Dashiell Hammett and the Detective Story

May 27, 2019 by

Dashiell Hammett was born on May 27, 1894, making Memorial Day 2019 the 125th anniversary of his birth. Hammett was not the first pulp author to write hardboiled detective fiction, but he was the most influential. His was an original voice, steeped in cynicism bred by first-hand experience as a former Pinkerton Op. His stories and novels transcend their humble origins and are recognized as literature today. Hammett’s fiction and characters have left an indelible mark on popular culture nearly a century after he first appeared in the pages of SMART SET and BLACK MASK.

Friday night, August 16, at PulpFest 2019, critically acclaimed pop culture historian and 2006 Lamont Award recipient John Wooley of Reverse Karma Press presents “Dashiell Hammett and the Detective Story,” ably assisted with visual support from ADVENTURE HOUSE publisher and editor John Gunnison. Please join us for what is sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s convention.

While legendary Hammett characters such as The Continental Op, Sam Spade, Nick & Nora Charles, and Ned Beaumont started in the pulps (and slicks), they reached an even wider audience in film, radio, and television. Humphrey Bogart, the team of William Powell and Myrna Loy, and George Raft brought  Spade, Nick & Nora, and Ned Beaumont to the silver screen before being succeeded, respectively, by Howard Duff on radio, the team of Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk on television, and Alan Ladd in the silver screen remake of THE GLASS KEY. The nameless Continental Op was less faithfully transferred in ersatz adaptations for radio and a spin-off film version as Brad Runyon (rather than Casper Gutman) in THE FAT MAN, and 25 years later in a television mini-series with James Coburn as Hamilton Nash in THE DAIN CURSE. Less memorable variations of these properties preceded and followed these notable versions. Despite the undeniable charm of Nick and Nora on big and small screen and Bogart’s career-defining portrayal of Sam Spade in John Huston’s classic film version of THE MALTESE FALCON, no Hammett adaptation has remained entirely faithful to the written word or matched the depth and flawed moral complexities displayed by Hammett’s characters on the printed page.

The shining light of the BLACK MASK school of detective fiction left behind another legacy, albeit one that is less celebrated 85 years later. Alongside FLASH GORDON creator Alex Raymond, Hammett launched SECRET AGENT X-9 in 1934. The newspaper strip was enormously successful in its day spawning not one, but two Saturday matinee movie serials from Universal Pictures in the 1930s and 1940s. The newspaper strip continued for many decades, crossing over into comic books as well, and eventually becoming SECRET AGENT CORRIGAN. 

Hammett’s background as a Pinkerton man infused his detective stories with a realism few other writers could match. An unfaithful husband and an often absent father, he was a flawed man. His literary output teetered on the precipice as he debated deserting his wife and family. Like Sam Spade in the closing chapter of THE MALTESE FALCON, Hammett faced the consequences of his actions and, in the process, forever extinguished the spark of moral turpitude that lit his creative flames. Twenty years later, he teetered on the moral brink a second time when he struggled with what freedom really meant as an American citizen. His guilt over his violent past as a literal Union strikebreaker fueled his defense of workers’ rights late in life. He tried to make a better choice and was condemned in his own era for resolving to stick to his values once he recognized the wages of sin. A veteran of both World Wars, he served time in a state penitentiary for defending civil rights against the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was released from prison a broken man and died of the tuberculosis that had plagued him since the First World War.

Join John Wooley and John Gunnison at PulpFest 2019 for a celebration of the life and work of the single greatest writer of hardboiled detective fiction, the pulp writer who has achieved the greatest literary acclaim, and a man whose work is still justly celebrated for being as vital and influential today as it was when he typed his first story nearly a century ago.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh in Mars, PA. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” — focusing on the pulp influences in popular culture — at this year’s gathering.

Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(H. C. Murphy painted the initial cover for Dashiell Hammett’s five-part serial, “The Maltese Falcon.” It was originally published in the September 1929 through January 1930 issues of BLACK MASK. The story introduced the iconic private detective, Sam Spade.

THE ADVENTURES OF SAM SPADE was a radio series based loosely on Dashiell Hammett’s morally complex private eye, Sam Spade. The show ran for 13 episodes on ABC in 1946, for 157 episodes on CBS in 1946-1949, and finally for 51 episodes on NBC in 1949-1951. It starred Howard Duff as Sam Spade and Lurene Tuttle as his secretary Effie. The series was produced and directed by William Spier and sponsored by Wildroot Cream Oil Hair Tonic.)

 

Born Writing: The Unparalleled Career of Arthur J. Burks

May 24, 2019 by

Pulp writer Arthur J. Burks was fated to be better known for the quantity of his output than the quality of his fiction. A familiar name on many pulp covers, he was a highly effective storyteller who authored approximately 800 stories. On Saturday, August 17, at Pulpfest 2019, the 2004 recipient of the Lamont award, pulp authority John Locke will host a presentation, “Born Writing: The Unparalleled Career of Arthur J. Burks.” We’re all familiar with the amazing million-word-a-year men of the pulps. This talk will focus on how Burks became one of them.

Burks was born to a farming family in Washington state on September 13, 1898. During World War I, he enlisted in the Marine Corps as a private; after rejoining the Corps during World War II, he retired a Lieutenant Colonel. His real passion, though, was writing. While stationed in the Dominican Republic from 1921-24, he witnessed strange things which gave him material for his first professional sales, to a new magazine, WEIRD TALES. In the 1930s, his work seemed to be everywhere. He wrote countless adventure, aviation, boxing, detective, and weird menace tales for AIR STORIES, ASTOUNDING STORIES, FIGHT STORIES, GANGSTER STORIES, MARVEL SCIENCE STORIES, POPULAR DETECTIVE, SKY FIGHTERS, SPORT STORY MAGAZINE, STRANGE TALESTERROR TALES, THRILLING ADVENTURES, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, UNKNOWN, and many others. Burks’ series characters include deaf detective Ewart D’Strange, flyer The Winged Cavalier, New York Chinatown detective Dorus Noel, and gangland boxer Kid Friel.

His friendship with L. Ron Hubbard in the 1930s triggered Burks’s interest in the paranormal and metaphysics. By the 1960s, he was a popular fixture on the lecture circuit, sharing his knowledge with the curious and skeptical alike. Much of Burks’ fantasy fiction centers on the metaphysical. One of his best known works (and one of the few to be published in book form), THE GREAT MIRROR (1942), concerns Martian technology utilized by Tibetan monks to foster ESP and matter transmission.

