FarmerCon 100: Moi, Tarzan!

May 16, 2018 by

Not only does 2018 mark the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War, it is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

As a child, Philip José Farmer discovered the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Farmer’s interest in the popular pulp writer would lead him to pen a biography of Burroughs’ best-known creation. Entitled TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE, the book revealed that the “character” known as Tarzan was, in fact, based on a real, living person. It also served to introduce the Wold Newton Family mythos, a concept that may be one of Farmer’s most enduring creations.

Since 2011, PulpFest has been hosting its convention with the help of FarmerCon. We’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule.

On Thursday, July 26, at 11:25 PM our FarmerCon programming continues with a showing of the excellent and informative French documentary MOI, TARZAN. Set in an English castle, this French documentary features George McWhorter, editor emeritus of THE BURROUGHS BULLETIN, Philip José Farmer, and popular culture expert Francis Lacassin in a discussion about Edgar Rice Burroughs’ most famous creation, Tarzan. An exploration of the fabulous jungle lord, the film adopts the viewpoint that Tarzan was a real person. MOI, TARZAN is full of fun, fancy and mystery. Here’s a link to a trailer for the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-nvueuWYIw.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and co-author of TARZAN: THE LOST ADVENTURE, a novel left unfinished when Edgar Rice Burroughs passed away in 1950. You can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Philip José Farmer’s biography of the Lord of the Apes — TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE — has been printed in six editions in the United States and Great Britain. The first paperback edition — released by Popular Library in 1973 — featured front cover art by artist and illustrator Richard Amsel.)

 

FarmerCon 100 — World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity

May 14, 2018 by

 

Last week, we discussed how 2018 marks the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War. Our current year is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

Few people think of Philip José Farmer as a pulp writer, but he was a child of the pulps and launched his career in the pulps. Born January 26, 1918 in North Terre Haute, Indiana, Farmer grew up in Peoria, Illinois. He spent much of his childhood reading everything he could find in the local library and drug store. Farmer read everything from the classics by Baum, Carroll, Cervantes, Chesterton, Cooper, Defoe, Dickens, Dumas, Homer, London, Shaw, Stevenson, Swift, Thackeray, Twain, Verne, Wells, and others, to popular fiction by Burroughs, Doyle, Haggard, and on through the pulps: AIR WONDER STORIES, ARGOSY, BLUE BOOK, DOC SAVAGE, SCIENCE WONDER STORIES, THE SHADOW, WEIRD TALES, and more.

Farmer’s interest in the rough-paper magazines of his youth would lead him to pen two biographies about pulp characters  TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE. He would also author official Doc Savage and Tarzan novels: ESCAPE FROM LOKI, and THE DARK HEART OF TIME. Farmer would also create “The Secrets of the Nine” series, beginning with the controversial novel A FEAST UNKNOWN, followed by two more straightforward adventure novels, LORD OF THE TREES and THE MAD GOBLIN.

Since 2011, PulpFest has been hosting its convention with the help of FarmerCon. We’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule. The fun begins on Thursday, July 26, at 10:45 PM, with a panel exploring “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity.” England’s Paul Spiteri, who served as co-editor of FARMERPHILE and the collection PEARLS OF PEORIA, and also collaborated with Phil, finishing the short story “Getting Ready to Write,” will be moderating the panel.

Paul will be joined by authors Win Scott Eckert and Frank Schildiner to talk about the challenges and rewarding aspects of writing in the world of Philip José Farmer’s Lord Grandrith, Doc Caliban, and the Nine.

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 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. In 1997, he launched the first Wold Newton website, The Wold Newton Universe. He is currently completing Philip José Farmer’s manuscript of THE MONSTER ON HOLD, the fourth novel in the Secrets of the Nine series.

Frank Schildiner is a martial arts instructor at Amorosi’s Mixed Martial Arts in New Jersey. He is the writer of the novels, THE QUEST OF FRANKENSTEINTHE TRIUMPH OF FRANKENSTEIN, NAPOLEON’S VAMPIRE HUNTERS,  THE DEVIL PLAGUE OF NAPLES, and the forthcoming SATANIC GANGS OF NEW YORK. He is a regular contributor to the fictional series TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN and has been published in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THUNDER JIM WADE, Airship 27’s SECRET AGENT X series, THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO: FRONTIER JUSTICETHE AVENGER: THE JUSTICE FILES, and other anthologies. He resides in New Jersey with his wife Gail, who is his top supporter and two cats who are indifferent on the subject.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMERYou can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Philip José Farmer began his “Secrets of the Nine” series with the controversial novel, A FEAST UNKNOWN. First published in 1969 by Essex House, the book has gone through numerous international printings, including four by Playboy Press in the early 1980s. Each featured front cover art by Jordi Penalva.

