Friday at PulpFest

Jul 28, 2017 by

PulpFest 2017 enters it second day, following a successful dealer set-up, early registration, early-bird shopping, and a full slate of programming. If you missed our first day, there’s still more to come.

From 9 to 10 AM today, the dealers’ room will be open only to dealers for set-up. All visitors will also be able to register for the convention this morning — beginning at 9 PM — and at any time during regular dealers’ room hours. A full-weekend advance membership to PulpFest will cost you $35 — if staying at our host hotel — and $40 if staying elsewhere. Single day memberships will be available for $20 for Friday or Saturday and $10 for Sunday. Children who are fifteen and younger and accompanied by a parent, will be admitted free of charge. The general public is welcome to attend. There is ample free parking surrounding our host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

All members, dealers included, can pick up their registration packets at the entrance to our dealers’ room. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. If you have not yet registered, you can download a copy by clicking herePaper forms will also be available at the door.

The dealers’ room will open to all at 10 AM and will remain open until 4:45 PM. Located in the Grand Ballroom of the DoubleTree, our dealers’ room will feature exhibitors selling and trading pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games. That’s why PulpFest is known as the “pop culture center of the universe!”

If you’re a fan of Philip Josė Farmer, you won’t want to miss the Meteor House book launch party at the DoubleTree. Meet the team behind the MAN OF WAR novella, including author Heidi Ruby Miller, artist Mark Wheatley, and the editors at Meteor House. An assortment of light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages will be served Friday, July 28, starting at 5 PM. Further details will be available at the PulpFest 2017 registration desk, outside of the convention’s dealers’ room.

Our afternoon programming will start at 1 PM with our New Fictioneers readings. Our evening programming will begin shortly before 7 PM as PulpFest chairman Jack Cullers officially welcomes all our attendees. Friday night’s programming will include our FarmerCon XII presentation on the “Psychos” of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerFarmerCon favorite Win Scott Eckert continues our salute to “the psychos of the pulps” with the first of two readings that he will be performing tonight. Mike Croteau of Meteor House rounds out our FarmerCon programming with Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch.

PulpFest 2017 further examines pulp fiction’s psychos with 100 Years with the Author of Psycho: Robert Bloch — an illustrated survey of the life and times of Robert Bloch presented by Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D.

This year’s celebration of hardboiled dicks gets underway at 8:40 PM with a reading from the work of SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES author Robert Leslie Bellem, the creator of Hollywood detective Dan Turner. Next, Anthony Award winner Jeffrey Marks looks at The Many Characters of Erle Stanley GardnerAltus Press publisher Matt Moring will also examine DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, the pulp that truly popularized the hard-as-nails private eye. Closing out the night’s presentations will be pulp historian and fan-favorite author Will Murray. He will be discussing The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant.

Perhaps the most exciting event of the evening will be a WEIRD Audio Play by Robert Bloch, staged by the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATREReturn to the Sabbath” was originally published in WEIRD TALES under Bloch’s Tarleton Fiske pseudonym. Narrated in the first person by a Hollywood public relations man, it’s the story of a European actor brought to the United States to star in a satanic horror film. Bloch’s story was later adapted and filmed for television as “The Sign of Satan.” It aired on THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR in 1964. The play will start at 11 PM.

You can find additional details about these and all of our presentations by clicking the Programming for 2017 button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area.

PulpFest members are also welcome to socialize together in our hospitality suite at the DoubleTree. You’ll be able to enjoy drinks and snacks with your comrades in pulpdom and talk about the things that you love and collect. If you’re new to the hobby, please join us in our con suite and learn more about pulps and pulp fiction and art.

Friday’s sponsor of the PulpFest hospitality suite is AbeBooks.com, the online marketplace for books. AbeBooks has a strong focus on rare and collectible books as well as ephemera such as maps, posters, prints and photographs. AbeBooks is a company with a passion for books, art and collectibles. PulpFest is extremely pleased to have AbeBooks as a convention sponsor and  Friday’s hospitality suite sponsor.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available.

PulpFest 2017 will continue on Saturday and Sunday. It concludes at 2 PM on Sunday, July 30. Please join us at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” — for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” You’ll have a FANTASTIC time!

(Between 1935 and 1952, Robert Bloch published nearly seventy stories in WEIRD TALES, “The Unique Magazine.” “The Cheaters” appeared in the November 1947 issue and featured cover art by Matt Fox. A cartoonist, illustrator, comic book and advertising artist, watercolorist, painter, and graphic artist, with lithographs, woodcuts, and etchings to his credit, Fox painted eleven covers for WEIRD TALES and also contributed interior illustrations to the magazine. He also worked for Marvel Comics during the 1950s.

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.

The “psychos” of  Robert Bloch, Philip José Farmer, and THE SHADOW MAGAZINE will be profiled during PulpFest’s second night of programming, scheduled to begin at 7 PM this evening. We hope to see you in at the DoubleTree Grand Ballroom for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con! You’ll find today’s schedule immediately below.)

Friday, July 28

Dealers’ Room

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM — Early Registration and Dealers’ Room Set-Up

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

Programming

12:45 – 4:30 PM — New Fictioneers Readings — (author readings by Jim Beard, John Bruening, Peter McGarvey, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Don Shakers)

6:55 – 7:00 PM — Welcome to PulpFest 2017 (Convention Chairman Jack Cullers)

7:00 – 7:20 PM — The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Nine (Win Scott Eckert, Frank Schildiner, and Art Sippo)

7:20 – 7:30 PM — The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — Win Scott Eckert Reads from THE MONSTER ON HOLD

7:30 – 7:50 PM — Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch (Mike Croteau of Meteor House)

7:50 – 8:00 PM — Intermission

8:00 – 8:40 PM — 100 Years with the Author of Psycho: Robert Bloch (Garyn Roberts)

8:40 – 8:50 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents Robert Leslie Bellem, a Dan Turner Reading

8:50 – 9:30 PM — Hardboiled and Dangerous: The Many Characters of Erle Stanley Gardner (Jeffrey Marks)

9:30 – 9:40 PM — Intermission

9:40 – 10:20 PM — Hardboiled Dicks: A Look at DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE (Matt Moring)

10:20 – 10:30 PM — Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame — Win Scott Eckert Reads from THE SCARLET JAGUAR

10:30 – 10:55 PM — The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant: Myra Reldon, Margo Lane, and Carrie Cashin (Will Murray)

11:00 – 11:30 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “Return to the Sabbath,” a WEIRD Audio Play by Robert Bloch

Thursday at PulpFest

Jul 27, 2017 by

PulpFest 2017 will begin this afternoon at 4 PM, as our dealers begin to erect their displays for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con!” All members — dealers included — will be able to register for the convention from 4 to 8 PM, at the entrance to our dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Everyone can pick up their registration packets at this time. To help things move smoothly, please bring along a completed registration form. You can download a copy by clicking here or the link found on our registration page.

There will be free early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM for loyal attendees who help to defray the convention’s costs by staying at our host hotel. The cost is $30 for those who stay elsewhere. Our full evening programming slate will begin shortly after 9 PM with a reading by author Chet Williamson.

PulpFest will also be celebrating the dangerous dames of the pulps with presentations on The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson — featuring PulpFest Technical Director and Webmaster Chuck Welch — and Compliments of the Domino Lady — a discussion of the long-lived pulp hero by Inkpot Award winner Michelle Nolan. Sandwiched between these two presentations will be a reading from his Domino Lady story — “The Claws of the Cat” — by author Ron Fortier.

Closing out the evening will be an audio drama, staged by the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATREThe Adventures of Mr. Fye” introduces a new hero inspired by classic pulp fiction and the single character hero pulps. The play will begin at 11 PM.

You can find additional details about these and all of our presentations by clicking the Programming for 2017 button found at the top of our home page. Each event on the schedule is linked to a post that provides further information on that event. Just click on the event’s title. Watch for the “panels” banner to find our programming area.

When our programming is over, PulpFest members are welcome to socialize together in our hospitality suite at the DoubleTree. You’ll be able to enjoy drinks and snacks with your comrades in pulpdom and talk about the things that you love and collect. “What’s your favorite Doc Savage adventure? Did Joan Randall have a thing for Gragg the Robot? Remember when Conan bit off that vulture’s head in ‘A Witch Shall Be Born?’ How the hell do you say Tsathoggua? Who’d win a knock-down-drag-out between Wu Fang and Shiwan Khan? Would either stand a chance against Doctor Fu Manchu? Why does the Phantom Detective wear that top hat? Who the hell is Pinky Jenkins?” These are just a few of the mysteries you might clear up with your pals — old and new — at PulpFest 2017. You sure can’t do that on your iPhone!

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can try calling 1-800-222-8733 to reach our host hotel. Perhaps there is an opening. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any special convention deals that may still be available. 

For those of you who have not yet registered for PulpFest 2017, Thursday evening will be an ideal time to do so. Our full weekend memberships will be available at the door, with early-bird shopping costing an additional $30 for those members not staying at the DoubleTree. Single day memberships — costing $20 for Friday or Saturday — will also be available. A Sunday single day membership will cost $10, the price of THE PULPSTERPlease click our Register for 2017 button for further details.

From 4 PM to 11 PM on Thursday, the dealers’ room will be open for exhibitors to set up their displays. At this point, we urge all of our dealers to take full advantage of our generous load-in and set-up period. Access to the dealers’ room for unloading will be through the ballroom back entrance and the nearby banquet dock. Click here for a map showing the loading area of the hotel and here for a map of the DoubleTree’s Grand Ballroom.

Remember that we’ll also be offering early-bird shopping in the dealers’ room from 6 to 9 PM on Thursday evening, an extra three hours of selling opportunities to people who are ready to buy!

Although the focus of PulpFest is pulp magazines and related materials, digests, vintage paperbacks, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, first-edition hardcovers, series books, dime novels, original art, Big Little Books, B-movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time-radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age as well as pulp-related comic books and games are also allowed.

(Although the first costumed pulp heroine appeared in just six stories in rare and obscure mid-1930s pulps, The Domino Lady commanded three covers for those magazines. All three were painted by Norman Saunders, one of the leading artists and illustrators of the pulp era.

