Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy — Part Two

Jul 9, 2019 by

Yesterday, we learned about the “Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy” from the past. Today, we’d like to discuss two PulpFest members who are among today’s “Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy.”

It goes without saying that we consider Sara Light-Waller one of our “Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy.” Sara is one of more than thirty fiction writers who will be attending PulpFest 2019. An avid reader of pulp science fiction stories, Sara writes and illustrates her fiction in the manner of the Golden Age science fiction from the 1930’s and 40’s. She is the author of ANCHOR: A STRANGE TALE OF TIME and LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS. Published by Sara’s Lucina Press, they are both available through Amazon.

In 2018, we asked Sara if she’d be interested in writing posts about the first issues of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES and AIR WONDER STORIESShe quickly agreed and offered to write a third post about a subject dear to her heart: the women who helped to develop the science fiction genre. This time, it was our turn to immediately accept the offer.

Sara Light-Waller will be one of our “New Fictioneers” readers on Saturday, August 17, at PulpFest 2019.

Heidi Ruby Miller is our other PulpFest member who we consider to be among the “Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy.”

With degrees in Anthropology, Geography, Foreign Languages, and Writing, Heidi knew early that penning fast-paced, exotic adventures would be her life. One of the founders of Dog Star Books — the science fiction adventure imprint of Raw Dog Screaming Press — Heidi is the author of the AMBASADORA series and the Meteor House bestseller, MAN OF WAR. She also teaches creative writing at Seton Hill University, where she graduated from their renowned Writing Popular Fiction Graduate Program. Between writing and teaching, Heidi travels the world with her husband, writer Jason Jack Miller.

Earlier this year, Heidi represented PulpFest in a documentary produced by WQED Pittsburgh concerning pulp artist Gloria Stoll Karn. It’s part of a documentary entitled VISIBLE that aired on WQED, the nation’s first community-supported television station.

Heidi has also penned an article called “New Pulp” for the July 2019 issue of THE WRITER. Based on a class she taught in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program, it concerns the resurgence of this popular fiction genre. The issue is currently available through bookstores and finer newsstands.

A resident of Pittsburgh, Heidi will be part of the Dog Star Books portion of the Raw Dog Screaming Press Rapid-Fire Read and Sweet Sixteen Celebration on Saturday, August 17. She’ll also be hosting our “Popular Fiction from Seton Hill” presentation immediately prior to the Dog Star Celebration on Saturday morning.

Be sure to have the opportunity to meet these two contemporary “Heroines of Science Fiction and Fantasy” by registering for PulpFest 2019 today. You can join the convention by clicking the Register button below our home page banner. If you’d like to pay for your membership via Paypal, you’ll find our Paypal link on our registration page.

If you are not from the Pittsburgh area and have yet to book your room for this year’s PulpFest, you can book your room directly through the PulpFest website. Below our banner, you’ll find a link that reads “Book a Room.” Click on this link and you’ll be redirected to a secure site where you can book a room at the DoubleTree. You can also reserve a room by calling 1-800-222-8733. Please be sure to mention PulpFest in order to receive the special rate. Thanks so much to everyone who has reserved a room at our host hotel. By staying at the DoubleTree, you’ve helped to ensure the convention’s success.

(The daughter of a playwright and a painter, is it any wonder that Sara Light-Waller became both writer and illustrator? Pictured here is the cover art for her first “scientifiction” adventure story, LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS, published by Lucina Press in 2017. To learn more about Sara and her work, please visit her Facebook page, Twitter feed, or her Instagram site.)

 

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Jul 5, 2019 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With over 3,200 likes on Facebook, hundreds of followers on Instagram, and nearly 1,100 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. Stories like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Apes” and Max Brand’s “Destry Rides Again” really got things moving.

The pulps started to flourish following the introduction of specialized magazines such as DETECTIVE STORY and LOVE STORY. Publishing legends BLACK MASKWEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted during the 1920s. The early thirties introduced the hero pulps, while science fiction exploded as the world went to war in 1939.

By the early fifties, the pulps had largely disappeared. Although displaced by paperback books, comics, radio, television, movies, and more, the rough-paper periodicals had a profound effect on popular culture across the globe. They inspired everything from STAR WARS and JURASSIC PARK to Batman and Spider-Man. The fiction and art of the pulps reverberated through comic books, movies, paperbacks, television, and even anime and role-playing games.

PulpFest 2019 will focus on the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired and continue to inspire creators. We’re calling this year’s theme, “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture. To see what PulpFest is all about, click the Programming button below our home page banner to get a taste for the topics that we’ll explore in 2019.

Beyond our programming, the PulpFest dealers’ room will feature tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, genre books, original art, first edition hardcovers, series books, reference books, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, dime novels and story papers, Big Little Books, B-Movies, serials and related paper collectibles, old-time radio shows, and collectible comic books and newspaper adventure strips.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, August 15, through Sunday afternoon, August 18, 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 button below the PulpFest banner to “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.

