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

‘Sargasso’ and William Hope Hodgson

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, January 16, 2017 in Fantasy Pulp, Fanzines, Pulps, Weird Fiction

‘Sargasso’ and William Hope Hodgson

'Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies' #1William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918) is an author more people should be aware of. He wrote essays, short fiction, novels, and poetry, most in the genres of horror, fantastic, and science fiction. Much of his short fiction appeared in pulp magazines in the U.K. and U.S.

Because he had ran away to be a Merchant Marine at age 13, an experience he grew to hate, many of his stories were clearly influenced by this, especially his “Sargasso Sea” stories. Most pulp fans are probably aware of him due to his occult detective, Carnacki, or perhaps his various sea stories or mention of his works by H.P. Lovecraft.

For those wanting to delve further into Hodgson, there is a semi-annual journal, Sargasso: The Journal of William Hope Hodgson Studies. Three issues have appeared so far in 2013, 2014, and 2016. All are available on Amazon. These journals have essays, poetry, artwork, and even short fiction, all focused on Hodgson and his work. They are edited by Sam Gafford, a long-time scholar and editor of Hodgson’s works. I’ve gotten all of them over the years and look forward to each one.

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‘Skelos’ takes on weird fiction, fantasy

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2016 in Fantasy Pulp, Fanzines, Weird Fiction

‘Skelos’ takes on weird fiction, fantasy

'Skelos' #1A new magazine that has come out is Skelos. It’s billed as “the journal of weird fiction and dark fantasy.” Like others, it was launched with Kickstarter, but you can still order issues. I subscribed to the first four and recently received the first issue.

As noted, the focus is on weird fiction. In an editorial, this is given as the fiction that came from Weird Tales and from a variety of authors: Arthur Machen, Ambrose Bierce, Lord Dunsany, and on into H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, C.L. Moore, and the many who followed them. And it also includes artists like Margaret Brundage, Virgil Finley, and the like. So pretty impressive company.

The first issue (Summer 2016) seems to set the stage for future issues. We get a collection of short fiction, a couple of novelettes, and some poetry. But we also get some essays and even an illustrated story. There is also a selection of a half-dozen book reviews.

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‘Cirsova’: heroic fantasy and sf magazine

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, August 10, 2016 in Fantasy Pulp, Fanzines, Review, Science Fiction Pulps

‘Cirsova’: heroic fantasy and sf magazine

'Cirsova' #1A new magazine focusing on new fiction in the vein of classic pulp magazines like Planet Stories, Weird Tales, and Thrilling Wonder Stories is now out: Cirsova.

It launched the first and second issues with Kickstarter campaigns. The first issue you can obtain from Amazon, the second one is being produced and should come out soon. There is talk of doing a subscription option for the third and fourth issues. Number 3 will focus on pirates, and the fourth will be a double-size winter issue.

I got the first issue, and it’s an overall nice magazine. There is a novelette, 6 short stories, a poem, and an essay. Cover is by Jabari Weather, who also produced the cover for the second and third issues as well.

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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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Robert Weinberg’s ‘Lost Fantasies’

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, December 7, 2015 in Fantasy Pulp, Pulps, Reprints, Review

Robert Weinberg’s ‘Lost Fantasies’

"The Bride of Osiris"I have previously posted on Robert Weinberg and his excellent pulp reprint series Pulp Classics, which mainly focused on the hero pulps, and the shorter lived series Weird Menace, which focused on that genre. Another series he launched around the same time is Lost Fantasies. The aim was to reprint overlooked fantasy works from the pulp era.

The series consists of:

  • The Bride of Osiris (1975)
  • Loot of the Vampire (1975)
  • Gargoyle: A Tale of Devil Worship (1975)
  • Lost Fantasies 4 (1976)
  • Lost Fantasies 5 (1977)
  • Lost Fantasies 6 (1977)
  • Dreadful Sleep (1977)
  • The Lake of Life (1978)
  • The Sin Eaters (1979)

The first issue, The Bride of Osiris, is a collection of stories by Otis Adelbert Kline. Kline is probably best know for his Burroughesque stories set on Mars and Venus. This volume, in addition to the title story, also includes “The Bird-People” and “The Cup of Blood” by Kline. All under a Frank Hamilton cover.

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Fanzine focus: ‘Pulpdom’

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 7, 2015 in Adventure Pulps, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Fantasy Pulp, Fanzines, Johnston McCulley, Non-fiction, Pulps, Review, Science Fiction Pulps

Fanzine focus: ‘Pulpdom’

"Pulpdom" No. 46A long-running pulp fanzine that recently made the move to being an online publication is Pulpdom. Pulpdom has a distinguished history that goes back many, many years under the editoriship of Camille “Caz” Cazedessus Jr.

The fanzine got its start as ERB-dom in 1960, with Caz and Al Guillory Jr. as the editors and publishers. Clearly devoted to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Caz soon took over with the death of Al. He ran it for several years until ending publication in 1976 with No. 89.

Caz later got back into publishing with a revival of The Fantasy Collector with No. 201 in December 1988. It was renamed The Fantastic Collector with No. 228, and soon re-incorporated ERB-dom into the zine with No. 248 (double-billed as The Fantastic Collector No. 248/ERB-dom No. 90). These zines reprinted classic pulp fiction from the early 20th century, usually of the “lost race,” high adventure, SF adventure types from Burroughs, A. Merrit, Talbot Mundy, H. Rider Haggard and the like, along with articles and reviews on these types of pulp fiction (and of course Burroughs’ work).

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