The Game’s Afoot!

May 22, 2019 by

Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps

Today marks the 160th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although best known as the creator of Sherlock Holmes, the author preferred the historical fiction that he wrote. THE WHITE COMPANY was his favorite among Conan Doyle’s many works. He was extremely prolific.

Conan Doyle began to write while a medical student. His first sale, “The Mystery of Sasassa Valley,” was published when he was twenty. However, countless rejections, low word rates, and lack of author credit, were leading nowhere.

Shortly after graduating from medical school, Conan Doyle married Louisa Hawkins. Armed with his wife’s small estate and encouragement, the author continued to write.

While trying to sell an early novel, Conan Doyle began a new one. It featured a character modeled after C. Auguste Dupin — Edgar Allan Poe’s amateur detective — and Dr. Joseph Bell, one of the author’s medical school instructors. Dr. Bell taught that keen observation and logic were paramount in the diagnosis of disease. Following several rejections, Conan Doyle sold “A Study in Scarlet.” It was published in the November 1887 number of BEETON’S CHRISTMAS ANNUAL. A hardbound book followed.

Although preferring to write historical fiction, Conan Doyle began to notice that readers wanted to learn more about his protagonists from “A Study in Scarlet.” After contracting to provide a forty-thousand word novel to LIPPINCOTT’S MONTHLY MAGAZINE, he obliged his readers. “The Sign of the Four” appeared in the February 1890 number of the magazine. It was not long before the author would return with more stories of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.

Looking for a way to efficiently exploit the growing market of monthly magazines, Conan Doyle decided to offer more of Holmes and Watson. In the summer of 1891, “A Scandal in Bohemia” appeared in THE STRAND MAGAZINE. It would be followed by eleven more tales, one per month for the next year. In writing the stories that became THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, Conan Doyle created the first short story series. In the years to follow, his idea would be imitated across the globe. It resounds to our very day in series television and throughout popular culture.

Please join PulpFest 2019 on Friday, August 16, for “The Game’s Afoot: Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps.” Our presentation will begin at 7:55 in the programming area at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. It will feature George Vanderburgh, who has published over 600 books, including many volumes of Sherlockian scholarship. His Battered Silicon Dispatch Box has also published many pulp-related volumes and numerous collections of early detective fiction. George also served as the co-editor of Arkham House Publishers until the death of April Derleth.

Joining George will be Garyn G. Roberts, a professor of English and popular culture who has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. Garyn has also edited or co-edited some of the best collections of fiction from the pulps. He is the author/editor of the award-winning THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. In 2013, Garyn was presented with the Munsey Award to honor his many contributions to the pulp community. He was also a Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award Finalist for DICK TRACY AND AMERICAN CULTURE in 1994.

Garyn and George will be discussing Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his creations as well as their vital importance to the evolution of popular culture for over 100 years. Please join them at PulpFest 2019, taking place from Thursday evening, August 15, through Sunday afternoon, August 18, in Mars, Pennsylvania.

(Almost ten years after killing Holmes off at the Reichenbach Falls, Conan Doyle brought his character back in “The Adventure of the Empty House.” The story would appear first in the September 26, 1903 number of COLLIER’S, featuring a cover illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele.)

Premiering at PulpFest 2016

Jul 12, 2016 by

Wild Adventures of King KongAs they do every year, a number of publishers have chosen to roll out new titles at PulpFest 2016. Altus Press, Murania Press, and Stark House Press will be premiering reprints of classics from the past, while Adventures in Bronze, Airship 27, and Meteor House will offer new work inspired by the great fiction of the past. And since PulpFest will be hosting five New Fictioneer readings, expect to meet some of the creators of today’s pulp fiction at the convention. Click the 2016 schedule link on our home page to learn more about the readings.