The Domino Lady and other “dangerous dames” of the pulps will be profiled during PulpFest’s opening night programming, scheduled to begin at 9:10 PM this evening. We hope to see you in at the DoubleTree for “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con! You’ll find today’s schedule immediately below.)

Thursday, July 27

Dealers’ Room

4:00 PM – 11:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Early Registration

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Open for Early-Bird Shopping (free with your stay at the Double-Tree)

Programming

9:10 – 9:40 PM — Robert Bloch’s PSYCHO: SANITARIUM — A Reading by Chet Williamson

9:40 – 10:05 PM — The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson: Pat Savage, Nellie Gray and Rosabel Newton (Chuck Welch)

10:05 – 10:15 PM— Scarlet Adventuress — The Domino Lady — A Reading by Ron Fortier

10:15 – 10:50 PM — Compliments of the Domino Lady (Michelle Nolan)

10:50 – 11:00 PM — Intermission

11:00 – 11:30 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “The Return of Mr. Fye”

One Week to Go!

Jul 20, 2017 by

PulpFest 2017 will begin on Thursday, July 27. The dealers’ room will be open to registered sellers to set up their displays from 4 to 11 PM. Early registration for all convention attendees will take place from 4 to 8 PM outside the dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” There will be early-bird shopping from 6 to 9 PM for PulpFest members who will be staying at the DoubleTree or for those who elect to purchase an early-bird membership. Our full slate of programming for Thursday evening will get underway at 9:10 PM.

If you have not yet booked a room for your stay, please call 1-800-222-8733 to reach the DoubleTree. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive any convention special deals that may still be available. Conveniently located at the intersection of three major roadways, the DoubleTree boasts a world-class restaurant in an open air setting. There are many other restaurants nearby — some within walking distance — suitable for a variety of tastes. The more adventurous can discover plenty of dining, shopping, and nightlife just a short drive away in downtown Pittsburgh. The DoubleTree also offers a 24-hour fitness center, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and a sauna. You’ll find a map to the hotel and the surrounding area on the PulpFest home page.

Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

Below, you’ll find our complete schedule for the entire convention. To learn more about a particular programming event, click on its title link. We look forward to seeing you in a week.

Thursday, July 27

Dealers’ Room

4:00 PM – 11:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Early Registration

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Open for Early-Bird Shopping (free with your stay at the Double-Tree)

Programming

9:10 – 9:40 PM — Robert Bloch’s PSYCHO: SANITARIUM — A Reading by Chet Williamson

9:40 – 10:10 PM— The Dangerous Dames of Maxwell Grant: Myra Reldon, Margo Lane, and Carrie Cashin (Anthony Tollin)

10:10 – 10:20 PM— Scarlet Adventuress — The Domino Lady — A Reading by Ron Fortier

10:20 – 10:50 PM — Compliments of the Domino Lady (Michelle Nolan)

10:50 – 11:00 PM — Intermission

11:00 – 11:30 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “The Return of Mr. Fye”

Friday, July 28

Dealers’ Room

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM — Early Registration and Dealers’ Room Set-Up

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

Programming

12:45 – 4:30 PM — New Fictioneers Readings — (author readings by Jim Beard, John Bruening, Peter McGarvey, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Don Shakers)

6:55 – 7:00 PM — Welcome to PulpFest 2017 (Convention Chairman Jack Cullers)

7:00 – 7:20 PM — The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — The Nine (Win Scott Eckert, Frank Schildiner, and Art Sippo)

7:20 – 7:30 PM — The Psychos of Philip José Farmer — Win Scott Eckert Reads from THE MONSTER ON HOLD

7:30 – 7:50 PM — Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch (Mike Croteau of Meteor House)

7:50 – 8:00 PM — Intermission

8:00 – 8:40 PM — 100 Years with the Author of Psycho: Robert Bloch (Garyn Roberts)

8:40 – 8:50 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents Robert Leslie Bellem, a Dan Turner Reading

8:50 – 9:30 PM — Hardboiled and Dangerous: The Many Characters of Erle Stanley Gardner (Jeffrey Marks)

9:30 – 9:40 PM — Intermission

9:40 – 10:20 PM — Hardboiled Dicks: A Look at DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE (Matt Moring)

10:20 – 10:30 PM — Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame — Win Scott Eckert Reads from THE SCARLET JAGUAR

10:30 – 10:55 PM — The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson: Pat Savage, Nellie Gray and Rosabel Newton (Chuck Welch)

11:00 – 11:30 PM — Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “Return to the Sabbath,” a WEIRD Audio Play by Robert Bloch

Saturday, July 29

Dealers’ Room

10:00 AM – 4:45 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All

3:00 – 4:30 PM — Auction Viewing at the DoubleTree

Programming

12:30 – 2:00 PM — New Fictioneers Readings — (author readings by Win Scott Eckert and Frank Schildiner)

2:15 – 3:15 PM — Six Writers of New Pulp (moderator Ron Fortier and authors Fred Adams, Jr., John Bruening, Wayne Carey, Michael Maynard, and Charles Millhouse)

3:30 – 4:00 PM —  Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “The Return of Mr. Fye”

5:00 – 6:50 PM — PulpFest 2017 Group Meal at Ember & Vine in the DoubleTree (Volunteer Coordinator Sally Cullers)

7:00 – 7:20 PM — PulpFest 2017 Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)

7:20 – 7:30 PM — 2017 Munsey Award Presentation (presented by Laurie Powers)

7:30 – 8:10 PM — Guest of Honor Gloria Stoll Karn with David Saunders

8:10 – 8:20 PM — The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage by Will Murray — A Reading by Pulp-Pourri Theatre

8:20 – 8:50 PM — Hard-Boiled at 100: The Don Everhard Stories of Gordon Young (Tom Krabacher & Walker Martin)

8:50 – 9:10 PM —  Intermission (Auction Viewing)

9:15 – 12:15 AM — Saturday Night at the Auction (John Gunnison and Joseph Saines, Auctioneers)

Sunday, July 30

Dealer’s Room

9:00 AM – 2:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Open to All (many dealers will be packing up; buying opportunities may be limited)

All PulpFest members are welcome to attend our afternoon and evening programming right next to our dealers’ room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry.

For questions about our programming, please write to our programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com.

For questions about our New Fictioneers Readings, please write to our afternoon programming director Chuck Welch at chuck@pulpfest.com.

For questions about our dealers’ room, please write to our convention chairperson Jack Cullers at jack@pulpfest.com.

(The PulpFest 2017 post card — designed by advertising director Bill Lampkin — features John Newton Howitt’s cover art for the April 15, 1934 issue of DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, published by Popular Publications.)

 

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PulpFest 2017 and the New Fictioneers

Jun 27, 2017 by

It’s called new pulp – stories by modern writers who recreate the style of fiction that appeared in the pulp magazines of yore. Back then, the authors who labored for the rough paper industry liked to call themselves scribes, word-slingers, penny-a-worders, and, perhaps the most favored term of all, fictioneers. Join PulpFest as we celebrate today’s fictioneers — the authors writing the new pulp fiction! On Friday and Saturday, we’ll feature authors reading from their works and answering a few questions from the audience.

Reading from their works on Friday, July 28*

Jim Beard became a published writer when he sold a story to DC Comics in 2002. Since that time he’s written official Star Wars and Ghostbusters comic stories and contributed articles and essays to several volumes of comic book history. His prose work includes co-editing and contributing a story to PLANET OF THE APES: TALES FROM THE FORBIDDEN ZONE; a story for X-FILES: SECRET AGENDAS; GOTHAM CITY 14 MILES, a book of essays on the 1966 Batman TV series; SGT. JANUS, SPIRIT-BREAKER, a collection of pulp ghost stories featuring an Edwardian occult detective; MONSTER EARTH, a shared-world giant monster anthology; and CAPTAIN ACTION: RIDDLE OF THE GLOWING MEN, the first pulp prose novel based on the classic 1960s action figure. Jim also currently provides regular content for Marvel.com, the official Marvel Comics website.

John Bruening has been writing professionally for more than 30 years, first as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor and later as a marketing copywriter. As far back as he can remember, he’s been a fan of comics, pulps, adventure fiction, vintage movies and serials, old-time radio and any other form of heroic storytelling. His 2016 debut novel, THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN: HOUR OF DARKNESS, has been called “a Republic serial set to prose” (Ron Fortier, Pulp Fiction Reviews) and “the creative construct of a first-rate storyteller” (William Patrick Maynard, Black Gate). His most recent published work is “The Warrior and the Stone,” a short story appearing in RESTLESS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MUMMY HORROR, a 2017 release from Flinch Books, where he is a publishing partner with writer/editor/founder Jim Beard. John is currently working on the next adventure in the MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN saga, which is scheduled for release in late 2018. He lives in a suburb of Cleveland with his wife and two teenage children.

Peter McGarvey has been a magazine columnist, radio journalist, advertising copywriter, marketing and sales executive, and filmmaker. He grew up in small town Ontario but now lives in downtown Toronto. His first novel DARK SUNSET, his first novel, was called “a near-perfect fusion of character and setting. …a real page-turner …” (Don Hutchison, THE GREAT PULP HEROES). Peter’s subsequent novels HAIR TRIGGER and BLOODY SUNSET are “fast-paced, enjoyable crime novels that are better than many of the crime novels currently in print.” (Ray Walsh – Lansing State Journal). Peter’s latest novel DOUBLE TAP was hailed as “…bizarre, adrenaline charged entertainment.”in a starred review in The Lansing State Journal. His new book, DARK THE LIGHT, will be released in 2017.

Heidi Ruby Miller uses research for her stories as an excuse to roam the globe. Her books include the popular AMBASADORA series and the award-winning writing guide MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT. In between trips, Heidi teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program the same month she appeared on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. She is a member of The Authors Guild, International Thriller Writers, Pennwriters, Littsburgh, PARSEC, and Science Fiction Poetry Association. Her latest novel, MAN OF WAR, is being released at PulpFest. It is a sequel to Farmer’s TWO HAWKS FROM EARTH. Follow Heidi’s adventures with her husband, Jason Jack Miller, on their travel and lifestyle channel Small Space, Big Life and at her author channel and her website.

