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

‘Steam Man of the West 6: Juan Nadie’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, November 2, 2016 in Dime Novels, New Pulp, Pastiche, Proto-pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

"Juan Nadie: The Steam Man of the West, #6"I have posted previously on Joseph Lovece‘s series, the “Steam Man of the West.” This is an original series inspired by the various “boy inventor” adventure series that ran in the dime novels, the late 1800s forerunners to the pulp magazines.

Known as the “Edisonades,” these included characters like Frank Reade Jr., Jack Wright and others who built steam- and electric-powered vehicles that went on the land, sea, and air.

Lovece’s series is obviously inspired by Frank Reade Jr., as the main character is young inventor Frank Rude Jr. I had read the five books, and now we have a new ones: Juan Nadie.

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Dime Novel Cover Series revisited

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015 in Dime Novels, Foreign Pulps, Harry Dickson, Proto-pulp
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Dime Novel Cover Series revisited

Jack Wright, the Boy InventorAn interesting series of works that I have previously posted on is Joseph Lovece‘s “Dime Novel Cover Series.” The series makes use of various “dime novel” works from the U.S. and overseas.  What is great about this series is it shows the wide variety of such works.

Joseph has added to the series. I have already given reviews on some of them. So I update what is out there, and give information on the newer volumes.

So far, the series consists of the following:

  1. “Denver Doll, the Detective Queen”
  2. “Six Weeks in the Moon”
  3. “Hank Hound, the Crescent City Detective”
  4. “Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper”
  5. “Hercules, the Dumb Destroyer”
  6. “Night Hawk”
  7. “Sexton Blake: the Mission Millionaire”
  8. “Lord Lister, Known as Raffles, Master Thief”
  9. “The Witch Hunter’s Wards”
  10. “Jack Wright, the Boy Inventor”
  11. “The James Boys and Pinkerton”
  12. “Harry Dickson The American Sherlock Holmes: Escaping a Terrible Death”
  13. “Jörn Farrow’s U-Boat Adventures: The Sea Monster”
  14. “Sexton Blake: A Christmas Crime”
  15. “The Silent City”

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The Steam Man of the West series

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 2015 in Dime Novels, New Pulp, Proto-pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

The Steam Man of the West series

The Road HomeI have posted previously on Joseph Lovece‘s new series, the “Steam Man of the West.” This is an original series inspired by the various “boy inventor” adventure series that ran in the dime novels, the late 1800s forerunners to the pulps.

Known as the “Edisonades,” these included characters like Frank Reade Jr., Jack Wright and others who built steam- and electric-powered vehicles that went on the land, sea, and air.

This series is obviously inspired by Frank Reade Jr., as the main character is young inventor Frank Rude Jr. I had read the first book, and having read the rest will cover the whole series here.

These are the volumes so far in the “Steam Man of the West” series:
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Meet Nick Carter

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, May 4, 2015 in Dime Novels, Doc Savage, Hero Pulps, Pulps, Street & Smith
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Meet Nick Carter

"Nick Carter Weekly" (Nov. 10, 1906)Nick Carter is a literary character which has been around a long time, was enormously popular during his time, but is today largely forgotten. He has appeared in a large number of forms — dime novels, pulp magazines, men’s adventure paperbacks, movies, radio, and comics, — and has also appeared around the world.

He first appeared in a story paper, the New York Weekly, published by Street & Smith in 1886. The son of Old Sim Carter, Carter was trained by his father from an early age to be a physical and mental marvel (sound familiar?), and was able to bench press horses, and was a master of disguise.

He pre-dated Sherlock Holmes, and was more inspired by previous dime novel detectives like Old Sleuth, Old Cap Collier, and Old King Brady (no, I don’t know why they liked using the word “Old” in their names). He was so popular that Street & Smith soon started the Nick Carter Weekly dime novel series. It would, in 1915, become the long-running Detective Story Magazine, and at that point, new Nick Carter stories ended after nearly 40 years! There would be reprints for a couple of years in the pulps, and several years of paperback reprints, but no more new stories.

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Review: Dime Novel Cover Series

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015 in Dime Novels, Foreign Pulps, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Proto-pulp, Pulps, Review, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Review: Dime Novel Cover Series

An interesting new series of works I recently discovered is Joseph Lovece‘s “Dime Novel Cover Series.” The series makes use of various “dime novel” works as a starting point.

"Night Hawk"Dime novels were the late 1800s forerunners of the pulp magazines. They included the various “story papers,” which were often reprinted as cheap, large format “paperbacks” and the like. Some had various continuing characters: western heroes, various detectives like Nick Carter, and the various boy inventors like Frank Reade Jr. Such works are not limited to the United States, and various European countries had similar works.

So far, the series consists of the following:

  • “Denver Doll, the Detective Queen”
  • “Six Weeks in the Moon”
  • “Hank Hound, the Crescent City Detective”
  • “Sherlock Holmes vs. Jack the Ripper”
  • “Hercules, the Dumb Destroyer”
  • “Night Hawk”
  • “Sexton Blake, the Mission Millionaire”
  • “Lord Lister, Known as Raffles, Master Thief”
  • “The Witch Hunter’s Wards”

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Pulp forerunners: The Edisonades

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, May 19, 2014 in Comics, Dime Novels, Proto-pulp, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

"American Novels" No. 45In studying pulps, it’s also valuable to study those fiction sources that preceded the pulps: the story papers and dime novels.

Many of the same types of fiction began in those formats and later migrated to the pulps, especially the various larger-than-life detective and western characters who are the forerunners to the pulp heroes. But a unique set of characters who didn’t are the “Edisonades.”

But what, and who, are these “Edisonades”? The term is modern, coined in the 1990s, and refers to the stories about brilliant young boy inventors and their adventures with those inventions, usually mechanical in nature. These stories were aimed at young boys and were very popular in the late 1800s and into the early 1900s.

When the dime novels and story papers gave way to the pulp magazines, these sorts of characters instead moved to the juvenile-book series. While the Edisonade characters have more or less disappeared from the juvenile-book market, in recent years some of the classic Edisonade characters have been revisited to a degree.

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