Be a New Fictioneer at PulpFest 2018

Mar 12, 2018 by

New Pulp. To the uninitiated, it sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it’s a genre that excels at PulpFest. While we’re a convention dedicated to the magazines published before many of us were born, we’re happy to save space for the authors and publishers who are recreating and reinventing the field.

PulpFest co-founder Mike Chomko once wrote, “If you’re a writer who has been inspired by the work of yarn-spinners such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Walt Coburn, Carroll John Daly, Lester Dent, Frederick Faust, Walter B. Gibson, Edmond Hamilton, Robert E. Howard, H. Bedford-Jones, Henry Kuttner, H. P. Lovecraft, Norvell Page, Clark Ashton Smith, Jack Williamson, and countless others who churned out commercial fiction for the pulp market, PulpFest is looking for you!”

Since 2009, PulpFest has offered the mic to some of New Pulp’s best writers. On Friday and Saturday afternoons we’re hosting readings by some of today’s stars of New Pulp. We call these sessions the New Fictioneers, and we’re making a call for writers to join the ranks of this elite club. If you write genre fiction -– detective, fantasy, pulp hero, science fiction, western, etc –- you could join the New Fictioneers.

As a New Pulp author, we’d like you spend a few minutes reading from a recent work and then take questions from the audience. At this time we have slots available on both Friday, July 27, and Saturday July 28.

If you’re a writer of contemporary genre fiction who would like to participate in our 2018 festivities, send an email to PulpFest programming director at Please provide some information about yourself, your work, where you’ve been published, and whether you’re available Friday, Saturday, or both.

In order to prepare the convention schedule, we need your application to be submitted by April 15, 2018. We only have a limited number of slots available, so please remember first come is first-served. Send your email as soon as possible.

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Season’s Greetings from PulpFest

Dec 25, 2017 by

From July 26 – 29, 2018, PulpFest will celebrate the centennial of “The Armistice that Ended The Great War.” The convention will also mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer.

We’ll be exploring the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. PulpFest 2018 will feature presentations on art in the war pulps and men’s adventure magazines, plus a look at war comics. We’ll also have expert presentations on air war pulps, Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Great War, and the life and fiction of Leonard Nason, an author who served in the First World War and wrote about his experiences. Robert Gould, the son of pulp illustrator John Fleming Gould — who contributed interior illustrations to G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES and many other pulps — will also be on hand to discuss his father’s life and artistic career.

Of course, we’ll also be celebrating the life and legacy of science fiction author and pulp fan Philip José Farmer. The members of FARMERCON 100 will be offering panels and presentations on “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity,” the author’s novels set in 1918, and much more (including a showing of the French documentary, MOI TARZAN).

And don’t forget about our convention’s Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. He’s also won the Edgar Award, ten Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many other honors.

Why not treat yourself to a gift and register for PulpFest 2018? Better yet, bring your entire family. Pittsburgh is a great city to visit, particularly when the Pirates are in town!

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy holiday season from your PulpFest organizing committee — Jack and Sally Cullers, Mike Chomko, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, and Chuck Welch

(Rudolph Belarski painted the cover for the December 20, 1928 issue of Dell Publishing’s WAR STORIES. It’s a particularly moving portrait of a soldier making his way carefully across no-man’s-land. The glare of a flare, rather than that legendary star, lights his way.)

PulpFest: The Great Convention

Dec 11, 2017 by

Are you thinking about attending PulpFest 2018? You’re probably wondering what to expect from this year’s convention. PulpFest is known for its great programming and the line-up that we’re planning for next year’s convention is shaping up to be one of our best.

2018 marks the centennial of the armistice that ended the First World War. Also called “The War to End All Wars” and “The Great War,” PulpFest — The Great Convention — will be honoring the 100th anniversary of the war’s end by focusing on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture.

