Have a Programming Idea? Share It with PulpFest!

Sep 24, 2018 by

For the last ten years, PulpFest has put on some of the best programming around. It’s our claim to fame.

PulpFest is the summertime destination for fans of vintage popular fiction and related collectibles. It has become the “pop culture center of the universe” due to our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Michael Connelly, and Stephen King, PulpFest is for you!

PulpFest celebrates the pulps by calling attention to the ways these throw-away magazines still inspire writers, artists, film directors, game designers, and other creators.

Tell us what you want to see at PulpFest. Write to programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.comHe wants to hear from you. Then join us next year at PulpFest 2019 for “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories.”

PulpFest 2019 will take place from August 15 – 18, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

(Released in 1939, THE OUTSIDER AND OTHERS collects the stories  of H. P. Lovecraft. With jacket art by Virgil Finlay, Arkham House only printed 1,268 copies. You can find it at PulpFest.

Earlier this year, Scribner released THE OUTSIDER by bestselling author Stephen King. We don’t know how many copies were printed, but it was more than 1,268. If you like King, you’ll love PulpFest.)

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Buying at PulpFest

Apr 20, 2018 by

Year after year, PulpFest is a paradise for the fan of pulp magazines, digests, vintage paperbacks, original artwork, and other collectibles. The collector will also find first edition hardcovers, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, series books, dime novels, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, Golden and Silver Age comic books, and more in our spacious dealers’ room, located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh.

In addition to our great dealers’ room, PulpFest 2018 will hold two live auctions. The convention will be offering pulps and other materials from the estates of Woody Hagadish and Larry Latham. We’ll have pulps and digests from such diverse genres as science fiction, adventure, sports, and the western field. Also included will be some rare premiums offered to pulp readers, over twenty Gnome Press, Shasta, and Avalon first edition hardcovers, rare science fiction paperbacks, British science fiction magazines, and more. The auctions will follow our programming on both Friday and Saturday nights.

For those who simply like to read pulp and genre fiction, you’ll find science-fiction hardcovers and paperbacks, mysteries, adventure fiction, and countless pulp reprints from publishers such as Adventure HouseAge of AcesAltus PressMeteor HouseSanctum Books, and Stark House Press. Fans of new pulp will have readings by their favorite authors on both Friday and Saturday, plus books for sale from Will Murray’s Adventures in BronzeAirship 27, Flinch Books, and other purveyors of today’s finest genre fiction.

Accommodating over 100 tables, our dealers’ room will be open to all comers from 10 AM to 4:45 PM on July 27 and 28, and from 9 AM until 2 PM on Sunday, July 29. However, buying and selling opportunities may be limited on Sunday as many of our dealers will be packing up for their return trip home.

Don’t forget about our early-bird hours on Thursday evening, July 26, from 5:30 to 8:30 PM. For an additional $30 over your regular membership fee, you’ll be able to purchase early-bird privileges for an extra three hours of shopping. Better still, if you stay at the DoubleTree, PulpFest is pleased to offer free early-bird privileges. That’s a very significant savings to reward loyal attendees who help us reduce the convention’s costs by staying at our host hotel!

You can book your room at the DoubleTree by clicking one of the Book a Room buttons on our home page. To learn more about registering for the convention, click one of the Register buttons on our home page. Remember, if you read or collect pulps, genre fiction, pulp reprints, books, vintage paperbacks, original artwork, golden-age or silver-age comic books, PulpFest is the place to be.

(Perhaps you’ll find an issue of Fawcett’s BATTLE STORIES at this year’s PulpFest. Perhaps it will be the July 1930 issue, featuring cover art by George Rozen.  Debuting with its September 1927 number, BATTLE STORIES was one of the leaders in its fiction category. It debuted about a year after Dell’s WAR STORIES, the first of the so-called “war pulps.”

We’ll be honoring the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the war pulps of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. We’ll also be celebrating the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Our guest of honor will be award-winning author Joe Lansdale.

Start planning now to attend PulpFest and its celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. Be sure to join PulpFest 2018 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry this summer. We’ll be there July 26 – 29, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the “pop culture center of the universe.”

If you’d like a copy of our PulpFest 2018 newsletter — packed with information about the convention — you can download a copy by clicking here or by writing to Jack Cullers at 1272 Cheatham Way, Bellbrook, OH 45305 or jack@pulpfest.com.)