Don Sakers was launched the same month as Sputnik One, so it was perhaps inevitable that he should become a science fiction writer. A Navy brat by birth, he spent his childhood in such far-off lands as Japan, Scotland, Hawaii, and California. In California, rather like a latter-day Mowgli, he was raised by dogs. As a writer and editor, he has explored the thoughts of sapient trees (THE LEAVES OF OCTOBER), brought ghosts to life (CARMEN MIRANDA’S GHOST IS HAUNTING SPACE STATION THREE, Baen 1989), and beaten the “Cold Equations” scenario (“The Cold Solution,” ANALOG for 7/91, voted best short story of the year.) He’s best known for his Scattered Worlds series. Since 2009 Don has been book reviewer for ANALOG SCIENCE FICTION & FACT, where he writes the “Reference Library” column in every issue. Don lives at Meerkat Meade in suburban Baltimore with his spouse, costumer Thomas Atkinson. Having recently retired from 42 years with the local public library, he is hard at work becoming a starving writer.

Reading from their works on Saturday, July 29*

 

Win Scott Eckert is the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE (Subterranean Press, 2009; Meteor House, 2014), about Patricia Wildman, the daughter of pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. Pat Wildman’s adventures continue in Eckert’s sequel, THE SCARLET JAGUAR (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 (MonkeyBrain Books), a 2007 Locus Awards finalist. He has coedited three Green Hornet anthologies for Moonstone Books. His short fiction 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 the pages of various character-themed anthologies from Moonstone Books, as well as anthologies such as THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER (Meteor House), TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN (Black Coat Press), and TALES OF THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE (Titan Books). 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 (coauthored with Matthew Baugh, Moonstone Books), 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, THE MONSTER ON HOLD, furthering the titanic saga of Doc Caliban’s ongoing battle against the dark manipulators who hold the secret to eternal life, the Nine.

Find him online at winscotteckert.com and @woldnewton.

Frank Schildiner is a martial arts instructor at Amorosi’s Mixed Martial Arts in New Jersey. He is the writer of the novels, THE QUEST OF FRANKENSTEIN and THE TRIUMPH OF FRANKENSTEIN and the forthcoming NAPOLEON’S VAMPIRE HUNTERS. Frank is a regular contributor to the fictional series TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN and has been published in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THUNDER JIM WADE, SECRET AGENT X Volumes 3, 4, 5, and THE AVENGER: THE JUSTICE FILES. He resides in New Jersey with his wife Gail who is his top supporter.

* Exact times for the authors will be announced at PulpFest 2017

We look forward to seeing you at “Summer’s AMAZING Pulp Con” from July 27 through July 30 at the beautifulDoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

Please join us as we celebrate pulp fiction and art both old and new by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Throughout history, fictioneers have not been the only pulpsters. The pulp magazines of yore and the new pulp fiction of today have enjoyed the talents of many fine artists.)

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Six Writers of New Pulp

Jun 26, 2017 by

One of PulpFest‘s hallmarks has been its willingness to seek out and try new ideas. This was amply demonstrated by its decision in 2009 to present readings by “The New Fictioneers,” contemporary authors whose fiction is inspired by a love of the pulps. Since then, several other conventions have added a “New Pulp” track to their programming schedules.

PulpFest‘s dedication to new ideas and “New Pulp” continues with its annual panel moderated by Ron Fortier, a professional writer for over forty-five years. In 2007, Ron teamed up with illustrator Rob Davis and founded Airship 27 Productions. Together, they’ve built a home for new adventures featuring many of the pulp characters long remembered by our community. Ron’s own creation, the undead avenger known as Brother Bones — recently optioned as a motion picture — would certainly have been at home with Paul Ernst’s Doctor Satan in the pages of WEIRD TALES and Norvell Page’s The Spider. Ron has also penned the adventures of pulp heroes Captain Hazzard and the Domino Lady, as well as pop culture icons The Green Hornet, Popeye, and The Phantom.

On Saturday, July 28, Ron will be joined by five practitioners of contemporary pulp fiction for PulpFest‘s 2017 new pulp panel. The six authors will be discussing their writing experiences and why — of all the genres out there — they gravitated to pulp fiction.

Fred Adams, Jr. is a western Pennsylvania native who has enjoyed a lifelong love affair with horror, fantasy, and science fiction literature and films.  He holds a Ph.D. in American Literature from Duquesne University and recently retired from teaching in the English Department of Penn State University. He has published over fifty short stories in amateur and professional magazines, as well as hundreds of news features as a staff writer and sportswriter for newspapers. For Airship 27, Fred has written HITWOLF, SIX-GUN TERROR, and most recently, DEAD MAN’S MELODY.

John C. Bruening has been writing professionally for more than thirty years, first as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor and later as a marketing copywriter. As far back as he can remember, he has been a fan of comics, pulps, adventure fiction, vintage movies and serials, old-time radio, and any other form of heroic storytelling. His 2016 debut novel, THE MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN: HOUR OF DARKNESS, has been called “a Republic serial set to prose” and “the creative construct of a first-rate storyteller.” His most recent published work is “The Warrior and the Stone,” a short story appearing in RESTLESS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF MUMMY HORROR, a 2017 release from Flinch Books, where he is a publishing partner with Jim Beard. John is currently working on the next adventure of The Midnight Guardian. He lives near Cleveland, Ohio.

A life-long fan of science fiction and pulp fiction, Wayne Carey grew up reading Edgar Rice Burroughs, H. G. Wells, Isaac Asimov, H. Rider Haggard and all the grand masters. His reading guided him toward a career in science with degrees in biology and education and provided the desire to write from an early age. A love of classic and noir films also influences his writing. He is the author of THE NANON FACTOR, a young adult contemporary science fiction thriller that blends a murder mystery with cutting edge technology. His work has also appeared in a variety of anthologies such as LEGENDS OF NEW PULP FICTION. He and his wife live in the wilds of Central Pennsylvania with their three children, who provide a great deal of inspiration to the author.

Born to a father who was both a writer and a pulp enthusiast, Michael Maynard has been a fan of pulp all his life. Some of his favorites include the works of Dashiell Hammett, Sax Rohmer, John Buchan, and H. G. Wells. His favorite medium, however, is the cinema. Some of Michael’s favorite movies include such classics as THE MALTESE FALCON, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, and CASABLANCA. Michael’s first work of fiction was published in 2016: a short story that he wrote with his father. It was featured in the Airship 27 anthology, THE TOWERS OF METROPOLISHe intends to continue writing for the foreseeable future.

Charles Milhouse has been independently publishing since 1999, but really didn’t get into pulp until 2010. That was when he started to work on Captain Hawklin. He has written four books in the series and is currently outlining a fifth volume. He has published fourteen books, including the recently concluded, five-volume TALON’S EPIC. Charles is influenced by writers such as William F. Nolan and Frank Herbert. He is a professional chef, but writing is his passion. To learn more about Charles’ writing, please visit the Stormgate Press website.

Our new pulp panel will take place at 2:15 PM on Saturday, July 28 in the PulpFest programming room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Watch for the PulpFest PANELS banner outside the entrance to our programming room. PulpFest 2017 —  the destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction, art and related materials — will begin on Thursday, July 27, and run through Sunday, July 30.

You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast! Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(In case you’re wondering about the term “fictioneer,” most dictionaries place its origin during the early twenties. However, it was relatively commonplace in magazines between 1910 and 1920 and has been spotted in works dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. H. Bedford-Jones used it in a series of articles called “The Graduate Fictioneer,” originally published by AUTHOR & JOURNALIST in the early thirties. In 1932, a group of Wisconsin writers got together and called themselves “The Milwaukee Fictioneers.” At various times, Robert Bloch, Fredric Brown, August Derleth, Ralph Milne Farley, Lawrence Keating, Ray Palmer and Stanley Weinbaum were members of this group. In the late 30s, Popular Publications started Fictioneers, Inc., a pulp line that paid its authors half the going market rate of a penny a word. E. Hoffmann Price, soldier-of-fortune, and prolific pulp author, used the term in his memoirs from the pulp years, BOOK OF THE DEAD — FRIENDS OF YESTERYEAR: FICTIONEERS & OTHERS, published by Arkham House in 2001. Pulp historian and anthologist John Locke likewise used it in his non-fiction anthology PULP FICTIONEERS: ADVENTURES IN THE STORYTELLING BUSINESS, published by Adventure House in 2004.

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.)

Philip José Farmer’s Most Dangerous Dame: Patricia Wildman

Jun 22, 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: THE MONSTER ON HOLD — a chapter from a planned book that Philip José Farmer offered at the 1983 World Fantasy Convention — and an excerpt from Win’s short novel, THE SCARLET JAGUAR.

During his life, Philip José Farmer maintained that his book DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE was a biography of a real person named Doctor James Clarke Wildman. Pat Wildman is the daughter of Doc Wildman, “the world-renowned adventurer and crimefighter of the 1930s and 40s.”

Introduced in the Wold Newton novel, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE — which Eckert coauthored with Philip José Farmer — Patricia’s adventures continue in THE SCARLET JAGUAR, written solely by Win Scott Eckert.

The winner of the 2014 New Pulp Award for best novella, Eckert’s story tells of a young girl whose father has been kidnapped by the Scarlet Jaguar. Pat, following in her father’s footsteps of righting wrongs and assisting those in need, agrees to help the girl. Now, it’s a race against time, deep in the wilds of the Central American jungle, as Pat Wildman and her crew search for the girl’s father, and confront the Scarlet Jaguar’s weird power to eliminate his enemies from afar.

“But who—or what—is the Scarlet Jaguar? A power-mad dictator determined to reclaim power? A revolutionary movement bent on taking over the country, and the rest of Central America? Or a front for something even more sinister . . . ?”

Win Scott 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 winscotteckert.com and @woldnewton on Twitter.

