Month: October 2014

[flash fiction, horror] Hair

I wake up and start to comb my fingers through my hair.

It’s falling out, you see, faster than it grows back in, and every morning I take a perverse pleasure in eradicating the loose strands with my fingers.  Here, says my fingers, lies your “crowning beauty.”  Your hair.  It’s long and thick, thicker than any normal two women’s hair put together, and I’ve always taken it for granted.  “Horse hair,” my hairdresser, Nancy, calls it.  Every morning a scattering of delicate strands dangles from my fingers like spiderwebs, and I roll them into a ball and throw them into the trash in the bathroom before I sit down to pee.  At this rate, it’ll be years before I turn bald.

But this morning is different.

When I actually touch my hair, I feel not delicate strands but a jellylike paste.  I can feel the hair underneath when I scratch my head, but it breaks under my fingers, almost as though it were dissolving.  My fingers freeze.

Luckily Craig’s already gone for work.  He gets up before dawn so he can work out, holding old age and infirmity at bay.  Still holding my hand to my head, I sit up slowly.  Although the sun is just up, it’s still dim in the bedroom.  With my other hand, I fumble around on the nightstand for my glasses and slip them on.

A cold trail of something runs down my back.  I shiver and make a mental note to wash the bedding today.  Before Craig gets back.

The room smells of that sour smell when a group of old ladies use the toilets at a movie theater.  Great, I think.  Must have a yeast infection.

On my head?

I stumble into the bathroom, turn on the lights, then twist on the shower, bend forward, and lean into the cold water, letting it wash whatever is on my head into the drain.

The sludge is a warm, dark brown.  The exact color of my hair, in fact, if you don’t count the few twinkling strands of silver.  It pools up in the bottom of the shower, promptly backing up the drain and causing the level of water to rise.

I rub my hands over the back of my head, feeling bare skin.

Well, that’s it, then.  I’m bald.

I scrub my scalp until it’s hairless and clean.  The skin seems unbroken.  When I lean around to look at myself in the mirror I don’t appear to be bleeding.  Two brown streaks where my eyebrows used to be, and a dribble of brownish liquid from my nose that, when wiped, isn’t blood.

I suddenly remember the shower and turn off the water, which is finally hot and casting up clouds of gross-smelling steam.

The sludge in the drain has mostly disappeared, and the water in the shower stall is slowly glugging down through the cracks.  I pull off a wad of toilet paper and notice that the seat is down, a sure sign of Craig having a good sit, first thing in the morning.  Maybe the smell is from him.  I’ll have to see if he’s feeling all right.

I start to wipe the sludge away from the drain.  As lovely as it would be if it all just disappeared, it would be wiser to throw it out in a plastic bag.  We have enough trouble with the sewer line as it is, with tree roots always growing through.

Something scratches against the bottom of the shower stall.

I turn over the paper.  There, in the middle of the brown sludge, is a tooth.

tooth.

I run my tongue around my mouth, but no, no teeth missing.  They’re gummy and badly in need of brushing.  But all there.

tooth.

I walk over to the mirror and put the wad of toilet paper down on the counter, sludge downward.  The tooth clicks on the countertop.

I riffle my thumb against Craig’s toothbrush, my stomach heaving.  It’s dry.

I blink at myself in the mirror.  My eyelashes are gone, everything that makes me feminine is gone.  Hairless, I seem like an alien.

My eyes  in the mirror grow darker and darker until the pupils fill them up from edge to edge, not a single fleck of white remaining.

Behind me in the mirror, Craig’s workout bag is balanced on the edge of the tub.

What?  Still in the mood for horror stories?  Check out my collection of horror, dark fantasy, and ghost stories:  A Murder of Crows: Seventeen Tales of Monsters and the Macabre.

 

 

 

 

 

Release Day for A Murder of Crows – How You Can Help

tl;dr:  a) buy book and/or ask for free copy, b) review someplace, c) tell a friend, d) give me hugs.

Crows-3b

Today is the official release day for A Murder of Crows: Seventeen Tales of Monsters and the Macabre.

I am, of course, in panic mode, because I have a release-day checklist in which I do more than whisper a quiet announcement on Facebook and slink back into my hidey hole, as usual, so make snarky comments and post nerdy links.  The dreaded promotion phase of writing.  I think I know like two writers who enjoy promoting themselves.  The rest of us are terrified.

My goals:

1) Get the book onto a nice place on the horror sub-lists on Amazon during October (for example, the Ghosts sublist).

2) Gather reviews in preparation for running a big promotion later on, towards Christmas.

3) Not go batshit insane.

People keep reminding me that it’s perfectly okay to ask other people for help achieving my goals.  I struggle with this, but it’s on the list, so I have to do it.  Please note:  this is not an email to press complete strangers into being my book slaves (there’s a thought), but for family, friends, and fellow authors exchanging favors.

So, if you would like to help me, here are some options:

1) Buy the book on Amazon today.  Even if you don’t have a Kindle.  This costs $2.99.  My Midwestern brain insists that I mention that this is not required, but it would be a huge help.

[Note:  This goes to Goal #1.  The more people who buy the book in the first 30 days of a new Amazon release, the better it seems to look to their algorithms and the more visible they make me to complete strangers who happen to be looking for ghost stories for a while.]

2) Ask me for a free copy of the book.  I have formats set up for all major ereaders as well as on your computer.  If you have no intention of reading the book but want to pass it on to someone who miiiiiight want it like six years from now, I have no problem with that.  Ask away 🙂

3) Review the book at Amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, on your blog or other social media, on the back of a napkin, sealed up into a bottle and tossed into the ocean…

[Note: Anywhere you mention the book–or link to it–on the Internet helps brainwash Google and other search engines into making it just slightly more visible.]

4) Pass the word.  There’s a local commercial that always ends up with, “If you like our service, tell a friend.  If you don’t, tell me.”  That’s it exactly.

As far as social media goes, you may copy the picture of the cover off this blog and use it to help promote the book if you like (most social media give extra weight to posts with pictures attached, which is why you see so many dang cats).

