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

Asimov’s The Black Widowers

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2017 in Post-pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Asimov’s The Black Widowers

'Tales of the Black Widowers'Isaac Asimov is probably known to most pulp fans for his science fiction work, in particular his Robot and Foundation series. Many may not be aware of his scientific work, including a long-running series of science articles (nearly 400) that were collected in a series of books (not sure if all were, I have many of the books).

Less known may be his mysteries. One of his most interesting mystery series is the Black Widowers. These are short stories set in a fictional men’s supper club, with each tale one of the members brings a guest. During the post dinner drinks, the guest is grilled, and it’s always found he has some issue or problem that must be solved (though not always a crime). The members try to figure out the problem. And it’s usually the club’s waiter, Henry, viewed as an almost unofficial member, who provides a solution to the problem. And its usually a simple and clear one.

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Fanzine focus: ‘Pulp Adventures’ #18

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 25, 2015 in Adventure Pulps, Detective Pulps, Fanzines, Post-pulp, Pulps, Review, Western Pulps
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Fanzine focus: ‘Pulp Adventures’ #18

"Pulp Adventures" #18Pulp Adventures #18 (Summer 2015), the fourth issue of the new version from Bold Venture Press, is now out. We get a collection of pulp fiction, along with some “post pulp fiction” taken from the various “men’s adventure” magazines that replaced the pulps, and some new stuff, all under a Norman Saunders crime cover. As I’ve noted in reviews of previous issues, we don’t have any similar series of pulp reprints out there now, and this is a great series.

The issue starts with an editorial that gives an overview of the men’s adventure magazines. There are several works out there that focus on them (even an ad for several of them). And we then get right to it with “MacDonald’s Nightmare Safari,” which gives the adventure of Jim MacDonald on his quest for diamonds in South America. But it’s not so simple as he must contend with dangerous natives, a man-eating dinosaur (or is it a giant lizard?), and a dame. Who wrote this tale for issue of Man’s Conquest in 1959 is unknown, as it was billed as written by Jim MacDonald himself! Thought it interesting that the issue’s cover was by George Gross, a long-time pulp cover artist who later did the great covers for paperback reprints of The Avenger and others.

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