Why PulpFest?

Aug 8, 2015 by

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Today, we thought that we would share a short essay written by Walker Martin based on something he had once posted on Yahoo’s Pulpmags newsgroup. Walker, who writes about pulp collecting for Steve Lewis’ Mystery*File blog, has been a reader and collector for over sixty years. In 1997, he received the Lamont Award at Pulpcon 26 in Bowling Green, Ohio. We’re proud to have him as one of our own and can think of no one better to answer the question, “Why PulpFest?” Take it away Walker . . .

Were you at the 2015 Comic-Con in San Diego? Still tired out from that recently concluded media extravaganza?

Will you be attending Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention with Andy Porter, Curt Phillips, and other science-fiction fans? It will be in Spokane, Washington beginning on August 19th.

I guess I better give my ten cents, though it has been over half-a-century since you could buy a fiction magazine for a dime. I hope Andy and Curt have fun in Spokane, but I’ll be heading for PulpFest on August 13th. This is a joyful trip that I’ve been making every year (with a couple of exceptions) since 1972.

During the seventies, eighties, and nineties, it was called Pulpcon and every year I would see fellow pulp collectors, most of them gone now, damn it. Magazine collectors many of you may still remember. Great guys like Rusty Hevelin, Jack Deveny, Richard Minter, Bob Sampson, Bob Weinberg (he’s still with us), Sheldon Jaffery, Harry Noble, Darrell Richardson, Frank Robinson, Mike Avallone, and such amazing guests like pulp artists Norman Saunders, Walter Baumhofer, Rafael Desoto, and so many more.

I used to attend many of the SF conventions before they started stressing costumes and bookless dealer’s rooms with only a few pulps. I’m talking about the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I remember when Philcon and Lunacon were worth attending if you were a collector of books and magazines. I also went to several of the Worldcons, such as the events held in New York City, Toronto, Washington DC, and Boston.

But then the dealer’s rooms changed and I couldn’t find old magazines except for a couple here and there. FortunatelyPulpcon, PulpFest, and Windy City came along and enabled me to add thousands of pulps to my collection.

If you are big SF fan or writer, then I guess the Worldcon is the place to be I . But if you are a fiction magazine or a book collector, then there is no doubt about it, you have to attend PulpFest from August 13 – 16 in Columbus Ohio. You’ll find all the details at www.pulpfest.com.

I’ve never met a magazine or book collector who regretted attending PulpFest. I hope to see some of you there!

—Walker Martin

Please remember, if you have yet to book your room for this year’s convention, do so without delay. PulpFest will be sharing downtown Columbus with Matsuricon this week. However, there may still be a few rooms available at nearby hotels. Please visit www.pulpfest.com/2015/06/16872/ 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 wait until you arrive.