Our 2017 Award Winner

Jul 29, 2017 by

Phil Stephensen-Payne has been named the winner of the 2017 Munsey Award. Nominated by the general pulp community, Phil was selected through a vote cast by all the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners. The award is a fine art print created by Dan Zimmer of a David Saunders painting, presented annually to an individual or institution that has bettered the pulp community. Laurie Powers, the recipient of the 2016 Munsey Award presented the award. It was accepted by Walker Martin as Phil, a retiree in the United Kingdom, was unable to attend PulpFest 2017.

Phil Stephensen-Payne is a prolific bibliographer and pulp researcher based in the United Kingdom. For many years, he has been compiling extremely useful “working bibliographies,” (often in collaboration with the late Gordon Benson, Jr.) of speculative fiction writers, many of whom got their start writing for the pulps. These bibliographies, numbering about sixty, are some of the best reference resources available today in the area of science fiction and fantasy. Additionally, his Galactic Central website contains an online checklist of all known fiction magazines that is attempting to include the cover to every such magazine ever published. It also indexes bibliographies, pulps, science fiction magazines, and other genre magazines. Stephensen-Payne is also a significant contributor and host to the FictionMags Index — principally edited by William G. Contento — and co-author (with Stephen T. Miller and William G. Contento) of the CRIME, MYSTERY, AND GANGSTER FICTION MAGAZINE INDEX, originally released on CD-ROM by Locus Press in 2011.

Congratulations to Phil for this most deserved award.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Munsey Awards. If you’d like to make a nomination for this prestigious award, please send a short explanation concerning your reasons for the nomination to PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com. You can also reach Mike at 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542. Previous winners of the Lamont, Munsey, or Rusty Award are not eligible for the award. Click here for a list of our previous winners.

The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2018. Please click here for additional details. Thanks for your help.

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Our 2016 Award Winners

Jul 23, 2016 by

Final Munsey AwardLaurie Powers has been named the winner of the 2016 Munsey Award. Nominated by the general pulp community, Laurie was selected through a vote cast by all the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners. The award is a fine art print created by Dan Zimmer of a David Saunders painting, presented annually to a person who has worked for the betterment of the pulp community. J. Barry Traylor, the recipient of the 2014 Rusty Award presented Laurie were her well-deserved Munsey.

The granddaughter of pulp author Paul S. Powers, Laurie was introduced to the pulp community in 2007 through the publication of PULP WRITER: TWENTY YEARS IN THE AMERICAN GRUB STREET, an autobiography and appreciation of her grandfather. She has also edited several collections of her grandfather’s work in various genres, releasing a number of previously unpublished stories. In 2013, she helped to arrange the donation of her grandfather’s personal papers as well more than 400 pulp magazines featuring his work to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University in Columbus. Laurie also publishes Laurie’s Wild West, an Internet blog site that has become a favorite destination for those interested in the pulps. She has published articles on “Who Read the Pulps?,” female pulp writers, a series of articles put together by various pulp fans entitled “My Favorite Pulps,” and many other topics. Although relatively new to the world of pulps, Laurie has shown tremendous support for the community by spreading the word about pulp fiction and publicizing the conventions that salute our wonderful hobby. She is currently working on a biography of pulp editor Daisy Bacon, editor of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE. At PulpFest 2016, Laurie presented “100 Years of the Specialty Pulp — LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the Romance Pulp Phenomenon” during our evening programming on Thursday, July 22.

In a surprise announcement during on Friday evening programming on July 23, David Saunders was presented with a special “retro” Lamont Award to recognize his substantial service to the pulp community over the years. Since a limited edition of thirty-six numbered and signed prints — designed by David — serves as the Munsey and Rusty awards, it was decided to honor David’s significant contributions to the pulp world with one of the few remaining copies of Pulpcon‘s Lamont Award. The award was presented by our 2015 Munsey Award winner, Stephen T. Miller.

Born in 1954, David Saunders is a New York artist. His work has been collected worldwide and can be found in the Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, and the Hirschhorn Museum of Art in Washington, DC. He has taught art at Yale, Oberlin, and the Kansas City Art Institute, as well as art schools in France, Korea, Mexico and Japan.

David’s father was the legendary illustrator, Norman Saunders. His mother, Ellene Politis Saunders, worked at Fawcett Publications as Chief Executive Editor for WOMAN’S DAY. In 1972, David became his father’s business secretary, which started a long project to catalog his father’s 7,000 published illustrations. He spent the next seventeen years gathering published examples of his father’s work from used bookshops and submitting each new entry to his father’s inspection. What began as a sentimental hobby for a father and son grew into an impressive archive of 20th century American illustration. After his father’s death in 1989, he completed the archive on his own. He interviewed his father’s surviving associates to record their oral histories. These transcripts helped to broaden his viewpoint of the popular culture publishing industry and also documented vital information about the lives of other artists. Some of this material has been published as biographical profiles in ILLUSTRATION MAGAZINE and several coffee-table art books on pulp artists.