Join Win Scott Eckert of FarmerCon on Friday, July 28, at 10:20 PM for a short reading from THE SCARLET JAGUAR. To learn more about Philip José Farmer, please visit The Official Philip José Farmer Web Page. It’s the Brobdingnagian collection of all things Farmerian! And please join us at PulpFest 2017/FarmerCon XII from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.”

You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Win Scott Eckert’s THE SCARLET JAGUAR was released in 2016 by Meteor House, featuring cover art by Mark Sparacio. A resident of Boca Raton, Florida, Mark is a Professor of Fine Arts at Digital Media Arts College. He has also worked as a comic book illustrator for Marvel, DC, and other companies.)

The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage

Jun 21, 2017 by

Will Murray discovered Doc Savage in 1969 when he picked up the Bantam Books edition of DUST OF DEATH. Within a few short years, he began contributing to Doc Savage fanzines, starting with THE DOC SAVAGE READERSoon thereafter, he began placing articles in other fanzines, including ECHOES, THE PULP COLLECTOR, and PULP VAULT, writing about Doc and other pulp characters and the magazines in which they appeared. Today, nearly fifty years later, Will is one of the most respected authorities on the pulp magazine, having authored countless articles and books, including THE DUENDE HISTORY OF THE SHADOW MAGAZINE and WORDSLINGERS: AN EPITAPH FOR THE WESTERN.

In addition to his many non-fiction works on the pulps, Murray was the ghost-writer for about forty of the Destroyer action-adventures novels. He has also written twenty Doc Savage novels and two Tarzan novels. He also serves as the literary agent for the Lester Dent estate and as the co-editor of Sanctum Books’ highly regarded pulp reprints.

In 2016, Murray decided to give many fans what they wanted and penned a solo Pat Savage novel — SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS. Well, almost solo, as Monk Mayfair joins Pat on her adventure:

“When a man so anemic that he could be a vampire’s victim comes to Patricia Savage for rescue, the impetuous girl can’t say no. Excitement is her meat and danger her dessert.

“Accompanied by Doc Savage aide, Monk Mayfair, Pat finds herself in the worst danger of her life. Wanted for murder, hounded by the minions of a weird mystery figure calling himself Chief Standing Scorpion, narrowly evading the hordes of the Vinegarroon tribe, the bronze-skinned golden girl battles her way to a sinister secret cached in an ancient ruin.

“From the oilfields of Oklahoma to the forbidding Ozark Mountains, the trail of scorpionic doom winds. Will Pat Savage’s first great adventure also be her last?”

Of course, for longtime fans of the Man of Bronze, SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS is actually the second Pat Savage novel. In “I Died Yesterday,” her final pulp appearance — published in the January/February 1948 issue of DOC SAVAGE SCIENCE DETECTIVE — she is the first-person narrator of the story. As he does in Murray’s recent novel, Monk teams up with Pat to work on the case.

Members of the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE will perform a reading from Will Murray’s SIX SCARLET SCORPIONS, the first book in THE ALL-NEW WILD ADVENTURES OF PAT SAVAGE series, published by Adventures in Bronze in association with Altus Press. Based in Corpus Christi, PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

“The Wild Adventures of Pat Savage by Will Murray,” a reading by PULP-POURRI THEATRE, will take place on Saturday, July 29, at 8:50 PM in the PulpFest 2017 programming area at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City.” You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(Walter Swenson painted eleven DOC SAVAGE covers from January 1947 through September 1948. The January/February 1948 number is a good example of his cover art. His interior illustrations can be found in some issues of John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION. They were also published by Street & Smith, right around the same time as his Doc Savage covers. Little more is known about the artist.)

The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson

Jun 20, 2017 by

Over the years, PulpFest has sought to honor pulp fiction and pulp art by drawing attention to the many ways they have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades. Indeed, the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos of the pulps that we’ll be celebrating in 2017 have had a profound effect on popular culture.

Back in May, we set our sights on the mad scientists, crazed hunchbacks, and foul cultists who decimated American cities on a monthly basis in the rough-paper magazines. We also drew attention to the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, who got his start in the pulps and wrote the suspense classic, PSYCHO.

June found us exploring DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — one of the pulps where the hard-boiled detective story began to take shape. We also examined Robert Leslie Bellem’s tough-guy detective, Dan Turner; Gordon Young’s “Most Dangerous Man in America,” Don Everhard; and the many characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner.

Today, we’re turning our attention to the dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped to pave the way for such modern day gumshoes as Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone, Marcia Muller‘s Sharon McCone, and Sara Paretsky‘s V. I. Warshawski. Collectively, these authors and their characters have helped the hardboiled detective to evolve in new directions.

Female pulp characters such as Cleve Adams’s Violet McDade and Nevada Alvarado, John Russell Fearn’s Golden Amazon, Walter Gibson’s Myra Reldon and Margo Lane, Robert E. Howard’s Bêlit, “Queen of the Black Coast,” C. L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry, Norvell Page’s Nita Van Sloan, Les Savage’s Senorita Scorpion, Theodore Tinsley’s Carrie Cashin, Gene Francis Webb’s Grace Culver, Lars Anderson’s Domino Lady, and Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, all depicted women in roles often reserved for men. Generally, they performed equal to or better than their male counterparts. These dangerous dames helped to remove women from the drawing rooms of Carolyn Wells and Agatha Christie, the love and western romance pulps, and into the mean streets.

Perhaps the best known female character of the pulps is Lester Dent’s Pat Savage. As Kent Gutschke has written on THE MARTIAN DEATH RAY:

“She is only the Bronze Goddess of pulp’s Golden Age, and distant cousin to Doc Savage, the Bronze Man of Tomorrow. And she is more fun and psychologically complex than the man whose shadow she lives under. Patricia Savage is also an underdog not because she lacks intelligence and skill, but because the men that surrounded her — both heroes and villains — forever underestimate her.

“In fact the only man in Patricia Savage’s life who does not underestimate her is her creator, Lester Dent. As early as 1934’s ‘Death in Silver,’ Dent planned for Pat to run her own detective agency within the pages of DOC SAVAGE, but editors at Street & Smith rejected the idea. While Street & Smith billed Doc as the Man of Tomorrow, Doctor Clark Savage and his editors had quaint, patriarchal notions about a woman’s place in their brave new world. So Pat Savage and Lester Dent settled for a beauty salon. What trouble could she possibly get into running a beauty salon? With Dent writing, quite a bit and when trouble failed to come her way, Pat cultivated a talent for elbowing into Doc’s adventures.”

Introduced in “Brand of the Werewolf” — originally published in the January 1934 issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE — Pat Savage would appear in 37 adventures of the Man of Bronze. In “I Died Yesterday,” her final pulp appearance (published in the January 1948 number), she is the first-person narrator of the story. As Terence Towles Canote has written on A SHROUD OF THOUGHTS

“She was in many ways the perfect, female counterpart to her cousin. Pat was spectacularly beautiful, yet very much her own woman. She could fight as well as any man, deadly with her six shooter and skilled in boxing, fencing, and jujitsu. She could fly a plane, pick locks, pick pockets, speak Mayan and German (although she was not very good at the latter), knew Morse code, and was a very convincing actress. She also had an undying love of adventure, which she shared with her cousin (even if Doc would never admit it). Over the course of her adventures Pat emerges as a fully realised character, perhaps more fully realised than any female character from the pulps save Nita Van Sloan from THE SPIDER. This could very well be the reason she still has more than her fair share of fans to this day.”

Please join PulpFest 2017 on Friday, July 28, at 10:30 PM as the convention’s technical director, Chuck Welch, examines The Dangerous Dames of Kenneth Robeson. In addition to Pat Savage, Chuck will be discussing Paul Ernst’s Nellie Gray and Rosabel Newton, two strong female characters featured in Street & Smith’s THE AVENGER, a hero pulp introduced in 1939.

As one of the original Internet Fans of Bronze, Chuck Welch started attending the summer pulp convention in the late 1990s. After meeting his future wife at one of these conventions, Chuck took some time off to start a family. At the behest of Bill Mann, he returned to attend PulpFest. As was his wont, Chuck immediately started volunteering and making suggestions to the organizing committee. Having enough of his puppy-dog eyes, he was asked to join the team. Chuck is the convention’s technology director and webmaster. When the Internet began to take off, Chuck began Flearun, a Doc Savage group now at Facebook. He is also the creator of the Hidalgo Trading Company — perhaps the closest anyone has come to presenting an online Doc fanzine — and the current editor of the Doc Savage fan magazine THE BRONZE GAZETTE.

(Doc Savage and his assistants travel to British Columbia to visit his uncle, Alex Savage, and cousin, Patricia Savage, in “The Brand of the Werewolf,” originally published in DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE for January 1934, with cover art by Walter M. Baumhofer. When they reach the cabin of Doc’s relatives, they discover that Alex Savage has been murdered. From the start, Pat is ready for adventure, hoping to find the killers of her father. She would be “ready for adventure” in nearly forty tales of Lester Dent’s Man of Bronze.)

The Domino Lady — Scarlet Adventuress

Jun 19, 2017 by

This year, PulpFest is trying an experiment. We’ll be offering readings between our presentations as our technical staff gets ready. One of these readings will take place on Friday, July 28, at 8:40 PM. Please join PulpFest 2017 as we welcome author, editor, and publisher Ron Fortier as he reads from “The Claws of the Cat,” a short story featuring one of the world’s first female masked crime fighters — The Domino Lady.

Following the murder of her father — an honest and tireless district attorney — debutante Ellen Patrick decides to fight evil in society. Wearing a small, dark mask and a tight and revealing evening gown, she becomes The Domino Lady. Armed with an automatic pistol and a knockout drug, she robs her victims, donating the bulk of the loot to charity and leaving her calling card: “The Domino Lady’s Compliments.”

Ron’s story originally appeared in DOMINO LADY: SEX AS A WEAPON, published in 2009 by Moonstone Books. Edited by Lori Gentile, the anthology featured nine new stories by some of the best writers of new pulp fiction.