Farmer’s THE MAD GOBLIN was originally released in 1970 by Ace Books as part of their double line of paperbacks. The other half the book featured LORD OF THE TREES. Both sides of the book featured covers created by Gray Morrow, a comic book and paperback artist who also illustrated many science-fiction magazines. He was nominated for the Hugo Award for best professional artist in 1966, 1967, and 1968.)

100 Years of Philip José Farmer

Jan 22, 2018 by

Over the last few months, we’ve been discussing that 2018 marks the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War. However, our current year is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

Few people think of Philip José Farmer as a pulp writer, but he was a child of the pulps and launched his career in the pulps. Born January 26, 1918 in North Terre Haute, Indiana, Farmer grew up in Peoria, Illinois. He spent much of his childhood reading everything he could find in the local library and drug store. From the classics by Baum, Carroll, Cervantes, Chesterton, Cooper, Defoe, Dickens, Dumas, Homer, London, Shaw, Stevenson, Swift, Thackeray, Twain, Verne, Wells, and others, to popular fiction by Burroughs, Doyle, Haggard, and on through the pulps: AIR WONDER STORIES, ARGOSY, BLUE BOOK, DOC SAVAGE, SCIENCE WONDER STORIES, THE SHADOW, WEIRD TALES  . . . the list goes on and on. He also read the Bible and many books on mythology.

His wide reading prepared Farmer well for a career as a writer. Before trying his hand at science fiction, he wrote mainstream stories. He sold his first story, “O’Brien and Obrenov,” to ADVENTURE magazine. It was published in the March 1946 issue. His first science fiction story, “The Lovers” — published in the August 1952 STARTLING STORIES — is famous for breaking the taboo on sex in science fiction. It launched his science fiction career and won Farmer the 1952 Hugo Award as the “Most Promising New Talent.”

After selling several more stories to STARTLING STORIES, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, and SCIENCE FICTION PLUS, Farmer entered and won the Shasta Prize Novel Contest in 1953. The award included a grand prize of four thousand dollars (about $36,000 in today’s dollars). Though married with two children, Farmer now felt confident enough to quit his job and become a full-time writer. Unfortunately, his career immediately hit a stumbling block when Shasta didn’t pay him the prize money. Instead they strung him along asking for rewrites, while investing the money in the publication of another book. It bombed. Farmer was never paid and by the time the truth came out, he had lost his house and had to find full-time work.

After falling back on manual labor jobs for a few years, Farmer and his family left Peoria in 1956 and moved around the country. He worked as a technical writer for the space-defense industry, eventually ending up in Beverly Hills in 1965. All the while, he continued to write and sell science fiction short stories to such pulps and digests as AMAZING STORIES, ARGOSY, BEYOND FANTASY FICTION, FANTASTIC UNIVERSE, GALAXY, THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, THE SAINT MYSTERY MAGAZINEWORLDS OF IF, and WORLDS OF TOMORROW. He also wrote novels and published stories in anthologies. In 1967, he won a second Hugo Award for the story “Riders of the Purple Wage,” published in DANGEROUS VISIONS. Then — just before the moon landing in 1969 — he was laid off from his technical writing job. Once again, Farmer turned to full-time fiction writing.

In 1970, the Farmers moved back to Peoria and his writing career again began to take off. His World of Tiers series was very popular and he received his third Hugo Award for the first novel in the Riverworld series, TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO. A reworking of the novel that had won the Shasta contest, Farmer’s novel won the 1972 Hugo. Soon thereafter, his career hit another obstacle: writer’s block.

Although fans and publishers alike were clamoring for the next World of Tiers or Riverworld title, Farmer seemed to be out of ideas. Unable to work in those worlds, he spent the next few years looking to his favorite literature and the pulps for inspiration: THE WIND WHALES OF ISHMAEL (a science fiction sequel to MOBY DICK); THE OTHER LOG OF PHILEAS FOGG (the true story behind Jules Verne’s AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY DAYS); THE ADVENTURE OF THE PEERLESS PEER (a pastiche of Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes); HADON OF ANCIENT OPAR and FLIGHT TO OPAR (inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard); and VENUS ON THE HALF-SHELL, written “by” Kilgore Trout (wherein Farmer pretended he was Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s sad-sack science fiction author).

Farmer also penned two biographies during this period — TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE — revealing to the world that the “characters” known as Tarzan and Doc Savage were, in fact, based on real, living people. These books also served to introduce the Wold Newton Family mythos, a concept that may be one of his most enduring creations.