Here are some thingies suitable for copying and pasting onto Twitter, Facebook, G+, or what have you:

Ghosts, monsters, and the macabre: A MURDER OF CROWS on sale for #Halloween http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Crows-Seventeen-Monsters-Macabre-ebook/dp/B00OC24PQ2/ #horror

It was we crows who stole your daughter… A MURDER OF CROWS: 17 TALES OF MONSTERS AND THE MACABRE http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Crows-Seventeen-Monsters-Macabre-ebook/dp/B00OC24PQ2/

Mothers, daughters, & other monsters. 17 short stories of ghosts, dark fantasy, and horror. A MURDER OF CROWS http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Crows-Seventeen-Monsters-Macabre-ebook/dp/B00OC24PQ2/

5) Sign up for my newsletter.  

[Note: Social media stuff…it’s kind of random whether you actually see what I post or not.  A newsletter will end up in your email inbox, where you can read it or not, as you choose, rather than as Facebook chooses.  I send at most one newsletter a month except this month, in which I will be sending an extra one out today or tomorrow with the actual release announcement and (basically) the same information as is on this blog.]

6) Chat with me.  I will listen to you complain about/praise the book, I will take typo oopsies if you catch any in the book, I will take invitations to write on your blog, I will talk at your book group, I will bring free copies of books to libraries, I will show up to speak for your writer group on pretty much any topic.  Unless I gotta travel out of state, and then…maybe.  If you have a favor to ask, ask it 🙂  Because trading favors is what makes the writing world go ’round.

7) Give me hugs.  I am not the huggiest of people but I’m going to hit this wall of exhaustion about five o’clock today and start crying about what a terrible writer/person I am, more because I’m just tired than anything else.  I intend to go to the PPW writer’s night tonight for support, but we’ll see.

Thank you 🙂  I couldn’t do this without all of you.  I owe you big time.

 

Book Review: Irredeemable, by Jason Sizemore

Disclosures: A) I used to slush for Apex Magazine, of which Jason is the publisher, and B) I got a review copy.

I’m reading (as I’m sure you’ve heard me go off about by now) Nightmare Magazine Top 100 Horror Books.  What I’m seeing, as I work through the Bs of Barker, Barron, Blatty, Bloch, and Bradbury, is that (other than Blatty) I’m not finding these stories particularly scary.  I like them all well enough, but they’re not really horrifying to me.  Here’s what seem to be the basic revelations so far:

  • Old people are scary, unless you’re old, and then they’re even scarier.
  • White people are scared of everyone who isn’t white.
  • Men are scared of everyone who isn’t male.
  • Young people with old spirits or who are possessed by old spirits are terrifying–because of the oldness.
  • I usually have more empathy for the antagonists than the protagonists, except in The Exorcist and Psycho, which, well, no, actually.  I had empathy for Norman Bates except in a few spots; it was his mother whose ass I wanted to kick.
  • The theme seems to be, “Everything we took for granted, why can’t we take it for granted anymore?  Waaaaah!”

Now, in my world, old people don’t scare me, and death is a Goth chick in a top hat.  (Okay, sometimes old people scare me, but not necessarily because they are approaching death, but because of the things they take for granted, like Hey, you should destroy your personality when you become a mother, or Hey, wouldn’t it be great if Jesus came and set everyone on fire?)  White people can, in fact, learn how to get along with everyone else, and “men” isn’t an end-all be-all club anymore.  And in my world, what we call it when you have to stop taking things for granted is called “wisdom,” not horror.

Maybe it’s just the Bs, I don’t know.

In the middle of these, I took a break and read Jason’s book, a short story or two at a time.  It’s a good sign, see, when you can only read a short story or two at a time, because a good short story is too powerful to move on from right away.

And they gave me nightmares.  Which none of the Bs have managed to do yet, although I need to reread Blatty before I can really make a final call.  I’m not sure if it’s just me or what.

Here’s what Jason’s stories have to say:

  • What if it’s me?  That’s the horrible one, and I didn’t know it?  And now I’m going to get what’s coming to me?
  • What if I went along with something horrible, and now it’s going to drag me down?  Does it mean I deserve it or not, if I didn’t actually do anything?
  • What if happiness (or at least getting what I want) would kill me?  What if it took the end of the world to get like two seconds of happiness, would it be worth it, then?
  • What if someone’s using the few good parts of my soul that are left against me?  Would it be better to be evil, then?
  • What if I’m so inured to pain that I would suffer more if it stopped?

These things, I can relate to.  In my world, they matter.  But that also means that I don’t know that I’m the most objective judge of the stories, either.

There were some that I thought very well put together (“Caspar,” “Sonic Scarring,” “Yellow Warblers,” “The Sleeping Quartet,” and others), and some that I thought were weaker, that hadn’t explored the line of thought all the way down (“For the Sake of Pleasing”), or had gone for the easy, quick kill instead of being very Jasonish (“Hope”).

And then there was “Shotgun Shelter,” which made me shout and almost toss the book across the room–it’s presented here as a short story, but it’s really the opening of this great novel somewhere between Joe Lansdale and Stephen King and why the @#$% did I get robbed by having it end so abruptly?

I look forward to him finishing the novel.  Which I doubt he has plans to finish…yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trolls by Genre

I was screwing around with genres while journaling this morning:

 

Horror: We are all trolls.

With a splash of terror: Everyone is a troll but me, and now they’re after me!

Urban Fantasy: It’s the job of all right-thinking citizens to make a stand against trolls.  Especially, you know, if we’re getting paid for it.

Crime: How the troll took me down, and I got my revenge.

Mystery:  Which one of you is the troll?  Scratch that, which one of you is the troll who murdered my sister?  Sheesh, you’re all a bunch of trolls…

Romance: A troll hurt me once, so I never loved again…until now.

Historical Romance: …with dresses.

Paranormal Romance: …and the troll was literally a troll.

Noir: Sometimes it’s trolls versus trolls, babe, and you just gotta go with the lesser troll.

Christian: With love, even a troll can be saved.

Janette Oke: …on the prairie.

Thriller: When trolls turn DEADLY.

Epic Fantasy: A savior will arise against the troll who stands behind the throne.

Contemporary Fantasy: What you thought were metaphorical trolls…are literal trolls!  Which is both terrible…and cool!

Slipstream: What you thought were metaphorical trolls…are actually science construct robots run by miniature trolls, and you might be one, too.  Which is deeply unsettling.  Don’t adjust that dial…

Magic Realism:  The quiet suffering of the trolls must be understood.

Weird Fiction:  Dig too deep into the nature of trolls, and you will find something even worse then trolls…something too horrible to comprehend…

Grimdark: If the trolls want this ruined land, they will have to tear it from my cold, undead hands.