Although Tarzan, the king of the jungle, won’t be quite ready to meet King Kong — the greatest ape of them all — in time for PulpFest 2016, author Will Murray will have copies of the second edition of WORDSLINGERS, his classic study of the pulp western. On Friday, July 22, please join Will as he discusses “WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE and the Evolution of the Pulp Western” during our evening programming. In addition to WORDSLINGERS, you’ll find copies of the recently released “Wild Adventure of Doc Savage” novel GLARE OF THE GORGON at Will Murray’s Adventures in Bronze tables.

Age of Aces SquadronAge of Aces Books is a publisher of lost pulp fiction treasures with a keen eye for design. At this year’s PulpFest, Chris and David Kalb will be releasing two thrilling collections of stories from the tattered pages of the air war pulps: Donald E. Keyhoe’s CAPTAIN PHILIP STRANGE: STRANGE SPECTRES — their fifth collection to feature the ace pilot and so-called “Brain-Devil” of G-2 Intelligence — and Frederick C. Painton’s SQUADRON OF THE DEAD — a series set during the First World War that is remindful of the classic war film THE DIRTY DOZEN.

MetropolisCVRNew pulp fans will see a number of new and recent books at PulpFest 2016, courtesy of Ron Fortier and Rob Davis of Airship 27 Productions. In addition to their recent anthology of stories — TOWERS OF METROPOLIS — based on the classic science fiction film directed by Fritz Lang — the “new pulp” aces of Airship 27 will have a special PulpFest edition of their forthcoming HOLMES AND HOUDINI, uniting two of their best-selling characters in the same book. There will be only fifteen copies of this special edition — featuring cover art by Rob Davis — produced for the convention. This collector’s edition — written by by award-winning author, I. A. Watson — will only be available at PulpFest 2016. Additionally, please remember to join Ron Fortier on Saturday afternoon, July 23, for our annual “new pulp” panel, “The AMAZING World of New Pulp.” Ron and four of the premier writers of new pulp fiction will be discussing “Writing Hero Pulp.”

Yen Sin 1As 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 MYSTERIOUS WU FANG #1, DR. YEN SIN #1, SUPER-DETECTIVE JIM ANTHONY, VOLUME 3, KI-GOR, VOLUME 3, THE MOON MAN, VOLUME 2, THE BLACK BAT OMNIBUS, VOLUME 5, and much more. For a complete list of the Altus Press books that Mike will be offering at PulpFest 2016, please visit http://www.altuspress.com/blog/altus-press-books-premiering-at-pulpfest-2016Mike 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 2016 dealers’ room and say “hello” to the convention’s marketing and programming director.

Lara DestinyDick and Norma Enos of Fantasy Publishing will have a new adventure of Rick Steele at PulpFest 2016. In DEATH MAKES A SCREEN TEST, the ace trouble buster of the fifties and his crew are called to do a bit of ghost busting on the set of a Hollywood film. “The world needs heroes!  The world needs Rick Steele!” Dick and Norma will also have a new Lara Destiny private eye novel on hand: VACATION HOODOO.

GravesendPlease welcome to PulpFest author Phil Farina. Born in New York City and raised in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, Mr. Farina is a water treatment professional, working on developing technologies to improve our water supplies. He lives with his wife in Toledo, Ohio and writes books for the love of the story. He will be selling copies of his “coming-of-age” novel, GRAVESEND, at this year’s PulpFest. We are looking forward to hosting this Ohio author for years to come.

Midnight GuardianJim Beard and John Bruening of Flinch Books, publishers of “in-your-face pulp-style adventure fiction,” will be on hand with their noted prose anthologies BIG TOP TALES and SOMETHING STRANGE IS GOING ON: NEW WORLDS OF FLETCHER HANKS. They’ll also have copies of John’s brand new full-length novel, THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN: HOUR OF DARKNESS. Jim — who also also provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website — will also be offering a wide selection of his own fiction work, including publications from Airship 27, Meteor House, and Pro Se Productions.

The “Flinch Founders” will also be announcing the winner of their very first “Flinchin’ Contest,” live from PulpFest 2016 on Friday, July 22. To learn more about this exciting event, please visit the Flinch Books Facebook page at www.facebook.com/flinchbooks/.

