Premiering at PulpFest 2015

Aug 3, 2015 by

MurrayAs they do every year, a number of publishers have chosen to roll out new titles at PulpFest 2015. Altus PressMurania Press, and Stark House Press will be premiering reprints of classics from the past, while Adventures in BronzeAirship 27, and Meteor House will debut new work inspired by the great fiction of the past. And since PulpFest will be hosting four New Fictioneer readings, expect to meet some of the creators of today’s pulp fiction at the convention. Check out our schedule page for the times of our readings.

Tarzan. Doc Savage. The Shadow. All three of these iconic characters will be at PulpFest, courtesy of Adventures in Bronze and author Will Murray. You’ll be able to get signed copies in both hardcover and softcover of the fully authorized editions of RETURN TO PAL-UL-DON and DOC SAVAGE: THE SINISTER SHADOW. They’ll be available at PulpFest 2015 where their author, pop culture historian Will Murray, will be appearing on four different panel presentations.

GunnisonAlthough it originally appeared in 2007, THRILLING DETECTIVE HEROES certainly deserves a mention here. Edited by John Locke and John Wooley, it was published by Adventure House, one of the leading publishers of pulp reprints and reference works in the country. On Thursday, August 13th, at 8:40 PM, John Wooley and Adventure House publisher John Gunnison will pay a visit to some of the continuing characters that were featured in the Thrilling line of detective pulps. Join them for a discussion of “Thrilling Detectives” during our Thursday evening presentations in PulpFest‘s second-floor programming area at the Hyatt Regency. Their discussion will center around many of the characters featured in THRILLING DETECTIVE HEROES, a book that also includes the most complete history of the Thrilling Group of pulp magazines ever to be published. You’ll be able to pick up a copy at the Adventure House tables during the convention and have one of its editors and its publisher sign it for you. That won’t happen on ebay!

Airship 27New pulp fans will see a number of books for the very first time at PulpFest 2015, courtesy of Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 Productions. Frederick C. Davis’ occult detective, Ravenwood, the Stepson of Mystery, will appear in his first, full-length novel. Author Micah Harris links the classic pulp hero with one of the most notorious crimes in Hollywood history in RETURN OF THE DUGPA. Also debuting is the second volume of SIX-GUN TERRORS in which the Wild West meet WEIRD TALES. Fred Adams, Jr. weaves a weird western novel concerning warriors able to transform themselves into beasts!

AltusAs he does every year, Mike Chomko will be premiering the latest books from America’s leading pulp reprint house Altus Press. Thanks to an arrangement with Altus publisher Matt Moring, Mike will be offering both hardcover and softcover editions of THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF THE MOON MAN, VOLUME ONE; THE MASKED RIDER ARCHIVES, VOLUME TWO; THE BLACK BAT OMNIBUS, VOLUME THREE; and five books written by H. Bedford-Jones, including THE DEVIL’S BOSUN, GHOST HILLS, and WILL O’ THE WISP. Mike will also have the first ten volumes of the recently released ARGOSY LIBRARY, including Lester Dent’s GENIUS JONES, Victor Rousseau’s DRAFT OF ETERNITY, Otis Adelbert Kline’s THE SWORDSMAN OF MARS and W. Wirt’s WHEN TIGERS ARE HUNTING. Mike Chomko, Books has been one of the leading purveyors of pulp reprint books and periodicals since the early nineties. Look for his tables just inside the entrance to the PulpFest 2015 dealers’ room and say hi to the convention’s marketing and programming director.

Bold VentureWe’re very happy to have Rich Harvey and Audrey Parente of Bold Venture Press as one of this year’s fifty exhibitors. Since 1992, Bold Venture has been publishing quality reprints of classic pulp fiction. At this year’s convention, Rich and Audrey will be premiering John Wooley’s and Robert Leslie Bellem’s HOMICIDE HIGHBALL: THE LOST DAN TURNER MOVIE SCRIPT, Richard Lupoff’s DREAMER’S DOZEN, PULP JAZZ: THE CHARLES BOECKMAN STORY, the latest issue of PULP ADVENTURES featuring stories by Bellem, Lupoff, Stewart Sterling, and others, and Audrey’s own PULP NOIR: A CLUTTERED ROMANCE, in which two avowed hoarders of paper memorabilia try to make room in their lives for each other. It’s a funhouse mirror image of the world of collecting pulps and comics. Bold Venture Press brings you vintage pulp fiction and exciting new stories. Learn for yourself at PulpFest 2015.