We’ll explore the work of Leonard H. Nason — who wrote about soldiers and war for ADVENTURE and other magazines — and have presentations on artistic interpretations of war in comic books, pulps, and men’s adventure magazines. Author and anthologist Don Hutchison will moderate a panel on “Fighting Aces of War Skies: The Pulps Take Flight” and Henry G. Franke, III — the editor of THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN — will discuss “Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Great War.” And Robert Gould will talk about his father — John Fleming Gould — the interior artist who illustrated every issue of G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES.

We’ll also be celebrating the century mark of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerPulpFest and its associated convention — FarmerCon — will be saluting the acclaimed author of such works as ESCAPE FROM LOKITHE DARK HEART OF TIME, the classic Riverworld series, and more. Join us for panels and presentations on “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity,” “The Dark Heart of Loki: Philip José Farmer Revisits 1918,” and the life and legacy of Philip José Farmer. We’ll also be showing the French documentary MOI, TARZAN, featuring Farmer, George McWhorter, and Francis Lacassin.

And don’t forget about our Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels and numerous short stories. Winner of the Edgar Award, ten Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many other awards, Joe will be talking with Tony Davis — editor emeritus of THE PULPSTER and winner of the 1999 Lamont Award — on Saturday evening, July 28, in the PulpFest programming room. Mr. Lansdale will also be available at other times during the convention.

To give you an idea about what you’ll encounter from July 26 through July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” — below is the planned schedule for PulpFest 2018. We hope to see you at the convention. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2018 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!


Thursday, July 26

Dealers’ Room

3:00 PM – 11:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Early Registration

5:30 PM – 8:30 PM — Dealers’ Room Open for Early-Bird Shopping


8:40 – 9:10 PM — Leonard H. Nason — Soldier and Writer (Kurt Shoemaker)

9:20 – 9:50 PM — Edgar Rice Burroughs and The Great War (Henry G. Franke, III)

10:00 – 10:40 PM — Life and Death on the Front Lines: The War Comics (Michelle Nolan)

10:45 – 11:15 PM — World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity (FarmerCon 100 Panel)

11:25 – 12:30 AM — MOI, TARZAN — French Documentary Featuring George McWhorter, Philip José Farmer, & Francis   Lacassin

Friday, July 27

Dealers’ Room

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM — Early Registration and Dealers’ Room Set-Up

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All


12:30 – 1:10 PM — Violence in Bloom (a New Fictioneers reading by Gary Rabuzzi)

1:15 – 1:55 PM — Allan Quatermain and the Beast Men (a New Fictioneers reading by Wayne Carey)

2:00 – 2:30 PM — Philip José Farmer Interviews Lord Greystoke (featuring Chuck Loridans & Christopher Paul Carey)

2:35 – 3:15 PM — Swords Against the Moon Men (a New Fictioneers reading by Christopher Paul Carey)

3: 20 – 4:00 PM — Landscape of Darkness (a New Fictioneers reading by Sara Light-Waller)

3:30 – 4:30 PM — Friday Night Auction Preview

6:55 – 7:00 PM — Welcome to PulpFest (Convention Chairman Jack Cullers)

7:00 – 7:40 PM — 100 Years of Philip José Farmer: His Influence and Legacy (FarmerCon 100 Panel)

7:50 – 8:20 PM — Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Men’s Adventure Magazines and the Art of War (Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle)

8:30 – 9:10 PM — Fighting Aces of War Skies: The Pulps Take Flight (Don Hutchison — moderator — Chris Kalb, Bill Mann, Steve Young)

9:10 – 9:50 PM — Special Guest Presentation: John Fleming Gould, Pulp Illustrator (Robert Gould)

9:50 – 10:05 PM — Last Minute Auction Viewing

10:05 – 12:00 AM — Friday Night Auction

Saturday, July 28

Dealers’ Room

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All


12:30 – 2:00 PM — FarmerJam (all members of FarmerCon 100 and PulpFest 2018 are welcome to read from their favorite Philip José Farmer work or reminisce about the author and his work)

2:10 – 3:10 PM — Flinch Books Fest (featuring New Fictioneers John Bruening & Jim Beard)