Blood of Ancient OparMeteor House, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy that specializes in works set in the worlds created by Philip José Farmer as well as original science fiction and fantasy novels and novellas, hopes to offer four new books at PulpFest 2016:  Christopher Paul Carey’s BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR; Sean Lee Levin’s CROSSOVERS EXPANDED; Philip José Farmer’s and Danny Adams’ DAYWORLD: A HOLE IN WEDNESDAY; and Josh Reynolds’ PHILEAS FOGG AND THE HEART OF OSRA. Croteau and many of his authors will be on hand at the convention for their annual book-signing party. We’ll be announcing further details during the convention. And don’t forget about the FarmerCon XI presentation on Friday, July 22. Join us in the Hyatt Regency’s Union Rooms for “Collaborating with a Grand Master.”

BNT 46-47Ed 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. Ed also hopes to have several new titles from the Murania Press book line at the convention: 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.

Handful of HellNew Texture, publisher of the Men’s Adventure Library, will be testing the pulp waters with four volumes drawn from the pages of the men’s adventure magazines: CRYPTOZOOLOGY ANTHOLOGY, collecting wild, “true” accounts of savage, fist-to-claw duels between man and Sasquatch, man and fishman, and man and monster; A HANDFUL OF HELL, a collection of “Classic War and Adventure Stories” written by the late Robert F. Dorr; HE-MEN, BAG MEN, AND NYMPHOS, fifteen high-intensity Walter Kaylin classics from pulp fiction purgatory; and WEASELS RIPPED MY FLESH, an anthology of two-fisted action stories from the men’s adventure magazines of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. New Texture will be represented by Mike Chomko, Books at PulpFest 2016.

Lion BooksIn 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 2016. You’ll find ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SUPERNATURAL TALES, a superb new anthology of stories in which ancient Egyptian mysticism, mummies, and other supernatural occurrences play a significant role; Vin Packer’s THE GIRL ON THE BESTSELLER LISTHEROES LUST, THE MAN I KILLED, & HOUSE OF EVIL, three forgotten noir novels from the 1950s from the paperback publisher who first promoted the careers of Jim Thompson and David Goodis — Lion Books; James Hadley Chase’s gangster novels HE WON’T NEED IT NOW & THE DEAD STAY DUMB; Elisabeth Sanxay Holding’s KILL JOY & THE VIRGIN HUNTRESS; SCRATCH A THIEF & HOUSE OF EVIL, two classic crime stories from the early 1960s by John Trinian; and Charlie Stella’s first new novel since 2012, TOMMY RED. Mike Chomko, Books will be representing Stark House at PulpFest.

These are just a few of the great publications that you’ll find in the PulpFest 2016 dealers’ room. So what are you waiting for? Book a room for three nights and register now for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con.” To book a room for this year’s convention, please click our hotel information link on our home page.

(Not only will the publishers exhibiting at PulpFest 2016 be offering great writing, they’ll have some great art to share. The talented Joe DeVito — the artist behind the latest Doc Savage book covers — will be contributing the art to the forthcoming volume in Will Murray’s “The Wild Adventures of King Kong.”

In 2009, Chris Kalb designed the first PulpFest website. Since then, he’s helped us time and again. This year, he’s been nominated for the 2016 Munsey Award. We wish him the best of luck. Along with his brother David, Chris is the publisher of Age of Aces books. He’s also the company’s art director, the person who comes up with all the great covers featured on each of their books, including one of their latest entries, Frederick C. Painton’s SQUADRON OF THE DEAD.

In 1927, German filmmaker Fritz Lang brought to the screen one of the most ground-breaking science fiction films of all time. METROPOLIS is regarded as a classic and one of the first full-length movies in the genre. THE TOWERS OF METROPOLIS — published by Airship 27 — is an anthology of  four dramatic tales which unfold in this amazing world prior to the events of thE film. It features front cover art by the award-winning Michael W. Kaluta.