EnosDick and Norma Enos of Fantasy Publishing will have a new adventure of Rick Steele at PulpFest 2015. Watch for DEATH ON THIN ICE, the latest yarn featuring the ace trouble buster from the fifties. A former test pilot with a trio of “ace” assistants, Rick will go anywhere in search of adventure. It’s part one of THE MONSTER OF CHINATOWN and you’ll see it at PulpFest.

Derleth MythosJohn D. Haefele, who will be part of our panel on the development of Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, will be offering copies of his landmark study, A LOOK BEHIND THE DERLETH MYTHOS: ORIGINS OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS. Published by The Cimmerian Press, Haefele’s book answers numerous questions about the Lovecraft/Derleth controversy with fresh evidence and thunderous revelations, covering in unprecedented detail everything from the notorious “Black Magic Quote” to Derleth’s infamous “posthumous collaborations” with Lovecraft. Signed copies will be available at Mike Chomko, Books.

MaynardOn Saturday, August 15th, co-authors William Patrick Maynard and Alexandra Martukovich will be on hand to sign copies of FURTHER ENCOUNTERS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, released by Titan Books in 2014. Their story, “The Adventure of the Coin of the Realm,” was one of twelve stories selected by George Mann for this new collection of Sherlock Holmes stories from a variety of exciting voices in modern horror and steampunk. Visit Bill’s tables in the PulpFest dealers’ room to meet the authors.

Meteor HouseMeteor House, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy that specializes in works set in the worlds created by Philip José Farmer and and original science fiction and fantasy novels and novellas, hopes to offer four new books at PulpFest 2015. Jim Beard’s and Duane Spurlock’s AIRSHIP HUNTERS delves into the mystery of 19th-century UFOs as the skies are haunted by mysterious airships and unfathomable secrets. Can two agents of a newly formed secret government agency discover the truth behind the greatest mystery of them all? HADON, KING OF OPAR, written by Christopher Paul Carey, picks up fourteen years after the novel THE SONG OF KWASIN, co-authored by Farmer and Carey. FLIGHT TO OPAR features nearly 4,000 words cut from Farmer’s original manuscript when it was originally published in 1976. Lastly, EXILES OF KHO is a new hardcover edition of the out-of-print prequel to Philip José Farmer’s beloved Khokarsa adventure series.

Murania Press PreviewEd Hulse and Murania Press will be offering a new issue of the award-winning “Journal of Adventure, Mystery and Melodrama in American Popular Culture” BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER at this year’s PulpFest. The Summer 2015 issue takes a detailed look at the classic Munsey and Popular Publications pulp FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES. Also appearing will be a Wold Newton article on “The Secret Son of Bran Mak Morn,” a piece entitled “32 from ’32: A Banner Year for Fantastic Cinema,” the story behind the all-but-forgotten radio dramatization of KING KONG, and much more.

Ed will also have several new titles from the MURANIA PRESS book line at the convention — William Corcoran’s THE PURPLE EYE,  a 60,000-word novel that could very well have served as the template for Popular’s hero pulps, and three volumes of crime and mystery yarns written by Johnston McCulley, the creator of Zorro — ALIAS THE THUNDERBOLT, THE RETURN OF BLACK STAR, and THE SPIDER SPINS HIS WEB.

Stark HouseIn the business of reprinting some of the best mysteries and supernatural fiction of the past 100 years, Stark House Press hopes to have several new titles ready for PulpFest 2015. Douglas Sanderson wrote a series of white hot thrillers in the 1950s which were published under his two pseudonyms, Martin Brett and Malcolm Douglas. But he also published a good many novels under his own name, and Stark House is proud to reprint two of them: NIGHT OF THE HORNS & CRY WOLFRAM. Peter Rabe was a psychology professor turned hardboiled crime writer back when Gold Medal ruled the original paperback racks of the fifties and sixties. The second volume of Rabe’s fictional study of the use and abuse of power features the final three stories of the Daniel Port gangster series. Other titles that Stark House hope to have ready for PulpFest include Robert W. Chambers’ THE KING IN YELLOW & THE MYSTERY OF CHOICE,  two collections of decadent horror fiction that will feature an introduction by noted critic, Stefan Dziemianowicz; Bruno Fischer’s THE BLEEDING SCISSORS & THE EVIL DAYS, two hard-boiled classics from one of Cap Shaws’ BLACK MASK  boys; and Ed Gorman’s GRAVE’S RETREAT & NIGHT OF SHADOWS, two classic western mysteries. Mike Chomko, Books will be representing Stark House at the convention.

These are just a few of the great publications that you’ll find in the PulpFest 2015 dealers’ room. So what are you waiting for? Book a room for three nights and register now for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” To book a room for this year’s convention, please visit www.pulpfest.com/2015/06/16872/.