Start planning now to join PulpFest 2019 at the “pop culture center of the universe.” You can join the convention by clicking the Register button below our home page banner. If you’d like to pay for your membership via Paypal, you’ll find our Paypal link on our registration page.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine.

Burroughs’ Tarzan is the most famous character to emerge from the pulps. Others include Zorro, Conan the Barbarian, Dr. Kildare, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Sam Spade, Doc Savage, and Cthulhu.

Come to PulpFest 2019 and learn how the pulps continue to inspire the world’s pop culture creators.)

Confluence: Pittsburgh’s SF Convention

Jun 24, 2019 by

Confluence convention logo

 

Confluence is Pittsburgh’s longest-running literary conference. It is organized by Parsec, a non-profit organization that has been promoting science fiction, fantasy and horror in literature, media and music for over 25 years. Joe Coluccio, who has attended PulpFest for several years, serves as the president of Parsec.

Every summer, award-winning authors, editors, artists and song-writers gather in Pittsburgh for three full days, holding panel discussions, concerts and talks that broaden and deepen appreciation of the genres. Welcoming and personal, Confluence gives attendees a unique opportunity to meet and chat with the writers and artists who create the science fiction, fantasy, and horror of today, helping to shape those genres for the future.

This year’s Confluence will offer many activities including an exciting dealers’ room, science programming, art show, poetry readings, workshops, art demos, a cosplay/costume contest, musical filk concerts, and Saturday night entertainment.

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Tobias S. Buckell will be the Confluence 2019 Guest of Honor. Buckell grew up in Grenada and spent time in the British and U. S. Virgin Islands, which influence much of his work. His novels and over seventy stories have been translated into nineteen different languages. His work has been nominated for awards like the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus, and the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author.

Nebula, World Fantasy, and Endeavour award nominee Cat Rambo will conduct two Writers’ Workshops at Confluence. A select number of authors will have the chance to have their work critiqued. There is no additional fee for the writing workshops, however, paid membership to the Confluence conference is required for all workshop participants. Participation is limited to one workshop per person.

Award-winning filk writer and performer Michael “Moonwulf” Longcor will also be appearing at the 2019 Confluence.

This year’s Confluence will begin on Friday, July 26, at 3 PM. The convention continues on Saturday, July 27, from 9 AM until 10 PM, and Sunday, July 28, from 9 AM until 3 PM. Confluence will take place at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel, 1160 Thorn Run Road in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Parking is free if you are staying at the hotel, or attending the convention.

An advance, full-weekend adult membership is $50 through June 30, 2019. Children from 6 – 12 years old are $25 through June 30. After that date, at-the-door prices apply. For additonal information about registration, please visit the Confluence website.

In her 2018 convention report, Brenda Clough writes, “You can meet everybody in attendance here and talk to nearly everybody, and converse with all the pros . . . . Confluence is a con worthy of attention!“

(While you’re awaiting PulpFest 2019 — beginning on Thursday, August 15, and running through Sunday, August 18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry — Confluence may just be your ticket to happiness. Tell them PulpFest sent you!)

Wonder in the Air

Jun 12, 2019 by

Imagine the delights of flying when airplanes were new. The excitement of air circuses, wing walkers, and barnstormers. Think of the brave flying aces whose tremendous feats of courage helped us win the Great War. This was the atmosphere ninety years ago when Hugo Gernsback launched AIR WONDER STORIES on June 12, 1929.

In truth, the accuracy of the stories’ science is soft, although there is real information about contemporary planes and flying in each issue. The Frank R. Paul covers show spectacular flying machines and cities, all of which seemed appropriately futuristic.

In June 1929 there were over a dozen air-oriented magazines available on the newsstands. Gernsback was riding a popular wave with AIR WONDER STORIES, a pulp that would tell “flying stories of the future, strictly along scientific-mechanical technical lines, full of adventure, exploration and achievement.”

But the magazine was short-lived, running briefly for eleven issues from July 1929 until May 1930. After this, it merged with SCIENCE WONDER STORIES to become, WONDER STORIES. During its short run Hugo Gernsback was editor-in-chief, David Lasser was listed as Literary Editor and Frank R. Paul, Art Director.

Each issue included a letters column, “News of Aviation,” an “Aviation Quiz,” and later, a column called “Aviation Forum,” which answered questions and explained general principles of powered flight.

The stories were a mix of new and old, with some reprints from Gernsback’s earlier magazines. Well-known writers such as Edmond Hamilton, Jack Williamson, Victor McClure, George Allan England, and Harl Vincent appeared in its pages.

The “News of Aviation” column speculated on the future of flight. In the first few issues we see articles about —  giant airships planned for the United States Navy, the practicality of telephone service on airplanes, and quotes from the Graf Zeppelin director about how to make plane flights profitable. We also discover that a flight from New York to Siberia will soon take a mere five days by air. Also that, the Mayflower Fire and Marine Insurance Company will soon offer insurance policies against airplane crashes in suburban areas.

