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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‘The Best of Farmerphile’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 23, 2017 in Doc Savage, Non-fiction, Pastiche, Philip Jose Farmer, Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Wold Newton Universe
Estimated reading time: 1 minute

‘The Best of Farmerphile’

The Best of FarmerphileMeteor House‘s The Best of Farmerphile, as its title indicates, collects the best of the fiction and non-fiction that ran in the 15 issues of Farmerphile, published from 2005-09.

Focused on Philip José Farmer, it had non-fiction and previously unpublished fiction by Farmer, along with a variety of non-fiction works about Farmer and works by others.

And why should we care?

Because Farmer, as a pulp fan himself, wrote works (sometimes as pastiches) about or using pulp characters such as Tarzan, Doc Savage, Sherlock Holmes, and others. I’ve previously posted on Farmer’s work in this area, including the Wold Newton Family/Universe.

And several of the non-fiction works included here touch on several of those.

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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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A look at ‘Buckaroo Banzai’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, May 26, 2017 in Movies, Pastiche, Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

A look at ‘Buckaroo Banzai’

In 1984 I was thrilled to see a new movie that seemed (to me) to have some pulp inspirations: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension. We got to see Dr. Buckaroo Banzai, neurosurgeon, physicist, musician, and adventurer, in action alongside his band-mates, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, who were all top experts in their fields. They worked to stop the evil Red Lectoids from Planet 10 escaping from Earth and causing the good Black Lectoids to destroy the Earth to stop them.

Buckaroo Banzai and his Hong Kong Cavaliers: actors Jeff Goldblum (from left), Clancy Brown, Peter Weller (as Buckaroo), Pepe Serna, Billy Vera, and Lewis Smith.

Buckaroo Banzai and his Hong Kong Cavaliers: actors Jeff Goldblum (from left), Clancy Brown, Peter Weller (as Buckaroo), Pepe Serna, Billy Vera, and Lewis Smith.

And at the end we were promised a sequel in which Banzai and his friends went up against the World Crime League!

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Young Harry Dickson

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, March 6, 2017 in Fantomas, French pulp, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Sherlock Holmes
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Young Harry Dickson

'The Man in Grey'I have posted in the past about Harry Dickson, the American Sherlock Holmes. While the character started off as nothing more than an unauthorized version of Sherlock Holmes published in Germany, he became a character in his own right in Belgium and France, rivaling even Holmes himself.

In looking at the history of the character and where he got his name, some have justly looked at an early and popular character, Allan Dickson, King of the Australian Detectives. Created by Arnould Galopin, who also created Doctor Omega, Allan Dickson appeared in several short stories and a few of novels between 1906-12.

The folks at Black Coat Press have put forth the idea that Allan Dickson is Harry Dickson, but just a younger one, as the main period of Harry Dickson’s career is the mid-1920s to mid-’30s. Plus, Allan Dickson is shown being mentored by Sherlock Holmes, and Harry would move in to 221B Baker Street (I guess after Sexton Blake also moved out?).

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‘Tales of the Shadowmen #13: Sang Froid’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017 in Doctor Omega, Foreign Pulps, French pulp, Harry Dickson, Pastiche, Review, Roulatabille, Sar Dubnotal, The Black Coats, Wold Newton Universe
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

‘Tales of the Shadowmen #13: Sang Froid’

'Tales of the Shadowmen #13: Sang Froid'There’s another volume of Tales of the Shadowmen out. The Black Coat Press series is now up to 13 volumes. This one is subtitled “Sang Froid,” which means “cold blood.” For me, I think of a murder mystery where someone is “murdered in cold blood,” but here it’s about the ability to stay calm in difficult or even dangerous situations — which many of these character have in spads.

As noted, this annual series makes use of Philip José Farmer‘s “Wold Newton” concept, mixing in a variety of literary characters, with a focus on the various pulp and pulpish characters of France and Europe, such as Arsene Lupin, Fantômas, The Nyctalope, Rouletabille, and many others, as well as those from other countries.

This year’s volume gives us:

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