Free to Our Members: THE PULPSTER #24

Jul 16, 2015 by

The-Pulpster-24-coverEditor and designer Bill Lampkin and his assistant-editor Peter Chomko are hard at work on the next issue of THE PULPSTER, the award-winning PulpFest program book. He’ll be featuring articles on Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, the author who founded DC Comics; the Thrilling Group of pulps and comics; DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY; Erle Stanley Gardner, and other topics. The highlight of the issue will be a round-robin article on H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES. It will feature contributions from filmmaker Sean Branney; Marvin Kaye, the current editor of WEIRD TALES W. Paul Ganley, founder of WEIRDBOOKand Derrick Hussey, the publisher at Hippocampus Press; authors Jason Brock, Ramsey Campbell, Cody Goodfellow, Nick Mamatas, Tim Powers, Wilum Pugmire, Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Darrell Schweitzer, and Chet Williamson; poet Fred Phillips; pulp scholars and collectors John Haefele, Don Herron, Morgan Holmes, S. T. Joshi, Tom Krabacher, Rick Lai, Will Murray, and J. Barry Traylor. So expect a slam-bang issue from the esteemed editor of our highly popular program book.

A longstanding tradition cherished by attendees of summer pulp cons, THE PULPSTER #24 will be released at PulpFest 2015. Every member – including supporting members – of PulpFest will receive a complimentary copy of THE PULPSTER. Following the convention, a limited number of copies of the program book will be available for purchase through Mike Chomko, Books. Please write to Mike – who also serves as the marketing and programming director for PulpFest – at mike@pulpfest.com or 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 to reserve your copy. Given its roster of authors, the issue will probably disappear before you know it.

You can also order back issues of THE PULPSTER through Mike Chomko, Books. Copies of THE PULPSTER #5, 6, 17, 20, 22, and 23 are available for $13 each, postage paid. Copies of THE PULPSTER #9 are available for $18, postage paid. Copies of THE PULPSTER #4, 15, and 21 are available for $23 each, postage paid. Copies of THE PULPSTER Mini-Edition, published in 2005 and featuring a history of the Lamont Award, are available for $8, postage paid. All other issues of THE PULPSTER are out of print. Reduced postage is available on orders of multiple books. Please note that quantities of most issues are limited as reflected by the various prices. These prices are good only in the United States. Buyers outside the United States, please inquire about rates as postage costs are quite substantial. Mike will accept payments made via check or money order or through Paypal. Please write to him at mike@pulpfest.com or 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 for further instructions.

For questions about submissions to THE PULPSTER, please write to Bill Lampkin at bill@pulpfest.com. For any questions about advertising in THE PULPSTER, back issues, or ordering issue #24 of THE PULPSTER, please write to Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com.

For information on how to register for PulpFest 2015, please click the red “register” button on our home page. To book a room for this year’s convention, please visit www.pulpfest.com/2015/06/16872/.

The Call of Cthulhu and the Lovecraft Mythos

Jul 6, 2015 by

Tales of the Cthulhu MythosDuring the late summer of 1926, H. P. Lovecraft wrote “The Call of Cthulhu.” Initially rejected by WEIRD TALES editor Farnsworth Wright, it was first published in “The Unique Magazine” in its February 1928 issue. Although three related stories predated it — “The Nameless City,” “The Hound,” and “The Festival” — in what has come to be known as “The Cthulhu Mythos,” “The Call of Cthulhu” is a seminal work of its author. As writer and Lovecraft correspondent Fritz Leiber observed, “Here for the first time, Lovecraft moves horror from the realm of Earth to the stars.”

In the years remaining to Lovecraft following the publication of “The Call of Cthulhu,” he expanded on its themes in such tales as “The Whisperer in Darkness,” “At the Mountains of Madness,” and “The Shadow Out of Time,” depicting a universe of mind-numbing horror that was a reflection of his own materialistic atheism. During this period, Lovecraft invited other writers to pen their own tales using the “synthetic folklore” he had created. “I think it is rather good fun to have this artificial mythology given an air of verisimilitude by wide citation.” Some of the authors who responded with their own “Cthulhu” fiction were Clark Ashton Smith, Robert E. Howard, Robert Bloch, Frank Belknap Long, Henry Kuttner, and August Derleth.

“All of our gang frequently allude to the pet daemons of the others — thus Smith uses my Yog-Sothoth, while I use his Tsathoggua. Also, I sometimes insert a devil or two of my own in the tales I revise or ghost-write for professional clients. Thus our black pantheon acquires an extensive publicity & pseudo-authoritativeness it would not otherwise get.”