The first issue covered a variety of story topics including — robot flying machines, anti-gravity, and Eugenics. The latter is the central theme of “Men with Wings” by Leslie Stone, a pseudonym for a female writer named Leslie F. Silverberg née Rubenstein (1905-1991).

The September 1929 issue includes a letter of praise for the magazine from 14-year-old Henry Kuttner, enthusing about the stories in the premiere issue, specifically — “Ark of the Covenant,” “Islands of the Air,” and “Men with Wings” which he found to be “splendid.” It is in Gernsback’s response to Kuttner’s letter where we discover that Leslie Stone, is a woman, not a man, as Kuttner had assumed.

AIR WONDER STORIES filled a niche that we can barely imagine today. Our dreams have moved on and those old stories seem almost shocking in their limited scope. But, at the time, they spurred visions for readers, and upcoming authors such as Henry Kuttner, to build upon and create their own speculative dreams of the future.

(Sara Light-Waller is one of more than thirty fiction writers who will be attending PulpFest 2019. An avid reader of pulp science fiction stories, Sara writes and illustrates her fiction in the manner of the Golden Age science fiction from the 1930’s and 40’s.  She is the author of ANCHOR: A STRANGE TALE OF TIME and LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS.

Sara will be one of our “New Fictioneers” readers on Saturday, August 17, at PulpFest 2019.

The official release date of the July 1929 AIR WONDER STORIES — featuring cover art by Frank R. Paul — is thanks to Mike Ashley and Robert A. W. Lowndes, writing in THE GERNSBACK DAYS (2004).

The final issue of AIR WONDER STORIES was dated May 1930. There were a total of eleven issues. After AIR WONDER STORIES and SCIENCE WONDER STORIES were combined to form WONDER STORIES, the magazine had a run of seventy-eight issues. The final issue of WONDER STORIES was dated April 1936. The title was then sold to Standard Magazines. It returned to the stands as THRILLING WONDER STORIES during the summer of 1936.

For a brief look at the history of this classic pulp magazine and its various incarnations, please see our post, “The Sense of Wonder (Stories),” published on our website on May 5, 2014.)

 

A Story of WONDER

May 3, 2019 by

The first issue of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES hit the newsstands ninety years ago, on May 3, 1929. Behind the dramatic Frank R. Paul cover were included five short stories, the beginning of a serialized novel — “The Reign of the Ray” by Fletcher Pratt and Irvin Lester — a science quiz (with the answers in the issue’s stories), an essay contest, and “Science News of the Month.” SCIENCE WONDER STORIES ran for twelve issues dated June 1929 through May 1930. David Lasser was managing editor and Hugo Gernsback was publisher and editor-in-chief.  Each issue had a fantastic Frank R. Paul cover.

In the magazine’s first issue, Gernsback stated — “We live and breathe day by day in a Science saturated atmosphere. The wonders of science no longer amaze us — we accept each new discovery as a matter of course . . . SCIENCE WONDER STORIES supplies the need for scientific fiction and supplies it better than any other magazine . . . . who are readers of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES? Everybody. Bankers, ministers, students, housewives, bricklayers, postal clerks, farmers, mechanics, dentists — every class you can think of — but only those with imagination. And as a rule, only those with intelligence and curiosity . . . . It augers well for the future of science fiction in America.

Gernsback claimed that science fiction was educational and stated that, “Teachers encourage the reading of this fiction because they know that it gives the pupil a fundamental knowledge of science and aviation.

The first issue of the magazine included an essay contest on the topic of “What Science Means To Me.” Jack Williamson won First Honorable Mention for “Tremendous Contribution to Civilization” and E. E. Doc Smith snagged Second Honorable Mention with  “A Scientist-Author Speaks.” The winning entry (gaining the author fifty dollars) by B. S. Moore was entitled — “The Door to the World of Explanation.”

In “Science News of the Month” we learned that Peyote was legal in Paris, although this was controversial. The General Electric Company had produced electric eyes to turn on lights when a room darkened below a certain threshold or by arrangement with a time clock. Also, that television images of persons and objects were broadcast by Station W2XBS in New York City from 7 to 9 P. M. Eastern Standard Time on the radio channel from 2,000 to 2,100 kilocycles. Twenty complete pictures were broadcast every second. Science and wonder indeed!

In subsequent issues, Gernsback introduced us to “The Wonders of Gravitation” and “The Problems of Space Flying.” “Science News of the Month” included a machine that set type by voice, and a robot money-changer that rejected spurious coins while scolding: “Please use good coins only.”

All of this was padding for the stories, of course. Raymond Z. Gallun made his debut here. Other authors included Miles J. Breuer, Stanton A. Coblentz, David H. Keller, Laurence Manning, Fletcher Pratt, Harl Vincent, and Jack Williamson.