A writer to the very end, Burks died at age 75 on May 13, 1974.

We hope you’ll join pulp historian John Locke — the world’s foremost Burkologist — at PulpFest 2019 for this very special hour-long presentation on the career of the highly prolific and vastly underappreciated Arthur J. Burks.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh in Mars, PA. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” — focusing on the pulp influences in popular culture — at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Arthur J. Burks was a prolific and successful pulp writer who usually wrote over one million words per year. He wrote hundreds of stories for the adventure, aviation, detective, fantasy, science fiction, sports, war, and weird menace pulps.

Burks wrote fourteen stories for ASTOUNDING STORIES and its later incarnation, ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. Most of these tales were of novella or longer length. “The Mind Master” — a two-part serial featured in the January (with cover art by H. W. Wessolowski) and February 1932 issues — concerns a mad scientist who replaces the brains of several apes with human brains. It’s part of a short series that Burks began in 1931 with the story, “Manape the Mighty.”)

The Game’s Afoot!

May 22, 2019 by

Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps

Today marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the author preferred the historical fiction that he wrote. THE WHITE COMPANY was his favorite among Conan Doyle’s many works. He was extremely prolific.

Conan Doyle began to write while a medical student. His first sale, “The Mystery of Sasassa Valley,” was published when he was twenty. However, countless rejections, low word rates, and lack of author credit, were leading nowhere.

Shortly after graduating from medical school, Conan Doyle married Louisa Hawkins. Armed with his wife’s small estate and encouragement, the author continued to write.

While trying to sell an early novel, Conan Doyle began a new one. It featured a character modeled after C. Auguste Dupin — Edgar Allan Poe’s amateur detective — and Dr. Joseph Bell, one of the author’s medical school instructors. Dr. Bell taught that keen observation and logic were paramount in the diagnosis of disease. Following several rejections, Conan Doyle sold “A Study in Scarlet.” It was published in the November 1887 number of BEETON’S CHRISTMAS ANNUAL. A hardbound book followed.

Although preferring to write historical fiction, Conan Doyle began to notice that readers wanted to learn more about his protagonists from “A Study in Scarlet.” After contracting to provide a forty-thousand word novel to LIPPINCOTT’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, he obliged his readers. “The Sign of the Four” appeared in the February 1890 number of the magazine. It was not long before the author would return with more stories of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Looking for a way to efficiently exploit the growing market of monthly magazines, Conan Doyle decided to offer more of Holmes and Watson. In the summer of 1891, “A Scandal in Bohemia” appeared in THE STRAND MAGAZINE. It would be followed by eleven more tales, one per month for the next year. In writing the stories that became THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, Conan Doyle created the first short story series. In the years to follow, his idea would be imitated across the globe. It resounds to our very day in series television and throughout popular culture.

Please join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, for “The Game’s Afoot: Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps.” Our presentation will begin at 7:55 in the programming area at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. It will feature George Vanderburgh, who has published over 600 books, including many volumes of Sherlockian scholarship. His Battered Silicon Dispatch Box has also published many pulp-related volumes and numerous collections of early detective fiction. George also served as the co-editor of Arkham House Publishers until the death of April Derleth.

Joining George will be Garyn G. Roberts, a professor of English and popular culture who has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. Garyn has also edited or co-edited some of the best collections of fiction from the pulps. He is the author/editor of the award-winning THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. In 2013, Garyn was presented with the Munsey Award to honor his many contributions to the pulp community. He was also a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award Finalist for DICK TRACY AND AMERICAN CULTURE in 1994.

Garyn and George will be discussing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his creations as well as their vital importance to the evolution of popular culture for over 100 years. Please join them at PulpFest 2019, taking place from Thursday evening, August 15, through Sunday afternoon, August 18, in Mars, Pennsylvania.

(Almost ten years after killing Holmes off at the Reichenbach Falls, Conan Doyle brought his character back in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” The story would appear first in the September 26, 1903 number of COLLIER’S, featuring a cover illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele.)

The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists

May 20, 2019 by

The sensational pulp magazines were illustrated by many legendary artists with colorful personalities. They often competed for free-lance assignments. Among the ranks of this pecking order there were exceptional women, such as Constance Bailey, Margaret Brundage, Dorothy Flack, Madge Geyer, Thelma Gooch, Alice Kirkpatrick, Zoe Mozert, Margery Stocking, Gloria Stoll Karn, Xena Wright, and Irene Zimmerman. These women defied social norms and pursued their own art careers in the male-dominated world of publishing.

Please join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, as we learn all about “The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists.” Pulp art historian, David Saunders, will share biographical profiles of these cultural pioneers who worked beyond glass ceilings.

David Saunders is the son of pulp artist Norman Saunders, and is also a foremost scholar of American illustration art. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over five-hundred biographical profiles of artists.He has also written artist biographies for ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table books on pulp artists. To find out more, visit theillustratedpress.com. A New York artist, David’s own artworks have been exhibited worldwide and are collected by the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Additionally, David is the creator of the Munsey Award.

This year’s PulpFest will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Irene Zimmerman — who used the pen-name Irene Endris — started her commercial art career during the 1920’s in newspapers and THE GOLDEN BOOK MAGAZINE. During the thirties, she began to draw pen and ink interior illustrations for Harry Donenfeld’s spicy pulp magazines. Zimmerman also painted covers for CRACK DETECTIVE, SPEED DETECTIVE, TEN DETECTIVE ACES — including the August 1946 number — and LIBERTY MAGAZINE.

Another woman pulp artist who David will discuss is Pittsburgh resident Gloria Stoll Karn.  The city’s public television station, WQED, recently released a documentary about five visual artists from Western Pennsylvania. Gloria Stoll Karn is one of the artists featured, sharing her work and stories about the rewards and challenges of being a woman in her field.

Entitled VISIBLE, the WQED documentary also features author and PulpFest member Heidi Ruby Miller. You’ll find a link to Gloria’s segment here and to the entire documentary here. PulpFest would like to thank the film’s producers, Anne Casper and Andrew Holman, for the opportunity to contribute to this wonderful project.)

