2017 Munsey Award Nominees

May 3, 2017 by

The PulpFest Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that seventeen individuals have been nominated by their peers for the 2017 Munsey Award. Named after Frank A. Munsey, the man who published the first pulp magazine, this annual award recognizes an individual who has given of himself or herself for the betterment of the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and to foster interest in the pulp magazines we all love and enjoy. Congratulations to all of the nominees for this prestigious award, presented annually at PulpFest.

The nominees listed below — who received multiple nominations — will be forwarded to a committee made up of all the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners who will select the person to receive the 2017 Munsey.

Author, editor, historian, and critic MIKE ASHLEY has a special expertise in the history of magazine science fiction, fantasy, and weird fiction. In 2002, he received a Pilgrim Award from the Science Fiction Research Association in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the study of science fiction. He is the author or co-author of numerous works related to the pulps, science fiction, and fantasy. These include THE AGE OF THE STORYTELLERS: BRITISH POPULAR FICTION MAGAZINES, 1880-1950, ALGERNON BLACKWOOD: A BIO-BIBLIOGRAPHY, “BLUE BOOK — The Slick in Pulp Clothing,” THE GERNSBACK DAYS: A STUDY IN THE EVOLUTION OF MODERN SCIENCE FICTION FROM 1911 TO 1936, MONTHLY TERRORS: AN INDEX TO THE WEIRD FANTASY MAGAZINES PUBLISHED IN THE UNITED STATES AND GREAT BRITAIN, SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY AND WEIRD FICTION MAGAZINESTHE SUPERNATURAL INDEX: A LISTING OF FANTASY, SUPERNATURAL, OCCULT, WEIRD AND HORROR ANTHOLOGIES, and others. In 2000, Ashley began to publish his multi-part THE HISTORY OF THE SCIENCE-FICTION MAGAZINES, beginning with THE TIME MACHINES: THE STORY OF THE SCIENCE-FICTION PULP MAGAZINES FROM THE BEGINNING TO 1950. Mr. Ashley has also edited many anthologies and single-author collections, often drawing work from the pulps.

JOHN BETANCOURT as publisher of Wildside Press has made available hundreds of stories from the pulp magazines, digests, and early paperbacks available in print and ebook form, particularly in his MEGAPACK format. In the late 1980’s, John also helped to revive WEIRD TALES. The magazine went on to garner a World Fantasy Award in 1992 and a Hugo Award in 2009. In 2015, Betancourt helped the revived WEIRDBOOK get off the ground. Originally published by W. Paul Ganley — for which he won a World Fantasy Award in 1992 — WEIRDBOOK continues to be appear on a regular basis from Betancourt and Wildside Press. He also serves as the publisher of SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY MAGAZINE and the infrequently issued ADVENTURE TALES, which presents classic tales from the pulp magazines.

CAMILLE CAZEDESSUS has been publishing a fanzine devoted to pulp fiction for more than fifty years, first as ERB-DOM and later as THE FANTASTIC COLLECTOR. All told, he has edited and published almost 250 issues, as well as several books. In its earliest incarnation, Caz’s magazine focused on the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs, presenting background information and bibliographic details about the author’s work as it appeared in magazines, books, comics, and movies. ERB-DOM won a Hugo Award in 1966. In the late nineties, Caz rechristened his fanzine as PULPDOM, a publication devoted to “studying the authors that wrote for the pulps and reprinting the ‘fantastic adventure’ type stories from pulp magazines.” With the help of various writers and indexers including Gary Lovisi, Al Lybeck, Jerry Page and, most recently, Mike Taylor, PULPDOM has explored nearly every pre-1932 general fiction pulp ever published, including ARGOSY, ALL-STORY, BLUE BOOK, CAVALIER, and THE POPULAR. Caz continues to publish PULPDOM today as a free, online pulp fanzine.

Probably best known for the SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND WEIRD FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX that he originally compiled with Steve Miller, WILLIAM CONTENTO has assembled other works that have become essential tools of reference. These include his INDEX TO SCIENCE FICTION ANTHOLOGIES AND COLLECTIONS, INDEX TO CRIME AND MYSTERY ANTHOLOGIES (with Martin H. Greenberg), THE SUPERNATURAL INDEX (with Mike Ashley), and others. In the last seventeen years, he and Phil Stephensen-Payne have built up the online FictionMags Index into a research juggernaut. It currently lists the contents of over 75,000 issues of thousands of different magazine titles. Pulps are heavily represented, of course, but pulp writers turn up in other magazines, too, and the FictionMags Index allows them to be discovered. A huge endeavor, the FictionMags Index has been a tremendous boon to pulp-magazine research.

