Monday, June 16, 2014

Pulp News: June 16, 2014

Work is still crazy, but we're in the home stretch. Hopefully after this week, I'll have a little bit more time to devote to the blog.

PulpFest News

PulpFest has loaded many more insightful articles since the last time I posted Pulp News. As part of the series "The History of Magazine Science Fiction," the latest installment is "To Infinity and Beyond," discusses science-fiction and fantasy publishing after the great magazine boom of 1939. To the right of the article are links to previous articles in the series.

New Releases

Radio Archives has released a new audio book, The Pecos Kid: Riders of the Gunsmoke Rim.

Here's the description of this new release:
In the post World War II era, Popular Publications was slow to launch new magazines built around a single character. But when they did, they went completely out of the box. Captain Zero was one of those.

In 1950, with the pulp era dwindling, Popular put out The Pecos Kid Western. He was, in the words of editor Mike Tilden, “hardly a regulation Western character.”

What did Tilden mean by that? Simply that here was a hero who was neither a steely-eyed pulp stalwart, nor a rodeo-shirted Hollywood trick-shooter — both infallible crusaders for justice, but about as realistic as the Lone Ranger.

The Pecos Kid was really William Calhoun Warren, late of Texas and the Confederate Army. After the Civil War, he set out to make an honest living, assisted by his saddle mates, Big Jim Swing and Hernandez Pedro Gonzales y Fuente Jesus Maria Flanagan. The series was created to reflect the shift toward more mature Western films, which had been growing on Hollywood over much of the 1940s. It would reach its zenith with such cinematic classics as Howard Hawks’ 1948 epic Red River, along with High Noon, Shane, and The Searchers, all just around the corner from 1950.

In his debut novel, Riders of the Gunsmoke Rim, Bill Warren and his comrades have just finished driving a heard of cattle up from Cheyenne to the untamed town of Miles in Montana Country when they muscle into a hornet’s nest of hate and...but you can hear all the ruckus and ruction for yourself as Milton Bagby narrates Dan Cushman’s bullet-torn tale ripped from the pages of Pecos Kid Western, July, 1950.

Also included is a novelette by one of the the Pulp West’s major stars, Harry F. Olmsted’s “Hoss Greer––The Devil’s Line-Rider.”

Backing their play are five frontier fictions by Lloyd Eric Reeve, James Shaffer, Tom Roan, E. E. Halleran, and Giff Cheshire––all storied names back in the heyday of the Pulp West.

Notable Sales on eBay: (Thank you David Lee Smith for the tips and photos.)

A copy of the first issue PRISON STORIES (Nov. 1930, first issue of 6) sold for $456.00. This magazine was one of the famous Harold Hersey's inspirations at the Good Story Magazine Co.

A copy of NEW YORK STORIES, which had an even shorter run that PRISON STORIES, sold for $383.75. This was another Harold Hersey magazine.

WEIRD TALES lives on: (thanks, Bill Crider, for pointing us to this article).

There is a long essay on the Weird Tales website. "90 Years of Weird: Keeping the Brand Alive." Should be interesting reading, but I have not read this so I can't endorse it as to it's accuracy. Would love to read what others think of it.

Noteworthy Comments

And another interesting comment came in on the EXTRA, EXTRA, post from a few weeks ago that I found noteworthy. Erwin K. writes:

World War 2 censorship of information useful to our enemies is a totally different subject than censorship for the "benefit" of public morals. By all reports that I've seen the war censorship was carried out well, and with few personal agendas. The same can not be said for "morals" censorship.

In the late 1930's the New Jersey Back Society is reported to have badgered federal regulators to yank the licenses of a number of radio stations. The broadcasters' crime? Playing swing versions of classical music. For shame.

That sort of thing still rears its head from time to time."

At the very beginning of research, there was the possibility that the banning of Love Story was due to wartime censorship to prevent aiding and abetting the enemy. We just didn't have enough information. But then Sai posted the articles that helped so much, and at that point we knew it was due to some kind of wartime sensitivity.


With that, I have some interesting new book acquisitions:

THE WAY THE FUTURE WAS. Frederik Pohl's memoir.

SECRETS OF VICTORY: The Office of Censorship and the American Press and Radio in World War II

HARPO SPEAKS! Harpo Marx and Rowland Barber.

Harpo Marx was close friends with Alice Duer Miller, who he met through the Algonquin Round Table. I was hoping I could get some dirt on Alice or Henry Wise Miller in this memoir. So far, nothing. But it's a very entertaining tale, told very well with the assistance of Rowland Barber. (Harpo wouldn't have gone far without a co-writer, as he didn't get past the second grade.) Highly recommended.

That's all for now!

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Barry Traylor said...

I actually have two copies of "The Way The Future Was" and I have lost count of how many times I have read this book. Excellent history of SF. I first discovered the existence of Weird Tales when I bought a copy of The Macabre Reading way back in 1959 (needless to say I still have the same pb on a book shelf. Did not begin to buy Weird Tales until around 1972.

Barry Traylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barry Traylor said...

By the way Mike Chomko has been doing an excellent job writing the History of Magazine Science Fiction, so much so that it made me realize there a few SF pulps I have to look for at PulpFest.

Laurie Powers said...

I know - the articles are very good and detailed. Kudos for Mike. Barry you should have seen me when I got Pohl's book. I had just been taken to the cleaners on another book that arrived in horrible shape, even though the seller was the condition was "Very Good." I was so mad. Then I got the Pohl Book - hardcover, dustjacket protected by mylar, clean, and I was so excited to get a decent looking book. I paid almost nothing for it.

Barry Traylor said...

Somehow I managed to post the same comment twice. That is the deletion. Duh!

Barry Traylor said...

I was burnt by one of those Very Good condition as described by the seller, this was years before the internet. When it arrived it was rolled, wrinkled and darn near falling apart. This was a copy of the Sept. 1935 issue of Dime Detective. The other horror story was when I bought a copy (these were both by mail years before the internet was invented)of Weird Tales for October 1936 and when it arrived it smelled like cat urine. Needless to say it was the last time I ever bought anything from these two guys.

jesse sokolow said...

We are in the process of making a documentary detailing Georgia O'Keeffe and Rebecca Salsbury James, two of the greatest artists and painters of the American West, and the latter of whom was the daughter of Nate Salsbury, the owner of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. It is a fascinating project, and very worthwhile checking out.

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