 

Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences

May 17, 2019 by

Philip José Farmer is arguably the most influential pulp figure to emerge since the Golden Age. His Wold Newton family of crossover fiction provides the pulp equivalent of the Sherlockian Great Game for its many followers; continues to inspire sectarian groups who form their own variations of crossover chronologies; confounds or infuriates the most ardent canonical purists; and enriches the pulp community as a whole through the peerless research and scholarship into pulp history undertaken in its wake. Since 2011, PulpFest has partnered with FarmerCon to bring pulp fans the biggest and best pulp con in the East while hosting an annual gathering for Wold Newtonians to celebrate our shared literary family tree.

On Saturday, August 17, FarmerCon XIV showcases a panel discussion, “Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences” moderated by Paul Spiteri (co-editor of FARMERPHILE magazine and editor of the anthology, PEARLS OF PEORIA). The panel will explore the pulp origins and influences on some of Philip José Farmer’s most notable characters. It will also delve into Phil’s unique take on classic pulp characters in his writings, and the care and research he took to ensure they were treated with the reverence they deserved. Joining Paul on this panel will be a trio of distinguished and erudite pulp scholars.

Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D. has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. He has edited or co-edited some of the best collections from the pulps including A CENT A STORY: THE BEST FROM TEN DETECTIVE ACES, MORE TALES OF THE DEFECTIVE DETECTIVE IN THE PULPS, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE MOON MAN, THE MAGICAL MYSTERIES OF DON DIAVOLO, and THE COMPLEAT GREAT MERLINI SAGA. His THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, a university-level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines. Professor Roberts was presented with the Munsey Award in 2013 to honor his many contributions to the pulp community.

Recently named the Director of Publishing for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Christopher Paul Carey is also among the most accomplished of the stable of licensed authors in THE WILD ADVENTURES OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS series. He is also the authorized continuation chronicler of Philip José Farmer’s KHOKARSA series that bridges the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. Carey has authored the novels SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN, BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR, HADON — KING OF OPAR, EXILES OF KHO, and THE SONG OF KWASIN. He is also a seasoned editor, comic book writer, essayist, and author of short fiction.

Fantasy and horror writer Jason Scott Aiken is also the host and producer of “Pulp Crazy,” a video podcast devoted to pulp magazines since its inception in 2013. Jason has used this forum to provide overviews of pulp characters and authors, delve into the many pulp genres, and review pulp stories and novels. Jason has also provided audio recordings from PulpFest, with particular coverage of FarmerCon.

Additionally, FarmerCon XIV will see the debut of Meteor House’s latest fantastic collection of stories by Philip José Farmer! GREATHEART SILVER AND OTHER PULP HEROES collects for the first time in hardcover the stories Phil wrote in the 1970s to pay tribute to the pulps he first devoured in his youth.  The volume also features an introduction by pulp historian and panel member, Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D. The collection gathers rare material that originally appeared in Byron Preiss’ WEIRD HEROES and in the THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION.

GREATHEART SILVER AND OTHER PULP HEROES will debut at FarmerCon XIV, but can be pre-ordered now. Meteor House is offering an “Early Bird Special” discount for this fascinating collection of Farmer paying homage to his literary heroes.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Philip José Farmer was a child of the pulps. Born in 1918, the Science Fiction Grand Master grew up with the pulps. He particularly favored Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes. Running a close second was Lester Dent’s Doc Savage.

Farmer’s “biography” of Clark Savage, Jr. — DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE — was released by Doubleday in 1973. It featured dust jacket art by Walter Baumhofer, excerpted from the April 1935 issue of Street & Smith’s DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.)

ARGOSY, ADVENTURE & BLUE BOOK — The Men’s Adventure Pulps

May 15, 2019 by

ARGOSY . . . ADVENTURE . . . BLUE BOOK . . . when it comes to pulps, these three magazines were the “aristocrats.”

THE ARGOSY was the first pulp magazine, having been converted to an all-fiction magazine with its October 1896 issue. Two months later, publisher Frank Munsey began to print it on wood-pulp paper. The rough-paper fiction magazine — or pulp  — was born.

When THE ARGOSY celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1907, its circulation had reached a half million copies. Given its success, THE ARGOSY was bound to attract imitators. Street & Smith, longtime publisher of dime novels and story papers, was first to meet the call. It debuted THE POPULAR MAGAZINE in late 1903. Munsey countered in 1904 with its second pulp, THE ALL-STORY. One year later, the Story-Press Corporation introduced THE MONTHLY STORY MAGAZINE. Not long thereafter, it became THE MONTHLY STORY BLUE BOOK MAGAZINE. In late 1910, the Ridgway Company introduced the pulp known as ADVENTURE.

These five periodicals —  along with SHORT STORIES — led the pulp magazine industry for decades, publishing some of the field’s best writers: H Bedford-Jones, Max Brand, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Agatha Christie, Zane Grey, H. Rider Haggard, James B. Hendryx, Harold Lamb, A. Merritt, Clarence Mulford, Talbot Mundy, E. Phillips Oppenheim, Sax Rohmer, Rafael Sabatini, Edgar Wallace, and others. They also introduced the world to Tarzan, Zorro, Barsoom, Hopalong Cassidy, Captain Blood, and Pellucidar.

The stresses of World War II — the loss of writers and artists to the war effort, paper shortages, declining readerships, changing tastes — generated a slow but steady metamorphosis of the “aristocrats.” ARGOSY was the first to change.

In 1943, ARGOSY was converted to a bedsheet, semi-slick magazine. Although fiction stories by top pulp writers remained a mainstay of the magazine, true war stories became more common, as did other true or fact-based stories. In the early fifties, ADVENTURE and BLUE BOOK followed suit.

With the contraction of the pulp industry during the 1950’s, men’s adventure magazines began to take off. The successful transformations of ARGOSY, ADVENTURE, and BLUEBOOK (as it was renamed in 1952) brought about a significant increase of men’s adventure magazine titles. Although many were short-lived, more than 150 men’s adventure magazines were launched during the decade, thanks to the three “aristocrats.”

