Sunday, September 14, 2014

Checking in quickly

Yes I'm still alive and kicking. Just overwhelmed right now. I'm moving the end of this month back to Northern California near the Sonora area to be closer to my family. And, because I never do half-measures on anything, I bought a house there. So adrenalin has taken over as I deal with inspections and appraisals and loan applications and negotiating with sellers and packing and finding out professional movers won't go to the area to which I'm moving unless I pay them outrageous amounts - in gold - because it's not a 'standard route.' So I've had to go out and find friends who will help me move.

Plus the house I'm living in now is also for sale, and they're showing the house practically every day.

Plus finding out that many major fire insurance companies won't insurance houses in this area I'm moving to because of the fire risk. Thank you, Rim Fire of 2013. But I found a company who would: Hartford, who, by the way, has a great plan if you're an AARP member.

Plus having to say good-bye to everyone here, which is the worst part. I do have to say, however, that this is an example of how Facebook has made my life better. Because I see friends on Facebook almost every day, it makes saying good-bye a lot less painful. Yes, "seeing" them on Facebook is only virtual, but it's better than only hearing from someone occasionally by email or a phone call.

So the blog has to take a back seat. It was either the blog or writing a few minutes on the Daisy Bacon book, and writing the book won out.

I'll be back intermittently until this is over. Thank you for your patience!

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

My PulpFest Report

PulpFest was fantastic this year. I'm not going to write a report other than my presentation at Ohio State University on Thursday afternoon. Everybody else writes such good reports that I can't write anything better. If you'd like to read others' reports, the links are below to where ThePulp.Net has collected them and you can find them on one page.

If you're interested in viewing recordings of the programs held during the convention, go here.

For reports on PulpFest, go here.

On Thursday afternoon, I spoke at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library at Ohio State University. Every year the Library invites various representatives in the pulp community to come and give a talk. My topic this year was about my grandfather's personal papers, which were donated to the Library the end of last year. I spoke on how I discovered my grandfather's career as a pulp fiction writer and his personal papers. The talk was well-attended with around 30 people; I've done this presentation many times in the past at local libraries and 30 is a good crowd.

Before the presentation, Eric Johnson, curator at the library, showed me where my grandfather's papers were stored and how they have cataloged and stored them. The cataloging is a major undertaking, and Rex Hughes who was in charge of the cataloging did a great job. There is an extensive on-line directory now of how to find what's in the papers. I will post those links when I get them.

One of the great treats was seeing the great display that Eric and his staff did with the Paul Powers papers. They take up two display cases in the lobby of the library. Here are some photos of the display.






Here's some photos from the presentation. The first photo is of me holding the recording of the Sonny Tabor Radio Show. Finding the manuscripts from the show online was the first clue that got me down the path to finding the career of Paul Powers.




Another great moment was in the auction on Saturday night. We (my aunt and I) auctioned off a few items, and the proceeds went to Grand Paws Senior Sanctuary in Acton, California. We figured that because my grandfather was such a big lover of dogs that it was very fitting. We auctioned off two copies of his novel DOC DILLAHAY, as well as two promotional prints that Street & Smith gave away; one was of Kid Wolf, and one was of Sonny Tabor. The total proceeds from those four pieces was $225, and Grand-Paws was very, very appreciative.

I didn't buy that many pulps this year. A few LOVE STORY issues, and a BLACK MASK with a Rex Sackler story for my collection, a few more. I bought more books - anthologies and biographies - more than anything.

The only downer for me, and it's one that I haven't quite gotten over, is that I wasn't able to meet Lisa Scott, the granddaughter of H.W. Scott, who was one of the prolific cover artists for WILD WEST WEEKLY. He did so many covers of Kid Wolf that I haven't even counted them. For some reason, I read somewhere that she would be at PulpFest on Friday or Saturday. Instead, she was there on Thursday and I missed her completely. It was totally my fault. Total bummer.

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Pulp News for August 1, 2014

Sorry for being so absent, but what else is new??

Lots of things to discuss, but before I start, here's an update on the house-hunting in the Sonora area. I don't have anything yet. If I can't find a good place to buy soon, I'll be happy to rent something for a while. I might have mentioned before that the biggest obstacle is finding something that doesn't have a lot of stairs. I still have time, however, but I do want to move sooner rather than later. The stress is starting to get to me, but I'm one of these that can't stand to have anything unsettled. But I need to learn to live with it...I went to the doctor today and my blood pressure is through the roof. Aye....

Anyway, onward...to more fun stuff!

PulpFest is around the corner!! I think we're ALL getting very excited. There will be at least fifty dealers at PulpFest, filling over 100 tables. If you're interested in seeing who will be there, go here for a complete list and description of all the dealers.


