The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Monster on Hold

May 26, 2017 by

PulpFest is very pleased to welcome its FarmerCon members back to our joint conference. Since 2011, FarmerCon has offered to help with our programming. They’re mixing things up for 2017, with a panel on “The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Nine” and a solo presentation on the friendship of “Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch.”

Additionally, FarmerCon has asked Win Scott Eckert to perform a couple of short readings. We’ll be profiling “Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame: Patricia Wildman,” in late June. Today we’ll close out our posts on “. . . a few psychos” with a look at Farmer’s and Eckert’s THE MONSTER ON HOLD. The fourth volume in “The Secrets of the Nine” series, the forthcoming novel is based on a chapter, notes and text found in Farmer’s “Magic Filing Cabinet,” and a high-level outline written by the late author and published in the program book of the 1983 World Fantasy Convention.

Started in the volume A FEAST UNKNOWN and continued in LORD OF THE TREES and THE MAD GOBLIN, “The Secrets of the Nine” recounts the ongoing battle of the ape-man, Lord Grandrith, and the man of bronze, Doc Caliban, against the Nine, a secret cabal of immortals bent on amassing power and manipulating the course of world events.

Alternately called THE UNSPEAKABLE THRESHOLD and DOWN TO EARTH’S CENTRE, THE MONSTER ON HOLD evokes the sense of mystery and horror that the bronze-hued superman, Doc Caliban, feels when faced with a descent deep into a subterranean complex to confront an unfathomable evil. Philip José Farmer utilized all three titles, at various times, while working on his fourth Nine book. However, THE MONSTER ON HOLD was the latest title, and the one under which he announced the book in 1983. Thus, it is only fitting that this Doc Caliban adventure will finally appear under the title best known to Farmer’s legions of fans.

Win Scott Eckert is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE. It concerns Patricia Wildman, the daughter of pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. Her adventures continue in Eckert’s sequel, THE SCARLET JAGUAR, which won the 2014 New Pulp Award winner for best novella.

Eckert is the editor of and contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE. He has coedited three Green Hornet anthologies for Moonstone Books. His short tales of Zorro, The Avenger, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hareton Ironcastle, Captain Midnight, The Green Ghost, Sexton Blake, The Domino Lady, Doc Ardan, and Sherlock Holmes can be found in several character-themed anthologies available from various publishers. Eckert’s critically acclaimed, encyclopedic CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD 1 & 2, was released by Black Coat Press in 2010.

A Honey West/T.H.E Cat crossover, A GIRL AND HER CAT, the first new Honey West novel in over forty years, came out in 2014. Forthcoming works include: the third Pat Wildman adventure; a new novel of one of the preeminent pulp heroes of the ’40s, The Avenger; and the unfinished fourth novel in Farmer’s Secrets of the Nine series. You can find Win Scott Eckert online at and @woldnewton on Twitter.

Join Win Scott Eckert of FarmerCon on Friday, July 28, at 7:20 PM for a short reading from THE MONSTER ON HOLD. He’ll be delving into the chapter that Philip José Farmer offered at the 1983 World Fantasy Convention. Perhaps he might also be persuaded to read from the lesser-known DOWN TO EARTH’S CENTRE fragment . . . if the Nine will allow it!”

(Philip José Farmer’s THE MAD GOBLIN was originally released in 1970 by Ace Books as part of their double line of paperbacks. The other half the book featured LORD OF THE TREES. Both sides of the book featured covers created by Gray Morrow, a comic book and paperback artist who also illustrated many science-fiction magazines. He was nominated for the Hugo Award for best professional artist in 1966, 1967, and 1968.)