Join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, as we welcome Bob Deis and Wyatt Doyle for “ARGOSYADVENTURE and BLUE BOOK — Men’s Adventure Pulps,” a look at the metamorphosis of these “pulp giants” into men’s adventure magazines.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Bob Deis has worked as a teacher, an artist, a musician, a logger, a magazine writer, and a state government bureaucrat. By accident, he fell into a lengthy career as a political consultant. Now retired, Bob spends much of his time collecting, writing, and publishing books about the men’s adventure magazines, including the November 1957 issue of ADVENTURE, featuring cover art by Mort Künstler (as Emmett Kaye) and the May 1954 issue of BLUEBOOK, featuring cover art by John Walter. In 2009, Bob created the popular website about the genre, MensPulpMags.com. Several years later he became friends with another fan of the men’s adventure genre, writer and publisher Wyatt Doyle, co-founder of the New Texture imprint.

Together, Bob and Wyatt co-edit and publish the Men’s Adventure Library series of books that collect classic stories and artwork from the men’s adventure magazines. Their books include WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH!, HE-MEN, BAG MEN, & NYMPHOS, CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY, A HANDFUL OF HELL, BARBARIANS ON BIKES, I WATCHED THEM EAT ME ALIVE, POLLEN’S ACTION: THE ART OF SAMSON POLLEN, and POLLEN’S WOMEN: THE ART OF SAMSON POLLEN.)

THE TWILIGHT ZONE’S Magic Man — Charles Beaumont

May 13, 2019 by

A prolific writer of both fiction and nonfiction, Charles Beaumont was born on January 2, 1929. According to award-winning writer and editor Roger Anker, “In a career which spanned a brief thirteen years,” Beaumont wrote and sold “ten books, seventy-four short stories, thirteen screenplays (nine of which were produced), two dozen articles and profiles, forty comic stories, fourteen columns, and over seventy teleplays.”

Beaumont grew up with the pulps. He wrote for PLAYBOY in 1962:

“Were they any good? No. They were great. DOC SAVAGE, THE SHADOW, THE SPIDER, G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES, THE PHANTOM, ADVENTURE, ARGOSY, BLUE BOOK, BLACK MASK, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, MARVEL TALES — and all the hundred-and-one other titles that bedizened the newsstands of America in the halcyon days — provided ecstasy and euphoria of a type unknown to this gloomy generation. They made to crawl deliciously young scalps. They inspired, excited, captivated, hypnotized — and, unexpectedly, instructed — the reckless young . . .”

During the summer of 1946, Beaumont met author Ray Bradbury in Los Angeles. Through a mutual interest in comic strips, the two became friends. Bradbury also became Beaumont’s writing mentor, reading and critiquing the budding author’s work. “When I read the first one, I said: ‘Yes. Very definitely. You are a writer,’ recalls Bradbury. ‘It showed immediately. . . . Chuck’s talent was obvious from that very first story.’”

Charles Beaumont’s professional writing career began with the novella, “The Devil, You Say?” published in the January 1951 issue of AMAZING STORIES. He was soon appearing in the pulps of his day — primarily digest magazines — IF, IMAGINATION, INFINITY SCIENCE FICTION, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, MANHUNT, ORBIT SCIENCE FICTION and others. In September 1954, Beaumont’s “Black Country” appeared in PLAYBOY. Before long, his stories were appearing in prestigious magazines such as COLLIER’S, ESQUIRE, and THE SATURDAY EVENING POST.

Beaumont also began to write for television, authoring episodes for programs including ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS, THE D. A.’S MANFOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE, HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL, NAKED CITY, ONE STEP BEYOND, ROUTE 66, THRILLER, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, and, most importantly, THE TWILIGHT ZONEBeaumont wrote twenty-two episodes for Rod Serling’s classic series including “The Howling Man,” “Living Doll,” and “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.” He also authored a number of screenplays including THE HAUNTED PALACE, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, and THE CIRCUS OF DR. LAO.

At the height of his writing career, Beaumont began to suffer from a mysterious ailment. “By 1964, he could no longer write. Meetings with producers turned disastrous. His speech became slower, more deliberate. His concentration worsened. . . . after a battery of tests at UCLA, Beaumont was diagnosed as having Alzheimer’s Disease; he faced premature senility, aging, and an early death.” He died on February 21, 1967 at the age of thirty-eight.

Join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, for an authorized screening of Jason and Sunni Brock’s documentary, CHARLES BEAUMONT: THE SHORT LIFE OF TWILIGHT ZONE’S MAGIC MAN. “The story of a man whose life was in many ways more incredible than any of his stories,” the film features Forrest J Ackerman, Christopher Beaumont, Ray Bradbury, Roger Corman, Harlan Ellison, George Clayton Johnson, S. T. Joshi, Richard Matheson, William F. Nolan, William Shatner, John Shirley, John Tomerlin, and others.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Although Charles Beaumont is highly regarded for the teleplays that he wrote for Rod Serling’s THE TWILIGHT ZONE, he started as a pulp writer. Following his initial appearance in AMAZING STORIES, his second published story — “The Beautiful People” — appeared in the September 1952 issue of IF: WORLDS OF SCIENCE FICTION. The author was prominently listed on the magazine’s cover, which featured a painting by Ralph Joiner. In 1963, the story was adapted by John Tomerlin for THE TWILIGHT ZONE. It was first broadcast on January 24, 1964 as “Number 12 Looks Just Like You.”

If you can’t wait for our special viewing of CHARLES BEAUMONT: THE SHORT LIFE OF TWILIGHT ZONE’S MAGIC MAN, you can pick up a copy via Amazon or by clicking here.)

 

Contemporary Pulp: Writing Genre Fiction

May 10, 2019 by

PulpFest is proud that over 30 popular fiction writers will be attending our 2019 convention. “Back in the day,” the authors who labored for the rough paper industry liked to call themselves scribes, word-slingers, penny-a-worders, and, perhaps the most favored term of all, fictioneers. Join PulpFest as we celebrate today’s fictioneers — the authors writing today’s pulp fiction!

At 3:15 PM on Saturday, August 17, please join Fu Manchu continuation author William Patrick Maynard in the PulpFest 2019 programming hall for a look at contemporary genre fiction. Joining him for the panel will be a quartet of established authors.

