A Feast of Farmer

Jul 26, 2014 by

Startling1952-08Although noted for his “pioneering use of sexual and religious themes,” Philip José Farmer was, in short, a pulp writer. While most people don’t think of the pulps when they hear Farmer’s name, he began his career selling stories to pulps such as Adventure, Startling Stories, and Thrilling Wonder Stories. In fact he sold over fifteen stories to pulp magazines and digests before his first novel was published in 1957. In all, Farmer had nearly forty stories published in a wide variety of magazines in the 1950s and 60s.

“A prolific and popular science fiction writer who shocked readers in the 1950s by depicting sex with aliens and challenged conventional pieties of the genre with caustic fables set on bizarre worlds of his own devising,” Farmer was best known for his novels. Called “sprawling, episodic works that gave him room to explore the nuances of a provocative premise while indulging his taste for lurid, violent action,” his best were set in the Riverworld and World of the Tiers series. Named a Grand Master of Science Fiction in 2001, Farmer is also remembered for his work concerning the Wold Newton Family.

Beginning at 8:30 PM on Friday, August 8th, Farmerphiles Michael Croteau and Art Sippo will explore Philip José Farmer’s work  as a magazine writer in the waning years of the pulps. Like many of his contemporaries, Farmer sold stories to over a dozen magazines—five different magazines in 1954 alone—constantly looking for new markets for his work. Accompanying the presentation will be a slide show of magazine covers in which Farmer’s early work appeared.

Michael Croteau, one of the founders of FarmerCon, is the publisher of Meteor House books and editor of The Worlds of Philip José Farmer and Farmerphile. Art Sippo  is a physician board certified in Aerospace medicine and Occupational medicine who is currently working in various emergency rooms in southwestern Illinois. He is the co-host of The Book Cave, a podcast that reviews adventure fiction, comics, movies and all thinks pulp-related.  He has also written the book, Sun Koh: Heir of Atlantis, a re-imagining of a German pulp hero of the 1930s, as well as numerous essays and short stories for magazines and anthologies.

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