With his writer’s block vanquished by the end of the 1970s, Farmer continued the Riverworld and World of Tiers series. The next two decades also saw the fulfillment of his life-long ambitions to write an Oz book and to author official Doc Savage and Tarzan novels: A BARNSTORMER IN OZ, ESCAPE FROM LOKI, and THE DARK HEART OF TIME.

Farmer enjoyed a long career and attended hundreds of conventions, many of them as a guest of honor  (including PulpCon in 1989). Although he retired from writing in 1999, he worked with an ardent fan base over the next decade that continued to make his work available. Projects ranged from a mammoth collection of rarities (PEARLS FROM PEORIA, published in 2006) to unsold mainstream stories written at the start of his career and collected alongside an unpublished novel (UP FROM THE BOTTOMLESS PIT AND OTHER STORIES, published in 2007). Also published were new editions of novels, new collections, and unfinished works, completed in collaboration with others: “Getting Ready to Write” (with Paul Spiteri), THE CITY BEYOND PLAY and DAYWORLD: A HOLE IN WEDNESDAY (both with Danny Adams), THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE (with Win Scott Eckert), and THE SONG OF KWASIN (with Christopher Paul Carey).

Philip José Farmer passed away on February 25, 2009, shortly after his 91st birthday. His legacy endures and continues to entertain his many fans and readers. Perhaps the best testament to this is the annual FarmerCon gathering, held at PulpFest since 2011.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programing about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMERYou can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(While working in the aerospace and defense industry as a technical writer, Philip José Farmer continued to write and sell science fiction to the pulp and digest markets. THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION — which published “Open to Me, My Sister” in its May 1960 issue, featuring front cover art by Mel Hunter — was one of many magazines to which he sold.

By the 1970s, Farmer was writing fiction full time, winning the Hugo Award for “Best Novel” in 1972. Additionally, he penned many works inspired by the classics of literature and the pulps of his youth. One of these was the fictional “biography,” DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE. A revised edition of this work — with bonus material — was published in 2013 by Meteor House and Altus Press. It featured front cover art by Joe DeVito.

Mike Croteau is one of the founders of FarmerCon and Meteor House. He’s also the founder and one of the developers of Philip José Farmer’s Official Web Page.)

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.)

Reviews and Recordings of PulpFest 2017

Sep 11, 2017 by

The dealers' room at PulpFest 2017

The dealers’ room at PulpFest 2017

PulpFest 2017 wrapped up six weeks ago. If you weren’t able to attend, that’s unfortunate. You missed over three days of pulp presentations, pulp deals, and plenty of pulp talk among true fans. But all is not lost.

You can catch a glimmer of what PulpFest is through the post-convention reports, the photos, and the podcasts that are available online.

PulpFest 2017 Guest of Honor Gloria Stoll Karn

PulpFest 2017 Guest of Honor Gloria Stoll Karn

Read all about it

Check out what these folks had to say about this year’s AMAZING summer pulp convention in their reports:

Tuning in

If you’re not in the dealers’ room during the day, you may be attending one of the New Pulp readings or FarmerCon panel discussions. In the evenings, you may be at one of the pulp panels.

Re-live — or listen to for the first time — a selection of the PulpFest 2017 programming:

After you’ve read the reports and listened to the recordings, go ahead and start planning to attend 2018’s PulpFest to experience it first-hand. It will take place over the last weekend in July, beginning on Thursday evening, July 26 and running through Sunday, July 29.

 

Friday at PulpFest

Jul 28, 2017 by

PulpFest 2017 enters it second day, following a successful dealer set-up, early registration, early-bird shopping, and a full slate of programming. If you missed our first day, there’s still more to come.

From 9 to 10 AM today, the dealers’ room will be open only to dealers for set-up. All visitors will also be able to register for the convention this morning — beginning at 9 PM — and at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. A full-weekend advance membership to PulpFest will cost you $35 — if staying at our host hotel — and $40 if staying elsewhere. Single day memberships will be available for $20 for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. The general public is welcome to attend. There is ample free parking surrounding our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

All members, dealers included, can pick up their registration packets at the entrance to our dealers’ room. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. If you have not yet registered, you can download a copy by clicking herePaper forms will also be available at the door.

The dealers’ room will open to all at 10 AM and will remain open until 4:45 PM. Located in the Grand Ballroom of the DoubleTree, our dealers’ room will feature exhibitors selling and trading pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games. That’s why PulpFest is known as the “pop culture center of the universe!”

If you’re a fan of Philip Josė Farmer, you won’t want to miss the Meteor House book launch party at the DoubleTree. Meet the team behind the MAN OF WAR novella, including author Heidi Ruby Miller, artist Mark Wheatley, and the editors at Meteor House. An assortment of light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages will be served Friday, July 28, starting at 5 PM. Further details will be available at the PulpFest 2017 registration desk, outside of the convention’s dealers’ room.