Ron Fortier has been a professional writer for over four decades. In 2007, Ron teamed up with illustrator Rob Davis to found Airship 27 Productions and build a home for new adventures featuring long moribund pulp characters such as the Green Lama, the Masked Rider, Secret Agent X, and Fortier’s own version of Ace Periodicals’ Captain Hazzard. Airship’s books have inspired contemporary writers and artists to turn out new adventures featuring many of the characters long remembered by the pulp community. They have also served as ports of entry for new people to become involved with the world of pulps. In 2009, Ron helped develop the Pulp Factory Awards, inaugurated to support and encourage the creation of new pulp fiction and art. Ron’s own prose creation, Brother Bones, was recently optioned as a motion picture by Franklin-Husser Entertainment, an independent film production company based in Seattle.

(Published in several different editions by Moonstone Books, DOMINO LADY: SEX AS A WEAPON, features cover art by Jeff Butler, an American illustrator and comic book artist. With Mike Baron, Butler created The Badger for Capital Comics. Later, he worked for TSR, the publisher of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS. He left the firm to help Ron Fortier bring The Green Hornet back to comics. Butler has also worked in the video game industry.)

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Compliments of The Domino Lady

Jun 16, 2017 by

In the violence-riddled cities of the pulp era, the police were either unable or unwilling to deal with the criminal element. It was left to strong-willed and often well-to-do citizens to take matters into their own hands. Over time, these characters became known as the pulp heroes. The Shadow, Doc Savage, The Spider, The Green Lama, The Avenger, The Black Bat, and others. Helping these heroic vigilantes were their hand-picked agents, including a number of female assistants.

The Shadow had his Myra Reldon and Margo LaneNita Van Sloan worked next to The Spider; although disgruntled, Doc Savage accepted the assistance of his cousin Pat, while The Avenger was capably helped by Nellie Grey and Rosabel Newton. And then there’s The Domino Lady . . . .

The only female pulp hero to be featured in her own series, The Domino Lady appeared in six stories credited to Lars Anderson. Published in 1936, five of her tales ran in SAUCY ROMANTIC ADVENTURES. The character’s final tale appeared in MYSTERY ADVENTURE MAGAZINE.

The Domino Lady is really debutante Ellen Patrick. Following the murder of her father — an honest and tireless district attorney — Ellen decides to fight evil in society. Wearing a small, dark mask and a tight and revealing evening gown, she becomes The Domino Lady. Armed with an automatic pistol and a knockout drug, she robs her victims, donating the bulk of the loot to charity and leaving her calling card.

In his introduction to Vanguard Publications’ DOMINO LADY: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION, Bernard Drew writes:

“You’re in for a treat as you read these half-dozen Domino Lady escapades, for that’s the best way to describe them. Escapades. They involve no investigation, no probing, no crime solving. Ellen has already zeroed in on the bad guy by story’s start. The main plot element, in fact, is the shapely heroine wrangling her way into a social situation, making light conversation, swiping something or other of value from someone who deserves to lose it and dropping a calling card which reads ‘The Domino Lady’s Compliments.'”

Over the last few decades, new adventures of The Domino Lady have been published by various small and independent presses. Moonstone Books has released a number of books and comics featuring the character. Airship 27 has issued a pair of anthologies collecting new Domino Lady stories. Perhaps the strangest versions are the erotic comic book tales written and drawn by the late Ron Wilber.

At 11:35 PM on Thursday, July 27, please join Michelle Nolan in the PulpFest 2017 programming room for “Compliments of The Domino Lady,” a brief discussion of what The Domino Lady means in pulp history and how the character paved the way for dozens of costumed heroines in the comics of the Golden Age and beyond. It’s all part of the convention’s celebration of the dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped to pave the way for such modern day gumshoes as Sue Grafton‘s Kinsey Millhone, Marcia Muller‘s Sharon McCone, and Sara Paretsky‘s V. I. Warshawski. Collectively, these authors and their characters have helped detective fiction to evolve in new directions.

A mainstream journalist for more than fifty years, Michelle Nolan has also covered the history of genre fiction in pulps, comics, books and films in more than 1,000 magazine, newspaper and book articles. She is the author of the definitive “LOVE ON THE RACKS: A HISTORY OF AMERICAN ROMANCE COMICS and BALL TALES: A STUDY IN AMERICAN SPORTS FICTION. In 2014, Michelle received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International: San Diego.

(Although the first costumed pulp heroine appeared in just six stories in rare and obscure mid-1930s pulps, The Domino Lady commanded three covers for those magazines. All three were painted by Norman Saunders, one of the leading artists and illustrators of the pulp era. During a career that spanned five decades, Saunders completed over 2500 commercial art assignments, including more than one thousand covers featured on 85 different pulp titles.

In addition to his work for the pulp industry, Norman Saunders illustrated for national advertisers, slick magazines, paperbacks, men’s adventure magazines, calendars, comic books, trading cards, and more. He died in 1989 at the age of 82.)

Hardboiled and Dangerous: The Characters of Erle Stanley Gardner

Jun 15, 2017 by

When the magazine BLACK MASK is discussed, author Dashiell Hammett generally comes into play. But the creator of Sam Spade and The Continental Op was far from the most prolific contributor to the greatest of the hard-boiled detective magazines. That honor would go to Erle Stanley Gardner, best known for creating Perry Mason. Gardner would appear in THE BLACK MASK over one hundred times.

A practicing lawyer interested in a better income, Erle Stanley Gardner forced “himself to churn out four thousand words a night. It took two years, but he made his first sale to the pulps. It wouldn’t be the last.” During his fifty-year writing career, Gardner would publish close to twenty million words of fiction and create “no less than 49 unique detectives and adventurers who made two or more appearances in book or magazine form . . .”

According to Bill Pronzini’s introduction to THE DANGER ZONE AND OTHER STORIES published by Crippen & Landru in 2004 — Gardner published 128 novels between 1933 and 1970. Eighty-two of these feature Perry Mason, while Bertha Cool and Donald Lam appear in 29 book-length adventures. Crusading district attorney Doug Selby appears in nine novels, while the remaining eight feature other characters.

“All of Gardner’s other series characters . . . were created for the magazine markets, both pulp-paper and slick-paper, and appear only in novelettes and short stories. Several hundred of these yarns saw print from the 1920s into the 1950s, the preponderance in a ten-year-span from 1926 to 1936 when Gardner lived up to his billing as “King of the Woodpulps” by producing and selling an average of one million words of fiction annually. ARGOSY, BLACK MASK, and DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY were his favorite pulp markets, printing nearly 200 stories among them. Series tales and one-shots also ran regularly in DIME DETECTIVE, CLUES, STREET & SMITH’S DETECTIVE STORY, TOP-NOTCH, BLACK ACES, ALL DETECTIVE, SHORT STORIES, and a host of others . . . .

“Foremost among his amazing array of short-fiction creations are Ed Jenkins, the Phantom Crook, an outlaw and ‘famous lone wolf’ who lives by his wits and solves crimes unjustly pinned on him by the police, many of which have San Francisco Chinatown settings; and Lester Leith, debonair man-about-town, whose ‘chain lightning mind’ allows him to both outfox criminals and outmaneuver his butler, Scuttle, an undercover police spy. Jenkins appears in 72 novelettes published in BLACK MASK between 1925 and 1943 . . . Leith can be found in 65 novelettes in DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY from 1929 to 1943 . . .”

Other oft-published series characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner include Bob Zane of the “Whispering Sands” tales; Sidney Zoom, master of disguises; Señor Lobo, Mexican soldier of fortune; the Patent Leather Kid; Paul Pry, who steals from crooks; Bob Larkin, an adventurer armed with a billiard cue; attorney Ken Corning; gunslinger Black Barr; and Speed Dash, the Human Fly.

At 8:50 PM on Friday, July 28, PulpFest 2017 welcomes Jeffrey Marks for a discussion of Gardner’s four types of pulp characters: the western miner, the non-Perry lawyers, the traditional pulp loners, and the author’s happy-go-lucky criminals. Marks is a long-time mystery fan and freelance writer. His works include WHO WAS THAT LADY, a biography of mystery writer Craig Rice; ATOMIC RENAISSANCE: WOMEN MYSTERY WRITERS OF THE 1940S/1950S; and PULP ICONS: ERLE STANLEY GARDNER AND HIS PULP MAGAZINE CHARACTERS. His latest work is a biography of mystery author and critic Anthony Boucher entitled ANTHONY BOUCHER. It has been nominated for an Agatha and fittingly, won an Anthony Award.

Jeffrey’s work has won a number of awards including the Barnes and Noble Prize. It has also been nominated for an Edgar Award, three Agathas, two Macavity Awards, and three Anthony Awards. Today, he writes from his home in Cincinnati, which he shares with his partner and two dogs.

Please join us from July 27 through July 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” — for PulpFest 2017 as we celebrate the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos of the pulps. You can join PulpFest by clicking the Register for 2017 button on our home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree. They’re going fast!

(First introduced to BLACK MASK readers with the story, “The Shrieking Skeleton,” published in the December 15, 1923 number under the pseudonym Charles Green, Erle Stanley Gardner quickly established himself as a readers’ favorite. Soon thereafter, he introduced his first series character, Bob Larkin. But it was with the January 1925 number that Gardner truly hit paydirt, introducing Ed Jenkins in “Beyond the Law.” By the end of 1926, Jenkins was garnering the cover spot of the magazine, including the March 1933 issue featuring artwork by J. W. Schlaikjer. Erle Stanley Gardner’s Phantom Crook would appear in 72 novelettes published in BLACK MASK between 1925 and 1943.)

Hard-Boiled at 100: The Don Everhard Stories of Gordon Young

Jun 14, 2017 by

Tradition holds that the hardboiled school of detective fiction began with the publication of Carroll John Daly’s “Three Gun Terry” in the May 15, 1923 issue of THE BLACK MASK. Dashiell Hammett’s first Continental Op story followed a few months later. The magazine’s editor, Joseph T. Shaw, would later nurture the genre to maturity. BLACK MASK would become synonymous with the hard-boiled detective story.