3:15 – 4:15 PM — FarmerCon Reading Duet (featuring New Fictioneers Win Scott Eckert & Frank Schildiner)

3:30 – 4:30 PM — Saturday Night Auction Preview

5:00 – 6:45 PM — PulpFest Group Meal

7:00 – 7:20 PM — PulpFest Annual Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)

7:20 – 7:30 PM — Munsey Award Presentation (presented by David Saunders)

7:35 – 8:20 PM — Our Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale (interviewed by Tony Davis)

8:25 – 9:05 PM — Life and Death on the Front Lines: The Art of the War Pulps (David Saunders)

9:10 – 9:50 PM — The Dark Heart of Loki: Philip José Farmer Revisits 1918 (FarmerCon 100 Panel)

9:50 – 10:05 PM — Last Minute Auction Viewing

10:05 – 12:00 AM — Saturday Night Auction

Sunday, July 29

Dealer’s Room

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All (many dealers will be packing up; buying opportunities may be limited)

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2018 post card features the work of artist Gertrude C. Orde. Her painting was originally used as the cover for the January 1932 number of Fawcett Publications’ BATTLE STORIES. It’s based on the poster art for the classic World War I film, ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT.)



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120 Years of Frederick Blakeslee

Dec 4, 2017 by

Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. On November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed that brought more than four years of hostilities to a close. The convention’s focus will be the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century. It will also explore the depiction of war in popular fiction and art.

One of the leading artists who brought The Great War alive for pulp readers was Frederick Blakeslee. Born on December 4, 1898, next year will mark the 120th anniversary of his birth.

Trained in mechanical drafting, Blakeslee began to study art at the Pratt Institute while working for the Curtiss Aeroplane Factory. Among his classmates were Walter Baumhofer, John Fleming Gould, and Rudolph Belarski. The latter helped Frederick Blakeslee to get his first cover assignments for the pulp magazines.

According to pulp art historian David Saunders, “Blakeslee became a leader in the field of aviation pulps, as well as a top cover artist for railroad pulps. He was also a top pen & ink man, who drew over one thousand interior black and white story illustrations for Popular Publications, his primary publisher. Blakeslee painted 423 pulp covers — 306 of those appeared on every issue of BATTLE BIRDS, CAPTAIN COMBAT, DARE-DEVIL ACES, DUSTY AYRES AND HIS BATTLE BIRDS, and G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES . . . an amazing feat that no other pulp artist can claim.”

After serving in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve during the Second World War, freelance work became harder to find. Frederick Blakeslee returned to industrial drafting, where he finished his professional career. On March 5, 1973, the artist passed at age 74.

Make your plans to celebrate “The Armistice that Ended The Great War” and “120 Years of Frederick Blakeslee.” We’ll also be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of science fiction Grand Master Philip Jose Farmer and welcoming award-winning author Joe Lansdale as our guest of honor.

Please join us July 26 – 29 for PulpFest 2018 at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City. We hope to see you there.

(G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES debuted with its October 1933 issue. It ran for 110 issues through its June 1944 number. Published by Popular Publications, the magazine featured a lead novel — written by Robert J. Hogan — and cover art by Frederick Blakeslee. John Fleming Gould — a pen-and-ink artist who will also be celebrated at PulpFest 2018 — contributed the interior art.

Blakeslee’s cover for the January 1935 number of G-8 illustrated Hogan’s lead novel, “The X-Ray Eye.” The author’s and artist’s version of World War I took a rather fantastic bent, an idea that will likewise be explored at PulpFest 2018.)


Joe Lansdale is Coming to PulpFest

Oct 9, 2017 by

Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale will be the Guest of Honor at PulpFest 2018. The author of over forty novels and numerous short stories, his work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has also written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in more than two dozen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies. He has received the Edgar Award, ten Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many other awards. His novella BUBBA HO-TEP was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road” was adapted to film for Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR, and he adapted his short story “Christmas with the Dead” to film himself. The film adaptation of his novel COLD IN JULY was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, and the Sundance Channel has adapted his Hap & Leonard novels for television. He is Writer In Residence at Stephen F. Austin State University.