Our afternoon programming will start at 1 PM with our New Fictioneers readings. Our evening programming will begin shortly before 7 PM as PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers officially welcomes all our attendees. Friday night’s programming will include our FarmerCon XII presentation on the “Psychos” of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerFarmerCon favorite Win Scott Eckert continues our salute to “the psychos of the pulps” with the first of two readings that he will be performing tonight. Mike Croteau of Meteor House rounds out our FarmerCon programming with Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch.

PulpFest 2017 further examines pulp fiction’s psychos with 100 Years with the Author of Psycho: Robert Bloch — an illustrated survey of the life and times of Robert Bloch presented by Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D.

This year’s celebration of hardboiled dicks gets underway at 8:40 PM with a reading from the work of SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES author Robert Leslie Bellem, the creator of Hollywood detective Dan Turner. Next, Anthony Award winner Jeffrey Marks looks at The Many Characters of Erle Stanley GardnerAltus Press publisher Matt Moring will also examine DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, the pulp that truly popularized the hard-as-nails private eye. Closing out the night’s presentations will be pulp historian and fan-favorite author Will Murray. He will be discussing The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant.

Perhaps the most exciting event of the evening will be a WEIRD Audio Play by Robert Bloch, staged by the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATREReturn to the Sabbath” was originally published in WEIRD TALES under Bloch’s Tarleton Fiske pseudonym. Narrated in the first person by a Hollywood public relations man, it’s the story of a European actor brought to the United States to star in a satanic horror film. Bloch’s story was later adapted and filmed for television as “The Sign of Satan.” It aired on THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR in 1964. The play will start at 11 PM.

You can find additional details about these and all of our presentations by clicking the Programming for 2017 button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area.

PulpFest members are also welcome to socialize together in our hospitality suite at the DoubleTree. You’ll be able to enjoy drinks and snacks with your comrades in pulpdom and talk about the things that you love and collect. If you’re new to the hobby, please join us in our con suite and learn more about pulps and pulp fiction and art.

Friday’s sponsor of the PulpFest hospitality suite is AbeBooks.com, the online marketplace for books. AbeBooks has a strong focus on rare and collectible books as well as ephemera such as maps, posters, prints and photographs. AbeBooks is a company with a passion for books, art and collectibles. PulpFest is extremely pleased to have AbeBooks as a convention sponsor and  Friday’s hospitality suite sponsor.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.

PulpFest 2017 will continue on Saturday and Sunday. It concludes at 2 PM on Sunday, July 30. Please join us at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” — for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” You’ll have a FANTASTIC time!

(Between 1935 and 1952, Robert Bloch published nearly seventy stories in WEIRD TALES, “The Unique Magazine.” “The Cheaters” appeared in the November 1947 issue and featured cover art by Matt Fox. A cartoonist, illustrator, comic book and advertising artist, watercolorist, painter, and graphic artist, with lithographs, woodcuts, and etchings to his credit, Fox painted eleven covers for WEIRD TALES and also contributed interior illustrations to the magazine. He also worked for Marvel Comics during the 1950s.

Philip José Farmer’s THE MAD GOBLIN was originally released in 1970 by Ace Books as part of their double line of paperbacks. The other half the book featured LORD OF THE TREES. Both sides of the book featured covers created by Gray Morrow, a comic book and paperback artist who also illustrated many science-fiction magazines. He was nominated for the Hugo Award for best professional artist in 1966, 1967, and 1968.

The “psychos” of  Robert Bloch, Philip José Farmer, and THE SHADOW MAGAZINE will be profiled during PulpFest’s second night of programming, scheduled to begin at 7 PM this evening. We hope to see you in at the DoubleTree Grand Ballroom for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con! You’ll find today’s schedule immediately below.)

Friday, July 28

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

Programming

12:45 – 4:30 PM — New Fictioneers Readings — (author readings by Jim Beard, John Bruening, Peter McGarvey, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Don Shakers)

6:55 – 7:00 PM — Welcome to PulpFest 2017 (Convention Chairman Jack Cullers)

7:00 – 7:20 PM — The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Nine (Win Scott Eckert, Frank Schildiner, and Art Sippo)

7:20 – 7:30 PM — The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — Win Scott Eckert Reads from THE MONSTER ON HOLD

7:30 – 7:50 PM — Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch (Mike Croteau of Meteor House)

7:50 – 8:00 PM — Intermission

8:00 – 8:40 PM — 100 Years with the Author of Psycho: Robert Bloch (Garyn Roberts)