Sword & Sorcery:  My unlikely companion, Troll, and I get up to all kinds of blood, guts, and ADVENTURE!

Science Fiction: What if we went into space and found an alien society were run by trolls?

Mundane SF: How will we survive the inevitable worldwide society run by trolls, especially after we run out of petrochemicals?

Space Opera: We few rebels must resist the overwhelming power of a galactic society secretly run by trolls! Of course we will win!

Western: Well, I figure this here town run by a troll of a sheriff has something to learn about right and wrong, and here I am with a teachin’ license and two pistols.

Space Western: We ex-rebels have to teach this trollish society a little something about justice.  Also, money.  As in them not having so much of it all of a sudden.

Caper: So there’s this troll with a lot of money…what?  What could possibly go wrong?

Fable:  Once upon a time, there was a troll under the bridge, whom the main characters tricked so badly that you end up feeling sorry for him, kind of, if he would just stop eating people.

Alternate History: What if the Nazis idolized trolls as the master race?

Historical Fiction: Let us delve into the rich history of trolls, to explore where they came from, and their effect upon society now.

Steampunk/Gothic: A plucky heroine discovers an underground society of trolls abducted from the Colonies and forced to serve His Majesty as slaves.  She prevents a bloody revolution and instigates peaceful social change while falling in love with a Duke.

Steampunk/WeirdFic: A washed-out inventor discovers an underground society of trolls abducted from the Colonies and forced to serve His Majesty as slaves.  He accidentally starts a revolution and is haplessly dragged all over the place as brutal slaughter occurs around him and he finds out more than he ever wanted to know about the nature of reality, which is essentially broken.

Cyberpunk: An arrogant programmer discovers an underground society of trolls forced to serve the Government as online spies.  He deliberately starts a revolution that gets out of control, then is captured by the Gov’t and forced to work against his former allies.

Erotica: Captured by trolls, the main character learns to break down all their inhibitions and become…more truly themselves.

Porn: Captured by trolls, the main character learns to break down all their sexual inhibitions and become…the Queen of Trolls!

Chick Lit: Finding out that you and all your friends are, you know, some kind of minor troll…but you all have each other’s backs once a tragic loss brings you together.

Suspense: You and a troll face off against each other through intermediaries until, finally, you are trapped together, forced to face each other directly…and only one of you will survive.

–What other genres would you like?

Also: Ack, I’m trying to sell books here!  Preorders for my collection of horror/dark fantasy/ghost stories, A Murder of Crows: Seventeen Tales of Monsters and the Macabre is available here.  The book will be released on Oct. 27th.  Please preorder and help me get more visible on the charts on release day!

A Murder of Crows: Preorders Now Open

 

Preorders are now open for my collection of short horror, ghost, and dark fantasy stories for adults, A Murder of Crows.  If you are so inclined to make a preorder, many thanks!  The current price is $2.99 US; it’ll go up after the release to $4.99.

The print edition is not quite ready for preorders yet (ahem).

If you would like a copy but find yourself short of cash (or need a format other than for Kindle), then contact me via your favorite social media network or at publisher [at] wonderlandpress [dot] com, and I’ll email you one in trade for a review.  If you want to hold out for a print copy for review, email me anyway.  I’m making a list.

If you would like to preorder a copy and have an early review copy so that you can show up on my release day (Oct. 27th) with a review and therefore help boost sales to the moon, yes please!  Send me an email!

If you want to help me out but don’t want to read the book (horror stories aren’t your bag, I get it), then please help spread the news by posting any of the below (or making up your own):

Twitter:

It was we crows who took your daughter, in case you were wondering… A MURDER OF CROWS avail for preorder:   

Monsters and the macabre: A MURDER OF CROWS preorders now available:    

Facebook and almost all other social media:

It was we crows who took your daughter, in case you were wondering… A MURDER OF CROWS, a collection of short horror, ghost, and dark fantasy stories by DeAnna Knippling is available for preorder here:  

And if you would forward the link to this particular blog, that would be helpful, too.

I’ll have more blogs later telling you how clever and fascinating this book is–the crow story isn’t so much a frame story so much as it is yoinked out of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, which I’ve always been fascinated with.  But that’s later.  Today’s just to announce presales.  The opening of the book is below.

 

Crows-3b

 

 

It was we crows who took your daughter, in case you were wondering. She didn’t run away. We had–I had–been watching her for some time, listening to her tell stories in the grass behind the house. She would sit near the chicken coop and watch the white chickens pick at the dirt, pulling up fat worms and clipping grasshoppers out of the air as they jumped toward the fields. 

Some of them were good stories. Some of them were bad. But that’s what decided it, even more than any issue of mercy or salvation or anything else. Crows are, for one, possessive of stories. And also by then I had pecked almost all the elders into coming to listen to her at least once, except Facunde, who was then mad and responded to nobody’s pecking, not that I had had the courage to exactly take my beak to her. “She is like a daughter to me,” I had pled with the others. “She listens.” They laughed at me, they rattled their beaks, they came and heard her and were convinced, or at least bullied into pretending they were convinced. 

We took her on the same cold winter day that you traded your son to the fairies, the wind blowing in cold gray threads, ruffling our feathers. It had snowed a few days before that, a storm that had killed your husband, or so it was said. The wind had snatched the snow out onto the prairie, hiding it in crevices. It had been a dry year, and even though it was still too cold to melt the snow, the thirsty dirt still found places to tuck it away in case of a thaw. 

I stamped my feet on a sleeping branch while the others argued. Some argued that we should wait for spring. So many things are different, in the spring. But old Loyolo insisted: no, if we were to take the child, we would have to take her then and there: there had been at least one death already, and no one had heard the babe’s cry for hours. 

We covered the oak trees, thousands of us, so many that the branches creaked and swayed under our weight. I don’t know if you noticed us, before it was too late. You were, it is to be admitted, busy. 

The girl played on the swings, rocking herself back and forth in long, mournful creaks. She wore a too-small padded jacket and a dress decorated in small flowers. She was so clean that she still smelled of soap. Her feet were bare under their shoes, the skin scabbed and dry, almost scaly. Her wrists were pricked with gooseflesh, and her hair whipped in thin, colorless threads across her face as the wind caught it. The house had the smell of fresh death, under the peeling paint and the dusty windows, and seemed to murmur with forgotten languages, none of which were languages of love or tenderness. Afternoon was sinking into evening. The girl’s breath smelled like hunger. 

