but only when the camera was running. So the director would yell “Action!”, Crawford would drive the car, the director would yell “Cut! Let’s go again!”, and Crawford would have to exit the vehicle so a crew member could drive the car back to the original spot.
Anyway, I’m watching this show (probably on cable channel 863) and Crawford is driving down a street. Suddenly I recognize a storefront. Neider’s Auto Body. Holy shit! It hits me – he’s driving down Ventura Blvd., right where I used to live! I, of course, hadn’t seen that street in a million years. But it all came flooding back to me. He passed Dillaway Realty. I knew instantly what he would pass next – the Pool Supply store, then the Gulf gas station, the freeway underpass, and Love’s BBQ. 
Sure enough the tracking shot continued. There was the Pool Supply place, there was the Gulf station, and then… what the fuck!? There was no freeway underpass. This must’ve been filmed a year before the freeway was erected. 
I can’t tell you how absolutely weird that was. Truly, like being in a time machine. 
And that was just one example. The Bob Hope movie, BACHELOR IN PARADISE was filmed in my neighborhood. The tract house he lived in was the same model as mine. (The interior was different though. Ours didn’t have Lana Turner.) There were scenes in the Woodlake Bowl where I once sprained my thumb! Landmarks popped up throughout the whole movie. 
And this was not a rare occurrence.  I was very excited one afternoon to come out of the Woodland Hills library and see that they were filming a scene from THE FBI there. Efrem Zimbelist Jr.(who had his license) pulled his car to a stop right in front. And there, in the shot, for all to see, was the back fin of my Mercury Comet! The night it aired I actually invited friends over.
This is one of the perks of living in a company town. Seeing old neighborhoods and places long since turned into Costcos.  It’s a real blast from the past. And it makes up for the horrible downside.
For every nostalgic wistful moment I’ve had, there are an equal or greater number of moments when I’ve been really pissed because traffic is snarled due to location filming of some fucking idiotic movie or TV show. Streets are blocked off.  Temporary “No Parking” signs are everywhere.  Equipment trucks and cable as far as the eye can see.  Giant lights blind you at night.  “Why can’t they film this goddamn thing in Pittsburgh”?! I’ve been known to yell.
But then I see Neider’s Auto Body and realize I’m the luckiest guy in the world.  

This was a re-post from many many years ago. How many of you even remember it?

Hey, There’s A Dead Guy in the Living Room 2015-04-19 23:25:56

 Books, Jessy Randall, libraries  Comments Off on Hey, There’s A Dead Guy in the Living Room 2015-04-19 23:25:56
Apr 192015

Jessy Randall

No one had requested Colorado College's copy of the first edition of The Book of Mormon in at least fifteen years, but that all changed last month. First one request, then another, and then eighty Mormon visitors in one day, broken up into four groups in order not to overcrowd the reading room.

The Book of Mormon, the foundational text of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was first published in Palmyra, NY in 1830. 5000 copies were printed, of which at least 144 are currently in libraries. Joseph Smith’s text has been reprinted hundreds of times and translated into many languages and alphabets, including Brigham Young’s Deseret alphabet (one of several alphabets developed to simplify spelling in the 19th century, including one invented by Melvil Dewey, yes, he of the card catalog system).


Book values change with the times, and the monetary value of this book has increased exponentially. According to library records, Colorado College purchased our copy for $250 in 1962. It was one of the first purchases made using the Hulbert Fund, honoring Archer Butler Hulbert, CC professor and scholar of the American West. The book is now worth approximately $100,000. Our copy, however, is not for sale.

Book of Mormon purchase