8:40 – 8:50 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents Robert Leslie Bellem, a Dan Turner Reading

8:50 – 9:30 PM — Hardboiled and Dangerous: The Many Characters of Erle Stanley Gardner (Jeffrey Marks)

9:30 – 9:40 PM — Intermission

9:40 – 10:20 PM — Hardboiled Dicks: A Look at DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE (Matt Moring)

10:20 – 10:30 PM — Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame — Win Scott Eckert Reads from THE SCARLET JAGUAR

10:30 – 10:55 PM — The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant: Myra Reldon, Margo Lane, and Carrie Cashin (Will Murray)

11:00 – 11:30 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “Return to the Sabbath,” a WEIRD Audio Play by Robert Bloch

PulpFest Primer

Jul 25, 2017 by

PulpFest welcome banner, with AbeBooksPulpFest 2017 will begin on Thursday, July 27, at 4 PM, as our dealers begin to erect their displays for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” All members will be able to register for the convention from 4 to 8 PM, right outside our dealers’ room. There will be early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM for loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s costs by staying three nights at our host hotel. The cost is $30 for those who stay elsewhere. Our full programming slate for the evening will begin shortly after 9 PM with a reading by author Chet Williamson. Closing out the evening programming will be an audio drama, staged by the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE.

PulpFest 2017 will be celebrating the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” of the pulps.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.  Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

Early registration for the general membership will take place on Thursday, beginning at 4 PM, at the entrance to our dealers’ room in the Grand Ballroom of the DoubleTree. All members, dealers included, can pick up their registration packets at this time. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. You can download a copy by clicking here or the link found on our registration page. Look for the SHOP banner to find our dealers’ room. You’ll also see our large welcome banner, sponsored by AbeBooks.com. With its strong focus on rare and collectible books as well as ephemera such as maps, posters, prints and photographs, AbeBooks is a company with a passion for books, art and collectibles.

For those of you who have not yet registered for PulpFest 2017, Thursday evening will be an ideal time to do so. Full weekend memberships will cost $35 for those staying at the DoubleTree and $40 for those staying elsewhere. There will be no single-day memberships available for Thursday only. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. Please visit our registration page for further details. Members will also be able to register for the convention on Friday morning, beginning at 9 PM, and at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. Single day memberships will be available for $20 for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday.

Please note that advance registrations are no longer available. Our Paypal page was shut down around 10 PM on Monday night.

From 4 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, the dealers’ room will be open for exhibitors to set up their displays. At this point, we urge all of our dealers to take full advantage of our generous load-in and set-up period. Access to the dealers’ room for unloading will be through the ballroom back entrance and the nearby banquet dock. Click here for a map showing the loading area of the hotel and here for a map of the DoubleTree’s Grand Ballroom.

If you need additional help getting to the hotel and/or the loading area, please call or text Jack Cullers at 937.671.1574. If Jack is not available, please text Chuck Welch at 608.406.4774. You can also call Chuck, but text will probably be faster.

Remember that we’ll also be offering early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM on Thursday evening, an extra three hours of selling opportunities to people who are ready to buy!

Although the focus of PulpFest is pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games are also allowed.

From 9 to 10 AM on Friday, July 28, the dealers’ room will be open only to dealers for set-up. It will open to all at 10 AM and remain open until 4:45 PM. Our afternoon programming will start at 1 PM with the first of our New Fictioneers readings. Our evening programming will begin shortly before 7 PM as PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers offers an official welcome to all attendees. Friday night’s programming will include our FarmerCon XII presentations, plus several discussions of Robert Bloch, psychos, and hardboiled dicks. Once again, the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE will close out our programming. They’ll be performing “Return to the Sabbath,” a WEIRD Audio Play based on a story by Robert Bloch.

On Saturday, July 29, the PulpFest dealers’ room will be open from 10 AM to 4:45 PM. Afterward, all convention attendees are welcome to join an informal Saturday Night Dinner. Details will be announced at the convention. If you don’t plan to attend PulpFest‘s group meal, there are plenty of other restaurants close to the hotel. You’ll find a guide to the many restaurants in the vicinity of the DoubleTree by clicking here.

Our Saturday afternoon programming will start at 12:30 PM with our New Fictioneers readings and a panel on “New Pulp Fiction.” It will be followed by an encore presentation by the Narada Radio Company

Saturday evening’s events will include the PulpFest 2017 business meeting, starting at 7 PM. All members of the convention are urged to attend. The 2017 Munsey Award — presented for service to the pulp community — will also be awarded on Saturday evening.