In 1930, Gernsback merged SCIENCE WONDER STORIES with its companion magazine, AIR WONDER STORIES, to create WONDER STORIES. Reports vary as to why this merger occurred — weak sales, Gernsback’s poor relationships with his writers, or needed space in the publishing schedule for AVIATION MECHANICS. Perhaps the SCIENCE WONDER STORIES concept was just not working. In an editorial a few months before the last issue, Gernsback commented that the word “Science” in the magazine’s title “. . . has tended to retard the progress of the magazine, because many people had the impression that it is a sort of scientific periodical rather than a fiction magazine.” Whatever the truth, the last issue of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES went on sale in April of 1930.

The magazine is fondly remembered, despite its short run. Gernsback’s idea of selling science to the masses might have been a gimmick, or he might have been serious in his belief that our imaginations are enriched by super science. Either way, the goal of stimulating the imagination through science remains a good one, no matter what Gernsback’s true motivations.

Looking for your own copy of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES? Fans of genre fiction, original artwork, and vintage pulp magazines will find treasures galore at PulpFest 2019. The convention runs from Thursday, August 15, through Sunday, August 18, and is held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, nineteen miles north of Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s theme is “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories.” Find out more about PulpFest’s great programming, register for the convention, and book a room at the DoubleTree from the convention’s home page. Then join us in August for a WONDERful immersion into the world of the pulps.

(Sara Light-Waller is one of more than thirty fiction writers who will be attending PulpFest 2019. An avid reader of pulp science fiction stories, Sara writes and illustrates her fiction in the manner of the Golden Age science fiction from the 1930’s and 40’s.  She is the author of ANCHOR: A STRANGE TALE OF TIME and LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS.

Sara will be one of our “New Fictioneers” readers on Saturday, August 17, at PulpFest 2019.

The official release date of the June 1929 SCIENCE WONDER STORIES — featuring cover art by Frank R. Paul — is thanks to Mike Ashley and Robert A. W. Lowndes, writing in THE GERNSBACK DAYS (2004).

Between the twelve issues of SCIENCE WONDER STORIES and the combined WONDER STORIES, the magazine had a run of seventy-eight issues. The final issue of WONDER STORIES was dated April 1936. The title was then sold to Standard Magazines. It returned to the stands as THRILLING WONDER STORIES during the summer of 1936.

For a brief look at the history of this classic pulp magazine and its various incarnations, please see our post, “The Sense of Wonder (Stories),” published on our website on May 5, 2014.)

One Hundred Years of THE THRILL BOOK

Feb 25, 2019 by

A century ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs, George Allan England, A. Merritt, and others were spinning scientific romances and fantasies for the general fiction magazines. THE ALL-STORY editor Robert H. Davis called such tales, “different.”  “Off Trail” was how Arthur Sullivant Hoffman of ADVENTURE described the story type.

In 1919, Street & Smith circulation manager Henry Ralston, decided to launch “a magazine wholly devoted to different stories.” Unfortunately, he also selected the inexperienced and inept Harold Brainerd Hersey to helm his new magazine.

In a 1955 autobiographical essay, Hersey suggested that, “No one, anywhere, had come up with the notion that this kind of story was leading in a definite direction, except Bill Ralston . . . . others like myself were keenly interested in futuristic stories, but none of us visualized a magazine given over to it entirely.” So began the legend that Street & Smith’s THE THRILL BOOK was the world’s first science fiction and fantasy magazine.

Inpatient to get things underway, Hersey mailed a two-page letter to potential writers for THE THRILL BOOK:

“We are strongly desirous of securing strange, bizarre, occult, mysterious tales . . . We are also in the market for clean, swiftly moving adventure serials, novelettes, and short stories . . . In this magazine accent is laid on the curious twist; the strange angles of human nature; the coming into contact with an unseen world; miraculous but logical happenings; thrilling occult stories with any background either here or in foreign lands; adventures of extraordinary speed and absorbing interest; mysterious occurrences; spiritual and ghostly narratives; romantically woven novelettes and serials, and whimsical things. If you have an idea which you have considered too bizarre to write, too weird or strange, let us see it.”

Hersey’s notice left THE THRILL BOOK open to any kind of story — adventure, mystery, fantasy, romance, or whatever — as long as it was unusual. With a limited budget and imagination, the new editor relied on his friends, former dime novelists, untried authors, and his own poetry to fill out the magazine.

The first issue of THE THRILL BOOK carried the date March 1, 1919. Published as a semi-monthly in the dime novel format, it featured “Wolf of the Steppes” as its cover story, It was probably the high point of Hersey’s editorship. Credited to Greye La Spina, this werewolf story was the first published work of Fanny Greye Bragg. The author would later become an important contributor to WEIRD TALES.

