Group therapy

Pulp enthusiasts can turn to PulpCon and other similar conventions for opportunities to get together with other pulp fans and talk about their favorite magazines, characters or authors. At other times, Internet newsgroups such as alt.pulp, alt.fan.doc-savage, alt.fantasy.er-burroughs or alt.horror.cthulhu can provide forums for fan discussions. But there are numerous lesser-known venues for pulp discussion at Yahoo Groups.

Yahoo currently lists 45 groups under the pulp fiction literature category, but several of those groups are junk groups and many more are rarely active. You’ll find groups for the typical suspects – The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Spider – and for more general pulp and fiction magazines.

Yahoo requires you to register to participate in a group. When you do, make sure you “opt out” of any junk mail or sponsor e-mail offers. Once you select a group to subscribe to and have been accepted as a member, you can choose to receive posts to the group as individual e-mails or a daily collection of posts called a digest. Or you can choose to receive no e-mail and log in to read the posts using a Web browser. When you reply to a message, your e-mail will go to all subscribers of the group.

In addition to member’s posts, some groups provide chats, digest archives, photos and polls. Some also offer file archives, which might include bibliographies, magazine indices or articles.

Here’s a look at some of the more popular groups:

• Fictionmags: Members of this mailing list discuss the history of fiction magazines past and present, so pulps are just a portion of the discussions. This is one of the more active groups, with well over 1,000 posts being made to this 3-year-old list by its 130 members. It’s owned by David Pringle, editor and publisher of Interzone magazine in the United Kingdom.

• Flearun: With over 230 members, this Doc Savage mailing list is the largest pulp-related Yahoo Group. It’s monthy posts tally about 100, so it’s easier to keep up with. This group is owned by Chuck Welch, who runs Hidalgo Trading Co. Web site.

• PulpMags: This mailing list covers all genre of pulp magazines. Owned by Curt Phillips, PulpMags sees several hundred posts a month by its 140 members.

• WoldNewton: Phillip Jose Farmer’s Wold Newton theory (linking a variety of fictional characters together) generates from 100 to several hundred postings a month from this mailing list’s 100 members.

One of Yahoo’s pulp fiction groups might be just the ticket to put you in touch with fellow pulp enthusiasts.