Jerome George Rozen was born October 16, 1895 in Chicago. In 1931 he painted the four earliest original pulp magazine covers for THE SHADOW, but starting with the January 1932 issue he was suddenly replaced by his brother George, who went on to become The Shadow‘s more renowned cover artist. Jerome branched out into the more lucrative and prestigious fields of advertising and slick magazine illustration. Jerome also painted the cover to the May-June 1936 issue of DR. YEN SIN, the first issue of the short-lived pulp magazine.

Dick Enos’ Lara Destiny novels concern a former New York City police detective who becomes the metropolis’ first transgender private eye. Enos is also the author of the Rick Steele adventures. Steele is the ace trouble buster of the fifties.

Phil Farina’s GRAVESEND is the story of a young man growing up in Brooklyn who has “experiences.” As he grows older these things become more and more important to young Robbie, until one day he and his best friends come across an ancient Ouija board. They begin a journey that can only end in disaster and soon learn that actions have consequences.

The debut novel from Flinch Books publisher and editor John C. Bruening is a high-octane pulp adventure that will be debuting at PulpFest 2016. A longer work than readers are used to in the new pulp world, with world-building off the charts, John has created a city that you’ll really get to know from the ground up. The characters that inhabit it are as fascinating as the city itself — especially the bad guy! The cover art for THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN: HOUR OF DARKNESS is by Thomas Gianni.

Christopher Paul Carey’s novel BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR is graced with cover art by Bob Eggleton, who also painted a handful of covers for AMAZING STORIES during the TSR years. An extremely versatile artist, he has worked in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and as a landscape artist. Eggleton has won the Hugo Award for Best Artist eight times.

Ed Hulse’s BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER is “The Journal of Adventure, Mystery and Melodrama in American Popular Culture of the Early 20th Century!” It’s designed to appeal to anybody who is enthusiastic for fanciful storytelling teeming with “lost races, death rays, trap doors, buried treasures, secret formulas, hidden passages, mad scientists, gangster chieftains, Oriental masterminds, hooded villains, distressed damsels and intrepid heroes.”

Wyatt Doyle is a co-founder of New Texture, helping to launch their publishing imprint in 2006. He’s also the designer and co-editor — with Robert Deis — of A HANDFUL OF HELL, a collection by the late Robert F. Dorr. The cover art is drawn from a variety of men’s adventure magazines.

Lion Books began in 1949 as Red Circle Books, part of the Martin Goodman publishing empire that also included such magazines as FOR MEN ONLY, STAG, and MOVIE WORLD, as well as various pulps and the early Marvel Comics. Lion Books only lasted for nine years, but during that time at least a third of their books were noir reprints and originals. Under the editorship of Arnold Hano, Lion published early novels by Jim Thompson, David Goodis, Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, Day Keene, Shirley Jackson and many other authors who went on to popular or cult success. The three novels in the Stark House collection represent some of the hidden treasures of the Lion Books line, crime novels from the early 1950s — the golden age of the paperback. Unfortunately, Lion didn’t credit its artists, and quite often chopped off their signatures.)

 

 

ARGOSY at PulpFest — An Abundance of Riches

Jan 25, 2016 by

Blackwood's Magazine 1818-10 to 1819-03Although magazines have been around since the seventeenth century — the first regular periodical was ERBAULICHE MONATHS UNTERREDUNGEN, a literary and philosophy magazine, launched in Germany in 1663 — it was only with the arrival of increased literacy and lower costs in the early nineteenth century that magazines of mass appeal began to be produced.

