Happy Labor Day from PulpFest

Sep 7, 2020 by

On the day we honor America’s laborers, we’re taking a break. It’s hard work mounting a convention (or planning one in the middle of a pandemic), so the PulpFest organizing committee is happy to announce the addition of a new committee member as well as two new writers for the PulpFest website.

Please welcome Sara Light-Waller to the PulpFest organizing committee. Sara is already a familiar name to readers of the PulpFest website, but she is also a professional journalist and illustrator with over thirty years of experience. An accomplished new pulp fiction author/illustrator with two books out and more on the way, Sara is the winner of the 2020 Cosmos Prize for her illustrated short story, “Battle at Neptune.” A huge pulp fan, Sara is especially fond of science fiction pulps. The extent of her pulp fandom can best be measured by the oversized rendition of Frank R. Paul’s AMAZING STORIES cover that she painted on her garage. We are proud to have Sara join the PulpFest organizing committee and continue contributing to the PulpFest website.

Laurie Powers is the granddaughter of pulp author Paul S. Powers, Laurie was introduced to the pulp community in 2007 through the publication of PULP WRITER: TWENTY YEARS IN THE AMERICAN GRUB STREET, her grandfather’s memoir of writing for the pulps, especially WILD WEST WEEKLY. She has also edited several collections of her grandfather’s work in various genres, releasing a number of previously unpublished stories. In 2013, she helped to arrange the donation of her grandfather’s personal papers as well as more than 400 pulp magazines featuring his work to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University in Columbus. She is the author of QUEEN OF THE PULPS: THE REIGN OF DAISY BACON AND LOVE STORY MAGAZINE, which was published by McFarland Books in 2019. At PulpFest 2016, Laurie presented “100 Years of the Specialty Pulp — LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the Romance Pulp Phenomenon,” and was awarded the Munsey Award the same year. We are proud to announce Laurie will now be a regular contributor to the PulpFest website.

Christopher Ryan is an award-winning journalist and columnist in the Bronx and Manhattan, he also earned honors for playwriting, screenwriting, and acting. Chris is also the co-founder (as writer and performer) of a comedy troupe. He co-wrote a one-man show and performs stand-up comedy. For over three decades, Chris has been a close collaborator of author Alex Simmons. The two discuss all things creative on their TELL THE DAMN STORY podcast.  An accomplished independent author and publisher with over a dozen books to his name. Most of Chris’ work is focused on detectives Mallory and Gunner in a modern urban interpretation of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.” We are proud to announce Chris will now be a regular contributor to the PulpFest website.

If you are interested in volunteering for PulpFest, please click the “contact” button on our homepage and let us know how you can help. Thanks.

(The centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment that granted women the right to vote took place on August 18, 2020. So let’s celebrate this Labor Day with a look at Ray Bradbury’s and James B. Settles’ fantasy version of an underwater Rosie the Riveter, featured on the cover for the December 1944 issue of Ziff-Davis’ AMAZING STORIES.

Bradbury’s cover story, “Undersea Guardians” is a short horror story about merpeople who protect American ships from Axis submarines during the Second World War. Ziff-Davis editor, Ray Palmer, was known for publishing patriotic fiction in both AMAZING STORIES and FANTASTIC ADVENTURES during the American involvement in World War II.)

Introducing “PulpFest Profiles”

Aug 17, 2020 by

The pulp magazines of the early twentieth century have had a profound effect on popular culture across the globe. The fiction and art of the pulps reverberated through a wide variety of media — comic books, movies, paperbacks, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, video, anime, manga, role-playing games, and more.

PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these rough-paper magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and countless other creators over the years. Their influence extends to this very day.

In September, we’ll be introducing “PulpFest Profiles” to our homepage and social media sites. Appearing around the middle of each month, this exciting, new series will focus on contemporary creators who have been inspired by the throwaway fiction magazines called pulps. Our digest capsules about today’s pop culture creators will be orchestrated by a team of crack writers:

Sara Light-Waller has been a professional journalist and illustrator for over thirty years. She is also an accomplished new pulp fiction author/illustrator with two books out and more on the way. Sara is the winner of the 2020 Cosmos Prize for her illustrated short story, “Battle at Neptune.” A huge pulp fan, Sara is especially fond of science fiction pulps. The extent of her pulp fandom can best be measured by the oversized rendition of Frank R. Paul’s AMAZING STORIES cover that she painted on her garage. Sara is proud to be helping out with PulpFest to keep the stories and art alive and available to new readers who, as Sara puts it, “really need some whiz-bang in the face of the dystopian mess we’re living through.”

