Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences

May 17, 2019 by

Philip José Farmer is arguably the most influential pulp figure to emerge since the Golden Age. His Wold Newton family of crossover fiction provides the pulp equivalent of the Sherlockian Great Game for its many followers; continues to inspire sectarian groups who form their own variations of crossover chronologies; confounds or infuriates the most ardent canonical purists; and enriches the pulp community as a whole through the peerless research and scholarship into pulp history undertaken in its wake. Since 2011, PulpFest has partnered with FarmerCon to bring pulp fans the biggest and best pulp con in the East while hosting an annual gathering for Wold Newtonians to celebrate our shared literary family tree.

On Saturday, August 17, FarmerCon XIV showcases a panel discussion, “Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences” moderated by Paul Spiteri (co-editor of FARMERPHILE magazine and editor of the anthology, PEARLS OF PEORIA). The panel will explore the pulp origins and influences on some of Philip José Farmer’s most notable characters. It will also delve into Phil’s unique take on classic pulp characters in his writings, and the care and research he took to ensure they were treated with the reverence they deserved. Joining Paul on this panel will be a trio of distinguished and erudite pulp scholars.

Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D. has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. He has edited or co-edited some of the best collections from the pulps including A CENT A STORY: THE BEST FROM TEN DETECTIVE ACES, MORE TALES OF THE DEFECTIVE DETECTIVE IN THE PULPS, THE COMPLEAT ADVENTURES OF THE MOON MAN, THE MAGICAL MYSTERIES OF DON DIAVOLO, and THE COMPLEAT GREAT MERLINI SAGA. His THE PRENTICE HALL ANTHOLOGY OF SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY, a university-level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines. Professor Roberts was presented with the Munsey Award in 2013 to honor his many contributions to the pulp community.

Recently named the Director of Publishing for Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., Christopher Paul Carey is also among the most accomplished of the stable of licensed authors in THE WILD ADVENTURES OF EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS series. He is also the authorized continuation chronicler of Philip José Farmer’s KHOKARSA series that bridges the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Rider Haggard. Carey has authored the novels SWORDS AGAINST THE MOON MEN, BLOOD OF ANCIENT OPAR, HADON — KING OF OPAR, EXILES OF KHO, and THE SONG OF KWASIN. He is also a seasoned editor, comic book writer, essayist, and author of short fiction.

Fantasy and horror writer Jason Scott Aiken is also the host and producer of “Pulp Crazy,” a video podcast devoted to pulp magazines since its inception in 2013. Jason has used this forum to provide overviews of pulp characters and authors, delve into the many pulp genres, and review pulp stories and novels. Jason has also provided audio recordings from PulpFest, with particular coverage of FarmerCon.

Additionally, FarmerCon XIV will see the debut of Meteor House’s latest fantastic collection of stories by Philip José Farmer! GREATHEART SILVER AND OTHER PULP HEROES collects for the first time in hardcover the stories Phil wrote in the 1970s to pay tribute to the pulps he first devoured in his youth.  The volume also features an introduction by pulp historian and panel member, Garyn G. Roberts, Ph.D. The collection gathers rare material that originally appeared in Byron Preiss’ WEIRD HEROES and in the THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION.

GREATHEART SILVER AND OTHER PULP HEROES will debut at FarmerCon XIV, but can be pre-ordered now. Meteor House is offering an “Early Bird Special” discount for this fascinating collection of Farmer paying homage to his literary heroes.

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.

(Philip José Farmer was a child of the pulps. Born in 1918, the Science Fiction Grand Master grew up with the pulps. He particularly favored Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes. Running a close second was Lester Dent’s Doc Savage.

Farmer’s “biography” of Clark Savage, Jr. — DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE — was released by Doubleday in 1973. It featured dust jacket art by Walter Baumhofer, excerpted from the April 1935 issue of Street & Smith’s DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE.)