RON FORTIER has been a professional writer for three decades. In 2007, Ron teamed up with illustrator Rob Davis to start Airship 27 Productions and build a home for new adventures featuring long moribund pulp characters such as the Green Lama, the Masked Rider, Secret Agent X, and Fortier’s own version of Ace Periodicals’ Captain Hazzard. Ron’s books have inspired contemporary writers and artists to turn out new adventures featuring many of the characters long remembered by the pulp community. They have also served as ports of entry for new people to become involved with the world of pulps. In 2009, Ron helped develop the Pulp Factory Awards, inaugurated to support and encourage the creation of new pulp fiction and art. The first PFAs were awarded at the 2010 Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention. Recently, Ron helped publish LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION, an all-new anthology to benefit new pulp publisher, editor, and writer Tommy Hancock, recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure. All proceeds of the book will help Tommy to defray some of his medical bills. On Saturday, July 29, Ron will be moderating a panel on new pulp fiction at PulpFest.

JOEL FRIEMAN worked for many years in the publishing industry. He was the person most responsible for taking The Shadow to a new paperback house, Pyramid/Jove, after it had failed at Bantam Books. It was Joel who worked to have Jim Steranko do the covers for the new Shadow line. Joel was also responsible for the Pocket Books editions of The Spider in the 1970s and, as the fiction editor at Freeway Press, he reprinted several Operator 5 adventures in paperback, featuring cover art by pulp illustrator George Gross. In 1981, Joel purchased Popular Publications from Popular Publications International. Joel has been directly involved with every Popular Publications reprint in any format ever since. He licensed The Spider to paperback numerous times, as well as G-8 and His Battle AcesOperator 5, and numerous novels from ARGOSY for various book projects. Joel rarely attends conventions outside of New York, but he is well known by pulp fans and publishers throughout the country.

For nearly two decades RON HANNA, through his Wild Cat Books operation, selflessly served the pulp community by maintaining interest in the great pulps. Beginning with his fanzine SECRET SANCTUM — which ran for seventeen issues from 1996 – 1999 — Ron published material by both new and old writers and artists, exhibiting his great love and respect for the pulps. Some of the books that he published included MASTER OF THE PULPS: THE COLLECTED ESSAYS OF NICK CARR, THE HANDBOOK OF BRONZE: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR THE DOC SAVAGE COLLECTOR, and THE CAPTAIN FUTURE HANDBOOK. Long before anyone else, he took his love of pulp fiction to the next level and began presenting brand new pulp stories and artwork by some of today’s finest creators, helping to set the stage for the “New Pulp” movement. More recently, he revived the classic science-fiction magazine, STARTLING STORIES. Ron’s work to keep the spirit of the old pulps alive has cost him a great deal both personally and financially, but he keeps giving it everything he can. His efforts come from his heart and his genuine love for the pulps.

Although pulp reprints abound in our day and age, such was not only the case. Along with John Gunnison of Adventure House, RICH HARVEY was one of the first small publishers to get the pulp reprint movement off the ground. He started in the pages of his fanzine, PULP ADVENTURES — begun in 1992 — where he published stories from COMPLETE NORTHWEST NOVEL, DIME DETECTIVE, .44 WESTERN MAGAZINE, NEW DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, and other pulps. Two of the highlights were two short stories by Norvell Page, offering the first two adventures of the popular pulp hero The Spider. Rich — along with his onetime partner, Cat Jaster, would go on to reprint two dozen of The Spider’s adventures. As Bold Venture Press, he is currently in the midst of a six-volume series reprinting the complete run of Johnston McCulley’s Zorro tales, publishing unique tales from one of the longest lived pulp magazines, RAILROAD STORIES, “new pulp” adventures in AWESOME TALES, and pulp old and new in the continuing PULP ADVENTURES. Along with his current partner, Audrey Parente, Rich manages the twice-a-year Pulp AdventureCon in two locations, New Jersey and Florida. These one-day events help to bring the world of pulp to a wider geographic range of fans. Rich is also great at communicating personally with fans one-on-one, whether on email or facebook.

CHRIS KALB is known in pulp circles for his hero pulp websites, like The 86th Floor and The Spider Returns, ventures that have helped to attract people who are new to the pulps. There isn’t anyone out there making better use of all the new technology while still preserving the “oldness” of pulps and popular culture. He has become the person to go to for publishers who want a retro-design for their books or website, including Ed Hulse’s Murania Press. He is also the lead designer for Age of Aces Books, a pulp reprint house that specializes in air war fiction. In 2010, Age of Aces received two National Indie Excellence Awards for Chris’ work on the bestselling THE SPIDER VS. THE EMPIRE STATE. Chris is the designer of PulpFest‘s original website and for many years, put together the convention’s print advertisements.

