FarmerCon 100 — World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity

May 14, 2018 by


Last week, we discussed how 2018 marks the centennial of the armistice that ended The First World War. Our current year is also the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Grand Master of Science Fiction Philip José Farmer. Beginning on Thursday evening, July 26, and running through Sunday, July 29, PulpFest 2018 and its partner, FarmerCon 100will honor both the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I AND the century mark of Philip José Farmer. We’ll be celebrating at the beautiful DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh – Cranberry, just outside Pennsylvania’s Steel City.

Few people think of Philip José Farmer as a pulp writer, but he was a child of the pulps and launched his career in the pulps. Born January 26, 1918 in North Terre Haute, Indiana, Farmer grew up in Peoria, Illinois. He spent much of his childhood reading everything he could find in the local library and drug store. Farmer read everything from the classics by Baum, Carroll, Cervantes, Chesterton, Cooper, Defoe, Dickens, Dumas, Homer, London, Shaw, Stevenson, Swift, Thackeray, Twain, Verne, Wells, and others, to popular fiction by Burroughs, Doyle, Haggard, and on through the pulps: AIR WONDER STORIES, ARGOSY, BLUE BOOK, DOC SAVAGE, SCIENCE WONDER STORIES, THE SHADOW, WEIRD TALES, and more.

Farmer’s interest in the rough-paper magazines of his youth would lead him to pen two biographies about pulp characters  TARZAN ALIVE: A DEFINITIVE BIOGRAPHY OF LORD GREYSTOKE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE. He would also author official Doc Savage and Tarzan novels: ESCAPE FROM LOKI, and THE DARK HEART OF TIME. Farmer would also create “The Secrets of the Nine” series, beginning with the controversial novel A FEAST UNKNOWN, followed by two more straightforward adventure novels, LORD OF THE TREES and THE MAD GOBLIN.

Since 2011, PulpFest has been hosting its convention with the help of FarmerCon. We’re very pleased to welcome our FarmerCon members back to our joint conference, particularly during the centennial year of Philip José Farmer’s birth. We’ll be celebrating the occasion with an expanded FarmerCon programming schedule. The fun begins on Thursday, July 26, at 10:45 PM, with a panel exploring “World Building and Writing in the Nine Continuity.” England’s Paul Spiteri, who served as co-editor of FARMERPHILE and the collection PEARLS OF PEORIA, and also collaborated with Phil, finishing the short story “Getting Ready to Write,” will be moderating the panel.

Paul will be joined by authors Win Scott Eckert and Frank Schildiner to talk about the challenges and rewarding aspects of writing in the world of Philip José Farmer’s Lord Grandrith, Doc Caliban, and the Nine.

Win Scott Eckert is 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 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. In 1997, he launched the first Wold Newton website, The Wold Newton Universe. He is currently completing Philip José Farmer’s manuscript of THE MONSTER ON HOLD, the fourth novel in the Secrets of the Nine series.

Frank Schildiner is a martial arts instructor at Amorosi’s Mixed Martial Arts in New Jersey. He is the writer of the novels, THE QUEST OF FRANKENSTEINTHE TRIUMPH OF FRANKENSTEIN, NAPOLEON’S VAMPIRE HUNTERS,  THE DEVIL PLAGUE OF NAPLES, and the forthcoming SATANIC GANGS OF NEW YORK. He is a regular contributor to the fictional series TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN and has been published in THE NEW ADVENTURES OF THUNDER JIM WADE, Airship 27’s SECRET AGENT X series, THE LONE RANGER AND TONTO: FRONTIER JUSTICETHE AVENGER: THE JUSTICE FILES, and other anthologies. He resides in New Jersey with his wife Gail, who is his top supporter and two cats who are indifferent on the subject.

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of Philip José Farmer than by registering for Pulpfest 2018/FarmerCon 100? The Science Fiction Grand Master will be one of the main themes of the conventions, with plenty of programming about Farmer and his work. Also on hand will be the conventions’ Guest of Honor — Joe Lansdale — the author of over forty novels, numerous short stories, and the introduction to THE BEST OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMERYou can join both conventions by clicking the Register for 2018 button on the PulpFest home page. And don’t forget to book a room at the DoubleTree while you’re visiting the PulpFest site. They’re going fast!

(Philip José Farmer began his “Secrets of the Nine” series with the controversial novel, A FEAST UNKNOWN. First published in 1969 by Essex House, the book has gone through numerous international printings, including four by Playboy Press in the early 1980s. Each featured front cover art by Jordi Penalva.

Farmer’s THE MAD GOBLIN was originally released in 1970 by Ace Books as part of their double line of paperbacks. The other half the book featured LORD OF THE TREES. Both sides of the book featured covers created by Gray Morrow, a comic book and paperback artist who also illustrated many science-fiction magazines. He was nominated for the Hugo Award for best professional artist in 1966, 1967, and 1968.)