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

More Nina & Eddie

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017 in Review, Techno-Thriller
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

More Nina & Eddie

'The Valhalla Prophecy'I have previously posted on Andy McDermott‘s series starring archaeologist Nina Wilde and her bodyguard/ex-SAS/boyfriend and now husband Eddie Chase.

As noted, the first eight Wilde and Chase novels comprised a loose series, as they had a secondary story-line dealing with Atlantis that started with the first novel and is wrapped up with the eighth.

The next novel, The Valhalla Prophecy, starts a new phase for both characters. It’s interesting that even the cover style changed with this one. Here they learn of an ancient and deadly substance found by the Vikings with can cause death and mutations.

The Russians had discovered one source of it and knew it was so dangerous, they destroyed it and setup a group to monitor and discover any other sources. Wilde and Chase team up with them to find the other known source and destroy it before a dangerous American can obtain it and use it. But in doing so, this has unexpected consequences for both Nina and Eddie that leads to them leaving the International Heritage Agency, the UN agency formed to protect Atlantis and that Nina finally got to head.

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Galactic Central & the FictionMags Index

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, April 21, 2017 in Commentary, References, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Galactic Central & the FictionMags Index

'The Hero Pulp Index'While I was an early science-fiction fan (including pulp sf), I also got into comic books as a kid, and later started to collect them. A resource I started to obtain was the annual Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. The first edition I got was #9 from 1979, after seeing #8 in a bookstore. But here was the thing.

I didn’t care about comic book prices. Never did.

I got Overstreet for all the other information it had that I needed as a collector. When did a title start and end? What titles got renamed or merged? How many issues did it have? What issues of a title had certain backup series? Where did certain backup series go from one title to another? Which ones had certain creators work on? And so on.

When I got into reading pulp heroes, this sort of information was missing. Or at least for me in those early pre-Internet days, was hard to find. I was oblivious to the world of fandom at the time. I only later learned about stuff like The Hero Pulp Index. So as I focused on pulp heroes, it was hard to know how many stories a particular character had. Did this serial character run for four stories or six?

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Captain Hazzard is back!

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in Airship 27, Captain Hazzard, Hero Pulps, Jim Anthony, New Pulp, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

'Captain Hazzard: Custer's Ghost'Captain Hazzard is sadly a one-hit wonder in the pulp world, and is one of the more blatant Doc Savage clones. Originally published by Ace Magazines, his one issue came out in 1938, though a second story was written.

Ron Fortier of Airship 27 Productions decided to make full use of the character. He revamped the original novel and then did the same for the second, which had be turned into a Secret Agent X story. These became the first and third volume of a new series of Captain Hazzard books. He wrote new novels, which are the second and fourth volumes.

Now after too long we get a fifth Captain Hazzard novel: Custer’s Ghost. A welcome addition to this story is we get Super-Detective Jim Anthony added to the mix, and a return of Azlea O’Hara from volume two. It’s been awhile since Airship 27 had done anything with Jim Anthony, another original pulp hero and yet another Doc pastiche.

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Meet I.V. Frost, science detective

Posted by at 10:00 am Monday, April 10, 2017 in Hero Pulps, Pulps, Review, Street & Smith
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Meet I.V. Frost, science detective
'Clues Detective Stories' (April 1935)

Clues Detective Stories (April 1935)

Another pulp hero who has been largely overlooked by most pulp fans is I.V. Frost. A science detective created by Donald Wandrei, he appeared in Street & Smith’s Clues magazine in 1934.

S&S was frustrated that Clues, their newly-acquired dedicated mystery pulp, was being outsold by Black Mask. So they commissioned Wandrei to create a continuing character that would attract and keep readers.

Ivy Frost ran for 18 stories from September 1934 to September 1937. Several stories were cover featured. Was it successful? I don’t know, but Clues/Clues Detective Stories lasted until 1943 and appears to have ended due to the wartime paper shortages.

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Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6’

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2017 in Lazarus Gray, New Pulp, Pro Se Press, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Review: ‘The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6’

'The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6'Lazarus Gray is a New Pulp character from writer Barry Reese (The Peregrine, Gravedigger, and other works) with several volumes out so far. The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Vol. 6 actually follows the events of Gotterdamerung, which was a team-up of Reese’s various pulp heroes (and a few others), to stop the end of the world.

That story ended with the death of Gray.

But clearly, Reese had other plans. And, so, yes, this volume has his return. And it has Gray and his friends of Assistance Unlimited — with some additional help — going after several foes, both new and returning.

For those who have yet to read Gray (and why haven’t you after six volumes?), he is sort of inspired by the classic pulp hero The Avenger. Gray has setup a group similar to The Avenger’s called Assistance Unlimited. He is located in a fictional town called Sovereign City (created by Pro Se Press publisher Tommy Hancock), and is part of the larger Sovereign City Project. He is also set in the same universe as Barry’s other characters, so has crossed over with them.

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‘Pulp Adventures’ #24

Posted by at 10:00 am Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Comics, Fanzines, H.P. Lovecraft, Reprints, Review
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘Pulp Adventures’ #24

'Pulp Adventures' #24Pulp Adventures #24 (Winter 2017) kicks off 2017 with this great pulp fanzine from Bold Venture Press. As always, we get a collection of classic and New Pulp fiction (with some notes) and this time also a pulp graphic novel, under an Emmet Watson cover, which ties to one of the stories reprinted here.

For classic pulp, we get:

The cover feature, “Sheridan Rides Again,” is a post Civil War adventure by Sam Merwin Jr. that first appeared in an issue of Thrilling Adventure in 1941. Accompanying this reprint is an article that appeared in the same issue by Merwin that explains the historical background of the story. A prolific pulp writer (mysteries and science fiction mainly) and editor (several leading science-fiction pulps), most of his works are out of print. Bold Venture plans on reprinting more of them soon.

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