Friday, June 27, 2008

Everything Old is New Again Again

Back in the 1960's I discovered the world of the Pulp Magazine fantasy authors. Thanks to Ace, Ballantine, Lancer, and some other paperback publishers I was introduced to the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith, among others. Later on I would come across even more writers from the heydays of the pulp magazines, such as Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and other masters of the hard boiled detective genre. I could name drop for a long time, but anyone who has read these authors knows that they were the trailblazers for many of today's mystery, horror, science fiction, and fantasy authors.

Now it seems that the influence of the pulp masters has even gone mainstream, with the works of Michael Chabon, Paul Malmont, William F. Nolan, Walter Satterthwait, and numerous other writers even using famous pulp authors as characters in their novels. Pulp reprints of stories of famed Pulp Magazine Era characters such as Doc Savage, The Shadow, C. L. Moore's Northwest Smith and Jirel of Joiry, along with the works of authors such as Robert E. Howard, Henry Kuttner, Leigh Brackett, Jack Williamson, Edmond Hamilton and H. P. Lovecraft can be found in most bookstores and certainly online. Printing firms such as Haffner Press and Planet Stories are reprinting the works of many of the great science fiction and fantasy authors, while Crippen and Landru reprints many of the great hard boiled mystery writers from the days of Black Mask Magazine and other hard boiled pulps.

And all of this is isn't even to mention new movies coming out in the Pulp tradition, such as the new Indiana Jones, Hellboy II, The Mummy:Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, and 10,000 B. C. just to name a few. The movement isn't just about reprinting old classics, or movies, or a few "mainstream" authors. There are a host of new rising writers who are contributing to the field and many of them are quite talented, such as Wm. Michael Mott, Bill Cunningham, William R. Jones, Angeline Hawkes,Peter Mark May, just to name a very few that spring to mind off hand. And these are just some of the ones I'm aware of, and having been out of the loop for a while, I'm sure there are many more.

The point is that the Pulps (and we can discuss later what that term means in a literary sense) are back and I know I'm a very happy camper about it. When I can explain to my daughter how her "Haunting Ground" game and her favorite graphic novel "Hellboy" are both full of influences from the Pulps such as Weird Tales and the "Shudder" Pulps, and that much of the background story for Haunting Ground and Resident Evil 4 (her other fave) comes right out of the Gothic tradition going back to "The Castle of Otranto" and she actually thinks it's a neat thing to discuss with nerdy old dad, then I can have hope for the younger generation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Singular Points blog site and Manly Wade Wellman's barbarian

Fellow Blogger Charles R. Rutledge has written an excellent post on one of Manly Wade Wellman's barbarian characters Kardios. I've just discovered Charles blog site Singular Points, and I highly recommend it.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Summer Reading

My official summer vacation actually finally starts Monday, June 16. Among the plans this summer are to clean sweep the house, haul away most of our "stuff" that we really don't need. Somewhere along the way I have some ambitious reading plans. I've been in a sort of escapist mood for some reason, fantasy and pulp authors holding the interest for the time being. Here are some of the books I've got on the night stand:

Imaro, by Charles R. Saunders

Imaro 2: The Quest for Cush, by Charles R. Saunders

The Third Cry to Legba and Other Invocations : The Selected Stories of Manly Wade Wellman (Vol. 1) (Selected Stories of Manly Wade Wellman)

Echoes of Valor II, edited by Karl Edward Wagner

Frost, by Donald Wandrei

Hok the Mighty, by Manly Wade Wellman

Some of these are new reads, some are rereads of old favorites. I'll review each as I complete them, for anyone interested.

Hope everyone is having a great summer. Is it football season yet?