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What "Pulp" have you read lately ?

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Thanks to my grandfather I read a lot of Doc Savage books. I read some modern pulp novels for a while, the "executioner" series by Don Pendleton. God I'm so embarassed to admit that...

 

 

Embarrased?  By God man!  They're PULP!   :winkgrin:

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Thanks to my grandfather I read a lot of Doc Savage books. I read some modern pulp novels for a while, the "executioner" series by Don Pendleton. God I'm so embarassed to admit that...

The Executioner books that were actually written by Don Pendleton are great. It's when he left the series and they started using ghost writers that the quality suffered. Another great modern pulp series that suffered the same fate is The Destroyer. When Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy started the series, it was all about philosophy, political commentary, social satire, and of course plenty of violence. The later books usually try to emulate the formula but the writers usually only succeed with the violence part. Still, each series has a few good books by ghost writers and more than a few great books by the original writers. If you can get your hands on early Executioner and Destroyer, you won't be disappointed.

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Did you know Pendleton wrote a straight up SF novel, "the guns of Terra 10"?

No, I didn't know about that. I know about the Ashton Ford series because I have four of them. Besides those and a ton of Executioner books, I don't have anything else that he wrote. I'll have to see if I can track it down. Thanks for the heads up.

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The just finished list for October:

Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood. The first book in the Phryne Fisher series of modern mysteries set in 1920's Australia. Not technically 'pulp,' but set in the period. I'd previously seen many of the television series episodes with my wife and decided to try the books. An interesting read, with a heroine hat certainly has the skills to have been a pulp adventurer.

G-8 and is Battle Aces #1: The Bat Staffel & #2: Purple Aces by Robert Hogan - Wow. Ummm. Just wow. If Bob Hogan wasn't smoking something when he started writing these, he must have started before too long to keep the ideas flowing. Planes shaped like giant vampire bats, tunnels capable of allowing 100,000 German troops to appear in the middle of France from, brainwashed/hypnotized pilots, cloaked madmen, evil science dwarves (yes, that is a real thing), and more. Well worth reading, even if you're not a fan of WW1 aerial combat.

Writings in Bronze, by Will Murray - A collection of the pulp historian and writer's essays and articles on Doc Savage. Fascinating reading, with some really interesting looks at the real 'history' of Doc Savage. Lots of cool ideas in here for you to lit and adapt.

The Revised Complete Chronology of Bronze by Rick Lai - An updated and revised chronology, putting all of Doc Savage's adventures in chronological order by date, with a collection of bonus essays at the end discussing his parentage, familial relations, and how other famous (and infamous) pulp figures tie into his story. A real campaign booster, and highly recommended.

The Chronology of Shadows by Rick Lai - Does for The Shadow, what Rick did for Doc Savage in his 'Chronology of Bronze.' Equally recommended.

Diamondstone, the Magician Detective by G.T. Fleming-Roberts - A magician-turned-detective after someone revealed the secrets of his illusions, Diamondstone is a big, blond man with a love for magic tricks, a good right, and an eye for the ladies. Interesting and worth a read.

The Horror on the Links by Seabury Quinn - The first of a multi-part chronological collection of the Jules de Grandin stories. Occult-themed short detective stories, these are the first of the series and, one assumes, a bit more rough around the edges than the later stories) as the somewhat (to modern eyes) effeminate de Grandin and his American physician companion confront werewolves, ghostly cultists, vampires, and more. I really can't recommend these enough if you're looking for nontraditional occult stories to draw scenario inspiration from.

Rick Lai's Secret Histories: Criminal Masterminds & Rick Lai's Secret Histories: Daring Adventurers - A pair of companion volumes publishing Rick Lai's essays on assorted pulp era heroes and villains, dealing with familial relations (for example, how is Jack London's Wolf Larson related to Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu), battles between them (both villains and heroes) and more. Fascinating Wold Newton Universe stuff.

 

 

 

 

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Just now, st barbara said:

 "Kharis 2000" You might see if you can find the DVDs of "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries":, an Australian T V series based (originally) on the Kerry Greenwood novels.