David is, quite probably, the foremost scholar of American pulp illustrators. His free public website, Field Guide to Wild American Pulp Artists, has over three-hundred biographical profiles of these creators of popular culture. David continues to research, document, and promote a greater appreciation of pulp artists. To find out more, please visit davidsaunders.biz, normansaunders.com, and theillustratedpress.com.

Congratulations to both Laurie and David.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2017 Munsey and/or Rusty Awards. If you have someone in mind that you feel worthy of either award, please send the person’s name and a brief paragraph describing why you feel that person should be honored to Mike Chomko, 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 or to mike@pulpfest.com. Previous winners of the Lamont, Munsey, or Rusty Award are not eligible for the award. Click here for a list of our previous winners.

The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2017. Please click here for additional details. Thanks for your help.

LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and its Romantic Sisters

Jun 14, 2016 by

Love Story 37-05-29Although 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. Many more specialty pulps would follow in the ensuing years, culminating in single-character magazines such as THE SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.

When Street & Smith’s LOVE STORY MAGAZINE was launched in 1921, the pulp fiction magazine industry was changed forever. During the Roaring TwentiesLOVE STORY’s circulation would grow until it hit 600,000 in the early 1930s, a record that would never be broken by any other pulp magazine. The romance genre, along with the western, would become the best-selling pulp fiction genres through the Depression and World War II. Almost every pulp publisher, at one point or another, would attempt to break into the “love pulp” field. Sometimes their attempts would be successful, other times their magazines would fade after a few issues. And never would they be able to topple the circulation record set by LOVE STORY MAGAZINE.

In her talk, “LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the Romance Pulp Phenomenon,” Laurie Powers will discuss the magazine, its famous editor Daisy Bacon, and the romance pulps that followed in its footsteps. Accompanied by many rare photos and artifacts, Laurie will tell how LOVE STORY began, what made it so popular, and how Daisy Bacon influenced its success. In addition, she will discuss LOVE STORY’s competition, including the long-running ALL-STORY LOVE STORIES — a pulp that was managed by LOVE STORY’s original editor and Daisy’s rival, Amita Fairgrieve — and the longest-running pulp fiction magazine, RANCH ROMANCES, a pulp that would spearhead a brand new genre, the romance western. Laurie’s look at LOVE STORY and its romantic “sisters” will take place at 9:40 PM on Friday, July 22 in the Union Rooms on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency.

Laurie Power’s interest in pulp fiction began in 1999 when she discovered that her paternal grandfather, Paul S. Powers, (1905–1971) had been a successful writer of stories that appeared in magazines such as WEIRD TALES, WILD WEST WEEKLY, WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE, REAL DETECTIVE TALES, and many more.  During her research, she discovered her grandfather’s unpublished manuscript, PULP WRITER: TWENTY YEARS IN THE AMERICAN GRUB STREET, which was published by the University of Nebraska in 2007. Since then, Laurie has been very active in the community of pulp magazine historians and collectors. In recent years she has been writing a biography of Daisy Bacon, editor of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE. Laurie also publishes Laurie’s Wild West, an Internet blog site that has become a favorite destination for those interested in the pulps.

Join “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” as we salute a century of the specialty pulp from July 21 through July 24 in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center. You’ll have a LOVEly time. Please remember that the Hyatt Regency Columbus is sold out of rooms for July 21 through July 23. At www.columbusconventions.com/thearea.php, you’ll find a list of area hotels courtesy of the Greater Columbus Convention CenterAlternately, you can search for a room at tripadvisor or a similar website to find a hotel near the convention. Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the Hyatt Regency, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(Modest Stein began contributing covers to the pulp market in 1910, selling to both the Munsey and Street & Smith chains. By the twenties, he was largely employed by the latter, painting covers for ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, CLUES, CRIME BUSTERS, DOC SAVAGE, FAR WEST ILLUSTRATED, LOVE STORY MAGAZINE — including the May 29, 1937 issue — ROMANTIC RANGE, THE SHADOW, UNKNOWN, and other Street & Smith titles. Following the publisher’s 1949 exit from the pulp field, Stein worked predominantly as a portrait artist. He died in 1958.)

Paul Powers Items Added to 2014 Auction!