Shopping for Collectibles at PulpFest 2017

Jun 7, 2017 by

Year after year, PulpFest is a paradise for the fan of pulp magazines, digests, vintage paperbacks, original artwork, and other collectibles. The collector will also find first edition hardcovers, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, series books, dime novels, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books in our spacious dealers’ room, located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh.

For those who simply like to read pulp and genre fiction, you’ll find science-fiction hardcovers and paperbacks, mysteries, adventure fiction, and countless pulp reprints from publishers such as Adventure HouseAge of AcesAltus Press, Meteor House, Sanctum Books, and Stark House Press. Fans of new pulp will have readings by their favorite authors on both Friday and Saturday as well as a panel moderated by Ron Fortier, plus books for sale from Will Murray’s Adventures in BronzeAirship 27, and other purveyors of today’s pulp fiction.

Accommodating over 100 tables, our dealers’ room will be open to all comers from 10 AM to about 4:45 PM on July 28 and 29, and from 9 AM until 2 PM on Sunday, July 30 (although buying and selling opportunities may be limited on our final day as many of our dealers will be packing up for their return trip home). And don’t forget about our early-bird hours on Thursday evening, July 27, from 6 PM to 9 PM. For an additional $30 over your regular membership fee, you’ll be able to purchase early-bird privileges for an extra three hours of shopping. Better still, to reward loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s substantial costs by staying at our host hotel, PulpFest is pleased to offer free early-bird privileges. That’s a very significant savings!

You can book your room at the DoubleTree by clicking one of the Book a Room buttons on our home page. To learn about registering for the convention, click the Register for 2017 button below our home page banner. Remember, if you read or collect pulps, pulp reprints, books, vintage paperbacks, original artwork, golden-age or silver-age comic books, PulpFest is the place to be.

(Perhaps you’ll find one of the early issues of Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — such as the July 1932 issue, featuring cover artwork by William Reusswig — at this year’s PulpFest. Debuting with its November 1931 number, DIME DETECTIVE was one of the leaders in its fiction category and helped to turn Popular into a powerhouse of the pulp magazine industry.

We’ll be celebrating the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” of the pulps at this year’s convention. Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2017 and its celebration of pulp fiction and pulp art. Join us July 27 – 30, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the “pop culture center of the universe” in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry for PulpFest 2017.)

Shopping for Collectibles at PulpFest 2016

May 16, 2016 by

Detective Story 1915-10-05Year after year, PulpFest is a paradise for the fan of pulp magazines, digests, vintage paperbacks, and other collectibles. The collector will also find first edition hardcovers, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, series books, dime novels, original artwork, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books in our spacious dealers’ room, located in the Battelle South exhibition hall on the third floor of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

For those who simply like to read pulp and genre fiction, you’ll find science-fiction hardcovers and paperbacks, mysteries, adventure fiction, and countless pulp reprints from publishers such as Adventure HouseAge of AcesAltus Press, Meteor House, Sanctum Books, and Stark House Press. Fans of new pulp will have readings by their favorite authors on both Friday and Saturday as well as a panel moderated by Ron Fortier, plus books for sale from Will Murray’s Adventures in BronzeAirship 27, and other purveyors of today’s pulp fiction. We’ll also have pulp-related gaming supplies.

Accommodating over 100 tables, our dealers’ room will be open to all comers from 10 AM to about 4:45 PM on July 22 and 23, and until 2 PM on Sunday, July 24 (although buying and selling opportunities may be limited on our final day as many of our dealers will be packing up for their return trip home). And don’t forget about our early-bird hours on Thursday evening, July 21, from 6 PM to 9 PM. For an additional $25-30 over your regular membership fee, you’ll be able to purchase early-bird privileges for an extra three hours of shopping. Better still, to reward loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s substantial costs by staying three nights at our host hotel, PulpFest is pleased to offer free early-bird privileges. That’s a very significant savings! Plus, if you prepay your membership and attend our annual business meeting on Saturday evening, you might win a free membership to next year’s PulpFest!

You can book your room at the Hyatt Regency Columbus by clicking one of the Book a Room buttons on our home page and learn about registering for the convention by clicking the Register for 2016 button below our home page banner. Remember, “If you read or collect pulps, pulp reprints, books, vintage paperbacks, original artwork, golden-age or silver-age comic books .  .  .  PulpFest is the place to be.”