According to Eric Benson, writing in February 2016 issue of TEXAS MONTHLY, Joe Lansdale got his start as a writer through the encouragement of his wife, Karen:

“My wife said, ‘Just take three months off and write — it’s what you want to do, just do it,’” Lansdale says. For the next ninety days, he wrote from morning until night, producing a story a day. Many were short: 3 to 4 pages. Others were shockingly long for a day’s work: 25 pages or more. At the end of the three months, Lansdale had nearly 1,000 pages of text. “They were some of the worst stories ever written; I was just flushing out all the crap,” he says. “But I learned to type real good.”

In 1976 he made his fiction debut, landing a detective story, “The Full Count,” with MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE. “More followed, mostly in MIKE SHAYNE, although it was hardly a living and it wasn’t his endgame.” Four years later, he sold his first two novels — TEXAS NIGHT RIDERS and ACT OF LOVE. Soon thereafter, he quit his day job to write full-time.

“Few writers can authentically claim to be their own distinct genre,” writes Lisa Morton in the October 2017 issue of NIGHTMARE MAGAZINE. “But there’s no question that Joe R. Lansdale is a category unto himself. He’s written award-winning horror, mystery, suspense, westerns, graphic novels and comics, media tie-ins, screenplays, and mainstream literature, yet each new work fits recognizably into the East Texas-slang-filled, fast-paced, fluid storytelling style that defines the Joe R. Lansdale genre.”

“I always felt that Ray Bradbury was kind of a role model for me, because he said, ‘Leap off the cliff and build your wings on the way down,’” Lansdale says. “That’s kind of what I’ve done my entire career. I’ve been told time after time, by editors and other writers, ‘Don’t do that, it’ll ruin your career,’ or ‘What are you doing? Stop writing that Batman novel. You’re getting recognition, this is the dumbest thing.’ But I like Batman. Sometimes I want to write the Batman novel.”

In 2018, PulpFest will celebrate the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Like Lansdale, Farmer was a genre all his own. In his introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER, Joe Lansdale writes:

“No one, absolutely no one, is braver than Philip José Farmer. He’s willing to crawl out on most any limb. Like Tarzan, a name he was called as a child, he is willing to go where no one has gone before. At least as a writer. He’ll crawl out on that limb, be it rickety and weak and disease ridden, and he’ll not only crawl out there, he’ll stand up and grin at you.

Sometimes the limb breaks, but because of Farmer’s willingness to try anything, take any kind of chance, the results are often brilliant. Farmer is one of those handful of writers whose work, when it works, and on those rare occasions even when it doesn’t, that strikes sparks off the mind and sends you reeling into worlds and thoughts you might never have thought to explore.”

Farmer and Lansdale — two writers — both genres all their own.

Please join PulpFest 2018 from July 26 – 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. We’ll be celebrating the century mark of Philip José Farmer, plus the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Of course, we’ll also be welcoming author Joe Lansdale. He will be talking with Tony Davis — editor emeritus of THE PULPSTER, winner of the 1999 Lamont Award, and a reader and collector of Joe Lansdale’s work since the mid-1980s — on Saturday evening, July 28, in the PulpFest programming room. Joe will also be available at select times during the convention.

(Joe Lansdale’s DEAD ON THE BONES — published by Subterranean Press in 2016 and featuring jacket art by Timothy Truman — is the author’s salute to the pulps and to pulp fiction. “I had no idea the pulps, by that point, were gone. I had no idea that they had existed, or even what a deceased pulp magazine looked like, but their leftover juice was in my blood, like unnamed parasites. . . . Now and again, however, I prefer to go back and dig into that pulp well in my head and come out with a story that might actually have appeared in those old, long defunct magazines. This book is an example of that.”

In addition to his writing, Joe is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.)