Countdown to PulpFest

May 28, 2018 by

It’s just sixty days to PulpFest 2018. On Thursday, July 26, be one of hundreds of pop-culture fans who will be arriving at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just nineteen miles north of the exciting city of Pittsburgh. Please click one of the Register buttons on our home page to learn how to join the annual summertime get-together for fans of popular fiction and art.

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be talking about our dealers, our terrific programming, our PULPSTER program book, the PulpFest auction, and much more. You can keep abreast of all these updates by bookmarking or liking our Facebook page. You can also follow us on Twitter where we’ll be tweeting about our home page updates. We’ll also be posting to a variety of Yahoo newsgroups including Pulpmags.

PulpFest is known for its superb programming. The presentations that we have planned for this year’s convention will be great! PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The convention will focus on the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century and the depiction of war in popular culture. We’ll also salute the centennial of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José FarmerJoin PulpFest 2018 and FarmerCon 100 for panels and presentations on the celebrated author of TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKEDOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and many other works. Also planned is a rare gallery showing of original art by acclaimed writer-illustrator Mark Wheatley.

The convention’s guest of honor will be award-winning author Joe LansdaleThe author of over forty novels and many short stories, Lansdale has also written for comics, television, film, Internet sites, and more. Joe will be talking with Tony Davis on Saturday evening, July 28, and be available at select times during the convention. We’d like to thank our sponsor for helping to bring Mr. Lansdale and his wife to PulpFest 2018.

Our dealers’ room will feature tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, genre fiction, series books, reference books, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and Golden and Silver Age comic books, as well as newspaper adventure strips.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to register for PulpFest 2018! There’s no other way for you to be part of our convention. While you’re at it, you can reserve a room at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry. Simply click one of the links on the PulpFest home page that reads “Book a Room.” Alternately, you can call 1-800-222-8733 to book a room by telephone. When calling, be sure to mention PulpFest to get the special convention rate. By staying at the DoubleTree by Hilton, you’ll help to ensure the convention’s success. Given its popularity, we urge every member to book a hotel room for PulpFest 2018 as soon as possible. The earlier you place your room reservation for this year’s PulpFest, the greater chance you will have of landing a room at this beautiful hotel.

Although the DoubleTree by Hilton is the ideal place to stay during the convention, we want everyone to be able to make it to the “pop culture center of the universe” and “Summer’s Great Pulp Con.” With our terrific programming line-up and our spacious dealer’s room, we want everyone to have a chance to attend PulpFest. Rest assured, you’ll have a FANTASTIC time! We look forward to seeing you at the DoubleTree from July 26 – 29 for PulpFest 2018.

(PulpFest 2018 will focus on the “war pulps” as part of its celebration of the centennial marking the end of World War I. The first magazine devoted to tales of war — WAR STORIES — was introduced by Dell Publishing in late 1926. About a year later, Fiction House issued the first aviation fiction magazine, AIR STORIES. The two genres were combined about half a year later when Dell’s WAR BIRDS hit the stands.

The pilots who flew and fought over Europe’s Western Front were naturals to a public starving for heroes and escape. Their exploits were told again and again in the magazines that followed the debut of WAR BIRDS: BATTLE BIRDS, DARE-DEVIL ACES, FLYING ACES, SKY FIGHTERS, WAR ACES, WINGS, and many others.

One of the more successful of the “air war” magazines was ACES. Published by Fiction House, it debuted at the end of 1928 and lasted for 74 issues. The May 1929 number featured cover art by H. C. Murphy. The artist — best remembered today for his BLACK MASK covers — painted many covers for the Fiction House line of pulps. His work can be found on ACES, ACTION STORIES, AIR STORIES, DETECTIVE BOOK MAGAZINE, FIGHT STORIES, LARIAT, WINGS, and other Fiction House titles.)

Armistice Day

Nov 6, 2017 by

The day when we honor all U. S. military veterans — November 11 — originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. The day became a national holiday in 1938 and was changed to Veterans Day in 1954.

One hundred years ago today, the struggle for the battered village of Passchendaele — officially called the Third Battle of Ypres — was drawing to a close. The town’s remnants would be reclaimed by British and Canadian forces on November 6, but the fighting would last four more days.

Edwin Vaughan– an officer of the 1st/8th Warwickshire Regiment of the British Expeditionary Force — wrote about the carnage in his journal:

“Up the road we staggered, shells bursting around us. A man stopped dead in front of me, and exasperated I cursed him and butted him with my knee. Very gently he said, “I’m blind, Sir” and turned to show me his eyes and nose torn away by a piece of shell. “Oh God! I’m sorry, sonny,” I said. “Keep going on the hard part,” and left him staggering back in his darkness . . . A tank had churned its way slowly behind Springfield and opened fire; a moment later I looked and nothing remained of it but a crumpled heap of iron; it had been hit by a large shell. . . .

From other shell holes from the darkness on all sides came the groans and wails of wounded men; faint, long, sobbing moans of agony, and despairing shrieks. It was too horribly obvious that dozens of men with serious wounds must have crawled for safety into new shell holes, and now the water was rising about them and, powerless to move, they were slowly drowning. Horrible visions came to me with those cries, (of men) lying maimed out there trusting that their pals would find them, and now dying terribly, alone amongst the dead in the inky darkness. And we could do nothing to help them; Dunham was crying quietly beside me, and all the men were affected by the piteous cries.”

On August 25, when he awoke to take muster, Vaughan’s worst fears were realized: “Out of our happy little band of 90 men, only 15 remained.”

Such were the horrors of Passchendaele and the “War to End All Wars.” In 1914 as war was declared, there were street celebrations across Europe. No one envisaged the stalemate of the trenchs nor the appalling casualties of four years of fighting. About 8.5 million soldiers on both sides of the conflict died of wounds and disease. According to the ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA“It has been estimated that the number of civilian deaths attributable to the war was higher than the military casualties, or around 13,000,000. These civilian deaths were largely caused by starvation, exposure, disease, military encounters, and massacres.”

Except for a single writer — Leonard Nason — stories about the First World War were very limited in the general fiction pulps. But as the rough paper magazines began to specialize in the teens and twenties, the first pulp devoted to tales of war would appear. Introduced by Dell Publishing in 1926, WAR STORIES would be followed by many others: BATTLE STORIES, WINGS, OVER THE TOP, DARE-DEVIL ACES, SKY FIGHTERS, and dozens more. Most disappeared by 1940 as another “Great War” was unfolding.

Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 will honor the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. The convention’s focus will be the so-called “war pulps” of the early twentieth century as well as the depiction of war in popular culture. Please join us at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City. We’ll also be celebrating the century mark of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. PulpFest and its associated convention — FarmerCon — will be saluting the acclaimed author of such works as ESCAPE FROM LOKITHE DARK HEART OF TIME, the classic Riverworld series, and more. Award-winning author Joe Lansdale will be PulpFest‘s guest of honor.

A soldier running along a corduroy track through Chateau Wood (photograph from the collection of the Imperial War Museum).

(H. C. Murphy painted the front cover art for the February 20, 1924 issue of ADVENTURE. Leonard H. Nason was featured on the cover for his short story, “Three Lights from a Match,” appearing in the issue.)

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