John C. Bruening is the co-founder of Flinch Books, publisher of Bruening’s critically acclaimed Prohibition-era pulp hero series MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN that began with 2016’s HOUR OF DARKNESS and continues with the 2019 publication of THE ANNIHILATION MACHINE. Bruening has also edited Flinch Books‘  adventure, horror, and science fiction anthologies BIG TOP TALES, RESTLESS, and QUEST FOR THE SPACE GODS

Author of the Edgar-nominated HECTOR LASSITER historical crime series, Craig McDonald is an award-winning novelist, journalist and editor. The HECTOR LASSITER series chronicles the exploits of a fictional BLACK MASK author and his encounters with such notable figures as Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Ian Fleming, and Lester Dent. McDonald’s internationally acclaimed works have found a global audience and have also been adapted in graphic novel format. His works have been published by Simon & Schuster and Macmillan Press.

Recently named the Director of Publishing for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Christopher Paul Carey is also among the most accomplished of the stable of licensed authors in THE WILD ADVENTURES OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS series. He is also the authorized continuation chronicler of Philip Jose Farmer’s KHOKARSA series that bridges the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. Carey has authored the novels SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN, BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR, HADON — KING OF OPAR, EXILES OF KHO, and THE SONG OF KWASIN. He is also an accomplished editor, comic book writer, essayist, and author of short fiction.

It is arguable if a man who has penned so many introductions needs one of his own, but Will Murray’s many accomplishments and the esteem in which he is held by his peers demand recognition. Will Murray is the legendary author, historian, and comic book writer who continues to set the bar for everyone else in the field. The official continuation author of Doc Savage, Murray has also been licensed to continue the adventures of Tarzan, The Shadow, and King Kong. A tireless researcher of pulp and comics history, Murray has written extensively for both Marvel and DC Comics and co-created Squirrel Girl with the late Steve Ditko. Recipient of numerous industry awards for his scholarship, his fiction has also been recognized with Pulp Ark and Pulp Factory with Awards for Best Series Revival and Best Novel, respectively. A Lamont Award recipient in 1979 for his contributions to the betterment of the pulp community, Will Murray is just as vital 40 years later as he has ever been.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(In 2018, acclaimed artist Mark Wheatley shared with PulpFest the extensive array of illustrations that he created for the novel, SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN.

In his novel, Christopher Paul Carey expands on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Moon novels, while remaining solidly true to the established lore of the series. “This was a great project to be a part of,” Wheatley told us. “As a long-time Burroughs fan, I can tell you that Christopher is an excellent author. If I had any problem illustrating this book, it was that I was limited to eighteen pages of illustrations, and Christopher easily had a hundred great scenes in his manuscript!”)

Dog Star Books Rapid-Fire Read & Popular Fiction from Seton Hill

May 9, 2019 by

 

PulpFest is proud that over 30 popular fiction writers will be attending our 2019 convention. “Back in the day,” the authors who labored for the rough paper industry liked to call themselves scribes, word-slingers, penny-a-worders, and, perhaps the most favored term of all, fictioneers. Join PulpFest as we celebrate today’s fictioneers — the authors writing today’s pulp fiction!

On Saturday, August 17, at 11 AM, join six writers from Dog Star Books for a second Rapid-Fire Read for PulpFest. It will be hosted by publisher John Edward Lawson. Dog Star Books is the new Raw Dog Screaming Press imprint for Science Fiction Adventure titles. It is the specialty house for edgy, evocative, thought-provoking sci-fi and adventure fiction from new and established authors who shine among the best in their field today.

Readings on Saturday morning will be given by author and poet Matt Betts; editor and author J. L. Gribble; Dog Star Books founder/managing editor and science fiction and thriller author Heidi Ruby Miller; science fiction and urban fantasy author K. W. Taylor; science fiction author and poet Albert Wendland; and science fiction author, editor, and poet K. Ceres Wright.

Coffee, tea, and sweets — celebrating sixteen years of high quality Raw Dog fiction — will also be available, compliments of the publisher.

We’ll also be showcasing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill prior to the Dog Star Celebration. Join Dog Star Books founder and author Heidi Ruby Miller and three writers from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Master’s Program at 10 AM Saturday morning, August 17th at PulpFest in the convention’s programming hall. Horror and fantasy author Jeremiah Dylan Cook; author and screenwriter E. C. Skowronski,; and horror author, poet, and editor Sara Tantlinger will be reading from their work.

Meet the authors of science fiction that “goes for the throat” Saturday morning, August 17, at PulpFest and see if their Rapid-Fire Read doesn’t set you aflame and leave you barking for more.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(The Dog Star Books banner and logo were designed by Jennifer Barnes.)

Raw Dog Screaming Press Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration

May 8, 2019 by

PulpFest is proud that over 30 popular fiction writers will be attending our 2019 convention. “Back in the day,” the authors who labored for the rough paper industry liked to call themselves scribes, word-slingers, penny-a-worders, and, perhaps the most favored term of all, fictioneers. Join PulpFest as we celebrate today’s fictioneers — the authors writing today’s pulp fiction!

On Friday, August 16, at 11 AM, join five writers from Raw Dog Screaming Press for a Rapid-Fire Read and Sweet Sixteen Celebration. It will be hosted by publisher Jennifer Barnes. Raw Dog Screaming Press has carved a niche for themselves as the specialty house for offbeat, dark, deviant, thought-provoking fiction. They were the recipient of the 2018 Horror Writers Association Specialty Press Award for outstanding horror, dark fantasy, and weird fiction. Their critically acclaimed publications are attracting mainstream attention with Ridley Scott recently optioning one of their titles as a major motion picture for Twentieth Century Fox.

Readings on Friday morning will be given by author/poet Michael A. Arnzen (four-time winner of The Bram Stoker Award); fantasy and science fiction author Carrie Gessner; author and founding editor of Raw Dog Screaming Press John Edward Lawson; novelist and journalist Jason Jack Miller; and Bram Stoker Award-winning poet and novelist Stephanie Wytovich.

Coffee, tea, and sweets — celebrating sixteen years of high quality fiction — will also be available, compliments of the publisher.

Help Raw Dog Screaming Press, the publisher who seeks to “publish the unpublishable,” celebrate their Sweet Sixteen in style by meeting the authors of fiction that “foams at the mouth” Friday morning, August 16, at PulpFest and see if their Rapid-Fire Read doesn’t set you aflame and leave you foaming at the mouth for more.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(The Raw Dog Screaming Press banner and logo were designed by Jennifer Barnes.)