Like many of us, RICK LAI has dedicated much of his adult life and disposable income to his passion for collecting pulp fiction (in all its permutations). Rick distinguished himself with his erudite and insightful scholarship that has made him respected among Wold Newtonians and purists alike. Rick’s speculative theories on character and continuity may have been inspired by Philip José Farmer, but were never bound by Farmer or anyone else’s parameters. Rick’s brilliant and provocative flights of fantasy informed, inspired, and even infuriated readers, but kept them coming back for the next article or book. Later in life, Rick made the natural progression from scholar to storyteller as he began creating works that supplement and expand upon his literary speculations. Among his many books are CHRONOLOGY OF SHADOWS: A TIMELINE OF THE SHADOW’S EXPLOITS, THE RETURN OF JUDEX, THE REVISED COMPLETE CHRONOLOGY OF BRONZE, RICK LAI’S SECRET HISTORIES: DARING ADVENTURERS, and SHADOWS OF THE OPERA: RETRIBUTION IN BLOOD.

WILLIAM LAMPKIN is a freelance writer/editor and publication designer who has spent much of his work life in the newspaper field, much like Rambler Murphy (but without the cool nickname and crime-solving). Like many from his generation, Bill discovered the pulps through paperback reprints of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Spider. He bought his first actual pulp in the seventies. Bill runs The Pulp.Net, which he created in 1996, and also writes the Yellowed Perils blog. He founded the Facebook group Southern Pulpsters in 2015. A resident of Florida, he has designed THE PULPSTER since 2008, and beginning with its 22nd issue, became editor of the award-winning program book. The first twenty-one issues of the magazine were edited by Tony Davis, winner of the 1999 Lamont Award, who calls Bill: “One of the unsung heroes of contemporary pulp fandom.” In late 2013, Bill also began to design PulpFest‘s print advertisements, badges, and other materials. He is a member of the PulpFest organizing committee, serving as the convention’s advertising director.

PHIL STEPHENSEN-PAYNE is a prolific bibliographer and pulp researcher based in the United Kingdom. For many years, he has been compiling extremely useful “working bibliographies,” (often in collaboration with the late Gordon Benson, Jr.) of speculative fiction writers, many of whom got their start writing for the pulps. These bibliographies, numbering about sixty, are some of the best reference resources available today in the area of science fiction and fantasy. Additionally, his Galactic Central website contains an online checklist of all known fiction magazines that is attempting to include the cover to every such magazine ever published. It also indexes bibliographies, pulps, science fiction magazines, and other genre magazines. Stephensen-Payne is also a significant contributor and host to the FictionMags Index — principally edited by William G Contento — and co-author (with Stephen T. Miller and William G. Contento) of the CRIME, MYSTERY, AND GANGSTER FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX, originally released on CD-ROM by Locus Press in 2011.

MICHAEL USLAN originally fell in love with pulp characters by listening to rebroadcasts of The Shadow radio show when he was a kid. When the Shadow Belmont paperbacks began to come out, followed by the Doc Savage paperbacks and then the Avenger paperbacks, he built up his knowledge of the original pulps and poured himself into the history of the industry as well as each of the characters. His first professional job writing comics was for the legendary DC Comics series, THE SHADOW. He went on to write “Night of the Avenger” in the eleventh issue, which to this day is considered an all-time  classic pulp team-up. In the 1980s, Uslan worked with Walter Gibson on a movie project, and learned so much about the pulps and specifically The Shadow direct from the primary source. More recently, Michael wrote the graphic novel, “The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights” for Dynamite as well as the mini-series, “Justice, Inc.,” the first-ever team-up of the three great Street and Smith pulp characters, The Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Avenger. Turning to old-time-radio for inspiration, Uslan also wrote the graphic novel, LONE RANGER/GREEN HORNET: CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE. Michael Uslan has done so much to keep these pulp era characters alive and vibrant in plot-driven, character-driven stories filled with Easter eggs for pulp fans and historical footnotes for the readers in each issue. He has respected the integrity of these characters in the process and respected their creators.

