Nomads of the Burning Quicksand Jungle Swamp Death Demon Crime Gunsel Secret Masters of the Forbidden Sky!

…and that doesn’t begin to cover it. I’m in pretty big trouble here, and it’s the kind of trouble that’s put a big grin on my face.

Remember that scene in the old western, the one where the sidekick crumples to the ground, rolls on his back and mutters with his last breath

They got me, Pard. I’m fadin’ fast.”

Sure you do. In a way, that’s me. You see, the pulps have got me. No, it’s not the virulent strain of pulpcollectivitus, it’s the less severe one, pulpreprintivus. Just now, though, it’s got me in it’s grip and I’m a little delirious. As far as I can tell, here’s what happened. Just remember, I’m a little delirious, so if I stray from the facts a little, you’ll understand.

At some time in the now-distant past – okay it was the Fifties – I read boy’s adventure fiction, and the Winston SF series from the local library, the Hardy Boys, sports series such as the one about Chip Hilton, and the Tom Swift Jr. books.  That wasn’t pulp fiction, it had pretty much all come and gone by then.

Later I read a good deal of science fiction, and some of that was stories in collections of the Golden Age and the Early Days and the like. In those collections there was a good deal of “old” SF, and I realized that some of those Winston books were from that period as well. I read E.E. “Doc” Smith’s Skylark books, but after having read Heinlein and Asimov they seemed a little lame. Well, they were lame, even if at the time they appeared in pulps they were hot stuff.

Along the way of picking up mystery fiction, new and used, I got some things I now recognize as pulp stories, such as Norgil the Magician by Walter Gibson. I also bought some collections with “Pulp” in the title, and it was the introductions to those that gave me my first understanding that pulps were more than BEMs and terror tales.

More recently, I was innocently reading a blog or two, and in the course of clicking blogroll links came across the blogs of Laurie Powers, Evan Lewis, James Reasoner (who are all in my blogroll, to the right) and others. I name those three because they are the Primary Culprits. Reviews of some pulp fiction reprints led me to small publisher websites, wherein I found some things that looked darned interesting, and then more things, and before I knew it I was ordering books from Adventure House, Black Dog Press, Altus Press, Planet Stories and many other places. The books began to roll in, and I read some, unable to keep up with the inflow. Uh-oh.

I subscribed to Ed Hulse’s fine magazine Blood ‘N’ Thunder and learned more, and I found more things to desire.

There’s a resurgence: pulp reprints are plentiful and easily found. They’re affordable, especially considering the cost of finding and buying the original issues containing the stories and novelettes! They’re a ton of fun to read and there’s something for anyone: western, mystery and crime, science fiction, sports, adventure, air war, treasure hunters, romance, lost cities, super criminal masterminds, spy. You name it, it’s probably available. Just a word of caution these things can be addictive.

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
This entry was posted in Adventure, Humor, Personal Opinion, reading. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Nomads of the Burning Quicksand Jungle Swamp Death Demon Crime Gunsel Secret Masters of the Forbidden Sky!

  1. Evan Lewis says:

    That title you came up with would be a sure-fire hit. I may steal it. If Harry Reasoner doesn’t beat me to it.

  2. Walker Martin says:

    You guys must mean James Reasoner, right? Harry was the news broadcaster. But you are right about the golden age of pulp reprints. We are in it right now. Next step is collecting some of the original pulps, which means you must attend PulpFest in Columbus Ohio, July 30-Aug 1. Visit for more details. Laurie Powers is a fairly new convert and will tell you how great it is.

  3. I always wanted to be a Primary Culprit.

    And you’re too late, Dave, I wrote the book this afternoon. It’ll be out next week.

  4. Richard says:

    Walker – you are absolutely right, I must have been running on auto-pilot when I wrote that, and Evan fell into the trap too. I’ve made the correction, thanks for catching it.

    I’ll settle for the reprints for now, Walker, though it sure would be fun to attend PulpFest anyway! I’ve looked at the site and follow Laurie’s blog daily. I was really glad for her that she won’t miss the con and her panels due to her move.

  5. Richard says:

    Evan – the title may be a bit cumbersome, but I had fun making it up.

    James – quick work! I hope there’s a goodly portion dealing with the Secret Masters of the Forbidden Sky. And the swamps. I hope you put in some alligators and crocodiles for Crider’s benefit.

  6. I’m hooked as well, Richard. it started innocently enough back in the sixties when I started buying the Bantam Doc Savages. The the few Shadow reprints back then came along,not to mention The Spider and G-8.

    It lulled for awhile, then started to reemerge when the double Shadows started coming out. I didn’t get the Docs as I had all but a handful of the Bantams.

    It’s flamed into full addiction in the last year with The Whisperer(among others) and-oh about ten thousand things I’d love to get! And now I found the Spiders being reprinted in double volumes.

    Help me!

    Do they have places one can go for this addiction? You knw, maybe gradually wean you off them(that in itself could be a lot of fun).

  7. We can all go to Pulp Rehab together!

  8. Richard says:

    Or all go to PulpFest! I’m not positive Chicago in late July would be my first pick as far as the weather goes, but it will no doubt be air conditioned and the rooms less expensive than Spring or Fall.

  9. Richard says:

    Randy – I have the first 15 of those Spider doubles Girasol is publishing, have only read a couple – I got them all at once – but it’s fun stuff.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I must admit I am not a huge fan of this stuff, though I’d read some. We went to one Pulpcon, in Dayton back in the summer of 1983 (Geezer Alert!) and it was hot as hell.

  11. Richard says:

    Jeff – Some of the fiction that appeared in the pulps magazines is quite forgettable, but a lot of it is great fun. You might try The Golden Goshawk, which both James Reasoner and I have reviewed, available from Black Dog Press.

  12. “pulpreprintivus” is certainly a time-consuming and fun strain to have caught! That D.L. Champion collection you mentioned in a previous post looks great!

  13. Richard says:

    Also take a peek at my June 27 posting, Cullen, and the previous Mailbox Monday post to that, for more pulp reprint goodies.

  14. Richard says:

    Oh, and your comment reminded me I’ve been meaning to add your site to my Blogroll… DONE!

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