“Now!” called old Loyolo, at some signal that not even I could have told you. And thousands of birds swept out of the trees toward her. From the middle of it, I can tell you, it seemed a kind of nightmare. Wings in my face, claws in my feathers. The sun was temporarily snuffed out, it was a myriad of bright slices reflected off black wings… 

Book Review: The Imago Sequence

by Laird Barron.

Spoilers.

Reading this book, a collection of short “the horrors of that which is beyond our comprehension” horror stories, was quite the experience.

The first two stories, “Old Virginia” and “Shiva, Open Your Eye,” bored me.  I’m reading Nightmare Magazine’s Top 100 Horror Books, so I’m expecting this stuff to be over-the-top good.  They were well written, but they just didn’t do anything for me.  No horror, no tension, no delight, no schadenfreude, no emotion.  Just the reasonably unpainful slog of turning pages.  I neither loved, nor hated, nor even goggled at any of the characters.  “Uh-huh,” I said.  Logical and plausible, given a world in which the uncanny exists.

The third story, “Procession of the Black Sloth,” made me go, “This guy has a particular horror of old people, doesn’t he?”  I mean, in that story, it’s blatant.  A group of little old ladies are not what they seem.  A man could go mad, finding out what little old ladies get up to, when they’re not playing cards.  This one I liked; it was a much more tense, almost intimate story, and some of the visuals are still with me, although I’m entirely on the side of the little old ladies here.

“Bulldozer,” well, it’s there, okay, whatever.  Interesting setting, a Pinkerton in the West who…looks into stuff what he would be better not looking into.  An old woman adds to the horror of the milieu.  Yawn.  I had to look this one up, because I could not remember what it was about.

I sit down and write a couple of journal entries ranting about how I’m tired of being held at arm’s length by this writer and how I would have ditched the book if it weren’t on the damn list.  Then start I list all the things I’m afraid of and why, and look at it with satisfaction.  “Ugly,” I think.  “But utterly mine.”

Then “Proboscis,” about the same reaction as “Bulldozer,” initially.  Different setting–modern, northwest, horrors at some ancient geological features, wait wait, will we be sorry we looked behind the curtain?–yep, someone’s getting eaten, okay, whatever.  But there are some things about bugs that have real zest to them, about people who might or might not be human.  This story feels a little more real.  I laugh out loud when, at the end, a little old lady expresses sympathy for the main character, her hand lingering just a little too long on his shoulder.

“Hallucigenia” was quite enjoyable.  There were old people!  And insects!  And I was beginning to notice that rich people were coming up more often than not.  Nnnnno, not rich people specificially, but people in power, or people acting on the authority of people in power.  Here, a rich ex-game hunter/financial genius/predator gone soft stumbles into what a bunch of poor but extremely smart farmers have been getting up to.  “Does he have a thing about rich people?” I wondered.  “Everyone in these stories has the money to throw around and get into stuff they shouldn’t.  Working class people, even middle class people would be all  ‘screw this, I gotta go to work in the morning’ and leave it alone.”

“Parallax” is almost…cute, almost a directly connected story with “Hallucingenia.”  Meh.

I look up Laird Barron on Wikipedia.  For  some reason it is almost gripping that he’s from Alaska and wears an eyepatch.  “Don’t let the eyepatch influence you,” I try to tell myself.  “Oooh, he’s done the Iditarod….”  I find out that he’s strongly influenced by pulp, and stuff starts snapping into place.  The settings…the characters…the dryness of emotion.  Yes, those all fit, very pulp and popular fictiony.  70s adventure/spy stuff…with the uncanny!  Private investigator in the back woods noir…with the uncanny!  Pinkerton…with the uncanny!  A drug-induced adventure story…with the uncanny!  Rich people on safari…with the uncanny!

Then I realize these are his first published stories.

Bitterly, I think, “Everyone loves Mr. Cleverdick who can write pulp and the uncanny, grumble grumble.”  I seethe with jealousy, yet am secure in the secret knowledge that at least I’m gutting my own pitiful soul when I’m writing, not copying someone from decades past…at least I’m not holding people at arm’s length…

That Black Sloth story, though.  I still think it’s pretty good.

Then I hit “The Royal Zoo is Closed.”

I don’t remember the story at all:  it breaks out of the pulp mode, and doesn’t bother telling the story in a clear, linear fashion.  I’m not sure whether it’s any good or not (I reluctantly admit to myself, here, that the other stories are good, just not personally affective.)  And yet it feels more personal and real than everything but the Black Sloth story combined.  In a sense, this should be the last story in the collection–the breakdown of reality.  And yet it’s not.

And now the final story, “The Imago Sequence.”  I’m not sure whether it’s a good story or not; I’m not really sure how to judge it.  I wonder what my reaction to it would have been, had I read the story on its own instead of in this particular position in this particular collection.

As I was reading this story, I kept popping in and out of layers:  reading the story as a story, looking at the story as part of the author’s oeuvre and development, looking at how this story ties into the others.  I read the entire story as a story, but got distracted by the other two thoughts, and so I’m not sure whether, in the end, the story’s any good.  It must be (it must be brilliant), and yet I can’t tell.

Here’s the thing:  of all the stories in the collection, the one that came closest to actually spooking, startling, or horrifying me is the Black Sloth story, and even then, I consider the ending somewhat of a mess.  “Ach, that’s the kind of thing that I could end with,” I tell myself.  I expect more from this guy, sad to say.  I came to this with expectations.  “But you have to do everything so much better than I could ever hope to do, so that I don’t tear myself up with jealousy.”  Unfair, I know.

If you set that one aside, then–what you see is a lurching kind of development of the writer.  He starts out as a master craftsman, a master carpenter of words, a master architect.  Everything that I’m striving to hit, he’s already hit it, knocked it out of the park.  But there’s no soul to it, no intimacy, no personal creepy crawlies, or if there are, they’re very deeply buried, so that they only really pop out when you start comparing the stories to each other.  Old people, rich people, people in the employ of the rich and powerful.  I get the impression that none of this is personally important to the author.  Then, as things go on, you see stories with flashes of personal squick to them.  Bugs.  The dent in the rich guy’s wife’s forehead.  His love of screwed-up art.  The Mima Mounds, which seems as if they’re too important to describe directly:  they can only be mentioned, or the fact that they can’t really be seen can be dwelt upon.