The auction on Saturday night is going to be a whopper. There will be a substantial accumulation of pulp magazines at this year’s auction, acquired by auctioneer Joseph F. Saine, with over seventy lots almost entirely devoted to pulp magazines.Featuring over 150 pulps as well as digests and dime novels. A wide variety of titles will be offered.

Another highlight of the auction will be a selection of books, fanzines, manuscripts, and ephemera from the collection of Everil Worrell, author of nineteen stories for Weird Tales. There will be twenty-five lots of collectibles from the Worrell estate, left to a small church in Washington, DC after the passing of the author’s only child, Eileen Murphy.

AND, if that doesn't float your boat, a few minor items from my grandfather's estate will be in the auction. No pulps, but there will be two prints of Kid Wolf and Sonny Tabor that were handed out as promotions during the 1930s. Here's the one of Sonny Tabor, a painting by Tom Lovell. This ended up being the cover of the August 7, 1937 cover of WILD WEST WEEKLY.


There will also be a copy of the US edition of DOC DILLAHAY, my grandfather's full length novel published in 1949, and also a scarce UK edition that was published the next year. The UK edition even has a dustjacket.


All of the proceeds from these items from my grandfather's estate will be donated to Grand-Paws Senior Sanctuary, in honor of his love of dogs and passion to help dogs that were abused or neglected. Grand-Paws is a sanctuary here in northern Los Angeles County that saves senior large breed dogs from shelters and gives them a safe, happy place to spend their golden years. Some of you might remember Ed, the 18 year old Dalmatian I fostered a few years ago. Ed was rescued by Grand-Paws.


I'm also speaking at Ohio State University Thursday, the 7th, at 4:30 PM, about my grandfather's career and the collection that we donated to the University. If you're interested in attending, here's the write up from their Facebook page:

"Please join the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library and the Aldus Society for our 4th Annual Pulp Fiction lecture on 7 August 2014, 4:30 p.m., in Thompson Library Rm. 150 A/B. This year we’ll hear from Laurie Powers, who will present a lecture entitled “Riding the Pulp Trail: The Career of Paul S. Powers.” Laurie will provide us with an overview of the vibrant world of one of the most popular fields of pulp fiction, the Western story, with particular emphasis on the life and career of one the genre’s most prolific writer, her grandfather, Paul S. Powers, who published hundreds of stories starring the likes of Freckles Malone, Sonny Tabor, and Kid Wolf in the Western pulps between 1925-1950. Laurie will also provide an overview of the Paul S. Powers Western and Pulp Fiction Writing Collection, an impressive array of pulp magazines, manuscripts, editorial and fan correspondence, books, photos, and art that she and her aunt and uncle, Pat and Ted Binkley, donated to OSU’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Library in December 2013. Numerous items from the collection will be on display at the lecture, as well as in the Thompson Special Collections display area for lecture attendees to examine."

I'll also have a table at PulpFest and will be selling all of my grandfather's books, including PULP WRITER, HIDDEN GHOSTS, and RIDING THE PULP TRAIL. If you haven't bought any of these and will be at PulpFest, I'll be offering a special deal if you buy all three!

Speaking of Riding the Pulp Trail, remember that it's now an audiobook, and it will soon be available on Amazon and Audible. I'm still looking for the links, though, so I'll post an update as soon as I get them.

Everyone have a great weekend!

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Friday, July 18, 2014

RIDING THE PULP TRAIL is now an AUDIOBOOK!

I have very exciting news - my grandfather's collection of western stories, RIDING THE PULP TRAIL, is now an AUDIOBOOK! A big thanks to Radio Archives for producing this and for James C. Lewis for his fantastic reading of these stories. There is a 5 minute clip that you can listen to here.


If you are new to the Paul Powers library of western stories, here is a short synopsis from the Radio Archives page:

Most fans of Western fiction know Paul S. Powers as one of the foundation authors of the famous pulp magazine of the 1930s and 1940s, Wild West Weekly, in which his popular characters Sonny Tabor, Kid Wolf, Freckles Malone, and Johnny Forty-five appeared for fifteen years.

Lesser known is the career Powers had after Wild West Weekly stopped publication in 1943. Powers continued to write for the best of the western fiction magazines throughout the 1940s. Now, here for the first time, are twelve Paul Powers stories written in the years after his Wild West Weekly career. Six of these were published in the leading western pulp magazines of the period. The other six, never published before, were discovered by Powers’ granddaughter Laurie in 2009.Two of the published stories, “A Pard for Navajo Jack,” and “Judgment Day on Whisky Trail,” appeared in Thrilling Western in 1947 and 1948. “Hangnoose for a Prodigal” appeared in Thrilling Ranch Stories in March 1948. “Buzzards Hate Bullets” was published in Exciting Western in November 1947. The two other stories, “Boothill is My Destination,” that appeared in Texas Rangers in December 1947, and “Death is Where You Find It” in Rio Kid Western in August 1949, were imprints of Better Publications.

