Some time in 1936, Hugo Gernsback sold the last magazine of his so-called “Wonder Group” to Ned Pines’ Standard Magazines. Following its disappearance from newsstands for a few months, the rechristened THRILLING WONDER STORIES returned to the racks in the summer of 1936 with its first issue dated August.
Whereas Gernsback’s WONDER STORIES had strived to publish scientifically plausible stories, the new Standard pulp was aimed at the youth market, emphasizing action and adventure. It featured stories about mad scientists, alien invasions, and space operas. The first eight issues of the new magazine even included a comic strip chronicling the adventures of Zarnak, drawn by Jack Binder.
The editor of the new THRILLING WONDER STORIES was Mort Weisinger, a former literary agent and young science-fiction fan who had co-edited SCIENCE FICTION DIGEST/FANTASY MAGAZINE, one of the leading fanzines of its day. Employing authors such as Arthur K. Barnes, John W. Campbell, Ray Cummings, Paul Ernst, Edmond Hamilton, Otis Adelbert Kline, Henry Kuttner, Jack Williamson, and Arthur Leo Zagat to create blood-and-thunder stories similar to those found in WEIRD TALES and the Clayton ASTOUNDING STORIES, Weisinger was able to increase Standard’s market share of the science-fiction pulp market. Within a few years, he had added CAPTAIN FUTURE, STARTLING STORIES, and STRANGE STORIES to the “Thrilling” line of pulp magazines.
Mortimer Weisinger, who would have been one-hundred years old today, left Standard in 1941 to become editor of the SUPERMAN comic book and, eventually, other titles for National Periodical Publications. He soon recruited pulp authors Alfred Bester, Otto Binder , H. L. Gold, Edmond Hamilton, and Manly Wade Wellman to write for his magazines.
Although far from universally admired, Mort Weisinger was an important part of the history of Standard Magazines. This summer, PulpFest 2015 will salute Ned Pines’ “Thrilling Group” of pulp magazines and comic books. Also known as Beacon Magazines, Best Books, Better Publications, Nedor Publishing, and others, we hope that you’ll be part of our celebration from August 13 – August 16 at the Hyatt Regency in beautiful, downtown Columbus, Ohio. Click here to learn how to register for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” and join your friends at the “pop culture center of the universe” for a salute to Ned Pines and the “Thrilling Group!”
(The August 1936, the first issue of THRILLING WONDER STORIES to be edited by Mort Weisinger, featured stories by Eando Binder, Ray Cummings, Paul Ernst, Otis Adelbert Kline, A. Merritt, Stanley G. Weinbaum, Weisinger, and Arthur Leo Zagat. There was also a comic strip by Jack Binder, credited to “Max Plaisted.” The magazine’s emphasis on action and adventure, often represented on the cover by creatures with a bizarre appearance, gave rise to the term “bug-eyed-monster,” generally abbreviated as “BEM.” The artist who painted this particular BEM is not known.)
As we prepare for this year’s “Great American Pulp Con,” beginning on August 13th in the Hyatt Regency hotel in beautiful, downtown Columbus, Ohio, PulpFest would like to take the opportunity to thank the sponsors of our website for their significant contributions to our convention.
Galaxy Press is the publisher of the fiction works of author and adventurer L. Ron Hubbard. “The Green God,” Hubbard’s first fiction story to be published in a popular fiction magazine, appeared in Standard Magazine’s THRILLING ADVENTURES in 1934. The author of such pulp classics as “Final Blackout,” “Fear,” and “Typewriter in the Sky,” L. Ron Hubbard went on to become a bestselling author with more than 320 million copies of his works in circulation. The annual L. RON HUBBARD WRITERS OF THE FUTURE anthology, featuring new authors selected by a panel of distinguished authors, is likewise published by Galaxy Press.
Pure Costumes, is the most family friendly costumes store online! Whether you’re planning your next themed party or looking for an exceptional costume for Halloween, Pure Costumes is sure to have the unique costume you want at the prices you need, including free shipping on orders over $65. Pure Costumes is your source for online costumes shopping year-round.
Many thanks to Galaxy Press and Pure Costumes for their generous support of our website. If you or your business is interested in becoming a sponsor of PulpFest, please contact the convention’s marketing director, Mike Chomko. Our terms are quite reasonable. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(L. Ron Hubbard’s short novel, “Death’s Deputy,” was the cover story for the February 1940 issue of the classic Street & Smith fantasy magazine, UNKNOWN. Concerning a man who is unnaturally accident prone, it featured cover art by the great Edd Cartier. You’ll find more Cartier art on the front cover of the 2014 PulpFest program book, THE PULPSTER)
New at this year’s PulpFest will be a gaming track. Many of the themes found in the world of modern games resonate from the pulps and the stories published in those magazines. There are games based on Conan, the Cthulhu Mythos, space operas such as Doc Smith’s Lensman series, westerns, mysteries and, of course, the pulp heroes. Role-playing games, or RPGs, are especially noted for quick action, cliff-hangers, and adventure.
