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.
In this week’s episode of Pulp Crazy, I celebrate what would have been Philip José Farmer’s 98th Birthday by discussing his tale of scholarship and sorcery at Miskatonic University.
“The Freshman” is Farmer’s contribution to H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos that follows an elderly frosh on his eventful first day at Miskatonic University. The short story was inspired by a dream Farmer had, where he was an elderly man rushing for a fraternity at a strange university.
Today, December 13, 2015 is the 220th anniversary of the Wold Newton event. On December 13, 1795, a meteorite struck outside the hamlet of Wold Newton in Yorkshire, England. According to Philip José Farmer, when the meteorite crashed into the countryside, two carriages were passing by. The drivers and passengers, who were already of heroic stock, were exposed to the ionization of the meteorite and were further enhanced by it.
These passengers include Sir Percy Blakeny, the Scarlet Pimpernel as well as Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy. Ancestors of Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, Doc Savage, the Avenger, the Shadow, the Spider, and others were present as well. The passengers included several married couples, with some of the women already being pregnant at the time. Their children would later marry each other, thus the enriched genes would not become recessive. Due to the families becoming interconnected, they are referred to as one family, the Wold Newton Family.
Today also marks the day of the launch of WOLDNEWTONFAMILY.COM. A website devoted to the canonical Wold Newton Family works by Philip José Farmer and authorized continuations. Be sure to take some time and give it a peek on Wold Newton Day, it has several articles, and is a great introduction and resource to Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Family.
In this week’s episode, I look at a seminal Wold Newton tale, “The Adventure of the Peerless Peer” by Philip José Farmer himself. This story features Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Watson, and Tarzan, with several cameos by other pulp heroes.
In this weeks episode, I’m going to be discussing “Is He In Hell?” by Win Scott Eckert. This Wold Newton Universe short story first appeared in Tales of the Shadowmen Volume 6: Grand Guignol published by Black Coat Press in December 2009. It was later revised and expanded for the definitive release in The Worlds of Philip José Farmer: Protean Dimensions, published by Meteor House in June 2010. I’ll be discussing the latter as it’s the definitive edition of the story and contains more elements tying it to Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe.
“Is He in Hell?” stars the Scarlet Pimpernel. It’s set in November 1795 and takes place largely in France and Belgium.
The story focuses on Sir Percy Blakeny, the Scarlet Pimpernel as he attempts to save the Baron de Musard from the guillotine. But…things aren’t what they seem on the surface. This is a fast paced action and espionage story, but there are definitely some elements of weird fiction present as well.
In this week’s episode Chris and Chuck discuss the Farmerian Tarzan, focusing on Philip José Farmer’s official Tarzan projects, Tarzan Alive and The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan Novel. Farmer was a lifelong Tarzan fan, and while Tarzan Alive is often spoken of, The Dark Heart of Time seems to be neglected. The Dark Heart of Time also gets a bad rap for having extraterrestrial science fiction elements, but as it turns out, that’s just Farmer going over most of our heads. In this episode Chris explains that Farmer was actually pulling from preexisting African folk lore and mythology, not just throwing in science fiction elements.
I decided to split our conversation right when Chuck began talking about Thomas Yeates’ comic series Tarzan: The Beckoning as Chuck goes into a little bit of Farmer territory here. Chuck then talks briefly about the Hal Foster comic strips, before we move on to discussing Farmer’s Tarzan and how much of a Burroughs fan Farmer was.
In this weeks episode I’m going to be discussing “The New York Review of Bird” by Harlan Ellison. It first appeared in Weird Heroes Volume 2, published in 1975 by Pyramid Books and produced by Byron Preiss Visual Publications Inc. “The New York Review of Bird” is currently in print in the Harlan Ellison collection titled, Strange Wine. Strange Wine is available in both print and eBook. See below for links.
I read The New York Review of Bird in Weird Heroes Volume 2. I purchased my copy at PulpFest last summer and was immediately intrigued by this story after seeing the Neal Adams interior artwork and the connections to Philip Jose Farmer’s Wold Newton Family. I went ahead and purchased the digital edition of Strange Wine, so I could compare it to the Weird Heroes version.
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.
In this weeks episode I’m going to be discussing a story that has had a huge influence on pulp and popular literature. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard. The novel was first published in September 1885. Haggard wrote King Solomon’s Mines following a bet with his brother. The wager was whether or not Haggard could write a novel half as good as Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island.
According to wikipedia it took him between six and sixteen weeks to complete the novel between January and April 21st 1885. The book had a hard time finding a publisher, it was overlooked as a novelty. When it saw print, it became the year’s best seller, and proved difficult to keep in print given the great demand for copies.
King Solomon’s Mines stars Allan Quatermain. A character that has seen a bit of a resurgence in the last ten years.