Then the moment when everything gets blown up:  “The Royal Zoo Is Closed.”  Which feels like a story where the author finally lets go of the rule book of how to write a good story and just gets drunk and raves and raves without really giving a shit about how it turns out, sends it off, and gets it published, much to his surprise.  A watershed of freedom.

And, finally–“The Imago Sequence.”

It hits me, as I’m making tea this morning (I finished the story last night and, oddly, didn’t dream about it), that “The Imago Sequence” describes what it feels like to become a horror writer, or even just a writer in general.  There’s a first phase, that feels interesting but mysterious.  Pretentious, copycattish, yeah yeah whatever.  A second phase, where you get addicted to the stuff and you write to stop the nightmares and everything is too damn hard.  Stuff sloshes around in you, you start looking at the world differently:  “Hey, that one thing that everyone takes for granted?  It sucks.  It just @#$%^&* sucks.”  And every time you go off about that thing, people look at you like an idiot (at best), or start attacking you because you’ve just pushed the taboo button.  There are things that everyone would rather not know–not the same things for each person, but still.  Rather.  Not.  Know.  And then there comes a third phase, where you dig deeper and deeper into yourself (which is a nicely literal scene in the story itself) and pull out all the ugliness you can find, until it splatters the landscape and transforms the world in subtle little ways, leaving clues for the next person to find.  If Lovecraft hadn’t been racist, for example–he wouldn’t have been Lovecraft.

I’m not sure about the conclusion buried within “The Imago Sequence” itself–it sounds like there’s a fourth phase, which is the horror writer being ingested by the things that horrify him, and he becomes them or is destroyed by them.  I don’t know that that’s true–I mean, weren’t we the things that horrify us already?–but it certainly feels like an intimate kind of horror, being consumed.  Just what I was looking for.

By the time I finished the collection, I was like, A) gonna read more by this guy to see where he’s taking things, and B) I feel like a sick predator for enjoying the fact that the author has been dragged down more into being a personal, intimate, naked horror writer instead of Mr. Cleverdick.  I’m not sure whether B comes more from the writer side of me or the reader side of me:  it’s not often that you get exactly the kind of writer you want, writing the kinds of stories that you didn’t know you wanted, but there they are, and really I’m hoping that that’s where he’s going.  “Scare me!  You’re headed in my perfect horrific direction!  Go faster!”  A selfish thought.

This morning I looked up the copyright dates.  Earliest: “Shiva, Open Your Eye.”  Latest, the Black Sloth story.  I keep smiling in anticipation.

Final thought:  Is the reason that the earlier stories don’t affect me due to the fact that I’m just not afraid of old people or suppressing the idea that wealth and power aren’t all that good for you?  In short, because I’m just not afraid of the same things–and the author didn’t bother to teach me how to be afraid of them?

Is it ethical to teach someone how to be afraid of something they weren’t already afraid of?  Especially if you don’t afterwards teach the reader how to defeat it?

It must be what horror readers want, though.  Think of how many people like plushie Cthulul dolls, how many people from my generation who are afraid of clowns.

 

 

100 Best SF/F/H Pulp Stories [In Progress]

First draft of a best-of SF/F/H pulp list coming right up.

Note:  I’m not an expert, and I haven’t read most of this stuff.  However, I want to become well-read in the area, and there aren’t a lot of resources giving any kind of organization.  “Pulps are bigger than you can imagine and way more influential and actually pretty good reading,” people say, and then send you toward a massive and intimidating rabbit hole.  So, for the lack of finding something easy, like a “100 Best SF/F/H Pulp Stories” list from someone who actually knows what they’re doing – you and I are stuck with this.

What is Pulp?

Pulp fiction was an inexpensive type of magazine with fiction in it.  A pulp magazine was kind of like the Enquirer of stories, the Weekly World News.  They were cheap – The first pulp was Argosy, which in 1906 cost ten cents an issue (about $2.55 in 2013 dollars [192 pages–however, the typical issue of a pulp was 128 pages long]) or $1.00 a year (compare to a single issue of F&SF, $2.99 single digital issue/$7.99 print [256ish pages for bimonthly issues], or $12.00 yearly digital subscription/$36.97 print).  The first issue of Argosy that was considered a pulp was in 1896. The pulps switched from 10″ by 7″ to digest size (e.g., F&SF size) around WWII, during paper shortages.  By 1957, due to production costs as well as increased competition from comics, TV, and cheap paperback novels, the pulps were pretty much over.

“The New Era of Pulps”

Some people have called the coincidence of digital publishing and indie publishing “the new era of pulps.”  I don’t know enough to agree or disagree–but apparently the top pulps were selling, at their peak in the late 1920s and early 1930s, a million copies an issue.  I was unable to find a single English-language magazine consisting primarily of fiction that sells over a million copies an issue.  There are multiple fiction-based TV shows that have over a million viewers an episode, from Big Bang Theory on down.  The top-ranking comic book series, Batman, has just over 100K readers per issue.  The numbers of views on YouTube videos will have you crying into your wood pulp.  I couldn’t find anything on the number of views for fiction websites, but I wouldn’t be surprised if fanfiction didn’t blow the paying markets out of the water.  If this is the new era of pulps, there are still some differences.

The methodology I’m starting with:

Flailing around on Wikipedia.  Because Wikipedia is edited by multiple editors (and therefore has a reasonable chance of being argued over by more than one person who gives a damn, rather than being just one person’s idiosyncratic list), I started there first.  Actually, I started by looking for a real list curated by some experts, but then I moved on to Wikipedia.

Note:  Going into the behind-the-scenes stuff on Wikipedia is like finding out about dark energy.  The Wikipedia that most people see and use for research, as immense as it is, is just the tip of the iceberg.  Sheesh.

I’m sticking with SF, fantasy, and non-reality horror and their subgenres, from 1896 to 1957.  Tentatively, I’m going to say the work must have been originally published in a) a pulp-fiction magazine, or b) a dime novel of the same period, which weren’t so much novels as they were pulps with one story in them (having nearly the same format and cost).  At least, as far as I can tell.

Pulps seem to gather not so much around authors (many of which were house pseudonyms written by multiple people) as magazines and characters; however, multiple writers emerged from the pulps that went on to have huge careers as paperback and hardcover writers, and I’ll probably end up leaning a bit toward them (e.g., Ray Bradbury).