As Europe and North America became increasingly industrialized, magazines began to reach a much wider, sometimes national, audience. BLACKWOOD’S MAGAZINE, NOUVEAU MAGAZINE DES ENFANTSHARPER’S NEW MONTHLY MAGAZINE, ATLANTIC MONTHLY, SCRIBNER’S MONTHLYand others emerged, publishing the fiction of Charles Dickens, Fitz-James O’Brien, Walter Scott, Mark Twain, Jules Verne, and others. The dime novels, penny-dreadfuls, and story papers were also introduced during these years, offering tales of derring-do to a growing juvenile audience. It was in such periodicals that the “American Jules Verne,” Luis Senarens, developed the Frank Reade, Jr. series of adventure yarns.

The last quarter of the nineteenth century has become known as “The Age of the Storytellers.” Beginning around 1880, when Robert Louis Stevenson started to publish his first works of fiction, the world would witness the birth of the popular fiction magazine as well as the pulp magazine. Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” first serialized in 1881 – 82, helped provide the spark for other authors to try their hand at similar fiction. Works such as H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines (1885), “She” (1886), and “Allan Quatermain” (1887), as well as Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet” (1887), demonstrated the need for an inexpensive, popular fiction magazine to be published on a regular basis. Shortly after Christmas in 1890, the first of these — THE STRAND MAGAZINE — was launched in Great Britain by George Newnes. Filled with illustrations, the periodical really took off during the summer of 1891 with the start of Conan Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” featuring one of the most successful continuing character series of all time.

With the success of THE STRAND MAGAZINE came a host of imitators, among them PEARSON’S MAGAZINE, another popular British fiction magazine. It debuted in late 1895 and soon became one of the leading publishers of magazine science fiction, featuring the future war stories of George Griffith and the scientific romances of Herbert George Wells. “The War of the Worlds” and “The Invisible Man,” both originally published in PEARSON’S in 1897, are still enjoyed today, over a century after their initial appearances. Educated in the sciences as well as a literary genius, Wells’ mastery of both science and fiction was readily apparent. His later science fiction, including “The First Men in the Moon” (1900-1901) and “The Country of the Blind “1904), would run in THE STRAND.

War of the Worlds

The British popular fiction magazines were modeled after the illustrated periodicals of America. However, unlike their British counterparts, the leading American magazines of the late nineteenth century – HARPER’S, CENTURY MAGAZINE, and  SCRIBNER’S – were beyond the financial and intellectual reach of the average U. S. citizen. It was left to Frank A. Munsey – a man about whom it has been suggested, “contributed to the journalism of his day the talent of a meat packer, the morals of a money changer and the manner of an undertaker” – to deliver the first American periodical specifically intended for the common man. In his own words, Munsey decided to create “a magazine of the people and for the people, with pictures and art and good cheer and human interest throughout.”

Frank Munsey was born in Maine where he became interested in publishing. With minimal funds, he traveled to New York City and founded THE GOLDEN ARGOSY, a children’s weekly, in late 1882. Working largely on credit, he struggled for years, building his circulation through advertising and sheer determination. Deciding that the future lay in the adult market, he founded MUNSEY’S WEEKLY in 1889, soon converting it to MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE. In 1893, convinced that a magazine could only be successful if the price was right, he slashed the price of MUNSEY’S to a dime and marketed it directly to newsdealers, essentially cutting out the middle man.

Argosy 1896-12As the circulation of MUNSEY’S climbed to hundreds of thousands of copies, the publisher converted THE ARGOSY to an adult magazine, similarly priced and modeled after it’s brethren. Envisioning a new kind of magazine, Frank Munsey wrote, “We want stories . . . . not dialect sketches, not washed out studies of effete human nature, not weak tales of sickly sentimentality, no ‘pretty’ writing . . . . We do want fiction in which there is a story, a force, a tale that means something – in short a story. Good writing is as common as clam shells, while good stories are as rare as statesmanship.”

In October 1896, THE ARGOSY became the first all-fiction magazine. Two months later in a cost-cutting move, it began to be printed on the wood-pulp paper Munsey used for his daily newspaper and the rough-paper fiction magazine, or pulp, was born. Within a short while, its circulation had doubled to about 80,000 copies per issue. By 1907, the year the periodical celebrated its 25th anniversary, its circulation had reached a half million copies, earning its publisher about $300,000 per year.

