Blog: Commentary from the den of a pulp super-fan

Taking a look at ‘Big Book of Bronze’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, October 18, 2013 in Doc Savage, Fanzines, Lester Dent, Non-fiction, References, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

The Big Book of Bronze, Vol. 1A series of books any Doc Savage fan should check out are the annual “Big Book of Bronze.”

Published by Jay Ryan‘s Solace of Fortitude Publications, they are done in conjunction with the Doc Cons. So far, five volumes have appeared, tied to Doc Cons XI to XV. As Doc Con XVI is coming up this weekend, hopefully we will see volume six as well. (Note that volume 1 was revamped with a new cover and some additional articles, so be sure to get the new version.)

A wide range of top-notch Doc fans and researchers contribute articles to these books, which look at many aspects of Doc Savage, as well as Lester Dent. Each volume as gotten bigger. The first was fewer than 100 pages, and the most recent one clocks in at over 280 pages!

To give you an idea of what is in these volumes, here are just some of the articles:

Volume 1 (Doc Con XI, 2008): An article on Len Leone, the man at Bantam Books who created the look of the Doc paperbacks. Another on the aborted Doc movie that would have starred Chuck Connors. And the revised edition has one on the real Sargasso Sea. And there are others.

Volume 2 (Doc Con XII, 2009): Some of the articles include those on Pat Savage, Doc’s birthplace, and his parents. Others look at villain John Sunlight, an interview with Steve Holland (Doc model for James Bama and others), and artist Bob Larkin. A long article looks at possible locations for Doc’s upstate New York “College.” And much more.

Volume 3 (Doc Con XIII, 2010): A great article looks at the Street & Smith’s Doc Savage comics. A B-25 bomber crashed into the Empire State Building, and we get full details of this. Articles on Dent’s business Airviews, his gadget home in La Plata, Mo., and the town itself. Articles on the Mayan language, and on Doc’s eye and skin color (from a medical doctor, no less). And the geopolitics of Doc Savage and more.

Volume 4 (Doc Con XIV, 2011): A pair of articles look at Lester Dent: one at his time as a dairy farmer; the other at the various places where he lived. Artist Roger Kastrel did some Doc artwork, and we look at that. We also look into the impact of Bama’s version of Doc. And we get Dent’s western story “River Crossing” and the script it was adapted to for TV’s “Wagon Train.” And a lot more.

Volume 5 (Doc Con XV, 2012): A Doc inspired jazz CD (“Bronze Nemesis”) by Scott Robinson came out, and you can learn more about the genesis of it here. And we get an interview of Ron Ely and an article on Norma Dent. And much more in this, the biggest volume yet.

As noted, if you haven’t gotten these, do so. All are great.


  1. Hello Michael,

    These sound very interesting, however I am unable to attend the Doc Con. You neglected to mention if they are available elsewhere through mail order or internet sales, and if so where.


    • Actually, the name of the publisher in the article is linked to their webstore at Just follow the link to order any of their works.

      Also, about 99% of the works I review here are available at A handful of publishers still use

      Further, about 99% of the publishers mentioned have their own websites you can order their works from.

      And Pulp Coming Attractions ( is a resource all pulp fans should be aware of. They have a complete set of links to all the pulp publishers.

      • I might also mention that ThePulp.Net has links to sources for pulps, pulp reprints and replicas, digital pulps and New Pulp publishers at then follow the link to the type of publication you are interested in.