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

Dare Devlin, a new Doc Savage pastiche

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 6, 2017 in Doc Savage, Fu Manchu, New Pulp, Pastiche, Review
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Dare Devlin, a new Doc Savage pastiche

'Dare Devlin: Supreme Adventurer'A new (kind of) Doc Savage pastiche is Dare Devlin: Supreme Adventurer by Dafydd Neal Dyar. His first appearance is in a new book from PULPlications, both hardback and paperback, along with a limited edition hardback with an extra story.

I say he is “kind of” new, as he’s based on Dyar’s prior pastiche work. Many years back he wrote a Doc pastiche who he named “Doc Wildman” (1978), using the “real” name of Doc as per Philip José Farmer. When he later did stories of this character, both in print and online, he decided to rename him “Doc Hazzard” (1988), based on the name of the obscure Doc pastiche Captain Hazzard. Now he has revamped his pastiche (and I believe reusing some of the original stories) as Dare Devlin. Not having read these earlier stories, I am not sure how the characters compare to each other.

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‘Pulp Adventures’ #25

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 9, 2017 in Adventure Pulps, Comics, Fanzines, New Pulp, Pulps, Reprints, Review, Weird Fiction, Western Pulps
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘Pulp Adventures’ #25

'Pulp Adventures' #25The 10th issue of the new Pulp Adventures — #25, Spring 2017 — is out.

This issue has a set of new and reprinted pulp fiction, all under a Norman Saunders cover (again). No non-fiction other than the information on the authors or pulps these appeared in, which I think added to things. I’d just like to see an occasional full article on some topic.

For pulp reprints, first up is one of Robert E. Howard‘s Sailor Steve Costigan stories, “Waterfront Fists” which appeared in Fight Stories. I was surprised to learn that this pulp, the first focused on a specific sport, ran for over two decades.

Next, we get some different Western stories. First is “Chicago Man” by E.K. Jarvis, which ran in Mammoth Western in 1946. From Will H. Thompson, we get “Tigre and Isola” that appeared in Adventure way back in 1911. And then a very short short story by Larry Latham: “Desert Rescue.” This one appeared in Thrilling Comics, due to postage regulations. Comics had to have two pages of text, so many ran short stories or later letter pages. I recall seeing this in many of the comics I got in the ’60s. Since many early comic-book publishers where connected to pulp publishers, they could get this done.

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Pulp Heroes conclusion: ‘Sanctuary Falls’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017 in New Pulp, Pastiche, Review, Wold Newton Universe
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

'Pulp Heroes: Sanctuary Falls'One of the works I got into when I got back into pulp (and discovered New Pulp) was the pulp epics of Wayne Reinagel. He was working on a trilogy called Pulp Heroes, the first being the massive More Than Mortal, which came out in 2008.

In that one we saw his takes on four major pulp heroes: Doc Savage (Doc Titan), The Shadow (The Darkness), The Avenger (The Guardian), and The Spider (The Scorpion), plus their aides and assistants.

More Than Mortal also makes use of the Wold Newton concept of Philip José Farmer to create the backdrop to the story, weaving in various heroes and characters from earlier fiction.

Clocking in at over 400 pages, it was actually a pretty good read.

It was followed two years later by a massive sequel (nearly 600 pages), Khan Dynasty, that was actually more of a prequel, being set before More Than Mortal.

We were promised the conclusion in Sanctuary Falls. And finally after seven years, we get it. All 800+ pages!

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Michael Crichton’s ‘Congo’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in New Pulp, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Michael Crichton’s ‘Congo’

'Congo'Mention the name Michael Crichton and most people will think of Jurassic Park (or at least the movies). Maybe some of his other works turned into movies like Andromeda Strain or Westworld.

But, no, this time I look at one novel of his written specifically in the pulp adventure tradition of H. Rider Haggard: Congo (1980).

And, yes, it was turned into a movie. But the book is better.

In Congo, you have several groups of people searching in Africa for the lost city of Zinj. Located near a volcano, the city is the source for rare blue diamonds, which are needed for faster communications. The main group is from a company called ERTS, which needs the diamonds to keep their technological edge. They have already sent and lost an expedition. Everyone in that expedition was all killed by something.

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Captain Hazzard is back!

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in Airship 27, Captain Hazzard, Hero Pulps, Jim Anthony, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

'Captain Hazzard: Custer's Ghost'Captain Hazzard is sadly a one-hit wonder in the pulp world, and is one of the more blatant Doc Savage clones. Originally published by Ace Magazines, his one issue came out in 1938, though a second story was written.

Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions decided to make full use of the character. He revamped the original novel and then did the same for the second, which had be turned into a Secret Agent X story. These became the first and third volume of a new series of Captain Hazzard books. He wrote new novels, which are the second and fourth volumes.

Now after too long we get a fifth Captain Hazzard novel: Custer’s Ghost. A welcome addition to this story is we get Super-Detective Jim Anthony added to the mix, and a return of Azlea O’Hara from volume two. It’s been awhile since Airship 27 had done anything with Jim Anthony, another original pulp hero and yet another Doc pastiche.

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Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in Lazarus Gray, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6’

'The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6'Lazarus Gray is a New Pulp character from writer Barry Reese (The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and other works) with several volumes out so far. The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6 actually follows the events of Gotterdamerung, which was a team-up of Reese’s various pulp heroes (and a few others), to stop the end of the world.

That story ended with the death of Gray.

But clearly, Reese had other plans. And, so, yes, this volume has his return. And it has Gray and his friends of Assistance Unlimited — with some additional help — going after several foes, both new and returning.

For those who have yet to read Gray (and why haven’t you after six volumes?), he is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger. Gray has setup a group similar to The Avenger’s called Assistance Unlimited. He is located in a fictional town called Sovereign City (created by Pro Se Press publisher Tommy Hancock), and is part of the larger Sovereign City Project. He is also set in the same universe as Barry’s other characters, so has crossed over with them.

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