As its readership grew, THE ARGOSY was bound to attract some imitators. Street & Smith, the longtime publisher of dime novels and story papers, was first to meet the call, debuting THE POPULAR MAGAZINE with its November 1903 issue. As the circulation of the new magazine grew, it became apparent to Frank Munsey that there was room on the newsstand for more than one pulp. At the end of 1904, the publisher debuted THE ALL-STORY MAGAZINE.

More than any other periodical prior to the introduction of the specialized science-fiction and fantasy pulps, THE ALL-STORY became the major repository for the “different” tale or the pseudo-scientific yarn. It was soon joined by other Munsey magazines – THE SCRAP BOOK and THE RAILROAD MAN’S MAGAZINE (both 1906), THE OCEAN/LIVE WIRE (1907), and THE CAVALIER (1908). All of these, THE CAVALIER in particular, published fantastic fiction. However, it was all but a prelude to the serial novel that would begin in the February 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY — “Under the Moons of Mars” – credited to Norman Bean.

All-Story 12-10Bean’s novel — the first published fiction of Edgar Rice Burroughs — would introduce John Carter of Mars to readers. It would soon be followed by the author’s “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety in the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY. These two novels, along with the pseudo-scientific works of H. G. Wells and his American disciple, George Allan England, would serve as templates for much of the science fiction written over the next twenty-five years, generating a type of fiction best known as “the scientific romance.” The Munsey chain in particular worked to develop this school of fiction, creating a stable of writers – Ray Cummings, J. U. Geisy, Victor Rousseau, Francis Stevens, Charles B. Stilson, and the best of all, Abraham Merritt – able to contribute such stories.

Although the fiction of Burroughs and Wells and those “inspired” by their work would remain popular for some time to come, its share of the pulp market would diminish as new magazines began to arrive on the scene. Beginning with ADVENTURE MAGAZINE, introduced by the Ridgway Company in 1910, these specialized pulps lessened the attraction of the general fiction magazines for those who enjoyed a certain type of story – mystery, romance, western, or straight adventure. In not too many years, the fantasy and science-fiction fan would likewise be served.

The word “argosy” is defined as a large merchant ship, especially one with a rich cargo. With the terrific programming we’re lining up for PulpFest 2016, you’re promised “an abundance of riches” We’ll be saluting a wide range of anniversaries at this summer’s pulp con: the tenth anniversary of Sanctum Books; the eightieth anniversary of THE WHISPERER and THE SKIPPER; the ninetieth anniversary of AMAZING STORIES, the first science-fiction pulp; the hundredth anniversary of the specialty pulp; the 120th anniversary of THE ARGOSY, the original pulp magazine; and the 150th anniversary of the birth of H. G. Wells!

Check out our post of January 4, 2016 — “Coming Soon to Columbus — PulpFest 2016” — for a look at our planned. We’ll be featuring a pair of presentations on THE ARGOSY. “120 Years of THE ARGOSY — The World’s First Pulp Magazine,” will be offered by Doug Ellis, one of the world’s leading collectors and authorities on the magazine and a founder of the fabulous Windy City Pulp and Paper ConventionArt and pulp historian David Saunders will be discussing “The Artists of THE ARGOSY —  120 Years of Sensational Pulp Artists.” Both presentations are planned for Saturday evening, July 23rd, immediately preceding our exciting auction.

“Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” will take place from July 21st through July 24th in the Columbus, Ohio Arena district at the Hyatt Regency hotel and the city’s spacious convention center. Start making your plans to join us at the “pop culture center of the universe” for PulpFest 2016.

(BLACKWOOD’S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE — which first appeared in April 1817 — was one of the first magazines to reach a national audience. It’s introduction helped pave the way for the popular fiction periodicals of the late nineteenth century. Pictured here is volume 4 of the magazine, dated October 1818 – March 1819. The image on the cover is an engraving of the 16th century Scottish historian George Buchanan. BLACKWOOD’S continued publication until 1980.

