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

‘The Red Road to Shamballah’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, September 18, 2017 in Adventure Pulps, Reprints, Review, Thrilling
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

‘The Red Road to Shamballah’

'The Red Road to Shamballah'An interesting serialized novel I obtained is The Red Road to Shamballah by Perley Poore Sheehan (1875-1943) and published by Black Dog Books.

Serialized in Thrilling Adventures over 1932-33, this reads as what I would imagine a Talbot Mundy-style novel would be (never having read Mundy).

American Pelham Rutledge Shattuck has lived in Asia most of his life. He knows many languages and is able to move more or less freely. But politics of the times causes problems. The Russians are expanded their influence, as are the British. He sometimes finds himself unwelcome in some areas as different sides think he’s on the other.

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Talbot Mundy: Master of Adventure

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, September 11, 2017 in Adventure Pulps, Pulps
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Talbot Mundy: Master of Adventure
Talbot Mundy

Talbot Mundy

A name that I would hear when I got into pulp fiction was that of Talbot Mundy. What little I recall was that he was an author of great adventure tales set in Asia, some with a mystic element.

While I have yet to read his works, I have been gathering information on him as I work to gather some of his works. His most well-known works are King of the Kyber Rifles, and his Tros of Samothrace and JimGrim series.

Talbot Mundy was what might be called a “rogue.” Born in England as William Lancaster Gribbon in 1879, he attended college but didn’t graduate. He went overseas, living and working in British India and East Africa. He did a variety of work, some a little on the shady side. He also at times took on other names, and apparently used them fraudulently. And he had several wives (though not at the same time). Talbot Mundy, the name he would legal change to, was based on one of these aliases, one he took to claim a connection to a noble family.

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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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Eric Trent: a short-lived air-adventure series

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, August 7, 2017 in Ace, Altus Press, Aviation Pulps, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Eric Trent: a short-lived air-adventure series

The Complete Adventures of Eric TrentEric Trent was Donald Keyhoe‘s final serial air-adventure character in Flying Aces. More realistic than his previous character series (Richard Knight and Philip Strange), this short-lived series ran 12 stories from 1940-42.

Trent is an American who gets involved in Nazi plots and threats just before the U.S. entered World War II, and a bit after. He is not a formal agent, but more of a freelancer. He flies around and tries to sell the inventions of his associate, Mortimer Crabb. And they usually get involved with some plot or issue. As they aren’t agents, they have to extract themselves from the problem, including dealing with police and government agents who think they are part of the problem.

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‘The Pulpster’ #26

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, July 28, 2017 in Detective Pulps, Fanzines, Non-fiction, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘The Pulpster’ #26

'The Pulpster' #26It’s summer 2017, and that means a new Pulpfest and a new issue of The Pulpster, #26!

The main focus of this issue is “dangerous dames” and “psychos.” The first seems apropos, what with the recent Wonder Woman tearing up the movie screens. But Wonder Woman is not pulp. Who, then are some of the dangerous dames of the pulps?

Well, Ron Goulart and Bill Pronzini provide us with a pair of articles on that.

Ron is up first with a look at some of the few female detectives from the pulps, many that I wasn’t aware of. There is Madame Storey who appeared in Argosy and Mystery in the 1920s and ’30s. Violet McCade appeared in Street & Smith’s Clues Detective Stories in 1935-37 (around the same time as I.V. Frost). Longer running is Theodore Tinsley‘s Carrie Cashin who appeared in S&S’s tryout pulp Crime Busters (later renamed Street & Smith’s Mystery Magazine) for nearly 40 stories from 1937 to ’42, the whole run of the magazine. Then we have Sarah Watson in Detective Fiction Weekly from 1935-38. Finally, and surprisingly, we have Sally the Sleuth, who starred in short two-page comic stories in the spicy pulps where she often lost most of her clothes. Sadly, none of these are readily available today. I keep hoping Sanctum Books would at least reprint some Carrie Cashin.

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More ‘Event Group’ thrillers

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2017 in Pulps, Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

More ‘Event Group’ thrillers

'Overlord'I have previously posted about David Golemon‘s Event Group series. This techno-thriller series focuses on a secretive group of scientists and soldiers who are part of the National Archives: Department 5656, or the Event Group. They look for dangerous secrets in the world to secure and preserve them, and have been around since Lincoln’s time.

At present, there are 11 books in the series. My first posting was on the first eight. Let’s look at the next books in the series.

A storyline that ran through the series and was a major part of three novels was that the world is threatened by an invasion of aliens, the Grays. They had wiped out a previous humanoid race that had existed on another world in our solar system, the remains of which formed the asteroid belt. This was revealed in Legacy. The first novel in the series served to both introduce us to the Event Group, to Maj. Jack Collins (now a colonel), the new head of security, and to the threat of the Grays.

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