In later years, particularly following the death of “the old gentleman,” August Derleth worked to expand Lovecraft’s so-called “mythos,” albeit shaping it in a way that some scholars claim to be a corruption of the original author’s intent. Derleth’s “Cthulhu Mythos,” as the story-type came to be known, shifted away from Lovecraft’s nihilistic universe toward a more “good versus evil” backdrop. Other writers, notably Lin Carter and Brian Lumley, continued this process, basing their work on what Lovecraftian scholars have labeled, “the black magic quote,” purportedly written by Lovecraft:

“All my stories, unconnected as they may be, are based on one fundamental lor or legend: that this world was inhabited an one time by another race, who in practicing black magic, lost their foothold and were expelled, yet live on outside, ever ready to take possession of this earth again.”

Although Derleth may have corrupted Lovecraft’s “synthetic folklore,” twisting it away from its author’s intent, he also helped to popularize Lovecraft’s fiction through his Arkham House Publishers, significantly expanding Lovecraft’s reputation. The New Englander’s visions increasingly came under the microscope of academia and amateur scholars. His fiction became more widely read and popular, leading to adaptations in a variety of media including motion pictures, television, comic books, role-playing and video games, and even action figures and other toys. His stories are known the world over and though he lived much of his life in poverty, Lovecraft’s words and ideas have been transformed into a multi-million-dollar industry.

Call of Cthulhu One-SheetAs part of its celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of H. P. Lovecraft, PulpFest 2015 is proud to welcome John D. Haefele, author of A LOOK BEHIND THE DERLETH MYTHOSa critically acclaimed account of the birth of the Cthulhu Mythos; Don Herron, editor of the scholarly landmark, THE DARK BARBARIAN, and winner of the 2006 Black Circle Award for lifetime achievement in Robert E. Howard studies; popular culture scholar Rick Lai, who regularly appears as a panelist on podcasts produced by THE LOVECRAFT eZINE; Professor Tom Krabacher of California State University, Sacramento and a member of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Association; and Nathan Vernon Madison, a researcher involved in The Pulp Magazines Project and author of the Eisner-nominated ANTI-FOREIGN IMAGERY IN AMERICAN PULPS AND COMICS for a presentation entitled “The Call of Cthulhu: The Development of Lovecraft’s Mythos.” Scheduled for Friday evening, August 14th, at 9:50 PM, our panelists are promising a lively discussion that will explore the inspirations and origins of the Cthulhu Mythos as opposed to the Lovecraft’s Mythos and the Mythos of his contemporaries, as well as the controversies and personalities involved with these ideas over the years.

Join PulpFest 2015 at the beautiful Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio, beginning on Thursday, August 13th and running through Sunday, August 16th, for a salute to H. P. Lovecraft and WEIRD TALES, just a few short days before the author’s 125th birthday. Although our host hotel is completely booked, there are still some rooms available at nearby hotels. Please click here and you’ll find a link to a list of hotels to choose from. If you are not from the Columbus area and want to attend PulpFest 2015, we urge you to book your room now and not later. Rooms that are relatively close to PulpFest are disappearing fast during the time frame of our convention.

(The first edition of TALES OF THE CTHULHU MYTHOS is credited to “H. P. Lovecraft and Others.” Edited and with an Introduction by August Derleth, it was released in 1969 by Arkham House Publishers in an edition of 4024 copies. The jacket art was created by the incomparable Lee Brown Coye who twice won the “World Fantasy Award for Best Artist.” Coye and his artwork will be the subject of a presentation at PulpFest 2015 on Saturday afternoon, August 15th, beginning at 2:30 PM.

As Lovecraft’s fiction became more widely read and popular, it led to adaptations in a variety of media including motion pictures, television, comic books, role-playing and video games, and even action figures and other toys. It was left to an organization devoted to the live-action role-playing game CTHULHU LIVES, to create one of the most faithful film adaptations of the work of H. P. Lovecraft. In 2005, the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society released THE CALL OF CTHULHU, a silent movie based on Lovecraft’s 1928 story. PulpFest will be offering a fully authorized showing of this film on Friday, August 14th, beginning at 11:30 PM. It will be accompanied by “Cool Air,” an episode from ROD SERLING’S NIGHT GALLERY that originally aired in 1971. Learn more by reading “The Films of H. P. Lovecraft.”

Please be sure to visit www.pulpfest.com/pulpfest-2015-registration-information/ to learn how to register for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con” and be part of our salute to H. P. Lovecraft, WEIRD TALES, and the art of Lee Brown Coye.)