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

‘Vic Challenger #6: Event’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, December 13, 2017 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Vic Challenger #6: Event’

'Vic Challenger #6: Event'I have previously posted about the Vic Challenger series, in particular numbers 1, 2, and 5. Set in the 1920s, the series stars young Victoria Custer who discovers she is the reincarnation of a cave girl, Nat-ul, born and died 100,000 years ago.

Using the name “Vic Challenger,” she works as a travel writer (and adventurer) while looking for her soul mate from 100,000 years ago whom she thinks is also reincarnated. But in her travels, she gets into various dangers, and her past life as a cave girl warrior helps her out.

The character actually comes from Edgar Rice BurroughsThe Eternal Lover (later renamed The Eternal Savage). As the Burroughs novel is in the public domain, I am sure calling the character “Vic Challenger” makes it easier to copyright this different take on the character.

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Meet the first Spider

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, December 11, 2017 in Johnston McCulley, Pulps, Villain Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Meet the first Spider
'Detective Story Magazine' (Oct. 22, 1918)

Detective Story Magazine (Oct. 22, 1918)

Mention the name The Spider and most pulp fans will recall the popular and long-running hero pulp published by Popular Publications. But while the most popular character in the pulps to use the name, he is not the first.

That honor goes to Johnston McCulley‘s early pulp villain who appeared over a year in Street & Smith’s Detective Story Magazine in 1918-19. He is McCulley’s second serial character, following Black Star, also a villain, and soon followed by the pickpocket Thubway Tham.

After that McCulley would go with heroes as serial characters, either “vengeance heroes” (going after a group of villains who have done wrong to the hero) or Robin Hood-like “bent heroes” (who steal from bad guys and give to others).

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Burroughs’ Moon trilogy

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, November 27, 2017 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pulps, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Burroughs’ Moon trilogy
Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs is best known for Tarzan, and probably also his Mars novels with John Carter and others. But he set stories in a variety of locations including the hollow earth, Venus, and even the Moon.

The Moon series, usually referred to as the “Moon Trilogy,” consists of “The Moon Maid” (1923), “The Moon Men (1925), and “The Red Hawk” (1925). This trilogy first ran in Argosy All-Story, and may be available in one or two volumes (the last two stories are usually published as one volume). Bison Books has a single volume version of it, but I believe the most accurate collection is available from ERBville Press, which contains the original magazine appearances.

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‘Pulp Adventures’ #26

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2017 in Adventure Pulps, Detective Pulps, Fanzines, H.P. Lovecraft, New Pulp, Pulps, Reprints, Review, Weird Fiction
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Pulp Adventures’ #26

'Pulp Adventures' #26Bold Ventures Press is back with another new issue of Pulp Adventures, #26 for the Summer of 2017.  And we get another Norman Saunders cover.  Was wondering if he’s return.

As always, a mix of old and new pulp in a wide range of genres:  mystery, western, horror, adventure, pulp hero and more.  Some stories are almost a 100 years old!!

From classic pulp we get the following:

“The Doting Burglar” by Ben Hecht is a fairly interesting tale that appeared way back in 1917 in All Story Weekly.  The author, whom we learn more from the blurb is as interesting.  He was a journalist and writer from the 1920s until he passed in 1964.  Like many pulp writers he also wrote plays and film scripts, and even lyrics.  He got 6 Academy Award nominations.

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‘The Greystoke Legacy Under Siege’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, October 11, 2017 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Review, Tarzan
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘The Greystoke Legacy Under Siege’

'The Greystoke Legacy Under Siege'I have previously posted about the pulp works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. His most well-known work is Tarzan, who has spawned a wide range of works, though a character whom I never got into, at least in prose.

Burroughs established ERB Inc. to maintain ownership of his works. And it’s strange or sad that while they have allowed new stories of his characters to appear in movies, TV, radio, comics, and comic strips, new prose works have been few and far between. And in a few cases, permission has been withdrawn for works in progress.

Tarzan has had but a few authorized novels since Burroughs passed away. That seemed to change recently when Will Murray was allowed to write a new Tarzan novel, Return to Pal-ul-don, under the heading of “The Wild Adventures of Tarzan.” I thought this would lead to further new Tarzan novels from Altus Press (and Murray). So was confused when I did see a listing of further new novels, not from Altus Press, but though ERB Inc. These would be under the new heading of “The Wild Adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs” and looks to include more than just Tarzan.

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‘The Man Behind Doc Savage’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, August 21, 2017 in Doc Savage, Lester Dent, Non-fiction, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘The Man Behind Doc Savage’

'The Man Behind Doc Savage: A Tribute to Lester Dent'In 1974, Robert Weinberg edited and published a short booklet (130 pages) titled The Man Behind Doc Savage: A Tribute to Lester Dent. For a while I just thought it was a bio of Lester Dent, but I recently obtained a copy of it and found it’s much more than just a bio, containing several short articles on Dent and his works, as well as two reprints.

First off is a short biography of Dent by Weinberg.  For those familiar with Dent’s life, nothing new here.  For unfamiliar, this may give you some insight.

Robert Sampson provides three articles. First off we learn more about Oscar Sail, Dent’s character from a pair of stories that ran in Black Mask. I really wish someone would reprint these two stories in some form. Then we get a look at the trio of works that ran in Argosy: “Hades,” “Hocus Pocus,” and Genius Jones. I’ve reviewed all three previously. While I have the reprint of “Hades” and “Hocus Pocus,” I wish these would be reprinted again for others to read. Finally we get a look at the later works of Dent, from the digest Docs to his last non-Doc novels. Again, I wonder why no one has reprinted these non-Doc novels?

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