William Patrick Maynard is the licensed continuation author for the Sax Rohmer Literary Estate. His short fiction has been published in anthologies by Titan Books, Black Coat Press, Edge Publishing, Bold Venture Press, Riviere Blanche, Airship 27, and MX Books. He has authored over 250 articles for numerous magazines and websites. He has contributed Blu-ray commentary tracks and produced bonus features for releases by MGM, Shout Factory, Kino Lorber, and The Serial Squadron. Bill is on the editorial board of The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box and is a member of the PulpFest Organizing Committee where he serves as Assistant Director of Marketing and Afternoon Programming Director. He resides in Northeast Ohio.

Laurie Powers is the granddaughter of pulp author Paul S. Powers, Laurie Powers was introduced to the pulp community in 2007 through the publication of PULP WRITER: TWENTY YEARS IN THE AMERICAN GRUB STREET, her grandfather’s memoir of writing for the pulps, especially WILD WEST WEEKLY. She has also edited several collections of her grandfather’s work in various genres, releasing a number of previously unpublished stories. In 2013, she helped to arrange the donation of her grandfather’s personal papers as well as more than 400 pulp magazines featuring his work to the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University in Columbus. She is the author of QUEEN OF THE PULPS: THE REIGN OF DAISY BACON AND LOVE STORY MAGAZINE, which was published by McFarland Books in 2019. At PulpFest 2016, Laurie presented “100 Years of the Specialty Pulp — LOVE STORY MAGAZINE and the Romance Pulp Phenomenon,” and was awarded the Munsey Award the same year. Laurie resides in Virginia.

Christopher Ryan has worn many creative hats in his life. An award-winning journalist and columnist in the Bronx and Manhattan, he also earned honors for playwriting, screenwriting, and acting. Active in community service, Chris has also taught high school, co-founded (as writer and performer) an urban comedy troupe, co-wrote a one-man show, and performed stand-up comedy. For over three decades, Chris has been a close collaborator of author Alex Simmons. The two discuss all things creative on their TELL THE DAMN STORY podcast.  An accomplished independent author and publisher with over a dozen books to his name. Most of Chris’ work is focused on detectives Mallory and Gunner in a modern urban interpretation of Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.” Chris teaches at Hackensack High School in northern New Jersey where he lives with his wife and their twin sons.

For our initial “PulpFest Profile,” Sara Light-Waller will be joined by David & Daniel Ritter of First Fandom Experience. Father and son, the Ritters are working to recreate the sense of wonder that was experienced by the early fans of science fiction. Their recent books include THE EARLIEST BRADBURY and THE VISUAL HISTORY OF SCIENCE FICTION FANDOM, VOLUME 1.

Watch for the first “PulpFest Profile” on Monday, September 14. Later profiles will include Win Scott Eckert, Joe Lansdale, Will Murray, Alex Simmons, Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson, and other contemporary creators.

(One of the major themes of PulpFest 2021 will be a celebration of the 90th anniversary of THE SHADOW, A DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. The Street & Smith pulp magazine debuted with its April 1931 number. Pictured here is its December 1, 1932 number, featuring a profile of The Shadow painted by George Rozen.

The first single character or hero pulp, THE SHADOW revived a fiction format that had disappeared with the demise of the dime novels and story papers. Author Walter B. Gibson refashioned The Shadow — the sinister narrator of CBS Radio’s THE DETECTIVE STORY HOUR — into the first pulp hero. Gibson’s character was a dark and mysterious crime-busting super-sleuth who embodied the iconic power of classic villains like Dracula. The Shadow served as the template for other hero pulps and, later, scores of comic book superheroes. Gibson and his occasional fill-in, Theodore Tinsley, also introduced the concept of super-crooks and super-crime. Lasting 325 issues and spanning eighteen years, THE SHADOW pulp was canceled in 1949.

We hope you’ll join us next year in Mars, Pennsylvania for “Love in the Shadows,” a celebration of ninety glorious years of The Dark Avenger, 100 years of LOVE STORY MAGAZINE, and much more. You’ll find us at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry from August 18 – 21 for PulpFest 2021.)

Saturday’s New Fictioneers

May 7, 2019 by

PulpFest is proud that over 30 popular fiction writers will be attending our 2019 convention. “Back in the day,” 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 today’s pulp fiction!  On Friday and Saturday, we’ll feature nine authors reading from their works and answering questions from the audience.

Reading from their works on Saturday, August 17

12:30 – 1:05 PM — John C. Bruening.