PEARSON’S MAGAZINE was one of the popular British fiction magazines that emerged during the late 1800s. Its first issue was dated January 1896. The magazine’s publisher, C. Arthur Pearson, was “fascinated with stories of the future and what science might bring. Hence, it comes as no surprise that H. G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” was originally serialized in eight parts in PEARSON’S, running from April the December in 1897. It was illustrated by Warwick Goble. PEARSON’S ran for over 500 issues. Its last issue was date November 1939.

The December 1896 issue of THE ARGOSY, published by Frank A. Munsey, was the world’s first pulp fiction magazine. It would continue for nearly eighty years, ending as a “men’s adventure magazine.” It’s final issue was dated November 1978.

One of the most popular authors to appear in the Munsey magazines was undoubtedly Edgar Rice Burroughs. His adventure romance, “Tarzan of the Apes,” was published in its entirety in the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY. The issue featured front cover art by Clinton Pettee who drew interior story illustrations for MUNSEY’S MAGAZINE and painted covers for such pulp magazines as THE ARGOSY,THE ALL-STORYTHE CAVALIER, and SHORT STORIES.)

 

Prelude to the Pulps

Apr 7, 2014 by

Amazing_Stories 27-08As we learned in our April 4th post, “Origins of Science Fiction,” magazines began to reach a much wider audience as Europe and America became more industrialized. Increasingly urban and literate societies required cheap, entertaining, and easily accessible entertainment to escape the drudgery of the mills and offices. Since magazines could be produced cheaply and in a timely fashion, the last quarter of the nineteenth century became “The Age of the Storytellers.” Beginning around 1880, when Robert Louis Stevenson started to publish his first works of fiction, the world would witness the birth of the popular fiction magazine as well as the pulp magazine.

Strand 1891-07Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” first serialized in 1881-82, helped to provide the spark for other authors to try their hand at similar fiction. Works such as H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines (1885), “She” (1886), and “Allan Quatermain” (1887), as well as Arthur Conan Doyle’s “A Study in Scarlet” (1887) demonstrated the need for an inexpensive, popular fiction magazine to be published on a regular basis. Shortly after Christmas in 1890, the first of these—The Strand Magazine—was launched by George Newnes. Filled with illustrations, the periodical really took off during the summer of 1891 with the start of Conan Doyle’s “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” introducing one of the most successful continuing character series of all time.

With the success of The Strand Magazine came a host of imitators, among them Pearson’s Magazine. It debuted in late 1895 and soon became one of the leading publishers of magazine science fiction, featuring the future war stories of George Griffith and the scientific romances of Herbert George Wells. “The War of the Worlds” and “The Invisible Man,” both originally published in Pearson’s in 1897, are still enjoyed today, over a century after their initial appearances. Educated in the sciences as well as a literary genius, Wells’ mastery of both science and fiction was readily apparent. His later science fiction, including “The First Men in the Moon” (1900-1901) and “The Country of the Blind “1904), would run in The Strand.

In our next installment, we’ll turn our attention across the pond where an American entrepreneur named Frank A. Munsey was busy turning a struggling magazine into the first American all-fiction magazine.

War of the Worlds

To learn more about the images used in this post, click on the illustrations. Click here for references consulted for this article.

 

PulpFest is Open for Business

Feb 5, 2014 by

FlyerAfter a couple of weeks of grueling work by our communications department, the PulpFest website has been fully updated. Except for the pages referring to conventions past, each and every page was examined from top to bottom and improved using the ideas of both organizing committee members and you, our dedicated supporters. Thank you to everyone for your help and encouragement as we prepare for the 43rd annual summer pulp con. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Columbus starting on Thursday evening, August 7th and running until mid-afternoon on Sunday, August 10th. So what are you waiting for? Click on the link above, reserve a room, and make your plans to attend PulpFest 2014!   (more…)