Or so the story goes. Few if any literary genres come into being at a single time and place; rather, they draw their basic elements from earlier literary forms. The detective story is no exception. A key precursor to the hardboiled school can be found in the “Don Everhard” stories of Gordon Young. Now all but forgotten, the stories appeared in the pages of ADVENTURE and SHORT STORIESover the course of a quarter century. The first appeared in 1917, a full six years before Daley’s tale. It anticipated many of the basic elements of the hardboiled school, including character types, plot structure, narrative voice, the treatment of violence, and a skepticism toward traditional social institutions. All would become common in BLACK MASK in the decade that followed.

Over the course of his life, Gordon Ray Young was a cowboy, marine, sailor, marksman, reporter, occasional poet, sport fisherman, bibliophile, and literary critic. More importantly he was a storyteller, the author of some of the finest adventure fiction to grace the pages of the American pulp magazines during the first half of the twentieth century. Appearing regularly in titles such as ADVENTURE, BLUE BOOK, ARGOSY, ROMANCE, and SHORT STORIES, his fiction spanned genres as diverse as westerns, crime stories, South Seas adventure, international intrigue, historical fiction, and humor.  His tales also made the jump to the silver screen as Hollywood adapted five of his stories for the motion pictures. 

Young was born in rural Ray County, Missouri  on September 7, 1886 and inherited from his father a sense of independence and taste for wandering.  At the age of fifteen he was working as a cowboy in eastern Colorado and in 1908 — at the age of 22 — he enlisted in the United States Marines. He saw duty both in the Philippines and on shipboard. Upon mustering out of the Corps, Young took up a career in journalism, working on newspapers in both San Francisco and Stockton, California before taking up a position with the LOS ANGELES TIMES. He served as the paper’s literary editor for more than a decade.

His freelance writing career began with  the sale of a minor short story to THE CAVALIER in 1913.  His career as a writer took off in 1917 when he began selling to A. S. Hoffman’s ADVENTURE.  By 1920, Gordon Young was an established member of that select group of writers, which included the likes of Talbot Mundy, Hugh Pendexter, W. C. Tuttle, and Arthur Friel, who regularly filled the pages of ADVENTURE during the magazine’s glory years in the teens and twenties. His novels soon began to find their way into hardcover publication. His reputation as a writer was spreading beyond the pages of the pulp magazines and coming to the notice of book reviewers.

Young showed great diversity in his writing, producing a wide variety of story types.  South Seas stories, for example, were common in the teens and  twenties, while westerns came to dominate his later career.  His longest running character however, was the hard-boiled professional gambler, Don Everhard. Young’s creation appeared in his very first sale to ADVENTURE in 1917 — “A  Royal Flush of Hearts”  — and continued to appear in more than thirty short stories and novels over the course of his career.

Gordon Young died of heart failure in his home in Los Angeles, California in 1948 at the age of 62.

On Saturday, July 29, PulpFest 2017 continues its celebration of hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos. Please join us at 8:20 as Tom Krabacher and John Wooley discuss “The Most Dangerous Man in America,” Gordon Young’s Don Everhard: “Hard-Boiled at 100.”

Tom Krabacher is a professor at California State University, Sacramento and a member of the Pulp Era Amateur Press Association. He has previously presented at PulpFest, serving on and moderating panels on WEIRD TALES, the Cthulhu Mythos, and John Campbell’s classic fantasy magazine, UNKNOWN. Tom has also published articles on the pulps and their history in BLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER, THE PULPSTER, and elsewhere.

John Wooley — who will also be presenting on Dan Turner and SPICY DETECTIVE at PulpFest 2017 — has written, co-written, or edited over three dozen books. He has also authored comic books, trading cards, and thousands of magazine and newspaper stories. Winner of the Lamont Award in 2006, Wooley is co-owner, with John McMahan, of the pulp-related Reverse Karma Press. In 2015, John was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians’ Hall of Fame.

(Pictured twice on the cover of ADVENTURE magazine — including the May 1936 issue with cover art by Walter M. Baumhofer — Don Everhard was — according to Jess Nevins — a “professional gambler and amateur justice-dealer . . . .he keeps getting involved in helping others or, more often, settling accounts . . . . He’s a cold man, always calm (even when under fire), always rational, invulnerable to the wiles of women, and extremely experienced in the ways of criminals and violence. He has a reputation for being very violent, ‘the most famous gunman in the country,’ and of having ‘killed more mean than any other fellow in America — and is proud of it.’ . . . He kills in self-defense or when the target is guilty and deserving of execution.”)

Somewhere a Roscoe: Dan Turner and SPICY DETECTIVE

Jun 13, 2017 by

“From the window that opened onto the roof-top sun deck a roscoe sneezed: Ka-Chow! Chowpf! and a red-hot hornet creased its stinger across my dome; bashed me to dreamland.”

That’s Robert Leslie Bellem communicating through Hollywood gumshoe Dan Turner. The story is “Lake of the Left-Hand Moon,” originally published in the December 1943 issue of HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE.

Born in Philadelphia and trained as a newspaper reporter, Bellem began writing for the pulps in 1928. “I was thumbing through a magazine one day. I stumbled on an illustration to a story . . . It depicted two or three native South Seas island gals — clad in no more than the law allowed — surrounding one rather embarrassed-looking beachcomber. I squinted at the daub and got a definite inward reaction. I sat down at my typewriter and batted off ‘Eden Island,’ a sex yarn. It was the first sex farce I’d ever written. I sent it to PEP. They bought it and yelled for more of the same. That’s four years ago — now I sell about five or six sex farces a month, and hardly get time to write anything else!”

In 1934, Harry Donenfeld’s Culture Publications introduced SPICY DETECTIVE STORIES. Edited by Frank Armer, the former publisher of PEP, Bellem would be on board from day one, penning the adventures of Dan Turner, “six feet plus and one hundred ninety pounds of wisecracking, .38 toting, whisky-swilling, womanizing private eye.” The character would go on to fight, shoot, and kiss his way through a “good two hundred tales,” published in SPICY and SPEED DETECTIVE STORIES, as well as HOLLYWOOD DETECTIVE STORIES.

A prolific writer, Robert Leslie Bellem “knocked out hundreds of other stories, at one stretch selling about a million words of fiction per year.”

He wrote a variety of fiction including adventure, detective, western, mystery, weird and of course the sex farces. During the 1930s Bellem regularly appeared in the Trojan/Culture pulps SPICY DETECTIVE, SPICY MYSTERY, SPICY-ADVENTURE and PRIVATE DETECTIVE (and their later incarnations as the SPEED titles) both under his own name and a stable of pennames. On more than one occasion an entire issue of a pulp was comprised of works by Bellem under several names. Bellem also published fiction in REAL DETECTIVE STORIES, DETECTIVE FICTION WEEKLY, THRILLING DETECTIVE, MAMMOTH DETECTIVE, THE GHOST, THRILLING SPY STORIES, SUPER DETECTIVE, and POPULAR DETECTIVE, to name a few.

As the pulp market contracted and died, Bellem turned to the television industry, scripting for DICK TRACY, PERRY MASON, THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, 77 SUNSET STRIP, CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT, THE F.B.I., BROKEN ARROW, WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE, DEATH VALLEY DAYS, THE MILLIONAIRE, and others.

Join PulpFest 2017 on Thursday, July 27, at 9:40 PM as we welcome author, editor, and publisher John Wooley for a look at Robert Leslie Bellem and Dan Turner. Immediately following John’s talk, members of the Pulp-Pourri Theatre will perform a reading from one of Bellem’s entertaining tales of “Hollywood, U.S.A.’s number one gumshoe.”

One of the first books John Wooley sold — to Bowling Green State University Popular Press — was a collection of Dan Turner stories. He has since written, co-written, or edited over three dozen books, including the current HOMICIDE HIGHBALL: THE LOST DAN TURNER MOVIE SCRIPT (Bold Venture Press), which spotlights the alternative screenplay for the Dan Turner made-for-TV movie. John has also written comic books, trading cards, and thousands of magazine and newspaper stories, most of them in conjunction with his work as the music and horror-movie writer for the TULSA WORLD, a position he held from 1983 through 2006. Winner of the Lamont Award in 2006, Wooley is co-owner, with John McMahan, of the pulp-related Reverse Karma Press. In 2015, John was inducted into the Oklahoma Historians’ Hall of Fame.

(Beside the outrageous writing of Robert Leslie Bellem and his peers who wrote for Culture Publications, the Spicy line of pulp magazines is collected for the pulp art of the talented H. J. Ward and others. Ward contributed the cover illustration for the December 1937 number of SPICY DETECTIVE STORIESThe artist began working in the pulp industry in 1931, selling freelance pulp covers to many different publishers, including Munsey, Dell, Popular. However, the majority of his work was published by Culture/Trojan. Ward became the publisher’s top artist.

Many thanks to Tom Roberts of Black Dog Books for his highly informative afterword to CORPSE ON ICE, quoted in this article.)

 

Hardboiled Dicks: A Look at DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE

Jun 12, 2017 by

Matt Moring — the publisher of Altus Press and its fine line of pulp reprint and history volumes — turns an eye toward DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE on Saturday, July 29, at 9 PM. It’s all part of the celebration of hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos at PulpFest 2017.

Although the earliest pulps were general fiction magazines, the rough-paper rags eventually began to specialize. Pulps featuring aviation and war stories, fantasy and the supernatural, love and romance, the railroad, science fiction, sports, and other genres emerged. There were also titles devoted to prison yarns, firefighters, and even engineering stories. However, one of the longest lasting and most popular categories was the detective field. In fact, the first pulp magazine successfully dedicated to a single fiction genre was Street & Smith’s DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE.

Although a trailblazer as a specialty magazine, DETECTIVE STORY did little to further the development of the detective or crime story. That task would be left to its highly prized successors: BLACK MASK  — the pulp where the hardboiled detective story began to take shape — and DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — where the tough guy detective became extremely popular. Call them what you will — flatfoots, gumshoes, dime detectives, or private eyes  — it was these hardboiled dicks that transformed the traditional mystery story into the tough guy (and gal) crime fiction that remains popular to this very day.

