Get a Copy of THE PULPSTER #29

Aug 10, 2020 by

THE PULPSTER #29As Bill Lampkin — editor of THE PULPSTER — recently wrote: “While 2020 may be looking like the “Year Without Pulp Conventions,” we have something for you to look forward to — this year’s number of THE PULPSTER.”

The annual magazine for PulpFest will soon be available, despite the convention having been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Copies of THE PULPSTER #29 will be available for purchase through Mike Chomko, Books, one of the leading purveyors of pulp-related publications in the field.

This year’s Pulpster won’t be a regular edition. While not as thick as a Ziff-Davis AMAZING STORIES QUARTERLY, THE PULPSTER #29 will be almost twice as large as last year’s edition. Weighing in at 84 pages, plus covers, think of the forthcoming issue as THE PULPSTER ANNUAL . . . or PulpFest without the trip to Pittsburgh.

Like our canceled convention, the dual centennials of Ray Bradbury’s birth and the debut of BLACK MASK magazine are the focus of THE PULPSTER #29. To learn more about what’s inside the issue, read “Highlights from THE PULPSTER” on our homepage. Or click right here.

Copies of THE PULPSTER #29  will be available for shipping by early September. The cost of the new issue will be $15, plus postage. It will be mailed in a sturdy cardboard envelope. First-class postage should cost between $4 – 5 within the United States. Buyers from outside the United States should inquire about shipping charges, prior to placing an order.

If you’re interested in reserving your copy of THE PULPSTER #29, please contact Mike Chomko at or 2217 W. Fairview St., Allentown, PA 18104-6542. The magazine will also be available through Bud’s Art Books, Adventure House, and other purveyors of fine, pulp-related publications.

Please note that if you had registered for PulpFest 2020, you will not be receiving a complimentary copy of THE PULPSTER #29. This special issue of the convention’s award-winning programming book will only be available for purchase.

If you are looking for back issues, only four lightly bumped copies of THE PULPSTER #28 remain available. The per-copy cost is $10, postage paid within the United States. Buyers from outside the United States should inquire about shipping charges, prior to placing an order. All other issues of THE PULPSTER are out of print. Please order your copy of the remaining back number through Mike Chomko, Books before it sells out!

To learn more about THE PULPSTER, visit For questions about submissions to THE PULPSTER, write to Bill Lampkin at For questions about advertising in THE PULPSTER, write to Mike Chomko at

(The cover art for THE PULPSTER #29 was originally painted by Frank Kelly Freas’ artwork to illustrate Leigh Brackett’s and Ray Bradbury’s “Lorelei of the Red Mist,” for the Fall 1953 issue of TOPS IN SCIENCE FICTION, originally published by Fiction House.

For those who had already registered for PulpFest 2020, the convention will be more than happy to refund your registration fee. However, if you’d like to attend PulpFest 2021, the convention will honor your 2020 registration for next year’s convention at no additional cost to you. These offers apply to both regular attendees and dealers. Please write to the convention’s chairman, Jack Cullers, at or by regular mail at 1272 Cheatham Way, Bellbrook, OH 45305 with any questions or concerns. 

PulpFest 2021 will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry in Mars, Pennsylvania from August 18 – 21, 2021.)


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Space Operas in the Sky

Jun 6, 2014 by

Planet Stories 39-WAlthough Fiction House had been around since the 1920s, it waited until 1939 to enter the science-fiction field. A year before, it had joined the comic book industry with Jumbo Comics, home to Sheena, “Queen of the Jungle.” Perhaps trying to hedge its bets, Fiction House launched a science-fiction pulp, Planet Stories, and a science-fiction comic book, Planet Comics, at the same time.

Over the years, Fiction House had developed a reputation for offering action-packed stories of adventure in its pulps. Planet Stories would prove to be no exception to this rule. Over its 71 issues, the rough-paper magazine would be home to countless science-fiction adventure stories called “space operas.”

In her introduction to The Best of Planet Stories #1, acclaimed author and screenwriter Leigh Brackett writes: “Planet, unashamedly, published “space opera” . . . . a story that has an element of adventure . . . . of great courage and daring, of battle against the forces of darkness and the unknown . . . The so-called space opera is the folk-tale, the hero-tale, of our particular niche in history . . . . These stories served to stretch our little minds, to draw us out beyond our narrow skies into the vast glooms of interstellar space, where the great suns ride in splendor and the bright nebulae fling their veils of fire parsecs-long across the universe; where the Coal-sack and the Horsehead make patterns of black mystery; where the Cepheid variables blink their evil eyes and a billion nameless planets may harbor life-forms infinitely numerous and strange.”

Running from 1939 – 1955, the early issues of Planet Stories featured writers such as Eando Binder, Nelson Bond, Ray Cummings, Ed Earl Repp, and Ross Rocklynne. By the middle-forties, Leigh Brackett and Ray Bradbury reigned supreme with the former offering seventeen “science fantasies,” while the latter introduced readers to The Martian Chronicles. They were joined by less-acclaimed authors such as Alfred Coppel, Gardner F. Fox, Henry Hasse, Emmett McDowell, and Basil Wells. The late forties and early fifties found the magazine publishing work by Poul Anderson, James Blish, Philip K. Dick, Chad Oliver, Mack Reynolds, and other greats who would go on to develop science fiction’s modern era.

Planet Stories 42-WPerhaps it was Planet Stories’ emphasis on cover art with a strong dose of sex—usually imagined by Allen Anderson or Frank Kelly Freas—that helped turn “space opera” into a pejorative term. Per Leigh Brackett, “It was fashionable for a while, among certain elements of science-fiction fandom, to hate Planet Stories. They hated the magazine, apparently, because it was not Astounding Stories.” For seventy-one issues, rather than aiming for the cerebrum, it aimed for the gut. Who is to say that one target is more valid than the other?