After eight issues, THE THRILL BOOK became a pulp. It also had a new editor — Ronald Oliphant — after Hersey was canned. Although he turned toward Hoffman’s ADVENTURE for inspiration, Oliphant would also publish some of the magazine’s best science fiction. He serialized Gertrude M. Barrows’ dystopian “The Heads of Cerberus” over five issues. Published under the author’s Francis Stevens pseudonym, it was probably the best story to appear in THE THRILL BOOK. Oliphant also ran two early Murray Leinster science fiction novellas.

The sixteenth and final issue of THE THRILL BOOK was dated October 15, 1919. Interestingly, it included two science fiction tales, both by female writers: the concluding segment of Francis Stevens’ “The Heads of Cerberus” and Greye La Spina’s “The Ultimate Ingredient.”

If only THE THRILL BOOK had employed an experienced editor from its start and adhered to the Hersey-described visions of Henry Ralston, perhaps its story would have been very much “different.”

(The final issue of THE THRILL BOOK — dated October 15, 1919 — featured cover art by James Reynolds. The cover story — Murray Leinster’s “Juju” — is an adventure tale.

To learn more about THE THRILL BOOK, see Richard Bleiler’s THE ANNOTATED INDEX TO THE THRILL BOOK, published by Borgo Press in 1991; Sam Moskowitz’s description of the magazine in UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS: A HISTORY AND ANTHOLOGY OF “THE SCIENTIFIC ROMANCE” IN THE MUNSEY MAGAZINES, 1920-1920, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1970; and Will Murray’s “The THRILL BOOK Story,” featured in PULP VAULT #14, still in print from Black Dog Books and available via Amazon.)

Children of the Pulps and Other Stories

Dec 3, 2018 by

About PulpFest!

 

So what’s PulpFest? Is it one of those things where people walk around wearing costumes? Is it a comic book convention? What’s pulp?

Do these questions sound familiar?

Because of their painted covers, people often mistake pulps for comic books. But the two are quite different.

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. Stories like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Tarzan and the Apes” and Max Brand’s “Destry Rides Again” really got things moving.

The pulps started to flourish following the introduction of genre magazines like DETECTIVE STORY and LOVE STORY. Publishing legends BLACK MASKWEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted during the 1920s. The thirties introduced the hero pulps and weird horror magazines. Science fiction exploded as the world went to war in 1939.

By the early fifties, the pulps had essentially disappeared. Although a few continued as digest magazines, most vanished due to competition from paperback books, comics, radio, television, movies, and more. But the fiction and artwork that had appeared in the rough-paper periodicals kept them alive for scattered collectors.

These hearty pulp enthusiasts gradually assembled astounding collections of these rough and ragged magazines. Eventually,  they formed a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps 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 and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video, anime, and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

Programming for PulpFest 2019

PulpFest 2019 postcardPulpFest is the summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials. It seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, game designers, and other creators over the years.

Our 2019 convention will focus on the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have inspired and continue to inspire creators. We’re calling this year’s theme “Children of the Pulps and Other Stories,” an examination of the pervasive influence of pulp magazines on contemporary pop culture. Our planned schedule appears below.

Please join PulpFest 2019 for our celebration of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and more. We’ll be back at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just north of Pennsylvania’s “Steel City” in Mars, PA. Click the button below the PulpFest banner to “Book a Room.”

If you enjoy  genre writers such as J. K. Rowling, Lee Child, Michael Connelly, John Scalzi, or Stephen King, you’ll love PulpFest!

 

PulpFest 2019 Schedule

Thursday, August 15

Dealers’ Room

3:00 PM – 10:00 PM — Dealers’ Room Set-Up

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM — Member Registration and Early-Bird Shopping

Evening Programming

8:15 – 9:00 PM — Bob Davis — Grandfather of Science Fiction (Gene Christie)

9:05 – 9:50 PM — A Century of Zorro — (Rich Harvey)

9:55 – 10:40 PM — Hollywood Pulp — From Pulp Page to the Silver Screen (Ed Hulse)

10:45 – 11:30 PM — Two Sought Adventure — Eighty Years of Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser (Jason Aiken & Morgan Holmes)

11:40 – 1:00 AM — Fu Manchu Film Festival (William Patrick Maynard)

Friday, August 16

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

Author Readings — Today’s Fictioneers

11:00 – 12:20 AMRaw Dog Screaming Press Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration (Publisher Jennifer Barnes)

Readings by Mike Arnzen, Carrie Gessner, John Edward Lawson, Jason Jack Miller, and Stephanie Wytovich, plus coffee, tea, and sweets, compliments of the publisher

12:30 – 1:05 PM — Wayne Carey, author of Quatermain: The New Adventures

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Craig McDonald, author of The Hector Lassiter Series

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Joab Stieglitz, author of The Utgarda Series

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Christopher Paul Carey, The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs Series and The Khokarsa Series author, will be moderating our “Enter the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe” at this time

3:10 – 3:50 PM — William Patrick Maynard, authorized author of Fu Manchu

Afternoon Programming

1:30 – 2:30 PM — Author SigningsJohn Locke, Will Murray, and Chet Williamson will be available for signings at our main entrance