GEORGE VANDERBURGH has published over 600 books through his Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, many of them directly related to the pulps. He was largely responsible for finally getting all of Fred Davis’ classic Moon Man stories back into print. And what about his Peter the Brazen series, his five volumes featuring the work of Seabury Quinn, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE PARK AVENUE HUNT CLUB, his Green Ghost set, THE COMPLEAT SAGA OF JOHN SOLOMON, THE ADVENTURES OF THE GOLDEN AMAZON, and THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE SUICIDE SQUAD? He has also given us numerous collections of detective fiction, including volumes featuring the Thinking Machine, Dr. Thorndyke, and Martin Hewitt. Looking at his website, his future plans include several books reprinting pulp authors who have been unjustly forgotten. Along with Robert Weinberg, George served as the co-editor of Arkham House Publishers until the death of April Derleth. A regular attendee of pulp conventions, George has helped both longtime and new fans to collect the tales of some of the most fantastic heroes from the pulps.

Although some may believe he is old enough to have purchased pulps off the newsstand, CHUCK WELCH is a mere whippersnapper. As one of the original Internet Fans of Bronze, Chuck started attending the summer pulp convention in the late 1990s. After meeting his future wife at one of those conventions, Chuck took some time off to start a family. At the behest of Bill Mann, he returned to attend PulpFest. As was his wont, Chuck immediately started volunteering and making suggestions to the organizing committee. Having enough of his puppy-dog eyes, he was asked to join the team. Chuck is the convention’s technology director and webmaster. When the Internet began to take off, Chuck began Flearun, a Doc Savage group now at Facebook. He is also the creator of the Hidalgo Trading Company — perhaps the closest anyone has come to presenting an online Doc fanzine — and the current editor of the Doc Savage fan magazine THE BRONZE GAZETTE.

For the last twenty-five years, HOWARD WRIGHT has been publishing the Doc Savage fan magazine THE BRONZE GAZETTE. He created his magazine when there was no real Internet and very little information readily available about Lester Dent’s “Man of Bronze.” His main reason for starting the publication was to gather information about Doc Savage, disseminate this news to the “Fans of Bronze,” and keep Doc fans going during the “lean” years when Doc was, for the most part, a mere memory. Through Howard’s sustained efforts, interest in Doc was maintained and his return to the limelight assured. His final issue of the GAZETTE was published at the beginning of this year. The magazine will be continued by Terry Allen, Kez Wilson, and Chuck Welch, creator of the Hidalgo Trading Company and a member of the PulpFest organizing committee.

DAN ZIMMER has been working to promote greater awareness of pulp artists by producing and distributing ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE since 2001. He recently published the fiftieth issue of his magazine. Dan has tirelessly contributed his time, expertise and personal wealth to promote a more respectful awareness of the artistic accomplishments of pulp artists through the deluxe publication of the many biographical articles on such artists that have appeared in his magazine, distributed around the globe. He has done this despite the overwhelming fact that his creative vision is far beyond receiving any reasonable economic return for his efforts. His devotion to classic American illustrators is manifest in the elegant presentation of his magazine and has helped to turn the tide in our culture’s growing appreciation of pulp art. Dan has also published illustrated biographies of pulp artists Walter Baumhofer, H. J. Ward, and Norman Saunders through his book-publishing arm, The Illustrated Press. Additionally, he has supported the pulp community by drawing his readers’ attention to various pulp conventions, including the Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention, Pulpcon, and PulpFest. Dan has also served as the sponsor of Windy City’s annual pulp art exhibit and created the limited edition print of David Saunder’s Munsey Award painting without cost to the PulpFest organizing committee.

The recipient of the 2017 Munsey Award will be announced on July 29 as part of the Saturday evening programming, open to all PulpFest 2017 registrants. A limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints, designed by artist and pulp enthusiast David Saunders, serves as the Munsey Award. Congratulations to all of the nominees for the 2017 Munsey Award.

(A New York artist whose work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum and at other museums and in public buildings throughout the United States and other countries, David Saunders has taught art at Yale, Oberlin and many other colleges worldwide, including schools in Paris, London and Tokyo. An expert on pulp art, he has been a guest speaker on the subject, including The Pulp Art Show held at the Brooklyn Museum in 2003, and has served as the guest of honor at various pulp conventions. David has written biographical articles on pulp artists Allen Anderson, Rudolph Belarski, Frederick Blakeslee, Ernest Chiriacka, Rafael DeSoto, John Newton Howitt, J. W. Scott, and others. He is also the author of WALTER BAUMHOFER, NORMAN SAUNDERS, and H. J. WARD, book-length biographies and appreciations of these great pulp artists. David’s website — Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists — is a leading source of information for those interested in the artwork found in the pulp magazines.)

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