Excellent suggestion.

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Just got my copies of Jess Nevins' "The Encyclopedia Of  Fantastic Pulp Heroes" and "The Encyclopedia Of Pulp Adventurers". Lots of characters that I don't know (of course) and at least ONE surprise omission, Eric John Stark, unless I missed him, but otherwise it looks like good fun and very worthwhile, as can be expected of Nevins. I haven't read right through them yet, but they will definately fill a gap in my reference library.

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On 7/23/2017 at 8:59 AM, Tech priest support said:

Thanks to my grandfather I read a lot of Doc Savage books. I read some modern pulp novels for a while, the "executioner" series by Don Pendleton. God I'm so embarassed to admit that...

 

Don't be embarrassed.

 

I have been reading the Executioner off and on now for some 30 years. Every couple of years, I get the itch and have to go back and read a batch of them for fun. All total, I think I have 200+ Executioners and all of the Able Team and Phoenix Force lines. Now that I finished watching the Punisher series on Netflix, I think Mack Bolan might be calling me back yet again...

 

Now, Doc Savage - I actually haven't read any of them - can someone give me an idea of what this line of books is like? Where would a newbie start?

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1 hour ago, toddbanister said:

 

Now, Doc Savage - I actually haven't read any of them - can someone give me an idea of what this line of books is like? Where would a newbie start?

 

Book 1 is Man of Bronze.  The original 181 stories were from 1933 to 1949.  There are additional new/rewrite/etc from 1975 through the present. 

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"toddbanister" Try looking on the net for "Nostalgia Ventures Inc" or "Sanctum Productions". They have reprinted a number of the "Doc Savage" stories in a large size magazine format complete with illustrations and essays by people such as Will Murray (One of the authors of the post 1975 stories mentioned by "Spence").

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On 11/24/2017 at 11:51 AM, Nothere said:

These two books sound like they have a lot of repeat entries.

Nevins says in his introduction "Fantastic Pulp Heroes" is intended to cover all the heroes who appeared in science fiction,fantasy and horror stories. "Pulp Adventurers" is intended to cover all the heroes who aren't the protagonists of science fiction,fantasy and  horror stories ".  I haven't yet found any repeat entries.  Another volume (which I don't have) covers pulp cowboys and there may be others planned.

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The just finished list for November through January:

 

The Complete Tales of Kingi Bwana Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 - These were an experiment for me, since I've read very little 'jungle pulp' that wasn't Ki Gor, or Tarzan, or one of their ilk. King (Kingi' to the natives) is a great white hunter, explorer, and adventurer ranging across Africa. Some shorter stories mixed in with much longer ones. All pretty well grounded in the real world (with one exception dealing with genetics), and written with a surprisingly open-minded for the times attitude towards the natives and relations with them.

 

Beyond the Black Enigma - Gardner F. Fox wrote a lot of pulp, and this one is sci-fi pulp in the classic mold. A Space Patrol troubleshooter is sent into a black nebula that's swallowed up thousands of patrolmen trying to explore it. If this is your cup of tea, drink up.

 

Doc Savage Archives, Vol. 1: The Curtis Magazine Era - In the 70's Marvel Comics published 8 issues of a B&W magazine format Doc Savage. They were all original stories - some cracking good, some average, one too sci-fi for me - but all worth a look.

 

Zarkon, Lord of the Unknown - Lin Carter was, possibly, the hardest working pulp pastiche artist not writing in the original pulps. You name it, he pasticed it up: John Carter, Doc Savage, Conan, Pellucidar, he did it all. This is his 0's era pastiche of Doc Savage. It's funky, well-written in Carter's trademark copied style, and has some interesting nods to more modern eyes.

 

The Creeping Siamese and Other Stories - Continental Op material from Dashiell Hammet; it rarely gets better.