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Enter the Edgar Rice Burroughs Universe (featuring Matt Betts, Win Scott Eckert, and Heidi Ruby Miller, with Christopher Paul Carey moderating)

2:30 – 4:30 PM — The Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs (sponsored by The Burroughs Bibliophiles)

4:00 – 4:40 PM — Fu Manchu Film Festival Encore (William Patrick Maynard)

Evening Programming

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

7:05 – 7:50 PM — ARGOSY, ADVENTURE and BLUE BOOK — The Men’s Adventure Pulps (Bob Deis & Wyatt Doyle)

7:55 – 8:40 PM — The Game’s Afoot: Sherlock Holmes and the Pulps (George Vanderburgh & Garyn Roberts)

8:45 – 9:30 PM — The Secret Life of Women Pulp Artists (David Saunders)

9:35 – 10:25 PM — Dashiell Hammett and the Detective Story (John Wooley with John Gunnison)

10:25 – 11:10 PM — The Key of Imagination: THE TWILIGHT ZONE and the Pulps (Nicholas Parisi)

11:15 – 12:45 AM — Charles Beaumont: The Short Life of Twilight Zone’s Magic Man (A film by Jason V. Brock)

Saturday, August 17

Dealers’ Room

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

Author Readings — Today’s Fictioneers

10:00 – 10:50 AMPopular Fiction from Seton Hill (introduced by Heidi Ruby Miller)

Readings by Jeremiah Dylan Cook, E. C. Skowronski, and Sara Tantlinger

11:00 – 12:20 AMDog Star Books Rapid-Fire Read & Sweet Sixteen Celebration (Publisher John Edward Lawson)

Readings by Matt Betts, J. L. Gribble, Heidi Ruby Miller, K. W. Taylor, Albert Wendland, and K. Ceres Wright, plus coffee, tea, and sweets, compliments of the publisher

12:30 – 1:05 PMFlinch Fest, featuring John Bruening, author of The Midnight Guardian Series

1:10 – 1:45 PM — Roger Alford, author of The Black Spectre Series

1:50 – 2:25 PM — Sara Light-Waller, author of ANCHOR and LANDSCAPE OF DARKNESS 

2:30 – 3:05 PM — Win Scott Eckert, author of HUNT THE AVENGER and many other works

Afternoon Programming

1:30 – 2:30 PM — Author SigningsWin Scott Eckert, Nicholas Parisi, and John Wooley will be available for signings at our main entrance

2:30 – 4:30 PM — The Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs (sponsored by The Burroughs Bibliophiles)

3:15 – 4:30 PMContemporary Pulp: Writing Genre Fiction (featuring John Bruening, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, Craig McDonald, and Will Murray, with William Patrick Maynard moderating)

4:15 – 4:45 PM — Auction Preview

Evening Programming

5:00 – 6:45 PM — PulpFest 2019 Group Meal

7:00 – 7:30 PM — PulpFest Annual Business Meeting (meet the convention organizers)

7:30 – 7:40 PM — Munsey Award Presentation (presented by William Lampkin)

7:45 – 8:25 PM — FarmerCon XIV: Farmer of the Pulps: A Harvest of Influences (featuring Jason Aiken, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, and Garyn G. Roberts, with Paul Spiteri moderating)

8:30 – 9:30 PM — Born Writing: The Unparalleled Career of Arthur J. Burks (John Locke)

9:30 – 9:45 PM —  Last Minute Auction Viewing

9:45 – 12:00 AM — Saturday Night Auction

12:00 – 1:00 AM — Fu Manchu Film Festival Encore (William Patrick Maynard)

Sunday, August 18

Dealers’ Room

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

To learn more about each presentations, click on the available links.

Click here to link to our 2019 mobile schedule.

Please note that the schedule above is subject to change.

(Every year, PulpFest celebrates mystery, adventure, science fiction, and other forms of genre fiction. The rough paper magazines played a major role in the development of fiction categories. Pulp publisher Street & Smith pioneered the specialized fiction magazine when it introduced DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE in late 1915. About ten years later, Hugo Gernsback debuted AMAZING STORIES — the first science fiction magazine.

Leo Morey was AMAZING’s regular cover artist from the beginning of 1930 number until early 1938. A prime example of his work is the May 1931 issue of AMAZING STORIES. It was later featured as the cover art for the first volume in Mike Ashley’s acclaimed “The History of the Science-Fiction Magazine.” Originally published by Liverpool University Press in 2000, Ashley’s book is long out of print. Copies however, can still be located via PulpFest sponsor AbeBooks.com.

Artist Walter M. Baumhofer contributed the first painted image of Doc Savage, “The Man of Bronze.” Called the first superhero, Doc’s adventures were chronicled by Lester Dent. The character debuted in the March 1933 issue of DOC SAVAGE MAGAZINE, published by Street & Smith.

