Sunday, March 11, 2007

True Pulp

Earl K. Bergey could certainly bring out the best pulpiness in his covers. And this time around he was illustrating Frederic Brown's novel What Mad Universe. This story was filled with all sorts of fannish references and in-jokes, probably confusing the average reader. I know if I hadn't read All Our Yesterdays previously I would have missed out on the goodies.
Wilson Tucker was famous for putting fellow writers and fans in his books. Kelly Freas placed fans on magazine covers; and H. P. Lovecraft and his circle were continuously killing each other off in the most gruesome fashion in their stories.
Are any Science Fiction and Fantasy writers doing this sort of thing today? To be honest, I don't read much of the modern stuff. It just doesn't appeal to me. And Fandom is fragmented into so many specilizations I don't know if it could work now.
Getting back to What Mad Universe, Brown created an interesting, and very warped, Universe based on the fantasies of a Fan who sees himself as a combination John Carter and Flash Gordon. Others propelled along for the ride are mystified by the strangely juvenile actions of everyone they encounter until the truth is discovered. Brown had a great sense of humor and he really employes it here in this story. I wonder what the odds are of it being reprinted. Probably slim.
Next time I'll try to get back to Startling Stories and look at the issues for 1940.


Blogger Gabriel said...

pulp makes the world go round!

7:48 PM  
Blogger Ron Fortier said...

Nice site. If you are really into
those fun Sci-fi action pulp heroes ala Captain Future, you'll get a kick out of this. We, at Airship 27 Productions, recently invited our writers to create a new pulp sci-fi hero for a series of anthologies. In the end 8 really talented wordsmiths contributed aliens, space pirates and supporting characters to a brand new star - MARS McCOY - SPACE PATROL. With fingers crossed issue one, with four stories, will be out by the end of summer.
Ron Fortier

10:12 AM  

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