(Perhaps you’ll find the first issue of DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE — dated October 5, 1915 and featuring cover artwork by John A. Coughlin — at this year’s PulpFest. You won’t find out unless you attend. We’ll be celebrating the specialty pulp magazine — DETECTIVE STORY was the first — at this year’s convention. Later specialty pulps included LOVE STORY, SPORTS STORY, and WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE. We hope to see you in beautiful, downtown Columbus, Ohio from July 21 to 24 at the pop culture center of the universe — Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!”)

Your Last Chance to Guess Our Guest’s Identity

Jan 10, 2016 by

Amazing Stories 26-04On Thursday evening, we drew your attention to the fact that we are planning to announce our convention’s 2016 guest of honor on Monday, January 11th. The news will be released here and on our social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. We also mentioned that we’re planning to offer a wide array of programming at PulpFest 2016, including salutes to the 150th anniversary of the birth of H. G. Wells — author of “The Time Machine,” “War of the Worlds,” and other classic science-fiction novels — and the 90th anniversary of the first science-fiction pulp, AMAZING STORIES.

As we mentioned in our post concerning THE ARGOSY  the first American periodical specifically designed for the common man — pulp magazines were named for the cheap paper on which they were printed. Nearly two decades after Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in late 1896, the rough-paper periodicals began to specialize with the introduction of DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE by Street & Smith. During the 1920s more magazines geared toward specific genres were introduced: LOVE STORY, SEA STORIES, SPORT STORY MAGAZINE, GHOST STORIES, WAR STORIES, and others. The movement would culminate in single-character magazines such as THE SHADOW or DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.

It was hard to miss the inaugural issue of AMAZING STORIES — the first magazine to be geared toward the science-fiction reader. Larger than the typical pulp magazine with three-dimensional block letters trailing across its masthead, with a bright yellow backdrop that framed an alien landscape, a ringed planet and small moon, the magazine certainly stood out on the sales rack.

The names on the front cover of the early issues of AMAZING STORIES were also major selling points for the magazine: Edgar Rice Burroughs, A. Merritt, Edgar Allan Poe, Garrett P. Serviss, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and others. Using stories drawn from the Munsey magazines, BLUE BOOK, THE STRAND, and other sources, Gernsback offered reprints of science-fiction classics, eventually coupling these with new stories generated through contests. It was just as Gernsback wrote in his editorial for the pulp’s first issue: “By ‘scientifiction’ I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Edgar Allan Poe type story — a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision.”

Amazing Stories 27-08It would be difficult to deny the importance of Herbert George Wells to the development of both science fiction and AMAZING STORIES. During his three years as editor and publisher of the first science-fiction magazine, Gernsback turned to Wells’ fictional output for nearly thirty stories, reprinting such tales as “The Country of the Blind,” “The Crystal Egg,” “The Empire of the Ants,” “The First Men in the Moon,” “The Invisible Man,” “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” “The Man Who Could Work Miracles,” “A Story of the Days to Come,” “The Time Machine,” “The Valley of the Spiders,” “The War of the Worlds,” and “When the Sleeper Wakes” in his magazine and its companion titles.

PulpFest 2016 will be celebrating both H. G. Wells and AMAZING STORIES at its convention in July. Please join us at “the pop culture center of the universe” for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con,” from July 21st through July 24th in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center.

Here’s our final clue to the identity of our PulpFest 2016 guest of honor: in 1926, Hugo Gernsback introduced the reading public to the first science-fiction magazine, AMAZING STORIES. Since then, Gernsback’s magazine has inspired countless imitators. During our 2016 guest of honor’s career, he or she has also been associated with the science-fiction genre. Here’s your last chance to leave your guess to our special guest’s identity on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” us. We’ll provide a free membership to PulpFest 2016 to the first person who guesses the identity of this year’s honored guest. And remember to visit www.pulpfest.com on Monday, January 11th when we will reveal the identity of the PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor.

(Frank R. Paul, the “grandfather of science-fiction art,” painted the covers to both the inaugural issue of AMAZING STORIES — dated April 1926 — and the August 1927 number of the magazine. The latter issue of the rough-paper periodical featured the first half of the classic H. G. Wells novel, “The War of the Worlds,” serialized by the magazine in two parts. Wells’ story of an alien invasion of planet Earth — originally published in PEARSON’S MAGAZINE in 1897 — is still enjoyed to this very day.)