About five years later, Superman made his first appearance in the June 1938 issue of ACTION COMICS. Before long, the Man of Steel was joined by many other superheroes. This is just one example of the many ways pulp fiction and pulp art have influenced writers, artists, film directors, software developers, game designers, and other creators over the decades.

Watch for our post cards featuring Walter Baumhofer’s classic Doc Savage image at book stores, comic shops, collectible conventions, and other venues. With a Superman portrait painted by H. J. Ward on its flip side, our post card is a great collectible in itself. It was designed by PulpFest Advertising Director, William Lampkin.

And watch for more adventures of The Man of Bronze via The All-New Wild Adventures of Doc Savage. They’re written by PulpFest 2019 panelist, Will Murray.)

 

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Apr 27, 2018 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and nearly 900 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap pulp paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE. They exploded in 1912 when THE ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps,” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough paper format. Weird-menace magazines premiered around the same time, scaring the wits out of readers in titles like DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other magazines, such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES, thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps had essentially disappeared. While some continued in the smaller digest format, most were killed by competition from paperback books, comics, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them living in the hearts and minds of scattered individuals.

Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty enthusiasts gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture. The pulps reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway magazines have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? 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.

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. His novella “Bubba Ho-Tep” was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. The film adaptation of his novel COLD IN JULY was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, while the Sundance Channel has adapted his Hap & Leonard novels to television. Joe will be talking with Tony Davis on Saturday evening, July 28 and be available at select times during the convention.

We’ll have all this plus a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, genre fiction, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, 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.

The convention will take place from Thursday evening, July 26, through Sunday afternoon, July 29, 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 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.

Start planning now to join PulpFest 2018 at the “pop culture center of the universe.” You can do so by clicking one of the Register buttons on our home page. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit our home page and click the Programming button just below our banner.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee painted the front cover art for the magazine. Burroughs’ Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character to emerge from the pulps. Others include Zorro, Kull and Conan, Dr. Kildare, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Sam Spade, and Cthulhu.

In addition to BUBBA HO-TEP, COLD IN JULY, and HAP AND LEONARD, our guest of honor’s story, “Incident On and Off a Mountain Road,” was adapted to film for Showtime’s MASTERS OF HORROR. Lansdale himself also adapted his short story “Christmas with the Dead” to film.)

What’s This PulpFest All About?

Mar 27, 2017 by

So what’s this PulpFest that has so many people talking? With almost 3,000 likes on Facebook and more than 700 followers on Twitter, it certainly has been generating a lot of excitement. But what’s it all about?

All-Story 12-10PulpFest is named for pulp magazines — fiction periodicals named after the cheap paper on which they were printed. Frank A. Munsey pioneered the format in 1896 with THE ARGOSY. A decade later, pulps began to pick up steam with titles like BLUE BOOK and ADVENTURE, then exploded in 1912 when THE ALL-STORY printed a little yarn by Edgar Rice Burroughs called “Tarzan of the Apes.” Soon thereafter, genre titles began to flourish, among them DETECTIVE STORY, WESTERN STORY, and LOVE STORY. In the twenties, publishing legends such as BLACK MASK, WEIRD TALES and AMAZING STORIES debuted. The following decade saw the advent of the so-called “hero pulps” with magazines such as THE SHADOW, DOC SAVAGE, and THE SPIDER attracting new readers to the rough-paper format. Weird-menace magazines premiered around the same time with DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE, SPICY MYSTERY STORIES, and TERROR TALES scaring the wits out of readers. The late thirties saw an explosion of science fiction pulps — led by John W. Campbell’s ASTOUNDING STORIES — with other titles such as FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and PLANET STORIES thrilling readers of all ages.

By the early fifties, the pulps were gone, killed by competition from paperback books, comic books, radio, television, and movies. But the fiction and artwork that appeared in the rough-paper consumables of the early twentieth century kept them alive in the hearts and minds of countless individuals. Haunting back-issue magazine shops, flea markets, science fiction conventions, and other venues, these hearty souls gradually assembled astounding collections of genre fiction, all published in the rough and ragged magazines known as pulps. Eventually, these collectors organized a convention dedicated to the premise that the pulps had a profound effect on American popular culture that reverberated through a wide variety of mediums — comic books, movies, paperbacks and genre fiction, television, men’s adventure magazines, radio drama, and even video and role-playing games. Today, we call this convention, PulpFest.

The summertime destination for fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction and related materials, PulpFest seeks to honor the pulps by drawing attention to the many ways these throwaway articles have inspired writers, artists, film directors, software developers, and other creators over the decades.

Why not come see what it’s all about? PulpFest 2017 will be paying tribute to the hardboiled dicks, dangerous dames, and a few psychos of the pulps. We’ll be exploring DIME DETECTIVE MAGAZINE — where the hard-boiled detective story developed into an important fiction genre — and Robert Leslie Bellem’s tough-guy detective, Dan Turner; Pat Savage, The Domino Lady, and other dangerous dames of the pulps, the hardboiled ladies who helped 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; and some of the mad scientists, crazed hunchbacks, and foul cultists who decimated American cities on a monthly basis in rough-paper magazines like THE SHADOW. We’ll also be saluting the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Robert Bloch, the author of PSYCHO — later adapted to film by Alfred Hitchcock. Bloch got his start as a writing professional in the pulps.