Other programming on Saturday night will include Our Guest of Honor presentation, featuring one of the few living pulp magazine artists, Gloria Stoll Karn. A Pittsburgh resident, Gloria will be joined by fine artist and pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more. We’ll also have another presentation on the hardboiled dicks of the pulps.

Our evening will conclude with the annual PulpFest Saturday Night Auction. The convention will be offering about 150 lots of material from the collections of Woody Hagadish and Larry Latham. Included will be several premiums offered to readers of Street & Smith’s DOC SAVAGE and THE SHADOW MAGAZINE, as well as the May 1934 issue of DOC SAVAGE, autographed by cover artist Walter Baumhofer.

Any member of PulpFest 2017 can submit items to the auction. Your PulpFest badge number will be used as your auction bidder and/or seller number. We will begin taking consignments for the auction when our dealers’ room opens at 10 AM on Friday and Saturday. The sooner you submit your consignment to our auction coordinator, Barry Traylor, the more likely that it will be included in our auction. We will be accepting material for our auction near the entrance to the PulpFest dealers’ room. Watch for the auction banner. All auction lots must be submitted to Barry prior to 2 PM on Saturday, July 29.

All lots submitted must have a minimum value of $20. All lots that do not receive a bid of $20 or more will be passed. If you plan to offer an auction lot with a reserve price, your reserve must be $50 or more. No lots with a reserve price of less than $50 will be accepted. PulpFest reserves the right to reject any auction material that is unlikely to meet our minimum bid or reserve price standards as well as our content standards. The convention charges sellers 10% of the selling price for anything sold in the auction.

For additional details on all of our afternoon and evening programming events, please click the Programming for 2017 button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area.

On Sunday, July 30, the dealers’ room will be open to all members from 9 AM to 2 PM as our dealers pack up. If you are coming just for the day, please be aware that buying and selling opportunities may be limited. Admission to the convention for Sunday only will be $10, the cost of our annual program book, THE PULPSTER.

We are hoping that this year’s con will be our biggest and best yet. We’ve already registered a record number of dealers. We’ve also been receiving registrations every day, many from people who have never attended PulpFest before. If you’ve been thinking about attending, but have yet to pull the trigger, please book a room without delay. You can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry is located at 910 Sheraton Drive in Mars, Pennsylvania, just outside the city of Pittsburgh. It is easy to find at the intersection of three major roadways: Interstate 79, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and State Route 19. Please click here for a map of the hotel’s location or click the map along the right side of our home page. There is ample free parking surrounding the hotel.

For those attendees who would like to ship their purchases to their homes, there is a FedEx Office Print & Ship Center about a half-mile away from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Located at 19095 Perry Highway in Mars, Pennsylvania, it is open from 8 AM to 6 PM on Saturdays and from 11 AM to 6 PM on Sundays.

If you have other questions, please refer to our FAQ page. Hopefully, we’ll have it covered for you there.

The entire PulpFest 2017 organizing committee – Mike Chomko, Jack and Sally Cullers, Bill Lampkin, Barry Traylor, and Chuck Welch – is looking forward to seeing all of you. Have a safe trip to Pittsburgh for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con.”

(Designed by PulpFest’s artistic director, William Lampkin, our PulpFest 2017 welcome banner —  sponsored by AbeBooks.com —  features the work of artist John Newton Howitt. His painting was originally used as the cover for the April 15, 1934 number of Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE.

Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath” originally ran in the July 1938 issue of WEIRD TALES, featuring front cover art by the great pulp and fantasy artist, Virgil Finlay. The artist got his start during the Great Depression when he sent unsolicited illustrations to his favorite pulp magazine, WEIRD TALES. In addition to “The Unique Magazine,” he also contributed interior illustrations and covers to many other pulps and digests. Even today, Finlay remains one of the most highly regarded and collected artists in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.

DETECTIVE TALES was the number three title in Popular Publications’ detective pulp group. It was preceded by DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE and BLACK MASK, the pulp where the hardboiled detective genre originally took form. Between 1943 and 1945, Gloria Stoll Karn contributed six covers to DETECTIVE TALES, including the July 1945 number.

The cover art for the 2017 PULPSTER was painted by Norman Saunders for the July 1949 number of BLACK MASK. The painting appears courtesy of his son, pulp art historian David Saunders. A limited edition poster of the painting is available in the “gift shop” at the Norman Saunders website, normansaunders.com.)

Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame: Patricia Wildman

Jun 22, 2017 by

PulpFest is very pleased to welcome its FarmerCon members back to our joint conference. Since 2011, FarmerCon has offered to help with our programming. They’re mixing things up for 2017, with a panel on “The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Nine” and a solo presentation on the friendship of “Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch.”