The List (in no particular order at this time):

  1. Doc Savage (character).  SF.  The Man of Bronze, Kenneth Robeson (house name)/Lester Dent (main writer).  March 1933, Doc Savage Magazine.  Not especially heavy on the SF, but the list would be poorer without him.
  2. Conan the Barbarian (character).  S&S.  Originally published mostly in Weird Tales in 1932-1936.  Most of the Conan opus was short stories; Robert Jordan put together an excellent chronology of them.  The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian looks like a good place to start on the earlier written, although not necessarily the earlier chronology, stories.
  3. Anthony “Buck” Rogers (character).  SF.  Armageddon 2419 A.D., containing two novellas, “Armageddon 2419 A.D.” and “The Airlords of Han.”  Philip Francis Nowlan.  First printed in Amazing Stories in 1928.
  4. John Carter of Mars (character). SF.  A Princess of Mars, Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Serialized in All-Story in 1912.
  5. Seabury Quinn (author).  Horror.  The Monkey God and Other Stories, by Seabury Quinn.  Wrote primarily for Weird Tales in the 1930s, and was famous for an occult detective named Jules de Grandin.
  6. Solomon Kane (character).  Horror.  Published in Weird Tales in 1928 onward.  The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, Robert E. Howard.
  7. Allen Quartermain (character).  Adventure/Fantasy.  This is admittedly pushing it.  The first book, King Solomon’s Mines, was published as a novel in 1885 (wrong format, wrong year).  However, subsequent books in the series were published during the pulp period in the pulps (I think).  Ach, I’m just going to leave it.  He’s the basis of Indiana Jones.  If you aren’t going to fudge the lines for Indy, then who?
  8. William Hope Hodgson (author).  Horror.  Published in all kind of US/UK pulps, including The Red Magazine, starting in 1904.  I’m going to go slightly off-topic again and say the best choice here is The Night Land, published in 1912 as a novel, because it was greatly praised by both Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith.
  9. Gertrude Barrows Bennet (author), aka Francis Stevens.  Dark Fantasy.  “The woman who invented dark fantasy.”  Published her first written story at age 17 in Argosy in 1904.  The Heads of Cereberus, first published in the pulp The Thrill Book in 1919, was possibly the first parallel-worlds story.  Personally, I can’t imagine that Gene Wolfe wasn’t making a reference to her in his similarly-titled novella.
  10. William Wallace Cook (author), aka John Milton Edwards.  SF.  Published hundreds of stories and dime novels, wrote the magnificent plot generator Plotto.  Doesn’t even rate a Wikipedia page.  Yikes.  Adrift in the Unknown, first appeared in the Argosy in 1904-5.
  11. Clarence Aaron “Tod” Robbins (author).  Horror.  Published in All-Story Weekly and more.  Best known for the short story “Spurs,” which was made into the movie Freaks.  Freaks and Fantasies collects many of his more famous short stories.
  12. Abraham Grace Merritt (author).  Fantasy.  Listed in Appendix N of The Dungeon Master’s Guide and is cited as an influence of Lovecraft.  The Moon Pool, published as two novellas, “The Moon Pool” and “Conquest of the Moon Pool” in All-Story Weekly in 1918-1919.
  13. Ralph Milne Farley (author), aka Roger Sherman Hoar.  SF.  He wrote some John-Carterish stories in The Radio Man and its sequels, but I find the short story collection The Omnibus of Time, a collection of time-travel-paradox stories, far more interesting.  Stories originally appeared in Amazing, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Weird Tales, and more, although I can’t track down exactly when at the moment.
  14. Ray Cummings (author).  SF.  Worked as a technical writer for Edison.  In the 1940s, shifted to writing comics, including some for Captain America.  Many works published in Argosy in the late 1920s.  The Ray Cummings Megapack:  25 Golden Age Science Fiction and Mystery Tales.
  15. Edward Elmer or E.E. “Doc” Smith (author).  SF, the “father of space opera.”  Most famous for the Lensman series, mainly published in Astounding Stories in the mid to late 1930s.  Triplanetary is the first in the series.  Runner-up for the Hugo Award for all-time best series.
  16. H.G. Wells (author). SF. One of the fathers of SF (it was a genetic engineering thing, multiple fathers of SF, okay?  Okay).  The War of the Worlds, published 1897 in Cosmopolitan in the US.  Heh.  I doubt they were giving advice on how to blow your boyfriend’s mind at the time, but if they had been, this would have worked.  To me, The Island of Doctor Moreau seems the most classically pulp of what he’s done, though.
  17. Edwin Balmer & Philip Wylie (authors).  SF.  When Worlds Collide, 1933, in Blue Book magazine.  May have helped inspire Flash Gordon and Superman.
  18. John Buchnan (author).  Fantasy.  While he’s most famous for the novel The 39 Steps, his fantasy short stories are what we’re interested in here.  The Far Islands and Other Tales of Fantasy, with stories from 1901 forward.
  19. John Collier (author).  Fantasy.  Fancies and Goodnights collects many of his more famous short stories, some of which were adapted for Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Twilight Zone, and more.
  20. G.K. Chesteron (author).  A bit of a stretch, as mostly his stories appeared in places like The Saturday Evening Post.  However, since the SEP also published people like Bradbury and Heinlein, I’m going to fudge it.  The Man Who Was Thursday, 1908.
  21. Sax Rohmer, aka Arthur Henry Sarsfield Ward (author).  Horror.  Famous for his Fu Manchu stories; the beard is named after the character.  You know you’ve made it as a writer when they name beards after your work.  Brood of the Witch Queen is his most famous horror work.  Set “in the bowels of a pyramid.”
  22. Arthur Machen (author).  Horror.  His novella “The Great God Pan” was called “maybe the best [horror story] in the English language” by Stephen King.  Arthur Machen Collected Works: 23 Tales of Horror & Other Fiction Short Stories.
  23. M.P. Schiel (author).  SF.  The Purple Cloud, originally published in The Royal Magazine in 1901; it was later praised by Lovecraft as an excellent example of weird fiction.
  24. Talbot Mundy (author).  Fantasy and SF.  The Jimgrim series, which begins with Guns of the Gods and has multiple books in The Talbot Mundy Megapack28 Classic Novels and Short Stories.  The most famous of the series is King of the Khyber Rifles.  Most of his novels originally appeared in Adventure.