The convention’s guest of honor will be Pittsburgh artist Gloria Stoll Karn. In a field dominated by men, it was highly unusual for a woman to be painting covers for pulp magazines. But at age seventeen, Gloria Stoll began contributing black and white interior illustrations to pulp magazines. In a few years, the young artist was painting covers. How’s that for a dangerous dame? One of the few surviving contributors to the pulp magazine industry, Ms. Stoll Karn will be joined by pulp art historian David Saunders — winner of our 2016 Lamont Award — to discuss her freelance career in the pulps and much more on Saturday evening, July 29.

We’ll have all this plus a dealers’ room featuring tens of thousands of pulp magazines, vintage paperbacks, digests, men’s adventure and true crime magazines, original art, first edition hardcovers, 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. For a look at our planned schedule, please visit our home page and click the Programming for 2017 button just below our banner.

The convention 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 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 join in our exploration of “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos” at the “pop culture center of the universe” called PulpFest 2017.

(Published by the Frank A. Munsey Company, the October 1912 issue of THE ALL-STORY featured Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel “Tarzan of the Apes,” published in its entirety. Clinton Pettee — who illustrated many of the Munsey magazines as well as the pulp, SHORT STORIES — painted the front cover art for the magazine. Burroughs’ Tarzan is perhaps the most famous character to emerge from the pulps.

Over thirty years after the publication of “Tarzan of the Apes,” a young Gloria Stoll Karn contributed the cover art for the November 1943 issue of Popular Publications’ DIME MYSTERY MAGAZINE. The artist would paint more than 100 covers for the pulps of the 1940s.)

THE PULPSTER — Call for submissions

Sep 12, 2016 by

It may seem as if PulpFest 2016 is barely over, but it’s not too early for us to start thinking about PulpFest 2017 and the next issue of THE PULPSTER.

The Pulpster logoEditor Bill Lampkin is looking for a variety of articles on the pulps, and the writers, editors, and illustrators who worked on them. If you have an idea, he’d like to hear about it. You can contact him at bill@pulpfest.com.

Next summer’s issue, #26, will debut at PulpFest 2017, but the magazine must be edited and assembled before the convention. Deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017, but early submissions are encouraged. Our theme for 2017 will be “Hardboiled Dicks, Dangerous Dames, and a Few Psychos,” but any pulp-related article is welcome.

If you’re interested in advertising in THE PULPSTER, please write to PulpFest marketing and programming director Mike Chomko at mike@pulpfest.com. Mike can provide pricing. For publication sizes and specifications, please refer to the detailed advertising information at THE PULPSTER‘s website.

Looking for a copy of the 2016 issue? Mike Chomko, Books has THE PULPSTER #25 available for $10 each, plus $3 postage within the United States.

Cover of THE PULPSTER, No. 25The issue features a cover article tracing 90 years of AMAZING STORIES written by editors Hugo Gernsback, Howard Browne, Joseph Wrzos, Barry N. Malzberg, Ted White, Elinor Mazor, and Patrick L. Price; a study of Philip José Farmer’s stories published in AMAZING, by Art Sippo; J. Randolph Cox and Walker Martin recall two long-running pulps, DETECTIVE STORY MAGAZINE and WESTERN STORY MAGAZINE respectively; David Earle has an article about African-American fictioneers in the pulps, which is paired with a short story by Michael Bittner that originally appeared in HARLEM STORIES; David Smith offers tips to help you plan ahead to ensure your pulp collection is properly taken care of after you’re gone; and Bill Lampkin looks at two of Street & Smith’s second-string hero pulps, THE WHISPERER and THE SKIPPER. Rounding out the issue are Final Chapters, an annual column noting the passing of those involved with the pulps, written by Tony Davis; and columns by publisher Mike Chomko and editor Bill Lampkin.

In addition to #25, you can also order back issues of THE PULPSTER through Mike Chomko, Books. Copies of THE PULPSTER #5, 6, and 23 are available. Issues 5 and 6 cost $10 each, plus $3 postage within the United States. Number 23 is $7, plus $3 postage within the United States. All other issues of THE PULPSTER are out of print. Reduced postage is available on orders for multiple books. These prices are good only in the United States. Buyers from other countries must inquire about shipping charges before ordering. Mike will accept payments made via check or money order or through Paypal. Please write to him at mike@pulpfest.com or 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 for further instructions. Quantities of most issues are very limited.

(THE PULPSTER #25 features a cover by Harold W. McCauley originally for AMAZING STORIES, August 1942. Copies are quickly disappearing. Write to Mike Chomko, Books at mike@pulpfest.com to learn how you can order the issue.)