All of the stories in this collection reflect a new style that Powers had to adopt in the early 1940s. His earlier Wild West Weekly style was geared towards its adolescent audience and full of the “blood and thunder” that was indicative of the pulp westerns during that period. Writing stories for Wild West Weekly was a highly lucrative trade for my grandfather, but he had to change course and relearn his craft when the old style was no longer popular. No longer were heroes to be the semi-super human cowboys who survived hundreds of bullet wounds and shoot targets with jaw dropping speed and accuracy. They were now to be more mature and sometimes with a darker look on life. Heroes that for years were clean-cut, highly moral and almost puritan in their habits were replaced by lead characters who drank, smoked, and swore.

But Powers rose to the task and continued to have his stories published through the 1940s and into the early 1950s. These twelve stories are representative of that era; they make for an outstanding collection of frontier stories that represent the glory years of the Western short story and the best of Powers’ prolific pulp career.


When I first started listening to the clip, I confess I cried a little bit. My grandfather would have been very pleased with the result.

RIDING THE PULP TRAIL can be bought in CD form here, or you can purchase a digital download here.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

News

I apologize for not being around much the past few weeks. The decision has been made for me to move to the Sonora area so I can be closer to family. My mother is 86 now and my sisters need my help. I'll be moving sometime in the fall, provided I find a place. I'm looking for a house to buy and the prices are of course much cheaper than Los Angeles, but the pickings are pretty slim. Plus I need to find a place that has a minimum of stairs (for my mother) and a fenced yard (for the dogs). That may not sound too hard, until you see the mountainous terrain of the area. I find myself checking Zillow and Trulia every five minutes.

I'm really looking forward to living in that area. I'll be closer to the family, and it definitely will be a pleasant change from Southern California. I'm tired of living in a ghetto neighborhood just to be next to the ocean. But the move will be bittersweet as I'll be leaving many close friends and family behind.

I'm still coming to Pulp Fest of course, and I'm looking forward to my presentation at Ohio State on Thursday the 7th at 4:30 PM. Believe me, after all this, going to Pulp Fest will be a very nice diversion. And yes, I'm still writing the book on Daisy.

Anyway, I'll try to post news and events as they crop up.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Dime Novel Roundup Reviews HIDDEN GHOSTS

I was delighted to get the latest copy of Dime Novel Roundup, and see the following review of our latest collection of my grandfather's stories, Hidden Ghosts. This collection, the last of the Paul Powers anthologies, was released last summer at PulpFest. With Dime Novel Roundup's permission, here is the review in it's entirety:

"Of the making of new collections of stories by Paul S. Powers may there be no end! When last we saw such a collection, it was Riding the Pulp Trail, also published by Altus Press; that one was devoted to his western stories. This one is almost all non-western and is a collection of noir, thriller, horror, and even some animal stories. The editor, Powers' granddaughter, admits that it is her favorite because it's filled with themes that she knows were very close to her heart.

"The fourteen stories are arranged according to the date of publication or, in the case of the unpublished ones, in the order of their composition. They appeared in issues of Weird Tales, Real Detective Tales & Mystery Stories, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Range Rider Western, Ranch Romances, and the modern Beat to a Pulp anthologies. As such, they reveal something of Powers' development as a writer. Even at the beginning (and his first published story is here) he knew how to write for the market and the reader he wished to reach. His stories fit the magazines that published them like a glove fits the hand, but some could just as well have been published anywhere. The pulp magazine was only one of many available markets for writers of fiction at the time, and Paul S. Powers was not merely a writer of stories for the pulps; he was a Writer - period.

"Most of the stories are told in the first person or told from the point of view of one of the characters, even when the character speaking is a dog. There are stories of mad scientists, resurrection from the dead, drug addiction, jungle explorers, a powerful account of an alcoholic's attempt to get sober, a true-crime article about a murder in 1865, a tale of the creation of a race of sentient ants, and a speculation about the fate of writer Ambrose Bierce. If you think you know what to expect in the stories of Paul S. Powers after having read Riding the Pulp Trail (2011), or any of his other books, think again. Hidden Ghosts is a collection worth returning to again and again. Highly recommended."


Thank you, Dime Novel Roundup!

Hidden Ghosts can be bought on amazon in either softcover or Kindle here, or at its publisher's website, Altus Press.

And if you're interested in subscribing to Dime Novel Roundup (the only scholarly quarterly devoted to the study of dime novel and related popular culture subjects), contact the editor at DimeNovelRoundup@aol.com. (And this is a unsolicited plug from me.)


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