Most critics site BLACK MASK MAGAZINE as the fertile ground where hardboiled detective fiction gathered its form. From 1923 through 1931, it reigned supreme as the home of the genre. Then, in 1931, Henry Steeger and Harold Goldsmith of Popular Publications introduced DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. Costing a nickel less than BLACK MASK, its appeal to the cash-strapped consumers of the Great Depression was hard to dispute. As Stefan Dziemianowicz wrote in his introduction to HARD-BOILED DETECTIVES (1992):

As added inducement, it was able to lure BLACK MASK regulars like Gardner, Nebel, Chandler, Norbert Davis, and Frederick C. Davis into its pages by paying them the princely sum of four cents per word — one cent more than BLACK MASK and quadruple the going pulp fiction rate. DIME DETECTIVE made only two stipulations to its authors: there were to be no novel serializations and the characters they created could not appear in competing magazines. The result was a looser and more varied magazine than BLACK MASK.

Before long, DIME DETECTIVE would become the best-selling title of the mystery-detective genre and the most popular magazine of its publishers’ line of pulp magazines. By the summer of 1933, it was appearing twice monthly, a schedule it maintained through June of 1935. It would be one of Popular’s longest lived titles, running for 274 issues — largely on a monthly basis — through its August 1953 number.

Running for twenty years, Popular Publications’ DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE published thousands of high-quality hard-boiled stories by hundreds of authors, eventually becoming the most respected detective pulp magazine behind BLACK MASK. However, DIME DETECTIVE excelled at introducing long-running series characters, something BLACK MASK normally didn’t do. These series characters run the gamut of quirky detectives, completely unique and offbeat: the types of investigators which had never been seen before (and rarely repeated with such skill since).

Matt Moring — who wrote the words above — is the publisher at Altus Press. Reprinting pulp fiction from a wide variety of pulp genres, including hero, detective, jungle, the French Foreign Legion, and more, Matt has quickly become one of the leading publishers in the pulp world. He has also published numerous historical works on the pulps including biographies, indices, and examinations of single-character magazines. Together with Will Murray, Matt revived the Doc Savage series, publishing brand new stories after a long absence. The Altus Press website is also an excellent reference source, featuring links to The Pulp Superhero Index and The ECHOES Index. Matt was our Munsey Award winner in 2012.

(In addition to employing some of the pulp industry’s leading authors, DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE also employed its leading artists, including the “king of the pulp artists,” Walter Baumhofer. The skilled brushes of artists such as Baumhofer — his work graces the cover of the January 1936 issue shown here — along with the experienced writers, low price, and continuing characters such as Vee Brown and Jack Cardigan helped DIME DETECTIVE to become the leading magazine of its field.)

Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “Return to the Sabbath”

Jun 10, 2017 by

For the last week or so, PulpFest‘s web posts have been discussing this year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch. The author of more than 200 stories, nearly thirty novels, and a large number of non-fiction articles, screenplays, and teleplays, Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulp magazines that are celebrated each summer at PulpFest.

Bloch discovered the pulp magazines in 1927, courtesy of his Aunt Lil. As he wrote in his autobiography, ONCE AROUND THE BLOCH: “And it was thus that I was introduced to a magazine which changed my life, my very first copy of WEIRD TALES. . . .”

It was through that magazine that Robert Bloch began a correspondence with the author H. P. Lovecraft. At the urging of “The Old Gentleman” — as Lovecraft called himself — Bloch began to write fiction. Before long, the young man was a published author: “But in July, 1934, less than a month after graduating from high school, I received a letter of acceptance for my story. . . . I had suddenly and almost miraculously become a professional writer, a contributor for the very magazine which published the work of my favorite author and present pen pal. . . .”

Robert Bloch’s early fiction was strongly influenced by Lovecraft and his “Cthulhu Mythos.” Bloch even made Lovecraft a central character in “The Shambler from the Stars,” published in the September 1935 WEIRD TALES. He also created two of the often cited texts of the Mythos, Ludwig Prinn’s DE VERMIS MYSTERIIS and Comte d’Erlette’s CULTES DES GOULES.

Following Lovecraft’s death in 1937, Bloch continued writing for WEIRD TALES. He became one of the magazine’s most popular authors, appearing in its pages nearly seventy times. Perhaps his best known tale for “The Unique Magazine” is “Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper,” published in the July 1943 number.

Whereas Lovecraft’s later fiction took on science fictional overtones, Bloch’s WEIRD TALES fiction was, by and large, ground in horror and the supernatural. For instance, from 1936 through 1938, a number of the author’s stories — “Fane of the Black Pharaoh,” “The Eyes of the Mummy,” “Beetles,” and others — were probably inspired by the 1932 Boris Karloff film, THE MUMMY. Others explored such horror motifs as voodoo, wax museums, and black magic. Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath,” originally published in WEIRD TALES for July 1938, is an example of the latter.

Originally published under Bloch’s Tarleton Fiske pseudonym, “Return to the Sabbath” was published when the author was twenty-one. Narrated in the first person by a Hollywood public relations man, it’s the story of a European actor brought to the United States to star in a satanic horror film. But the actor — who had dabbled in devil worship himself — disappears after he learns that a former colleague has been murdered in Paris by cultists. Bloch’s story was later adapted and filmed for television as “The Sign of Satan.” It aired on THE ALFRED HITCHCOCK HOUR in 1964.

On Friday, July 28, at 11 PM, PulpFest 2017 welcomes the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE to this summer’s convention. The group will be dramatizing Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath” in the old radio-play format. Based in Corpus Christi, PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

According to Narada’s Pete Lutz:

My life’s dream has been to create “radio” plays and be an actor in them. I was looking at copies of pulp magazine covers and followed a link to scans of pulp stories. I started reading them and immediately began to mentally dramatize them for audio. My wife came up with the name PULP-POURRI THEATRE. I feel this hints at the wide variety of pulp genres available. The possibilities are endless. There are thousands of pulp-fiction stories available. Action becomes dialogue. Narration becomes action. Once the last voice is “in the can”, I start production. Voices get cobbled together first, and then I add music and sound effects. Then I listen to it a half-dozen times to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything.

PULP-POURRI THEATRE embraces the thrilling world of pulp fiction from the last century. We present audio dramas with a few modern touches, such as full sound design. We bring you the most exciting stories from the finest pulp writers. We also throw in an occasional new story from a guest playwright.

The PulpFest 2017 cast of Narada Radio Company’s PULP-POURRI THEATRE will be Austin and Barbi Beach, Ross Bernhardt, Randy Coull, Derek, Keane, and Pete Lutz, and Greg and Rhiannon McAfee. Please join them at PulpFest 2017 from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of PSYCHO author Robert Bloch at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(Robert Bloch’s “Return to the Sabbath” originally ran in the July 1938 issue of WEIRD TALES, featuring front cover art by the great pulp and fantasy artist, Virgil Finlay. The artist got his start during the Great Depression when he sent unsolicited illustrations to his favorite pulp magazine, WEIRD TALES. In addition to “The Unique Magazine,” he also contributed interior illustrations and covers to AMAZING STORIES, ASTOUNDING STORIES, CAPTAIN FUTURE, FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, FANTASTIC NOVELS, GALAXY, STRANGE STORIES, SUPER SCIENCE STORIES, THRILLING WONDER STORIES, WORLDS OF TOMORROW, and other pulps and digests. Even today, Finlay remains one of the most highly regarded and collected artists in the fields of science fiction and fantasy.

Pete Lutz, the producer-director for the Narada Radio Company, used the August 1942 cover of SPICY ADVENTURE STORIES as the basis for his PULP-POURRI THEATRE advertisement. The artist is H. J. Ward, who painted many covers for the Spicy line of pulp magazines. For a great overview of this artist’s career, we suggest you track down a copy of David Saunders’ book H. J. WARD, published by The Illustrated Press in 2010.)

Pulp-Pourri Theatre Presents “The Adventures of Mr. Fye”

Jun 9, 2017 by

Following numerous requests, live theatre returns to this year’s PulpFest. On Thursday evening, July 27, at 11 PM PulpFest welcomes the Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE to this summer’s convention. Based in Corpus Christi, PULP-POURRI THEATRE is an audio drama anthology series that has its origins in vintage pulp fiction, but presents its stories in the modern way. Pete Lutz is the company’s producer-director. You can sample their work online or via iTunes.

“The Adventures of Mr. Fye” introduces a new hero inspired by classic pulp fiction and the single character hero pulps.

In her final moments of life, an ancient Chinese mystic passes on her powers to an unsuspecting police detective named “Jinx” Duncan. After a series of strange events, Jinx realizes that his life has been forever altered. He works to control his new powers and use them to help the innocent and battle crime. To do so, he becomes Mister Fye (say it with a New York accent and you’ll get the meaning).

According to Narada’s Pete Lutz, “PULP-POURRI THEATRE embraces the thrilling world of pulp fiction from the last century. We present audio dramas with a few modern touches, such as full sound design. We bring you the most exciting stories from the finest pulp writers. We also throw in an occasional new story from a guest playwright.”

The PulpFest 2017 cast of Narada Radio Company’s PULP-POURRI THEATRE will be Austin and Barbi Beach, Ross Bernhardt, Randy Coull, Derek, Keane, and Pete Lutz, and Greg and Rhiannon McAfee. Please join them at PulpFest 2017 from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to celebrate the “hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos” at PulpFest 2017. Don’t miss out on the chance to meet “Mr. Fye” at the “pop culture center of the universe.”

(The Narada Radio Company and their PULP-POURRI THEATRE will perform Pete Lutz’s original audioplay, “The Adventures of Mr. Fye,” at PulpFest 2017. The initial performance will be on Thursday evening, July 27, at 11 PM. There will be a special repeat performance on Saturday afternoon, July 29, at 3:30 PM. The company will also be performing a Dan Turner SPICY DETECTIVE reading and a Pat Savage reading at the convention. Watch for details in our upcoming posts. A new one appears every Monday through Friday here at pulpfest.com.