A Third Clue to Our Guest of Honor

Jan 9, 2016 by

The Whisperer 1936-10On Thursday evening, we drew your attention to the fact that we are planning to announce our convention’s 2016 guest of honor on Monday, January 11th. The news will be released here and on our social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. We also mentioned that we’re planning to offer a wide array of programming at PulpFest 2016, including a salute to the 80th anniversaries of THE WHISPERER and THE SKIPPER.

In 1931, Street & Smith was promoting their DETECTIVE STORY pulp by dramatizing stories from the magazine over the radio. The program’s narrator called himself “The Shadow.” When this memorable name began to eclipse the title of the magazine being promoted, the publisher decided to launch a new form of pulp magazine, the single-character or “hero” pulp. Within two years, the phenomenal success of  THE SHADOW MAGAZINE had started a rash of hero pulps including THE PHANTOM DETECTIVE, DOC SAVAGE, THE SPIDER, and G-8 AND HIS BATTLE ACES.

Although most of the hero-pulp titles that were introduced during 1933 experienced long runs, two of the magazines — Street & Smith’s own NICK CARTER DETECTIVE MAGAZINE and PETE RICE WESTERN ADVENTURES — were cancelled during the summer of 1936. Their spots in the publisher’s line-up were not long left vacant. THE WHISPERER was introduced to readers with its October 1936 issue, while THE SKIPPER debuted two months later.

THE WHISPERER related the adventures of Police Commissioner Wildcat Gordon, “a new character,” as the magazine’s first number proclaimed, who was “vigorous” and “fascinating.” The new pulp hero was meant to be a more adult version of Walter Gibson’s Shadow character, battling organized crime, racketeers, political corruption, and the like. Disguised in gray and wearing special dental plates that caused him to speak in a spooky whisper, Wildcat carried a pair of silenced automatics and was prone to kill those who ignored the law. The novels of the magazine’s first run were all written by Laurence Donovan, using the house name of Clifford Goodrich.

Hoping to duplicate the success of their globe-trotting super-hero, Doc Savage, Street & Smith released THE SKIPPER. Likewise intended to be a grown-up version of the popular Lester Dent adventure hero, the publisher again turned to Laurence Donovan to create the character and his adventures. The Skipper was Captain John Fury, master of the freighter Whirlwind. Following the death of his brother — killed by ocean-faring evildoers — Cap Fury promises to rid the seas of pirates and criminals. Commanding a tramp steamer that has been outfitted for war, The Skipper battles a number of fantastic foes who control death rays, a meteorite that removes oxygen from the air, voodoo practitioners, plague-bearing rats, and other nefarious evil-doers.

The Skipper 1936-12Here’s another clue to the identity of our PulpFest 2016 guest of honor: as mentioned in our post of  January 8th, the 1930s was the era of the hero pulp, inspired by the phenomenal success of Street & Smith’s THE SHADOW MAGAZINE. During our 2016 guest of honor’s career, he or she has also been associated with super heroes. Drop by our site tomorrow for our final hint. You can leave your guess to our special guest’s identity on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” us. We’ll provide a free membership to PulpFest 2016 to the first person who guesses the identity of this year’s honored guest. And remember to visit www.pulpfest.com on Monday, January 11th, when we will reveal the identity of the PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor.

(THE WHISPERER was introduced to readers with its October 1936 number, featuring front cover art by the talented John Newton Howitt, a devoted landscape painter whose work was sold at fine art galleries in New York City. With the advent of the Great Depression, the artist turned to the pulps for income. An excellent painter, Howitt found a ready market in the rough-paper periodicals, selling freelance pulp covers to ADVENTURE, DIME DETECTIVE, HORROR STORIES, THE SPIDER, TERROR TALES, THE WHISPERER, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, and other pulp magazine titles.

THE SKIPPER debuted two months after the introduction of THE WHISPERER, its first issue dated December 1936. Lawrence Donner Toney, a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, was the cover artist. During the 1930s and 1940s, Toney painted covers for pulp magazines, such as CLUES, COMPLETE STORIES,WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, and WILD WEST WEEKLY, all published by Street & Smith. Most of his work for pulp magazines was signed only with his initials.

To learn more about these talented artists, be sure to visit David Saunders’ Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists where you will find more than 300 biographical profiles of American pulp artists.)

Who Will Be Our Guest of Honor?

