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

The adventures of Peter the Brazen

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 24, 2016 in Adventure Pulps, Altus Press, Reprints, Review

The adventures of Peter the Brazen

"The City of Stolen Lives"A classic pulp adventurer that I had heard of but never had the chance to read the stories of is Peter the Brazen.

What I had heard sounded really interesting: a two-fisted adventurer wandering the exotic Orient between the world wars, going up against several menacing villains like the Gray Shadow, Ung the Unspeakable, K’ang of the Green Circle Tong, and the most dangerous Mr. Lu, better known as the Blue Scorpion.

But surprisingly most of his tales have never been reprinted!

Now Altus Press is addressing this in a new series aimed at reprinting the entire run, doing so within their Argosy Library series. The first volume, The City of Stolen Lives: The Adventures of Peter the Brazen, reprints the first three stories that appeared in 1918, as well as a great introductory essay by Will Murray.

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Weinberg’s ‘Incredible Adventures’

Posted by at 11:00 am Wednesday, May 18, 2016 in Adventure Pulps, Fantasy Pulp, Pulps, Reprints, Review, Science Fiction Pulps

Weinberg’s ‘Incredible Adventures’

I have previously posted on Robert Weinberg and his several excellent pulp reprint series. There was Pulp Classics, which mainly focused on the hero pulps, and the shorter-lived series Weird Menace, which focused on that genre. Midway in length was Lost Fantasies, focusing on overlooked pulp fantasy.

Now we’ll look at this final, and short-lived, pulp reprint series Incredible Adventures, which lasted only three issues. What is interesting is that the first two weren’t published by Weinberg (though he did distribute them).

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The Argosy Library, Series II

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, April 25, 2016 in Adventure Pulps, Altus Press, Detective Pulps, Occult Detective, Pulps, Science Fiction Pulps

The Argosy Library, Series II

"Champion of Lost Causes"About a year ago, Altus Press started a new line called the “Argosy Library,” which is composed of several series of 10 books each highlighting some of the great fiction that appeared in the early pulps.

All are taken from the pulps started by Frank A. Munsey, who started to convert his fiction magazines to pulp paper and reduced their price, making them more profitable. He published the well-known Argosy magazine, which got its start in the late 1800s, and several other popular magazines such as The All-Story and Flynn’s Detective Fiction Weekly. Series I came out last year, and now we get Series II.

Series II consists of:

  • Champion of Lost Causes, by Max Brand
  • The Scarlet Blade: The Rakehelly Adventures of Cleve and D’Entreville, Vol. 1 by Murray R. Montgomery
  • Doan and Carstairs: Their Complete Cases, by Norbert Davis
  • The King Who Came Back, by Fred MacIsaac
  • Blood Ritual: The Adventures of Scarlet and Bradshaw, Vol. 1 by Theodore Roscoe
  • The City of Stolen Lives: The Adventures of Peter the Brazen, Vol. 1 by Loring Brent
  • The Radio Gun-Runners, by Ralph Milne Farley
  • Sabotage, by Cleve F. Adams
  • The Complete Cabalistic Cases of Semi Dual, The Occult Detector, Vol. 2: 1912–13 by J.U. Giesy and Junius B. Smith
  • South of Fifty-Three, by Jack Bechdolt

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The Masked Master Mind

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, October 26, 2015 in Adventure Pulps, Pulps, Reprints, Review

The Masked Master Mind
George F. Worts

George F. Worts

The Masked Master Mind is another in Altus Press‘ The Argosy Library. Written by George F. Worts, it was serialized in Argosy All-Story Weekly in 1926.

Worts is probably best known as the author of Peter the Brazen, under the pen name of Loring Brent. I haven’t read any of the Peter the Brazen stories, and am surprised by the fact that other than the first series (cobbled together into a novel), the rest of the stories haven’t been reprinted.

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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

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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Lester Dent in ‘Argosy’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, September 21, 2015 in Adventure Pulps, Altus Press, Lester Dent, Pulps

Lester Dent in ‘Argosy’
Lester Dent

Lester Dent

Lester Dent, the co-creator and major author of Doc Savage, is too often overlooked in regards to his non-Doc work he did before, during, and after he wrote the character. I’ve done previous posts on several of his “gadget heroes” and other works, and am sure I’ll do further posts on his other non-Doc works.

One particular episode of his career is when, during a too brief lull in writing Docs, he was able to try breaking into other markets. This allowed him to try to get stories in Argosy, the long-running and well respected Munsey pulp. Out of this was two novelettes: “Hades” and “Hocus Pocus,” and the long novel “Genius Jones,” serialized over six issues. All three stories have some similar elements. All have several interesting characters, many who seem influenced by Doc and his associates. And all have a higher level of humor than his regular output, with “Genius Jones” the most explicit version of this.

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