The Mr. Fye poster was created by Pete Lutz, based on a Robert O. Reid cover for the March 23, 1940 issue of COLLIER’S. The magazine was probably the number two general-interest magazine in America during the thirties, forties, and fifties, behind the SATURDAY EVENING POST. COLLIER’S ceased publication in 1957.)

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 winscotteckert.com 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.)

Robert Bloch — Renaissance Man of the Fantastic

May 22, 2017 by

This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch. The author of more than 200 stories, nearly thirty novels, and a large number of non-fiction articles, screenplays, and teleplays, Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulp magazines that are celebrated each summer at PulpFest.

During a long and productive career, Robert Bloch received a Hugo Award, the World Fantasy Life Achievement Award, the World Science Fiction Convention Special Lifetime Career Award, the Bram Stoker Award, and the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award. He also served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America in 1970 – 71. He was also the first Guest of Honor at a World Science Fiction Convention outside the United States, and the Guest of Honor at the first Bouchercon and the first World Fantasy Convention. Along with Hugh B. Cave, Robert Bloch was the Guest of Honor at Pulpcon 12.

When asked what he considered to be the highlights of his career, Robert Bloch replied: “My first sales — of a short story, of a novel . . . the sale of PSYCHO to films and its subsequent success. But the most satisfying and memorable moments have come with the conventions where I was invited to appear as guest of honor, the winning of various awards . . . the continuing interest of fans . . .”

Following Bloch’s death in 1994, the late Frank Robinson wrote: “He was a journeyman writer and entertainer, and had more experience in various writing forms — from political speeches to advertising to short stories, novels, articles, teleplays, and film scripts — than probably any other genre writer. But all of his stories, all of his movies, and all of his teleplays didn’t account for the feelings of affection that both fans and writers felt for him. . . . Robert Bloch was a man without malice. Almost everyone who met him sensed that, and almost everybody who met him loved him for it. It was impossible not to.”

Beginning at 8 PM on Friday, July 28, PulpFest 2017 will pay tribute to Robert Bloch. Join Professor Garyn G. Roberts for “100 Years with the Author of PSYCHO,” an illustrated survey of the life and times of Robert Bloch. This presentation will showcase many landmark events in the life of this writers’ writer, and will provide some little known details about this master of the pulpwoods and other popular media. Though he never met the author in person, Professor Roberts maintained a prolific, ongoing correspondence with Bloch until writer’s passing in 1994.

In Garyn’s words: “The story of our relationship via the mail means a great deal to me.  Though we never met in person, Mr. Bloch and I kept up a voracious correspondence to the point that I think I can call him a ‘friend.’ Particularly in the last months of his life, Mr. Bloch approached me and said that he wanted to send me some unique materials that I could incorporate into a book about him. I was tremendously honored that he chose me for this privilege, based on my previous publications of biographic history. He sent photos from Hollywood, unpublished writings, answers to interview questions and more, including an introduction for the book. He had also cleared all the rights for reprinting these for me. I am convinced that no twentieth century writer was more loved than Robert Bloch. Though under-appreciated in his time, many of us love him to this day. More than a very talented writer, Robert Bloch was a good man and a dear friend.”

Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D., is a college and university professor. He holds multiple literary and teaching awards. Roberts was born in northern Wisconsin, 100 miles north of Plainfield, where serial killer Ed Gein’s atrocities occurred. When Gein’s activities were discovered in late 1957, Roberts’ father was hunting. To this day, Roberts’ mother recounts how frightened she was at home alone in the Wisconsin woods — a 23-year- old newlywed — when the news from Plainfield broke. Robert Bloch’s classic novel, PSYCHO, was inspired by the Ed Geins murders.

PulpFest 2017 will take place from Thursday evening, July 27, through Sunday afternoon, July 30, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the city of Pittsburgh. You can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Just click the “Book a Room for 2017” link on our home page or call 1-800-222-8733. Be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the convention rate.

Start making your plans now to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of PSYCHO author Robert Bloch at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(Two of Robert Bloch’s major pulp markets were WEIRD TALES and the Ziff-Davis magazines, including AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC ADVENTURES.

Between 1935 and 1952, Bloch published nearly seventy stories in “The Unique Magazine,” including “The Cheaters” in the November 1947 issue. It featured cover art by Matt Fox. A cartoonist, illustrator, comic book and advertising artist, watercolorist, painter, and graphic artist, with lithographs, woodcuts, and etchings to his credit, Fox painted eleven covers for WEIRD TALES and also contributed interior illustrations to the magazine. He also worked for Marvel Comics during the 1950s.

After Robert Bloch published “The Man Who Collected Poe” in the October 1951 issue of FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES, he was asked to complete Poe’s unfinished story, “The Lighthouse.” Published in the January 1953 issue of FANTASTIC — with cover art by Robert Frankenberg — Bloch was extremely proud that very few people could tell where Poe left off and he began.)

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Robert Bloch’s PSYCHO: SANITARIUM

May 19, 2017 by

To the fans of pulp and genre fiction, Robert Bloch is known as the author of the classic, “Your’s Truly, Jack the Ripper,” the Lefty Feep stories for FANTASTIC ADVENTURES, his Lovecraft-inspired tales such as “The Shambler from the Stars” and “The Shadow from the Steeple,” and “That Hell-Bound Train,” a short story for which he received a Hugo Award in 1959. Mr. Bloch also served as a Pulpcon guest of honor in 1983.

To the world at large, Robert Bloch is best known as the author of PSYCHO, the novel that became the basis for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film of the same name. And so, to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mr. Bloch, PulpFest has asked author Chet Williamson to read from his novel, PSYCHO: SANITARIUM.

“The original PSYCHO novel by Robert Bloch was published in 1959 and became an instant hit, leading to the smash movie only a year later. It brought Norman Bates’s terrifying story into the public consciousness, where it still remains (proved by the success of the TV series BATES MOTEL). It took Bloch twenty-three years to write another PSYCHO novel, revealing that Norman had been in a mental institution the entire time. In that sequel, Norman quickly escapes the sanitarium and goes on a killing spree in Hollywood.

But what happened in that asylum during those two decades? Until now no one has known.

Chet Williamson’s parents took him to see the film of Robert Bloch’s PSYCHO when he was twelve, and he has been a reader and disciple of Bloch ever since. His stories have appeared in THE NEW YORKER, PLAYBOY, and many other magazines and anthologies. A collection of his stories received the International Horror Guild Award. He has twice been a final nominee for the World Fantasy Award and the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, and six times for the Horror Writers of America’s Stoker Award. A professional writer and actor, he has narrated more than thirty audiobooks.”

On Thursday, July 27, at 9:10 PM, Chet Williamson will read from his novel, PSYCHO: SANITARIUM at PulpFest 2017. It’s part of our salute to the life and work of Robert Bloch.

Join us July 27 – 30 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To register for PulpFest 2017, please click the Register for 2017 button just below the PulpFest home page banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click one of the Book a Room buttons likewise located on the PulpFest home page.

Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2017 and join hundreds of pulp and genre fiction fans and art lovers at the pop-culture center of the universe. You’ll have a maddening time, especially if you’re planning to stay at the DoubleTree! We look forward to seeing you.

(The quotes used in this post come from the dust jacket to PSYCHO: SANITARIUM, published in 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press. The jack was designed by Ervin Serrano.)

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Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch

May 17, 2017 by

Back in early April, we noted the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, best remembered for his novel PSYCHO. The author of more than 200 stories, nearly thirty novels, and a large number of non-fiction articles, screenplays, and teleplays, Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulp magazines that are celebrated each summer at PulpFest. At this year’s convention, we’ll be celebrating “100 Years of Robert Bloch” with a number of presentations.

One of our Bloch presentations will feature FarmerCon founder Michael Croteau, creator of Philip José Farmer’s Official Home Page and the publisher at Meteor House. Mike will be discussing Robert Bloch’s relationship with Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. In addition to being accomplished writers, both men were frequent guests and attendees at various science fiction and fantasy conventions. It was at the 1952 World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago that they struck up their long-lasting friendship.

Bloch — who was well known for his tongue-in-cheek sense of humor — often served as the toastmaster at convention banquets. At the 31st World Science Fiction Convention, held in 1973 in Toronto, Ontario, Bloch quipped:

“Then of course we have Philip José Farmer, one of the greatest innovators in our field, who stripped away much of the prudery and phoney taboos. More than twenty years ago Philip José Farmer dared to do what no one had ever done before. He wrote ‘The Lovers,’ a story in which a man had sexual relations with an insect. You might call it science fiction’s first case of buggery.” Greeted by groans from his audience, Bloch continued, “You hear that, Phil? That’s how the public is. Last year they give you a Hugo; this year they boo your name.”

Using photographs and other materials from the Farmer estate, Michael will regale PulpFest evening programming attendees with tales of the friendship between these two writers of science fiction and fantasy. Please join us on Friday, July 28, at 7:30 PM for “Philip José Farmer and Robert Bloch,” featuring FarmerCon‘s Michael Croteau. It’s all part of PulpFest 2017 and FarmerCon XII at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. To register for both conventions, please click the Register for 2017 button just below the PulpFest home page banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click one of the Book a Room buttons likewise located on the PulpFest home page.

Start planning now to attend PulpFest 2017 and FarmerCon XII and join hundreds of pulp fiction and Philip José Farmer fans at the pop-culture center of the universe. You’ll have a maddening time, especially if you’re planning to stay at the DoubleTree! We look forward to seeing you from July 27 – 30.

(Not only did Farmer and Bloch cross paths at science fiction conventions, they sometimes met up in the pages of books and magazines. Although he rarely submitted a truly “weird tale,” Farmer’s “The Freshman,” originally published in the May 1979 issue of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, owes a substantial debt to H. P. Lovecraft, who mentored Robert Bloch as a writer. In that same issue is Bloch’s short story, “Freak Show.” It concerns a traveling side show that appears unexpectedly at the Goober City Fairgrounds. David Hardy contributed the issue’s cover. An artist and illustrator from the United Kingdom, his work has appeared in ANALOG, IF, GALAXY SCIENCE FICTION, SCIENCE FICTION MONTHLY, VISION OF TOMORROW, and many issues of THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION.)

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