Our 2019 Munsey Award Nominees

May 1, 2019 by

The PulpFest Organizing Committee is pleased to announce that fifteen individuals have been nominated by their peers for the 2019 Munsey Award. The honor is named after Frank A. Munsey — the man who published the first pulp magazine. This annual award recognizes an individual or institution that has bettered the pulp community, be it through disseminating knowledge about the pulps or through publishing or other efforts to preserve and 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 LamontMunsey, and Rusty Award winners who will select the recipient of this year’s Munsey.

Author, bibliographer, critic, editor, and historian 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 MAGAZINES,  THE 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. He is currently working to compile an index to the most important British popular fiction magazines between 1880 and 1950.

The Collections Librarian at the University of Connecticut, RICHARD BLEILER is a bibliographer and researcher in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, horror, crime, and adventure fiction. In 2002, he was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction for the second edition of SUPERNATURAL FICTION WRITERS: FANTASY AND HORROR. With his father, Everett Bleiler, Richard compiled SCIENCE-FICTION: THE EARLY YEARSand SCIENCE-FICTION: THE GERNSBACK YEARS, both published by Kent State University Press. His other work includes THE INDEX TO ADVENTURE MAGAZINE, THE ANNOTATED INDEX TO THE THRILL BOOK, the second edition of SCIENCE FICTION WRITERS: CRITICAL STUDIES OF THE MAJOR AUTHORS FROM THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY TO THE PRESENT DAY, and REFERENCE AND RESEARCH GUIDE TO MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE FICTION. Richard’s essay, “Forgotten Giant: A Brief History of ADVENTURE MAGAZINE,” originally published in EXTRAPOLATION: A JOURNAL OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, is considered the finest overview of the classic pulp magazine. He has also written essays on early science fiction, fantasy, and mystery authors for THE DICTIONARY OF LITERARY BIOGRAPHY and other reference works, as well as articles on the writings of Frank Belknap Long and Clark Ashton Smith for Gary Hoppenstand’s PULP FICTION OF THE ’20S AND ’30S.

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 an 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.

WIN SCOTT ECKERT is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE and the author of THE SCARLET JAGUAR, both featuring Patricia Wildman, daughter of the pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. He coedited and contributed stories to three Green Hornet anthologies, and his short fiction tales of Zorro, The Avenger, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hareton Ironcastle, Captain Midnight, The Green Ghost, Phileas Fogg, Sexton Blake, The Domino Lady, Doc Ardan, Sherlock Holmes, and others can be found in various anthologies. A Honey West/T.H.E Cat crossover novel, A GIRL AND HER CAT (coauthored with Matthew Baugh), came out in 2014. He is currently working on: the third Pat Wildman adventure; a new novel of one of the preeminent pulp heroes of the ’40s, The Avenger; and completing Philip José Farmer’s manuscript of THE MONSTER ON HOLD, the fourth novel in the Secrets of the Nine series. Additionally, he is the editor of and a contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE — a 2007 Locus Awards finalist — and the coeditor with Christopher Paul Carey of TALES OF THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE. He was the coeditor of FARMERPHILE from 2007–2009. His massive timeline of crossover stories — CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD — was published by Black Coat Press in 2010. In 1997, he launched the first Wold Newton website, The Wold Newton Universe. A tireless chronicler of Farmer’s idiosyncratic view of a broad shared universe, Eckert has shown remarkable fidelity to Farmer’s vision and serves as an inspiration to the many who have followed in his wake. Like Farmer, Win is one of the leading “Children of the Pulps.”

RALPH GRASSO may just be the ultimate pulp fan. He has created and is the administrator for at least 25 pulp and pulp-related Facebook groups. Ralph actively participates in these groups to engage members in spirited conversation relative to the group topic. These groups provide a place for fans of the pulps to congregate and chat. They also serve to bring in new members and introduce them to pulp literature, authors, and characters. Just some of the groups that Ralph has created are A. MERRITT FAN GROUP, FANS OF BRONZE, H.P.L. — THE MASTER OF COSMIC HORROR, IN THE ROARING HEART OF THE CRUCIBLE, THE MYSTERY MEN OF JOHNSTON MCCULLEY, PULP SWORD AND SORCERY, THE SHADOW STRIKES, SWORD AND PLANET FICTION, TWO-GUN BOB — THE WORLDS OF ROBERT E. HOWARD, and WELLMAN’S GUYS!

STEPHEN HAFFNER — The “Big Poobah” of Haffner Press — has been returning the work of a number of well-regarded pulp fiction writers into print for nearly twenty years. Specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and mystery fiction, Stephen has brought back the early work of Leigh Brackett, Fredric Brown, Howard Brown, Edmond Hamilton, Henry Kuttner, C. L. Moore, Manly Wade Wellman, and Jack Williamson in a series of beautifully designed hardcovers. He is also working on volumes featuring the fiction of Robert Bloch, Donald Wandrei, and others. Ed Gorman wrote the following about Haffner Press books: “They’re among the best made and most handsomely illustrated of all the collectibles I’ve ever seen. These are masterpieces in every way.” Stephen has also been involved in furthering interest in the pulps among both academia and the general public. He has been associated with the annual Jack Williamson Lectureship at Eastern New Mexico University for many years and in 2009 was a co-sponsor with the Kinsman Historical Society of the first Edmond Hamilton Day in the late author’s hometown. Finally, Stephen has been a presenter at a number of pulp conventions.

