Pulp Crazy’s PulpFest 2016 Convention Report

Hello everyone and welcome to Pulp Crazy’s PulpFest 2016 Convention Report. I apologize for the lack of episodes lately, but I’ve been working on some new fiction that has taken up a good portion of my time. I hope to resume episodes on at least a monthly basis in late August. But until then, keep an eye out for some panel recordings from PulpFest 2016 to quench your pulp thirst.

PulpFest 2016 took place from July 21st to July 24th at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Columbus, Ohio. This was my sixth time attending PulpFest and I attended in conjunction with FarmerCon, a convention celebrating the life and work of  author Philip José Farmer. This year marked FarmerCon XI.

PulpFest actually got started a little early for me, as I arrived in Columbus on the evening of Wednesday July 20th. My night was spent in the hotel atrium hanging out with the FarmerCon crowd into the wee hours of the morning.

On Thursday, the FarmerCon crew took our annual trip to the Acorn Bookshop in one of the nearby suburbs of Columbus. As usual, they had a nice selection of adventure, fantasy, and science fiction paperbacks, hardcovers, and some graphic novels. If you’re ever in Columbus and need to kill an hour or two, this is an excellent place to do it.

I grabbed a bunch of sword & sorcery paperbacks including short story collections and a novel by Fritz Leiber, as well as collections by Poul Anderson, and John Jakes. I also picked up a copy of Flashing Swords #1 edited by Lin Carter. There was also an Atlantis anthology Carter edited, The Magic of Atlantis that caught my eye. I also purchased a few novels by Tanith Lee that looked interesting, as well as some John Jakes novels.

My biggest haul was books 4 through 8, and 12 of the Thieves’ World series, along with a few books set in the same world by Janet K. Morris. I had purchased the first three books in the Thieves’ World series last year and recently finished the first one. I thought it was great and am currently in the midst of reading the second book. I hope to review these in the same way I’m currently handling the Fafhrd and Gray Mouser series by Fritz Leiber. The only downside I can really find in the first Thieves’ World book is I can’t find Death’s Harbor on the bloody map!

Due to the strength of David Drake’s Thieves’ World short story, “Goddess,” I picked up a Baen collection of Cormac Mac Art by Robert E. Howard that also includes a new story by David Drake featuring the CMA. Christopher Paul Carey gifted me a copy of Gardener Fox’s Warrior of Llarn that he picked up at a local used book store, so I made sure to buy the sequel Thief of Llarn to complete the set. Cheon of Weltanland caught my eye, not only for the Boris Vallejo cover, but the back cover copy mentions a Hyperborean witch. The author is credited as Charlotte Stone, but according to ISFDB this is actually a pen name for the husband and wife team of Dominique and Charles Nightingale.

After returning to the Hyatt Regency, it was early bird shopping time in the dealer room. Rather than going day by day through my purchases, I’ll just list them here for convenience.

Meteor House, the sponsors of FarmerCon always have a quality slate of new titles that premiere at PulpFest, and 2016 was no exception. As a matter of PulpFest 2016 marked a new record in terms of the number of titles released. I snagged a copy of each –

Dayworld: A Hole in Wednesday by Philip Jose Farmer and Danny Adams – A posthumous collaboration between Philip Jose Farmer and Danny Adams. The two previously collaborated on The City Beyond Play several years ago. This book serves as a prequel to Farmer’s Dayworld trilogy.

Blood of Ancient Opar by Christopher Paul Carey – I previously reviewed the latest installment of Philip Jose Farmer’s Ancient Opar (Khokarsa) series here. After getting an advanced review copy, I loved the feeling of getting the hardcover and softcover in my hands.

Phileas Fogg and the Heart of Osra by Josh Reynolds – The latest novella in Meteor House’s continuation of Philip Jose Farmer’s depiction of Jules Verne’s Phileas Fogg that began with The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer. A few years back Meteor House released the first sequel Phileas Fogg and the War of Shadows by Josh Reynolds. After having enjoyed both Other Log and War of Shadows I’m looking forward to reading the latest entry to this Wold Newton series.

Being an Account of the Delay at Green River, Wyoming, of Phileas Fogg, World Traveler, or, The Masked Man Meets an English Gentleman by Win Scott Eckert – This is a first for Meteor House, a chapbook. In this tale set during a hidden portion of Fogg’s globe trotting trip in Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days, Phileas Fogg encounters the Masked Rider of the Plains.