John C. Bruening, along with Jim Beard, is the founder of Flinch Books, publisher of Bruening’s critically acclaimed Prohibition-era pulp hero series MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN that began with 2016’s HOUR OF DARKNESS and continues with the 2019 publication of THE ANNIHILATION MACHINE. Bruening has also edited Flinch Books‘  adventure, horror, and science fiction anthologies BIG TOP TALES, RESTLESS, and QUEST FOR THE SPACE GODS. A 35-year writing professional with a background in journalism and marketing, Bruening found his niche in evoking the pulp classics of yesteryear. Come meet John C. Bruening Saturday afternoon, August 17, at PulpFest and take home a copy of the greatest pulp hero to emerge since the Golden Age in his latest MIDNIGHT GUARDIAN adventure.

 

 

 

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Roger Alford.

Author Roger Alford has written five books in THE BLACK SPECTRE series thus far: GHOSTS IN THE ASYLUM, NO VICTORY WITHOUT SCARS, VENGEANCE WAITS AT THE DOOR, INVITATION TO DEATH, and DEATH IS A SILENT INTRUDER. He has also kicked off a brand new hardboiled series, HOLLYWOOD NEWSHAWK, with THE CITY BURNS AT NIGHT, adapted from his radio play. Alford’s works are published by his own imprint, Black Hood Press. Outside of the pulp world, Roger Alford is also webmaster of The Forbidden Zone, arguably the most comprehensive PLANET OF THE APES online resource. Come meet Roger Alford in person Saturday afternoon, August 17, at PulpFest and let him introduce you to both HOLLYWOOD NEWSHAWK and THE BLACK SPECTRE.

 

 

 

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Sara Light-Waller.

The author of the sci-fi horror thriller LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS and its sequel, ANCHOR, Sara Light-Waller is one of the few female pulp writers active in the field today. A talented illustrator as well as an author, Light-Waller has also penned four children’s books and published two coloring books. She serves as editor-in-chief of her own imprint, Lucina Press. A proponent of both the Coquille style of illustration and Neotopian storytelling, Sara is determined to let her art as both writer and illustrator make the world a better place. Come meet Sara Light-Waller in person at PulpFest on Saturday afternoon, August 17, and take a home a copy of both her sci-fi thrillers.

 

 

 

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Win Scott Eckert.

Win Scott Eckert is the author of HUNT THE AVENGER, recently released by Moonstone Books. He is also the coauthor with Philip José Farmer of the Wold Newton novel THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE and the author of THE SCARLET JAGUAR, both featuring Patricia Wildman, daughter of the pulp hero Doc Wildman, the bronze champion of justice. He coedited and contributed stories to three Green Hornet anthologies, and his short fiction tales of Zorro, The Avenger, The Phantom, The Lone Ranger, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Hareton Ironcastle, Captain Midnight, The Green Ghost, Phileas Fogg, Sexton Blake, The Domino Lady, Doc Ardan, Sherlock Holmes, and others can be found in various anthologies. A Honey West/T.H.E Cat crossover novel, A GIRL AND HER CAT (coauthored with Matthew Baugh), came out in 2014. Additionally, he is the editor of and a contributor to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE: PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER’S WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE — a 2007 Locus Awards finalist — and the coeditor with Christopher Paul Carey of TALES OF THE WOLD NEWTON UNIVERSE. He was the coeditor of FARMERPHILE from 2007–2009. His massive timeline of crossover stories — CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD— was published by Black Coat Press in 2010. In 1997, he launched the first Wold Newton website, The Wold Newton Universe. A tireless chronicler of Farmer’s idiosyncratic view of a broad shared universe, Eckert has shown remarkable fidelity to Farmer’s vision and serves as an inspiration to the many who have followed in his wake.

PulpFest 2019 will begin on Thursday, August 15, and run through Sunday, August 18.  Join PulpFest at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” of Pittsburgh. We’ll be celebrating “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories” at this year’s gathering. Click our Programming button below our homepage banner to get a preview of all the great presentations at this year’s event.

To join PulpFest 2019, click the Register button below our homepage banner. To book a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton — our host hotel — click the Book a Room button, also found on our homepage.

(Our featured image for this post is a photograph of an Underwood Portable typewriter from 1931. Writers believed to have used Underwoods — which “established the stereotype of a typewriter until the introduction of the IBM Selectric” — include Ray Bradbury, William S. Burroughs, Raymond Chandler, Daphne DuMaurier, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Faulkner, Erle Stanley Gardner, Robert A. Heinlein, Ernest Hemingway, Robert E. Howard, Sinclair Lewis, Henry Miller, Damon Runyon, Carl Sandburg, Upton Sinclair, James Thurber, and Orson Welles.)