Responding to numerous requests over the last few years to add gaming to the convention mix, PulpFest has decided to begin a gaming track in 2015. We will have a room set up with eight tables where a variety of board games, card games, and role-playing games will be presented. We are currently working with several Columbus-based gaming groups and individuals that will run and teach games to convention attendees who would like to explore that aspect of the pulps.
The Columbus chapter of the Ohio Pathfinder Society will run RPGs dealing with weird tales, ancient ruins, and murder mysteries set in a fantasy world based on the Pathfinder RPG. Another Ohio group, Rogue Cthulhu, will be running role-playing adventures based on H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos and other weird tales set in the 1920s. In addition, the Trail of Cthulhu game system will have adventures set in the 1930’s and add a noir approach to the Mythos. Another will be Fortune and Glory where you are an adventurer crossing the world in search of lost artifacts. Depending on demand, we may have a few other games dealing with cliffhangers and mysteries. All of these RPGs generally happen around a table using pens, paper, and dice. Most convention RPGs last about four hours.
Besides RPGs, there will be a number of board and card games that will be demonstrated and played at the convention. These games can last from twenty minutes to several hours. They will be set up for people looking to find some new and interesting entertainment at PulpFest 2015. We’ll be offering Cthulhu Dice, Elder Sign, and Arkham Horror.
PulpFest will also be contacting a number of game companies in search of prizes for our gaming members.
The PulpFest 2015 gaming track will begin at 10 AM on Friday and Saturday and last until 10 PM or thereabouts. On Sunday, games will begin at 10 AM and continue until the end of the convention. All games will be set up in the Clark Room, located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency.
The only requirements to play games at PulpFest 2015 are a PulpFest membership, your imagination, and a desire to have a good time. So if you enjoy pulps and you enjoy games, PulpFest will be the place to be. You can join us at the beautiful Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio, beginning on Thursday evening, August 13th and running through Sunday afternoon, August 16th. Click here to learn how to register for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con,” and now, “Summer’s Great Pulp Gaming Con.”
Editor 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(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.)
As we did at our 2014 convention, PulpFest will be offering early-bird shopping in the PulpFest dealers’ room on Thursday, August 13th, from 6 PM until 10 PM. For those who prepay for their memberships, it will cost an additional $25 over the regular membership fee. Early-bird shopping privileges will cost $30 if paid for at the door.
But wait! There’s an even better deal for those who want an extra four hours of shopping at PulpFest 2015! To reward loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s substantial costs by staying three nights at our host hotel–the Hyatt Regency in the heart of Columbus–PulpFest is pleased to offer free early-bird privileges. That’s a very significant savings of at least $25! Only staff, dealers, and early-bird shoppers will be allowed into the dealers’ room during Thursday evening, August 13th. Please realize that due to travel conditions and other contingencies, PulpFest cannot guarantee that each and every registered dealer will be available during our early-bird hours.
But free early-bird shopping isn’t the only way you can save by staying three nights at the Hyatt Regency. On Saturday, August 15th, PulpFest will be holding a drawing at the close of our annual business meeting for two full membership fee refunds. Two lucky convention attendees who prepay for their membership, book a room for three nights at our host hotel, and choose to attend our business meeting will receive full refunds of their membership fees to PulpFest 2015. You must provide proof of your stay at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and be present at the drawing to receive your free membership refund. Bingo!
Please remember that PulpFest will be sharing downtown Columbus with Matsuricon in August. Therefore, we are urging all of our members to book their hotel rooms for PulpFest 2015 as soon as possible!
The best deal for PulpFest members is to reserve a room at the Hyatt Regency Columbus. Our host hotel is offering a room rate of $116 plus tax per night that includes a complimentary parking pass with in-out privileges and free Wi-Fi. Additional parking passes for people sharing rooms are available for $10 each. You can call 1-888-421-1442 to book a room by telephone. You must register by July 1, 2015 and mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate. Alternately, you can register online by clicking here or the “book a room” button on our home page.
The room rate offered by the Hyatt to PulpFest members is one of the best in the downtown area. Matsuricon members will be paying $123 per night to stay at the Hyatt, plus an additional $12 a day for parking. Dollar-for-dollar, the PulpFest rate at the Hyatt pretty much stifles the competition.
So what are you waiting for? Book a room for three nights and register now for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” You’ll get a great deal on a room, free early-bird shopping on Thursday evening, August 13th, from 6 to 10 PM, and a chance to win a full membership refund to PulpFest 2015. It’s a deal you can’t afford to miss!
(Join us August 13th – 16th at PulpFest 2015 for a celebration of H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES and a salute to the Thrilling Group of pulp magazines.)