Saturday’s New Fictioneers

May 7, 2019 by

PulpFest is proud that over 30 popular fiction writers will be attending our 2019 convention. “Back in the day,” the authors who labored for the rough paper industry liked to call themselves scribes, word-slingers, penny-a-worders, and, perhaps the most favored term of all, fictioneers. Join PulpFest as we celebrate today’s fictioneers — the authors writing today’s pulp fiction!  On Friday and Saturday, we’ll feature nine authors reading from their works and answering questions from the audience.

Reading from their works on Saturday, August 17

12:30 – 1:05 PM — John C. Bruening.

John C. Bruening, along with Jim Beard, is the founder of Flinch Books, publisher of Bruening’s critically acclaimed Prohibition-era pulp hero series MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN that began with 2016’s HOUR OF DARKNESS and continues with the 2019 publication of THE ANNIHILATION MACHINE. Bruening has also edited Flinch Books‘  adventure, horror, and science fiction anthologies BIG TOP TALES, RESTLESS, and QUEST FOR THE SPACE GODS. A 35-year writing professional with a background in journalism and marketing, Bruening found his niche in evoking the pulp classics of yesteryear. Come meet John C. Bruening Saturday afternoon, August 17, at PulpFest and take home a copy of the greatest pulp hero to emerge since the Golden Age in his latest MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN adventure.

 

 

 

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Roger Alford.

Author Roger Alford has written five books in THE BLACK SCEPTRE series thus far: GHOSTS IN THE ASYLUM, NO VICTORY WITHOUT SCARS, VENGEANCE WAITS AT THE DOOR, INVITATION TO DEATH, and DEATH IS A SILENT INTRUDER. He has also kicked off a brand new hardboiled series, HOLLYWOOD NEWSHAWK, with THE CITY BURNS AT NIGHT, adapted from his radio play. Alford’s works are published by his own imprint, Black Hood Press. Outside of the pulp world, Roger Alford is also webmaster of The Forbidden Zone, arguably the most comprehensive PLANET OF THE APES online resource. Come meet Roger Alford in person Saturday afternoon, August 17, at PulpFest and let him introduce you to both HOLLYWOOD NEWSHAWK and THE BLACK SCEPTRE.

 

 

 

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Sara Light-Waller.

The author of the sci-fi horror thriller LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS and its sequel, ANCHOR, Sara Light-Waller is one of the few female pulp writers active in the field today. A talented illustrator as well as an author, Light-Waller has also penned four children’s books and published two coloring books. She serves as editor-in-chief of her own imprint, Lucina Press. A proponent of both the Coquille style of illustration and Neotopian storytelling, Sara is determined to let her art as both writer and illustrator make the world a better place. Come meet Sara Light-Waller in person at PulpFest on Saturday afternoon, August 17, and take a home a copy of both her sci-fi thrillers.

 

 

 

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Christopher Ryan.

Author Christopher Ryan has penned four books thus far in the MALLORY AND GUNNER supernatural crime series starting with CITY OF SIN and continuing through CITY OF WOE, CITY OF PAIN, and the brand new CITY OF LOVE. He has also written the science fiction novels A SIMPLE REBELLION and GENIUS HIGH. Ryan has also been chosen to continue the adventures of Alex Simmons’ pulp hero BLACKJACK with several new titles starting with SHOOTERS and continuing through RANSOM FOR A DEAD KING, DRIVEN, DARK END OF THE RAINBOW, and TRIAL BY FIRE / TRIAL BY ICE. Come meet Christopher Ryan in person Saturday afternoon, August 17, at PulpFest.

 

 

 

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Our featured image for this post is a photograph of an Underwood Portable typewriter from 1931. Writers believed to have used Underwoods — which “established the stereotype of a typewriter until the introduction of the IBM Selectric” — include Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Daphne DuMaurier, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Faulkner, Erle Stanley Gardner, Robert A. Heinlein, Ernest Hemingway, Robert E. Howard, Sinclair Lewis, Henry Miller, Damon Runyon, Carl Sandburg, Upton Sinclair, James Thurber, and Orson Welles.)

Friday’s New Fictioneers

May 6, 2019 by

PulpFest is proud that over 30 popular fiction writers will be attending our 2019 convention. “Back in the day,” the authors who labored for the rough paper industry liked to call themselves scribes, word-slingers, penny-a-worders, and, perhaps the most favored term of all, fictioneers. Join PulpFest as we celebrate today’s fictioneers — the authors writing today’s pulp fiction!  On Friday and Saturday, we’ll feature nine authors reading from their works and answering questions from the audience.

 

Reading from their works on Friday, August 16

 

12:30 – 1:05 PM — Wayne Carey.

A regular contributor to QUATERMAIN: THE NEW ADVENTURES, published by Airship 27, Wayne Carey has gained recognition as one of the finest New Pulp writers for both Airship 27 and Pro Se Press. His passion for Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, Talbot Mundy, Robert E. Howard, and H. Rider Haggard informs and permeates his own fiction. Carey’s pulp influences coalesced in his new adventures of Haggard’s seminal adventurer, Allan Quatermain. He has contributed both novels and short stories to the expanded Quatermain canon, including ALLAN QUATERMAIN AND THE BEAST MEN and ALLAN QUATERMAIN AND THE LIGHTNING BIRD. His most recent addition is the short story, “The Unholy Alliance” appearing in Volume Five of Airship 27’s QUATERMAIN: THE NEW ADVENTURES anthology series. Join Wayne Carey Friday afternoon, August 16, at PulpFest for a sampling of his thrilling pulp adventure works.

 

1:10- 1:45 PM — Craig McDonald.

Author of the Edgar-nominated HECTOR LASSITER historical crime series, Craig McDonald is an award-winning novelist, journalist and editor. The HECTOR LASSITER series chronicles the exploits of a fictional BLACK MASK author and his encounters with such notable figures as Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Ian Fleming, and Lester Dent. McDonald’s internationally acclaimed works have found a global audience and have also been adapted in graphic novel format. His works have been published by Simon & Schuster and Macmillan Press. Meet Craig McDonald Friday afternoon, August 16, at PulpFest and become a fan of Hector Lassiter’s adventures in Hollywood, Paris, Key West, Cuba, Vienna, Berlin, Brazil, Mexico, the Midwest, and the Deep South. McDonald has created, in Hector Lassiter, the perfect vehicle to chart the key events of the last century that did so much to shape the present world. Pulp fiction of literate quality is a rarity to be cherished and Craig McDonald has earned entry in that rarified strata.

