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

Vic Challenger #1 & 2

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 7, 2016 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Review, Tarzan
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Vic Challenger #1 & 2

"Vic Challenger: Double Trouble"I have previously posted about the Vic Challenger series, having received the fifth novel in the series. 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 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 first two novels, Time Doesn’t Matter and Mongol are available together in one volume titled Double Trouble, and I got that. In reading the first novel I discovered that the character actually comes from Edgar Rice BurroughsThe Eternal Lover. The first half of the novel consists of a retelling of that novel, but here Victoria doesn’t meet her reincarnated lover Nu as in the original, which sounds a little hokey. But Victoria does have all the same adventures in Africa, and Tarzan does appear (though never referred to as such, but only as Lord Graystoke, probably for copyright reasons). The Burroughs novel is in the public domain, but I am sure calling the character “Vic Challenger” makes it easier to copyright this different take on the character.

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Edgar Rice Burrough’s Venus

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, May 23, 2016 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, Review, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Edgar Rice Burrough’s Venus
"Argosy" (Sept. 17, 1932) featuring "The Pirates of Venus."

Argosy (Sept. 17, 1932) featuring “The Pirates of Venus.”

The prolific Edgar Rice Burroughs had several series set in exotic locations: Mars, the Hollow Earth, the Moon, and Venus.

I have already looked at his Mars and Pellucidar (hollow earth) series, and his last extended series was set on Venus, or Amtor as the natives called it, though most refer to it as the Venus series or the Carson of Venus series. I read the series while in high school when I was reading almost all of Burroughs’ stuff.

The series is composed of:

  • “Pirates of Venus” (1934)
  • “Lost on Venus” (1935)
  • “Carson of Venus” (1939)
  • “Escape on Venus” (1946)
  • “The Wizard of Venus” (1964)

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Reincarnated Cave Girl: Vic Challenger

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, May 6, 2016 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Reincarnated Cave Girl: Vic Challenger

Time Doesn't MatterAn interesting series was brought to my attention recently: Vic Challenger. (Full disclosure, I was sent one of the novels.) The premise is different, but one I think could have been used in pulp stories of the time.

Set in the 1920s, the series starts 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 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. She is accompanied by her long-time friend Lin Li.

So far, Jerry Gill has written five novels, with a sixth on its way this summer:

  • Time Doesn’t Matter
  • Mongol
  • Never Give Up
  • Terror Incognita
  • Fast

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Fanzine focus: ‘Pulpdom’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 7, 2015 in Adventure Pulps, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fantasy Pulp, Fanzines, Johnston McCulley, Non-fiction, Pulps, Review, Science Fiction Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Fanzine focus: ‘Pulpdom’

"Pulpdom" No. 46A long-running pulp fanzine that recently made the move to being an online publication is Pulpdom. Pulpdom has a distinguished history that goes back many, many years under the editoriship of Camille “Caz” Cazedessus Jr.

The fanzine got its start as ERB-dom in 1960, with Caz and Al Guillory Jr. as the editors and publishers. Clearly devoted to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Caz soon took over with the death of Al. He ran it for several years until ending publication in 1976 with No. 89.

Caz later got back into publishing with a revival of The Fantasy Collector with No. 201 in December 1988. It was renamed The Fantastic Collector with No. 228, and soon re-incorporated ERB-dom into the zine with No. 248 (double-billed as The Fantastic Collector No. 248/ERB-dom No. 90). These zines reprinted classic pulp fiction from the early 20th century, usually of the “lost race,” high adventure, SF adventure types from Burroughs, A. Merrit, Talbot Mundy, H. Rider Haggard and the like, along with articles and reviews on these types of pulp fiction (and of course Burroughs’ work).

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Pellucidar: ERB’s hollow earth

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, May 18, 2015 in Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pulps, Review, Tarzan
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Pellucidar: ERB’s hollow earth

"All-Story Weekly" (April 4, 1914)The idea that the Earth is a hollow sphere is one that has been tossed around in esoteric circles, and has been the basis of some science-fiction tales.

One early American believed in it and agitated for years for a polar expedition to the opening he believed would lead to the interior world. This lead to others who also believed this idea, as well as those who used it for interesting stories.

Probably the most well known science fiction tales using this idea are Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Pellucidar stories, named after the interior world. The Pellucidar series was Burrough’s third longest running, and one I read after finishing off the Mars/Barsoom series.

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Barsoom: ERB’s Mars

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, April 20, 2015 in Comics, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Barsoom: ERB’s Mars

As a kid, one of the first science-fiction authors I got into was Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the first works by him I read was his series about Mars, or “Barsoom” as it’s called by its inhabitants.

A Princess of MarsThe series is usually known as John Carter of Mars, and is one of the first of the “sword and planet” or “planetary romance” genre, and considered the prototype for the genre.

The series consists of the following books:

  • “A Princess of Mars”
  • “The Gods of Mars”
  • “The Warlord of Mars”
  • “Thuvia, Maid of Mars”
  • “The Chessmen of Mars”
  • “The Master Mind of Mars”
  • “A Fighting Man of Mars”
  • “Swords of Mars”
  • “Synthetic Men of Mars”
  • “Llana of Gathol”
  • “John Carter of Mars”

The volumes I got were put out by Ballantine Books and had covers by Gino D’Achille.

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