Joe R. Lansdale on Philip José Farmer

Jun 17, 2018 by

Joe Lansdale likes writing introductions to the short stories in his collections. Readers like reading them. They provide interesting insights into what inspired Joe to write these yarns. In MAD DOG SUMMER AND OTHER STORIES  there’s one short story that is chockablock with references to popular fiction and authors. “The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down: A Dime Novel” is dedicated to Philip Jose Farmer.

In his intro to the short story, Joe refers to his being inspired by a dime novel: “Frank Reade, the Inventor, Chasing the James Boys with his Steam Team.” In Joe’s short story there’s plenty of action, mayhem, violence with H. G. Wells Moorlocks, and imagery that is pure Farmer. Joe writes in his introduction:

“This story is a kind of tribute to the old stuff, with a touch of the new. There is also another influence. Philip José Farmer. If Burroughs is my sentimental favorite of all time, Philip José Farmer is my outright favorite.

He’s a mixed bag.

I don’t love it all. His prose ranges from sloppy to genius. But, good God, when he’s on, he can’t be touched. He has that sense of wonder, and he never lost it. He has the magic.

Bless him. He has kept the inner reaches of my heart alive with that sense of wonder and joy. He reminds me that sf, in the broader sense of its term, is in many ways the most wonderful form of fiction in creation.”

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Additionally, the convention will be hosting Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER — as its its Guest of Honor.

You can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Joe R. Lansdale’s MAD DOG SUMMER AND OTHER STORIES was first published in hardcover by Subterranean Press in 2004 — featuring jacket art by Timothy Truman — and reprinted in softcover by Golden Gryphon Press in 2006.

Former journalist Tony Davis — a reader and collector of the work of Joe Lansdale since the 1980s — will be interviewing our honored guest on Saturday evening, July 28, at 7:35 PM. Please join Tony and Joe in the PulpFest 2018 programming room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.)

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