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 has published a six-volume series reprinting the complete run of Johnston McCulley’s Zorro tales, reprinted 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 personally communicating 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 was 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.

While some nominees are like Doc Savage — out front and known to most — others are like The Shadow — hidden from view for most the time, yet still there and appearing when needed. A pulp collector since a teenager, SHEILA VANDERBEEK began attending pulp conventions in 1975. She has attended 62 of the 63 major pulp conventions since her first. She helped with all the radio recreations that were performed at Pulpcon. A member of the Battered Silicon Press pulp advisory committee, Sheila has helped on many books for the publisher. In addition to recommending authors and series, she has supplied all or most of the stories included in Battered Silicon’s Great Merlini, John Solomon, Needle Mike, Park Ave Hunt Club, Satan Hall,  and Suicide Squad collections, as well as others. She has also provided copies of stories to Altus Press and other pulp-related publishers. Owning one of the largest and widest ranging pulp collections in existence, Sheila also provided content information to Leonard Robbins for his groundbreaking pulp magazine indices. She has also helped on countless other research projects in the pulp field. Sheila has been a member of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Society since 1997.

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 SOLOMONTHE ADVENTURES OF THE GOLDEN AMAZONTHE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE SUICIDE SQUAD, and others? 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 the late 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 served as the convention’s technology and social media director until his resignation in 2018, due to family commitments. 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 twenty-five years, HOWARD WRIGHT was the publisher of 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 2016. The magazine is being continued by Terry Allen, Kez Wilson, and Chuck Welch, creator of the Hidalgo Trading Company and a member of the PulpFest organizing committee. It takes three people to duplicate Howard’s superb work on the GAZETTE.

DAN ZIMMER has been working to promote greater awareness of pulp artists by producing and distributing ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE since 2001. He is nearing the sixtieth 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. 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 ConventionPulpcon, 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 2019 Munsey Award will be announced on August 17 as part of our Saturday evening programming, open to all members of PulpFest. The award will be presented by William Lampkin, the winner of our 2018 Munsey Award.

A limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints, designed by artist and pulp enthusiast David Saunders, serves as the 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. In 2016, David was honored with a special “retro” Lamont Award, to acknowledge his generous and substantial work for the pulp community.)

Last Call for Munsey Nominations

Apr 24, 2019 by

PulpFest annually recognizes the efforts of those who work to keep the pulps alive for this and future generations. The Munsey Award is named after the creator of the pulp magazine, Frank A. Munsey. It recognizes an individual or institution that has bettered the pulp community. Past winners have studied and written about the pulps. Others have worked in publishing, as artists, or in convention organizing to preserve and foster interest in pulp magazines.

Anyone is welcome to nominate a deserving individual or organization for the Munsey Award. Please send a brief explanation with your nomination to PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko. You can reach him at mike@pulpfest.com or at 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542.

All members of the pulp community, excepting past winners of the MunseyHevelin, or Lamont Awards, are eligible. The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2019.

The recipient of the 2019 Munsey Award will be selected from the nominees through a vote cast by all the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners. The award will be presented on Saturday evening, August 17, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, the host hotel for PulpFest 2019.

Our 2018 Munsey Award winner was William Lampkin. You can read about Bill by clicking here.

(The Munsey Award was created in 2009 by artist David Saunders, the son of legendary illustrator Norman Saunders. Dan Zimmer of The Illustrated Press and publisher of ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE has produced a limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints. The PulpFest Committee is indebted to both David and Dan for their generous support of our convention.)

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Help Choose the 2019 Munsey Award

Dec 10, 2018 by

Every year, PulpFest recognizes those who work to keep the pulps alive for this and future generations with the Munsey Award. A service award, it honors Frank A. Munsey, the publisher of the first pulp magazine. William Lampkin won our 2018 Munsey Award. You can read about Bill by clicking here.

We are now accepting nominations for the 2019 Munsey Award. Previous winners of the Lamont, Munsey, or Rusty Award are not eligible for the award. Click here to see our previous winners.

To nominate someone for this prestigious award, please provide a brief statement of your reasons. Send it to PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com. You can also reach Mike at 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542.

The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2019. The living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners will select the receipient. The award will be presented on Saturday evening, August 17, at PulpFest 2019.

The convention will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. It will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.

(Pictured above, the Munsey Award was created in 2009 by artist David Saunders, the son of legendary illustrator Norman Saunders. Dan Zimmer of The Illustrated Press and publisher of ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE produced a limited signed and numbered edition of the award. The PulpFest Committee is indebted to both David and Dan for their generous support of our community.)

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