 

1:50- 2:25 PM — Joab Stieglitz.

The author of the UTGARDA pulp adventure series, Joab Stieglitz has crossed his love for cosmic horror and fantasy and Role-Playing Games into a Lovecraftian occult horror series that will appeal to pulp fans, Cthulhu Mythos acolytes, gamers, and horror movie fans in equal measure. The UTGARDA trilogy comprises three titles: THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST, THE MISSING MEDIUM, and THE OTHER REALM. The UTGARDA trilogy is a fast-paced, well-written supernatural thriller that channels H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth’s Cthulhu Mythos in detailing the unspeakable entity that was unleashed upon the world in the 1920s by The Cabal. Come meet Joab Stieglitz in person Friday afternoon, August 16,  at PulpFest as he ushers UTGARDA into the 21st Century.

 

2:30- 3:05 PM — Christopher Paul Carey.

Recently named the Director of Publishing for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Christopher Paul Carey is also among the most accomplished of the stable of licensed authors in THE WILD ADVENTURES OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS series. He is also the authorized continuation chronicler of Philip Jose Farmer’s KHOKARSA series that bridges the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. Carey has authored the novels SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN, BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR, HADON — KING OF OPAR, EXILES OF KHO, and THE SONG OF KWASIN. He is also an accomplished editor, comic book writer, essayist, and author of short fiction. A tireless champion of Wold Newtonian chronologies and Pathfinder RPG publications, Carey’s work stands out for its literate, often tragic view of history and empires that rise and fall from the actions of flawed characters who changed their world. Come meet Christopher Paul Carey in person at PulpFest Friday afternoon, August 16.

 

3:10 – 3:50 PM — William Patrick Maynard.

The licensed continuation author of Sax Rohmer’s Fu Manchu thrillers, William Patrick Maynard has written hundreds of articles for BlackGate.com, TheCimmerian.com, and DMRBooks.com among others. He has also contributed audio commentaries, liner notes, and rare footage to DVD and Blu-Ray releases by MGM, Shout Factory, Kino Lorber, and The Serial Squadron.  His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications from Titan Books, Black Coat Press, EDGE Publishing, Airship 27, MX Books, Stark House Press, Black Dog Books, and Meteor House. Maynard is among the editorial staff of The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box and also serves as Assistant Director of Marketing for PulpFest. Come  meet William Patrick Maynard in person at PulpFest Friday afternoon, August 16.

 

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Our featured image for this post is a photograph of a Remington Noiseless 8 typewriter from 1937. Writers believed to have used Remingtons — “unrivaled in popularity until the Underwood locomotive roared onto the scene” — include Agatha Christie, Arthur C. Clarke, Harlan Ellison, William Faulkner, Dashiell Hammett, L. Ron Hubbard, Rudyard Kipling, Stan Lee, Sinclair Lewis, H. P. Lovecraft, H. L.Mencken, George Orwell, Ernie Pyle, Damon Runyon, Cornell Woolrich, and Philip Wylie.)

Calling All New Fictioneers . . .

Jan 7, 2019 by

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The fictioneers of the first half of the last century did much to shape the popular culture of the 21st Century. While vintage pulp dealers and reprint-specialty publishers are the two most vital means of honoring the achievement of these indefatigable storytellers of yesteryear, PulpFest also celebrates those who carry on the tradition today. 2019 marks the tenth anniversary of PulpFest and the tenth year of New Fictioneers being given a spotlight at PulpFest to read an excerpt from their latest work and answer questions from their readers.

Whether you’re continuing the adventures of a classic pulp character or making your mark with pulp creations of your own, you should connect with your peers and share your work with an appreciative crowd. Friday and Saturday afternoons are dedicated to New Fictioneer readings and Q&A sessions. A limited number of slots are available so don’t hestitate to sign up. Send an email to PulpFest programming director, Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com. Please provide a brief autobiographical sketch, a description of your work, where you’ve been published, and whether you’re available Friday, Saturday, or either day.

In order to meet the deadline for our 2019 Program, we need your application to be submitted by February 25. Plan to attend PulpFest 2019 where we’ll highlight the many ways that pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades. PulpFest 2019 will take place August 15 – 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(The photo above is courtesy of the estate of the esteemed pulp historian, Albert Tonik. It’s captioned “The Pulp Writers in 1937.” The gentleman on the left is probably Ralph R. Perry, a regular contributor to many different pulps from the mid-twenties through the early fifties. He is best remembered for his Bellow Bill Williams South Seas adventure stories. The man on the right is not known.)

Children of the Pulps and Other Stories

Dec 3, 2018 by

About PulpFest!

 

So what’s PulpFest? Is it one of those things where people walk around wearing costumes? Is it a comic book convention? What’s pulp?

Do these questions sound familiar?

Because of their painted covers, people often mistake pulps for comic books. But the two are quite different.

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. Stories like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Apes” and Max Brand’s “Destry Rides Again” really got things moving.

The pulps started to flourish following the introduction of genre magazines like DETECTIVE STORY and LOVE STORY. Publishing legends BLACK MASKWEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted during the 1920s. The thirties introduced the hero pulps and weird horror magazines. Science fiction exploded as the world went to war in 1939.

By the early fifties, the pulps had essentially disappeared. Although a few continued as digest magazines, most vanished due to competition from paperback books, comics, radio, television, movies, and more. But the fiction and artwork that had appeared in the rough-paper periodicals kept them alive for scattered collectors.

These hearty pulp enthusiasts gradually assembled astounding collections of these rough and ragged magazines. Eventually,  they formed a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on popular culture across the globe. The fiction and art of the pulps reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video, anime, and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

Programming for PulpFest 2019

PulpFest 2019 postcardPulpFest is the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials. It seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, game designers, and other creators over the years.

Our 2019 convention will focus on the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired and continue to inspire creators. We’re calling this year’s theme “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture. Our planned schedule appears below.

