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Today is the 103rd Birthday of fictioneer, screenwriter, and Queen of Space Opera, Leigh Brackett!

Last week, we examined how Martin Goodman, future publisher of Marvel Comics, combined science fiction with the popular “Spicy” genre to bring renewed interest to science fiction, fueling the first science fiction boom in the late 1930s. This would not be the only time the Spicies would shape the future of the pulp market. What once […]

Mousehole, by Stuart Harbour appeared in the Winter 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine. It can be read here at Archive.org. Mousehole is one of those stories that takes a sort of cutesy approach to weird horror. The premise is Lovecraftian, the outcome grisly, and the results droll. The nutshell of the story is a […]

Don’t let the cover fool you, Choose Your Own Apocalypse won’t leave you flipping back and forth based on choices you make.   Presented by The Space Balrogs, a collective of science-fiction authors who pool their writing talents and marketing savvy, this book feels more like a sampler platter than a meal, and that’s not a […]

Pulps and comics are kissing cousins. Not only have comics plundered the pulps for heroes, stories, and franchises, in many cases, comics and pulps were owned by the same publishers. For instance, Street & Smith’s Chelsea House imprint ran comics of most of their pulp books. But Marvel holds special ties to science fiction. Not only […]

Allow me to take a break from my usual column this week. Rather than sharing with you a small slice of the vast rich cake of independently produced genre fiction, I’d like to elbow my way into your celebration in order to express my gratitude and give thanks to some richly deserving parties.  I’ll have […]

Bond groaned. ‘Spare me the Lafcadio Hearn, Blofeld!’ — Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice After reading “Of a Mirror and a Bell”, found in Hearn’s Kwaidan (Ghost Stories), Bond might be protesting too much. Hearn’s collection of Japanese legends, written months before his death, has been highly influential, influencing many Weird Tales authors, including Manly Wade Wellman, and Japanese culture as […]

The Rebels by Gordon R. Dickson appeared in the Winter 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine. It can be read here at archive.org. This is the first story I’ve read by Gordon R. Dickson, and I’m a bit disappointed that it didn’t have space bears with swords and lasers, because that is literally all I […]

The Double Minds by John W. Campbell was originally published in the August 1937 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories and was the featured novelette in the Winter 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine. It can be read here at Archive.org. So, John W. Campbell wrote a high-octane madcap action raygun adventure, and, well… Bless his […]

Welcome, Stranger by Monroe Schere appeared in the Winter 1954 issue of Fantastic Story Magazine. It can be read here at Archive.org. Welcome, Stranger is the short, droll chaser Fantastic Story offers for Kuttner’s The Dark World. And it is, well, weird! Told in first person by a member of an alien bird-dragon race, Welcome, […]

Sometimes you get that one person who nurtures interest in a writer in danger of being forgotten. Glenn Lord did it with Robert E. Howard, Howard A. Jones with Harold Lamb, and now Kurt Brugel with Garnder F. Fox. I have affection for Gardner Fox. He wrote for the pulps, comics, and paperbacks. He wrote […]

David Weber’s Honor Harrington series started from the simple conceit of Horatio Hornblower in Space and grew into one of science fiction’s few pillar series, critically and commercially successful in a time where most science fiction readers are turning towards the classics instead of the contemporary. Over nineteen books, the crucible of constant war tempered […]