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Sword & Sorcery (Cobalt Jade): Without dispute, pulp author Robert E. Howard invented the fantasy character trope of The Barbarian Hero, specifically with his creation Conan. But the roots were laid before that in the Tarzan tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli. Both pitted a stoic, nature-wise man (or boy) of the wilds […]

The classic mass market paperback era featured successors to the high production pulp magazine writers: Ben Haas, Ralph Hayes, Peter McCurtin, James Reasoner, Robert Randisi, and Len Levinson. These guys could produce four or more paperbacks a year. I remember reading that Zebra Books was interested in Karl Edward Wagner’s “Adrian Becker” character as a […]

“Whisper” Daley has squealed. They got to him at Headquarters. I’m on the spot. Better come home, son. When District Attorney Sanford Greer turned out to be too incorruptible and too good at sending mobsters to jail, the Mob decides to place him on the spot–for a storm of lead. Tipped off by an informant, […]

Cold as Hell – Rhett C. Bruno and Jaime Castle In the West, there are worse things to fear than bandits and outlaws. Demons. Monsters. Witches. James Crowley’s sacred duty as a Black Badge is to hunt them down and send them packing, banish them from the mortal realm for good. He didn’t choose this […]

Reading (Monster Hunter Nation): Conversations with friends: why men need to read more novels. I agree with this title. More people need to read novels. That’s how I get paid. Never mind the so-called demise of the male novelist, where are all the male readers? Ash Sarkar on why we all miss out when half […]

Leslie Turner White (1903-1967) started out writing for the pulp fiction magazines in 1930. He wrote mostly for the detective pulps in the 1930s, appeared in Argosy, Adventure, Short Stories, and Blue Book in the 1940s. He did manage to place a few stories in the slick magazines Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post, Liberty, and Country […]

Although the 1920s would be the Golden Age for genre pulp fiction, even in the 1910s publishers were already searching for outlets to publish the strange, the weird, and unclassifiable. Anything from science fiction, fantasy, to chinoiserie, yellow peril, and the first hints of weird menace. After all, the 1910s were the decade of Fu Manchu, […]

A Champion Falls (The Chain Breaker #8) – D. K. Holmberg Gavin’s connection to a new power makes him a target. Having defeated Chauvan, Gavin now controls the strange destructive nihilar power. Though content back among his friends, his presence in Yoran makes the city a target. When Gavin learns that an ancient enemy has […]

Comic Books (Bleeding Cool): It was a note to a fan page on Facebook that did it, with a well-connected fan pointing to an upcoming Conan cover by Esad Ribic as his last, as Marvel no longer own the rights to the character. So, at Lake Como Comic Art Festival, I did a little digging. […]

The Matter of Britain is a genre that straddles fantasy and historical adventure. I generally don’t read the more fantastic Arthurian novels but cannot resist a story of post-Roman Britain conflict between Romano-Britons and Saxons. John Gloag’s Artorius Rex is the latest of the historical Arthurian novels I have read. Gloag (1896-1981) wrote on industrial […]

Loid Forger is a Western psychiatrist who will do everything to make sure his daughter Anya gets into the most prestigious school in Berlint–even if it means finding someone to pretend to be his wife during the interview. Yor Briar is an Eastern office worker tired of being teased for being a wallflower–so she invents […]

Dawn of the Broken Sword (Saga of the Swordbreaker #1) – Kit Sun Cheah Li Ming is a small-town boy with big dreams. In the era of the Five States and Ten Corporations, the immortals of the jianghu stand head and shoulders above the masses. Li Ming aspires to join their ranks. But the world […]