Additionally, FarmerCon has asked Win Scott Eckert to perform a couple of short readings: THE MONSTER ON HOLD — a chapter from a planned book that Philip José Farmer offered at the 1983 World Fantasy Convention — and an excerpt from Win’s short novel, THE SCARLET JAGUAR.

During his life, Philip José Farmer maintained that his book DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE was a biography of a real person named Doctor James Clarke Wildman. Pat Wildman is the daughter of Doc Wildman, “the world-renowned adventurer and crimefighter of the 1930s and 40s.”

Introduced in the Wold Newton novel, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE — which Eckert coauthored with Philip José Farmer — Patricia’s adventures continue in THE SCARLET JAGUAR, written solely by Win Scott Eckert.

The winner of the 2014 New Pulp Award for best novella, Eckert’s story tells of a young girl whose father has been kidnapped by the Scarlet Jaguar. Pat, following in her father’s footsteps of righting wrongs and assisting those in need, agrees to help the girl. Now, it’s a race against time, deep in the wilds of the Central American jungle, as Pat Wildman and her crew search for the girl’s father, and confront the Scarlet Jaguar’s weird power to eliminate his enemies from afar.

“But who—or what—is the Scarlet Jaguar? A power-mad dictator determined to reclaim power? A revolutionary movement bent on taking over the country, and the rest of Central America? Or a front for something even more sinister . . . ?”

Win Scott Eckert is the editor of and contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE. He has coedited three Green Hornet anthologies for Moonstone Books. His short tales of Zorro, The Avenger, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hareton Ironcastle, Captain Midnight, The Green Ghost, Sexton Blake, The Domino Lady, Doc Ardan, and Sherlock Holmes can be found in several character-themed anthologies available from various publishers. Eckert’s critically acclaimed, encyclopedic CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD 1 & 2, was released by Black Coat Press in 2010.

A Honey West/T.H.E Cat crossover, A GIRL AND HER CAT, the first new Honey West novel in over forty years, came out in 2014. Forthcoming works include: the third Pat Wildman adventure; a new novel of one of the preeminent pulp heroes of the ’40s, The Avenger; and the unfinished fourth novel in Farmer’s “Secrets of the Nine” series. You can find Win Scott Eckert online at winscotteckert.com and @woldnewton on Twitter.

Join Win Scott Eckert of FarmerCon on Friday, July 28, at 10:20 PM for a short reading from THE SCARLET JAGUAR. To learn more about Philip José Farmer, please visit The Official Philip José Farmer Web Page. It’s the Brobdingnagian collection of all things Farmerian! And please join us at PulpFest 2017/FarmerCon XII from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Win Scott Eckert’s THE SCARLET JAGUAR was released in 2016 by Meteor House, featuring cover art by Mark Sparacio. A resident of Boca Raton, Florida, Mark is a Professor of Fine Arts at Digital Media Arts College. He has also worked as a comic book illustrator for Marvel, DC, and other companies.)

The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Monster on Hold

May 26, 2017 by

PulpFest is very pleased to welcome its FarmerCon members back to our joint conference. Since 2011, FarmerCon has offered to help with our programming. They’re mixing things up for 2017, with a panel on “The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Nine” and a solo presentation on the friendship of “Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch.”

Additionally, FarmerCon has asked Win Scott Eckert to perform a couple of short readings. We’ll be profiling “Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame: Patricia Wildman,” in late June. Today we’ll close out our posts on “. . . a few psychos” with a look at Farmer’s and Eckert’s THE MONSTER ON HOLD. The fourth volume in “The Secrets of the Nine” series, the forthcoming novel is based on a chapter, notes and text found in Farmer’s “Magic Filing Cabinet,” and a high-level outline written by the late author and published in the program book of the 1983 World Fantasy Convention.

Started in the volume A FEAST UNKNOWN and continued in LORD OF THE TREES and THE MAD GOBLIN, “The Secrets of the Nine” recounts the ongoing battle of the ape-man, Lord Grandrith, and the man of bronze, Doc Caliban, against the Nine, a secret cabal of immortals bent on amassing power and manipulating the course of world events.

Alternately called THE UNSPEAKABLE THRESHOLD and DOWN TO EARTH’S CENTRE, THE MONSTER ON HOLD evokes the sense of mystery and horror that the bronze-hued superman, Doc Caliban, feels when faced with a descent deep into a subterranean complex to confront an unfathomable evil. Philip José Farmer utilized all three titles, at various times, while working on his fourth Nine book. However, THE MONSTER ON HOLD was the latest title, and the one under which he announced the book in 1983. Thus, it is only fitting that this Doc Caliban adventure will finally appear under the title best known to Farmer’s legions of fans.