 

The Spider #1: The Spider Strikes - This one was really odd. The Spider is possibly the most fever-dream of the pulp characters, but this introduction to the character is... well it's taken a lot of aspirin. R.T.M. Scott, the original author, is no Norville Page. For completist's only. All others skip to Page's first novel and start there.

 

The Adventures of Lazarus Gray, Omnibus Edition - I was curious about this one. It's 'new pulp' written in the style of the older pulps, with original characters. My verdict: if you're looking for ideas and characters to mine for a pulp game, there's plenty to find here. If you're looking for fantastic writing  - pulp or otherwise - not s much. Barry Reese has great ideas, but his writing skill isn't quite up to the task f bringing it to life for me. It feels kind of flatly narrated to me; I'm told things I should be shown.

 

Doc Savage: Skull Island - Will Murray's crossover novel is in interesting read. Doc isn't Doc - at least, not the Doc of the pulps, not yet. Set right at the end of WW1, the only Doc Novel that would precede this would be Phil Farmer's WW1 novel, 'Escape from Loki.' There are no Fab 5, no superfirers, none of that. What we do get is a young Doc still deciding how he's going o do what he's going to do. And we get Savage Sr, and some interesting bits of speculative history. And we get Savage St, Sr - doc's grandfather. And we get Kong, on Skull Island (more the glassic 30's era Kong and Skull Island than either of the more modern versions.

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I'm currently reading  "The Weiser Book Of Occult Detectives" (Judika Illes ed). Many of the stories are early (nineteenth century) but the later ones (World War 1 and later) certainly fit my definition of "pulp".. Several well known writers such as Conan Doyle and Sax Rohmer but with stories  featuring characters OTHER than the ones for which they are famous.

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"Knaris2000" The Rohmer story is "Case Of The Veil Of Isis" featuring  Moris Klaw.. It was good to read a couple of the stories that featured FEMALE occult detectives (Diana Marburg and Sheila Crerar , not names I had heard of previously).

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 I have mentioned (I think) that a pulp officionado should not neglect "Young Adult" fiction while searching for a good adventure story and i've found an interesting series that (for me) qualifies as "neo pulp" (right sort of adventure but in a modern setting). That is the "Kitty Hawk " series by Iain Reading.

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I've been reading the Jules De Grandin reprints from Nightshade Press. Great stories with a few clunkers here and there, probably one of the classic 'occult detective' series. Yow but the little Frenchman is bloodthirsty though! Yeah the people he kills richly have it coming but when you read about him and a local cop reporting on the death of a child-killing necromancer it gets grim. "He died in a fall down the stairs. Yes, mon ami, I am certain. I took him back up and hurled him down again when the first time didn't quite finish him."

 

If anyone cares, while not a pulp book itself on Amazon they're selling a re-issue of the 45-year-old classic Worse Things Waiting, a collection of fine horror stories by Manly Wade Wellman. He was a pulp-era author and many of the stories are from the pulp years, and great inspiration for tales of occult weirdness. It also has the original edition's art by Lee Brown Coye if you like that.

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On 1/16/2017 at 2:45 AM, ArmlessTigerMan said:

Not 'reading' per say, but I've been working my way through Clark Ashton Smith's oeuvre in audio form on youtube.  Some of the narrators are better than others, but you can't beat the price.  Some examples:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdGscVDaxZk

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obbgTkWgGbM

 

To get the most out of his stuff, you'd probably want to google the contents of his different story collections (Zothique, Hyperborea, ...) and organize your listening that way.

 

Also lots of REH on youtube as well, but haven't gotten around to those just yet.

 

Hopefully this won't be OT, but anyone who wants to read CAS for themselves can find his entire written work online for free here: http://www.eldritchdark.com/

 

Enjoy.

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I recently got "The Blood And Thunder Guide To Pulp Fiction" by Ed Hulse. It seems to be geared towards the collector but has some useful appendices with a list of  "Notable Books About The Pulps",, "Small Press Publications Specialising In Pulp Reprints", and "Must Have Anthologies Of Pulp Fiction" (Murania press. 2013).

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