Aug 2, 2014 by

Tom Lovell Sonny TaborAlthough writer Paul Powers is best known for his contributions to magazines such as Weird Tales, Wild West Weekly, Thrilling Ranch Stories, and Western Story Magazine, he was also a collector. Thanks to the Powers family, PulpFest has added four more auction lots from the estate of an accomplished pulp author to its Saturday Night Auction. The convention will also be offering twenty-five lots of books, manuscripts, and ephemera from the collection of Everil Worrell, a writer for Weird Tales.

The convention is grateful to pulp fan and scholar Laurie Powers and her family for adding this material to an already exciting auction, one that will include over 150 pulps as well as digests and dime novels from a Boston collection acquired by auctioneer Joseph F. Saine. To honor Paul’s love of animals, especially dogs, all proceeds from the sale of the four Powers lots will be donated to the Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary in Acton, California. If desired, the sanctuary will happily provide receipts to the winners of the lots for tax purposes.

As part of its Saturday Night Auction, beginning at 9:30 PM on August 9th, PulpFest is please to offer the following lots from the estate of writer and collector Paul S. Powers:

1.  One hardbound copy of  the first US edition of Paul S. Powers’ Doc Dillahay, published by Macmillan in 1949. Overall condition is good with browning of front end paper. Covers are in very good condition with a tight spine. Dustjacket is in poor condition. This full-length historical-fiction novel is described on the front cover blurb of Bantam paperback #832 as “A smashing, true-to-life novel of Old Arizona!”

2.  One hardbound copy of the first UK edition of same, published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1950. Overall condition is good to very good. Covers have faded slightly. No marks inside except for pasting of an author’s agent sticker on inside of end paper. Dustjacket is in fair condition with slight tears along edges and small piece missing from bottom of spine.

3.  A color reproduction of Tom Lovell’s portrait of “Sonny Tabor and Paint,” suitable for framing and offered as a premium to readers of Wild West Weekly, circa 1935. Readers were asked to send in three coupons clipped from consecutive issues of the pulp magazine to procure the artwork.

4.  A color reproduction of H. W. Scott’s portrait of “Kid Wolf and Blizzard,” suitable for framing and offered as a premium to readers of Wild West Weekly, circa 1935. There were at least three other reproductions in the set featuring portraits of Bud Jones, the Whistlin’ Kid, and the Circle ‘J’ Pards, the descendants of the original Billy West gang.

Four more reasons to be in Columbus from August 7th through August 10th for “Summer’s Great Pulp Con,” PulpFest 2014!

Click on the illustration to learn more about the image.

To learn more about Paul Powers and Everil Worrell, click on their names in the first paragraph.

Laurie’s Wild West at Ohio State

Jul 19, 2014 by

Riding the Pulp TrailOhio State University’s Thompson Library will again be hosting a lecture by a prominent pulp authority in conjunction with the start of this year’s PulpFest. Laurie Powers, the granddaughter of author Paul S. Powers, will be discussing her grandfather’s life and work. The editor and co-author of Pulp Writer: Twenty Years in the American Grub Street, an autobiography and appreciation of her grandfather, Laurie is the publisher of Laurie’s Wild West, an Internet blog site that has become a favorite destination for those interested in the pulps. She is currently working on a biography of pulp editor Daisy Bacon, editor of Love Story Magazine.

Paul S. Powers was a prolific pulp fiction writer whose career spanned over twenty-five years. From 1925 to 1950, Powers wrote over 450 stories for a variety of fiction magazines. An expert in the American West, he wrote over 400 stories for the famous pulp magazine Wild West Weekly alone. His western characters Sonny Tabor, Kid Wolf, Freckles Malone, and Johnny Forty-five enraptured an entire generation of readers during the Great Depression. Other stories appeared in magazines such as Weird Tales, Thrilling Detective, Mystery Tales, Exciting Western, Thrilling Western, Texas Rangers, Thrilling Wonder Stories, and more.

In December 2013, Laurie and her aunt and uncle, Pat and Ted Binkley,  generously donated a collection featuring the personal papers of Paul S. Powers as well over 400 pulp magazines featuring his work to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University. They will be part of the university’s significant popular fiction holdings in the William Charvat Collection of American Literature, one of the world’s foremost collection of materials in this field, and their growing pulp fiction magazine collection. There they will be available for viewing and study by scholars, students, and pulp fiction enthusiasts and historians.

All PulpFest 2014 attendees are cordially invited to attend Laurie Powers’ lecture at Ohio State’s Thompson Library on Thursday, August 7th, beginning at 4:30 PM. It will be held in Room 150 A/B. The library is located at 1858 Neil Avenue, about two and one-half miles from the Hyatt Regency Columbus. Click on the Thompson Library link above for directions.

Click on the illustration to learn more about the image.