Crossovers Expanded Volumes 1 & 2 by Sean Lee Levin – A follow up to Win Scott Eckert’s original Crossovers: A Secret History of the World. Years of research have come to culmination in these two tomes of crossover chronologies. This is all new material that currently sit side-by-side on my bookshelf along with the original Crossovers.

While we’re on the subject of Philip Jose Farmer, the dealer room had a few bonus treats in regards to Farmer related artwork. I didn’t buy any of these pieces, but it was cool just to see them.

Heartwood Auctions had a few portfolios of Roy G. Krenkel black & white artwork they were selling, including two pieces related to the Ancient Opar series. The first was a rough of the frontispiece for Hadon of Ancient Opar and the other was a black and white pencil rough for the cover of Flight to Opar.

Photo courtesy of Christopher Paul Carey http://cpcarey.com
Photo courtesy of Christopher Paul Carey http://cpcarey.com

But the biggest kick was the original painting to the cover of the DAW edition of Ironcastle by J. H. Rosny, translated and retold by Philip Jose Farmer. Note how a fair portion of the painting was cropped out for the DAW paperback release. The painting was going for a cool $10,000.

The dealer room also had some paperbacks that caught my eye.

I picked up a Robert E. Howard collection titled, Black Cannan, as it contains “People of the Black Circle”, a short story that wasn’t reprinted during the Del Rey Robert E. Howard reprints. I also grabbed a copy of Conan of the Isles by L. Sprague DeCamp and Lin Carter, as I’ve heard it features an aged King Conan. I’m not expecting much from this, but I am down to my last Robert E. Howard Conan story to read in the form of “Red Nails” and I’m curious to see what “Conan: The End” reads like.

I’m not usually one to collect books, I’m more of a reader, but when it comes to Philip Jose Farmer’s Ancient Opar series, that’s a different story. I couldn’t pass up a nice copy of the second printing of Hadon of Ancient Opar and look myself in the mirror the next morning.

For years there has been one pulp reprint that I have admired both at PulpFest and online. The Spider Vs The Empire State by Norvell Page. I finally pulled the trigger at the con this year and purchased it directly from the publisher’s table. Age of Aces is the publisher and let me tell you, this is one beautiful book. I look forward to eventually reading this landmark pulp hero trilogy. The gentleman that sold me the book tells me it isn’t like a usual Spider story, it’s more along the lines of an Operator #5 tale.

As long as I’ve been browsing Weird Tales covers, one particular issue always seems to pop up in my searches with the cover story of Golden Blood by Jack Williamson. I saw the paperback on a table for a couple bucks and it seemed like a good purchase.

Poul Anderson books are starting to catch my eye more and more. The People of the Wind seems like an interesting science fiction story dealing with the relations between a human race and an avian race occupying the same territory.

The City of the Singing Flame is a Clark Ashton Smith collection, despite having most of Smith’s fiction thanks to the Night Shade ebooks, I still can’t pass up a CAS paperback collection.

Quest of the Dark Lady caught my eye due to the cover and the plot. It looks to be a post apocalyptic sword & sorcery tale, and a stand-alone one at that.  The reviews I’ve seen on Amazon of it make me think it’s a solid read.

Looking at those original Roy Krenkel illustrations and painting put me in the mood for some more RGK. When a dealer was selling some Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks for a buck a piece, I grabbed all the ones with Krenkel and Frank Frazetta covers that I could.

While looking through the boxes of Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks, Midnight Sun caught my eye. The cover was cool, but the author’s name was nowhere to be found. I opened it and to my delight discovered it was a fanzine devoted to the works of Karl Edward Wagner. The contents were absent from the spine, but for a buck it was a no-brainer.

Now if you listen to Pulp Crazy, you know I’m a fan of sword & sorcery, especially pulp era s&s. When I spotted a Fritz Leiber autographed copy of Swords against Darkness ….well I just had to own it.

Speaking of autographs, the guest of honor for PulpFest 2016 was author and editor Ted White. I regretfully left my copy of Weird Heroes Volume 5 at home, but found a cool looking paperback for him to sign, The Spawn of the Death Machine. I read the first chapter and between the cover and description it seemed like a post apocalyptic John Carter type of tale. Mr. White autographed it for me and mentioned it’s actually a sequel to an Ace Double novel, Android Avenger.

As always, the dealer room didn’t disappoint. If I was a dealer looking to movie an inventory of pulp magazines and/or paperback adventure, science fiction, and fantasy titles, I’d definitely give PulpFest a try.

Now onto the programming. I didn’t catch a whole lot of it this year, as I spent a good portion of my evenings catching up with old friends and meeting new ones out in the atrium. The panels I did attend were very enjoyable, though.

On Thursday night I caught Garyn Roberts’ panel detailing H. G. Wells’ (reprints) cover run in Amazing Stories. I didn’t know this, but John W. Campbell put Wells reprints in Amazing Stories for 29 consecutive issues (if I’m remembering correctly) and Wells received the cover story each time.

Danny Adams

PulpFest set aside a slate of a few hours for FarmerCon authors to read from their work in the early afternoon on Friday afternoon. Danny Adams read from Dayworld: A Hole in Wednesday, Christoper Paul Carey read from Blood of Ancient Opar and The Song of Kwasin, and Win Scott Eckert read from The Evil in Pemberely House and Being an Account of the Delay  at Green River, Wyoming,  of Phileas Fogg, World Traveler,  or, The Masked Man Meets an English Gentleman. The authors also took questions from the audience between their readings.


Christopher Paul Carey
Christopher Paul Carey
Win Scott Eckert
Win Scott Eckert
FarmerCon XI Panel, Paul Spiteri, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, Danny Adams
FarmerCon XI Panel, Paul Spiteri, Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, Danny Adams

This was a nice prelude to the Farmercon XI Panel later that Friday night, Collaborating with Philip Jose Farmer. On the panel were Paul Spiteri (who edited the Farmer collection Pearls from Peoria), Danny Adams (who co-wrote The City Beyond Play and Dayworld: A Hole in Wednesday with Farmer), Christopher Paul Carey (who co-wrote The Song of Kwasin with Farmer), and Win Scott Eckert (who co-wrote The Evil In Pemberely House with Farmer). It was an insightful and entertaining panel.

The New Pulp Panel - Ron Fortier, Jeff Fournier, Barbara Doran, Win Scott Eckert, Andy Fix
The New Pulp Panel – Ron Fortier, Jeff Fournier, Barbara Doran, Win Scott Eckert, Andy Fix

I caught the New Pulp Panel, moderated and hosted by author and editor Ron Fortier on Saturday morning. On the panel this year were Barbara Doran, Win Scott Eckert, Jeff Fournier, and Andy Fix. The panel had a lot of good quality writing and editing trade-craft talk this year.

PulpFest 2016's Guest of Honor Ted White
PulpFest 2016’s Guest of Honor Ted White

The last panel I attended was Saturday night where the Guest of Honor, Ted White gave a presentation. Mr. White told some entertaining stories of his days breaking in and working in the science fiction and fantasy publishing scene.

PulpFest 2016 didn’t disappoint. For me, it never does. I‘ll be curious to see where the convention ends up next year, as it appears the Hyatt Regency is no longer a feasible option. When I came to my first PulpFest back in 2011, it was at a Ramada (I think) Hotel/Motel on the outskirts of town. From what I could gather from the business meeting, it seems like the committee hopes to return to that sort of location, which I think is a good thing.

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed reading my PulpFest 2016 Convention Report as much as I enjoyed PulpFest itself. I have one more convention on my plate the Dum-Dum in Morris, Illinois. This is an Edgar Rice Burroughs focused convention. I’m heading there Thursday August 3rd and coming back Sunday August 7th. I’ll be sure to write up a report on that as well. Keep an eye out for my PulpFest 2016 Panel Recordings, I should have them up before I leave for the Dum-Dum.

If you’re interested in reading more convention reports, Bill Lampkin of ThePulp.Net has compiled a list of them on his website – http://www.thepulp.net/yellowedperils/2016/07/28/pulpfest-2016-reports/

Bill also has recordings of some of the panels here – http://www.thepulp.net/pulp-info/convention-coverage/pulpfest-2016/

Christopher Paul Carey has a recap of the convention on his site with pics here – http://cpcarey.com/site/2016/07/30/farmercon-xipulpfest-2016/