Jan 7, 2016 by

Western Story 1932-09-03If you’ve been following our recent posts, you’ll know we released our draft schedule for PulpFest 2016 on January 4th, just a few days into the new year. If you happened to study that schedule, you’ve learned that we are planning to announce our convention’s 2016 guest of honor on Monday, January 11th. The news will be released here and on our social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. If you’ve been tracking our progress, you’ll also know that we’re planning to offer a wide array of programming at PulpFest 2016, including a salute to the 100th anniversary of the genre pulp magazine.

Although the Munsey group published the first specialized pulp magazines — beginning with THE RAILROAD MAN’S MAGAZINE in 1906, followed by THE OCEAN in 1907 — both pulps were a mixture of fact and fiction. It would be up to Street & Smith to originate the specialized pulp-fiction magazine in the fall of 1915, when it introduced DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE to the reading public.

Originally published twice a month, DETECTIVE STORY became a weekly before the end of its second year of publication. Despite its great success, the new pulp did not immediately inspire many imitators. It would be up to Street & Smith itself to develop the trend: WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE arrived in 1919, followed by LOVE STORY in 1921, SEA STORIES in 1922, and SPORT STORY MAGAZINE in 1923. It was not until 1924 that the single-genre fiction pulp would start to take off as other publishers began to release their own specialty pulps.

Here’s a clue to the identity of our PulpFest 2016 guest of honor: at one time in our 2016 guest of honor’s career, he or she worked for the specialty or genre-fiction magazines. Drop by our site over the next few days for more hints. You can leave your guess to our special guest’s identity on our Facebook page. If you haven’t done so already, be sure to “like” us. We’ll provide a free membership to PulpFest 2016 to the first person who guesses the identity of this year’s honored guest. And remember to visit www.pulpfest.com on Monday, January 11th when we will reveal the identity of the PulpFest 2016 Guest of Honor.

(Walter M. Baumhofer — often referred to as the “king of the pulp artists” — contributed the front cover art for the September 3, 1932 issue of WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, one of the string of specialized pulp-fiction magazines first introduced by the Street & Smith publishing group in the fall of 1915. PulpFest 2016 will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the genre magazine at its convention at the Hyatt Regency Columbus and the Greater Columbus Convention Center in beautiful downtown of Columbus, Ohio from July 21 – 24, 2016. Bring your friends! They’ll have a very SPECIAL time!)

PulpFest and the New Fictioneers

Nov 16, 2015 by

Science Fictioneers

It’s called new pulp – stories by modern writers who recreate the style of fiction that appeared in the pulp magazines of yore. Back then, 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 the new pulp fiction.

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

Every year since 2009, we’ve featured readings by some of the best writers of today’s pulp fiction. Jason Scott Aiken, Jim Beard, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, Ron Fortier, William Patrick Maynard, Will Murray, Duane Spurlock, and many others have read excerpts from their work, showcasing a wide range of exciting new fiction. Afterward, they’ve talked with their audiences, answering questions, fielding comments, discussing works-in-progress, and selling their books. Both our writers and their audiences have loved these events.

We call these fifty-minute (or less) sessions our “New Fictioneers” readings and we’re hoping to have some great ones at PulpFest 2016. As we have for the last seven years, PulpFest is seeking writers for its New Fictioneers program, scheduled for Friday, July 22nd, and Saturday, July 23rd. If you’re a writer of contemporary genre fiction who would like to participate in our 2016 festivities, please send an email to PulpFest committee member Chuck Welch at chuck@pulpfest.comChuck is looking for at least four writers to present their work at our 2016 convention. Tell him the kind of stuff you write, where you’ve been published, when you’d be available for a reading, and anything else that would help you to become one of our celebrated New Fictioneers.

In order to give the convention time to prepare its marketing of the 2016 New Fictioneers, all reader applications for PulpFest 2016 must be submitted by May 1, 2016. Space is limited — only a select number of readers will be chosen for the 2016 convention. If you’re writing contemporary genre fiction — detective, fantasy, pulp hero, science fiction, western, and so on — Chuck Welch is looking forward to hearing from you.

Otto Binder, Manly Wade Wellman, Julius Schwartz, Jack Williamson, L. Sprague de Camp, Dr. John Clark, Frank Belknap Long, Mort Weisinger, Edmond Hamilton, and Otis Adelbert Kline — fictioneers all — gathered for the photograph above outside the offices of Standard Magazines in July 1937. It’s one of over two dozen photographs of pulp writers featured in E. Hoffman Price’s BOOK OF THE DEAD — FRIENDS OF YESTERYEAR: FICTIONEERS AND OTHERS, published by Arkham House Publishers in 2001.