  25. Jules Verne (author).  SF.  He’s outside the time limit, but did publish his works as serials.  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1869 in French, translated into English in 1870.  The real reason I want to include this is that it seems impossible to have a pulp list without Captain Nemo in it.
  26.  August Derleth (author).  A divisive figure, August Derleth both supported Lovecraft’s work and probably help save it from being forgotten (he founded Arkham House to publish Lovecraft’s work) and undermined it, by writing posthumous stories based on fragments of Lovecraft’s work under Lovecraft’s name.  Lovecraft’s more hopeful, more Christian heir.  Also wrote a lot of mystery stories about the detective Solar Pons, which aren’t relevant here.  Some of these Cthulu Mythos stories can be found in The Mask of Cthulu, which originally appeared mainly in Weird Tales.
  27. Tom Swift (character).  SF.  Created by Edward Stratemeyer and written by the house pseudonym Victor Appleton.  Both Asimov and Steve Wozniak called Tom Swift an inspiration.  The series starts with Tom Swift and his Motor Cycle, published in 1910 by Grosset & Dunlap.  Not technically pulp, but…c’mon.
  28. Flash Gordon (character).  SF.  Cartoons.  Created by Alex Raymond in 1934, along with ghostwriter Don Moore.  Flash Gordon, Volume 1.
  29. Isaac Asimov (author).  SF.  While Asimov’s career spanned decades, I, Robot collected nine of his stories written during the pulp period.
  30. Robert Heinlein (author).  SF.  Another long-term career author.  Heinlein’s earlier short stories, about Future History, were collected in The Past Through Tomorrow.  His juveniles were also a big deal, but…I’d start with the short story collection.
  31. L. Ron Hubbard (author).  SF.  While famous for founding Scientology and writing the Battlefield Earth series in the ’80s, the Stories from the Golden Age series seems a better bet, pulp-wise. The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Collection looks about right.
  32. Carl Richard Jacobi (author).  Horror.  A short story writer, many of his tales appeared in Weird Tales and Startling Stories.  Revelations in Black contains many pulp-era stories.
  33. Clifford D. Simak (author).  SF.  Hugo- and Nebula-winning author.  Check out The Fourth Golden Age of Science Fiction Megapack:  Clifford D. Simak, via Wildside Press.  Really, Wildside has a wonderful amount of all kinds of pulp available.
  34. Theodore Sturgeon (author).  SF.  The Ultimate Egoist: Volume 1: The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon.  These collections are pretty cool, with the stories in chronological order–I forget if they’re written-chronological or published-chronological.  Watch Sturgeon go from writing stories about vanilla (literally!) to some of the weirder fiction you’ll ever come across.
  35. A.E. Van Vogt (author).  SF.  Look, he wrote a lot of great stuff.  But you have to read Slan, serialized in Astounding in 1940.  Fans are slans.
  36. Arthur C. Clarke (author).  SF.  The transformative effect of Arthur C. Clarke on SF and on science can’t be covered here.  But check out the collection The Nine Billion Names of God, which gathers some of his earlier stories.
  37. James Blish (author).  SF.  Adapted many episodes of Star Trek in collections.  Originally published in Astounding, the series of four novels known as Cities in Flight (published starting in, I think, 1952). is perhaps his most famous work.
  38. Poul Anderson (author).  SF.  A founding member of the SCA, a president of SFWA, and a Grand Master.    Guardians of Time collects time-travel stories from the mid- to late-1950s.
  39. Alfred Bester (author).  SF.  Wrote comics early in his career and is credited with the Green Lantern Corp’s oath, “In brightest day, in darkest night…” Also wrote many radio scripts.  The Demolished Man was serialized in Galaxy in 1953.
  40. Nelson S. Bond (author).  SF.  Wrote for radio, TV, PR, and fiction.  It looks like the best bet for tracking down an entire book of his (he’s in all kinds of anthologies) is That Worlds May Live, first published in 1943 in Amazing.
  41. Leigh Brackett (author).  SF.  Wrote SF, mystery, and movie scripts for novels like The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, and The Empire Strikes Back.  Known as the Queen of Space Opera.  The Planetary Adventures of Eric John Stark contains the four EJS novels, including Black Amazon of Mars.  The novels were first published in Planet Stores in 1949.
  42. Robert W. Chambers (author).  Horror.  This one crosses outside pulp proper, but it seems odd to try to put together a list without The King in Yellow, 1895.
  43. Clark Ashton Smith (author). Horror. “One of the big three of Weird Tales,” with H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, and was friends with both.  Wrote stories in the Cthulu Mythos, as well as other darkly fantastic stories, from 1926-1935ish.  The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies looks like a good collection to start with.
  44. Algernon Blackwood (author).  Horror.  A prolific ghost story writer:  wrote “The Wendigo,” one of my personal favorites.  The First Algernon Blackwood Megapack: 36 Classic Tales of the Supernatural looks like a good starting point and (yay!) contains “The Wendigo” (1910).
  45. H.P. Lovecraft (author).  Horror.  I really liked Lovecraft, a graphic novel by Keith Giffin and Hans Rodionoff.  I mention this every time Lovecraft comes up… There are a bajillion Lovecraft collections; I’m listing Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre: The Best of H.P. Lovecraft because I think it was one of the first ones I read.  Call me objective, will you…
  46. Edward Plunkett, Lord Dunsany (author).  Fantasy. Another one of those not-quite-pulp guys that influenced so many writers it would be silly to leave him out.  It looks like “anywhere” is the general consensus of where to start with Dunsany, but as this is quite overwhelming, I’m going to say The Book of Wonder (1912) is as good a place as any.
  47. Harry Stephen Keeler (author).  Horror.  A pulp writer whose works became increasingly bizarre.  Was all about “the webwork plot,” in which the twist ending is the result of multiple strands interacting with each other.  Strands of the Web: The Short Stories of Harry Stephen Keeler collects stories written in the 30s and 40s.
  48. Henry S. Whitehead (author).  Horror.  Published often in Weird Tales.  His collection Jumbee and Other Uncanny Tales collects stories written in the 1920s and 1930s.
  49. Charles Beaumont (author).  Weird Fiction.  Wrote many episodes of The Twilight Zone.  The Hunger and Other Stories (1957) collects some early, strong work.
  50. Andre Norton (author).  SF/F.  While she has an immense body of work, I’m going to go with Star Rangers (1953) and Star Guard (1955), two of her earlier genre novels.
