Sunday, August 16, 2009

Scanners to Buy and Letters to Write About

Well, it looks like I'm going to have to break down and buy a scanner. Not something I wanted to do at this particular moment in time, but it wasn't until I didn't have a working scanner that I realized how much I depended on it. I'm only telling you this because that's why I haven't been back with another Black Mask short story summary. I didn't want to do one on the current story I'm reading - "Heads - the Corpse Loses" by D.L. Champion, until I could give you a decent picture of the magazine cover. I will tell you that the story is terrific. Champion is known for his "Corpse" stories, and this is one of his Rex Sackler/Joey Graham private eye series - hard boiled and very funny.

I'm also working on an article for Blood N Thunder magazine, based on the letters my grandfather received from the editors of Wild West Weekly while he was writing for them from 1928 to 1943. The letters, written by Ronald Oliphant up until 1939. My grandfather and Oliphant became very friendly, and my uncle, Thomas Ronald Powers, was named for the editor. These letters provide a window into the pulp industry from which you can see the extraordinary stress that both the editors and writers were under to produce a staggering amount of words. Here's one of the letters. By this time, it appears that the relationship between the two men had become strained due to my grandfather's constant tardiness in getting his stories in. But you can hardly blame him, judging from what was asked of him.



Anyway, it's a great project to work on and I'm indebted to Ed Hulse, editor of Blood N Thunder, for giving me the opportunity to do it. I do have to say that it's also good to have a deadline. This time I have no excuses.

6 comments:

Walker Martin said...

This is great news about the article for Blood n Thunder. You have the material for some very valuable original research on your grandfather. I was also talking to Karen Cunningham at PulpFest and she showed me some excellent letters and photos about her grandfather, Fred Davis. I urged her to also talk to Ed Hulse about a possible article.

We cannot allow this information to simply disappear or remain buried in a box somewhere.

Laurie Powers said...

I'm glad you said that, Walker. I've been sitting on these letters for years and many times I thought of doing something with them but didn't know a vehicle with which to use them. Blood N Thunder will be the perfect place for them.

ARCHAVIST said...

I am so looking forward to this - the section of Pulp Writer in which some of the letters are printed and talked about was greatly entertaining. A unique view into a writers life during the pulp boom. So come on, get to work.

Charles Gramlich said...

They're handy to have. I needed one in older days more than I do now.

Lana Gramlich said...

Good news on the article & thanks for sharing the letter! Your local library might have a scanner, if you don't need one all that often. We're a very small branch, but we just got one.

Laurie Powers said...

Funny story on that scanner, Lana. I ended up getting a scanner/printer combo - such a deal for $60. But the power USB cable that you need to have - that's not included with the scanner - is another $34. Luckily I have plenty of those around. But a fine example of how they get you with these "bargains."