Our Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale

Jun 15, 2018 by

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. But on top of all that, the convention will also be hosting champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale as its Guest of Honor!

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

Join PulpFest 2018 on Saturday, July 28, at 7:35 PM for a talk with Joe R. Lansdale. Joining the celebrated author on the PulpFest stage will be former journalist Tony Davis, a reader and collector of the work of our honored guest since the 1980s. Tony has been a pulp fan for even longer, starting with science fiction bedsheets as a teenager. The Ballantine and Ace Burroughs paperbacks, Bantam Doc Savages, and Lancer Conans of the 1960s led him to WEIRD TALES and other pulps.

At the Pulpcons of the early 1990s, I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful people. One of those was the late, great Bob Weinberg. I was a big WEIRD TALES reader and collector and, boy, did Bob have a lot to relate to me about “The Unique Magazine.” It was on Bob’s recommendation that I started to buy dark fantasy books from specialized publishers like Dark Harvest and Mark V. Ziesing. And there was Joe R. Lansdale.

I started with a British edition of DEAD IN THE WEST, then BY BIZARRE HANDS, with the tipped-in plate and autograph (a Weinberg speciality). I was hooked. Soon I was reading Lansdale in TWILIGHT ZONE MAGAZINE and MIDNIGHT GRAFFITI. Then the books, often short story anthologies, were hitting the shelves of local book stores. Along came the Hap and Leonard series in paperback. By then, the East Texas scribe’s works were required reading for me.

Mike Chomko was always asking for recommendations for guests of honor for PulpFest. I’d wander by his dealer’s table every year and mention a few names, one of them being Joe R. Lansdale. And Mike would grin and say ‘Thanks Tony. We’ll see.’ Following PulpFest 2017, Mike emailed me and asked: ‘Would you be interested in doing our Saturday night interview? Our guest of honor is Joe Lansdale.’ My wife asked me what all the excitement was about after I’d emailed Mike back. ‘Joe Lansdale. I’ll be interviewing Joe Lansdale!’ Her response: ‘That’s nice, dear.’ So, here I am, a 65-year-old fan boy from Ontario, rummaging through all my JRL books and magazines to prepare for one Saturday night in July.”

Tony Davis has been attending pulp conventions since 1990. His first — Pulpcon 19 — led him to start THE PULPSTERthe longtime program book of Pulpcon, and now, PulpFest. Join Tony at this year’s PulpFest, taking place from Thursday, July 26, through Sunday, July 29 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. In addition to our guest of honor, we’ll be hosting a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley. There will also be author readings, a great programming line-up, two auctions featuring unique collectibles, and a dealers’ room filled with pulps, digests, and men’s adventure magazines, collectible paintings and illustrations, rare first editions, vintage paperbacks and comic books, unique films and more. All this, plus you can get ten dollars off the daily admission to Confluence. It’s taking place the same weekend as summer’s AMAZING pulp con! All you have to do is show your PulpFest badge at the door to Pittsburgh’s long-running science fiction, fantasy and horror conference.

You can join both PulpFest and FarmerCon 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!

(Tony Davis’s first Lansdale collectible was the British edition of DEAD IN THE WEST. A short novel featuring the Reverend Jebediah Mercer, it concerns the town of Mud Creek, Texas. It’s about to be attacked by a zombie horde, called up by an Indian medicine man, unjustly lynched by the town’s inhabitants. Originally serialized in four parts by ELDRITCH TALES #10 – 13, DEAD IN THE WEST was published by Kinnell in the United Kingdom in 1990, featuring jacket art by James Stewart.)

Joe Lansdale is Coming to PulpFest

Oct 9, 2017 by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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