Win Scott Eckert is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE. It concerns Patricia Wildman, the daughter of pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. Her adventures continue in Eckert’s sequel, THE SCARLET JAGUAR, which won the 2014 New Pulp Award winner for best novella.

Eckert is the editor of and contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE. He has coedited three Green Hornet anthologies for Moonstone Books. His short tales of Zorro, The Avenger, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hareton Ironcastle, Captain Midnight, The Green Ghost, Sexton Blake, The Domino Lady, Doc Ardan, and Sherlock Holmes can be found in several character-themed anthologies available from various publishers. Eckert’s critically acclaimed, encyclopedic CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD 1 & 2, was released by Black Coat Press in 2010.

A Honey West/T.H.E Cat crossover, A GIRL AND HER CAT, the first new Honey West novel in over forty years, came out in 2014. Forthcoming works include: the third Pat Wildman adventure; a new novel of one of the preeminent pulp heroes of the ’40s, The Avenger; and the unfinished fourth novel in Farmer’s Secrets of the Nine series. You can find Win Scott Eckert online at winscotteckert.com and @woldnewton on Twitter.

Join Win Scott Eckert of FarmerCon on Friday, July 28, at 7:20 PM for a short reading from THE MONSTER ON HOLD. He’ll be delving into the chapter that Philip José Farmer offered at the 1983 World Fantasy Convention. Perhaps he might also be persuaded to read from the lesser-known DOWN TO EARTH’S CENTRE fragment . . . if the Nine will allow it!”

(Philip José Farmer’s THE MAD GOBLIN was originally released in 1970 by Ace Books as part of their double line of paperbacks. The other half the book featured LORD OF THE TREES. Both sides of the book featured covers created by Gray Morrow, a comic book and paperback artist who also illustrated many science-fiction magazines. He was nominated for the Hugo Award for best professional artist in 1966, 1967, and 1968.)

Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch

May 17, 2017 by

Back in early April, we noted the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, best remembered for his novel PSYCHO. The author of more than 200 stories, nearly thirty novels, and a large number of non-fiction articles, screenplays, and teleplays, Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulp magazines that are celebrated each summer at PulpFest. At this year’s convention, we’ll be celebrating “100 Years of Robert Bloch” with a number of presentations.

One of our Bloch presentations will feature FarmerCon founder Michael Croteau, creator of Philip José Farmer’s Official Home Page and the publisher at Meteor House. Mike will be discussing Robert Bloch’s relationship with Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. In addition to being accomplished writers, both men were frequent guests and attendees at various science fiction and fantasy conventions. It was at the 1952 World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago that they struck up their long-lasting friendship.

Bloch — who was well known for his tongue-in-cheek sense of humor — often served as the toastmaster at convention banquets. At the 31st World Science Fiction Convention, held in 1973 in Toronto, Ontario, Bloch quipped:

“Then of course we have Philip José Farmer, one of the greatest innovators in our field, who stripped away much of the prudery and phoney taboos. More than twenty years ago Philip José Farmer dared to do what no one had ever done before. He wrote ‘The Lovers,’ a story in which a man had sexual relations with an insect. You might call it science fiction’s first case of buggery.” Greeted by groans from his audience, Bloch continued, “You hear that, Phil? That’s how the public is. Last year they give you a Hugo; this year they boo your name.”

Using photographs and other materials from the Farmer estate, Michael will regale PulpFest evening programming attendees with tales of the friendship between these two writers of science fiction and fantasy. Please join us on Friday, July 28, at 7:30 PM for “Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch,” featuring FarmerCon‘s Michael Croteau. It’s all part of PulpFest 2017 and FarmerCon XII at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To register for both conventions, please click the Register for 2017 button just below the PulpFest home page banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click one of the Book a Room buttons likewise located on the PulpFest home page.

Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2017 and FarmerCon XII and join hundreds of pulp fiction and Philip José Farmer fans at the pop-culture center of the universe. You’ll have a maddening time, especially if you’re planning to stay at the DoubleTree! We look forward to seeing you from July 27 – 30.

(Not only did Farmer and Bloch cross paths at science fiction conventions, they sometimes met up in the pages of books and magazines. Although he rarely submitted a truly “weird tale,” Farmer’s “The Freshman,” originally published in the May 1979 issue of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, owes a substantial debt to H. P. Lovecraft, who mentored Robert Bloch as a writer. In that same issue is Bloch’s short story, “Freak Show.” It concerns a traveling side show that appears unexpectedly at the Goober City Fairgrounds. David Hardy contributed the issue’s cover. An artist and illustrator from the United Kingdom, his work has appeared in ANALOG, IF, GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION MONTHLY, VISION OF TOMORROW, and many issues of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION.)