Please join PulpFest 2019 for our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. We’ll be back at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” in Mars, PA. Click the button below the PulpFest banner to “Book a Room.”

If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Scalzi, or Stephen King, you’ll love PulpFest!

 

PulpFest 2019 Schedule

Thursday, August 15

Dealers’ Room

3:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Member Registration and Early-Bird Shopping

Evening Programming

8:15 – 9:00 PM — Bob Davis — Grandfather of Science Fiction (Gene Christie)

9:05 – 9:50 PM — A Century of Zorro — (Rich Harvey)

9:55 – 10:40 PM — Hollywood Pulp — From Pulp Page to the Silver Screen (Ed Hulse)

10:45 – 11:30 PM — Two Sought Adventure — Eighty Years of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser (Jason Aiken & Morgan Holmes)

11:40 – 1:00 AM — Fu Manchu Film Festival (William Patrick Maynard)

Friday, August 16

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

Author Readings — Today’s Fictioneers

11:00 – 12:20 AMRaw Dog Screaming Press Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration (Publisher Jennifer Barnes)

Readings by Mike Arnzen, Carrie Gessner, John Edward Lawson, Jason Jack Miller, and Stephanie Wytovich, plus coffee, tea, and sweets, compliments of the publisher

12:30 – 1:05 PM — Wayne Carey, author of Quatermain: The New Adventures

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Craig McDonald, author of The Hector Lassiter Series

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Joab Stieglitz, author of The Utgarda Series

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Christopher Paul Carey, The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs Series and The Khokarsa Series author

3:10 – 3:50 PM — William Patrick Maynard, authorized author of Fu Manchu

Afternoon Programming

1:30 – 2:30 PM — Author SigningsJohn Locke, Will Murray, and Chet Williamson will be available for signings at our main entrance

4:00 – 4:40 PM — Fu Manchu Film Festival (William Patrick Maynard)

Evening Programming

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

7:05 – 7:50 PM — ARGOSY, ADVENTURE and BLUE BOOK — The Men’s Adventure Pulps (Bob Deis & Wyatt Doyle)

7:55 – 8:40 PM — The Game’s Afoot: Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps (George Vanderburgh & Garyn Roberts)

8:45 – 9:30 PM — The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists (David Saunders)

9:35 – 10:25 PM — Dashiell Hammett and the Detective Story (John Wooley with John Gunnison)

10:25 – 11:10 PM — The Key of Imagination: THE TWILIGHT ZONE and the Pulps (Nicholas Parisi)

11:15 – 12:45 AM — Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man (A film by Jason V. Brock)

Saturday, August 17

Dealers’ Room

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

Author Readings — Today’s Fictioneers

10:00 – 10:50 AMPopular Fiction from Seton Hill (introduced by Heidi Ruby Miller)

Readings by Jeremiah Dylan Cook, E. C. Skowronski, and Sara Tantlinger

11:00 – 12:20 AMDog Star Books Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration (Publisher John Edward Lawson)

Readings by Matt Betts, J. L. Gribble, Heidi Ruby Miller, K. W. Taylor, Albert Wendland, and K. Ceres Wright, plus coffee, tea, and sweets, compliments of the publisher

12:30 – 1:05 PMFlinch Fest, featuring John Bruening, author of The Midnight Guardian Series

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Roger Alford, author of The Black Spectre Series

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Sara Light-Waller, author of ANCHOR and LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS 

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Christopher Ryan, author of Alex Simmon’s Blackjack and The Mallory and Gunner Series

Afternoon Programming

1:30 – 2:30 PM — Author Signings — Nicholas Parisi and John Wooley will be available for signings at our main entrance

3:15 – 4:15 PMContemporary Pulp: Writing Genre Fiction (featuring John Bruening, Christopher Paul Carey, and Will Murray, with William Patrick Maynard moderating)

4:15 – 4:45 PM — Auction Preview

Evening Programming

5:00 – 6:45 PM — PulpFest 2019 Group Meal

7:00 – 7:30 PM — PulpFest Annual Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)

7:30 – 7:40 PM — Munsey Award Presentation (presented by William Lampkin)

7:45 – 8:25 PM — FarmerCon XIV: Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences (featuring Jason Aiken, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, and Garyn G. Roberts, with Paul Spiteri moderating)

8:30 – 9:30 PM — Born Writing: The Unparalleled Career of Arthur J. Burks (John Locke)

9:30 – 9:45 PM —  Last Minute Auction Viewing

9:45 – 12:00 AM — Saturday Night Auction

12:00 – 1:00 AM — Fu Manchu Film Festival Encore (William Patrick Maynard)

Sunday, August 18

Dealers’ Room

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

To learn more about each presentations, click on the available links.

Please note that the schedule above is subject to change.

(Every year, PulpFest celebrates mystery, adventure, science fiction, and other forms of genre fiction. The rough paper magazines played a major role in the development of fiction categories. Pulp publisher Street & Smith pioneered the specialized fiction magazine when it introduced DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE in late 1915. About ten years later, Hugo Gernsback debuted AMAZING STORIES — the first science fiction magazine.

Leo Morey was AMAZING’s regular cover artist from the beginning of 1930 number until early 1938. A prime example of his work is the May 1931 issue of AMAZING STORIES. It was later featured as the cover art for the first volume in Mike Ashley’s acclaimed “The History of the Science-Fiction Magazine.” Originally published by Liverpool University Press in 2000, Ashley’s book is long out of print. Copies however, can still be located via PulpFest sponsor AbeBooks.com.

Artist Walter M. Baumhofer contributed the first painted image of Doc Savage, “The Man of Bronze.” Called the first superhero, Doc’s adventures were chronicled by Lester Dent. The character debuted in the March 1933 issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE, published by Street & Smith.

About five years later, Superman made his first appearance in the June 1938 issue of ACTION COMICS. Before long, the Man of Steel was joined by many other superheroes. This is just one example of the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have influenced writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.

Watch for our post cards featuring Walter Baumhofer’s classic Doc Savage image at book stores, comic shops, collectible conventions, and other venues. With a Superman portrait painted by H. J. Ward on its flip side, our post card is a great collectible in itself. It was designed by PulpFest Advertising Director, William Lampkin.

And watch for more adventures of The Man of Bronze via The All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage. They’re written by PulpFest 2019 panelist, Will Murray.)