  51. Arthur Leo Zagat (author).  Weird Fiction.  A lawyer who wrote hundreds of weird fiction tales.  The Arthur Leo Zagat Science Fiction Megapack (stories from 1930-1948) seems like a good place to start.
  52. Bram Stoker (author).  Horror.  He started out with Gothic stories (of which Dracula is one), but lived into the pulp period.  I’m going to stretch it and say that his collection Dracula’s Guest and Other Stories is close enough.
  53. E.F. Benson (author).  Horror.  Prrrobably not pulp.  And I’ll probably remove this later.  But Lovecraft spoke well of him, and I love his work.  The E.F. Benson Megapack will probably not do you wrong (1912-1934).
  54. Edmond Hamilton (author).  Science Fiction. Probably most remembered for the Captain Future series.  The Edmond Hamilton Megapack covers short stories from 1930 to 1962.
  55. Achmed Abdullah (author).  Fantasy/Horror/Adventure.  A number of interesting lies in his autobiography, including descent from the Russian Imperial family.  The Achmed Abdullah Megapack covers short stories from 1917 to 1943.
  56. Edwin L. Arnold (author).  SF.  His Gullivar of Mars (1905) may have been the precursor to John Carter.
  57. Robert Bloch (author).  Horror/Weird Fiction.  While he’s most famous for Psycho, he was also a prolific writer of short stories and weird fiction.  The Opener of the Way (1945) covers many of his early short stories.
  58. Arthur J. Burks (author).  Weird Fiction/Adventure/Horror.  A WWI Marine who retired to write a million words a year for the pulps, mostly Weird Tales.  Horror Stories (Will Murray’s Pulp Classics) (1935-1940).
  59. John W. Campbell (author).  Known more as an editor, he also wrote a good deal of pulp SF.  Wrote the short story “Who Goes There?” (1938, under the penname Don A. Stuart) which became the basis for the movie The Thing.  The Best of John W. Campbell includes it.
  60. Mark Clifton and Frank Riley (authors).  SF.  Authors of the Hugo-winning novel They’d Rather Be Right (serialized in Astounding in 1954), a.k.a. The Forever Machine, about a computer who can grant immortality…if you’re willing to give up your prejudices.  It may have been pushed through by the Scientologists.
  61. Lester del Rey (author). SF.  Before he became an editor, he was a pulp SF writer.  The Fifth Golden Age of Science Fiction Megapack: Featuring the Work of Lester Del Rey covers stories from 1950-1957.
  62. Charles W. Diffin (author).  SF.  An engineer and airplane salesman who was all over Astounding.  Holocaust and Other Science Fiction Stories covers stories from 1930 onward.
  63. Randall Garrett (author).  SF/F.  While he wrote a wide variety of works, he’s most famous for the Lord Darcy series, a detective in a world where magic works.  Mentored Robert Silverberg.  Randall Garrett, Science Fiction Collection drifts into the 1960s, but contains several stories from the 1950s.
  64. Homer Eon Flint (author).  SF/F.  May have been killed in a bank robbery attempt.  One of his stories was the basis for the movie The Amazing Colussus Man (featured on MST3K). The Homer Eon Flint Omnibus covers three collections from 1919 and 1920.
  65. Raymond Z. Gallun (author).  SF.  One of the first writers of sympathetic aliens.  A First Glimpse & Other Science Fiction Classics appears to be the best bet.
  66.  Winston K. Marks (author).  SF.  The First Golden Age of Science Fiction Megapack: 12 Classic Science Fiction Tales by Winston K. Marks (stories from 1953-1958).  Poor guy.  Most famous for being semi-forgotten but apparently a decent writer.
  67. C.L. Moore (author).  SF/F/Weird.  The Best of C.L. Moore.  Married to Henry Kuttner; together they wrote as Lewis Padgett and others.
  68. Henry Kuttner (author).  SF/F/Weird.  The Best of Henry Kuttner.  Includes stories co-written by himself and C.L. Moore under various pseudonyms, including Lewis Padgett.
  69. L. Sprague de Camp (author).  SF/F.  As a SF writer, wrote one of the seminal time-travel stories, Lest Darkness Fall.
  70. Gavagan’s Bar (fictional place).  SF/F.  By L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt.  Barroom tales of a  light-fantastical nature.  Tales from Gavagan’s Bar.
  71. Fritz Lieber (author).  SF/F/H.  Famous for his Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories, first published in 1939 in Unknown.  Fritz Lieber: Selected Stories does reach past the pulp era, but starts there.
  72. Manly Wade Wellman (author).  SF/F, wrote many other genres.  Strangely, a lot of his stuff is hard to find…except on audiobook.  The Third Cry to Legba and Other Invocations: The Selected Stories of Manly Wade Wellman (Vol. 1) is one such example.
  73. Frank Belknap Long (author).  Weird/Horror.  Mentored by H.P. Lovecraft.  The Hounds of Tindalos contains his most famous work (a short story of the same name) as well as much of his earlier fiction.
  74. H. Rider Haggard (author). Adventure.  One of the earliest pulp writers; he is most famous for his character Alan Quartermain, one of the bases for Indiana Jones.  He’s first featured in King Solomon’s Mines.
  75. Ray Bradbury (author).  SF/F/H.  While I have trouble with some of his longer work, I love his short stories.  I’d go for Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales.
  76. Fredrick Brown (author).  SF.  One of his short stories, “Arena,” first published in Astounding in 1944, was named as one of the best SF stories written before the Nebulas started.  The Fredrick Brown Megapack contains that story and more.
  77. Stanley G. Weinbaum (author).  SF.  His first story was published in 1934, and he was dead 18 months later.  The Best of Stanley G. Weinbaum contains that story and more.
  78. Hugh B. Cave (author).  Weird/Horror.  In the 1930s, published about 800 stories under various pseudonyms.  Murgunstrumm and Others collects some of his best short work.
  79. Sir Author Conan Doyle (author).  Mystery/adventure.  While he was best known for Sherlock Holmes, Doyle is also well known for his SF/F adventure stories featuring Professor Challenger, incluing The Lost World.
  80. Rudyard Kipling (author).  Adventure.  Best known for The Jungle Book, he also wrote lots of classic fantasy and horror stories, collected in Rudyard Kipling’s Tales of Horror and Fantasy.

 

Resources:

The Pulp Net.  Resource list of blogs, bibliographies, a pulp wiki, and more.

Black Dog Books.  Reprints/ebooks of classic pulp-era adventure fiction (not otherwise sorted by genre).

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.  A wealth of information.  Under the “Themes” link, a good Pulp article listing specifically SF-related pulps (scroll down).

 

 

 

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén