Recorded at PulpFest 2016, the Guest of Honor, author and editor, Ted White’s presentation.
Paul Spiteri (panel moderator and editor of the Philip José Farmer collection, PEARLS FROM PEORIA), Christopher Paul Carey (co-author with PJF on THE SONG OF KWASIN), Win Scott Eckert (co-author with PJF on THE EVIL IN PEMBERELY HOUSE), and DANNY ADAMS (co-author with PJF on THE CITY BEYOND PLAY and DAYWORLD: A HOLE IN WEDNESDAY, also Farmer’s great-nephew) discuss working with the Science Fiction Grand Master.
http://meteorhousepress.com (where the majority of the above works can be ordered)
In this week’s episode I discuss the sixth book in the Barsoom saga, The Master Mind of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Mars will be close to Earth on May 30th – http://www.space.com/33014-mars-closest-approach-2016-on-monday.html
Edgar Rice Burroughs Website: https://www.edgarriceburroughs.com/
ERBzine – http://erbzine.com/
The John Carter Files – http://thejohncarterfiles.com/
Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s episode of Pulp Crazy. I’m your host, Jason Aiken. In this week’s episode I’m going to be discussing Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens. This film was released nationwide in the United States on December 17, 2015. I will devote this last Pulp Crazy episode of 2015 to reviewing and discussing the film. I figured it would be appropriate for Pulp Crazy because George Lucas didn’t create Star Wars in a vacuum. The pulp science fantasy works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, E. E. ’Doc’ Smith, and Leigh Brackett are without a doubt in the D.N.A. of Star Wars.
SPOILERS AHOY! I can’t critique this movie honestly without mentioning a few things about it. So you’ve been warned, I wouldn’t watch this until after you’ve seen the film, unless you don’t care about spoilers.
In this week’s episode of Pulp Crazy, I’ll be discussing Leigh Brackett’s “Terror Out of Space.” This episode is going up on December 7, 2015, which would be Leigh Brackett’s 100th birthday.
“Terror Out of Space” is a cosmic horror story set beneath the seas of Venus. It’s an interesting mash up of science fiction and cosmic horror.
Read “Terror Out of Space” on SFF Audio’s PDF Page: http://www.sffaudio.com/features/pdf-page/
Leigh Brackett at Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leigh_Brackett
Leigh Brackett at ISFDB: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?334
Purchase Leigh Brackett books on Paizo.com: http://tinyurl.com/paizobrackett
Purchase Leigh Brackett books from Haffner Press: http://www.haffnerpress.com/
Eric John Stark article by Morgan Holmes: http://www.castaliahouse.com/the-pulp-swordsmen-eric-john-stark/
The Ginger Star article by Morgan Holmes: http://www.castaliahouse.com/the-ginger-star/
Preorder the Lee Brackett Centennial book: http://www.haffnerpress.com/book/lb100/
Odds are if you’re a pulp fan, you’ve heard the name Douglas Klauba, or at least seen an image he’s illustrated. Douglas was kind enough to answer some questions about what got him interested in the pulps, as well as his latest projects. This includes the 2016 Douglas Klauba Adventure Calendar, currently going into its final few days on Kickstarter.
Pulp Crazy: Thanks so much for agreeing to this interview, Douglas. Your name is a familiar one to pulp fans, and it’s an honor to interview you on Pulp Crazy. As someone who owns a number of the Moonstone anthologies your covers adorn, I love your illustrations of pulp characters. How did you first get interested in the pulps?
Douglas Klauba: Thank you so much! I started getting into pulp art at an early age, early teens while collecting comic books, monster magazines, and paperbacks. And because I was a Steranko fan, I collected his Shadow and other paperbacks that he did covers for, like Weird Heroes. Eventually, Steranko’s Chandler was released and it made a huge impression upon me as a young artist. I was then picking up the comic book versions of The Shadow, The Avenger, Doc Savage, Conan, and John Carter of Mars. It all started to click with me that these new interpretations came from an original source, aside from old time radio… and I ended up becoming a bigger fan of pulp heroes over comic book heroes.
Pulp Crazy: Who are some of your favorite pulp artists? Do any particular pulp covers stand out in your mind?
Douglas Klauba: J. Allen St. John, Rudolph Belarski, Walter Baumhofer, Norm Saunders, Virgil Finlay, Edward Cartier, George Rozen, Rafael DeSoto, and Hubert Rogers. I don’t think I could pick a favorite cover… way too hard: maybe a Rozen cover of The Shadow or a Doc Savage. I do love many Astounding covers by Hubert Rogers.
Pulp Crazy: Has classic pulp art influenced your style? If yes, how so?
Douglas Klauba: Very much so. From figurative, colors, lighting, and composition. I also enjoy working in a black and white pulp influenced style.
Pulp Crazy: What is your favorite genre to draw? Do you find yourself more at home with the hero pulps, science fiction, fantasy, crime, or some other genre within the greater realm of the pulps?
Douglas Klauba: I really do love all that you’ve mentioned. I’ve been fortunate to have been hired by Moonstone for many of their pulp hero books. I like developing paintings with science fiction woman with plenty of retro ray guns and space ships. I’m also a huge fan of the hard boiled private eyes and detectives. I plan on continuing a personal series of paintings in that genre.
Pulp Crazy: What pulp character do you enjoy drawing the most? Is this your favorite pulp character?
Douglas Klauba: While I’m a huge fan of The Shadow, and Doc Savage, as well as The Spider – I really like illustrating crime / detective images. I think I enjoy all the characters equally. I’ve never illustrated The Shadow in color but hope to in the next couple of weeks, after I finish my current painting I’m working on of John Carter, Dejah Thoris, and Tars Tarkas.
Pulp Crazy: Do you have a particular pulp series or character you enjoy reading?
Douglas Klauba: I really enjoy the John Carter books. Some days I like to read The Shadow, while other days I’m in the mood for The Spider.
Pulp Crazy: Outside of pulp characters, what other types of illustrations do you like to create?
Douglas Klauba: Anything to do with movies! I recently completed a commemorative poster for the Clive Barker film, Lord of Illusions. I’m also working on an original pulp inspired adventure graphic
novel, that I hope to finish one day….
Pulp Crazy: You currently have a Kickstarter campaign going to fund a 2016 calendar featuring your artwork, The Douglas Klauba 2016 Adventure Calendar. The Kickstarter campaign has a really nice selection of backing options and reward levels. As of this interview you have 5 days left and are only $500 away from the project being funded. Tell us a little bit about this project. How did it come into being? How difficult was it to pick just 12 images?
Douglas Klauba: I really owe it all to my friend, Bob Garcia. We were discussing projects one day, probably at the Windy City Pulp and Paperback Show, and he really got the ball rolling. I wanted to put some of these pulp themed images in a collection of some sort. Bob ended up presenting a calendar design that blew me away, and then he redesigned it – and it blew me away even more. He also helped me decide on which images.
Bob and I have worked on many book covers and poster projects together. I love his art direction, I trust his judgement, and we work really well together. After his successful, and beautiful The Collectors Book Of Virgil Finlay on Kickstarter, he thought that I could publish this with his guidance. I’ve been pleasantly surprised finding out that there are art fans, and pulp art fans that want to hang my work up every month. So, here we are days away of knowing if the Adventure Calendar will be fully funded or not.
Pulp Crazy: Do you have any other pulp related projects in the works that you can talk about?
Douglas Klauba: Well, as I mentioned, I’m working on a black and white pulp inspired graphic novel. I have a few commissions lined up that need to be taken care of. There are a couple of other projects that are too early to discuss, but I’d be thrilled to announce once they begin.
Pulp Crazy: Thanks again for agreeing to the interview, Douglas. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the 2016 calendar and future pulp related books featuring your artwork.
Douglas Klauba: Thank you, Jason! I can’t wait to get it into your hands and onto your wall as well!
Back the Douglas Klauba 2016 Adventure Calendar on Kickstarter:
Visit Douglas’ Website: http://www.douglasklauba.com/index.php
In this week’s episode I’m going to be discussing “The Hounds of Tindalos” by Frank Belknap Long, credited here as Frank Belknap Long Jr. It first appeared in the March 1929 issue of Weird Tales. “The Hounds of Tindalos” stands on its own as a quality weird tale, but H.P. Lovecraft mentioned both The Hounds of Tindalos and the Doels in “The Whisperer in Darkness” two years later in the April 1931 issue of Weird Tales. The tale is now in the public domain and readily available online.
I want to thank Toren Atkinson for allowing me to use his illustration for the title card of this episode. I think Toren absolutely nailed what the creatures featured in the short story, the Hounds, look like.
“The Hounds of Tindalos” actually features Frank Belknap Long himself as the narrator of the story. The short story chronicles Long’s meeting with a friend of his who is an occult writer named, Halpin Chalmers. Chalmer’s is for lack of a better word attempting to time travel by tapping into the fourth dimension. He uses both mathematical and spiritual means (such as smoking an unknown drug) to attempt this. Chalmer’s asks Long to observe and record the experience for him. Although, Chalmer’s doesn’t physically leave the room, he is mentally able to access the fourth dimension and break the bonds of time. His presence is noted by the titular, Hounds of Tindalos who get his scent.
The Hounds of Tindalos eText: https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Hounds_of_Tindalos
The Hounds of Tindalos PDF: http://sffaudio.com/podcasts/TheHoundsOfTindalosByFrankBelknapLongJr.pdf
The Hounds of Tindalos at ISFDB: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?59515
Toren Atkinson’s Patreon Page: https://www.patreon.com/torenatkinson?ty=h
Toren Atkinson’s Blog: http://www.thickets.net/toren/
Toren Atkinson’s Podcast: http://www.causticsodapodcast.com/
Toren Atkinson at IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1345536/
It is 1897 and the skies are haunted by mysterious airships and unfathomable secrets.
Tasked with hunting down these strange vehicles of the air and determining their origin and intent, two U.S. government agents toil under unusual conditions to supply their shadowy superiors with information. But that information proves to be as elusive as the airships themselves.
Ride with Agents Valiantine and Cabot across the Midwest as they encounter reports of strange lights, phantom soldiers, unreliable witnesses, and the ultimate source of their airborne prey.
They are the Airship Hunters, and they cannot be waylaid from their path to uncover the greatest mystery of them all.
Airship Hunters is an upcoming novel written by Jim Beard and Duane Spurlock that’s currently available for pre-order from Meteor House. The limited edition novel will be debuting in August at Pulpfest 2015 in Columbus, Ohio. If readers pre order Airship Hunters by July 1st, their names will appear in the acknowledgments section at the front of the book.
Jim and Duane were kind enough to answer some questions I had about the book.
PC: Where did Airship Hunters come from? How long have you been interested in the mystery of 19th-century UFO’s? Can you give us a little background on the phenomena?
JIM: As a kid, an early 1970s issue of Gold Key’s UFO FLYING SAUCERS clued me into the fact that UFOs were not just a 20th century thing. The idea of a mystery in the skies before the advent of dirigibles and airplanes intrigued me, and later, when I learned more about the Great Airship Flap of the 1890s, my interest only grew. These airships appeared to witnesses across the country in 1896 and 1897, beginning in California and progressing all the way to the Great Lakes. There was very little science fiction at the time, very little with which people could frame the mystery, so it astounded them and captured their fancy, unlike today and taking for granted such things. With AIRSHIP HUNTERS, I wanted to come at it in that vein: our characters approach the mystery without all the baggage of 20th century “little green men” and silvery discs shooting across the sky.
DUANE: Jim clued me in on 19th-century UFOs. I had been a fan of The X Files TV show, and began reading Charles Fort’s books and Fortean Times magazine as a result. So I knew about a lot of inexplicable events that occurred during the 19th century. But other than having an awareness of Jules Verne’s novels about flying machines, I was in the dark about the topic until Jim approached me with his story idea and told me about the newspaper reports on UFOs from the 1890s. So, he put a new bump on my brain and sparked a new itch to write about. Mysteries like these—occurrences or artifacts that have no clear explanation—feed this yearning people have for answers. Look at all the books and television shows about age-old mysteries and conspiracies, shows like Ancient Aliens. These kinds of entertainment wouldn’t continue to exist if people didn’t crave this kind of information. So Airship Hunters should find an eager audience.
PC: Give us your Hollywood pitch for Airship Hunters. (Example: Edge of Tomorrow is Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. Game of Thrones is The Soprano’s meets Lord of the Rings, etc..)
JIM: We’ve been saying “an 1897 X-FILES” and “Jules Verne meets the X-FILES.” There’s much more to the story than that, but they’re good to begin the conversation.
PC: What were your primary influences while writing Airship Hunters? Any particular author or fictional work you guys had in mind?
JIM: My biggest influence was Duane! Seriously! Just holding up my end of it, trying to up my game to get close to his attention to detail and his love of history and environment kept me on my toes throughout the writing process. We traded off on chapters, leapfrogging if you will, and trying to top each other.
DUANE: Jim is too kind. I know a lot of pulp readers revere the dynamic, choppy prose of Lester Dent and his contemporaries. I lean toward that style, and feel that influence, when I’m writing action scenes. But I feel my primary influence while writing Airship Hunters was the Sherlock Holmes stories. Doyle was a storytelling master—Holmes’ continual popularity clearly demonstrates that. Doyle’s narrative clips along, and the characters pick away at mysteries. The heroes of Airship Hunters are essentially detectives, seeking the logical needle in the inexplicable haystack. Doyle worked in what anthologist Mike Ashley calls the Golden Age of Storytellers. It was an era filled with marvelous writers, people whose works we still read today: Robert Louis Stevenson, H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, and more. So I aimed for the sort of smooth but pell-mell narrative flow you find in Doyle and other writers of that era. So, for a contemporary pulp fan, you might say my influences resulted in an amalgam of Dent and Doyle, ending up in that sort of adventurous narrative style you might find in Adventure Magazine during Arthur Sullivant Hoffman’s editorial reign.
PC: What genre or genres would you associate Airship Hunters with?
JIM: We’ve said to each other, “It’s not a Western; it’s an EASTERN!” Beyond that, it’s a little bit Victorian thriller, science fiction, conspiracy theory, cozy mystery, buddy picture, and a smidge of steampunk.
DUANE: I wanna see the cozy mysteries Jim is reading! I agree with his description. The heart of our story, for me, is a detective tale. But there’s also an element of danger. Our airship hunters are both hunters AND hunted: think Richard Hannay in John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps. They are seeking clues, investigating strange and bizarre occurrences and reports and trying to make sense of them, when the evidence clearly escapes everyday logic. They learn to live by Sherlock Holmes’ words in The Sign of the Four: “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” So, while our heroes are busy investigating, people are also attempting to kill them. Makes for a hard day at work when you’re an Airship Hunter.
PC: I noticed how you guys alternated writing chapters. What was that process like? Were each of you in charge of developing certain characters? Did you guys share a common outline and work off that?
JIM: I suggested early on that we each create one of the two lead characters. In a way, the story of Valiantine and Cabot is the story of Beard and Spurlock; two men tasked with working together to solve a mystery all the while learning of each other’s strengths and weaknesses. In the end, I think it all worked out beautifully.
DUANE: This method of developing characters and writing a story meant Jim and I had to communicate a lot of details to one another while we worked. We plotted over the phone frequently, and bounced ideas off one another. We knew the overall arc of the plot as we began. We each developed our own mini-plots for the individual episodes we wrote, but we shared freely with each other to check and double-check that each chapter’s adventure moved the overall book’s plot forward and didn’t stray into the weeds. Think of how a TV show’s weekly episode may be essentially self-contained, but will include elements that feed into the Big Plot that ties together the show’s entire season. Also, we wanted our characters to hold the reader’s interest by demonstrating the growing relationship between the characters. We want the reader to care about that relationship. Again, I refer to Sherlock Holmes. His relationship with Dr. Watson is not just a crime-solving partnership. They are friends, their relationship was strengthened by their adventures. From the beginning, Jim and I wanted to build a similar relationship between our heroes.
PC: The cover art and front piece art by M.S Corley look fantastic! How did he become part of the project? What was it like working with him in bringing your characters to life on the cover?
JIM: Mike did the cover for CARNACKI: THE NEW ADVENTURES, a book I contributed to. I LOVE his work and suggested him to the Meteor crew. With no discernible hesitation, they approached him and that gorgeous cover is the result. For my part, he brought Valiantine to life, as well as cemented the period feel of the story.
DUANE: We were SUPER pleased that he came on board for the cover. He worked quickly and did a bang-up job. He has done some great work for a number of small presses. He should be a big name in the publishing world.
PC: Anything you’d like to say to prospective readers?
JIM: Toss any perceptions away and come along for the ride. We promise it will be weird and wonderful.
DUANE: The story is fun and mysterious. There are scenes in Airship Hunters that include some of the best work I’ve written. The book includes guns, hats, and coffee. What more could any reader ask for?
PC: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Jim and Duane.
JIM: Thank YOU!
DUANE: Absolutely. Thank you very much!
Airship Hunters is available for pre order from Meteor House here: http://meteorhousepress.com/airship-hunters/
You can listen to the guys talk about Airship Hunters on Art Sippo’s Podcast here: http://artsreviews.libsyn.com/jim-beard-and-duane-spurlock-on-the-airship-hunters
In this week episode I’m going to be discussing the World of Tiers series written by Philip José Farmer. I finished reading this series a few weeks back and I thought it would be a good time to do an episode on the series while it was still fresh in my memory. Besides the novels written by Philip José Farmer, I’ll also be discussing World of Tiers fiction written by other authors since Farmer passed away.
I’m not going to be giving away any spoilers in this episode. I’m going to give you a nice idea of what the World of Tiers series is about, though.
First I’ll start off with an overview and give some background information on the series. The theme of the series revolves around an advanced race of beings known as Lords. They are also called the Thoan, and Farmer refers to them early on as the Vaernirn. He abandons the term Vaernirn, though and sticks with calling them either Lords or Thoan in the rest of the books. In this episode I will just be calling them Lords to make it easier.
The Lords are advanced beings who are human in appearance. However, they have at their fingertips vastly advanced technology. This includes immortality without aging past their prime, being able to construct artificial pocket universes, traveling between universes via gates, bio engineering, terraforming, gravity manipulation, the list goes on. It should be noted that within each Pocket Universe there is only one planet, but the planet can have orbiting satellites.
World of Tiers Reading Order: http://pulpcrazy.com/wotro.png
A Map of the World of Tiers: http://pulpcrazy.com/wotmap.jpg
Phileas Fogg Family Tree: http://pulpcrazy.com/foggtree.png
The World of Tiers Series on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/wotamazon
The Official Philip José Farmer Website: http://pjfarmer.com
Meteor House ( For Worlds of Philip José Farmer Anthologies with World of Tiers Short Stories): http://meteorhousepress.com
The Avenger: The Justice Inc. Files (For Devil’s Dark Heart by Christopher Paul Carey): http://tinyurl.com/avengeramazon
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg: http://tinyurl.com/foggamazon
Philip José Farmer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Jos%C3%A9_Farmer
William Blake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Blake
Robert Bloch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bloch
The Thoan French RPG: http://thoan.chez.com/
In this weeks episode I will be discussing Totem and Taboo by Philip José Farmer. February 25, 2015 marked six years since the passing of this enormous talent, so I decided to read one of his stories in remembrance of him. By coincidence, or fate, a copy of The Grand Adventure arrived in the mail on the 25th. These is a beautifully illustrated collection published by Byron Preiss and Berkley Books, which contains some PJF stories I’ve been dying to read. The Totem and Taboo title caught my interest, and after reading Farmer’s introduction to it, I just had to read it. The story itself isn’t very long, Farmer’s introduction is nearly as long as the story itself. But he conveys some interesting points and background material in the introduction.
Totem and Taboo combines two of Farmer’s interests, Psychotherapy and Totems. The name of the story being identical to a thesis by Sigmund Freud isn’t a coincidence. In the introduction, Farmer says this story has nothing to do with Freud’s thesis, but then again he also says it might after all. Farmer had an interest in psychotherapy and psychology, which played a big part in his World of Tiers novel, Red Orc’s Rage.
PJF also gives some serious thoughts about animals towards the beginning of the intro, as well as comparing and contrasting their actions to humans. This kind of thinking is seen from him in other works relating to feral humans. Of course, totems play a part of the Khokarsa series, with Hadon of Ancient Opar being a member of the Ant Totem, and Kwasin of Dythbeth being a member of the Thunder Bear totem.
According to Farmer, at the conclusion of his intro, no psychologist or psychoanalyst, as far as he was aware had combined zoology with their particular school of theory or technique. Farmer mused that maybe they should look into this.
Totem & Taboo at ISFDB: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?58170
Philip José Farmer on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Jose-Farmer/e/B000APAEPG/
The Grand Adventure on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Grand-Adventure-Philip-Jose-Farmer/dp/0425072118/
The Book of Philip José Farmer on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Philip-Jos%C3%A9-Farmer/dp/B0006F1Q1G/
Official Philip José Farmer Website: http://pjfarmer.com
Meteor House Press: http://meteorhousepress.com