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What "Pulp" have you read lately ?


st barbara
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Oh and an evil nazi mystic wearing a steel mask ( this is an idea that my co referee and I have used in our own pulp game...

Just as a trivia point, Herr Stahlmask was a villain in the old G-8 and His Battle Aces comics!

 

I ran a WWI pulp game with a German villain in a steel mask, too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I gotta come back in on this one.

 

I picked up copies of Bill Craig's "Hardluck Hannigan" series, and frankly it was almost completely unreadable.  That is some of the worst fiction I've ever read -- even Fu Manchu stuff is easier to suspend disbelief on. 

 

It wouldn't have been so incredibly bad if you weren't constantly pushed back out of the story by some completely wrong information (Himmler is now the Nazi Propaganda Minister -- bet Goebbels was PO'd when that happened) or by clumsy scene handling (the heroine of the first story makes some snide remark to Hannigan when they first meet, to which he responds by saying; "Hey, you asked ME to come here," which, given that the scene where he decided to go where she just happened to be was only a few pages before, you immediately remember was absolutely not true.  At various points in the story (supposedly set in 1937 or 1938), we find that Germany is already at war with England, then not, then they've invaded Poland, then they haven't, then the war in Spain is completely hosed up (I don't think Craig has any idea who was actually fighting in Spain, or what they were fighting about)...I won't even address the more obscure technical errors (like the Bf-109s are apparently the later models and absolutely have no problem flying into a French colony to shoot up Americans and Englishmen and engage with an RAF unit that apparently has the range to fly from Gibralter (I assume, or worse, maybe they were basing out of either Spanish Morocco or French Morocco, neither of which is likely because...oh, forget it) to what I can only assume is Algeria, and that's totes okay having the RAF doing that within French jurisdiction...Arrrrrgh!)...it all just gets too tiring for even the casual read.  Then, in the "climax" of the first volume, everyone just sort of wanders off somewhere without caring one tiny bit what happened to the people they were supposedly in love for life with.  Frankly it reads more like a Mad Magazine spoof of that kind of story than it did an actual story.  Nonsequitars, historical inaccuracies that a five-yer-old can spot, a complete inability to grasp basic physical and political geography, crappy plotting, weak dialogue, sudden interruptions of the plot line so the hero and heroine can snoggle someplace...yeesh.

 

I got partially into the second one before I gave it up in disgust.  My strong recommendations?

 

1) Give these a miss -- terrible, terrible writing, plotting and flow.  You actually feel dumber after having read these (at least the first one and a half) than you did before you started.  Eventually, I'll steel myself to read one of his later ones to see if there was any improvement, but sadly, "steeling myself" is what it will take.

 

2) Somebody call Craig and tell him to take a writing class.  And a basic history class (hell, he could just watch World at War and he'd be more informed than he is currently).  Maybe teaching him how to use a simple flow chart or read a map would be a good thing, too. 

 

Tom Clancy, this guy ain't.  In fact, he isn't even running close to Clive Cussler (who is another hack writer, but at least can string his one and only plotline together somewhat).

 

Very disappointing.

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Not pulp "fiction", but I recently got two books "The Wonderful Future That Never Was" and "The Amazing Weapons That Never Were" both edited by Greg Benford and full of pictures and articles from "Popular Mechanics" magazine, from the 1930's through to 1970. Could be a great resourse for "Weird Tech" and weapons with which to equip science heroes and would be world conquerors. (Hearst Books, $u s 24.95).

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On the subject of Doc Savage crossovers anyone seen the Doc Savage King Kong crossover Doc Savage on Skull Island?

 

As for what I've read, I recently found a group of books on amazon that reprint two stories of famous pulp charecters. There's at least the Shadow, Doc Savage, and The Spider. So the last pulp I read were two Shadow stories that were the favorite of the Shadow's author. The Grove of Doom and the masked Lady

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Just finished a block of Christmas gift card purchases: A collection of the original Jim Anthony stories (interesting and entertaining stories about a slightly less stilted version of the Doc Savage concept), a collection of the Kid Calvert western stories (admittedly outside my wheelhouse, both topically and stylistically, but entertaining), the collected Captain Zero stories (probably the best 'invisible man' series I've read from the pulps), and Volume 1 of Harold Lamb's Cossack stories, Wolf of the Steppes (not what I expected, but darned good).

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I don't know much about pulps. I remember seeing pulp magazines - small digest sized publications with color artwork covers, with western or true crime themes - on newsstands as late as the 1990s or even early 2000s. These seemed to be the real old-school thing, not hipster revivals. Does anyone know what I mean and are any still around?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just finished a block of Christmas gift card purchases: A collection of the original Jim Anthony stories (interesting and entertaining stories about a slightly less stilted version of the Doc Savage concept), a collection of the Kid Calvert western stories (admittedly outside my wheelhouse, both topically and stylistically, but entertaining), the collected Captain Zero stories (probably the best 'invisible man' series I've read from the pulps), and Volume 1 of Harold Lamb's Cossack stories, Wolf of the Steppes (not what I expected, but darned good).

I don't know the "Jim Anthony" stories. Who wrote them ? If they are in the style of Doc Savage I will interested.

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Basic information on the series can be found here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Anthony

 

I read the Volume 1 Altus collection in Kindle format:

 

http://smile.amazon.com/Super-Detective-Jim-Anthony-Complete-1-ebook/dp/B009YZOPDU/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1461438509&sr=1-6&keywords=jim+anthony&refinements=p_n_feature_browse-bin%3A618073011

 

 

I liked them well enough that I'll be picking up the second volume in a month or so. 

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I don't know what the issues making you unsure might be, but I can tell you that there isn't anything resembling bedroom action going on in the stories, despite the other material the publisher was cranking out. A kiss here and there, some obvious (for the pulps) indicators in one of the first three stories that at least one character wishes there was said action going on, but all in all these stories didn't really fall in the 'spicy' category for me. (Your mileage might vary, of course.) For me, they were simply written for an audience a bit older than the 12-14 crowd that Doc Savage was aimed at.

 

Given the price for the print versions, I would, however, definitely recommend the Kindle versions, if you do ebooks.

 

Another set of reviews:

 

http://www.thepulp.net/pulpsuperfan/2013/04/20/jim-anthony-super-detective/

 

http://www.thepulp.net/pulpsuperfan/2013/12/30/review-super-detective-jim-anthony-vol-2/

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